What is Vitamin C?
Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is needed to maintain a healthy functioning body. The vitamin is an antioxidant that can help your body’s natural defences. This includes preventing oxidation which damages cells and leads to diseases such as heart disease, cancer etc.
Vitamin C is used to make a substance, collagen, which is need for a range of tissues in the body this includes:
- Blood vessel walls
- Ligaments and tendons
Benefits of Vitamin C
There are many benefits of Vitamin C as it is an antioxidant and helps create collagen, which both help important functions in your body. Collagen is the protein in your body that helps the body’s connective tissue structure.
It has many important functions which include:
- Protecting cells and keeping them healthy
- Wound healing
- Regulating healthy skin, blood vessels, bones and cartilage
- Boost immune system – it helps the production of white blood cells, which help fight infection. It is essential for your health as Vitamin C doesn’t get stored or produced in the body
- Vitamin C supplements have shown to lower the blood pressure of people with a high blood pressure
- Lower risk of heart disease- the factors that increase you chances of heart disease are – bad cholesterol levels, high blood pressure and high triglyceride (a type of fat found in your blood). Vitamin C reduces some of these factors meaning it lower the risk of heart disease.
- Lowers blood uric levels, which helps reduce the risk of gout. Gout is when you have strong joint pain, which can be linked to having a Vitamin C deficiency.
- Improves the absorption of iron – it helps convert badly absorb iron e.g. plant-based sources of iron into a form which is easily absorbed.
- Helps with memory – low levels of Vitamin C are proven to affect memory, thinking and remembering. It is also linked to increased risk with disorders like dementia.
You have to have 40mg of Vitamin C if you are an adult everyday otherwise you are at risk of getting Vitamin C deficiency, and in extreme cases develop scurvy which can be life threatening.
Benefits of Vitamin C for Skin and the Immune System
Two particular benefits of Vitamin C are the positive effects it has on your skin and how it helps your immune system. One of the Vitamin C benefits is that it’s good for the skin as it helps create collagen, which adds to slowing the signs of aging by repairing damage caused by the sun and free radicals. It also protects your skin form future damage and gets rid of wrinkles and signs of aging.
Vitamin C also helps the immune system as it white blood cells (phagocytes and lymphocytes) protect the body, fights off infection and it can also shorten healing of wounds. It helps strengthen skin barriers due to being an antioxidant and people who have a deficiency in Vitamin C are usually linked to poorer health. This is the case people with pneumonia as they seem to have less Vitamin C than the usual person and if they took Vitamin C supplement then it shortens the recovery time of the patients.
What happens if there is not enough Vitamin C in your diet?
If you have a deficiency of Vitamin C in your body, it means new collagen will not be formed thus meaning different tissue will start to break down. A deficiency of Vitamin C for a long period of time can cause illness such as scurvy. Here are some of the effects of having a lack of Vitamin C:
- Leads to scurvy
- Joint and muscle pain
- Getting easily bruised
Who are prone to Vitamin C deficiency?
These are the people that need Vitamin C or more Vitamin C:
- People who have restrictive diet
- Pregnant and breastfeeding women
- Smokers – this affects the absorbs ion of Vitamin C foods
- Older people with a less varied diet
How much do I need / What is the recommended amount?
Different age groups need different amounts of Vitamin C:
- Children 1-10 need 30mg of Vitamin C a day
- Children 11-14 need 35 mg of Vitamin C a day
- Over 15- 64 need 40 mg of Vitamin C a day
It’s NOT stored in the body so it’s important that it’s in your diet every day. You can get the right amount of Vitamin C by either taking Vitamin C supplement or eating the right food.
The food that contain Vitamin C are:
- Citrus fruits - lemons, grapefruit, oranges,
- Berries - raspberries, blueberries, strawberries.
- Vegetables – potatoes, spinach, peppers, tomatoes, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts.
- Watermelon or cantaloupe melon
- Kiwi fruit
- Fresh milk
Another way to help you get Vitamin C inside your body and give it what it needs is to use a natural nutritional supplement such as ViDrate. ViDrate has been designed using only natural ingredients, to help you drink more water AND help you with added vitamins and minerals.