Vitamin C is probably the most known vitamin and belongs to the group of water-soluble vitamins. Most animals can synthesize their own vitamin needs, on the other hand, humans must confine themselves to dietary sources. Vitamin C is present only in very small amount in foods of animal origin, green plants and fruit cover the bulk of the demand. Some plants contain particularly large quantity, such as rosehip and some species of pepper’s 1-2% of their dry weight is vitamin C. First it was isolated by Albert Szent-Györgyi in pure condition from adrenal glands in 1928, after that from lemon juice and paprika. He was awarded with the 1937 Nobel Prize in Medicine for this discovery.
The main natural sources: citrus fruit, berries, green and leafy vegetables, tomato and paprika.
Why is it important?
Vitamin C assists to the normal energy-producing metabolic processes, to the maintenance of the normal psychological function, to the normal operation of the nervous and the immune systems. It also assists to the normal formation of collagen, because of this it maintains the normal state of the skin, blood vessels, cartilage, ossature, teeth and gums. It helps reducing tiredness and fatigue, contributes to regenerating the reduced form of vitamin E and increases the absorption of iron. It contributes to the protection of the cells against oxidative stress, and to the normal function of the immune system during or after intense exercise.
Vitamin D belongs to the group of fat-soluble vitamins. Vitamin D3 is produced from the dehydrocholesterol produced by the liver by the action of sunlight in the skin. Vitamin D has a characteristic: for its formation sunlight is necessary to the skin, one of the ultraviolet rays has the ability to convert the steroids within the skin to vitamin D. The kidneys and the liver complete the positive effect of the ultraviolet rays and give the opportunity for vitamin D to exert its activity and to transform into its active form. Some prefer to consider vitamin D as a hormone instead of a real vitamin. One of those substance which is produced by the endocrine glands. The main natural sources: fish liver oil, sardines, herring, tuna, salmon, milk and diary products.
Why is it important?
Vitamin D assists to the maintenance of the normal calcium level in the blood, of the normal absorption and utilization of calcium and phosphor. (Phosphor is involved in the maintenance of the normal ossature.) It plays a role in the cell division, assists to the maintenance of the healthy function of muscles, of normal ossature and teeth and to the normal function of the immune system.
Rosehips in the nature
Since ancient times, the Rosa canina (dog-rose or hedge-rose) is considered as the queen of flowers, however, among the herbs the noble plant only becomes intresting when the gorgeous petals had fallen and the yield, the rosehip, which is like a smaller sized cherry, is ripened. The hip can be collected when they have bright red color, but are still flexible, so before the first frosts. The rosehip’s most valuable active ingredient is ascorbic acid. Due to the favorable composition and pleasant flavor rosehip is used both as a medicinal and food plant. For tea or eaten as jam it also provides beneficial physiological effects. It is an ideal dietary supplement.
Acerola in the nature
Acerola, also known as Barbados cherry can grow up to 5 meters high. It is a deciduous tree, which produce large amounts of 1-2 cm diameter red fruit. The fruits are soft, juicy and have sweet flavor. The acerola grows wild, but in Central America, South America’s northern region, Brazil and Jamaica it is cultivated as well. The value of the fruit is mainly from the fact that it contains a significant amount of vitamin C. This is decreasing during ripening, therefore for the market they harvest it still in green state.