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What Is Vitamin C and What Does It Do?

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From combating the sniffles to keeping our skin & immune system healthy, there are so many claims associated with vitamin C. Find out what it is here.

From combating the sniffles to keeping our skin healthy and giving us a boost of energy when we need it, there are so many claims associated with this vitamin, you must be wondering what really is vitamin C and what does it actually do? In this article we’re looking at why our bodies need vitamin C and why it’s important to make sure we get enough of this nutrient.Vitamin C

What is vitamin C?

Vitamin C (also known as L-ascorbic acid) is a water-soluble vitamin. It is essential to many processes in the human body, from cell growth to iron absorption, but it can’t be produced internally which means we have to rely on foods or supplements to get the amount of vitamin C we need.

What does vitamin C do?

woman with orange and orange juiceVitamin C may help cells grow

Studies show that vitamin C may have an important role in helping some of the tiniest building blocks in our body proliferate. Vitamins C works its magic at the microscopic level by supporting the cells’ growth cycle. It’s amazing that any time we reach for an orange or other vitamin-C-rich foods, all that goodness helps every single tissue in our body function as it should.

Vitamin C may help with iron absorption

Vitamin C makes a great team with other nutrients too. According to recent research, vitamin C may help us make the most out of the iron in our diet by promoting a better absorption. One more reason to give orange green smoothies a go!

Vitamin C may support the immune system

Experts have studied the effects of vitamin C on our immune system as well. This tiny molecule seems to be involved in so many different processes meant to defend us from micro-organisms such as microbes. It enhances various functions of our immune cells, boosting our organism’s ability to kill pathogens, and it may even help prevent and treat respiratory infections.

Vitamin C may help our bodies synthesise collagen

Collagen is one of the main proteins in our body because of its important role in forming the tissues in our hair, skin and nails. Recent studies suggest that Vitamin C may play a key role in boosting collagen synthesis. If your skincare routine includes vitamin-C-rich lotions, a study from 2015 suggests that this nutrient may indeed be used in topical skin rejuvenation therapies thanks to its collagen-boosting properties.

Vitamin C may limit the damaging effects caused by free radicals

Research also indicates that Vitamin C acts as a powerful antioxidant, limiting the action of free radicals in our bodies. These substances are involved in oxidative damage affecting tissues which is one of the factors leading to illnesses such as cancer. Although more studies are being conducted to determine if vitamin C’s antioxidant powers have a direct effect on managing illnesses, we know that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables helps our bodies fight diseases more effectively.

Does vitamin C help with cold?woman juicing lemons

One of the most famous claims about what vitamin C does is its much-touted ability to fight off the common cold. Although we’ve all been tempted at some point to reach out for a glass of orange or lime juice whenever we feel mild cold symptoms, there is actually little evidence to support the theory that vitamin C can keep us cold-free.

If you’re looking for ways to boost your immune system, check out our article next. From eating a well-balanced diet to sleeping more, you’ll find many helpful tips to boost your general health and wellbeing, which may give you extra ammunition against viruses and bacteria.

 

Sources:

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

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/219352

https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements-vitamin-c/art-20363932

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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