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Vitamin C: Sources and Health Benefits

Written by: Christina Gerrettie

Did you know that vitamin C is an essential vitamin? This means that your body cannot synthesize it like it can vitamins D and K. Vitamin C intake is accomplished through diet or supplements and the recommended daily intake is 75 mg for women and 90 mg for men. It is water soluble, meaning it is not stored in your body but is carried through your body’s tissues. This also means that vitamin C should be a part of your daily intake of vitamins. It can be found in fruits and vegetables like oranges (obviously), kiwi, bell peppers, spinach, strawberries, kale and broccoli.

What are the health benefits of consuming vitamin C? Let’s talk about body functions that vitamin C is essential for first. It is required for the biosynthesis of collagen which is a component of connective tissue and plays a vital role in wound healing. It also plays a major role in immune function by strengthening your body’s natural defenses. It can improve the absorption of iron from your diet, lowering your risk of anemia if you are prone to iron deficiency.

Now, what are the health benefits of vitamin C, other than building immune defense which we already mentioned? It is also considered an important physiological antioxidant that has been shown to regenerate other antioxidants like vitamin E. There is even current research being conducted to see if vitamin C antioxidant activity limits the damaging effects of free radicals in the body. This means it may delay the development or help prevent cardiovascular disease and certain types of cancers. Some studies have shown that it can lower blood pressure by relaxing blood vessels. Consumption of vitamin C may lower blood uric acid levels and in turn help prevent gout attacks for those who experience them.

Lastly, when looking at the increased risk of dementia it is determined that oxidative stress and inflammation near the brain, spine and nerves can contribute to this increased risk. As an antioxidant, vitamin C has the capability to lower this oxidative stress and the inflammation associated with increased risk for dementia. In turn, protecting your memory as you age. It is also worth mentioning that insufficient vitamin C intake can cause scurvy.

I don’t know about you, but after finding all this out I am definitely going to work on increasing my vitamin C intake to reap the benefits mentioned. The immune boost alone is worth the increased intake, in my opinion.


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