Learn about Ascorbic acid benefits, sources, deficiency and More

 Citrus fruit containing ascorbic acid

Ascorbic acid(vitamin c)

Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin that occurs in our food naturally…fortunately! Most of the animals are able to synthesize ascorbic acid in their body. It was first discovered in 1928 and is considered as an essential nutrient. Our body absorbs this vitamin on different levels depending on the dose.


Our body absorbs between 70 to 90 percent of ascorbic acid when taken at 40 to 160 mg/day. Doses higher than 1g/day drop off, as the absorption is less than 50 percent. The rest is excreted in urine within about 20-30 minutes of consumption. For adult men daily intake must be 85mg; for adult women, it is 70 mg; in pregnant women, it is 80 mg; and for breastfeeding women, it is 115mg. An additional 30 mg daily intake is recommended in some individuals, such as smokers. So better watch all the smokers out there!

Natural sources:

Strawberries natural source of ascorbic acid

  • 1 Oranges: 80 mg
  • Raw red peppers/ ½ cup: 90 mg
  • Brussels/ ½ cup cooked: 40 mg
  • Cooked Broccoli ½ cup: 50 mg
  • Strawberries/ ½ cup: 41 mg
  • Grapefruit/ ½ cup: 40 mg
  • 1 Guava: 120 mg
  • 1 piece kiwi: 62 mg
  • Raw green peppers ½ cup: 58mg
  • dark green leafy vegetables/cup:80mg
  • Cooked Tomatoes/cup: 54 mg


  1. Ascorbic acid is required for the processing of collagen which is an important component of ligaments, blood vessels, and bones.
  2. It helps in conversion of cholesterol to bile acid.
  3. Also, acts as an antioxidant. Even in minute amounts, it can protect lipids, carbohydrates, proteins, and nucleic acids from damage by free radicals. Free radicals are created during normal metabolism as well as through exposure to pollution and they are harmful to health.
  4. It the reduces tiredness and fatigue
  5. Recent studies found that it helps to reduce disease (including cancer, stroke, cataract, arthritis, lead toxicity) risk.
  6. Finally, it is also considered important for defense against infections such as common cold.


Lack of vitamin C means new collagen cannot be formed. This causes various tissues in the body to break down and your body becomes affected. If persists for 2-3 months, this lack can cause a disease known as scurvy.

Its deficiency can cause defects in the formation of intercellular cement substances in connective tissues, bones, and dentin. This results in weak capillaries with hemorrhage and could cause defects in bone.

For more on deficiency of vitamin c read


In short ascorbic acid is really important for overall health. Generally speaking, it must be included in the everyday diet to ensure intact tissues and healthy blood vessels.

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