The problem was so severe that seafarers were more likely to die from scurvy than other diseases, shipwrecks, or battles combined. An estimated 2 million sailors died from this scourge. In fact, it was assumed that a person will have a 50% chance of dying from scurvy if he’s out at sea. Scurvy exhibits itself in lethargy initially and as the disease progresses, joint aches, sking bruises, internal haemorrhaging and finally death.
Finally, in the 18th century CE, Dr James Lind conducted an experiment with citrus fruits that a cure was found. As we now know, a vitamin C deficiency led to the sailors contracting scurvy. Apparently, the sailors then had no access to fresh fruits and vegetables, leading to dire consequences.
While we have come a long way since those dark days, and have more access to fresh fruits and vegetables and supplements, we still need to be conscious of including vitamin c or food containing it, in our diet. For vitamin C has a lot more benefits to offer.
Vitamins are substances that are required in little amounts to sustain life. Most vitamins must be obtained from food since the human body either does not make enough or none at all. Each creature requires a varied set of vitamins. One of these is Vitamin C. Vitamin C is an important vitamin that is also known as ascorbic acid. Vitamin C is essential for the development and repair of tissue in all sections of your body. According to scientists, it is one of the safest and most beneficial nutrients.
Vitamins are required by our bodies for proper growth and development. It is water-soluble and found naturally in a variety of foods, including fruits and vegetables. If your vitamin C needs cannot be adequately acquired from natural sources, you may get them from supplements. Vitamin C is considered an antioxidant. Antioxidants work to minimize some of the damage caused by free radicals. Since our bodies cannot generate or store vitamin C on their own, we need to include vitamin C-rich meals in our diet.
Let’s dwell further on why vitamin C is so important in our lives:
A Powerful Antioxidant
Defeating free radicals is a primary function of vitamin C, which is a powerful antioxidant that neutralizes these unstable atoms or molecules. When left uncontrolled, free radicals can cause tissue damage and premature wrinkles, as well as cancer. Our skin can be severely damaged by the sun's ultraviolet radiation. In the winter, when individuals are less inclined to apply sunscreen, this problem can become worse.
As Vitamin C is water-soluble, it works mainly within cellular fluids. Multiple studies have shown that, to benefit from vitamin C this way our daily intake of vitamin C must be in the region of 500 milligrams. Since this is much higher than the daily recommended value of 90 mg for adults, and you will not be able to get so much vitamin C from natural food sources, a supplement is needed.
Immune System Booster
Vitamin C is more effective in boosting immunity than any other substance. It increases white blood cells and interferon production, which helps protect cell surfaces from viruses.
White blood cells are the workhorses of the immune system, encircling, destroying, and then clearing up diseased cells. According to one research, even mild to moderate dips in Vitamin C levels may result in considerable declines in immunological function. Nutritional experts suggest a daily consumption of 500 mg or more to maintain adequate C levels.
Reduces risk of Heart Disease
Atherosclerosis is a significant cardiac condition caused by the accumulation of plaque in the arterial walls. The resulting narrowed arteries are less efficient in moving blood, and if a clot forms, blood flow can be cut off nearly completely. These diseases can result in heart attacks, strokes, and a variety of other chronic health problems.
Clearly, avoiding heart disease is critical for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Some physicians are beginning to regard specific nutrients, notably Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and beta-carotene, as necessary components of a healthy heart. Additionally, physicians recommend that a lifestyle free from smoking, eating a nutritious diet, exercising frequently, and avoiding excessive stress as essential to a healthy heart.
A large-scale research including healthcare professionals discovered that a vitamin C-rich diet lowered the incidence of heart disease by 43%. According to some researchers, the vitamin (together with Vitamin E and beta-carotene) acts by neutralizing "bad" cholesterol (LDL) before it can establish a major foothold in arteries.
More precisely, LDL cholesterol may be incapable of forming arterial plaque until the interior fat of the LDL particle becomes rancid due to a process called oxidation. Additionally, being a potent water-soluble antioxidant, Vitamin C aids in the neutralization of free radicals that contribute to the oxidation process. It accomplishes this by assisting fat-soluble Vitamin E in preventing oxidation of LDL lipids.
