More about Vitamin C
Vitamin C is important to all animals, including humans, because it is vital to the production of collagen. Vitamin C is also important because it helps protect the fat-soluble vitamins A and E as well as fatty acids from oxidation. Vitamin C prevents and cures the disease scurvy, and can be beneficial in the treatment of iron deficiency anemia.
I have to confess that until I got to college, I had only a vague idea what collagen was, and why it was so important. Collagen is the most ubiquitous substance in the body because it is the most abundant of the fibers contained in connective tissue. Connective tissue gives our body form and supports our organs. To give you an idea of how important collagen is, here is a list of the five types of collagen, and where they are used in the body.
As you can see, collagen is everywhere in the body, and vitamin C plays a role in the formation of collagen. So, how is vitamin C involved in collagen synthesis?
When collagen is produced, there is a complex series of events, some occurring inside of the cell, and some outside of the cell. Vitamin C is active inside of the cell, where it hydroxylates (adds hydrogen and oxygen) to two amino acids: proline and lysine. This helps form a precursor molecule called procollagen that is later packaged and modified into collagen outside of the cell. Without vitamin C, collagen formation is disrupted, causing a wide variety of problems throughout the body.
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