Many people don’t know the actual benefits of Vitamin C, but it is one of the most essential vitamins out there.
Vitamin C helps boost your immunity and improve your health in many ways that you may not even be thinking about right now. You need this vitamin for many different reasons. So read on to find out how vitamin C can help improve your overall health.
What Does Vitamin C Do?
The best way to think about what vitamin C does in your body is to imagine an army base. When you are sick or something terrible happens to your body, all the soldiers in the army base come together and try to fight off whatever might have attacked you. But they can’t do much if their weapons (or the building) are too damaged.
This is where vitamin C comes in because it helps “repair” your body when sick or injured. This means that vitamin C can protect your body against all kinds of diseases and health issues, like lung infection, skin problems (like acne), mouth ulcers, gum disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, etc.
Vitamin C also helps to strengthen your memory function in the hippocampus region of the brain. So if anyone ever tells you that chugging orange juice makes no sense, think about how strong your brain will be with a good supply of this potent vitamin.
How Much Vitamin C Should I Have?
The answer to this question depends on who you ask! According to official government guidelines, people should have 90mg of vitamin C every single day.
However, this is just the bare minimum amount you need to stay alive and healthy – not enough for optimal health. The National Institute of Health says that there is no upper limit on the number of milligrams of vitamin C that you can have in a day.
So it’s safe to say that even if you are taking 2 or 3 grams per day, this will still benefit your overall health.
How Do I Get More Vitamin C?
The best way to get more vitamin C is by eating lots and lots of fruits and vegetables. Foods like oranges, grapefruit, strawberries, kiwi fruit, guava, mangosteen, broccoli, brussels sprouts, blackcurrants, and papaya are all high in vitamin C.
And unlike supplements, you can rely on fruits and vegetables to always give you a good supply of this vitamin (because sometimes supplements don’t even contain the amount of vitamin C that they say they do).
Plus, these natural sources of vitamin C come with many other beneficial nutrients like fiber, potassium, and folic acid. Plus, fruits and vegetables also help keep your heart healthy.
So don’t forget about eating plenty of vitamin C-rich foods every day if you want to enjoy optimal health.
How Can I Boost My Immunity Naturally?
Natural ways to protect your immune system include:
- Getting plenty of sleep.
- Avoid smoking and drinking alcohol excessively.
- Exercising regularly.
- Eating a healthy diet – cut out refined sugars and processed foods where possible.
The Impact of Vitamin C on Immunity
1. Vitamin C is an immune system modulator, which means it affects specific immunity (innate) but does not form part of the mechanisms activated during acquired or adaptive immunity. These roles include B cell activation, antibody production, and phagocytic activity (the process where specialized cells engulf pathogens or cellular debris).
Although the exact mechanisms are unknown, it is known that vitamin C plays a role in producing white blood cells.
2. Vitamin C can act as an antioxidant, preventing free radicals from attacking these newly produced cells and stopping them from undergoing programmed cell death (apoptosis) before they have had a chance to mature into fully functional lymphocytes.
3. It also appears that vitamin C acts by regulating cytokine expression, which are signal molecules that play integral roles in immune system activity. A study was done on women who were HIV+ but whose viral loads were under control using HAART therapy (highly active antiretroviral treatment).
The results showed that supplementation with vitamin C and E had more favorable effects on cytokine production than HAART therapy alone.
4. Vitamin C also affects the formation of lymphocytes. A deficiency can lead to a decrease in B-lymphocytes which puts the body at risk for developing infections such as measles, tuberculosis, and pneumonia. Studies have shown that supplementation with vitamin C can restore the average numbers of these cells.
These positive effects were not observed when Vitamin E was administered, thus suggesting vitamin C plays a role in differentiation between helper T-cells and suppressor T-cells responsible for suppressing autoimmune responses.
5. Other studies have demonstrated that vitamin C plays a role in monocyte tissue macrophages activated during innate immunity processes.
Overall, vitamin C positively affects immune system function even when there are no overt deficiency symptoms. It is involved in forming white blood cells and lymphocytes, both parts of our innate immune response.
Vitamin C can also play a role in suppressing autoimmune responses by activating suppressor T-cells, limiting the damage caused to healthy cells by these activated cells. Its ability to act as an antioxidant may help reduce oxidative stress felt during bacterial infections, thus promoting recovery from illness.