Vitamin C is one of the most important micronutrients that the human body needs everyday. While you’ve probably heard that Vitamin C helps strengthen your body’s immune system, most people don’t know that it’s also a key element in building blood vessels, muscle, and collagen. Vitamin C helps the body absorb iron, protect against free radicals, and heal wounds. All this is in addition to the role it plays in boosting your body’s response to infections and viruses.
Despite its value to so many of the body’s systems, we can’t make or store Vitamin C on our own. Vitamin C must come from outside sources, like food or health supplements. Because it’s water-soluble, it’s important to replenish your source of Vitamin C on a daily basis, to ensure you’re getting enough of it.
What is Ascorbic Acid?
Vitamin C is also known as ascorbic acid, sodium ascorbate, or calcium ascorbate. If you see any of these on a label, they’re referring to Vitamin C.
Vitamin C Benefits
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant on its own, but it also plays a key role in many of the body’s most important functions. Some of the many benefits of Vitamin C include:
The body needs Vitamin C to form collagen. Collagen isn’t just what keeps your skin looking youthful and elastic; it also forms about one-third of all the protein in your body, and is essential to maintaining supple joints. The body uses Vitamin C to help create and regulate healthy intracellular levels of collagen.
The body is often exposed to free radicals from toxins in our environment, like tobacco smoke, air pollution, and ultraviolet light. A buildup of free radicals can lead to oxidative stress, a condition associated with a number of chronic diseases. Vitamin C is one of the main micronutrients that the body uses to neutralize free radicals. Some studies show that regularly consuming Vitamin C can boost your blood antioxidant levels by as much as 30%, lowering inflammation and supporting your immune system.
While the links between Vitamin C and the brain are still being understood, studies have shown that higher Vitamin C intake can protect your cognitive functioning and memory as you age. Conversely, lower levels of Vitamin C are associated with impaired thinking, reduced memory capacity, and even a heightened risk of dementia.
Have you ever been told to eat less red meat? While meat-based sources of iron are easier for your body to absorb, plant-based sources are often a healthier option overall. Vitamin C can solve the mismatch. Consuming around 100 mg of Vitamin C daily may improve iron absorption by up to 67%.
The bottom line? Vitamin C isn’t just important on its own - it also helps your body absorb and regulate the other nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that it needs to function at full capacity.
Vitamins to Boost Immune System
Among Vitamin C’s many benefits, probably the best known is the positive impact it has on the human immune system. Vitamin C stimulates the production of white blood cells, the main defenders of the human body. When a foreign substance like bacteria or a virus is introduced into the body, white blood cells recognize the invasion, and flock to the area to fight off the problem. Vitamin C helps ensure your body has enough white blood cells to do so, and also helps them function more effectively. Vitamin C protects white blood cells from damage by free radicals, so that they can devote all their attention to keeping the rest of your body healthy. Finally, Vitamin C helps strengthen your skin’s barrier, preventing some bacterial invaders from getting inside the body at all.
Does Vitamin C Help With the Common Cold?
For all of the magic that Vitamin C can do for your immune system, it’s important to understand its limitations when you get sick. Taking Vitamin C has been shown to reduce recovery time from the common cold by around 8 to 14%, but it won’t stop you from being sick. Vitamin C is best when taken regularly, to keep your body healthy.
Vitamin C Supplement Amounts
The amount of Vitamin C that your body needs varies at different ages, and can fluctuate due to hormonal or environmental reasons. Smokers especially need more Vitamin C than non-smokers do, as cigarette smoke increases both the amount of free radicals in the body and the damage done by them.
The average non-smoking adult needs at least 75 to 90 mg of Vitamin C per day. The recommended maximum intake is 2,000 mg per day.
Ways to Get More Vitamin C
One of the simplest ways to get more Vitamin C is to take immune system vitamins, like Revive’s Immune Multi. These once-daily vitamins help provide the essential nutrients that your body needs to function properly. This potent blend of immune system booster vitamins contains not only building-block micronutrients like Vitamins C, A, D, and B12, but also the antioxidant-rich trio of alpha-lipoic acid, N-acetyl cysteine, and acetyl L-carnitine, broccoli seed extract and more. The end result can help protect your immune system, boost your antioxidant protection, support your cellular health, and jumpstart your energy reserves.
Another excellent source of Vitamin C comes from fresh fruits and vegetables. When eaten raw, foods like red and green peppers, oranges, grapefruits, strawberries, kiwi, spinach, tomatoes, and peas are all good sources of Vitamin C. However, cooking or heating these foods can destroy their Vitamin C content. Anyone on a limited diet or with certain gastrointestinal disorders may want to consider adding a supplement into their routine to ensure they get enough Vitamin C.