Vitamin C has many health benefits. For example, it helps strengthen our immune system and may help lower blood pressure. Not to mention, it’s found in many fruits and vegetables. It’s also an essential vitamin, meaning your body cannot produce it. Yet, vitamin c has many roles and has been linked to impressive health benefits.
It’s water-soluble and found in many fruits and vegetables, including oranges, strawberries, kiwi fruit, bell peppers, broccoli, kale, and spinach. The recommended daily intake for vitamin C is 75 mg for women and 90 mg for men (1Trusted Source). Albeit it’s recommended to get your vitamin C intake from foods, many people turn to supplements to meet their needs.
Vitamin C Health Benefits
Here are 4 scientifically proven benefits of taking a vitamin C supplement.
01. May Help Manage High Blood Pressure
Approximately one-third of American adults have high blood pressure. This puts them at risk of heart disease. Studies have shown that vitamin C may help lower blood pressure in both those with and without high blood pressure.
An animal study found that taking a vitamin C supplement helped relax the blood vessels that carry blood from the heart. This helped reduce blood pressure levels. In adults with high blood pressure, vitamin C supplements reduced systolic blood pressure by 4.9 mmHg. And diastolic blood pressure by 1.7 mmHg, on average.
While these results are promising, it’s not clear whether the effects on blood pressure are long term. Moreover, people with high blood pressure should not rely on vitamin C alone for treatment.
02. Help Prevent Iron Deficiency
Iron is an important nutrient that has a variety of functions in the body. It’s essential for making red blood cells and transporting oxygen throughout the body. Vitamin C supplements can help improve the absorption of iron from the diet. Vitamin C assists in converting iron that is poorly absorbed into a form that is easier to absorb.
This is especially useful for people on a meat-free diet, as meat is a major source of iron. In fact, simply consuming 100 mg of vitamin C may improve iron absorption by 67%. As a result, vitamin C may help reduce the risk of anemia among people prone to iron deficiency.
03. Protects Memory and Thinking As We Age
Dementia is a broad term used to describe symptoms of poor thinking and memory. It affects over 35 million people worldwide and typically occurs among older adults. Studies suggest that oxidative stress and inflammation near the brain, spine, and nerves can increase the risk of dementia.
Vitamin C is a strong antioxidant. Low levels of this vitamin have been linked to an impaired ability to think and remember.
Furthermore, high vitamin C intake has shown to have a protective effect on thinking and memory as you age.
04. Boosts Immunity
One of the main vitamin c health benefits is to boost immunity. First, vitamin C helps encourage the production of white blood cells known as lymphocytes and phagocytes. They help protect the body against infection.
Second, vitamin C assists these white blood cells function more effectively. It simultaneously protects them from damage by potentially harmful molecules, such as free radicals. Third, vitamin C is an essential part of the skin’s defense system. It’s actively transported to the skin acting as an antioxidant and help strengthen the skin’s barriers.
Studies have also shown that taking vitamin C may shorten wound healing time. What’s more, low vitamin C levels have been linked to poor health outcomes.