Vitamin C - How Glucose Can Interfere

Vitamin C is one of the most important nutrients required by the human body. Vitamin C is a strong antioxidant and a water soluble vitamin which is also known by the name of ascorbic acid. Humans require a good amount of vitamin C in order to build healthy tissue collagen and promote strong immune function. Vitamin C is important for your skin, bones, and connective tissue. It promotes healing and helps the body absorb iron. It helps to prevent body against infections and is required for healthy functioning of all different body parts.

One of the most important things to know about Vitamin C is that it is made naturally in almost all living animals except primates, humans, bats, guinea pigs and some species of fish and birds. All humans are born with a genetic inability to manufacture Vitamin C from glucose. This genetic defect occurred approximately 63 million years ago, when our simple nosed primate predecessors lost the gene 'Gulnolactone oxidase pseudogene – GULOP'. In most animals, glucose is extracted from stored sugar (glycogen) and then transformed into vitamin C in the liver. It is dependent on a biochemical pathway of 4 key enzymes which convert glucose to vitamin C but humans lack the GULOP enzyme critical for the last step of vitamin C synthesis, making it an essential nutrient to be consumed in high quantity regularly. 

Because both glucose and vitamin C have a very similar chemical makeup and are depend upon the pancreatic hormone insulin, elevated glucose levels restrict vitamin C from permiating into cells. White blood cells may contain 20 times the amount of vitamin C as any other cells to handle the oxidative stress that occurs when they encounter a pathogenic substance. Elevated blood sugar also impairs the phagocytic index and hexose monophosphate (HMP) shunt. The phagocytic index measures how effective a particular white blood cell is at destroying viruses, bacteria & cancer cells while HMP shunt produces ribose and deoxyribose, which provide important raw materials for the formation of new white blood cell RNA/DNA. This makes it essential to keep your glucose levels under control and to boost your vitamin C reserves for overall health longevity.

Benefits of vitamin C
Vitamin C performs many important functions in human body. Some important functions of Vitamin C are discussed below:

Helps in collagen synthesis
Vitamin C is an important nutrient that helps in the synthesis of collagen. Collagen is an important substance present in the different body parts. It is present in bones, teeth, tendons, ligaments, kidneys, liver, spleen, etc.  Collagen is present everywhere in our body and vitamin C helps in the formation of collagen.

Vitamin C is an important nutrient for people who suffer from stress. It helps to boost up the immune system and prevents stress. Vitamin C helps in the treatment of stress as it gets reduced in the smokers, obese people and alcoholics which make them sad and depressed. Vitamin C helps to enhance their body immunity to fight against the stress.

Vitamin C is taken since ages for the prevention of common cold. It helps to prevent serious outcomes of cold. It helps to relive the symptoms of flu and prevents complications. Vitamin C is also believed to an important nutrient for the treatment of respiratory diseases.

Vitamin C has an effect on the interior as well exterior part of the cells. A study was done on 4025 women aged from 4-74 and it was published in the American journal of clinical nutrition. According to this study women who take higher amount of vitamin C supplements had less wrinkles and other signs of ageing were also delayed. Skin look healthier and younger in women who take vitamin C supplements.

Heart disease
Recent studies have shown that deficiency of vitamin C is closely related with the heart diseases. It has been found that vitamin C supplements help to prevent heart diseases such as coronary heart disease.

A study was done on more than 2000 Japanese people and it was found that people who have high level of vitamin C in their blood are at lower risk of stroke as compare to people who have lower level of vitamin C in their blood.

Cancer prevention
Many studies have been done to prove this function of vitamin C. It is found that people who consumed more fruits and vegetables are at lower risk of developing any type of cancer as compare to people who ate very less fruits and vegetables.

Vitamin C is also found to be effective for the prevention of cataract. People who take high amount of vitamin C in their diet do not develop cataract. It is also known to prevent macular degeneration and other diseases related to loss of vision.

Helps Prevent Scurvy
Vitamin C has been known since ages to prevent a disease called scurvy. Scurvy is an inflammatory disease of gums and was first discovered in the British sailors who were deprived of the natural surroundings for longer time period which lead to a deficiency of vitamin C in their body and called as scurvy.

Sources of vitamin C
The most important sources of vitamin C are citrus fruits such as oranges, pineapple, raspberries, strawberries, lemon, mango, guava, papaya, amla, etc. Other sources include Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, hot chili peppers, bell peppers, dark leafy greens, tomatoes etc.

Recommended dosage
The recommended dosage for vitamin C is 60 to 90 mg per day. Men require more vitamin C as compare to women and men who smoke cigarette are required to take 35 mg more vitamin C as compare to normal adult.

Always consult your health care provider before starting a supplement therapy