Vitamin C – definition and benefits

Vitamin C: Definition and Benefits

 

It has been understood for decades that adequate absorption of vitamin C is imperative to good health. Found in food, dietary supplements, and certain cosmetics, this essential vitamin can be taken by mouth or through injection. Although some of the health benefits are still being researched, experts agree that improper amounts of vitamin C in the body can be devastating.

What Is Vitamin C?

Often referred to as ascorbic acid, vitamin C is an important vitamin found in many types of food such as kale, kiwi, broccoli, oranges, bell peppers, etc. This water-soluble vitamin is a safe and mandatory nutrient for humans and animals. As a powerful antioxidant, evidence has shown that the disease scurvy is both treated and prevented by adequate consumption of this vitamin. Unfortunately, the human body cannot produce its own vitamin C, thus it must be consumed via food or supplements.

The Top 12 Health Benefits

While research has shown that the consumption of vitamin C may not prevent the common cold, there is still evidence to suggest that the vitamin may shorten its duration. Furthermore, vitamin C supports collagen production in the body, thereby helping to stabilize proper cell function. Vitamin C deficiency may lead to the formation of spongy gums, mucous membrane bleeding, and spotty skin. Beyond that, vitamin C offers the following health benefits:

  1. Decreases hypertension

Unmanaged hypertension can lead to cardiovascular disease.

  1. Cures lead toxicity

Lead toxicity can lower IQ and create behavioral problems in children and young adults.

  1. Treats vasodilation

Improper dilation of blood vessels can lead to angina, congestive heart failure, and other life-threatening diseases.

  1. Cures cataracts

Decreased blood supply to the ocular nerves can cause blindness.

  1. Prevents stroke

Maintaining proper blood pressure levels keeps a potential stroke at bay.

  1. Enhances mood

Decreased production of neurotransmitters can put you in a foul mood.

  1. Minimizes the risk of certain cancers

A diet deficient of fruits and veggies with high Vitamin C densities can cause cancerous cells to grow.

  1. Heals wounds

Skin with collagen cells that aren’t properly supported doesn’t heal quickly.

  1. Boosts immunities

Stimulated white blood cells help prevent certain types of sickness.

  1. Reduces the symptoms of asthma

Adequate levels of ascorbic acid reduce the painful side effects of asthma and support healthy oxygen levels.

  1. Combats diabetes

One of the main causes of diabetes is an ascorbic acid deficiency.

  1. Fights heart disease

Clogged arteries and high levels of toxicity in the blood can lead to heart disease and other cardiac issues.

Special Precautions

While vitamin C is essential and considered safe when taken in healthy doses, consuming too much may have the opposite effect. Taking more than 2-3 grams can cause indigestion, nausea, diarrhea, or abdominal cramping, especially if you consume it on an empty stomach. The effect may be prevented by taking vitamin C in the form of sodium or calcium ascorbate. Before taking a supplement or changing your diet, be sure to consult with a doctor or nutritionist.

 

 


Structure of the spinal cord

Structure of the Spinal Cord

The Spinal cord is a long cylindrical bundle of nerves, nervous tissue & support cells running from the base of the brain or medulla oblongata through the vertebral column to the lumbar region of the backbone. The spinal cord and the brain form the central nervous system. The spinal cord is around eighteen inches or forty five centimeters long in men and around seventeen inches or forty three centimeters long in women. It has varying thickness as it extends from the occipital bone to the foramen magnum and downtown through the spinal canal, where it meets the cervical vertebrae and finally ends at the lumbar vertebrae. The spinal cord is around half an inch thick in both cervical and lumbar vertebrae. It is around quarter of an inch thick in thoracic vertebrae.

 

The human spinal cord has different segments, each of which has a pair of roots. These roots are nerve fibers. One pair is towards the back and is known as dorsal roots while the other is away from the back and is known as ventral roots. The diameter of the spinal cord is around two centimeters for adults. It is responsible for the transmission of signals from nerves in the motor cortex to different parts of the body. It also transmits signals from afferent fibers in the sensory neurons to the sensory cortex. The spinal cord controls reflexes, various kinds of electrical communication up and down the tube, establishes direct contact between the brain and different parts of the body and coordinates contraction & expansion of muscles to help facilitate motion.

Brain, Spinal Cord, and Meninges

The spinal cord is encased in the vertebral column, its protective skeletal structure.

All the way from the base of our skull to the filum terminale, which is the fibrous extension that marks the end of the spinal cord, the bundle of nerves runs through spaces inside the vertebral column. These nerves are called spinal nerves and they are named as per the region where they originate. These regions are neck or cervical, chest or thoracic, abdominal or lumbar, pelvic or sacral and tailbone or coccygeal. There are eight cervical

nerves, named as C1, C2 & C3 and so on till C8. All these are in the neck. There are twelve thoracic nerves, na

med as T1 and so on till T12. These are in the chest. The five lumbar nerves are named L1 to L5 and are in the abdominal region. There are five sacral nerves named as S1 to S5 and one coccygeal nerve named as Co in the pelvic region and tailbone respectively.

 

The vertebral or spinal column is longer than the spinal cord. Most adults have their spinal cord end at the first lumbar vertebrae or just before the second lumbar vertebrae. If you cut open a part of the spinal cord and look at a cross-section then you will find grey matter and white matter. The grey matter is at the center, shaped like a butterfly, surrounded by white matter. The grey matter is the core and it has two dorsal and two ventral roots. The grey matter comprises of neurons and inter-neurons as well as glial cells. The white matter has axons or nerve fibers. There are ascending and descending bundles of axons called tracts. These facilitate the communication to and from the brain, also between different segments of the spinal cord.