Vitamin C is a crucial compound for the human body that our cells cannot produce naturally. As a result, the vast majority of people do not get enough vitamin C through their diet, which exposes them to deficiencies.
In this article, we will cover vitamin C benefits and how this substance can reverse several disease processes.
Why is vitamin C necessary?
1) Lowers the risk of several ailments
Oxidative stress is a metabolic state characterized by an excess number of free radicals relative to antioxidants. Consequently, the risk of cellular damage and DNA mutations increases dramatically.
Over the past few years, scientists identified oxidative stress as the main element of numerous diseases. They found that a significant number of chronic illnesses are the direct or indirect result of this metabolic state.
Some of these ailments include coronary artery disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure.
Fortunately, vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that neutralizes free radicals, further contributing to the prevention of degenerative pathologies.
In a 2015 study, researchers found that the intake of vitamin C drops oxidative stress by a whopping 30%.
2) Decreases the risk of cardiovascular disease
Coronary artery disease is the leading cause of death worldwide. The primary defect of this disease revolves around the irreversible obstruction of the blood vessel that supplies the heart – the coronary artery.
As a result, myocytes (i.e., heart cells) die off, leading to fatal outcomes. Despite the advances made in the management of heart attacks, prevention is still the preferred option. One meta-analysis found that the daily intake of 700 mg of vitamin C lowers the risk of heart attacks by 25%.
Experts attribute these results to the antioxidative properties of vitamin C.
3) Helps with iron deficiency
Iron deficiency anemia is an extremely common condition that affects millions of people around the world. The key disruption that triggers this illness is having low levels of iron in the bloodstream. This mineral is vital for the production of red blood cells.
Here are some common causes of iron deficiency anemia:
a) Excessive bleeding
c) Malabsorption (e.g., celiac disease, Crohn’s disease)
d) Genetic disorders
What most people are unaware of is that iron absorption depends on the acidity of the stomach, which means that the acidic nature of vitamin C can significantly boost the influx of this mineral. Taking vitamin C improves the symptoms of iron deficiency anemia, even without iron supplementation.
4) Boosts the immune system
Taking vitamin C supplements when you have the flu or the common cold is a tradition followed by many nations across the globe.
Despite the lack of evidence that supports the ability of vitamin C to treat respiratory infections, some studies back up the immune-boosting properties of consuming foods rich in vitamin C.
Vitamin C deficiency
The persistent deficiency in vitamin C leads to a condition known as scurvy. Some symptoms of scurvy include easy bruising and bleeding, joint swelling, muscle pain, and gum bleeding.
While scurvy is relatively rare in developed countries, thousands of people are still dealing with this debilitating disease.
How can you reach your daily intake?
The best way to get enough vitamin C through your diet is by including several foods from the following list:
a) Citrus fruits (e.g., orange, grapefruit)
b) Kiwi fruit
Side effects and warnings associated with Vitamin C
Surpassing the toxic limit of vitamin C intake is not an easy task, which explains the low incidence of vitamin C toxicity.
With that said, here are the signs and symptoms of vitamin C toxicity:
a) Sleeping problems
b) Nausea and vomiting
d) Digestive symptoms (e.g., diarrhea, cramping, abdominal pain)
Pearls of wisdom
Vitamin C is an essential molecule that provides the body with numerous health benefits.
Hopefully, this article highlighted vitamin c benefits and the reasons to give your body the much-needed Vitamin C.