Vitamin C is a powerhouse vitamin typically known for its immune boosting properties, but it is also a helpful vitamin for improving other functions in the body.
- Skin health: Vitamin C helps increase the formation of collagen. After the age of 20 the skin produces on average 1% less collagen per year so supplementing with vitamin C, both internally and topically can be beneficial in boosting collagen production. In addition, vitamin C has been shown to decrease melanin production which can be helpful in decreasing age spots associated with aging.
- Blood sugar regulation: Studies have shown that supplementing with vitamin C can lower fasting blood glucose which can be helpful for diabetics. When compared to other anti oxidants, vitamin C rose above the rest as the only vitamin that showed benefit in this area.
- Immune function: Perhaps the most well known benefit of vitamin c, immune function is a clear winner in this area. This vitamin is known to support both adaptive and innate immune system function and a deficiency can cause a greater susceptibility to infections. Respiratory infections are commonly treated with vitamin C, and the common cold has been found to shorten in severity and duration with use of this vitamin.
- Cancer treatment: Vitamin C is becoming more commonly used in prevention and treatment of cancer. High dose IV vitamin C has been shown to increase survival rates in some types of cancers.
- Cognitive function: Vitamin C deficiency is a common finding in those with cognitive decline. Vitamin C has been found to improve neurotransmission which is a process necessary for memory, movement, and learning.
There are several conditions that can affect vitamin C levels such as:
- Age – Elderly people are more prone to vitamin C deficiency
- Alcoholism and anorexia
- Medications like oral contraceptives and corticosteroids
- Smoking or second hand smoke
The need for vitamin C may also increase in certain conditions such as asthma, living in highly polluted areas, and inflammatory conditions that increase oxidative stress.
Supplementation is a great way to fill in the gaps (HERE IS MY FAVORITE), but food is always the best place to start for best vitamin absorption. These foods are GREAT sources of vitamin C.
- Brussel Sprouts
Moral of the story, vitamin C is amazing for the prevention and treatment of illness and it vital for many functions in the body. Aim for mostly food sources but supplement as needed.
STEP(S) FOR THIS WEEK:
- Aim to get at least one whole food source of vitamin C per day!