Vitamin C is an essential nutrient for humans, and it’s one of the most researched vitamins in history. But what does vitamin C do? How much should you take? And why is it so crucial to your health? In this article, we will discuss all that and more! Read on to learn everything you need to know about vitamin C.
- 1 What Is Vitamin C?
- 2 What Does Vitamin C Do?
- 3 Vitamin C Health Benefits
- 4 Reduces Risk Of Chronic Disease
- 5 Lowers Risk Of Heart Disease
- 6 Improves Mood And Reduces Stress Levels
- 7 Helps Manage High Blood Pressure
- 8 Promotes A Healthy Pregnancy And Lowers Risk Of Preterm Births
- 9 Prevents Iron Deficiency
- 10 Protects Memory
- 11 Boosts Immunity
- 12 Improves Skin Health
- 13 Improves Vision
- 14 Helps Maintain Healthy Hair And Nails
- 15 Prevents Cancer
- 16 How Much Vitamin C Do You Need?
- 17 Sources Of Vitamin C
- 18 Vitamin C Deficiency
- 19 Health Risks From Too Much Vitamin C
- 20 Conclusion
What Is Vitamin C?
Vitamin C, also known as L-ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin. This means that it dissolves in water and can be removed from the body through urine. In humans, it’s found naturally in citrus fruits, including oranges and grapefruits. It’s also present in other foods such as green leafy vegetables like kale or spinach, papaya fruit, strawberries, and even red peppers! You don’t need to worry about getting enough vitamin C because you’re bound to get at least a little bit every day since it’s so common in food sources.
What Does Vitamin C Do?
Vitamin C is essential for proper growth and development. It’s involved in collagen synthesis, L-carnitine production, and specific neurotransmitter formation. It also aids protein synthesis by promoting the creation of new enzymes within cells. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that aids in the shape of collagen, tissues, ligaments, and blood vessels. It heals wounds and scar tissue, restores and maintains cartilage, bones, and teeth, and aids iron absorption.
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant as well. It helps combat free radicals, molecules that can damage normal cell DNA and induce early aging, inflammatory disease, and cancer in the body. Vitamin C fights free radicals by regenerating damaged cells, reducing free radical assault, and lowering the number of free radicals in the body.
Vitamin C Health Benefits
Reduces Risk Of Chronic Disease
Vitamin C can help your body’s natural defenses to improve. Antioxidants are molecules that assist the immune system in functioning properly. They do so by inhibiting the formation of free radicals in cells. Free radicals can stimulate an oxidative state, which has been linked to various chronic illnesses when they build up. According to studies, consuming more vitamin C can boost your blood antioxidant levels by up to 30%. This aids the body’s natural defenses in combating inflammation.
Lowers Risk Of Heart Disease
The number one cause of death worldwide is heart disease. High blood pressure, high triglyceride or LDL (bad) cholesterol levels, and low HDL (good) cholesterol levels contribute to an increased risk of heart disease. Vitamin C reduces the risk of atherosclerosis, which is a condition that causes plaque buildup in arteries. In general, it appears that taking or ingesting at least 500 mg of vitamin C each day lowers the risk of heart disease. However, supplements may not offer any additional heart health advantages if you already get enough vitamin C in your diet.
Improves Mood And Reduces Stress Levels
Cortisol is known as the stress hormone due to its role in helping us deal with stressful situations like exams or job interviews. Excessive cortisol secretion over long periods leads to higher anxiety and depression symptom rates because it impairs communication between nerve cells responsible for mood regulation (neurotransmitters). Vitamin C deficiency causes impaired neurotransmitter release within neuronal synapses, lowering the brain’s stress threshold. Over time, this can lead to chronic anxiety, depression, and mood swings if not dealt with properly.
Vitamin C helps to regulate cortisol levels within the body by promoting proper neurotransmitter release. This has a positive effect on mood regulation and behavior because it lowers stress rates, reducing or preventing chronic anxiety and depression symptoms from occurring.
Helps Manage High Blood Pressure
One-third of all American adults are believed to have high blood pressure. Vitamin C helps lower blood pressure in people with and without high blood pressure. Vitamin C helps by increasing levels of nitric oxide within the blood vessels. Nitric oxide widens or relaxes arteries, reducing stress on the artery walls and allowing blood to flow more easily.
Promotes A Healthy Pregnancy And Lowers Risk Of Preterm Births
Vitamin C is involved in many processes related to cell division during pregnancy. Because it’s an antioxidant that fights free radicals, vitamin C deficiency can lead to increased risk for pre-term births. These are caused by oxidative stress damage inflicted upon fetal tissues before labor begins (in most cases). Vitamin C supplementation has been linked with a lower risk of giving birth prematurely and low birth weight rates due to growth restriction in utero when taken at least 100mg each day.
Prevents Iron Deficiency
Iron deficiency anemia is a serious condition that occurs when you don’t have enough iron in your body. Iron helps produce hemoglobin, the protein inside red blood cells that allows them to carry oxygen from your lungs throughout all of your tissues and organs. Vitamin C assists by converting non-heme iron into heme, which makes up about 40% of total body iron stores while also improving absorption rates during digestion.
