When the sniffles and coughing start, we reach for the vitamin C tablets and let them do their magic. But other than getting vitamin C this way, how else can we ensure we get enough to prevent illness?
In this article, find out all you need to know about vitamin C, where it comes from, and its benefits for our health.
What is vitamin C?
Vitamin C is one of the essential vitamins required for good health and has several vital functions. It is most commonly known for its role in supporting a robust immune system to help you fight off illness, especially infections like the common cold.
Vitamin C also possesses potent antioxidant properties, which can minimize cell damage caused by harmful free radicals. It is also required to produce collagen, a fibrous protein that provides structural integrity and elasticity. It is found throughout the body in the skin, blood vessels, cartilage, tendons, and ligaments.
Another important job of vitamin C is to help make hormones and neurotransmitters that enable the body to function optimally.
Where does it come from?
Vitamin C is often confused with vitamin D, which your body produces when exposed to the sun's UV rays. Vitamin C, on the other hand, cannot be obtained from sunlight and must be consumed through the food you eat.
Foods high in vitamin C include:
- Citrus fruits (oranges, lemons, grapefruit, kiwi)
- Bell peppers
It can be challenging to meet the recommended daily vitamin C intake through diet alone, so many people turn to supplements. Performance Lab NutriGenesis Multi and PL-Immune are the ideal duo that ensures you get your daily dose of vitamin C for enhanced overall health and better immune function.
Find out about some of the health benefits of this essential vitamin below.
Health benefits of vitamin C
Free radicals in the body cause cell damage, accelerating aging and increasing the risk for many chronic diseases. Antioxidants, such as vitamin C, help support the immune system and boost the body's natural defenses by neutralizing the effects of harmful free radicals 1.
Lower blood pressure and risk of heart disease
High blood pressure increases the risk for heart disease, a leading cause of death globally. Vitamin C helps lower blood pressure and relax blood vessel walls by removing excess fluid and sodium from the body.
According to one study, vitamin C supplements may also help reduce the risk of heart disease by reducing LDL (bad) cholesterol and unhealthy blood fats 2.
Vitamin C supports the immune system by boosting the production and function of white blood cells to help the body more efficiently fight off infections. It also strengthens the skin's defense system and promotes faster wound healing 3.
Cell damage from free radicals and inflammation of the nervous system can contribute to the development of dementia. Multiple studies suggest that the antioxidant effects of vitamin C supplements may help protect against dementia and reduce inflammation 4.
Vitamin C is an essential vitamin that must be obtained through the food you eat - the body cannot make it through sun exposure!
It is linked to numerous impressive health benefits, such as boosting the function of the immune system, lowering blood pressure, reducing heart disease and dementia risk, and protecting against cell damage.
If you struggle to get enough vitamin C through diet alone, you may benefit from taking a supplement.
- Kim, Mi Kyung, et al. "Effect of five-year supplementation of vitamin C on serum vitamin C concentration and consumption of vegetables and fruits in middle-aged Japanese: a randomized controlled trial." Journal of the American College of Nutrition 22.3 (2003): 208-216.
- McRae, Marc P. "Vitamin C supplementation lowers serum low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and triglycerides: a meta-analysis of 13 randomized controlled trials." Journal of chiropractic medicine 7.2 (2008): 48-58.
- Huijskens, Mirelle JAJ, et al. "Technical advance: ascorbic acid induces development of double‐positive T cells from human hematopoietic stem cells in the absence of stromal cells." Journal of Leukocyte Biology 96.6 (2014): 1165-1175.
- Paleologos, Michael, Robert G. Cumming, and Ross Lazarus. "Cohort study of vitamin C intake and cognitive impairment." American journal of epidemiology 148.1 (1998): 45-50.