Ascorbic acid or Vitamin C is a water soluble vitamin, which the human body is unable to make and must rely on diet or dietary supplements as a source. It is necessary for synthesis of collagen, and the neurotransmitter norepinephrine.
The function of the brain and moods are very dependent on neurotransmitters.
Vitamin C is also required for synthesis of carnitine, a molecule essential for transport of fats and for conversion of fats to energy. Of late, research indicates that ascorbic acid has an implication on blood cholesterol levels. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant which even in small doses protects body molecules such as lipids, carbohydrates and nucleic acids. It is such a vital vitamin that recently the US recommended dietary allowance was revised upward to 60 mg per day for both adult men and women.
Vitamin C is readily available in several fruits and vegetables, especially of the citrus variety.
A number of drugs are known to suppress vitamin C levels requiring an increased intake with dietary or other supplements. Estrogen containing birth control pills, for instance, are established to lower levels of vitamin C in white blood cells and plasma. And, most present day birth control pills contain fair amount of estrogen. The pill, in fact, has been associated with deficiencies of B6, 12, and folic acid. This could result in mood swings and nausea in which event a supplement of dietary change may be necessary. If embarking on a regimen of birth control pills, it is advisable to seek the opinion of a health care provider.
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