It is not actually in the sunshine. Nothing material is in the Sunshine. It is merely that sunshine helps us make our own vitamin. Vitamin C Near me
Articles of food, such as bread or milk, can be exposed to sunlight or to artificial lights that imitate sunlight When this is done, provitamins in the food are changed to Vitamin D. The food is then said to be “irradiated.”
There is a theory that the Vitamin D problem is what makes some people in northern climates have such_ pale skins. In northern climates, the sun is low in the sky and sunlight is weak. You need a colorless, semi-transparent skin so that the weak sunlight can penetrate and keep you from dying of rickets.
Even so, rickets is found only too often among the young children of Europe, particularly those who are born at the beginning of winter.
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In tropical climates, however, rickets is not such a problem. In fact, you need a dark complexion to keep from getting badly sunburned.
Vitamin D, like Vitamin A, can have bad effects on the body if taken in excess. Bone forms too readily, even in places where it shouldn’t. In the joints, for instance. This results in stiffness and considerable pain.
Man’s most exclusive vitamin is ASCORBIC ACID. (A more old-fashioned name for it, but one which is still quite popular, is Vitamin C.) All plants and almost all animals can make their own Vitamin C. About the only exceptions are man, the apes, and the monkeys. There is only one other animal that cannot make Vitamin C. That is the guinea pig.
Vitamin c is Ascorbic Acid
Ascorbic acid is very similar chemically to the simple sugars. It is the only important vitamin outside of the B complex which is soluble in water. Of all the vitamins, ascorbic acid is present in the body in the greatest quantity.
It seems ironic, then, that of all the vitamins, it should be the least understood. We have a pretty good notion of how the B-vitamins work. We know at least some of the ways in which Vitamin A and Vitamin D fit into the body’s chemical machinery.
About the workings of ascorbic acid, however, we know almost nothing.
Of course, we know what happens when the body falls to obtain Vitamin C. Small blood vessels get weak and break easily so that the patient bruises at almost the slightest blow. The gums, especially, bleed and become puffy. Wounds, in general, heal very slowly. This condition is called scurvy.
Scurvy was perhaps the first vitamin disease to receive intelligent attention. The reason for this is that people frequently got scurvy in the old days of sea travel. Voyages by sailboat could take months and months. The diet would have to be restricted only to foods that could keep that long: dried beef, biscuits and so on. Vitamin C Near me
Unfortunately, such foods contain little or no ascorbic acid.
Long before there was any knowledge of vitamins, an official of the British Navy discovered that if the sailors ate limes during voyages, scurvy did not strike. That is why British sailors are still called “Limeys” and why there is a section of the London waterfront called Limehouse.
Ascorbic acid is found in many fresh fruits as well as in fresh leafy vegetables. The most used sources in the United States are certain fruit juices: orange juice, grapefruit juice, and tomato juice. Drinking such juices has become such a national habit that scurvy is no longer a very Rely disease. Because milk is somewhat short on ascorbic acid, orange juice is particularly important for babies.
Vitamin C is the one vitamin which is absent in animal foods. Since most make their own, they have no need to store it. They just make it as needed.
The human body, unfortunately, has forgotten how to make it but hasn’t learned how to store it to make up for that.
Vitamin C Can Be Found In
Vitamin C is the most fragile of all the vitamins. It slowly disappears as food stands. This is why the best sources, are fresh fruits and vegetables. Also, it is easily destroyed by beat, so that cooked vegetables have considerably less of it than do raw vegetables. Since it is water-soluble it is also extracted by the water used in cooking. Vitamin C Near me
Fortunately, in America, the main source is the orange, which is neither cooked nor soaked in water. In many parts of Europe, however, the chief source of ascorbic acid is the Potato.
Vitamin C for Skin
The potato doesn’t have much Vitamin C in it but it has a little. If enough potatoes are eaten, that little bit may stand between you and scurvy. In the case of potatoes, cooking lowers the margin of safety. (Incidentally, Vitamin C is usually found mostly in the outside layers of vegetables. Peeling potatoes with too heavy a hand, for instance, results in most of the vitamin being thrown away with the peel.)
Despite the fact that the human being doesn’t store Vitamin C very well, it takes months of deprivation to get scurvy in a serious form. The reason for this is that the body can learn how to become economical with its vitamins. Vitamin C Near me
We may take an analogy. If a man is earning $5,000 a year and has $5,000 in the bank, it seems logical to suppose that he can live on his savings, for a whole year after losing his job.
Actually (assuming there is no inflation), he can live longer than that. As soon as he is out of a job he begins economizing. He makes less do. He makes every penny count.
It’s the same with the body. Somehow it manages to cut down when Vitamin C (or other vitamins) are slow in coming in. Eventually, it is no trouble, but the margin of safety is greater than some people might think.
Vitamin conscious mothers should remember that for their own peace of mind. Young mothers sometimes forget to give their babies their regular vitamin drops one day and are worried sick lest the children wake up deathly ill the next morning.
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