Vitamin C is a vitamin that is well known to many and a characteristic of citrus fruits. Its immense health benefits are behind its widespread fame and they sure are a lot. Its alternatively referred to as ascorbic acid and Vitaminfood serves you all that you need.
Vitamin C is water-soluble meaning that excesses are excreted through renal regulation and very little is stored in the body for future use. This necessitates having an effective schedule and means of maintaining a constant supply to keep these amounts within their optimal level. Our complete nutrition is designed to ease the process of maintaining a constant supply of all nutrients including 27 vitamins and minerals. Vitamin C is well catered for in Vitaminfood complete nutrition design.
Humans are also unable of producing vitamin C within their bodies. This stands true for most other vitamins and the few produced are still in inadequate supply. Fresh fruits and vegetables are another popular, reliable and advisable means of maintaining constant supply. Meal replacements on the other hand are reliable, readily available and convenient for various circumstances.
Let’s get a deep dive into the benefits of having Vitamin C in the diet.
1. Boost immune systems
Citrus fruits were linked to having a healing effect on patients suffering from upper respiratory tract infections like the common colds by the early scientists. Later, it was pegged down to Vitamin C and research has been done to prove it. Some results show only a reduction of the length of sickness by 1-2 days while others show a much greater impact.
In different research, the immune cells have been shown to have a unique ability to accumulate the vitamin and an obligate need for them to perform optimally. Phagocytes and t-cells which are major in fighting and digesting pathogens require vitamin C for peak performance. These two are responsible for the mechanisms involved in microbial killing and greatly determine the immune abilities.
It supports cellular activities for both innate and adaptive immune responses. The effects are diverse including clearance of worn-out neutrophils, preventing tissue damage by detoxification, enhances cell differentiation and proliferation of B- and T- cells.
Vitamin C can help maintain a healthy immune system. A disease infection however also greatly impacts the level of vitamin C required as the inflammation and metabolism in immune system cells demands a higher supply so it is a good idea to increase the intake on the onset of an infection or to take adequate amounts to prevent infection.
2. Absorption of iron
Vitamin C is useful in enhancing the absorption of iron from the diet. Heme iron, the one from animal sources, is fairly absorbed but has some negative effects like risks of developing cancer. Non-heme iron on the other hand, the one obtained from plant sources, is way healthier but is difficult to absorb from the food.
Taking vitamin C alongside your non-heme iron source significantly increases the amount absorbed into the bloodstream. Especially for vegans, incorporating vitamin C could help prevent iron deficiencies resulting from malabsorption.
3. Wound healing
Vitamin C is used in all stages of wound healing and this is one of the areas it is most resourceful in. it is required in wound healing to clear the pathogens and neutrophils protecting against pathogenic invasion through the wound. In the next stage, the proliferative phase, it is contributing to the synthesis, maturation and secretion of collagen.
Collagen is a structural component of the skin and its maturation determines scar formation. For certain wounds like surgery and severe accident wounds, supplementation with vitamin C might help in healing and scar formation.
4. Regulate high blood pressure
Vitamin C acts as a mild diuretic in high doses causing the kidneys to excrete more sodium and water from the body. This helps lower the blood pressure by relaxing the vessel walls. However, the effects of such high doses are yet to be established and are not recommended for frequent regulation of high blood pressure.
5. Manage and treat hemolytic anemia
Its impact on the absorption of iron can help manage hemolytic anemia which is characterized by the abnormal breakdown of red blood cells causing a deficiency and impaired function.
6. Regulate allergic reactions and hay fever affecting the nasal tract.
Vitamin C reduces blood histamine thereby keeping these reactions at bay. This could be by inhibiting its production or facilitating its degeneration. This is effective for people who suffer frequent attacks and those for whom the attacks pose a severe risk of death.
7. Neurotransmitter synthesis
Ascorbate is a cofactor for a family of biosynthetic and regulatory enzymes that affect mood and hence the good mood associated with healthy vitamin C amounts. It is required critically for the synthesis of dopamine, noradrenaline and serotonin which are all monoamine compounds.
It is also useful in the synthesis of carnitine that supports the transport of fatty acids for metabolism and helps prevent lethargy and fatigue.
8. Aid in collagen synthesis
Vitamin C is an essential factor in collagen synthesis. It sustains the two enzymes involved -prolyl hydroxylase (to stabilize the collagen molecule) and lysyl hydroxylase (to give structural strength cross-linking). These two are the enzymes involved in the formation and maintenance of mature collagen fibers.
Vitamin C also prevents their auto-inactivation which would otherwise result in scurvy-like symptoms.
