: The Vitamin C content of fruit juice
: To investigate the vitamin C content of fruit juice. Introduction
Vitamin C, also known as the ascorbic acid or the L-ascorbate, is required for the growth and repair of tissues in all parts of our body. It is necessary to form collagen, an important protein used to make skin, scar tissue, tendons, ligaments, and blood vessels. Vitamin C is essential for the healing of wounds as well as for the repair and maintenance of cartilage, bones, and teeth. Vitamin C is one of many antioxidants. It blocks some of the damages caused by free radicals, which are by-products that result when our bodies transform food into energy. It also helps reduce the damage to the body caused by toxic chemicals and pollutants such as cigarette smoke. The body does not manufacture vitamin C on its own, nor does it store it. It is therefore important to include plenty of vitamin C-containing foods in our daily diet. All fruits and vegetables contain some amount of vitamin C. Foods that tend to be the highest sources of vitamin C include green peppers, citrus fruits and juices, strawberries, tomatoes, broccoli, turnip greens and other leafy greens, sweet and white potatoes, and cantaloupe. Other excellent sources include papaya, mango, watermelon, Brussels, sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage, winter squash, red peppers, raspberries, blueberries, cranberries, and pineapples. Vitamin C is sensitive to light, air, and heat, so we will get the most vitamin C if we eat fruits and vegetables raw or lightly cooked. In this experiment, we will look into the difference in vitamin C content between fresh fruit juices and commercial fruit juices, where the manufacturers always claim that their juices restore the vitamin C contained in fresh fruits, thus the same amount of vitamin C is available in packaged fruit juices. We can purchase either natural or synthetic vitamin C, also called ascorbic acid, in the forms of tablets, capsules, chewable, powdered crystalline, effervescent, or liquids. Vitamin C can be purchased in dosages ranging from 25 - 1,000 mg. "Buffered" vitamin C is also available if you find that regular ascorbic acid upsets your stomach. An esterified form of vitamin C is also available, which may be easier on the stomach for those who are prone to heartburn. As recommended, the best way to take vitamin C supplements is 2 - 3 times per day, with meals, depending on the dosage. Some studies suggest that adults should take 250 - 500 mg twice a day for any benefit. It is advisable to talk to our doctor before taking more than 1,000 mg of vitamin C on a daily basis and before giving vitamin C to a child. Though vitamin C is water-soluble and we can get rid of it easily, we must however practice some precautions when taking vitamin C. Vitamin C supplements have a diuretic effect, so we should drink plenty of fluids when taking them. Most commercial vitamin C is made from corn. People sensitive to corn should look for alternative sources, such as sago palm. Vitamin C increases the amount of iron absorbed from foods. People with hemochromatosis (an inherited condition where too much iron builds up in the body) should not take vitamin C supplements. While vitamin C is generally considered safe because our body gets rid of what it does not use, in high doses (more than 2,000 mg daily) it can cause diarrhea, gas, or stomach upset. If we experience these side effects, it is time to lower the doses. People with kidney problems should talk to their doctor before taking vitamin C. People who smoke or use nicotine patches may need more vitamin C because nicotine decreases the effectiveness of vitamin C in the body. Infants born to mothers taking 6,000 mg or more of vitamin C may develop rebound scurvy because their intake of vitamin C drops after birth. Too little vitamin C can lead to signs and symptoms of deficiency, including: dry and split hair, gingivitis (inflammation of the gums), bleeding gums,...
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