What are the main dietary sources of vitamin C?
Vitamin C requirements can be met by eating fruits such as blackcurrants and citrus, and vegetables, especially parsley and bell peppers.
The list of foods with a high vitamin C content can be found in the Ciqual table of nutritional composition of foods.
Why is vitamin C important?
Vitamin C helps to strengthen collagen fibres, which form the connective tissue that supports cells and structures other tissues. It is plays a role in the synthesis of compounds involved in nerve transmission (e.g. noradrenaline). It protects tissues by capturing oxidising substances. Lastly, it facilitates the absorption of non-haem iron (found in foods of plant origin such as pulses and nuts).
What are the health risks in the event of a deficiency?
The disease most closely associated with vitamin C deficiency is scurvy. It manifests itself as bleeding gums, loosened teeth and joint pain.