Slice an apple into half, and it turns brown. A copper penny all of a sudden turns into inexperienced, or an iron nail when left exterior, will rust. What do all these occasions have in widespread? These are examples of a course of known as oxidation. If the sliced apple is dipped in a lemon juice, nonetheless, the speed at which the apple turns brown is slowed. It’s as a result of the Vitamin C within the lemon juice slows the speed of oxidative harm.
Since its discovery 65 years in the past, vitamin C has come to be generally known as a “surprise employee.” Due to its function in collagen formation and different life-sustaining features, Vitamin C serves as a key immune system nutrient and a potent free-radical fighter. This double-duty nutrient has been proven to forestall many diseases, from on a regular basis illnesses such because the widespread chilly to devastating illnesses reminiscent of most cancers.
The water-soluble vitamin C is thought within the scientific world as ascorbic acid, a time period that really means “with out scurvy.” We rely on ascorbic acid for a lot of points of our biochemical functioning; but human beings are amongst solely a handful of animal species that can’t produce their very own provide of vitamin C. Like these different animals, together with primates and guinea pigs, we’ve got no selection however to acquire this nutrient by means of meals or our day by day food regimen.
Vitamin C can improve the physique’s resistance from totally different illnesses, together with infections and sure varieties of most cancers. It strengthens and protects the immune system by stimulating the exercise of antibodies and immune system cells reminiscent of phagocytes and neutrophils.
Vitamin C, as an antioxidant, helps scale back the exercise of free radicals. Free radicals are by-products of regular metabolism which may harm cells and set the stage for growing old, degeneration, and most cancers. It should not come as any shock that vitamin C is getting used for most cancers remedy. In giant doses, Vitamin C is typically administered intravenously as a part of most cancers remedy.
Vitamin C prevents free radical harm within the lungs and will even assist to guard the central nervous system from such harm. Free radicals are molecules with an unpaired electron. On this state, they’re extremely reactive and harmful to every part that will get of their method. Though free radicals have been implicated in lots of illnesses, they’re truly part of the physique chemistry.
As an antioxidant, vitamin C’s main function is to neutralize free radicals. Since ascorbic acid is water soluble, it may possibly work each inside and out of doors the cells to fight free radical harm. Vitamin C is a wonderful supply of electrons; due to this fact, it “can donate electrons to free radicals reminiscent of hydroxyl and superoxide radicals and quench their reactivity.”
The versatile vitamin C additionally works together with glutathione peroxidase (a serious free radical-fighting enzyme) to revitalize vitamin E, a fat-soluble antioxidant. Along with its work as a direct scavenger of free radicals in fluids, then, vitamin C additionally contributes to the antioxidant exercise within the lipids.
Optimum well being, nonetheless, requires a steadiness between free radical era and antioxidant safety. One of many features of Vitamin C is to get and quench these free radicals earlier than they create an excessive amount of harm.
Nevertheless, there may be analysis to indicate that vitamin C might act as a pro-oxidant. In different phrases, vitamin C, beneath sure circumstances anyway, might act in a fashion that’s reverse to its supposed goal. This has raised concern amongst 1000’s of people that complement their diets with vitamin C…however that is one other story.