Monday March 31, 2014
In the first two articles, The Power of Vitamin C and Noni, Parts 1 and 2, we learned that two of vitamin C’s key functions were collagen synthesis and antioxidant activity. This article will explore the last two key functions of vitamin C -- it’s function in iron absorption and the immune system. We will also look at some natural sources of vitamin C as well as needs.
Vitamin C’s function in iron absorption is important because of its ability to keep iron in its most absorbable form. In particular, the small intestine has an alkaline environment and iron requires an acidic environment for maximized absorption. The amount of vitamin C recommended to promote iron absorption is 75 milligrams or more at a given meal. For those individuals with poor iron stores, it is especially important to increase consumption of vitamin C rich foods.
Lastly, vitamin C is critical to the function of the immune system, particularly with respect to certain immune cell activity. Accordingly, a disease state requiring an increase in immune function will require additional vitamin C in excess of the RDA. Dr. Linus Pauling achieved great notoriety, partly because of this observation, by claiming that vitamin C could cure the common cold. Numerous well-designed research studies do not support the opinion that megadoses of vitamin C could prevent colds reliably, however studies show that it appears to lessen the duration of the symptoms by about a day.
Major sources of vitamin C are noni, citrus fruits, strawberries, papayas, green peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, romaine lettuce, and cabbage. Good sources include fortified fruit drinks, ready-to-eat breakfast cereals, and potatoes. Because vitamin C is water soluble and unstable in the presence of oxygen, heat, copper, or iron, processing and cooking quickly destroys it.
Vitamin C content in foods and supplement labels is expressed with the Daily Value of 60 milligrams. The actual adult RDA of vitamin C is 75 to 90 milligrams per day. Cigarette smokers add stress on their lungs because of the toxic by-products of cigarette smoke and oxygen and therefore need to add an additional 35 milligrams per day to the RDA. Vitamin C deficiency today usually appears in some elderly people with insufficient food intake.
Vitamin C, an important water soluble vitamin is found in a number of fruits and vegetables including the noni fruit. Noni, rich in this vitamin is more readily available in Noni Fruit Leather. Because the fermentation process involved in making noni juice more readily destroys the nutritional value of the fruit, Steve Frailey and Hawaiian Organic Noni developed a unique low-heat dehydration method in order to maximize the fruit’s nutrient content.