Vitamin B and C are water soluble vitamins that are essential for the body. Theses cannot be made in the body and has to be supplemented from one’s diet. Vitamins are classified according to their biological function and activity and not by their structure.
Vitamin B complex is a group of compounds that serve as precursor for enzymes and cofactors, hence acting as a catalyst in metabolic reactions. Vitamin C Aare a group of compounds that function as antioxidants in the body.
Vitamin B complex include eight water soluble vitamins - B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid), B6 (pyridoxine), B7 (biotin), B9 (folic acid), B12 (cobalamins).
Vitamin C is also known as ascorbic acid.
Sources of vitamins B and C
Vitamins are best when taken from natural food source and not pills. Water soluble vitamins are easily removed from the body when taken in excess. However, overdose may also cause some harmful symptoms in the body.
Sources for Vitamin B include potatoes, banana, lentils, and meats like turkey, liver and tuna. Vitamin C is found in most fruits and vegetables.
Vitamin B complex is essential for promoting regular cell metabolism, including cell growth and cell division. It also plays a role in improving the body’s immune and nervous system. Apart from that it preserves a healthy skin and muscle tone and when taken regularly in a balanced diet has also been shown to reduce the risk of pancreatic cancer.
Vitamin C functions as an antioxidant in the body and also as a cofactor and coenzyme for various biochemical pathways.
Daily requirement for Vitamin B varies for each complex as follows Vitamins B1: 1.1-1.5 mg, Vitamin B2: 1.3-1.7 mg, Vitamin B3: 15-19 mg, Vitamin B5: 4-7 mg, Vitamin B6: 1.6-2 mg, Vitamin B7: 100 mcg, Vitamin B9: 180-200 mcg, Vitamin B12: 2 mcg.
Daily requirement for Vitamin C has been recommended to be 60-95 milligrams per day by United States National Academy of sciences.
Impact of Vitamin C and B Deficiency
Deficiency of B vitamins can cause diseases like beriberi (disease of the nervous system), pellagra, anemia, ariboflavinosis, dermatitis and other conditions.
Deficiency of vitamin C leads to scurvy, a condition which is due to unstable collagen. Some of the symptoms include bleeding from gums and liver spots on the skin.
Toxicity due to overdose
In some cases, taking an overdose of vitamin B in the form of dietary supplements or injection can cause toxicity. This may lead to serious neurological damage, or liver toxicity.
Excess vitamin C leads to indigestion and diarrhoea. Other symptoms include, rashes on skin, headache, fatigue, and sleep disturbance.