Everyday many of us wake up, take a shower, get dressed eat breakfast, and pop a few multivitamins. Vitamins have become such a basic part of our lives that we can’t buy any kind of food without finding that its been enriched with Vitamin C, D, Calcium, Iron. While Calcium and Iron aren’t technically vitamins, we do find them in many multivitamins and supplements.
“Know Your Vitamins” will be an ongoing series that takes a look at all the supplements we put in our body. Yes, your doctor is telling you its good for you, but why? And if you don’t take that multivitamin, what would happen? And for that matter where in nature can you find these vitamins because the pilgrims had to be getting along without the vitamin and supplement aisle in their local CVS somehow.
First up, Vitamin C. Vitamin C is often best known for its cold preventing and shortening abilities. An even bigger role it has however is in the growth and repair of body tissue including your skin, muscles, and blood vessels. Vitamin C is responsible for all this because it is directly linked to both the production and function of white blood cells; that army of cells that fights the bad and promotes the good within your body. Other benefits seen from the intake of Vitamin C are a reduce in cataracts and their severity and the reduction of free radicals inside your body.
Just like your mother told you when you wouldn’t drink your orange juice, not enough Vitamin C can lead to an increase in colds. What mother didn’t tell you was that it could also lead to poorly healing wounds and an increased possibility of respiratory infections. In the extreme, Vitamin C deficiency leads to scurvy, a disease that presents symptoms of easily bleeding and bruising, hair and teeth loss, and joint pain and swelling. However, seeing as few of you reading this are swashbuckling pirates or long-voyaging sailors, I’d say you’re safe from that.
Since Vitamin C is not produced or retained by our bodies, daily intake is very important. While supplements are readily available, all fruits and vegetables contain some level of Vitamin C. Common foods with some of the highest concentrations include rose hip, which is found in many teas, blackcurrant, red pepper, parsley, kiwifruit, and broccoli.