Vitamin C (Ascorbic acid) helps form and maintain the “cementing” materials that hold body cells together and strengthen the walls of blood vessels, and it aids in healing wounds. Vitamin C participates in the synthesis of certain hormones and in cellular respiration. Asorbic acid is important in collagen synthesis and in many other metabolic reactions, including proper functioning of the immune system. Vitamin C is used during critical growth phases and to reduce the reactions linked to stress. Exept for the primates (including Man), guinea pigs and deer, almostd of the animals are capable of forming vitamin C themselves from glucose. Today nearly all standard mixed diets will include adequate amounts of vitamin C so that deficiency diseases due to a lack of this vitamin seldom arise. An exra supply, however, will always be beneficial to an animal, and any surplus vitamin C is passed out of the body with the urine. As the body utilises larger-than-normal amounts of vitamin C in such stress situations as during illness, transport. The liver in mammals and the kidneys in birds cannot store more than very limited quantities of this vitamin. No balanced vitamin supplement should be without it. Signs of deficiency include impaired wound healing, greater susceptibility to infection (decreased immune function), muscle and joint pain. Vitamin C is found in citrus fruits, berries, tomatoes,cauliflower and green leafy vegetables. Some hundred years ago Scurvey, a disease of sailors, caused by vitamin C deficiency, was cured and avoided by lemons.
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