Vitamin C is an essential vitamin, which means your body cannot produce it. However, it plays various roles and has been connected to remarkable health advantages. Numerous fruits and vegetables, such as oranges, strawberries, kiwi fruit, bell peppers, broccoli, kale, and spinach contain this water-soluble substance. A daily dose of 90 mg of vitamin C is advised for men and women. Although it’s generally recommended to acquire vitamin C through food sources, many people rely on supplements to fill their needs.
Here are 7 advantages of taking vitamin C supplements that have been supported by science:
1. May lower your risk of developing chronic illness
The natural defenses of your body can be strengthened by the potent antioxidant vitamin C. Molecules called antioxidants strengthen the immune system. They accomplish this by shielding cells from dangerous chemicals known as free radicals. The free radical build-up has been associated with oxidative stress; a condition that has been connected to numerous chronic diseases. According to studies, increasing your vitamin C intake can boost your blood’s antioxidant levels by up to 30%. This aids the body’s defense mechanisms as they combat inflammation.
2. Might aid in lowering high blood pressure
American individuals with high blood pressure make up about one-third of the population. You run the danger of developing heart disease, which is the world’s leading cause of death. According to studies, vitamin C may assist both those with and without high blood pressure and lower their blood pressure. A vitamin C supplement helped relax the blood arteries that carry blood from the heart, which helped lower blood pressure, according to an animal study.
Furthermore, a review of 29 research on humans revealed that taking a vitamin C supplement decreased healthy people’ average systolic blood pressure (the higher value) by 3.8 mmHg and diastolic blood pressure (the lower value) by 1.5 mmHg. Vitamin C supplementation decreased systolic blood pressure by 4.9 mmHg and diastolic blood pressure by 1.7 mmHg, on average, in persons with high blood pressure. Although the results are encouraging, it is unclear whether they will have a long-term impact on blood pressure. Furthermore, vitamin C should not be the exclusive treatment for high blood pressure.
3. May reduce your risk of developing heart disease
Numerous factors, such as high blood pressure, high triglyceride or LDL (bad) cholesterol levels, and low HDL (good) cholesterol levels, raise the risk of heart disease. By lowering these risk factors, vitamin C may also lower the risk of developing heart disease. For instance, a review of nine trials including a total of 293,172 participants indicated that those who consumed at least 700 mg of vitamin C daily had a 25% lower chance of developing heart disease than those who did not.
4. May lower blood uric acid levels and lessen the risk of gout episodes
About 4% of American adults have a kind of arthritis called gout. The joints are inflamed, particularly the big toe joints, and it is excruciatingly painful. Swelling and abrupt, excruciating pain attacks are symptoms of gout. When uric acid levels in the blood are too high, gout symptoms develop. The body creates uric acid as a waste product. It may crystallize and accumulate in the joints at high concentrations.
It’s interesting to note that research suggests vitamin C may help lower blood levels of uric acid and so assist prevent gout attacks. For instance, a study including 1,387 men discovered that individuals with higher vitamin C intakes had considerably lower uric acid blood levels than those with lower intakes.
Another investigation looked into whether vitamin C intake and the development of gout during a 20-year period in 46,994 healthy males. It was discovered that vitamin C supplement users had a 44% decreased risk of developing gout.
5. Helps prevent iron deficiency
An essential nutrient, iron serves a number of purposes in the body. Making red blood cells and distributing oxygen throughout the body depends on it. Supplemental vitamin C can facilitate better dietary iron absorption. The iron that is difficult to absorb, such as that found in plant-based sources, can be made easier to absorb with the help of vitamin C. This is especially helpful for vegetarians and vegans as meat is a significant source of iron. In fact, 100 mg of vitamin C alone may boost iron absorption by 67%.
Vitamin C may therefore assist those who are predisposed to iron deficiency in lowering their risk of anemia. In one trial, vitamin C supplements were given to 65 kids who had mild iron deficiency anemia. The pill alone, according to researchers, helped them manage their anemia.
6. Increases immunity
Since vitamin C is involved in many aspects of the immune system, increasing immunity is one of the main reasons individuals take vitamin C supplements. First, vitamin C aids in promoting the development of lymphocytes and phagocytes, two types of white blood cells that assist the body fight illness. Second, vitamin C both improves the efficiency with which these white blood cells perform as well as defends them against injury from potentially hazardous substances like free radicals. Thirdly, vitamin C is crucial to the skin’s defense mechanism. It is actively carried to the skin, where it can function as an antioxidant and support the skin’s protective barriers.
Taking vitamin C may speed up the healing process after a wound, according to studies. For instance, vitamin C levels are typically lower in pneumonia patients, and vitamin C supplementation has been demonstrated to hasten recovery.
7. Guards against memory and cognitive decline as you age
A general word used to indicate signs of poor thinking and memory is dementia. Over 35 million people worldwide are affected by it, and older folks are most frequently affected. According to studies, dementia risk may be increased by oxidative stress and inflammation in close proximity to the brain, spine, and nerves (together known as the central nervous system). An effective antioxidant is vitamin C. This vitamin has been related to a decreased capacity for thought and memory. Furthermore, it has been demonstrated that a high vitamin C intake from food or supplements protects your thinking and memory as you age.