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The Top Health Benefits of Vitamin C - Life Botanics

The Top Health Benefits of Vitamin C - Life Botanics

The Top Health Benefits of Vitamin C 

The human body does not produce its own vitamin C, however it is an essential nutrient used to help form and preserve skin cells, bones and blood vessels and provides many health benefits. Known as a water soluble ascorbic acid we get from many fruits and vegetables, the body does not store excess vitamin C in body tissues for later use. Therefore, it is incredibly important to understand your vitamin C intake and maintain healthy levels of vitamin C daily.

In this article, we will give you the lowdown on all the awesome benefits of vitamin C, how much you should be taking, the mg of vitamin c in food sources and the types of vitamin C supplements you can take to ensure your body is getting this essential nutrient it needs.

What does Vitamin C do in the body?

The most crucial process the body needs vitamin C for is to produce collagen. As one of the most abundant proteins in our body, used in connective tissue for bones, muscle ligaments and tendons, collagen is incredibly important to essentially hold our body together. Without vitamin C, our body would not be able to stimulate and start the collagen production process.

The body also needs vitamin C to produce neurotransmitters and blood vessels, which support brain health. Vitamin C's role is to turn the neurotransmitter dopamine into noradrenalin and adrenalin, which control our brains signal for our mood and motor skills.

Another great fact about Vitamin C is that it has antioxidant properties which fight free radicals formed in the body. It's important for us to regulate free radicals as they are volatile molecules with unpaired electrons that can cause damage to cells, lead to ageing and induce health conditions. Our body produces some antioxidants but relies on a balanced diet and nutrients in order to fully regulate free radicals.

These are the main processes vitamin C is involved in to ensure proper functioning of our brain and body, however there are many more health benefits of vitamin C that help our bodies thrive. Trust us, by the end of this article you are going to want to eat your fruits and vegetables or take vitamin C supplements daily so you can shine every day!

A Summary of the health benefits of Vitamin C

Vitamin C may:

  1. Support skin health
  2. Help Boost the immune system
  3. Help Regulates Iron Absorption
  4. Helps in Reducing risk of heart disease and improving cardiovascular health
  5. Help manage high blood pressure
  6. Help Lower the risk of chronic diseases
  7. Aid in decreasing uric acid levels
  8. Aid relief of allergy symptoms
  9. Help ease common cold symptoms
  10. Help Preserve memory during the ageing process

The Benefits of Vitamin C Full Breakdown

1. Support skin health

The collagen protein supports the structural integrity of our skin cells and connective tissue and having an abundance of collagen helps our skin look youthful, radiant and hydrated. As vitamin C is required for the production of collagen, it goes without saying that it directly benefits our skin health. As we age, our collagen production process slows so it is vital we provide our body with the vitamin C nutrients it needs to balance this production.

Antioxidants that fight free radicals formed in the body that can prevent damage to skin cells and reduce signs of ageing. If our skin is exposed to toxicity like smoking, air pollution, UV rays and chemicals, we produce more free radicals and need more antioxidants to restore the balance. Vitamin C antioxidant properties help prevent damage to skin cells and keep our skin looking healthy for longer.

3. Help Regulate Iron Absorption-

Vitamin C helps the body absorb iron by taking uneasily absorbed iron, such as from plant sources, and turning it into molecules that can be absorbed. Iron is an essential nutrient required to make red blood cells and move oxygen around the body so needs to be absorbed easily. Those on a meat free diet should boost their vitamin C intake to help your body process the Iron you do consume.

If you have an iron deficiency, some experts recommend taking vitamin C as well as Iron to ensure your body absorbs all forms of Iron.

4. Help in Reducing risk of heart disease and improving cardiovascular health

Heart disease risk is increased a number of reasons, including high cholesterol and high blood pressure. A 10 year research study suggests vitamin C may help reduce the risk of heart disease and cardiovascular disease. Those who took 700mg vitamin c supplements daily were 25% less at risk of heart disease.

5. Help manage high blood pressure

Vitamin C is believed to manage high blood pressure as it may act as a diuretic, which helps your body get rid of excess sodium. When we remove sodium and water from the body, it helps our blood vessels to relax and therefore leads to lower blood pressure.

6. Help Lower the risk of chronic diseases

As vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant, it can help reduce the risk of oxidative stress on our cells and boost our immune system to fight harmful molecules. If free radicals and harmful toxins are unmanaged, they can lead to a chronic disease so it is important to keep a healthy antioxidant level and improve our immune system, this is where vitamin C may help.

7. Aid in decreasing uric acid level

Uric acid is a waste produced by the body but it can build up with water retention in our blood and sometimes deposit into joints. Too much uric acid can happen when we drink too much soda, alcohol or eat a lot of sugar and the build up can lead to gout, a very painful inflammation of the joints.

Studies have shown those with a higher diet of vitamin C manage to lower their levels of uric acid and therefore had a lower risk of gout overall.

8. Aid relief of allergy symptoms

Allergy symptoms are a reaction, such as sneezing, swelling and a rash, that can happen when our immune system thinks there is a foreign attack (allergen) and produces histamine for a protective effect. Some research shows vitamin C, with its antioxidant effect, can be a natural antihistamine and may reduce inflammation after an allergy reaction.

