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The Vitamin Alphabet Part II (C & D)
Vitamin CScurvy has ravaged sailors and pirates for ages, and although it hasn’t threatened those at sea since the 1800s, vitamin C (L-ascorbic acid) and the citrus fruits that contain it are still very useful today. Vitamin C is an essential nutrient for a majority of life on Earth – notably primates, birds, some fish, guinea pigs, bats and obviously humans. Ascorbic acid was isolated in 1933 and formally synthesized into the vitamin C we know today a year later.
Unlike many other creatures, humans cannot manufacture vitamin C in their own bodies. Therefore, we must ingest foods that contain the nutrient naturally. As mentioned above, citrus fruits and juices such as oranges, lemons or limes and grapefruits are excellent sources of vitamin C. It also can be found in other foods such as strawberries, tomatoes, broccoli, potatoes and red pepper.
There are several different schools of thought concerning the daily intake of vitamin C and it preventative abilities. However, a few things are definite. Vitamin C synthesizes collagen in our bodies, which is vital for structuring blood vessels, bones, ligaments and tendons. Vitamin C is also an effective antioxidant, and it synthesizes necessary neurotransmitters such as norepinephrine as well. Vitamin C, whether it’s taken from your diet or through a supplement, greatly reduces the risk of most cancers, stroke and cataracts. It is also extremely helpful in treating the common cold and diabetes. And, if you should somehow contract scurvy, you know what to do.
Vitamin D is actually a group of prohormones (Vitamin D2 and D3) that are fat-soluble. The term also refers to metabolites. Vitamin D3 is produced when your skin is exposed to sunlight and ultraviolet B radiation.
Natural sources of Vitamin D include shitake mushrooms, beef liver, egg and several species of fish including salmon, mackerel and tuna. Eating a diet rich in these fish oils and fats will guarantee a healthy level of Vitamin D to help maintain your organ systems.
Vitamin D is also essential for the regulation of calcium and phosphorus in the blood. This accounts for the sustained health of your bones and kidneys in particular. The essential nutrient also plays a role in preventing tumor formation and compensating for a lack of vitamin K due to blood thinners and/or other drugs.
The information supplied in this article is not to be considered as medical advice and is for educational purposes only.