Vitamin C, or Ascorbic Acid, is one of the most popular and well-known vitamins out there. This is a water soluble vitamin, meaning that it can be passed through the kidneys if there is too much, but it also means that the body requires intake of Vitamin C on a consistent basis.
Vitamin C is famous for its work as an antioxidant. The ‘oxidant’ in question is actually a free radical, which oxidizes cells in the body making them damaged an more vulnerable to infection. Free radicals cause damage to the body that Vitamin C can prevent. Without Vitamin C at proper levels, the body would have a difficult time functioning. It is vital that Vitamin C is present in the system, as it helps to produce collagen, a skin repair protein It helps to delay wrinkles and boost saggy skin; as age progresses skin loses its elasticity and Vitamin C helps with this. It can even ensure that flesh wounds heal more quickly than usual!
Like other important vitamins, Vitamin C is used to metabolize iron, phenylalanine, and folic acid. The body needs Vitamin C to be able to process and use carbohydrates and to process fats and proteins and help turn them into energy.
Vitamin C is the closest thing to a cure for the common cold there is out there. It cannot prevent a cold from coming on, but it can certainly help a person to feel better. It helps to produce disease fighting antibodies and white blood cells, which are needed to fight off the illness.
In addition, Vitamin C helps to make the arteries stronger and resist the build up of debilitating plaque, which collects on artery walls and causes heart disease. It helps the body to produce all important hemoglobin and red blood cells,, and makes sure the nervous system stays in tip top shape at all times.
Studies are in progress that are working on whether or not it is possible to use Vitamin C to slow down the formation of cataracts. These studies are promising, but are not yet complete.
Fruits are the primary source of Vitamin C in the world. Oranges, limes, lemons, papayas, strawberries, collard greens, peppers, broccoli, tomatoes, sprouts, cabbage, kale, potatoes and even watercress are excellent sources of Vitamin C and Ascorbic Acid. The more you cook these foods, the less of their Vitamin C quality do they retain so if you are going to cook them make sure you do it only slightly. It is recommended that the average adult consume no less than 60 milligrams of Vitamin C every day for optimum health.
Scurvy is probably the single most infamous indicator of a Vitamin C deficiency. This disease used to affect sailors who had been at sea for extended periods of time and had no fresh fruits or vegetables to eat. Teeth get loose, gums bleed, and joints can burn for those who have scurvy.
If you are getting sick a lot or experiencing lots of infections or colds that just will not go away, or if you are getting bruised easily and your body hurts more than usual, you may be experiencing a Vitamin C deficiency.
Calcium And The Human Body
Did you know that 99 percent of the calcium in the human body is found in the bones and teeth? The remaining one percent is found in the soft tissues and the blood in the body. It is the most important mineral in the body because, without calcium, human beings (or any other living thing) would have no form!
What Does Calcium Do For The Body?
Calcium doesn’t only play a crucial role in bone development. Calcium works in conjunction with various parts of the body, helping to control the pace of your heart. It allows important nutrients to be able to move in and out of the cells in the body, and plays a crucial role in nerve function and muscle function. Calcium is even known to lower cholesterol levels and blood pressure! Without calcium, the body would not naturally clot blood; those with calcium deficiencies may bleed a lot from a small wound, or not heal as quickly or as well. Calcium even helps you sleep!
Where Can I Find Calcium?
Calcium is one of the easiest minerals to come by. It is found in a lot of the things you probably eat every day, even if you do not know it. Calcium is found most often in dairy products–cheese, milk, yogurt. Calcium is found in beans, dark green vegetables like kale and even broccoli. A lot of foods, like cereal and milk, even certain baby formulas, have actually been fortified with calcium, so that is another option when it comes to getting calcium into your body
How Much Calcium Should I Have?
Depending on your age, the amount of calcium that you should have in your body in a given day can vary. Babies should have about 400 milligrams, and small children under five years of age should have about 600 milligrams per day. Kids need about 800 milligrams a day; kids who are nearing puberty should increase their intake to about 1200 milligrams a day, which is the recommended allowance for adults as well. The older you get, the more calcium you should have in your body. The elderly should have at least about 1500 milligrams of calcium per day for optimum health.
How Do I Know If I’m Not Getting Enough?
While it’s not always painfully clear as soon as your body starts to lack the right amounts of calcium, the physical effects are pretty obvious when a person is not getting enough. Bones lose strength and density when calcium levels are low, and one may even develop osteoporosis, which is a condition of the bones that causes them to deteriorate. Children who are not getting enough calcium will probably have growth problems. Problems with the teeth and easily broken bones are also an indication of a calcium deficiency, and in such cases medical advice should be sought.
Water Soluble And Fat Soluble Vitamins
There are many different kinds of vitamins and minerals and, although many people may not realize it, there are actually distinct differences between them. Vitamins can be classified into two main categories: water soluble vitamins and fat soluble vitamins. The human body processes water soluble vitamins and fat soluble vitamins in different ways. What the difference between the two means to you depends on a couple of factors.
