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Short knowledge summaries, facts and citations, related to fruitarianism from scientific internet publications, mass media and other seemingly credible online sources, with links

The study has shown that skeletal muscle is very sensitive to changes in vitamin C intake, and that the vitamin C content in muscle will fall if intake decreases below optimal levels. This is likely to affect muscle function. Muscle is the largest store of vitamin C in our bodies.

Professor Margreet Vissers, from the Centre for Free Radical Research:

Many people think that all fruit and vegetables are equally able to supply vitamin C, but this is not the case. The levels in food vary hugely across the spectrum. We should eat a good range daily, but because many fruit contain only one tenth of a healthy daily vitamin C requirement, we would recommend at least one serve per day of a high-value food like kiwifruit. This will help you easily reach an optimal vitamin C intake, as well as delivering other vital nutrients.

There is, however, considerable debate regarding the beneficial health effects of vitamin C supplementation. The administration of vitamin C may significantly hamper endurance capacity. Vitamin C supplementation decreases training efficiency because it prevents some cellular adaptations to exercise.

Ascorbic acid is essential for collagen, carnitine and neurotransmitters biosynthesis. Most plants and animals synthesize ascorbic acid for their own requirement, butpes and humans can not synthesize it due to lack of an enzyme gulonolactone oxidase

Though ascorbic acid was discovered in 17th century, the exact role of this vitamin in human biology and health is still a mystery in view of many beneficial claims and controversies.

Many health benefits have been attributed to ascorbic acid such as antioxidant, anti-atherogenic, anti-carcinogenic, immunomodulator and prevents cold etc. However, lately the health benefits of ascorbic acid has been the subject of debate and controversies:

  • The relation between ascorbic acid and cancer is still a debatable.
  • There is compelling evidence for antioxidant protection of lipids by ascorbic acid both with and without iron co-supplementation.
  • Current evidences suggest that ascorbic acid protects against atherogenesis by inhibiting LDL oxidation.
  • The data on vitamin C and DNA damage are conflicting and inconsistent. 

Based on available biochemical, clinical and epidemiological studies, the current US recommended daily allowance (RDA) for ascorbic acid ranges between 75 - 120 mg per dayto achieve cellular saturation and optimum risk reduction of heart diseases, stroke and cancer in healthy adults

  • Males - 90 mg a day,
  • Females - 75 mg a day,
  • Smokers - +35 mg a day (35 mg/day more)

Fresh fruits, vegetables and also synthetic tablets supplement the ascorbic acid requirement of the body. However, stress, smoking, infections and burns deplete the ascorbic acid reserves in the body and demands higher doses of ascorbic acid supplementation.

Ascorbic acid and its derivatives are widely used as preservatives in food industry.

Clinical trails with varying doses of ascorbic acid showed that ascorbic acid does not have significant prophylactic effect, but reduced the severity and duration of symptoms of cold during the period of infection.

Consumption of ascorbic acid as high as 1 g a day for several winter months, had no consistent beneficial effect on the incidence of common cold.

There was a consistent beneficial but generally modest therapeutic effect on duration of cold symptoms

In trials that tested vitamin C after cold symptoms occurred, there was some evidence of greater benefits with large dose than with lower doses.

Researchers in Denmark randomized 63 patients to high fruit or low fruit intake, and after 12 weeks, the 2 groups had similar drops in glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) levels, weight, and girth. They enrolled patients with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes who had been referred for nutritional counseling. The patients were an even mix of men and women, with a mean age of 58 years and a mean body mass index (BMI) of 32.  

Allan S. Christensen, the lead of the research group: 

We conclude that advice to restrict fruit intake as part of standard [medical nutrition therapy] in overweight adults with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes mellitus does not improve glycemic control, body weight, or waist circumference.

The 32 subjects in the low-fruit-intake group were advised eat no more than 2 pieces of fruit a day, whereas the 31 subjects in the high-fruit-intake group were told to indulge in 2 or more pieces of fruit a day.

A piece of fruit was defined as the amount that contained about 10 g of carbohydrate - for example, an apple (100 g), half a banana (50 g), or an orange (125 g). The subjects were also instructed to eat whole fruit, skip dried fruit, and not drink fruit juice.

Over the 12 weeks, on average, fruit consumption rose from 194 g/day to 319 g/day in the high-intake group and decreased from 186 g/day to 135 g/day in the low-intake group.

Patients in the high-fruit-intake group had a significant drop in HbAIC levels, from 6.74% to 6.26%. They also lost about 2 kg (from 92 kg to 90 kg) and trimmed their waist by about 4 cm (from 103 to 99 cm). Similar results were obtained by patients in the low-fruit-intake group, and there were no significant between-group differences in these 3 outcomes.

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