Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin that is essential for the proper functioning of the body. It is not produced naturally by the human body, so it must be obtained through diet or supplements.
Here are some key facts about vitamin C:
Functions: Vitamin C has numerous important functions in the body. It is a powerful antioxidant that helps protect cells from damage caused by free radicals. It is also involved in collagen synthesis, which is essential for the health and maintenance of connective tissues, skin, blood vessels, and bones. Additionally, vitamin C plays a role in the absorption of iron, supports the immune system, and helps in the synthesis of certain neurotransmitters.
Immune system support: Vitamin C is well-known for its immune-boosting properties. It helps stimulate the production of white blood cells, which are crucial for fighting off infections and diseases. It also enhances the function of these immune cells, helping the body defend against pathogens.
Antioxidant properties: As an antioxidant, vitamin C helps neutralize harmful free radicals in the body. Free radicals are unstable molecules that can cause oxidative stress, leading to cell damage and various health issues. By neutralizing these free radicals, vitamin C helps protect against chronic diseases and supports overall health.
Collagen synthesis: Vitamin C is essential for the synthesis of collagen, a protein that provides structure and strength to various tissues in the body. Collagen is important for healthy skin, bones, blood vessels, and tendons. Vitamin C deficiency can lead to weakened collagen production, resulting in issues like scurvy, poor wound healing, and joint problems. It helps promote wound healing and keeps the skin healthy and youthful.
Iron absorption: Vitamin C enhances the absorption of iron from plant-based sources, such as spinach and lentils. It converts non-heme iron into a form that is easier for the body to absorb, preventing iron deficiency anemia. The bioflavonoids in it help with the absorption of iron so taking this along with your iron will help you utilize it better.
Reduced risk of chronic diseases: Adequate intake of vitamin C has been associated with a lower risk of chronic diseases, including heart disease, high blood pressure, certain cancers, and age-related macular degeneration.
Helps reduce Uric Acid: There are many people who struggle with high uric acid. When your levels are high it causes some people to have gout. Anyone that has had gout can testify that this is a very painful inflammatory issue. Several studies have shown that vitamin C may help reduce uric acid in the blood and protect against gout attacks.
Common cold prevention: While vitamin C may not prevent the common cold, it has been shown to reduce the duration and severity of cold symptoms. Regular intake of vitamin C may help support the immune system and alleviate symptoms faster.
So what are some of the signs of deficiency?
- Rough, Bumpy Skin
- Corkscrew-Shaped Body Hair
- Bright Red Hair Follicles
- Spoon-Shaped Fingernails With Red Spots or Lines
- Dry, Damaged Skin
- Easy Bruising
- Slowly Healing Wounds
- Painful, Swollen Joints
- Weak bones
- Bleeding gums
- Poor immunity
- Persistent Anemia
- Chronic inflammation
Dietary recommendations: The recommended daily intake of vitamin C varies depending on age, sex, and life stage. For adults, the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) is around 75-90 milligrams per day for women and 90-120 milligrams per day for men. However, certain conditions or situations, such as pregnancy, breastfeeding, smoking, or illness, may require higher vitamin C intake. I would also add people that have a poor diet. If you eat out a lot and are not eating fruits and vegetables then supplementing is a must.
Some of the best sources of Vitamin C are found in various fruits and vegetables, including citrus fruits (such as oranges and lemons), strawberries, kiwi, bell peppers, broccoli, and spinach. It can also be obtained through dietary supplements.
Taking vitamin C in a liposomal or nano form is best because if you take it in an oral form, for many it will cause them to have loose bowels. Many times people need a high dose of it and so it is difficult for them to get what they really need because their gut and intestines just can’t handle it. Because a nano form bypasses the gut it also increases the absorption of the vitamin C so you can take less and have better results.
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The content of this article is for informational purposes only. It’s not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or health provider before starting a new health regime or program. Do not ignore medical advice or delay seeking it because of something you’ve read on this site.
Michelle LeSueur BeP, CNC, CSN, CNS, CPT