Prevents Eye Diseases
Some studies have suggested that vitamin C may prevent cataracts. Antioxidant vitamin C may be found in the eye's watery lens, which is made up mostly of water and a minor amount of protein. Vitamin C concentrations in the lens and the fluid around it are ten to thirty times higher than those found in the rest of the body. This means that water-soluble Vitamin C has a protective effect on ocular health and function. It also protects the lens from oxidative damage induced by light, sugar, and several drugs in laboratory animals.
In a study conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health, women who ingested 250-500 mg of Vitamin C daily for at least 10 years saw a 45 percent reduction in their cataract risk. According to another study, people who took 300-600 mg of Vitamin C daily had a 70% lower chance of getting the disease.
Additionally, vitamin C may treat glaucoma. As glaucoma progresses, the eye's internal pressure builds up, resulting in blindness. Eye drops or surgery might be prescribed by ophthalmologists to alleviate pressure in the eyes. Changing one's food may also have a good impact on one's illness, or at least delay its progression. Since intraocular pressure can be reduced by elevating blood acidity, doctors prescribe a daily Vitamin C consumption of between 750 and 1,500 mg. Naturally, you should always seek the advice of a trained doctor before embarking on any glaucoma-related treatment.
Protects against Cancer
Vitamin C's antioxidant qualities help to neutralize free radicals that damage cell membranes and genetic material. Due to the fact that free radicals help in the destruction of invading germs and viruses, having them in our bodies is beneficial. But having too many free radicals might result in long-term health problems such as cancer.
Vitamin C can also be used to counteract nitrates. Nitrates is known to be another cancer-causing toxin. Vitamin C contributes to the maintenance of a healthy immune system and strengthens Vitamin E's anti-inflammatory capabilities.
An Anti-Aging Tool
Collagen, a protein that is used to form nearly every type of connective tissue in the body, including the skin and ligaments, requires vitamin C to be synthesized. As we age, our skin's elasticity degrades due to a lack of collagen. To offset these reductions, Vitamin C is needed.
Vitamin C acts as an infection fighter and immune booster, and it is also used throughout the body to manufacture a variety of tissues, including collagen, which is a network of protein fibers that serves as the structural foundation for a variety of tissues, including cartilage, bone, tendons, and muscles. According to one research, high doses of Vitamin C promote cartilage cell proliferation by boosting the production of their genetic material.
Surgery may deplete your body's Vitamin C reserves. Following surgery, Vitamin C levels in the blood quickly decrease, and a deficit causes wounds to heal more slowly. Vitamin C is required for the formation of wound-healing collagen. Another advantage of Vitamin C is that it aids in the maintenance of a strong immune system, which is critical for someone following surgery, as it aids in healing and infection prevention.
We mentioned at the opening of this article that scurvy was the leading cause of death among sailors. Scurvy is caused by an inadequate intake of ascorbic acid or a deficiency. Scurvy causes a weakening of connective tissues, bones, and blood vessels, all of which include collagen. Vitamin C, a potent antioxidant, is necessary to stimulate collagen formation.
Prevents Common Cold
According to a new research, ascorbic acid strengthens our body's immune system, which protects us against colds and coughs. Vitamin C's antioxidant and immune properties have been shown to help reduce the likelihood and severity of common colds. To help us in this manner, it makes more sense to incorporate vitamin C in our diet on a regular basis, rather than only when we have a cold. Nonetheless, supplementing with Vitamin C at the outset of symptoms may help to mitigate their severity.
Helpful for allergies
Vitamin C is anti-allergenic, which means it inhibits the formation of histamine, which is responsible for allergic responses. It protects the body against seasonal and food allergies. Autoimmune illness is a potentially fatal manifestation of an allergic response. Vitamin C has been shown to be beneficial in treating and preventing this condition.
Indeed, vitamin C’s potential therapeutic properties should cause us to be conscious of including it into our diet. But as you no doubt agree, prevention is better than cure. This principle should also extend to the protection of our eyes. In our environment, harmful UV rays bombard us every day. Overtime, we are at risk of forming cataracts in our eyes. This presents a continual concern for athletes as most activities take place outdoors. Having a good pair of sports sunglasses serve to protect your eyes when you are exercising outdoors.
Sunday Shades is the go to sports sunglasses for athletes. All Sunday Shades are UV 400 and polarizer protected. They also do not bounce, have Asian fit, and are very light. They come in a wide range of colours and will suit every taste. Check them out today!
Disclaimer: this article is purely informational and does not constitute medical advice. Always consult a trained medical professional when seeking medical advice.