The Benefits of Vitamin C
What can vitamin C do for your health?
The Health Benefits of Vitamin C continued...
"People who consume more fruit and vegetables will not only have higher
[blood] levels of vitamin C, but higher intake of other nutrients potentially
beneficial to health, such as fiber and other vitamins and minerals," study
researcher Phyo K. Myint said in an email interview.
4. Skin Aging. Vitamin C affects cells on the inside and outside of
the body. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical
Nutrition examined links between nutrient intakes and skin aging in 4,025
women aged 40-74. It found that higher vitamin C intakes were associated with a
lower likelihood of a wrinkled appearance, dryness of the skin, and a better
Other studies have suggested that vitamin C may also:
- Improve macular degeneration.
- Reduce inflammation.
- Reduce the risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease.
Vitamin C's Role in the Body
Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is necessary for the growth,
development and repair of all body tissues. It's involved in many body
functions, including formation of collagen, absorption of iron, the immune
system, wound healing, and the maintenance of cartilage, bones, and teeth.
Vitamin C is one of many antioxidants that can
protect against damage caused by harmful molecules called free radicals, as
well as toxic chemicals and pollutants like cigarette smoke. Free radicals can
build up and contribute to the development of health conditions such as cancer,
heart disease, and arthritis.
Vitamin C is not stored in the body (excess
amounts are excreted), so overdose is not a concern. But it's still important
not to exceed the safe upper limit of 2,000 milligrams a day to avoid stomach
upset and diarrhea.
Water-soluble vitamins must be continuously supplied in the diet to maintain
healthy levels. Eat vitamin-C-rich fruits and vegetables raw, or cook them with
minimal water so you don't lose some of the water-soluble vitamin in the
Vitamin C is easily absorbed both in food and in pill form, and it can
enhance the absorption of iron when the two are eaten together.
Deficiency of vitamin C is relatively rare, and
primarily seen in malnourished adults. In extreme cases, it can lead to scurvy
-- characterized by weakness, anemia, bruising, bleeding, and