9. Help ease common cold symptoms

Vitamin C has long been thought of as a natural way of fighting a common cold or flu. The studies on this health benefit are inconclusive on actually preventing them, but it is known that vitamin C can help reduce the strength of the symptoms.

As vitamin C can improve our immune system, giving it an extra dose can have an effect of boosting our ability to fight common cold symptoms.

10. Help Preserve memory during the ageing process

Free radicals can cause oxidative stress and studies show that if this stress affects brain cells and the nervous system, it can lead to dementia. As vitamin C is a strong antioxidant, it may help our body fight off these harmful molecules to prevent them from affecting our brain's ability to think and remember.

How much Vitamin C: The recommended dietary allowance for men, women and pregnant individuals

As Vitamin C is a water soluble, we are required to keep our levels of vitamin C topped up daily. Smokers require higher levels of vitamin C as their body is exposed to toxins which can deplete the vitamin C intake quicker.

Pregnant and lactating individuals also require more vitamin C as their intake is used in more body processes than standard.

The recommended daily allowance of Vitamin C is the minimum amount of the mineral you should be getting for adequate function. For male adults, 90mg of daily vitamin C is required whereas female adults need 75mg of vitamin C as a daily minimum.

Research shows that those with a high intake of vitamin C have a reduced risk of health conditions and a boosted immune system. It is advocated that you can take 700mg - 1,000mg of vitamin C daily to boost your body's levels, especially if you have a vitamin C deficiency.

 

RDI Vitamin C Australia

How long does Vitamin C stay in your body?

Due to being a water soluble, Vitamin C does not stay in your body very long because our body can actually utilise 80% of our Vitamin C intake within 24 hours. Any excess will be excreted anywhere between 24 hours and 10 days, depending on a number of individual factors.

What happens if you take too much Vitamin C?

As our body will excrete excess vitamin C quite quickly, it is not common to overdose on vitamin C. Studies have shown, however, that those who exceed 2,000mg of daily vitamin C can cause:

  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach cramps
  • Heartburn
  • Headaches
  • Kidney Stones

It is safe to stick to 1,000mg a day of vitamin C.

Food Sources of Vitamin C

We require all of our vitamin C intake from food so it is important that we check our intake daily. It is always recommended to prioritise getting essential vitamins, herbs and minerals from a healthy diet and luckily vitamin C is found in many food sources to help us keep a varied diet:

  • Guava, 1 cup (377mg)
  • Orange juice, 1 cup (124mg)
  • Tomato juice, 1 cup (170mg)
  • Red Capsicum, 1 cup (190mg)
  • Green Capsicum, 1 cup (120mg)
  • Strawberries, 1 cup (97.6mg)
  • Broccoli, 1 cup (81.2mg)
  • Lemon, 1 (44.5mg)
  • Cauliflower, 1 cup (51.6mg)
  • Pineapple, 1 cup (78.6mg)
  • Potato, large (72.7mg)
  • Brussels Sprouts, 1 cup (74.8mg)
  • Mango, 1 cup (60.1mg)

Vitamin C Supplementation

If you have a vitamin C deficiency or would like to boost your intake then supplementation is a great way of bridging that gap from a healthy diet. There are many ways you can take a vitamin C supplement which vary in dosage.

Oral Vitamin C supplements

A vitamin C supplement tablet or capsule is great way of getting your high intake of vitamin C in one go. Usually the dosage is between 500 and 1,000mg and can be easily absorbed into the body through your stomach.

Vitamin C Water Supplement

Often added with vitamin B, magnesium and zinc, water vitamin C supplements provide many benefits. As you are required to dissolve it in a glass of water every morning, these types of vitamin C supplements help you start your day with water which has many proven health benefits for energy, brain function and metabolism speed.

Vitamin C Serums

Topical creams using vitamin C may help improve your skin health, hydration and reduce redness.

However, it is recommended to take vitamin c supplements orally as the most beneficial element of vitamin C is starting the production of Collagen. Taking vitamin C and a Collagen powder together may boost your body's natural production to help improve skin health overall.

Collagen powder is often thought of as a beauty supplement for women, but there are many collagen health benefits for men such as increased muscle mass, muscle recovery and supporting hair growth.

Formulas with Other Vitamins

Often vitamin C is added to formulas with other herbs, minerals and vitamins to help give your body a number of nutrients that work together on one health benefit or may boost your antioxidant levels overall. Look out for formulas with vitamin C and:

The Vitamin C Rundown

So, now you know all the amazing things about vitamin C, will you be taking vitamin C supplements or increasing your fruit and veggie intake?

As vitamin C is essential for brain function, collagen production, aiding neurotransmitters, absorbing iron, fighting harmful cells and boosting our immune system, we think it's a no brainer.

Not only can vitamin C improve collagen production to keep us looking younger for longer, it may also help prevent chronic diseases so we can live long and healthy lives! It's important to give our body vitamin C daily so whether you do that through food only or taking vitamin c supplements, you could be on your way to healthy skin, a boosted immune system and improved body function.

 

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