Vitamin C

Vitamin C

In most animals, ascorbic acid ( vitamin C ) can be synthesized from glucose. However, humans, and the guinea pig are unable to synthesize it. The enzyme that catalyzes this reaction (L-gluconolactone oxidase) is defective in humans. Thus the need for vitamin C in the diet is the result of an inborn error in carbohydrate metabolism.

Structure of Vitamin C

The vitamin is present in milk and some meats (kidney, liver, fish) and is widely distributed in fruits and vegetables. A portion is lost after prolonged storage of unprocessed fruits and vegetables (e.g., potatoes), but it is partially preserved ( half or greater) by most means of food processing (boiling, steaming, pressure cooking, preserving jams and jellies, freezing, dehydration, and canning).
As a consequence, the recommended daily allowances can be met with even a modest intake of fruits and vegetables.

Utilization of the vitamin is increased during pregnancy and lactation and in thyrotoxicosis, and absorption is decreased in diarrheal states and in achlorhydria.

Recommended Dietary Allowances of Vitamin C

Age – years


Vitamin C


30-35 mg

Children 1-3

40 mg

Children 4-10

45 mg

Males 11-14

50 mg

Males 15+

60 mg

Females 11-14

50 mg

Females 15+

60 mg


70 mg


95 mg

Vitamin C Deficiency

The total-body pool of vitamin C varies from 1.5 to 3 g. Deficiency of Vitamin C causes Scurvy.
Scurvy now occurs in areas of urban poverty. An increased incidence occurs at 6 to 12 months of age in infants whose processed milk formulas are unsupplemented with citrus fruit or vegetables as a result of maternal error or neglect. This is uncommon in developed countries.
Another peak occurs in middle and old ageEdentulous men ( men without teeth ) and those who live alone and cook for themselves are particularly prone. The affected individuals usually have deficiencies of other dietary constituents as well.

In adults, hairs become fragmented, purpura (bleeding) into the skin, beginning on the backs of the lower limbs coalescing to become ecchymoses ; hemorrhage into the muscles of the arms and legs. Haemorrhages into joints; splinter haemorrhages in the nail beds; gum involvement (only in people with teeth) that includes swelling, friability, bleeding, secondary infection, and loosening of the teeth; poor wound healing and breakdown of recently healed wounds; petechial hemorrhages in the viscera; and emotional changes. In the later stage – icterus, oedema, and fever are common, and convulsions, hypotension, and death may occur abruptly. Anaemia is common and is due to bleeding into tissues.

In infancy and childhood, haemorrhages in to the bones causes painful swellings. Sternum of chest may sink inwards

Treatment : The usual dose in adults is 100 mg three to five times a day by mouth until 4 g has been given. Then 100 mg/d.
In infants and children, administration of 10 to 25 mg three times a day is adequate. A diet rich in vitamin C should be initiated simultaneously. Spontaneous bleeding usually ceases within 24 hrs, muscle and bone pains subside quickly, and the gums begin to heal within 2 to 3 days.

Vitamin C content of various food items

Vitamin C content of various food items   mg /100 gm edible portion
Amaranth   99
Asparagus   33
Bitter Gaurd   88
Cabbage   124
Drumstick-Pods   120
Drumstick leaves   220
Fenugreek   52
Lettuce   10
Mint   27
Raddish leaves   81
Spinach   28
Tomato   27
Amla (Indian Goosberry)   600
Jamun (Rose apple, Java plum)   18
Lemon      63

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About Manbir & Gurpreet

Gurpreet Kaur’s journey in this world .... Gurpreet Kaur was a Musician. She was a singer and a composer of music. Her interest was composing and singing Gurbani Shabads in Indian Classical style. She sang Shabads in All the Raags mentioned in Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji. She also taught Gurmat Sangeet at Gurmat Gian Missionary College, Jawadi, Ludhiana. Elder child to Pushpinder Kaur and Dr. Brig. Harminder Singh, was born in Amritsar on 13th Jan 1962. She attended various convent schools as a child because her father would get frequent Army postings as a dental surgeon. She graduated with Music Honors from Govt. College for Women, Chandigarh. Music was her hobby and she composed and sang Raag based Gurbani Shabads. Doing Kirtan was part of growing up nurtured by her parents. She learned music from her father Dr. Brigadier Harminder Singh who was a dental surgeon in Indian Army and a very good singer himself. Gurpreet’s Bhua (father’s sister), Ajit Kaur retied as a Head of Department of Music from Govt. College for Women Ludhiana, and was a renounced Punjabi singer of her time. Gurpreet Kaur also learned nuances of Indian Classical Music from Pandita Sharma. She was a mother of three children, and a grandmother. Her daughter Keerat Kaur is a Computer Engineer. Her two sons Gurkeerat Singh and Jaskeerat Singh are doctors in USA. Her daughter Keerat Kaur too was part of her group ~ Gurmat Gian Group. Gurpreet Kaur left this world at the age of 54yrs on 12th Sept 2016 in Baltimore USA. She had recorded around 25 cds of Gurbani Keertan. 'Raag Ratan' Album (6 CDs) is a Compilation of Shabads in All the 31 Sudh Raags of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji. 'Gauri Sagar' Album (3 CDs) is a Compilation of All forms of Raag Gauri in Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji. 'Nanak Ki Malhaar' ~ ((3 CDs) is an album of Raag Malhar Shabads in various forms of Malhar. 'Gur Parsaad Basant Bana' ~ (3 CDs) is an album of Shabads in Raag Basant sung in various forms of Raag Basant. Har Ki Vadeyai Sarni Aayea Sewa Priya Kee Preet Piyaree Mohan Ghar Aavho Karo Jodariya Mo Kao Taar Le Raama Taar Le Tere Kavan Kavan Gun Keh Keh Gawan Mera Baid Guru Govinda Saajanrraa Mera Saajanrraa

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