Tuesday, October 20, 2020
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7 Well Known (and Less Known) Benefits of Vitamin C

Vitamin C is an essential nutrient. It is also familiar under the name ascorbic acid or just – ascorbate. This effective and safe nutrient helps our bodies to grow, develop, and survive. Food (mostly fruits and vegetables) is rich in vitamin C, and also it can be taken as a supplement, in a form of tablets or pills. Vitamin C can be very beneficial when it comes to health in general.

Vitamin C plays a significant role in strengthening the immune system, lowering the risk of cardiovascular diseases, and improving skin health.

In this article, we have gathered scientific and proven information around vitamin C and its benefits on human body.


Vitamin C Benefits for Immune System

The immune system is a complicated network of cells, tissues, and organs. All the components are supporting the body to defy infections and other illnesses, and it is substantial to keep them strong and healthy. The benefits of vitamin C for immune system are various. In a study by Mirelle J A J Huijskens et al. under the title “Technical advance: ascorbic acid induces development of double-positive T cells from human hematopoietic stem cells in the absence of stromal cells” it is noted that vitamin C encourages the production of lymphocytes and phagocytes (white blood cells). This action provides help for a body during the fight against infections. Vitamin C also boosts the protection of white blood cells from free radicals and helps white blood cells to work more effectively.

Vitamin C and a Healthy Heart

Various studies revealed cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death around the world. Increased levels of triglyceride (bad cholesterol), decreased levels of good cholesterol, high blood pressure, and many other factors expand the risk of serious cardiovascular diseases. Vitamin C can help with increasing risk factors when it comes to heart diseases. In a study by Paul Knekt et al. under the title “Antioxidant vitamins and coronary heart disease risk: a pooled analysis of 9 cohorts” it is noted that people who took at least 700 mg of vitamin C per day during ten years, had a 25% lower risk of heart conditions than those who did not take a vitamin C supplement.

Another study by Marc P McRae under the title “Vitamin C supplementation lowers serum low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and triglycerides: a meta-analysis of 13 randomized controlled trials” shows a significant reduction of triglyceride levels and reduction of bad cholesterol.

Vitamin C Skincare
Vitamin C Skin Benefits

Among the other roles, vitamin C plays a significant role in collagen synthesis. This process, vital for skin health, occurs in fibroblast cells, specialized for the synthesis of collagen. The impact of vitamin C on the skin is still not fully explained due to limited research, although some studies suggest that vitamin C may help prevent and treat sun damage.

Photodamage represents skin modifications on skin texture such as fine and coarse wrinkles, roughness, freckles, and pigmentation changes that appear as a result of extended exposure to the sun. A study by Shindo Y, Witt E, Packer L under the title “Antioxidant defense mechanisms in murine epidermis and dermis and their responses to ultraviolet light” noted that exposures to UV light or cigarette smoke and ozone could also lower vitamin C content in the human body.

Vitamin C and Sun Damage

One of the proofs vitamin C is good for your skin is the fact numerous studies noted this nutrient to be the most effective tool in the photodamage battle. Research by Geesin JC, Darr D, Kaufman R, Murad S, Pinnell SR under the title “Ascorbic acid specifically increases type I and type III procollagen messenger RNA levels in human skin fibroblast” acknowledged that vitamin C is increasing collagen protein synthesis, and its help with the repair of the damaged skin is significant.

Does Vitamin C Help Wrinkles?

The use of vitamin C for 8 to 12 weeks may reduce wrinkling, decrease protein fiber damage and noticeable roughness of skin and it can improve the production of collagen. A study by Cosgrove MC, Franco OH, Granger SP, Murray PG, Mayes AE under the title “Dietary nutrient intakes and skin-aging appearance among middle-aged American women” discovered that more increased intakes of vitamin C from the diet were associated with notable decreases in skin wrinkling and more pleasing skin appearance.

Can Vitamin C be Used For Wound Healing?

Studies around wound healing and vitamin C impact on that process bring out contradictory results. A study by Lind J. under the title “A Treatise on the Scurvy” shows that vitamin C insufficiency leads to poor wound healing. In a different study by Silverstein RJ and Landsman AS. under the title “The effects of a moderate and high dose of vitamin C on wound healing in a controlled guinea pig model” it is noted that although vitamin C levels appear to improve collagen synthesis and reduce inflammatory reactions, vitamin C still does not increases wound closure time.

Vitamin C and Dry Skin

Xerosis or dry skin is a medical condition that can develop on your legs, elbows, arms, or other parts of your body. Adequate vitamin C intake can help repair and prevent dry skin. This essential nutrient can also delay the signs of aging because of its role in the body’s natural collagen synthesis. Ascorbic acid helps to heal damaged skin and, in some cases, decreases the appearance of wrinkles.

Free Advice: Vitamin C Serum

A vitamin C serum is a skin-care product full of vitamin C. It has a liquid texture, and it should be applied directly to the skin. Vitamin C serums are for people of all ages because almost everyone is at risk of sun damage, and with vitamin C serums you can minimize the amount of sun damage that your skin is getting from sunlight. Serums have a double role – the first one is preventive, and the second one is protective. The application of the vitamin C serum is very simple – after you wash and dry your skin it is suggested to apply a few drops of the serum on it. It is recommended to repeat this step every morning, and results will occur shortly. Vitamin C can also be mixed with essential oils, so to help you choose we have written about top essential oil brands as well.

Allison King
Allison King
Allison holds a PhD in Biology specializing in cell and molecular biology and undergraduate degree in biochemistry with a minor in theoretical physics. She has taught at four universities in Eastern Canada and currently consults masters and doctoral students. She believes that peer-reviewed scientific research is the best source when looking for information on a given subject. Allison also lives a healthy vegetarian lifestyle and enjoys competing in various races including half marathons and triathlons.