Thursday, May 23, 2024
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HomeHealthThe other Big C: The story of Vitamin C

The other Big C: The story of Vitamin C

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Nothing provokes feelings of dread, fear and despair more than the Big C, the disease that, once you have it, feels like you have signed a death warrant: cancer.

Recently, up until this writing, another big C has haunted the world: CoViD19 or the coronavirus disease 19.

Along with CoViD19, however, the other Big C, the benevolent one as opposed to the malevolent ones: Vitamin C appears to have gained newfound attention.

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Among the many Vitamin C supplements that is fast gaining attention are locally-produced ones like Mighty Cee, an ascorbic acid supplement produced by Clinica De Alternativo Medicina, a homegrown firm owned by a Filipino based here.

But what is Vitamin C?

"Klassischer Vitamin C-Spender: Die Orange (Citrus sinensis)" by Claudius Tesch is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0
“Klassischer Vitamin C-Spender: Die Orange (Citrus sinensis)” by Claudius Tesch is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

Remember when you got sick of the flu, or colds and you were advised to drink lots of fluids and have a megadose of Vitamin C?

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That’s because vitamin C has been proven to be have lots of benefits.

The National Institutes of Health describes Vitamin C as L-ascorbic acid, “a water-soluble vitamin that is naturally present in some foods, added to others, and available as a dietary supplement. Humans, unlike most animals, are unable to synthesize vitamin C endogenously, so it is an essential dietary component”.

Vitamin C, the NIH said, “is required for the biosynthesis of collagen”, which plays a vital role in wound healing, as well as L-carnitine, and certain neurotransmitters”, and in protein metabolism.

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There might also be a possibility that vitamin C might limit the damaging effects of free radicals through its antioxidant activity, prevent or delay the development of certain cancers, and cardiovascular disease.

Live Science, quoting NIH, said sources of vitamin C include many fruits and vegetables.

Sources with the most vitamin C are fresh, raw cantaloupes, citrus fruits, kiwis, mangos, papayas, pineapples, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, watermelon and cranberries.

Red and green peppers, spinach, cabbage, cauliflower, turnip greens and other leafy greens, tomatoes, potatoes, broccoli, winter squash and Brussels sprouts are other good sources of vitamin C.

Harvard School of Public Health said vitamin C deficiency could lead to fatigue, malaise
Iron-deficiency anemia, and scurvy which has classic symptoms including skin spots caused by bleeding and bruising from broken blood vessels, swelling or bleeding of gums, and eventual loss of teeth, hair loss, delayed healing of skin wounds.

The next time you think immune system, it pays to remember that the Benevolent C, among them the supplement Mighty Cee, just might help you face the malevolence of life.

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Julius D. Mariveles
Julius D. Mariveles
An amateur cook who has a mean version of humba, the author has recently tried to make mole negra, the Mexican sauce he learned by watching shows of master chef Rick Bayless. A journalist since 19, he has worked in the newsrooms of radio, local papers, and Manila-based news organizations. A stroke survivor, he now serves as executive editor of DNX.
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