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Increasing importance of Vitamin C

Increasing importance of Vitamin C

With the current times , where our country is facing the surge of Covid-19 cases , every now and then we see “Vitamin C” tablets being prescribed to patients as well as the care-takers / other family members of the patient .

Decoding its importance:
Vitamin C , also known as ascorbic acid , is a water soluble vitamin . It is neither made nor stored by our body . So it has to be provided to our body from an outside source .
Rich sources of Vitamin C include – Amla(richest source) , oranges , mangoes , strawberries , lemon , broccoli etc .

Vitamin C deficiency in children causes SCURVY , where bones and cartilages are not formed properly and are weak . Along with that , there is gum bleedings and easy bleeding on minor bruises .This is because of dysfunctional formation of collagen (a type of protein that forms various tissues in the body) . Normal collagen can be formed only in the presence of an adequate amount of Vitamin C.

Other important functions of Vitamin C include –
1. Decreases free radicals (free radicals are particles that damage tissues , cause ageing , cause swelling and decreases the function of the tissues )
2. Helps in tissue repair
3. Helps in improving immunity status of the body
4. Decreases chemicals produced by body during infection that induce and increase swelling of the tissues

Because of these functions , Vitamin C is used in Covid-19 treatment .
In treating Covid-19 , it can be used as a supportive treatment , which helps in decreasing the time of recovery and decreases damage to the tissues as well as mortality .

Studies have shown decreased Vitamin C levels in cases of severe pneumonia and deaths due to Covid-19 , thus showing its importance .

Vitamin C becomes even more important in “At risk groups” where there is an increased chance of contracting the infection due to decreased immunity which include elderly , children , pregnant women , breastfeeding women , people with comorbidities like hypertension (BP) and diabetes and heart diseases , people with Cancer and going through chemo/radiotherapy , people on immunosuppressive medication .

Vitamin C tablets provide a quick and immediate source of it thus used as a supportive and therapeutic treatment for all forms of Covid-19 from mild to severe cases , as well as for prophylaxis in order to prevent further damage , decrease further risk of pneumonia and decrease mortality rates .

Chanchal Kripalani

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