Don’t let worrying about whether your vitamins are fat soluble or water soluble make that big of a difference to you. It is most important to make sure that your body gets the recommended amounts of each vitamin or mineral daily; this can be done by taking vitamin supplements or by eating healthy foods that are rich in vitamins.
Little things like determining the differences between fat soluble vitamins and water soluble vitamins normally isn’t important to people who don’t really think about such things. The most important thing for you to understand about the difference between the two is that the human body is actually able to store the fat soluble vitamins, which are absorbed through the intestines, with the help of dietary fat. Dietary fat allows the intestines to absorb the vitamins more easily. Vitamins A and D are good examples of fat soluble vitamins. Adversely, the human body is not able to store water soluble vitamins.
Let’s take a closer look at the most integral fat soluble vitamins that the human body needs every day:
Vitamin K Vitamin K helps the body turn food into energy. It also supplies the body with the seven necessary blood clotting proteins that are necessary to allow the body to clot it’s own bleeding. Vitamin K is one of the vitamins that are most essential in the growth of human bones
Vitamin E Vitamin E is a natural antioxidant that helps protect vitamins A and C in the body, and helps keep fatty acids and red blood cells intact.
Vitamin C Vitamin C helps the bones in the body to absorb the necessary calcium, and it helps to store calcium in case of a nutritional deficiency or some problem where the body is not getting enough calcium.
Vitamin A Vitamin A is the vitamin that takes care of your eyes! It protects the eye’s natural ability to differentiate between colors and tell the difference between darkness and light. Vitamin A is one of the reasons your eyes can see a little better in the dark after a couple of minutes in it. Vitamin A is an important vitamin that is essential to the human body, as it helps to protect the body from infection.
Water soluble vitamins are the opposite of fat soluble vitamins. They are not stored in the body at all except in the bladder, and leave the body by way of urine after they have done their job. Because water soluble vitamins are not stored and kept in the body, they must be supplied to the body on a regular basis for optimum health. Some water soluble vitamins are: Vitamins B, Vitamin C, and Vitamin H.
Vitamin B gives the body the necessary energy it needs to turn food into energy. Vitamin H, also known as Biotin, helps to make sure the body grows well and fights infection; it works in conjunciton with Vitamin C–which is a fat soluble vitamin.
Getting the right amount of vitamins and minerals is essential to your every day health, so if for some reason you don’t think you are getting the correct amounts in your diet, consider the benefits of a multivitamin! They can be purchased for a price at a local nutritional store.
There has always been a bit more controversy over fluoride as a mineral more than any other one. Most of the controversy has to do with a constant debate about whether or not it is a good idea to add fluoride to the public’s drinking water. There are benefits and there are drawbacks, and many people feel the drawbacks outweigh the benefit’s a great deal.
Fluoride is not considered to be one of the essential minerals of the body, but it plays a large role in healthy bones and strong, healthy teeth. If the name ‘Fluoride’ sounds familiar to you, it is probably because it is one of the leading ingredients in toothpaste; it helps to protect teeth from early decay. It prevents acid from being able to stick to and tear away at the enamel on the outside of the teeth that protects it from bacteria. This bacteria causes the beginnings of cavities and tooth decay, but brushing with fluoride can give your teeth the ability to resist these acids.
Surprisingly enough, although Fluoride is not one of the body’s most essential minerals, it does aid in the process of demineralization, which is the process of restoring lost minerals to the body. The body loses minerals in a variety of ways, including sweat and defecation, so these minerals must be restored. Fluoride even helps the bones hold on to minerals, which helps to protect the bones from osteoporosis–which can lead to brittle, easily broken bones. Because fluoride is not essential the body, no recommended daily amount for this mineral has been established, although people usually consume between 1.5 and 2.5 milligrams per day, with no effort.
Getting fluoride into the body usually requires little or no effort. It is found in most good toothpaste and it is even found in fluoridated drinking water, although it is not usually found in most of the foods you eat every day. Canned fish, like salmon, is an excellent source of fluoride in food, however. In some cases, although rare, a dentist may prescribe fluoride treatments to treat tooth decay.
Usually this is not the case, especially with children as an excess amount of fluoride in the body can lead to fluorosis. Fluorosis is mottling of the teeth, which can cause the teeth to yellow. Fluoride can even do against what it is designed to do, and lead to brittle bones and teeth if taken in excess amounts, so there is no need to go out of one’s way (in most cases) to ensure that the body gets enough fluoride. Fluorosis is what causes the drinking water debate, based on the idea that adding too much could cause illness, and it was not worth the risk.
Fluoride deficiencies don’t occur often, but when they do they are characterized by dental cavities, weakened enamel on the teeth, soft bones, and even osteoporosis may all be signs of a fluoride deficiency.