What is ascorbic acid?
Ascorbic acid is another name for Vitamin C. This essential nutrient is present in the bodies of almost all mammals, and it is also an important constituent of plant species. Humans ingest ascorbic acid when they eat foods rich in Vitamin C such as oranges, tomatoes, and blueberries.
Most plants and mammals (with the intriguing exceptions of rats and mice) are not able to ‘synthesize’ Vitamin C themselves: i.e. they are not able to manufacture Vitamin C within their bodies from other nutrients that they consume. So, maintaining good levels of Vitamin C through a good diet is essential.
Don’t let yourself get deficient in ascorbic acid!
Vitamin C deficiency can have serious consequences for the human body. As you will know, many people take Vitamin C supplements to improve their health and wellbeing, motivated by the fact that this vitamin has some powerful beneficial effects on the human body. Here, we explain some of the unique benefits of ascorbic acid (or Vitamin C) on your health.
Top Benefits of Ascorbic acid
Ascorbic acid’s function as a preventative
Ascorbic acid can prevent numerous diseases and ailments, especially scurvy. The main symptoms of scurvy are previously-healed wounds suddenly reopening, and bleeding gums. Scurvy is associated in the popular mind with sailors, and with good reason! Centuries ago, sailors who spent a long time aboard their ship would be particularly prone to scurvy as they would run out of fresh fruits and vegetables. Fresh fruits and vegetables are some of our main sources of ascorbic acid.
Treatment and recovery
The notion that high levels of Vitamin C can boost your immune systems is not just folklore. A diet rich in ascorbic acid will increase your immunity to the common cold and will also help to speed up your recovery if you do catch a cold. That is why people often drink soothing hot drinks with lemon juice in when they have a cold or the flu. The lemon juice is more than a mere flavoring: citrus fruits are very rich in ascorbic acid.
Effect on serious illnesses
Ascorbic acid’s ability to boost the immune system is also the reason why it is recommended for people who have lowered immunity due to chemotherapy or illnesses such as HIV. People are undergoing chemotherapy, for instance, generally find themselves to be more susceptible to colds and flu. And, when they do catch these illnesses, they tend to have a more drastic effect. A diet rich in ascorbic acid will help the human body to stay well and ward off infections even when the immune system is weakened or compromised.