What Does Vitamin C Do For The Body?
Vitamin C is widely used in marketing.
Think about when you were a kid- orange juice was seen as a huge health staple, why? Because of it's touted Vitamin C.
Vitamin C packets became all the rage to take right before travel.
When someone is getting sick, one of the first things people tell them to do is "get your Vitamin C!"
But what does Vitamin C really do for the body? Are there more benefits than just helping us out when we're sick?
What Is Vitamin C?
Vitamin C is found in a bunch of different foods. It's often seen in skincare and sold as supplements. Scientifically, Vitamin C is known as ascorbic acid and ascorbate. Vitamin C is a nutrient, an essential nutrient in fact, that plays a part in repairing tissue. It also plays a big role in the enzymatic production of specific neurotransmitters. Vitamin C is also needed to form collagen- which decreases year by year as we age.
Because Vitamin C is essential, it means our body can't make it on its own. The recommended intake for women is around 75 mg and for men, 90 mg. Vitamin C is also water-soluble.
Benefits of Vitamin C
Lowering Blood Pressure
Vitamin C can help lower blood pressure for adults that already have high blood pressure, and also healthy adults. Making it a vitamin that is beneficial for all.
There have been studies done on blood pressure in regards to Vitamin C. When taking Vitamin C supplements, people saw reduced systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure.
Vitamin C may be able to support in relaxing blood vessels (which carry blood to the heart) that can in turn-- help lower blood pressure. The study done was one on animals- and they claimed that more studies were needed to see how this impacts blood pressure long term.
Lowers Risk Of Heart Disease
There was a meta-analysis done on 13 different controlled trials when it comes to Vitamin C. The study was to look at what taking 500 mg/daily did for lowering one's risk of heart disease, and what it did for their blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels. The findings of the analysis concluded that taking a vitamin C supplement reduced “bad” LDL cholesterol and blood triglycerides. Such a great thing as these are both connected to heart disease! Vitamin C is shown to directly link to how healthy a heart is.
There was another study done on individuals taking up to 700mg/daily and the results were impressive. Those who took Vitamin C daily had a 25% less chance of heart disease than those who did not. However, it is unclear if those who took the Vitamin C also had a much healthier diet than those who didn't take Vitamin C-- making them healthier overall and thus helping to lower their risk of heart disease.
Helps To Improve Iron Absorption
Many people are deficient in iron- a nutrient that is needed to make red blood cells and transport oxygen throughout the body. Thankfully- Vitamin C can help!
Vitamin C has been shown to help increase the bioavailability of iron. Especially iron that is poorly absorbed- like those from plant-based sources (Sorry Vegans!) But no fear-- studies have been extremely positive in reporting how much even 100mg of Vitamin C can help absorption. (Up to 67%! Wow!)
These studies are especially promising for those with anemia as they often need more iron, and a way to get more iron is by supplementing with Vitamin C.
Vitamin C Helps Boosts Immunity
Aw yes. The one nearly everyone is familiar with! Vitamin C boosting immunity. But how does it boost immunity? By helping white blood cells functions better.
Oh, but it doesn't only assist them in functioning properly, it also helps in the production of white blood cells period! White blood cells help the fight off infections and it's pretty incredible that Vitamin C plays such a big role.
Vitamin C also helps white blood cells from protecting them from free radicals. This is because Vitamin C is a strong antioxidant. It can even help the skin's barrier!
Vitamin C has been shown to help with ulcers- this study was done in combination with zinc and arginine. Another study was done on 20 individuals with pressure sores and those who were intaking a Vitamin C supplement experienced faster healing.
Vitamin C Helps With Cognitive Function
Dementia, depression, memory and simply the ability to think. Vitamin C has an impact on all of these.
A big reason for dementia is inflammation and oxidative stress near the brain. Vitamin C being an antioxidant, can help fight off inflammation and oxidative stress. Studies with elderly populations have shown that those who regularly took Vitamin C had stronger cognitive functionality than those who did not.
Another study showed that those who took Vitamin C and Vitamin E regularly were able to hold on to their sharp memory and thinking skills for longer than those who did not. It should be known that those who got their Vitamin C from food did much better. Those who got their Vitamin C from food and supplementation came in second, and those who got their Vitamin C simply from supplementation came in third. However, supplementation of Vitamin C is much better than no Vitamin C at all!
If you're wondering what food has the most Vitamin C-- it's Camu Camu!
Many people who battle with depression are thought to have certain nutritional deficiencies. One of those being Vitamin C. There has been promise showing the intake of Vitamin C can help those with depression. Specifically in this study, children with depression were looked at and they found that getting in more Vitamin C had a positive impact on the severity of their depression.
Immunity-Boosting Vitamin C Latte
This beverage is for those who are about to travel, those who are around people who are sick, and those who are already sick!
Did you know Camu Camu, by scale, has more natural Vitamin C than any other food on the planet? Sourcing is important, you want the highest of quality! Ours is top-notch- and will last you a long time!
In this recipe, you will see that we also supplement with elderberry- which is incredible for when you are sick or preventing sickness.
Courtesy of Katey Yurko @thevioletfog