Vitamin C: A Global Panacea
Panacea is defined as "a remedy for all disease or ills; a cure all; an answer or solution for all problems or difficulties."The title implies that a panacea is possible and an applicable label for Vitamin C.This is a false interpretation.However, Vitamin C serves a variety of essential functions within the biological systems of the human body.
Vitamin C: An Introduction
Vitamin C, chemically referred to as ascorbic acid, is essential to proper construction and maintenance of a specific protein within tissues: collagen.Collagen is located in the majority of biological systems in the body; bones, muscle, cartilage, and blood vessels.It enhances the ability of the body to absorb the mineral iron.
Vitamin C: Disease Prevention, Treatment and Effectiveness
The use of the word "panacea" in the title refers directly to the fact that numerous theories on the effective uses for vitamin C for treatment and prevention of diseases currently exist.Research continues in an attempt to obtain conclusive scientific evidence to support these theories.
- Common cold prevention/treatment:
- Enhancement of iron absorption
- Decreased risk for asthma development
- Relief of alkaptonuria symptoms
- Cancer prevention/treatment
- Reduction in plaque/calculus on teeth
- Reduced vaginitis symptoms
- Reduction in cataracts progression/development
- Cataracts prevention
- Stroke prevention
- Prevention of heart disease
- Osteoporosis treatment
Vitamin C: Cold Prevention
Regularly, vitamin C is commented to prevent and/or treat the common cold.This is a controversial subject, and while a correlation is evident, further research is necessary for the confirmation of this theory.Currently, the results are inconclusive as the effect vitamin C has on the treatment and prevention of the common cold.Recent results show no significant change in common cold infection or healing rates.
Vitamin C Deficiencies: Scurvy
The condition known as scurvy is caused by a vitamin C deficiency.Scurvy is an uncommon disease, but occurs in malnourished individuals.It is associated with several symptoms:
- Joint pain
- Dry/scaly skin
- Gum pain and inflammation
- General weakness
- Loss of appetite
- Pain/swelling of long bones
- Shortness of breath
- Dry eyes
Vitamin C: Sources
Vitamin C is commonly found in the majority of fruits and vegetables.The following is a list of some fruits/vegetables that contain above average amounts of vitamin C:
- Brussell sprouts
- Peppers (red and yellow)
Vitamin C and You
Adequate amounts of vitamin C in the diet are essential to ensure overall general health.A diet rich in vitamin C ensures the prevention of scurvy and ensures proper amounts in presence for the generation and maintenance of the protein collagen.While vitamin C is not a global panacea, it is necessary according to daily nutritional requirements set by the food and drug administration (FDA).
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Sources: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/panacea http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/featured-nutrient-vitamin-c http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/vitamin-c/NS_patient-vitaminC