Dementia is a catch-all phrase for symptoms associated with poor memory and thinking. It affects over 35 million individuals worldwide and is especially common among those above the age of 65. Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant. Low levels of this vitamin have been linked to decreased cognitive function. Vitamin C helps to fight free radicals, the particles that damage cells within the brain. Free radical damage is involved in conditions like Alzheimer’s disease and dementia because it makes communication between neurons harder or impossible for them due to oxidative stress.
Vitamin C is involved in many aspects of the immune system, which is one of the reasons people take vitamin C supplements. Vitamin C is necessary to produce white blood cells, which fight bacterial and viral infections. It helps the immune system by preventing oxidative stress damage that reduces activity or kills off significant immune cell populations (such as T-cells). People with vitamin C deficiency symptoms often complain of frequent colds and flu because these conditions start due to lowered immunity from chronic infection.
Improves Skin Health
Vitamin C not only protects your skin from free radicals but also plays a vital role in collagen production within your body’s connective tissues like bones and muscles. Collagen keeps skin looking young and vibrant over time if you get plenty of this essential nutrient each day through diet alone (or supplements when needed). Many people find their wrinkles fade away after consuming plenty of vitamin C from oranges, grapefruit, and other healthy foods.
Vitamin C deficiency symptoms include eye problems like blurred vision, dry eyes, and difficulty seeing colors. Vitamin C helps make sure your cornea remains healthy by maintaining the lipid (oil) balance. This will prevent damage caused by oxidative stress that leads to conditions like cataracts or other degenerative issues with the corneas of your eyes over time.
Helps Maintain Healthy Hair And Nails
People who don’t get enough vitamin C often suffer from hair loss because this nutrient works together with iron for red blood cells (and hemoglobin) to be produced efficiently inside bone marrow tissue found throughout our tresses on top of heads everywhere! Vitamin C also assists protein formation within tissues, so nails grow strong alongside shiny and healthy hair.
Oxidative stress damages DNA and other cellular structures over time, which increases the risk of cancerous cell development inside your body because it makes cells divide uncontrollably. Vitamin C helps prevent oxidative damage thanks to its antioxidant properties, so you don’t have a higher chance of developing certain cancers (like prostate or breast). Some studies even show that vitamin C intake from foods like oranges reduces your chances by up to 50%!
How Much Vitamin C Do You Need?
The RDA for vitamin C for adults is 65 to 90 mg per day, with a daily upper limit of 2,000 mg. However, megadoses of vitamin C supplements might cause diarrhea. The NIH states that the daily recommended intake of vitamin C is as follows:
- Ages 0 – 6 months: 40 mg
- Ages 7 – 12 months: 50 mg
- Ages 1 – 3 years: 15 mg
- Ages 4 – 8 years: 25 mg
- Ages 9 – 13 years: 45 mg
- Ages 14 – 18 years: 75 mg
- Ages 19+ years: 90 mg
Vitamin C is important for pregnant women, who require approximately 75 mg per day. Vitamin C supplementation is beneficial for smokers who need 35 mg extra each day than nonsmokers.
Sources Of Vitamin C
Fresh fruits and vegetables are the best sources of vitamin C, including citrus fruit like oranges, grapefruit, lemons, limes, melons. Broccoli is a good source of this nutrient as well. Because ascorbic acid is water-soluble and is destroyed by heat, the vitamin C content of food may be reduced over time. Cooking or peeling fruit and vegetables will reduce the vitamin C content. Fortified breakfast cereals are also good sources, as well as fortified juices like orange juice.
Vitamin C Deficiency
If you don’t get enough vitamin C from your diet, symptoms such as fatigue and lethargy may result. Other signs of a deficiency include bleeding gums or nosebleeds, bruising easily, hair loss, easy weight loss (despite poor dietary choices), and frequent infections due to low immunity levels.
Health Risks From Too Much Vitamin C
Vitamin C has low toxicity and isn’t thought to cause serious adverse effects in large doses. The most frequent complaints are diarrhea, nausea, abdominal cramps, and other gastrointestinal problems due to the osmotic effect of unabsorbed vitamin C in the stomach. High intakes of vitamin C have also been linked to reduced levels of vitamin B12 and copper, accelerated metabolism or excretion of ascorbic acid, enamel erosion, and allergic reactions.
However, many of these findings were due to assay error, and additional research has not confirmed them. The FNB has set safety standards for vitamin C that apply to both food and supplement use. Long-term intakes of vitamin C above the UL may cause health problems. The ULs do not apply to persons receiving vitamin C for medical purposes, but they should be under a doctor’s care.
As you can see, vitamin C is an essential component of a healthy diet. Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that serves many purposes in the human body. It aids in the healing of wounds, the formation of collagen, and immune function. It has a lot of advantages, but there are also drawbacks to consider. Make sure not to exceed the daily recommended intake without speaking with a doctor.