What are Vitamin C benefits for Health?
The cause of ancient haemorrhagic disease scurvy leads to the unrelenting search of Vitamin C, and since then it is very well recognised for the spectra of benefits it offers to the human race. Isolated in 1928, Vitamin C is essential for the development and maintenance of connective tissues in the body and formulations containing Vitamin C are dominating the skincare industry.
But do you know…
What are the Vitamin C benefits for overall health and well-being?
Revealed from many studies, vitamin C acts as an enzyme, co-factor, co-substrate and a potent antioxidant for various body reactions and metabolic processes.
Although, humans are unable to produce this vitamin due to absence of L-gluconolactone oxidase enzyme. Therefore, vitamin C intake purely depends on the diet; major sources are citrus fruits (oranges and grapefruit), kiwi, broccoli, brussels sprouts, green and red pepper, strawberries, tomatoes, cantaloupe and potatoes.
Our body requires a certain amount of vitamin C daily to prevent various health problems.
What are these requirements?
According to the norms of NIH, the daily requirement of vitamin C depends on your age.
For children – 15 to 45 mg
For teen (girl and boy) – 65 and 75 mg
For adult men – 90 mg
For adult women – 75 mg
During pregnancy – 80 mg
First, let’s explore what vitamin C supplement benefits we have if we take adequate vitamin C in our diet?
- Provides strong Antioxidant Protection
Antioxidants are crucial for the human body as they prevent free radical damage. Free radicals are molecules, generated either due to UV radiations or pollutants exposure or as by-products of metabolic processes. These molecules are extremely reactive and can harm cellular components, which may become the base of certain diseases.
Here antioxidants play their role and being a potent antioxidant; the presence of vitamin C is significant to counter such free radicals.
According to research studies, vitamin C also helps to protect other vitamins like vitamin E and vitamin A from the deteriorating effects of oxidation.
But How Vitamin C reverses the effect of free radicals?
By donating their electrons, vitamin C neutralizes the free radicals. However, the transfer of electrons does not turn the antioxidants into free radicals as they are stable in any form.
- Protects From Numerous Cardiovascular Diseases
A problem in which arteries become narrowed due to build-up of cholesterol in the wall of the artery. The reason behind is the oxidative modification of low-density lipoprotein (bad cholesterol).
Vitamin C helps to prevent this oxidation of LDL. Along with this, vitamin C also strengthens the wall of arteries by preventing unwanted adherence of white blood cells to the artery wall and synthesizing collagen.
Cardiovascular Therapy Supplement
By improving nitric oxide production and neutralize reactive oxygen species, vitamin C helps to prevent specific problems occurring after certain cardiovascular therapies, consequently reduces hospital stay and helps in fast recovery.
Lowers Blood Pressure
Vitamin C also helps to reduce the blood pressure by enhancing nitric oxide production of endothelium and even suggested as an adjuvant for antihypertensive therapy.
- Protects From Common Cold
Due to significant antihistamine effect and immune-boosting properties, vitamin C remarkably reduces the duration of the common cold.
- Strengthens the Immune System
Vitamin C exhibits various significant positive impacts on the immune system of humans. It remarkably improves immunity by boosting the natural killer cell production and antimicrobial properties, chemotaxis and white blood cell growth.
- Speeds up the Fat Metabolism
Vitamin C is an essential component of muscle carnitine synthesis, which is very necessary for fatty acid metabolism. This helps in improving burning off excessive fat which leads to a reduction in obesity.
- Reduces the Risk Of Neurodegenerative Diseases
Vitamin C also helps to synthesis catecholamine, an essential neurotransmitter needed for transferring signals necessary to regulate processes such as blood pressure, blood glucose levels, fight or flight response, and heartbeat.
Besides this, it also strengthens the neuron structure and survival. All these lead to improved recognition, free recall and vocabulary.
- Improves Iron Absorption
Conversion of ferric iron into ferrous iron is also the main attributes of vitamin C. It improves iron absorption in the body, thereby prevents anaemia, weak immunity and cognitive impairment.
- Helps In Treating Eye Problems
In the eye lens, vitamin C is present in high concentrations.
Being a powerful reducing agent, it lowers oxidative stress and protects the lens. It is also beneficial for patients who are suffering from cataracts and macular degeneration. Except this, vitamin C maintains the integrity of the eye’s connective tissues and blood vessels.
- Provides Photo-protection
Due to its extraordinary antioxidant properties, it protects skin from free radicals and the harmful effects of UVA and UVB rays. Not only this, but it also plays an essential role in collagen synthesis and reducing melanin formation. Vitamin C reduces the hyper-pigmentation by hindering the production of tyrosinase enzyme, which is crucial for melanin production.
All these vitamin C benefits provide human Health with a shield of protection from various diseases.
But, If the concentration of vitamin C increases in our body!
Well, vitamin C found to have very low toxicity and does not cause any significant side effects if taken in high doses.
But, when its concentration rises too high, it may cause problems like,
- Abdominal Cramps
- High Uric Acid Secretion
- Other gastrointestinal issues
- Excessive Iron Absorption (leads to tissue damage in persons suffered from hereditary hemochromatosis)
Also, if postmenopausal women with diabetes who are taking high supplementation of vitamin C, found to be on the higher risk of cardiovascular diseases.
So, always try to maintain a balanced concentration of vitamin C in your body. However, some people are not able to maintain healthy levels of vitamin C and as compared to others, are at more risk of vitamin C inadequacy.
Who is at more risk of vitamin C inadequacy?
Infants fed on boiled cow’s milk instead of mother’s milk
The mother’s milk is a good source of vitamin C and infants who rely more on cow’s milk instead of mother’s, found to at risk of vitamin C deficiency.
People suffering from chronic diseases
Individuals with chronic hemodialysis, intestinal malabsorption, cachexia, and end-stage renal diseases found to be at more risk of vitamin C deficiency.
According to some studies, passive smokers are also at risk of having vitamin C insufficiency due to lower plasma and leukocyte vitamin C levels.
People who are consuming limited food
Eating only one variety of fruits and vegetables which contain no dietary vitamin C can cause vitamin C deficiency.
These are some conditions which you should take care to protect yourself from vitamin C deprivation.
Last but not least!
Vitamin C can also interact with some of the medications, for instance.
According to some studies, it is found that antioxidant properties of vitamin C may protect tumour cells from the effect of radiation and chemotherapeutic medications. However, other studies deny it.
By combining with medicines of this class, vitamin C may enhance the levels of high-density lipoproteins.
Therefore, always contact your physician before having any supplementation of vitamin C.
So, by taking care of these things and having an adequate diet enriched with vitamin C or take dietary supplement , you will get an active, wholesome and healthy life.