Acerola cherry or Barbados cherry (lat. Malpighia glabra or Malpighia emarginata) is a small fruit the second richest in vitamin C fruit on the earth (the first is camu-camu). Acerola contains 90 times more vitamin C as compared to a peeled orange. One small glass (0.32 pt) of acerola juice has as much vitamin C as 3.1 UK gallons of orange juice. This small cherry fruit also provides substantial amounts of provitamin A and thiamine (B1 vitamin), riboflavin (B2 vitamin), niacin (PP vitamin), calcium, phosphorous and iron. Vitamin C from acerola cherries is in bioflavonoid complex together with rutin and hesperidin. It is more stable in this complex and it is gradually realised from this complex what improves its bioavailability.
Rutin (Vitamin P) belongs to the flavonoids (or bio-flavonoids) a group of widely distributed plant constituents that have yellow pigment and fulfil several functions. Rutin is traditionally used in several remedies and medicines. It has undisputable positive impact on blood vessel health and blood capillaries particularly.
The regulations regarding what we can say about dietary supplements, do not allow us to describe more specifically effects of rutin and other ingredients. We are not allowed to attribute any property of preventing, treating or curing any human disease to dietary supplement. Due to this fact we give hereby a link/reference where the people having interest in this subject may gain more information → the World Healthiest Foods .
Foods rich in Rutin
Eating a nutritious diet plays a vital role in your health. Look at the foods you're eating and make sure you're getting enough rutin on a daily basis. Quercetin and rutinose combine to create rutin, a flavonoid and antioxidant that may protect your body, improve blood circulation health and protect cell from damage caused by free radicals. There are a variety of foods you can eat to boost your intake of this important nutrient.
|Buckwheat||Amaranth grain and leaves|
Amaranth leaves are loaded with numerous vitamins. In fact, this unsung superfood is one of the world's best sources of vitamin K, a nutrient that plays an important role in keeping your cardiovascular system healthy. Amaranth greens are also supercharged with carotenoids and vitamin C, plus they provide plenty of folate and a fair amount of vitamin B6, too. Amaranth leaves have also been singled out as one of the best sources of rutin, a flavonoid that has been researched extensively as a potential dietary remedy for varicose veins due to its ability to strengthen capillary walls. A 2009 study published in the journal Plant Foods for Human Nutrition found that some amaranth species contain up to 24.5 g/kg (dry weight) of rutin in their leaves.
Fruits rich in Rutin
Most of the bioflavonoids and also rutin is in the fruit skin and just under its surface. Therefore the best way to get bioflavonoids and also rutin is to consume fruits with its skin.
- Acerola fruit
- Apples with skin
- Black grapes
- Briar rose fruit
- Citrus fruits (lemons, oranges)
Vegetables rich in Rutin
Most vegetables contain quantities of flavonoids, particularly green and red vegetables. Members of the nightshade family including peppers, tomatoes and eggplants are high in the flavonols, quercetin and the flavones luteolin. Onions, particularly red onions and green onions, are also high in quercetin. Green vegetables such as celery and artichokes are high in the flavones apigenin and luteolin, while vegetables such as snap beans, okra and broccoli are high in flavonols including quercetin, kaempferol and myricetin.
- Onions, particularly red
- Red and green peppers
- Red and white radish
- Cabbage, particularly red
Herbs and spices rich in Rutin
Some herbs and spices and flavoring agents are particularly high in certain types of flavonoids, and, while generally consumed in smaller quantities, may still offer some health benefits particularly if used while fresh. Dill is known to be high in the flavonols quercetin and isorhamnetin while parsley is high in apigenin along with isorhamnetin. Thyme is high in the flavones luteolin and capers though rarely used are very high in the flavonols kaempferol and quercetin. The best news for some people may be that chocolate is known to be very high in catechins, particularly if consumed in the dark variety.
- Amaranth leaves
- Roibos tea
- St. John's Wort herb
- Common Rute herb
- Black lilac flower
Bio-flavonoid Content is Selected Plants
All analyses are mean of triplicate measurements ± standard deviation. Means not sharing a common letter in columns were significantly different at P<0.05. Results expressed in mg/g DW; ND: non detected.
Source: Ghasemzadeh A, Azarifar M. et al. Flavonoid compounds and their antioxidant activity in extract of some tropical plants; J.of Medicinal Plants Res. Vol. 6(13), pp. 2639-2643, 2012
Cooking, storage and food processing have important impact on vitamin content in our food.
Smoking destroys C Vitamin
Cigarette smoking destroys ascorbic acid. Together with each cigarette we lose approximately 25 mg of vitamin C. Also carbon oxide, present in polluted air, is equally harmful. Cigarette smoking destroys ascorbic acid. Together with each cigarette we lose approximately 25 mg of vitamin C. Also carbon oxide, present in polluted air, is equally harmful. Tobacco smoking people and inhabitants of polluted big cities should have higher vitamin C supplementation.
One should also notice that tobacco smoking destroys other antioxidant vitamins A and E and an essential antioxidant mineral selenium.
Could Vitamin C Consumption Be Harmful?
