Studies have shown that vitamin C is not only an immunity booster but also has numerous health benefits for the body and skin. It is one of the essential vitamins our bodies require to function properly and protect us against skin problems and diseases.
About Vitamin C
Vitamin C is also known as L- ascorbic acid. It is a water-soluble Vitamin (dissolves in water) essential for forming blood vessels, muscles, collagen in bones, and cartilage. It is crucial for enabling the body to heal and protect the body from diseases.
We need a regular vitamin C intake since our bodies cannot produce it naturally. Health experts recommend a daily intake of 90 mg for adult men and 75mg for adult women. Diet rich in vitamin C and supplements should be consumed daily to maintain adequate levels of the powerful antioxidant in the body.
Vitamin C is naturally found in various vegetables and fruits like citrus fruits, broccoli, green leafy vegetables, kiwi, strawberry, tomatoes, potatoes, and bell peppers. Excess vitamin C is excreted through urine every day. The safe upper limit for vitamin C intake is 2000mg a day.
Benefits of Vitamin C
- Powerful Antioxidants and Prevents Diseases
Vitamin C protects the cells from free radicals by boosting antioxidants levels in the body. This prevents scurvy, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, stroke, eye diseases, high blood pressure, and gout prevention. Vitamin C also improves memory in old age.
- Promotes Collagen Production
Collagen is a fibrous protein that is important for forming blood vessels, ligaments, tendons and firming the skin.
- Aids in The Absorption of Iron
Consuming vitamin C with nonheme plant foods improves iron absorption. This prevents iron deficiency.
- Boosts Immunity
Promotes the production of white blood cells, which prevents infections and viruses and promotes faster wound healing. Vitamin C helps to recover from colds quickly.
- Promotes Skin Health
Vitamin C is present in the dermis and epidermis layers of the skin. The antioxidants present in vitamin C make the skin glow and look radiant. It quickly heals wounds and stimulates collagen and elastin production when applied topically. Collagen firms and tightens the skin, minimizing aging signs by making the skin look youthful and firm.
It prevents wrinkles, sun damage, acne, rashes, moisturizes the skin, reduces dark patches and hyperpigmentation. For healthy skin, oral supplements are the best.
Signs of Vitamin C Deficiency
Vitamin C deficiency is not common in developed countries. However, overconsumption of diets low in vegetables and fruits, smoking, alcohol, and drug abuse may lead to the deficiency. The following are the signs of vitamin C deficiency
- Rough, bumpy skin
- Aged skin
- Bruising easily and excessive bleeding
- Swollen joints that may lead to arthritis
- Weak bones
- Abnormally Coiled-shaped hair
- Loss of hair
- Slow-healing wounds
- Swollen, bleeding gums
Before taking any medical test, it is important to notify your doctor if you take vitamin C supplements. This is because high levels of vitamin C may interfere with test results like glucose/ blood tests and stool tests.
An antioxidant is a substance or molecule that protects the cells from free radicals (oxidants) in the body. Free radicles are produced by natural body processes like converting food into energy and exercise. Environmental factors such as pollution, cigarette smoke, and UV rays(sunlight) may also lead to the production of free radicles in the body.
When Free radicles pile up, they lead to oxidative stress, linked to multiple diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Maintaining the body’s balance between antioxidants and free radicles is essential for preventing oxidative stress.
Antioxidants like Vitamin C, E, and A negate oxidative stress and may reduce the risk of acquiring diseases. Consumption of vitamin C may increase the blood oxidative levels enabling the body to fight against inflammation.
Although the body produces antioxidants like glutathione, an antioxidant-rich diet is essential. Antioxidants are found in foods such as berries, coffee, green tea, dark chocolate, and moderate amounts of red wine. Animal sources such as fish and meat products have lower antioxidants than fruits. It is important to consult your doctor before taking antioxidant supplements since a high dose may be harmful.
Contact us today at Dermatology and skin health for more information about the benefits of vitamin C and antioxidants.