9. Powerful antioxidant
It lives on the list of most important dietary antioxidants which include Vitamin C, Vitamin E and carotenoids. Most of its biological and molecular functions are also linked to its redox properties showing how important it is for our bodies to have enough Vitamin C.
Vitamin C is an antioxidant because it is able to donate a hydrogen atom and from a relatively stable ascorbyl-free radical. This increases the half-life of the oxygen atoms thereby giving it enough time to react favorably to form more stable structural or functional compounds in different reactions within the body.
This means that Vitamin C is also very effective in helping to prevent and fight of the progression of cancer to other stages. Many other chronic diseases like cardiovascular diseases can be kept off by consuming a healthy amount of Vitamin C and other antioxidants; most arise from free radicals.
It helps in lowering heart disease risk and risk of stroke. This has also been linked to solve and help in healing atrial fibrillation (irregular heartbeat seen as frequent palpitations).
Its antioxidant properties are beneficial even to those with renal infections like albuminuria which is caused by inflammation of the bladder. Many other problems caused by inflammation can be managed and their severity reduced by supplementing Vitamin C.
10. Prevents vision loss
The eye has a concentration of Vitamin C that is up to 50x greater than the concentration in plasma. This very high concentration functions to protect it against oxidative damage by light. The oxidative damage could damage the rods and cones which function as light receptors. It could also cause degeneration of the lens and the formation of cataracts. So Vitamin C helps prevent a lot of this. In old age, it is a great help to delaying these symptoms.
11. Reproductive health
Vitamin C is present in the gonads in higher amounts than several other compounds suggesting its critical role. It is linked to play a key role in sperm maturation. According to one study on its role in spermatogenesis, Vitamin C affects the number of sperms oxidized by nucleoside deoxyguanosine (this indicates the oxidative damage done to DNA). Vitamin C controlled the number of these mutations.
12. Stress management
Stress management is one of the roles of making vitamin C a popular supplement. It is well-known and proven to reduce the level of stress hormones in the blood and also reduced the signs of physical or emotional trauma.
Its role in stress management is well highlighted in a study that shows that those with higher amounts of Vitamin C in plasma are able to recover from stress much faster than those with lower levels.
“The study showed that vitamin C reduced the levels of stress hormones in the blood-and also reduced other typical indicators of physical and emotional stress, such as loss in body weight, enlargement of the adrenal glands, and reduction in the size of the thymus gland and the spleen, according to Campbell.”
“In one study German researchers subjected 120 people to a sure-fire stressor—a public speaking task combined with math problems. Half of those studied were given 1,000 mg of vitamin C. Such signs of stress as elevated levels of the stress hormone cortisol and high blood pressure were significantly greater in those who did not get the vitamin supplement. Those who got vitamin C reported that they felt less stressed when they got the vitamin.”
13. Manage lead poisoning
Several independent studies have shown a strong inverse correlation between lead amounts and ascorbic acid amounts in the blood. These findings suggest that lead poisoning especially from work or home environment exposure can to some extent be managed by adequate Vitamin C in large quantities.
Other studies have shown a weaker effect especially in trials of short periods of time like one month. Even then, the effects of lead in the body (lowering the antioxidant status of the body) were very well contained with vitamin C concentration. The level of free radicals as an effect of lead was reduced showing that even though the level of lead was still high, its effect was regulated.
14. Skin health
Vitamin C is one of the most powerful antioxidants in your body. What that translates to for skincare enthusiasts is that Vitamin C is one of the most important nutrients for smooth supple skin. It keeps away inflammation in the underlying skin layers hence no acne, rashes or itchiness within the skin. This makes your skin glow.
A deficiency in vitamin C leads to developing a condition called scurvy.
3 major symptoms include:
1. Bleeding gums and gingivitis
3. Pain in the extremities - Sudden and painful joints
Other symptoms are:
· Slow wound healing
· Weakened immune system and higher susceptibility to illnesses especially of the upper respiratory tract
· Dry and splitting hair
· Skin rash
· Skeletal and vascular lesions
Scurvy is the sickness that was dreaded by seamen and claimed many of their lives when they had to feed on biscuits and dried meats for voyages as long as 6 months. It is dangerous but totally avoidable.
In excess above 2000 micrograms/day, vitamin C has been shown to have the following effects
1. Slow the excretion of estrogen by the body
2. Stomach upset and diarrhea
4. Nausea and cramps
Vitamin C is an essential part of your living and not getting enough of it sounds pretty much like signing your death warrant. Especially with Vitaminfood complete nutrition shakes being here to deliver all the vitamin C you need, you have to get enough Vitamin C. Get your Vitamin C for a cool life.