Vitamin C, also known as L-ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin that is naturally present in some foods, added to others, and available as a dietary supplement. Humans, unlike most animals, are unable to synthesize vitamin C endogenously, so it is an essential dietary component.
May reduce the risk of chronic diseases
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that can strengthen your body’s natural defenses. Antioxidants are molecules that boost the immune system. They do so by protecting cells from harmful molecules called free radicals. When free radicals accumulate, they can promote a state known as oxidation stress, which has been linked to many chronic diseases. Studies show that consuming more vitamin C can increase your blood antioxidant levels by up to 30%. This helps the body’s natural defenses fight inflammation.
Vitamin C is one of the biggest immune system boosters of all. In fact, a lack of vitamin C can even make you more prone to getting sick. Foods that are rich in vitamin C include oranges, grapefruits, tangerines, strawberries, bell peppers, spinach, kale and broccoli. Daily intake of vitamin C is essential for good health because your body doesn’t produce or store it.
One of the main reasons people take vitamin C supplements is to boost their immunity, as vitamin C is involved in many parts of the immune system.
First, vitamin C helps encourage the production of white blood cells known as lymphocytes and phagocytes, which help protect the body against infection.
Second, vitamin C helps these white blood cells function more effectively while protecting them from damage by potentially harmful molecules, such as free radicals.
Third, vitamin C is an essential part of the skin’s defence system. It’s actively transported to the skin, where it can act as an antioxidant and help strengthen the skin’s barriers.
Studies have also shown that taking vitamin C may shorten wound healing time.
What’s more, low vitamin C levels have been linked to poor health outcomes.
For example, people who have pneumonia tend to have lower vitamin C levels, and vitamin C supplements have been shown to shorten the recovery time.
Benefits to the skin
Vitamin C is one of the most exciting, research-proven ingredients you can apply to skin . This water-soluble antioxidant is a natural component of healthy skin. When we’re young, vitamin C levels in skin’s outermost two layers (epidermis and dermis) are abundant, but as we age, these levels naturally deplete. Unprotected sun exposure (UV damage) and pollution can accelerate this decline, leading to skin looking and feeling dull, uneven, and less firm than it once was .
Luckily, there are topical skin care solutions that can help mitigate this damage, so skin looks and feels healthier and younger longer. Vitamin C’s benefits for skin are vast, including its ability to even out skin tone and diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. While this powerhouse ingredient is well-known for its skin-brightening benefits, research also shows it can shield skin from the visible impacts of environmental stressors, including free radical damage. This synergy of mitigating problems both before and after they occur makes vitamin C a force to be reckoned with.
Vitamin C supplements
Vitamin C supplements are available in many forms—from vitamin C tablets or pills to vitamin C powders or liquid vitamin C supplements or liposomal vitamin C. Supplementing vitamin C doesn’t have to be confusing—luckily, vitamin C is one of the most straightforward nutrients and you have plenty of options for getting your daily dose.