Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is an essential vitamin that cannot be produced in the body. It is water-soluble and naturally present in certain foods, like fruits and vegetables. It is not well-stored in the body so it is imperative that it is consumed on a daily basis, either through food or supplements.
In 1928, Albert Szent-Györgyi discovered and isolated a substance from the adrenal glands that he called ‘hexuronic acid’. After four years, an American biochemist named Charles Glen King isolated vitamin C in his laboratory and concluded that it was the same as ‘hexuronic acid’. In 1933, Norman Haworth determined the molecular structure of vitamin C.
Even before vitamin C was discovered, physicians and various experts in the 1700s knew about the importance of eating citrus fruits to prevent scurvy. Scurvy limited long-distance sea travel because of its potential to wipe out an entire crew. In 1753, James Lind, a medical apprentice, published the Treatise of Scurvy to prove that citrus fruits, particularly lemons, prevented scurvy. It was only in 1795 that eating lemons and consuming its juice were made compulsory on ships. Before that, lemons were not widely recognized as a treatment for scurvy.
Some of the signs of vitamin C deficiency include a host of different symptoms including, but not limited to, excessive fatigue, bleeding gums, rough skin, dry hair, and wounds that take long time to heal.
Without vitamin C, the human body will have a hard time producing collagen, L-carnitine (an amino acid), and various neurotransmitters. Vitamin C is also known as an antioxidant that strengthens immune functions. Iron is also easily absorbed when vitamin C is present in the body.
However rare, there are cases of severe vitamin C overdoses.
Based on the above article, indicate whether the following statements are ‘True’, ‘False’, or ‘Cannot Tell’.