Text Size   +  + +

Vitamin C History

The History of Vitamin CIn the seventeenth century a ships surgeon to the East India Company, one Richard Woodall recommended the use of lemon juice as a preventive and cure in his book ‘Surgeon's Mate’.

The first attempt to give scientific basis for the cause of scurvy was by a ships surgeon in the British Royal Navy, James Lind. His test was conducted at sea in May 1747 and consisted of two groups of men. One group was provided with lemon juice in addition to their normal rations, the other was not. This test was considered to be the first example of a controlled experiment comparing results on two populations of a factor applied to one group only with all other factors the same. The results of the tests conclusively showed that lemons prevented the disease. Lind published it in 1753. The British navy did not adopt lemon or lime juice until 1795 as standard issue at sea.

Vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, is water-soluble and easily destroyed. Unlike most mammals, humans do not have the ability to make their own vitamin C. Therefore, we must obtain vitamin C through our diet. It is essential in wound healing and in the formation of collagen, a protein important in the formation of healthy skin, tendons, bones, and supportive tissues.

Vitamin C is also known as, L-ascorbic acid, dehydroascorbic acid, the antiscorbutic vitamin, L-xyloascorbic acid and L-threo-hex-2-uronic acidy-lactone, is a much talked about vitamin, with people claiming it as a cure-all for may diseases and problems - from cancer to the common cold.

Deficiency results in defective collagen formation and is marked by joint pains, irritability, growth retardation, anemia, shortness of breath, and increased susceptibility to infection. Scurvy is the classic disease related to deficiency. Symptoms peculiar to infantile scurvy include swelling of the lower extremities, pain upon flexing them, and bone lesions.

Excessive ascorbic-acid intake can cause kidney stones, gastrointestinal disturbances, and red-blood-cell destruction. Vitamin C also plays an important role in the synthesis of the neurotransmitter, norepinephrine. Neurotransmitters are critical to brain function and are known to affect mood. In addition, vitamin C is required for the synthesis of carnitine, a small molecule that is essential for the transport of fat to cellular organelles called mitochondria, for conversion to energy. Vitamin C is also an antioxidant.

When was Vitamin C First Isolated?

The first isolation of Vitamin C occurred in 1928 from various foods. In 1928 Albert Szent-Gyorgyi, the highly-admired biochemist was the first to isolate vitamin C (ascorbic acid) in Hungarian paprika. He won the 1937 Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine for his biological combustion discoveries. He later won the Lasker Award for his research on heart-muscle contraction. Pioneering of large doses of Vitamin C for the treatment of many viral diseases, including polio occurred in 1940s and 50s.

Linus Pauling, the two time Nobel Prize Laureate wrote a 1970 Breakthrough Publication "Vitamin C, the Common Cold & the Flu." His book generated significant controversy in the medical community, as physicians believed that minimal amounts of vitamins were needed, providing individuals ate a well balanced diet. Pauling also started to investigate the use of vitamin C as a treatment for cancer. A Scottish surgeon Ewan Cameron approached him and shared with Pauling his interest in using vitamin C to treat his cancer patients. Cameron started to use 10 g or more of vitamin C to treat his patients and he stated that vitamin C appeared to reduce some tumors, as well as slow down the spread of the cancer. Pauling and Cameron co-authored a paper regarding the use of vitamin C and cancer. They submitted it to the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, but it was repeatedly rejected. It was finally published by Oncology a journal for cancer physicians.

In the 1980's Robert F. Cathcart III, M.D became one of the strongest proponents to high doses of vitamin C. 1981 Method to determine one's optimal level of Vitamin C. Robert F. Cathcart III, MD has conducted research in Vitamin C in the Treatment of Infections and Immune Disorders, where he described the bowel tolerance technique of determining the proper amount of Vitamin C to take for any given disease condition. His work serves to supplement integrative arthritis regimen. He also research Vitamin C in the treatment of AIDS.

n the later 1980's scientific papers about Vitamin C in subjects such as neurochemistry, epidemiology, biochemistry & immunology and diseases such as diabetes, cataracts & eye disease, free radicals, metabolic requirements and safety were released via The New York Academy of Sciences' Third Conference.

In 1989 Recommended Daily Intake (RDA) of 60 milligrams for the average healthy adult was established - The Food & Nutrition Board of the National Research Council (USA). This was the first time the RDAs had taken into account the importance of environment & lifestyle factors in establishing the need for a Vitamin. No other nutrient other than Vitamin C has been shown to have such a significant impact on mortality or highly beneficial effect on health, especially of the elderly. It had been known for over 50 years that Vitamin C is essential for the synthesis of collagen, the building blocks of muscles, ligaments, bones, tendons, tissue.

