In your quest for an immunity boost, I am sure you have come across the term Vitamin C –
What are these good vitamins really, and how are they beneficial to your body?
Read on and learn about the impressive benefits of Vitamin C
Vitamin C is water-soluble and found in many fruits and vegetables, including oranges, strawberries, kiwi fruit, bell peppers, broccoli, kale, and spinach.
The recommended daily intake for vitamin C is 75 mg for women and 90 mg for men.
In addition to getting Vitamin C from food, most people go the supplement way.
Here are 5 proven benefits of taking a vitamin C supplement.
May reduce your risk of chronic disease
Vitamin C is a robust antioxidant that strengthens your body’s natural defences.
Antioxidants do boost your immune system by protecting cells from harmful molecules known as free radicals.
In accumulation, free radicals lead to oxidative stress connected to several chronic diseases
Vitamin C comes to the rescue here.
Its consumptionincreases at least 30% of your blood antioxidants levels.
May help manage high blood pressure
High blood pressure puts you at risk of heart disease, the leading cause of death worldwide.
Vitamin C may help lower blood pressure in both those with and without high blood pressure.
However, people with high blood pressure should not rely on vitamin C alone for treatment.
May lower your risk of heart disease
Many factors increase the risk of heart disease, including high blood pressure, high triglyceride or LDL (bad) cholesterol levels, and low levels of HDL (good) cholesterol.
Vitamin C may help lower these risk factors, which may reduce heart disease risk.
Interestingly, an analysis of 15 studies found that consuming vitamin C from foods — not supplements — is linked to a lower risk of heart disease.
Consuming at least 500 mg of vitamin C daily may lower the risk of heart disease. However, if you already consume a vitamin-C-rich diet, then supplements may not provide additional heart health benefits.
Helps prevent iron deficiency
Iron is an essential nutrient that has a variety of functions in your body.
It’s essential for making red blood cells and transporting oxygen throughout the body.
Vitamin C supplements can help improve the absorption of iron from the diet.
Vitamin C assists in converting iron that is poorly absorbed, such as plant-based sources of iron, into a form that is easier to absorb.
This is super useful for people on a meat-free diet, as meat is a major source of iron.
Simply consuming 100 mg of vitamin C may improve iron absorption by 67%.
As a result, vitamin C may help lower the risk of anaemia among people prone to iron deficiency.
One of the main reasons people take vitamin C supplements is to boost their immunity, as vitamin C is involved in many parts of the immune system.
Vitamin C helps with the production of white blood cells known as lymphocytes and phagocytes, which help protect the body against infection.
Additionally, vitamin C helps these white blood cells function effectively while protecting them from damage by potentially harmful molecules, such as free radicals.
Vitamin C is also an essential part of the skin’s defence system. It’s actively transported to the skin, where it can act as an antioxidant and help strengthen the skin’s barriers.
Protects your memory and thinking as you age
Dementia is a broad term used to describe symptoms of poor thinking and memory.
It affects over 35 million people worldwide and typically occurs among older adults.
Researches suggest that oxidative stress and inflammation near the brain, spine, and nerves (altogether known as the central nervous system) can increase the risk of dementia.
Unproven claims about vitamin C
While vitamin C has many scientifically proven benefits, it also has many unfounded claims supported by either weak evidence or no evidence at all.
Here are some unproven claims about vitamin C:
- Prevents the common cold. While vitamin C appears to reduce the severity of colds and recovery time by 8% in adults and 14% in children, it does notprevent
- Reduces cancer risk. Some studies connect vitamin C intake to a lower risk of several cancers. However, most studies have found that vitamin C does not affect the risk of developing cancer.
- Protects against eye disease. Vitamin C has been linked to lower risks of eye diseases like cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. However, vitamin C supplements do not affect or may even cause harm.
- May treat lead toxicity. Although people with lead toxicity appear to have low vitamin C levels, there is no strong evidence from human studies that show vitamin C can treat lead toxicity.
The bottom line
Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that must be obtained from the diet or supplements.
It has been linked to many remarkable health gains, such as increasing antioxidant levels, lowering blood pressure, shielding against gout attacks, promoting iron absorption, boosting immunity, and decreasing heart disease and dementia risk.