Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, plays an important role in the growth, development, and repair of all body tissues. It's involved in many body functions, including the formation of collagen, absorption of iron, the immune system, wound healing, and the maintenance of cartilage, bones, and teeth. According to research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated 7.1% of the U.S. population can be classified as being vitamin C deficient.
Vitamin C is a strong antioxidant and supports various cellular functions of the adaptive immune defense systems. Studies show that consuming more vitamin C can increase your blood antioxidant levels by up to 30%. This helps the body's natural defense to fight inflammation.
Vitamin C has important contributions to skeletal health and helps in preventing osteoporosis. It is an essential cofactor for collagen formation which is the most abundant component of the extracellular bone matrix.
Vitamin C also helps improve the body's iron levels that affect growth. Vitamin C assists in converting iron that is poorly absorbed, such as plant-based sources of iron, into a form that is easier to absorb. Research data carried out in Indonesia shows the fact that a decrease in iron intake can slow growth due to reduced iron transport capacity. In fact, simply consuming 100 mg of vitamin C may improve iron absorption by 67%.
It is well known that vitamin C plays an important role in skin health. Vitamin C is an excellent protection factor against UV irradiation. Skin fibroblasts have an absolute dependence on vitamin C for the synthesis of collagen, and for the regulation of the collagen - elastin balance in the dermis. Vitamin C supplementation of animals has shown improved collagen synthesis in vivo.
Vitamin C may help lower blood pressure for people both with and without high blood pressure which limits the risk of sustaining a heart disease. Taking a vitamin C supplement supports the relaxation of blood vessels that carry blood from the heart and helps to reduce the blood pressure levels. Vitamin C supplements significantly reduce “bad” LDL cholesterol by approximately 7.9 mg/dl and blood triglycerides by 20.1 mg/dl.
Vitamin C also protects memory and thinking. Vitamin C intakes from food or supplements can protect thinking and memory. A lack of vitamin C can damage the nervous system. Studies have shown that dementia patients generally have lower vitamin C levels in the blood. Vitamin C can also help to prevent colds, reduce cancer risk, and prevent eye diseases.