The National Academy of Sciences has established a Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL) of 2000 mg per day for adults. While it is plausible that in rare situations — particularly with a rich intake of citrus juices — an individual could be above this UL from foods alone, we are not aware of any evidence to suggest that vitamin C intake from foods ever is responsible for toxicity symptoms.
- Gastrointestinal Problems – If you consume more than 2,000 mg of vitamin C, you may develop severe gastrointestinal irritation and diarrhea. In addition to significant discomfort, extended episodes of diarrhea or vomiting can lead to dehydration, causing extreme thirst, fatigue, low urine output and reduced blood pressure. Diarrhea and vomiting can also cause additional mineral imbalances in the body.
- Kidney Stones – Vitamin C is broken down by the body into a substance called oxalate. Some oxalate is secreted in urine, however high urinary oxalate levels may cause formation of deposits, known as kidney stones. High vitamin C intake is associated with an increased risk of oxalate kidney stones -- accounting for approximately 80 percent of all kidney stones.
- Hemochromatosis – Hemochromatosis is a condition caused by excess iron build-up in the body. This condition is commonly inherited, and most often affects the liver, heart and pancreas. Vitamin C helps the body absorb iron. Although vitamin C overdose does not cause hemochromatosis, it can worsen the condition.
It is ascorbic acid or better L-ascorbic acid. It has been discovered by a Hungarin scientist Albert Szent-Györy in 1928, who had its isolated from lemon juice and afterward synthesized. For this discovery and for the entire investigations of vitamin C he received the Nobel Price in 1937.
Vitamin C – Essential Nutrient
An essential nutrient is a nutrient required for normal physiological function that cannot be synthesized by the body, and thus must be obtained from a dietary source.
- Promotes healthy glowing skin and collagen formation
- Improves mineral absorption
- Is important for growth and repair of bones, teeth, skin and other tissues
- Fights free radical damage
- Boosts immunity fighting colds and flu
- Improves health of gums and teeth
- Vital for circulation and heart health
How much Vitamin C our body needs?
The medical authorities establish values of different nutrient requirements in specific countries. European Food Safety Authority establishes these values for European countries, Food and Drug Administration for the U.S. These values for vitamins, minerals, proteins and energy are published in form of tables. They may vary depending on climate differences and different alimentation and structure of consumed food. This also applies for the established dietary reference intake of vitamin C.
| Age, gender || Dietary Reference Intake |
| Birth to 6 months|| 40 mg|
| Infants from 7 to 12 months ||50 mg|
| Children between 1 to 3 years|| 15 mg|
| Children between 4 to 8 years|| 25 mg|
| Children between 9 to 13 years|| 45 mg|
| Teens between 14 to 18 years (boys)|| 75 mg|
| Teens between 14 to 18 years (girls)|| 65 mg|
| Adults (men)|| 90 mg|
| Adults (women)|| 75 mg|
| Pregnant women|| 85 mg|
| Breastfeeding women|| 120 mg|
What affects our need for Vitamin C?
Body requirement for vitamin C has been studied for years. It varies in specific countries and it fluctuates from 30 – 100 mg/day. It depends on climate condition and it is mainly related to the daily consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables. The increased need for vitamin C in pregnancy and breastfeeding presents table above. Intense physical activity also rises body demand for vitamin C. Therefore athletes and physically heavy working people may need an additional amount of vitamin C in their daily diet.
Daily requirement for vitamin C increases in persons with blood hypertension, diabetes, tobacco smokers, alcohol drinkers, stressed persons and having unhealthy life style including having unhealthy diet. Smokers should consume approximately 40 mg vitamin C a day more than non-smokers.
Also inhabitants of big urban agglomeration need more vitamin C because environmental pollution destroys vitamin C. Use of some medicines may increase vitamin C requirements and e.g. acetylsalicylic acid inhibits absorption of vitamin C.
Signs and Symptoms Vitamin C Deficiency
10 Warning Signs You Are Vitamin C Deficient Concerned you might be vitamin C deficient? Here are some signs you should be watching out for:
1. Easy Bruising
Bruising, caused when small blood vessels near the skin’s surface (known as capillaries) break and leak red blood cells, is a natural and normal response to certain injuries like a fall or a knock.
While a certain amount of bruising is to be expected, excessive or unexplained reddish-purple marks on the skin may point to a shortage of vitamin C in the diet due to weakened capillaries.
The University of Michigan Health System states that even minor deficiencies of vitamin C can lead to increased bruising. They recommend that people who bruise easily should try to increase their intake of vitamin C to see if that has an effect, as consuming more vitamin C has been found to reduce bruising in those who aren’t already getting enough.
2. Slow Wound Healing
If you notice your cuts and scrapes are slow to heal, have a closer look at your diet. As vitamin C is essential to the formation of collagen in the skin – a new connective tissue that binds a healing wound, a lack will lead to slow healing.
This link has been given recognition in medical literature since 1937 when Harvard Medical School surgeons noticed that the spontaneous breakdown of surgical wounds occurred in patients with low levels of vitamin C.
