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Vitamin C

Vitamin C

Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)

Effects

Ascorbic acid - the source of Vit C was one of the first vitamins to be named as a 'vitamin'. Vit C has multiple important functions in our bodies, it helps in building of collagen- which acts as the matrix of the body, Vit C is also a very potent Antioxidant, it scavenges the free radicals which are responsible for many complications of diabetes like Atherosclerosis and predisposition to Heart Attacks and Stroke. Excessive free radicals may also result in diseases like cancer. Vit C has other important functions in metabolism as well.eficiency

 Deficiency of Vit C leads to a disease called Scurvy, it used to be highly prevalent in seafarers going on long voyages, due to lack of fresh green vegetables and fruits. Even though it was noted even in 18th century that german sailors who used Sourcabbage did not suffer from this disease. Scurvy causes non healing wounds and ulcers, dark patches on skin,  Bleeding from gums. Complete deficiency of Vitamin C may even be fatal. Modern researchers have also attributed Atherosclerosis- formation of plaques in blood vessels - leading to Heart Attack & Stroke in Diabetics.

Causes and Treatment of Deficiency

Deficiency of Vit C is caused by decreased intake of fresh green vegetables and fruits in diet. Vit C may also be destroyed when vegetables and fruits are cooked and processed.

Foods containing Vitamin C

Fruits

Citrus foods are traditionally well recognized sources of Vitamin C, like Lemon, Lime, Oranges, Mandarin oranges, Grapefruits and can be had by Diabetics.

Berries

Other fruits which also contain Vit C are- Guava, Papaya, Kiwi, Lychee, Wildberry, Elderberry, Strawberry, passionfruit, mango, melon. Berries are rich sources of vit c like raspberry, bluberry, blackberry, cranberry.

Vegetables

Vegetables like Broccoli, Cabbage ( Sour Cabbage ) , Brussel Sprouts, Cauliflower, Spinach, Parsley, Potato, tomato also contain Vit C

Special foods rich in Vitamin C

Some fruits and berries contain high amounts of this Vitamin 10-1000 times that of usual fruits and vegetables- and need special mention- Kakadu plum, camu camu, Rose hip, Acerola, jujube, Indian gooseberry ( Amla), Seabuckthorn, Blackcurrant.

Animal sources of Vitamin C

Present in Liver  and uncooked meat and fish preserves. Present in milk and milk products.

Significance in Diabetes

Sufficient amounts of Vitamin C should be taken by Diabetics in order to prevent the longterm complications of Diabetes. Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant and promotes healing of wounds. Oxidative stress is increased in diabetes and may be the cause of damage to pancreas and blood vessel walls which lead to worsening diabetes and its complications, deficiency of Vit C would only accentuate these. When Vit C is consumed in form of fresh fruits and vegetables it also increases fibre intake which helps in lowering blood glucose levels.

It has been shown in studies that adequate intake of vit C in tomato juice in creases the blood lycopenes levels, decreases C-RP these may be helpful in preventing heart attacks, angina and stroke. Another study has shown link between decreased levels of vitamin C , Diabetic Nephropathy and high blood pressure.

 

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