Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is an essential nutrient that is required for a wide range of biological processes in the body. It is a water-soluble vitamin, which means that it is not stored in the body and must be replenished daily through diet or supplements. Vitamin C is found in many fruits and vegetables, including oranges, grapefruits, kiwis, strawberries, bell peppers, broccoli, and tomatoes. In this article, we will explore the various benefits of vitamin C and the mechanisms by which it exerts its effects.
#8 Top Benefits of Vitamin C
1. Boosts Immune System
Well, vitamin C has the ability to boost our immune system. However, Vitamin C plays an amazing role in the production as well as in the function of white blood cells [WBC]. As you know WBC is responsible for fighting off infections as well as high diseases that impact the human body. Moreover, Vitamin C also acts as an antioxidant, it has the ability for protecting immune cells from certain damage caused by free radicals. The latest studies have shown that vitamin C supplementation also has the ability to reduce the duration and severity of common colds and even other respiratory infections.
2. Improves Skin Health
Vitamin C is the most significant nutrient for everybody’s skin health. It is involved in the production of collagen, which is a protein that provides structure and elasticity to the skin. Collagen production naturally declines as we age, which can lead to wrinkles and sagging skin. Vitamin C supplementation has been shown to improve skin elasticity, reduce the appearance of wrinkles, and protect against sun damage.
3. Reduces Inflammation
Chronic inflammation is a contributing element to many chronic diseases, this however includes heart disease, diabetes, as well as cancer. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that can help reduce inflammation by neutralizing free radicals and reducing oxidative stress. Studies have shown that vitamin C supplementation can reduce levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), a marker of inflammation in the body.
4. Improves Iron Absorption
Iron is the most essential mineral that is mandatory for the production of [RBC] red blood cells. However, iron absorption can be impaired by certain dietary factors, such as phytates and tannins. Vitamin C can enhance iron absorption by reducing the form of iron that is not well absorbed by the body (non-heme iron) into a form that is more easily absorbed (heme iron). This can be especially beneficial for people with iron deficiency anemia.
5. Reduces Risk of Chronic Diseases
Studies have shown that high levels of vitamin C intake are associated with a reduced risk of chronic diseases, such as heart disease, stroke, and cancer. Vitamin C’s antioxidant properties can protect cells from damage that can lead to cancer and other chronic diseases. Additionally, vitamin C can improve endothelial function, which is important for maintaining healthy blood vessels and reducing the risk of heart disease.
6. Supports Brain Health
Vitamin C is important for brain health and may help protect against age-related cognitive decline. Studies have shown that vitamin C supplementation can improve cognitive function in older adults and may also reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.
7. Helps Manage Stress
Stress can cause the body to produce high levels of cortisol, a hormone that can damage tissues and impair immune function. Vitamin C can help reduce the effects of stress by reducing cortisol levels and improving immune function. Studies have shown that vitamin C supplementation can reduce the physical and psychological effects of stress.
8. Promotes Wound Healing
Vitamin C plays an important role in the healing of wounds and tissue repair. It is involved in the production of collagen, which is necessary for the growth and repair of tissues. Vitamin C supplementation can help speed up the healing process and reduce the risk of infections.
What if Vitamin C is Over Use
Although vitamin C is considered safe when consumed within recommended doses, excessive intake of vitamin C can cause several adverse effects. The recommended daily intake of vitamin C for adults is 75-90 mg, and the upper limit of safe intake is 2000 mg per day. Here are some potential side effects of excessive vitamin C intake:
- Digestive Issues: High doses of vitamin C can cause gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhea, nausea, and abdominal cramps. This is because vitamin C is an osmotic agent that draws water into the intestinal tract, which can lead to loose stools.
- Kidney Stones: Excessive intake of vitamin C can increase the risk of developing kidney stones, particularly in individuals who are predisposed to this condition. Vitamin C can be converted into oxalate, a compound that can form calcium oxalate crystals in the kidneys.
- Iron Overload: High doses of vitamin C can increase the absorption of iron from the diet, which can lead to iron overload in individuals with a genetic predisposition to this condition. Iron overload can cause organ damage and increase the risk of chronic diseases.
- Headaches: Some individuals may experience headaches or migraines as a result of high doses of vitamin C. This is thought to be due to the dilation of blood vessels in the brain.
- Skin Rashes: Excessive intake of vitamin C can cause skin rashes and hives in some individuals.
It is important to note that most people do not consume excessive amounts of vitamin C through their diet alone. However, individuals who take high-dose supplements should be aware of the potential risks and should consult with their healthcare provider before beginning any new supplementation regimen.
Vitamin C is an essential nutrient that is required for a wide range of biological processes in the body. It is involved in immune function, skin health, inflammation reduction, iron