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More Than Immune Support: 7 Other Benefits of Vitamin C


July 7, 2020 | Published by

Previously, we’ve gone into depth about the important role vitamin C plays in immune function. But there are many more benefits this essential vitamin has to offer. Here are seven other wonderful benefits of vitamin C.

Helps protect against iron deficiency

Iron is an essential nutrient that has a variety of functions in the body, including being responsible for creating red blood cells and transporting oxygen throughout the body.1

Additionally, vitamin C assists in converting iron that’s inadequately absorbed, like plant-based sources, into a version that is easier to absorb. This is critical for people who do not consume meat, as meat is a major source of iron. Consuming just 100 mg of vitamin C may improve iron absorption by 67%!1

Protects your memory and thinking as you get older

Dementia affects more than 35 million people worldwide and typically occurs among older adults. Studies suggest that oxidative stress and inflammation near the central nervous system can increase the risk of dementia. Since vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant, low levels have been linked to an improved ability to think and remember.1

May reduce your risk of chronic disease

Vitamin C is an effective antioxidant that can boost your body’s natural defenses. Antioxidants are molecules that enhance the immune system. This process involves defending cells from harmful molecules known as free radicals.1

When free radicals come together, they can induce a state called oxidative stress, which has been linked to many chronic diseases. Studies show that consuming more vitamin C can boost blood antioxidant levels by as much as 30%, helping your body’s natural defenses combat inflammation.1

May lower your risk of heart disease

Many factors increase the risk of heart disease, including high blood pressure, high triglyceride or LDL cholesterol levels, and low levels of HDL cholesterol. It’s possible that vitamin C may help reduce these risk factors, which in turn may reduce heart disease risk.1

An analysis of 9 studies with a combined 293,172 participants found that after 10 years, people who consumed at least 700 mg of vitamin C daily had a 25% lower risk of heart disease than those who did not take the supplement. An additional analysis of 15 studies found that consuming vitamin C from foods rather than supplements was linked to a lower risk of heart disease.1

One analysis of 13 studies looked at the effects of taking at least 500 mg of vitamin C daily on risk factors for heart disease, such as blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels. The analysis found that taking a vitamin C supplement significantly reduced LDL cholesterol by approximately 7.9 mg/dL and blood triglycerides by 20.1 mg/dL.1

May help prevent gout attacks

Nearly 4% of Americans suffer from gout1, a kind of arthritis characterized by severe pain, redness, and tenderness in joints.2

Gout symptoms appear due to an abundance of uric acid in the bloodstream. Uric acid is a waste product produced by the body and, at high levels, may crystallize and deposit in the joints.1

Several studies have found that vitamin C may help dwindle the amount of uric acid in the blood, which can help protect against gout attacks. One study involving 1,387 men found that those who consumed the most vitamin C had far lower blood levels of uric acid than those who consumed the least.1

A different study involving 46,994 healthy men over the span of 20 years found that participants that took a vitamin C supplement had a 44% lower gout risk.1

Promotes healthy skin

Vitamin C is a vital part of skin health, both as a small molecular weight antioxidant and as a crucial part of collagen synthesis. Vitamin C contributes to photoprotection, decreases photodamage, and is needed for proper wound healing. 3

Vitamin C regulates the synthesis of the structural protein collagen, which is necessary to support our skin. In cell culture models, vitamin C supplementation showed many beneficial effects in fighting photodamage, which is damage to the skin caused by prolonged sun exposure.3

May help manage high blood pressure

Elevated blood pressure puts you at risk of heart disease, which is the leading cause of death globally. Studies have found that taking vitamin C may help lower blood pressure in both individuals with and without high blood pressure.1

An analysis of 29 human studies shown that taking a vitamin C supplement reduced systolic blood pressure by 3.8 mmHg and diastolic blood pressure by 1.5 mmHg, on average, in healthy adults. Vitamin C supplements reduced systolic blood pressure by 4.9 mmHg and diastolic blood pressure by 1.7 mmHg, in participants with high blood pressure on average.1

Since humans do not produce their own vitamin C, it’s very important for us to seek external sources for such a crucial vitamin. Good food sources of vitamin C include colored vegetables and fruits such as green leafy vegetables, tomatoes, peppers, and oranges.

The highest amounts of vitamin C tends to be found in sprouts (sunflower sprouts, alfalfa or clover sprouts, and all the sprouts of any seed or grain).  In most plants, the younger the plant, the more vitamin C it contains per milligram of plant material.4

Vitamin C is also vital for promoting healthy adrenal function during times of stress. However, the amount of vitamin C available in foods is not sufficient to support the adrenals during stress or during the recovery phase. If you’re experiencing chronic stress or adrenal fatigue, it is essential that you take a high quality vitamin C supplement during the whole recovery period, and extra vitamin C when you start to become fatigued or ill.5

  1. Raman, R. 7 Impressive Ways Vitamin C Benefits Your Body. Healthline.
  2. Khatri, M. Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments of Gout. Webmd.
  3. Michels, A. Vitamin C and Skin Health. Oregon State University.
  1. Vitamin C: Essential for Stress and Adrenal Function.
  2. Why Your Immune System Needs Vitamin C.

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