Vitamin C is possibly one of the most talked about vitamins. We’ve heard about it in juice commercials and pop songs for years, but you may not know that your body doesn’t produce its own vitamin C. This might seem odd, because most other vertebrates synthesize this necessary vitamin. In any case, humans long ago learned to get all the best vitamin C benefits from food. But what are those benefits?
- Vitamin C is an antioxidant. The word “antioxidant” is used so often that we barely even know what it means anymore. In short, antioxidants prevent certain kinds of cell damage in the body. It is possible that certain health issues may be influenced by “oxidative stress”, a tissue state that occurs when there aren’t adequate antioxidants at work in the body.
- One of the most important vitamin C benefits is its role in biosynthesis. Biosynthesis refers to your body’s ability to rebuild itself. Vitamin C is necessary for the body to produce collagen, which is found in bones, muscles, the digestive tract, blood vessels, skin, and tendons. It helps the body repair itself, and keeps the skin healthy and strong.
- Vitamin C helps to support cardiovascular health. One meta-analysis of 13 different studies representing 278,459 adults showed that 5+ serving of high Vitamin C fruits and vegetables yielded a 17% reduction in very heart related problems. Its antioxidant effect (#1 above) may be to thank for this, as could potential benefits from other components of fruit and vegetables.
- One vitamin C study aimed to understand the relationship between vitamin C consumption and mortality rates from all causes. The study suggested that those with higher plasma levels of Vitamin C experienced support to various internal challenges, including improper cellular development and many other maladies associated with aging. If you’ve read this far in the list, you probably already know clues about why this might be the case. As with many microscopic events in the body, it’s hard to know exactly how A is related to B, but with vitamin C, we know enough to recommend that everyone get their daily dose!
- Research into the effect of vitamin C on people with the common cold suggests that adequate intake may provide temporary relief occasional symptoms associated with the condition. This may not seem like a big deal after the previous 4 vitamin C benefits we’ve already covered, but it is a handy thing to know when experiencing seasonal challenges.
- Vitamin C seems to be helpful for the immune system during times of physical strain and stress. As you know, our immune systems have far-reaching effects throughout our bodies. This tip alone is enough reason to take your vitamin C every single day.
Vitamin C seems to be just as well absorbed in supplemental form as it is when acquired from food. If you happen to love eating fruits and veggies, you’ll get plenty of vitamin C, and your body will thank you. But even if you don’t eat as much salads as you should, vitamin C is available in many supplements that can help you get your recommended dose every day.