Vitamin C is an essential nutrient that assists in the formation and maintenance of bones, blood vessels, and skin while strengthening your immunity. This nutrient is found naturally in several foods, especially in fruits and vegetables. Additionally, vitamin C supplements are also available.
As one could expect, COVID-19 has forced people to focus more on protecting themselves from illnesses and infections by strengthening their immunity. This article reviews the impact vitamin C has on your immunity and health.
Vitamin C – An Essential Nutrient
Vitamin C or L-ascorbic acid is a water-soluble nutrient and antioxidant that can neutralize unstable compounds and help prevent or reverse cellular damage in our bodies. It is also involved in various biochemical processes related to immune health.
Major benefits of Vitamin C include:
- It aids in your body’s collagen production, which is required to create and maintain healthy teeth, gums, joint linings, skin, bones, blood vessels, etc. It also enhances wound healing.
- Additionally, vitamin C from food can reduce the risk of cartilage loss in people with osteoarthritis.
- Vitamin C is an antioxidant that can help to widen your blood vessels, reduces plaque instability in atherosclerosis, and enhances nitric oxide production. This can help to protect you from hypertension and heart diseases.
- It also helps your body absorb iron. Increasing vitamin C intake is often recommended for patients with iron deficiency anemia.
- As per a 2018 study, higher vitamin C doses can help minimize allergy symptoms.
The Impact of Vitamin C on Immunity
Vitamin C is a critical micronutrient. It contributes to your immune defense system by supporting multiple cellular functions of your body’s adaptive immune systems. Being an antioxidant, it can also fight free radicals in the body, thereby decreasing inflammation and boosting immunity. It can keep your skin healthy and enable it to act as a barrier against toxic compounds entering your body.
Some recent studies suggest that high doses of vitamin C may decrease the length of cold symptoms. Furthermore, it enhances cytokine production of white blood cells and inhibits the apoptosis (cell death) of different forms of T-lymphocytes. It also supports antibody production and the activity of natural killer cells. Additionally, vitamin C can also make bacterial membranes more absorbent to some antibiotics.
Do you need supplements?
Health experts recommend that you consume adequate amounts of fruits and vegetables to meet your daily requirement of vitamin C. However, if you cannot do so, supplements may be required. You could also opt for a multivitamin supplement because it is possible that your body may not have adequate quantities of several nutrients.
How to choose a supplement?
The FDA licenses various supplements. However, some of them are not held to the same safety standards as pharmaceuticals. Therefore, if you wish to take a vitamin C supplement, you should ensure that it’s a high-quality one bought from reliable sources. You should also have a clear idea about the dosage and choose supplements that have been tested by reputable companies. It is best to consult your doctor before you opt for a vitamin C or a multivitamin supplement.
Vitamin C is an important nutrient that keeps the immune system functioning properly. Most adults need 90 mg of vitamin C per day. To get enough of it in your diet, ensure you eat a variety of vegetables and fruits. Fruits rich in vitamin C include cantaloupe, orange, grapefruit, and other citrus fruits, kiwis, mangos, papayas, pineapples, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, etc. Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflowers, certain peppers. spinach, tomatoes, and potatoes are some vegetables rich in vitamin C.
If you are suffering from vitamin C deficiency or need advice on increasing your immunity, visit the 8-2-8 Urgent Care walk-in clinic in Oceanside, CA. Our medical team will provide an effective solution to ensure an adequate vitamin C intake and strengthen your immunity.