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The Immune Boosting Power of Vitamin C

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vitamin CDuring my junior year of college, I got the dreaded illness mononucleosis. Called mono, for short, it is hands down the worst thing I have ever experienced (yes, worse than childbirth!).

I was miserable when I had mono. A horrible sore throat, tiredness and an achy body were just a few of the awful symptoms I experienced.

Within a few weeks the symptoms of my mono had, for the most part, gone away. However, it took my immune system much longer to recover.

At the time my daughter was 18 months old. We all know how germy children can be, and I found myself catching every illness that went through her day care (which is a WONDERFUL, extremely clean day care center). I had croup; hand, foot & mouth disease; ear infections; and strep throat (my daughter did not catch any of these illnesses luckily).

The mono had completely wiped out my immune system. At the time, I was not all that familiar with natural health and relatively unaware of just how beneficial vitamin C can be for the immune system.

A Healthy Immune System

The immune system is an extremely complex and important part of the body. Your immune system is responsible for keeping you healthy and keeping disease causing bacteria and viruses out of your body. No one likes being sick, so what if there was something you could do to make your immune system stronger? It may be easier than you think!

First, it’s important to note that the best thing you can do for your immune system is live a healthy lifestyle. Don’t smoke, eat a healthy diet and get regular exercise.

Another important factor in a healthy immune system is getting an adequate amount of sleep. If your body is overtired it’s harder for it to fight off bacteria and your immune system can be negatively impacted.

Another major factor is stress. The impact of stress on the immune system can be difficult to study due to the fact that stress is difficult to define. What stresses one person out might not even phase another person. Stress can negatively impact antibody production in the immune system and suppress other immune function. While the exact mechanism of action is unknown it’s widely acknowledged that stress can negatively impact your immune system.

I mentioned the importance of a healthy diet but you might be wondering what nutrients are important for promoting immune health. A variety of nutrients are currently being studied to determine their impact on the immune system. There is some evidence to suggest that the following nutrients may help support immune system health:

  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin B2
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin E
  • Zinc

Vitamin C tends to generate the most buzz when it comes to immune system health. I remember being a child and telling my mom I didn’t feel well. Her go-to response usually went something like “you need more vitamin C, drink some orange juice.” So, what exactly can vitamin C do for your immune system?

What Is It?

Vitamin C, also known as as ascorbic acid, is an important vitamin often found in citrus fruits. The immune health benefits of vitamin C can be seen in a few different ways.

Immune System Benefits

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Vitamin C may help boost the immune system through in multiple ways. Vitamin C is extremely sensitive to stress. When your body is stressed either by life situations, or by physical stressors  (alcoholism, smoking, obesity) vitamin C levels decrease, causing the immune system to weaken. Vitamin C supplementation is especially important if you live a stressful or unhealthy lifestyle.

Unfortunately, vitamin C cannot prevent the common cold. It may, however, help prevent more serious conditions from developing. If you find yourself suffering from a cold or the flu vitamin C may help reduce your risk of complications, such as lung infections, pneumonia, malaria and infections caused by diarrhea.

Vitamin C may also help protect the body against the inflammatory response that often occurs with illness or infection. Some studies have also suggested that high doses of vitamin C may help shorten the length of the common cold. Recent studies have also looked at how vitamin C impacts cancer. Vitamin C may help with cancers of the mouth or breast and may also help decrease precancerous changes in stomach tissue caused by H. pylori.

And vitamin C is an antioxidant. Antioxidants help to protect your body from damage caused by free radicals. Antioxidants also help protect the body from toxic chemicals ans pollutants. When free radicals build up they can cause diseases, such as cancer, heart disease and even arthritis.

vitamic-c-benefits

Additional Benefits

Vitamin C is beneficial for more than just the immune system. It can also provide support for the following conditions:

  • Wrinkled skin. Vitamin C may help improve wrinkles in the face caused by excessive sun exposure.
  • Blood pressure support. Vitamin C, in combination with other blood pressure treatments, may help you maintain a healthy systolic blood pressure.
  • Sunburn. When taken with vitamin E, vitamin C may help prevent sunburn.
  • Vitamin C may also help reduce your change of developing gallbladder disease. This is especially true in women.

Sources

Vitamin C can be found in a variety of fruits and vegetables so it should be easy to find a vitamin C-rich food to include in your diet.

  • Kiwi
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Strawberries
  • Oranges
  • Cauliflower
  • Spinach

If none of these are appealing to you we have multiple vitamin C supplements to choose from! Lypo-Spheric Vitamin C is one of our best sellers. Your immune system is so important to your overall health; make sure to take care of it with a healthy, daily dose of vitamin C.

How do you take care of your immune system? Feel free to share your secrets to immune health in the comment section below!

 

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2 Responses to The Immune Boosting Power of Vitamin C

  1. Anna Dawson July 30, 2013 at 3:56 am #

    This is the vitamin you need to have in order to boost your immune system. Vitamin C makes the proteins inside your body responsible for killing viruses and germs. Amazing .. Thanks for share..

    • Laura Miller September 26, 2013 at 8:57 am #

      So true Anna. I will be adding a vitamin C supplement to my regimen for the winter months!

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