Along with playing a role in collagen formation in healing wounds, vitamin C acts as a powerful antioxidant and immune system booster – both of which encourage faster healing.
3. Swollen, Bleeding or Inflamed Gums
Oral health problems, like swollen or bleeding gums or recurrent mouth ulcers, are often linked to suboptimal levels of vitamin C.
Again, collagen is important as it supports the gums. It’s estimated that gums turn over at least 20% of their collagen every day, meaning regular hits of vitamin C are vital for good teeth and gums. Low levels of the vitamin are linked with an increased risk of gum disease which can range from simple gum inflammation to major soft tissue damage! If not addressed, low vitamin C intake can progress and eventually lead to scurvy, a disease characterized by bleeding, oozing gums and the loss of teeth.
4. Dry or Splitting Hair and Nails
A shiny head of hair and strong nails can often be a good indicator of a balanced diet. Likewise, a lackluster mane that is dry and splitting may highlight a problem.
Because hair is a non-essential tissue, nutrients such as vitamin C are sent to more important organs and tissues first, before making their way to the hair. So if you have less than ideal levels of the vitamin, you may find your hair is suffering.
Furthermore, vitamin C is vital for the absorption of iron – a deficiency of which can cause chronic hair loss and slow hair growth, along with brittle and concave nails.
5. Red, Rough or Dry Skin
One of the first signs of scurvy is rough and dry skin caused by a lack of collagen. Low levels of vitamin C are also linked to the common but harmless skin problem keratosis pilaris – characterized by the presence of small, hard bumps on the upper arms, thighs, buttocks and face.
The good news is that simply upping your intake of vitamin C rich foods can greatly improve skin tone and texture.
Studies show that diets high in vitamin C are associated with better skin appearance and less wrinkling. Other research demonstrates that vitamin C can offset some of the damage caused by the sun’s UV rays, thanks to antioxidant activity; and may inhibit water loss from the skin, preventing dry skin.
6. Frequent Nosebleeds
Over 90% of nosebleeds come from capillaries in the front of the nose. Because adequate vitamin C intake decreases the fragility of these small blood vessels, a lack of it may cause regular nosebleeds. If you’re experiencing these frequently, or at least more often than usual, don’t dismiss an inadequate diet as the underlying cause. If your deficiency progresses to scurvy, you can expect easily provoked bleeding from the nose and gums.
7. Poor Immune Function
The immune system, our body’s protection against infection and disease, is strongly influenced by the intake of nutrients, particularly vitamin C. Several cells in our immune system need the vitamin to perform their tasks so naturally a deficiency leads to a reduced resistance against certain pathogens. Getting enough vitamin C means that our immune system will be in tip-top shape to reduce the risk, severity and duration of certain infectious diseases. Despite popular opinion though, vitamin C may not ward off the common cold. While some studies say vitamin C may slightly reduce the duration of the illness (but not affect its incidence or severity), others show contradictory results.
Nevertheless, getting enough vitamin C is important for overall health, especially if you are under physical strain or already have insufficient intake of the vitamin.
8. Swollen and Painful Joints
Pain and swelling of the joints caused by inflammatory arthritis may be another sign you need to overhaul your diet.
A 2004 study, conducted in Great Britain, found that people who had low levels of vitamin C were three times more likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis than those whose diets included foods rich in the vitamin.
9. Fatigue or Depression
Fatigue and low mood are symptoms of so many illnesses, so it can be hard to identify a specific condition based on exhaustion alone. But when coupled with other symptoms, it may help to identify a lack of vitamin C.
There is a well-known link between vitamin C deficiency and psychological state, say researchers. What’s more, studies of hospitalized patients (who often have suboptimal vitamin C levels) demonstrate a perceived improvement in mood after vitamin C supplementation – by up to 34%!
10. Unexplained Weight Gain
Too little vitamin C in the bloodstream leads to an increase in body fat and waist circumference. In 2006, Arizona State University researchers found that the amount of vitamin C we absorb directly affects our body’s ability to use fat as a fuel source during both exercise and when at rest.
During the four week study, 20 obese men and women were put on a low-fat diet which contained 67% of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C. They were also randomly given either a 500 mg vitamin C capsule daily, or a placebo.
At the beginning of the trial, those with the lowest concentrations of vitamin C in their blood had the highest body fat mass. As a steady amount of vitamin C was consumed throughout the study, blood vitamin C concentrations increased 30% in those taking vitamins and fell by 27% in the control group. As blood concentrations fell, so did the participants’ ability to oxidize fat – by 11%!
The bottom line is, if you’re looking to lose weight, make sure you’re eating your fruits and vegetables.
The Best Natural Sources Vitamin C
camu camu berries
Fruits that are vitamin C content record-holder are not consumed directly usually. They are mainly used in food industry as highly productive natural source of vitamin C. To these record-holder belong: (1) Amazon Camu Camu berries, (2) Acerola Fruit (Barbados Cherry), (3) Dogberries, (4) Amalaki (Indian goose-berries), (5) Açai berries.
Hereinafter you may find in table the World's Healthiest Foods ranked as quality sources of vitamin C.
This table is made after web service World Healthiest Food.