Page ID: 1387

Vitamin C: Functions

-Needed to form Collagen, a tissue that helps hold cells together.
-It is essential for healthy bones, teeth, gums, and blood vessels.
-It is necessary to help absorb iron and calcium.
-Helps heal wounds.
-Contributes to brain functions.
-Is an antioxidant (combats free radicals).

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Do we need both together?

                       According to a report published in the "International Journal for Vitamin and Nutrition Research" in 2004, vitamin C improves absorption of iron. Some food contains compounds that hinder iron absorption, and including vitamin C during these meals can help counteract the inhibiting effect. You must consume vitamin C during the same time for it to help absorb iron. But, a component in black and pekoe tea binds with iron and reduces the amount your body can absorb, so it's best to avoid drinking tea if you are taking iron supplements.

Foods rich in Vitamin C

Papaya : 224% DV per medium size
Strawberries: 113% DV per cup
Pineapple: 105% DV per cup
Cantaloupe: 78% DV per cup
Bell pepper: 157% DV per cup
Brussel sprouts: 129% DV per cup
Orange: 93% DV per medium size
Kiwi: 85% DV per 1.2 inch size fruit
Broccoli: 135% DV per cup
Cauliflower: 78% DV per cup
Lemon/ lime juice: 31% DV per 1/4 cup

Foods rich in Iron

Soy beans: 49% DV per cup
Spinach: 36% DV per cup
Swiss Chard: 22% DV per cup
Cumin: 16% DV per tsp
Parsley: 10% DV per 1/2 cup
Turmeric: 10% DV per 2 tsp
Beets: 7% DV per cup
Beet greens: 15% DV per cup
Lentils: 37% DV per cup
Sesame Seeds: 29% DV per 1/4 cup
Garbanzo Beans: 26% DV per cup

Vitamin C Deficiency

    Severe Vitamin C deficiency is very rare (less than 10,000 cases in the US per year), and is caused by not eating enough fruits and vegetables rich in Vitamin C.  This deficiency is called Scurvy, and affected a wide range of people. Hippocrates documented Scurvy as a disease, and Egyptians have it recorded as early as 1550 BCE. It often killed off large amounts of people when they would be traveling by sea for months at a time without any food rich in vitamin C. In 1753, it was finally proven that scurvy could be treated with large doses of vitamin C by James Lind (a Scottish Surgeon). 

Symptoms: Lethargy, pain in gums, shortness of breath, bone pain, easy bruising, dry mouth, dry eyes, loss of appetite, and failure to thrive.

Iron Deficiency

      Iron deficiency is very common with more than 3 million cases per year, and unfortunately, some people don't know they are deficient. Without enough iron, red blood cells can't carry enough oxygen to body tissues. Iron deficiency often causes low blood cell levels (anemia) and can delay the development of unborn babies. In women of childbearing age, the most common cause of iron deficiency is a loss of iron in the blood due to heavy menstruation or pregnancy. A poor diet or some intestinal diseases that affect how well the body absorbs iron can also cause iron deficiency. 

Symptoms: fatigue, weakness, pale skin, shortness of breath, dizziness, tingling in legs, cold hands/ feet, fast and irregular heart beat, brittle nails, and headaches.

Sources: http://www.livestrong.com/article/252558-should-you-take-iron-with-vitamin-c/
http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=nutrient&dbid=70
http://www.healthline.com/health/iron-deficiency-anemia?m=0#symptoms4