The Importance of Vitamin C

Vitamin C is the most well known Vitamin, and perhaps the most spoken of too.

Much like some of the other Vitamins and minerals discussed over the last few weeks, Vitamin C is an essential vitamin needed for our well-being and health, but is not a Vitamin that our body does not produce, and must be consumed through our food.

The benefits of Vitamin C include:

Vitamin C stimulate collagen synthesis

Adequate vitamin C levels are needed for the production of collagen, which plays a critical role in connective tissues, with a study finding topical vitamin C applied to the skin led to increased collagen production and younger looking skin. With the increased collagen synthesis through Vitamin C helping to heal wounds.

Vitamin C helps to prevent iron deficiency

Iron supports the body's proper growth and development aiding in the delivery of oxygen throughout the body, helping to make certain hormones. However certain types of iron mainly plant based sourced iron, can be hard for the body to absorb, by eating vitamin C it helps the body to absorb iron, by converting it into a form that is easier for the body to absorb.

Reduces the risk of chronic disease

A powerful antioxidant Vitamin C helps to strengthen the body's natural defenses. Antioxidants are molecules that boost the immune system, by protecting the cells from harmful free radicals.

Studies have shown that consuming vitamin C increases the blood antioxidant levels by up to 30%, helping the body to fight off inflammation.

Helps with the management of high blood pressure

Studies have shown that Vitamin C can help to lower blood pressure in both those with and without high blood pressure. Further studies have shown that Vitamin C reduced systolic blood pressure by 3.8mmHg in healthy adults and 4.9mmHg in those with high blood pressure, and diastolic blood pressure by 1.5mmHg in healthy adults and 1.7mmHg with high blood pressure.

May lower the risk of heart disease

Vitamin C may help to reduce the risk factors which cause heart disease, such as high blood pressure, LDL known as bad cholesterol,  and low levels of HDL the good cholesterol.

Studies have found that taking 700mg of vitamin C daily reduced the risk of heart disease by 25%, in another study it found that taking vitamin C significantly reduced LDL by approximately 7.9mg.

Vitamin C boosts immunity

Vitamin C helps boost the production of white cells, which helps protect the body against infection, it also helps the white cells to function more effectively, and protecting them from damage from free radicals.

Vitamin C is essential for the skins defense system, by actively transporting into the skin, where it acts as an antioxidant and help strengthens the skins barrier.

May help in the defense against Dementia

Studies suggest that oxidative stress and inflammation near the brain, spine, and nerves can increase the the risk of dementia.

Studies have shown that people with dementia have low levels of Vitamin C, with further studies showing that high Vitamin C intake from food or supplements has shown to protect our thinking and memory as we age.

May help to prevent gout

Gout is an incredibly painful inflammation of the joints, especially in the big toe. Symptoms of gout appear when there is too much uric acid in the blood. 

Several studies have found that vitamin C reduces uric acid in the blood and as such protects against gout.

Food sources for Vitamin C include:

  • Citrus fruits - orange, kiwi, lemon, guava, grapefruit
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Capsicums
  • Papaya
  • Cantaloupe or Rockmelon
  • Strawberries
  • Plums
  • Cherries
  • Rose Hip
  • Chili Peppers
  • Blackcurrants
  • Thyme
  • Parsley
  • Mustard Spinach
  • Kale
  • Lychees
  • Persimmons