The Health Benefits of Vitamin C
Most people would agree that it's essential to promote healthy living and to improve our health. As each year goes by, our society becomes more health-conscious, more willing to dive into the internet and do our research, more interested in dieting, regular exercise, supplementation, and other healthy habits.
But where do we begin? How do we better protect our health and boost our immune system?
Easily one of the most common nutritional supplements is vitamin C, or ascorbic acid. Vitamin C has numerous health benefits. Some are even saying that Vitamin C can help prevent illness. While we should steer clear from making universal claims about supplements, we can absolutely take a look at the proven health benefits and also talk about the role vitamin C plays when one is ill.
Why Vitamin C?
There are extensive benefits available from consuming foods that have vitamin C in them or from taking vitamin C supplements. Here are a few of them:
- Vitamin C is essential for the growth and repair of tissue all over the body. Vitamin C helps the body repair itself.
- Vitamin C helps maintain healthy bones, skin, teeth, and cartilage.
- Vitamin C (an antioxidant) helps fight free radicals in the body. Antioxidants help promote healthy aging
- Vitamin C is especially beneficial for vegetarians, as the nutrient helps the body absorb non-heme iron (non-meat-based iron).
- Vitamin C can contribute to the normal function of the nervous system.
- Vitamin C contributes to energy-yielding metabolism (needed for physical activity and exercise), meaning that vitamin C helps metabolize proteins in the foods that we eat.
- Vitamin C can help reduce tiredness and fatigue.
- Vitamin C can contribute to normal psychological function and can also protect cells from oxidative stress.
But how does vitamin C have its positive effects on the body? How does vitamin C help reduce cold symptoms and shorten the number of days one spends sick?
The Science Behind Vitamin C’s Effect on Your Body
One of the critical health benefits offered by vitamin C is that this little supplement boosts t-cell function. The National Cancer Institute defines T-cells as:
- “A type of white blood cell. T cells are part of the immune system and develop from stem cells in the bone marrow. They help protect the body from infection and may help fight cancer.”
One German study found that the intake of nutrients like vitamin C is essential in boosting the body's immune system. According to that study, specific vitamins (like vitamin C) boost immune function. And while most people can get their daily intake of vitamins and supplements by merely eating right and consuming lots of fruits and vegetables, vitamin C supplements do offer an alternative pathway to enhancing immune function. (And let's be clear, that doesn't mean that one should cease maintaining a healthy diet and just begin taking supplements instead. Vitamin supplements work best when taken in tandem with a healthy diet).
Simply stated, a deficiency of vitamin C can weaken t-cells. On the other hand, an abundance of t-cells can help bolster the strength and efficacy of the immune system. Quoting the German study directly (translated to English):
- “Several cells of the immune system can indeed accumulate vitamin C and need the vitamin to perform their task. Thus a vitamin C deficiency results in a reduced resistance against certain pathogens whilst a higher supply enhances several immune system parameters.”
When an ill person takes vitamin C, they are essentially helping to boost their already overwhelmed immune cells. Doing so can shorten the number of days one spends sick, as vitamin C helps the body’s t-cells fight off infection more rapidly.
Can Vitamin C Prevent You from Getting Sick?
If you ever see an article or a website that talks about a vitamin, supplement, or medicine as being able to “cure” something or being able to “definitively prevent illness or disease,” proceed with caution. Not only is it illegal to make unsubstantiated claims about nutritional supplements, it’s also shady business practice.
With that being said, there are health benefits to vitamin C. One of the advantages is that the vitamin has the potential for safeguarding your body from some illnesses (like the common cold).
The simple answer to the question, “Can vitamin C boost your immune system?” is that yes, it can, but it is by no means foolproof. Our bodies do not make vitamin C naturally, but we do need the supplement for immune function, healthy skin, bone structure, iron absorption, etc. Most people get vitamin C from the foods they eat, e.g., fruits, some vegetables, etc.
But for those who are vitamin C deficient, who want to take further steps to protect their health, and who want to take every precaution they can against getting sick, vitamin C is an excellent supplement for helping to boost immunity. And while there is no guarantee that vitamin C can prevent illness, it can help keep the body healthy and can shorten days spent ill if one takes the supplement daily.
G&G Makes a Highly Effective Vitamin C Supplement
G&G Vitamins makes a vitamin C complex that combines pure ascorbic acid, acerola cherries (rich in vitamin C), and rose hip (also rich in vitamin C). The result is a supplement rich in naturally-occurring, plant-based vitamin C nutrients. We've also added bioflavonoids, a naturally-occurring substance found in many fruits. Bioflavonoids can assist the body in absorbing vitamin C into the bloodstream.
And last but not least, did we mention our vitamin C supplement is suitable for vegetarians and vegans? Approved kosher, no allergens, this is a clean, ethical, effective, and highly well-made supplement. Check out our vitamin C page and place an order today!