Not all vitamin C is the same. Discover the difference by clicking here.

Today's dietary supplement field is full of deceptive marketing practices. Companies engage in this type of practice to entice you into purchasing their products. This can lead to safety issues for you, your family members or friend's. If you are presently taking vitamins, or are considering them, you owe it to yourself to set guidelines on how to best determine a high quality, safe and effective nutritional supplement.

"Wheat vs. Chaff - Sifting Through the Maze of Dietary Supplements" is the report you need. This report is much sought after by individuals who wish to discover the techniques used by highly educated researchers in identifying and determining high quality dietary supplements. This report is laid out in a simple step by step process that anyone can follow. Some of the highlights;

  • Exposes the techniques used by dietary supplement manufacturers to get you to purchase their products.
  • Discover the location of the largest medical research archive in the world and how you can access it for FREE, so you can do your own research!
  • Shows you the simple steps serious researchers take to identify a high quality effective supplement. Discover the secrets educated researchers use before they buy dietary supplements.
  • Discover how you may identify American manufactured supplements over imported ones.
  • And much, much more...

To download your copy of Wheat vs Chaff for FREE - Click here

The Best Natural Sources of Vitamin C

Citrus fruits (lime, lemon, orange, grapefruit) and tomatoes are good common sources of vitamin C. Other foods that that have been shown to contain vitamin C include papaya, broccoli, brussels sprouts, blackcurrants, strawberries, cauliflower, spinach, cantaloupe, and kiwifruit.

Cooking destroys Vitamin C. The table below shows the relative abundance of vitamin C from fruits and some raw vegetables.

Food
mg vitamin C
/ 100 grams
mg vitamin C
per average 
size fruit/slice
Acerola 
1,677
80
Apple
 6
 8
Apricot
 10
4
Apricot, canned
 3
2
Asian pear
4
5
Avocado
  8 
16 
Banana
 9
11
Babaco
21 to 32
21 to 32
Bilberry
1
0.01(estim)
Baobab
150 to 499
100
Breadfruit
 29
28
Blackberry
6
0.6(estim)
Blackcurrant
155 to 215
1.5 to 2(estim.)
Blueberry
1.3 to 16.4
no data
Camu Camu
2,700
no data
Carambola
21
19 
Casimiroa
30
15
Crabapple
8
2 (estim.)
Cherimoya
9
10
Custard apple
19
no data
Feijoa
25
13
Feijoa
31
16
Feijoa
27
14
Fig
2
1
Grape, slip skin 
4
0.01
Grape, european
11
0.60
Grapefruit
34
 44
Guava, Cattley 
37
2
Guava, tropical
183
165
Java plum
14
 0.42
Jujube
500
no data
Kei apple
117
17
KiwanoT
0.5
0.5
Kiwifruit, green
98
74
Kiwifruit, yellow
120 to 180
108 to 162
Lemon juice
46
3
Lime juice
29
1
Longan
84
3
Loquat
1
0.5
Lychee
72
7
Mango
28
57
Marula
68
60(estim)
Medlar
0.3
      0.15(estim)
Melon, cantaloupe
42
29
Melon, honeydew
25
20
Muntingia
80
4(estim)
Natal plum
38
8
Orange
53
70
Opuntia cactus
23
no data
Papaya
62
47
Pawpaw/Asimina
14
28(estim)
Passionfruit, purple
30
5
Peach
7
6
Peach, canned
3
3
Pear
4
7
Persimmon, American
66
13(estim.)
Persimmon, Oriental
40
40(estim.)
Pineapple
15
13
Plum
10
6
Raspberry
25
0.5
Raspberry
23 to 32
0.7 to 1
Redcurrant
58 to 81
0.58 to 0.81(estim)
Rosehip
1,500
45(estim.)
Rosehip
1,150
34(estim.)
Rosehip
2,000 to
2,500
60 to 75(estim.)
Surinam cherry
26
2
Sapodilla
15
25
Strawberry
57
7
Tangerine/Mandarin
31
26
Tamarillo, red
40
40
Tamarillo, red
31
22
Tamarillo, yellow
33
30
Tamarillo, yellow
31
22
Tomato
19
23
Watermelon
10
27