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Vitamins (cont.)

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is mostly known for its ability to help with colds, but it has many more important functions in your body. Vitamin C is needed for the growth and repair of tissues in all parts of your body. It helps with the structural part of blood vessels, ligaments, and tendons. It also is an antioxidant, meaning that it protects your body from dangerous products of metabolism called free radicals, which are linked to cancer and other diseases. There are plenty of rich sources of vitamin C so you can reach your needs without a supplement by balancing your diet. Foods that are high in vitamin C are red peppers (higher than oranges), guava, oranges, kiwi, brussels sprouts, and broccoli.

The following is the RDA for vitamin C:

Age Males Females Pregnancy Lactation
1-3 years 15 mg 15 mg N/A N/A
4-8 years 25 mg 25 mg N/A N/A
9-13 years 45 mg 45 mg N/A N/A
14-18 years 75 mg 65 mg 80 mg 115 mg
19 + years 90 mg 75 mg 85 mg 120 mg

Scurvy is a disease caused by a severe vitamin C deficiency. It's not common any longer, but it can still occur. You can experience a deficiency without getting scurvy. The symptoms are feeling weak, tired, and irritable, dry and splitting hair, bleeding gums, rough, dry, scaly skin, gingivitis, easy bruising, anemia, and a decreased ability to fight infection. Excess intakes can cause stomach upset, diarrhea, and possibly kidney stones.


Next: Vitamin D


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