Vitamin C, as you probably know, is vital to our health in numerous ways. It’s very handy. It is commonly mentioned as a beneficial nutrient to human health, but what exactly does it do? Here, we will explain some of the benefits of Vitamin C, to make the case as to why you should prioritize getting enough of it, your daily dose so to speak.
Vitamin C is known as an “essential vitamin,” meaning that it is not produced within your body, and it must be consumed from outside sources, per healthline.com.
Vitamin C: An Antioxidant
A nutrient, such as vitamin C, which serves as an antioxidant, has certain specific benefits. Antioxidants are nutrients that help rid your body of free radicals, which are “highly reactive” molecules that can have consequential destructive effects throughout the body if they build up, per allure.com. Eliminating free radicals is beneficial to the skin, immune system, and other areas of the body.
Reducing your risk of chronic disease is one of the potential benefits of regular vitamin C consumption, due to its antioxidant properties. Per healthline.com, vitamin C can increase your blood’s antioxidant levels by up to 30%. In turn, this helps your immune system work against inflammation, which is a common contributor to many chronic diseases, such as heart disease.
Boosting your skin’s natural regeneration process is a significant benefit of vitamin C’s antioxidant power. Free radicals are responsible for much of the premature-aging effects that occur on your skin. When used topically on the skin, a vitamin C serum can help prevent and cure these effects, as well as some of the “precancerous changes” caused by UV exposure, per allure.com. A vitamin C serum makes for a simple but worthwhile treatment for the skin.
Reducing the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease is also linked to having healthy levels of vitamin C. Antioxidants don’t just help the body, but the brain as well. The antioxidant effect can have a noticeable effect on reducing inflammation present in the central nervous system, including the brain, spine, and nerves, per healthline.com. This type of inflammation is strongly linked to dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Other Significant Benefits of Vitamin C
Immune response has been shown to be linked to the presence of vitamin C in the body, per nutritionadvance.com [https://www.nutritionadvance.com/vitamin-c-health-benefits/ ]. Studies show both that having enough vitamin C can help boost the immune response, and that a deficiency in vitamin C can make unwanted infection more likely. Immune health is extremely important in the winter season, so getting enough vitamin C is, too.
Collagen production is a critical role of vitamin C, because of collagen’s critical role in repairing connective tissue in joints, organs, and muscles. Per collagencomplete.com, collagen can’t be produced without vitamin C, since vitamin C is necessary for every step of collagen’s production. Getting enough vitamin C ensures that collagen can be produced. In turn, your joints and muscles are less likely to suffer damage beyond what is due to normal wear and tear.
Vitamin C might help manage high blood pressure, in that it has the potential to lower blood pressure (both in this with high blood pressure and those without), per healthline.com. The studies cited at healthline.com showed that regular consumption of a vitamin C supplement was linked with a reduction of both systolic and diastolic blood pressure in adults. This benefit presumably comes from vitamin C’s possible effect of relaxing the blood vessels.
Increased calcium absorption and bone health is made possible by vitamin C, per nutritionadvance.com. There are many ways in which nutrients work together in the body, and vitamin C’s effect on calcium absorption in the gut makes bones stronger. This collaboration helps to increase bone mass density and skeletal health.
Improvement in the absorption of iron, more specifically non-heme iron (that which is found in plants), is another positive nutrient relationship in which vitamin C plays a role, per nutritionadvance.com. Iron absorption of plants is more difficult than it is with foods made from animal products, so this can be especially helpful for those on a vegetarian or vegan diet.
Prevention of long term eye problems such as cataracts and macular degeneration is a potential benefit of getting enough vitamin C on a regular basis, per hsph.harvard.edu. The evidence for this one is inconsistent.