Function of vitamin C in human physiology

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Function of vitamin C in our body includes many vital metabolic activities like protein synthesis, energy production, antioxidative actions and neurotransmission.
Vitamin C being a very essential nutrient has important functions almost in all systems of the body. Some of the functions are briefly listed.
Function of vitamin C in the enzymatic reactions for collagen production
Vitamin C acts as an electron donor in many different enzymatic reactions taking place in various organs of our body.
It is a co-factor in lysyl hydroxylase and prolyl hydroxylase, the enzymes essential for collagen hydroxylation.
This hydroxylation of collagen is essential for its role in the developing and maintaining cartilage, blood vessels and scar tissue.
The function of vitamin C in energy production
The role of ascorbic acid in the enzymatic reactions for the production of carnitine is crucial.
Carnitine is biosynthesized from amino acid methionine and amino acid lysine.
Carnitine is required for transporting fatty acids from cytosol or intracellular fluid into mitochondria, (powerhouse of the cell) for the generation ATP and metabolic energy by the breakdown of lipids.
The role of vitamin C in neuro-transmission
The role of ascorbic acid in the enzymatic reaction of dopamine beta hydroxylase is in the biosynthesis of stress hormone norepinephrine (also a neurotransmitter) from dopamine.
This hormone along with epinephrine (another hormone and neurotransmitter) induces the brain for flight-fight response.
In another enzymatic reaction the role of ascorbic acid is in regulation of tyrosine (an amino acid) metabolism.
Tyrosine is a precursor of dopamine which in turn is a precursor for neurotransmitters.
The function of vitamin C in hormone production
In another enzymatic reaction with the association of ascorbic acid, amide groups are added to peptide hormones to increase their stability.
Some of the peptide hormones like luteinizing hormone, follicle-stimulating hormone, prolactin, adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), growth hormone and antidiuretic hormone are very important for reproductive health, excretory organs, hormone production and regulation.
Vitamin C in immune reactions
One of the important role of vitamin c is in the production of certain antibodies essential for neutralising proteins of pathogens and give faster recovery from diseases.
Ascorbic acid helps in the production of interferon which gives resistance to the body for countering viral attacks.
Ascorbic acid counters the allergic reactions by interfering in the release of histamines and reducing histamine levels in blood circulation.
Nitrosamines are potential carcinogenic compounds. They are produced from nitrites found in food. These can cause cancer in the digestive system and their formation is blocked by vitamin C in the stomach.
Function of vitamin C in nutrition
Folic acid has to be converted into active form for proper utilisation and ascorbic acid aids in this metabolism of folic acid.
Iron has to be in oxidized form for absorption and utilisation by the body and in the presence of vitamin C this is achieved.
Vitamin E is regenerated from its reduced form by ascorbic acid.
Ascorbic acid functions as a regulator of serum levels of copper, iron and lead keeping them below toxic levels by stimulating their excretion, decreasing their absorption or increasing their absorption as required.
Function of vitamin C as antioxidant
The antioxidant activity of ascorbic acid prevents the oxidation of LDL (low density lipoprotein), oxidative damage of DNA and proteins.

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