Therapeutic Potential of Vitamin C: An Overview of Various Biological Activities

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Lata Rani
Neelam Sharma
Sukhbir Singh
Ajmer Singh Grewal

Abstract

Vitamins are vital nutrients that are required for different body functions properly, and they are provided to the body externally through diet. Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is an essential nutrient that is required for the proper running of different body functions. It is a water-soluble vitamin and lost during the processing of food. The main sources of vitamin C are citrus fruits (kakadu plum, acerola cherries, guavas, kiwi, lemon, lychees, kale, oranges, peaches, tomatoes, black currant, thyme, parsley, rose hips, kale and strawberries), green leafy vegetables (chilli peppers, tomato, sweet yellow peppers, parsley, brussel sprouts, potatoes, mustard spinach and broccoli), fortified cereal and some animals. Vitamin C deficiency leads to scurvy, which mainly affects older, malnourished adults. Vitamin C acts as a strong antioxidant, and this property enriches various biological activities. It is believed that high dose of vitamin C may help in reducing the risk of various diseases like cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disorders, blood pressure, respiratory syndromes, common cold, reproduction, cognitive diseases, skin problems, age-related muscular degeneration, cataract and may enhance immunity. This mini-review article has been planned to discuss sources, deficiency symptoms, daily requirements, therapeutic potential, and various biological activities of vitamin C. Various therapeutic and pharmacological activities of vitamin C will be discussed in detail with suitable examples.

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Research Article