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Vitamin C And The Immune System: How Does It Help?

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What better way to naturally boost the immune system than a dose of Vitamin C. Find out how Vitamin C can support your immune system, with MyVybe.

Our immune system is a vital part of our body that enables us to stay healthy and allows our body to function correctly. Being able to fight off invasive viruses, bacteria and parasites is essential to keeping our body safe and healthy, so how can we ensure that our immune system has the best chance of doing this? One way is by what we choose to consume. Choosing the right foods that contain the essential vitamins and minerals can be tricky but one vitamin sure to aid in the functioning of the immune system is vitamin C.vitamin C

What is vitamin C?

Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is an essential nutrient needed by the body to carry out many different functions and found in many different foods as part of a balanced diet.

Vitamin C is not something that can be produced or stored efficiently by the body as this vitamin dissolves once ingested, therefore it should come from food sources or vitamin supplements.

Vitamin C can be found in many fruits and vegetables; particularly citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons, limes, kiwi and grapefruit. Good sources of vitamin C come from other foods too such as:

  • Strawberries
  • Blackcurrants
  • Tomatoes
  • Red and green peppers
  • Broccoli
  • Spinach
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Potatoes

What does vitamin C do?

Vitamin C is necessary for the growth, development and repair of all body tissues. It plays an important role in many body functions that include:

  • Repairing of cells and collagen formation
  • Maintenance of healthy skin, blood vessels, bones, cartilage and teeth
  • Removal of unwanted substances from the body
  • Absorption of iron
  • Wound healing
  • Functioning of the immune system

More information on Vitamin C can be found in our guide What Is Vitamin C and What Does It Do?

How does vitamin C support the immune system?

Vitamin C is essential for all internal systems in our body as it is a nutrient that possesses anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It particularly aids the immune system by helping to repair and replenish the cells within the body and its anti-inflammatory qualities also helps to prevent infection.

A powerful antioxidantimmunity booster vegetables

As a powerful antioxidant, Vitamin C helps to direct immune cells called neutrophils to the site of infection and defends these cells against free radicals in the body. Free radicals are charged particles that can damage cells, tissues and genetic material and if a build occurs this can lead to harmful inflammation.

As well as fighting against free radicals, vitamin C helps to activate several key enzymes in the body, which regulate hormones and these hormones help to control the body’s effective immune response to severe infections.

Cell regeneration and healing

Vitamin C is essential in the healthy production of cells as it is used to form collagen, a fibrous protein in connective tissue that is produced and used in all essential systems within the body. Collagen is also produced in skin cells and provides the essential structure to skin as well as aiding in the wound healing process.

How much vitamin C to take

Studies have shown that consuming more vitamin C can increase blood antioxidant levels and this can help the body’s natural defences to fight inflammation.

The recommended daily intake of vitamin C for adults is 75 mg for women and 90 mg for men.

Cases of vitamin C deficiency are mainly seen in malnourished adults and although cases are very rare it can lead to a number of various problems. In extreme cases, it can lead to scurvy which is a disease that can cause:woman drinking orange juice

  • Body weakness and aching
  • Anaemia
  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Bleeding
  • Oral health problems

Scurvy is rare as symptoms of malnourishment can often be treated by simply adding fruit and vegetables to a diet and more specifically adding Vitamin C either from food sources or food supplements.

If you feel that you may be Vitamin C deficient then consult your doctor first before making changes to your diet or taking supplements.

See our guide on how to boost your immune system naturally for more information on the best ways to improve the overall effectiveness of your immune system.

 

Sources

https://www.webmd.com/diet/features/the-benefits-of-vitamin-c

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/vitamin-c-benefits

https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/vitamin-c/

 

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