ascorbic acid-Alternate name for vitamin C. This is a water-soluble vitamin found in many types of fruits and vegetables. Ascorbic acid is needed for optimal function of several enzymes. Ascorbic acid is best known for its assistance to a variety of hydroxylation processes of collagen. Ascorbic acid also aids the absorption of Iron (Fe) by reducing it to the ferrous state in the stomach. This means that it changes the electrical charge of the iron atom, so it is easily absorbed.
10 milligrams (mg) per day will prevent scurvy, which is caused by a deficiency of ascorbic acid. Although 10 mg is thought to prevent scurvy, this is not entirely true, considering signs of scurvy are initially diagnosed on a macroscopic (what we can see with the naked eye) scale. Since the signs and symptoms of scurvy are listlessness, anorexia, cachexia, gingivitis, loosened teeth (you can wiggle them), halitosis (unpleasant breath), bleeding from gums, nose, hair follicles, bladder, joints and other places, to wait until your health gets to this point? Of course, full blown scurvy is seen in economically deprived parts of the world. But it still exists in the western world, and many of the microscopic changes to your health, as well as other signs and symptoms go undetected. It's better to be safe and increase the daily dose of vitamin C. RDA's have changed over time and are in the range of 60 mg per day. You can safely take much higher doses (500-1000mg) per day. Keep in mind that ascorbic acid is a water soluble vitamin, and your body will only use what it needs. The unused portion is excreted from the body. So higher doses will not harm you.toxicity of ascorbic acid-Acute toxicity has not been observed with ascorbic acid, because most of the vitamin is excreted. However, a small portion is oxidized to dehydroascorbic acid and metabolised to oxalate. Calcium salts of oxalate are one of the components of kidney stones. Therefore, chronic large doses of ascorbic acid should be avoided, especially in those with a family history, or tendency to form kidney stones.
Doses of 1-4grams (1000-4000mg) of ascorbic acid per day seem to reduce both the severity and duration of colds to a degree. This is probably because of several reasons. High doses of ascorbic acid have an antihistamine-like effect, relieving nasal congestion, runny nose and some of the other symptoms of the cold or flu. Ascorbic acid also helps in the general healing process of any microscopic damage caused by the inflammatory reactions from the cold or flu virus. Collagen, a connective and supporting tissue in the body, plays an important role. Collagen is made up of roughly 10% hydroxyproline (an amino acid), Proline (an amino acid), must be hydroxylated in the formation of quality collagen. A reducing agent like ascorbic acid is needed for hydroxylation of proline to occur. If ascorbic acid is lacking, substandard collagen is produced. Ascorbic acid not only helps in tissue repair during bouts with colds and flues, in everyday collagen production. Therefore, it is essential for tissue repair of all types, including maintainence from daily wear and tear, wound repair, and other processes.Did you know that the Australian billygoat plum, Terminalia ferdiandiana, contains the highest natural source of vitamin C? It contains more than 100 times the amount found in oranges !