Vitamin C is essential, meaning your body can’t produce it. Yet, it has many roles and has been linked to impressive health benefits. It’s water-soluble and found in many fruits and vegetables, including oranges, strawberries, kiwi fruit, bell peppers, broccoli, kale, and spinach.
The recommended daily intake for vitamin C is 75 mg for women and 90 mg for men. At the same time, it’s commonly advised to get your intake from foods. Many people turn to supplements to meet their needs.
It May Reduce Your Risk of Chronic Disease
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 oxidative stress.
Which has been linked to many chronic diseases. Studies show that consuming more can increase your blood antioxidant levels by up to 30%. This helps the body’s natural defenses fight inflammation.
It May Helps Manage High Blood Pressure
Approximately one-third of American adults have high blood pressure. High blood pressure puts you at risk of heart disease, the leading cause of death globally. Studies have shown that may help lower blood pressure in those with and without high blood pressure.
An animal study found that a supplement helped relax the blood vessels that carry blood from the heart, which helped reduce blood pressure levels. Moreover, an analysis of 29 human studies found that taking a supplement reduced systolic blood pressure.
In adults with high blood pressure, supplements reduced systolic blood pressure by 4.9 mmHg and diastolic blood pressure by 1.7 mmHg, on average. While these results are promising, it’s unclear whether the effects on blood pressure are long-term. Moreover, people with high blood pressure should not rely alone on treatment.
Vitamin C May Help Reduce These Risk Factors, Reducing Heart Disease Risk
Interestingly, another analysis of 15 studies found that consuming foods, not supplements, was linked to a lower risk of heart disease. However, scientists were unsure whether people who consumed vitamin-C-rich foods followed a healthier lifestyle than those who drank a supplement.
Another analysis of 13 studies looked at the effects of taking at least 500 mg of daily on risk factors for heart disease, such as blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels. The analysis found that taking a supplement significantly reduced LDL (bad) cholesterol by approximately 7.9 mg/dL and blood triglycerides by 20.1 mg/dL.
It May Reduce Blood Uric Acid Levels And Help Prevent Gout Attacks
Gout is arthritis that affects approximately 4% of American adults. It’s excruciating and involves inflammation of the joints, especially those of the big toes. People with gout experience swelling and sudden, severe attacks of pain.
Gout symptoms appear when there is too much uric acid in the blood. Uric acid is a waste product produced by the body. At high levels, it may crystallize and deposit in the joints. Interestingly, several studies have shown that may help reduce uric acid in the blood and, as a result, protect against gout attacks.
Another study followed 46,994 healthy men over 20 years to determine whether vitamin C intake was linked to developing gout. It found that people who took a vitamin C supplement had a 44% lower gout risk.
It Helps Prevent Iron Deficiency
Vitamin C assists in converting iron that is poorly absorbed, such as plant-based sources of iron, into a form that is easier to absorb. This is especially useful for people on a meat-free diet, as meat is a significant source of iron. Simply consuming 100 mg of vitamin C may improve iron absorption by 67%.
As a result, vitamin C may help reduce the risk of anemia among people prone to iron deficiency. In one study, 65 children with mild iron deficiency anemia were given a supplement. Researchers found that the supplement alone helped control their anemia. If you have low iron levels, consuming more rich foods or taking a vitamin C supplement may help improve your blood iron levels.
Boosts Immunity Vitamin
One of the main reasons people take vitamin C supplements is to boost their immunity, as is involved in many parts of the immune system. First, 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, is essential to the skin’s defense system. It’s actively transported to the skin, which can act as an antioxidant and help strengthen the skin’s barriers.
Protects Your Memory And Thinking Vitamin As You Age
Dementia is a broad term that describes symptoms of poor thinking and memory. It affects over 35 million people worldwide and typically occurs among older adults. Studies suggest that oxidative stress and inflammation near the brain, spine, and nerves (altogether known as the central nervous system) can increase the risk of dementia.
Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant. Low levels of this have been linked to an impaired ability to think and remember. Moreover, several studies have shown that people with dementia may have lower blood levels of vitamin C.
Vitamin C supplements may aid against conditions like dementia if you don’t get enough from your diet. However, additional human studies are needed to understand the effects of vitamin C supplements on nervous system health.