Four lies and one truth about vitamin C

What if you have to take it for him cold, that if the juice goes away, that if “he eats a lot of oranges that is good to prevent the flu” … It is the vitamin of 100 lies (I am exaggerating a bit). Let’s talk in depth about the vitamin C.

What is actually vitamin C?

It is a vitamin Water-soluble, 6-carbon lactone that is synthesized from glucose stored in the liver in the form of glycogen. This says little to you, but look how curious: many mammals synthesize it by themselves. Can you imagine synthesizing vitamin C? Well no, we no longer. It was so easy to get it from food that it was important to optimize that energy expenditure and use it for other, more interesting things.

Before it was called vitamin C, the Hungarian physician Szent-Györgyi called it hexuronic acid, when he isolated and identified him. Then ascorbic acid … and then it has already become popular knowledge as vitamin C.

The extraction was not easy, they barely removed a few milligrams from the adrenal capsule of some animals. But the chance came thanks to the wife of this researcher. It is said that his wife prepared a dinner for him with Peppers. But he didn’t like them, so he put one in his pocket and went to the lab. There it occurred to him to analyze it, with such good luck that he saw that this fruit was one of the richest in ascorbic acid. A pepper!

Do citrus fruits have a lot of vitamin C?

We have in our head that citrus fruits are the foods with the most vitamin C and it is not like that … As you know, a deficiency of vitamin C produces the disease called scurvy. It seems to come from the Viking “skybjugr” due to the belief that sailors had that drinking sour milk (skyr) produced swelling in the gums. Although scurvy was a illness much more serious than that: it took away more than two million sailors.

Doctors were trying to answer the problem, so James Lindt did one of the first “clinical trials” on a British fleet ship. In it, different tests were combined with food like sauerkraut or lemonsThe latter being the ones that caused an improvement in the sailors. I suppose since that moment we have associated that a lemon or a Orange it has more vitamin C than a bell pepper, kiwi, or strawberries.

Does vitamin C help prevent colds?

Let’s get on with the lies. We have internalized that vitamin C serves to prevent colds. Another trap that made us, this time, a Nobel Prize winner: Louis Pauling. In fact, he took two, chemistry and peace. He studied the effect of this vitamin against the cold, doing observational studies of more than doubtful methodological quality. He observed that those who ate better got sick less. Logical, but hardly related specifically to the vitamin C. Because a Nobel Laureate is not told to be wrong, but shown to be wrong, more than 30 subsequent studies made it clear that a massive dose of vitamin C made a cold last one day less. The difference between being cold seven days or a week is almost indifferent. And about what it serves to prevent … it was also denied.

Is it good to supplement with vitamin C?

“Well, it won’t hurt you”, this statement is used for vitamin C and for other lies. If you are spending money on supplements instead of food, you are already doing bad, even if it is to your pocket. And, if the amounts are high for a long time, they can be given Stomach problems, diarrhea, nausea … and it even seems to be associated with the formation of oxalate crystals that remain in the kidneys producing quite apparent calculations.

Does the vitamin C in orange juice evaporate?

As a last lie, and no less important, they have always said that vitamin C “evaporates” or something like that in orange juices. It is true that it is sensitive to heat and oxygen, but it can be 12 hours, more even in the refrigerator without problems. In fact, if left at room temperature, vitamin C will change to dehydroascorbic acid, which has the same properties of vitamin C. Yes, when cooking food it is lost a little, but taking fresh fruits and vegetables, that won’t be a problem.

How to get vitamin C

We have already seen several lies, but one truth must be made clear: the consumption of fruits and vegetables It is one of the best sources of vitamin C. Although it is not exactly what we are led to believe, it is essential for life.

Now you have the information, the decision is in your hand.


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Four lies and one truth about vitamin C