By Emily Watson
Humans do not internally produce vitamin C. Diets provide enough vitamin C to avoid scurvy, but nowhere near what may be optimal doses.
Researchers have found that vitamin C promotes a longer lifespan and can help prevent many of the disorders related to aging. In fact, vitamin C shows potential to significantly improve the quality of life.
Animal studies show that vitamin C can reverse several age-related abnormalities in tissues. This includes reducing inflammatory responses, protecting DNA integrity, and reducing biomarkers of cellular stress. When left unaddressed, all of these are associated with rapid aging [2-5].
The evidence indicates that vitamin C is an important component to healthy longevity
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
- Vitamin C was one of the first vitamins to be discovered.
- First noted for its ability to fight the connective tissue degeneration of scurvy, vitamin C has now been shown to have a vital relationship with biochemical reactions crucial to cellular health throughout the body.
- Daily supplementation with vitamin C may help boost the immune system and protect the cardiovascular system.
Vitamin C Adds Cardio Protection
Lipid peroxidation, free radical damage to fats, is a crucial step in the development of atherosclerosis and heart disease. Studies show that vitamin C at doses of 1,000 mg per day lowers levels of oxidative-stress markers in blood, even during the high oxidative-stress period following a meal [5, 6].
Vitamin C has shown many beneficial effects in preventing cardiovascular disease:
Vitamin C preserved crucial cardiac stem cells, required for healing damaged heart tissue, in a lab study .
Two grams per day of vitamin C fully restored an important cardiovascular repair system in smokers after just 2 weeks of supplementation, giving them the same healing capacity as non-smokers .
A meta-analysis of 44 clinical trials showed that vitamin C supplementation improved endothelial function. The effect was stronger in those with higher cardiovascular risk .
Boost Immune Function, Cut Infection Risk
Vitamin C is especially beneficial to the immune system, helping to prevent viral respiratory infections like the common cold [10-11]. Immune system cells accumulate vitamin C, using it to create chemical “weapons” which destroy invading bacteria and viruses [12, 13].
Diminished levels of vitamin C leave us vulnerable to specific disease-causing microbes .
Vitamin C’s immune-boosting effects arise from multiple mechanisms: [11,12,14-17].
Promoting the actions of phagocytes, the cellular “eating machines” that chew up bacterial and fungal cells.
Activating T-cells, white blood cells, that scan the body for abnormalities and infections and direct both antibody-producing cells and killer cells to work against viruses and bacteria.
Mitigating oxidative stress and reducing unneeded inflammatory responses.
SUPPORTS HEALTHY COLLAGEN PRODUCTION
- Collagen, a structural protein abundant in connective tissue and found throughout the body, makes up 30 % of all body protein. Collagen provides strength and durability to bone, skin, tendons, ligaments, blood vessels, and more .
- The strength and resilience of much of our collagen decreases with age, contributing to age-related changes to skin, bone, and even our cardiovascular and respiratory systems [23, 24].
Large population studies have found that higher vitamin C intake is associated with greater bone mass, and that lower vitamin C intake correlates with bone loss . And clinical studies have shown positive associations between vitamin C supplementation and improved bone mineral density [18-20].
Vitamin C has a tremendous impact on bone, including restoring normal development of critical bone-forming cells (osteoblasts) .
May Help Boost Mood
Several mechanisms are being explored to explain vitamin C’s mood-improving effects — beyond its ability to combat oxidative stress.
One recent animal study showed that vitamin C may activate receptors for the neurotransmitter GABA, which boosts mood . Another provided evidence that vitamin C modulates human opioid-like receptors as it exerts its anti-depressant effects .
Multiple, large studies have shown that individuals with higher blood levels of vitamin C are less likely to die from any cause. Vitamin C has important preventive effects on a range of age-associated health issues.
Daily vitamin C supplementation plays a vital role in optimizing our body’s ability to combat oxidative stress and protect against many of the health issues associated with aging.
You can find more information about our wide range of Vitamin C products here.
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