Vitamin c is one of the most consumed vitamins because it is a water-soluble vitamin embedded in majority of the foods and fruits we consume daily. Vitamin C is also packed with a lot of antioxidants that can help in cell reinforcement and also regenerate the body. It likewise helps in building connective tissues, in healing wounds and also in improves absorption of non-heme iron. Vitamin c also forestalls the damages that can be caused by free radicals on the skin and body.
Signs of Vitamin C deficiency
• Swollen or bleeding gums
• Inflammation of the gums (also called gingivitis)
• slow wound healing
• Dry and splitting hair
• Rough and dry skin
• Weak immunity
• Swollen and painful joints
• Possible weight gain
Health Benefits of Vitamin C
Boosts Heart health
Studies have shown that vitamin C plays a vital role in preventing and reducing the risk of heart diseases. Further research supported this by stating that when the plasma levels of vitamin C is high; it could reduce risk of heart disease. Studies further prove that vitamin C is as effective to the heart as exercise is. When Vitamin C is taken regularly, it can hinder the constriction of small blood vessels by a protein named endothelin-I; this constricting can result to heart attack. It can also lower your blood pressure and keep your arteries flexible.
Vitamin C can also help your arteries dilate especially when you are stressed. This in turn improves blood flow thereby aiding its oxygen carrying capability. Foods that are rich sources of vitamin C can also help prevent heart disease.
Regulates your blood pressure
Research found that taking enough of Vitamin C daily can help lower blood pressure. It acts as a diuretic thereby causing the kidney to remove more sodium and water from the body and this helps regulate and relieve the pressure on the blood vessel wall. Vitamin C also protects your body’s supply of nitric oxide, a molecule known to relax the blood vessels. Vitamin C, according to another Italian study, also enhances vasodilation (the dilation of blood vessels that decreases blood pressure). And it even prevents vasoconstriction.
Boosts the immune system
When your body lacks vitamin c, its resistance against certain pathogens and free radicals is drastically reduced. Vitamin C also gets rid and prevents the advent of certain infections and reduces the impact of certain allergies. It does this by enhancing T-cell proliferation in response to most of the infections. Vitamin C has also been proven over time to posses the ability to quicken the healing process of wounds especially when taken regularly. The nutrient had improved the quality of the newly synthesized collagen, thereby quickening the process of wound healing.
Helps prevent cancer
Research findings show that taking vitamin C in large doses can slow down the growth of prostate, liver, colon and other types of cancer cells. There are speculations that higher concentrations of vitamin C might also be able to treat cancer. When a certain type of vitamin C was administered intravenously to inoperable cancer patients, there was a noticeable reduction in the tumor volume without any recorded side effects. A lot of studies carried out show that ascorbate- a kind of vitamin C- can also kill cancer cells.
Aids In The Treatment Of Osteoarthritis
According to the Arthritis Foundation, vitamin C can help prevent some forms of arthritis. But too much of it might worsen some other forms of the condition – which is why finding a balance is key. Getting the right dose of vitamin C helps prevent inflammatory arthritis and maintains healthy joints with osteoarthritis
Research also states that people with the lowest levels of vitamin C would be three times more likely to develop inflammatory arthritis. But as we already discussed, taking note of the dosage is important. Dietary intake of vitamin C exceeding the RDA recommendation (90 milligrams per day for men and 75 milligrams per day for women) might worsen arthritis symptoms.
Enhances Eye Health
When enough vitamin C is taken, it can reduce the risk of cataracts to the barest minimum. Vitamin C, when taken alongside other essential nutrients can prevent certain age related macular degeneration and visual acuity loss. People with high intake of vitamin C have a 20% lower risk of cataracts.
It also fights oxidative stress by preventing the free radicals from causing molecular damage to the lens tissue in the eye. Vitamin C could also extend the proper functioning of your retinal cells as per studies. This vitamin also supports the health of the blood vessels in your eyes.
Vitamin C might also aid in the regeneration of vitamin E in the eye, which further enhances eye health. Regular intake of vitamin C can also aid in the treatment of uveitis (inflammation of the middle layer of the eye, also called uvea)
Deficiency of vitamin C can also cause periodontal disease, a severe form of gingivitis (gum disease). This is because low levels of vitamin C can weaken the connective tissue and easily break down the capillaries. In fact, one early sign of vitamin C deficiency is bleeding gums. And the vitamin is responsible for the health of teeth and gums.
Helps Treat Allergies
It is important to know that allergies are caused when your body releases histamine, a biochemical. Vitamin C intake reduces the release of histamine, thereby preventing allergies.
As per another Japanese study, autoimmune disease and the related allergies can also be controlled by vitamin C Vitamin C was also found to aid in the treatment of hay fever (also called allergic rhinitis)
Alleviates Dry Mouth
There are studies that suggest that vitamin C can help treat and get rid of bacteria that cause dry mouth. More studies are needed to ascertain how true this assertion is.
Research findings show that Vitamin C can help you push through the pain barrier and eliminate fatigue. Supplementing vitamin C had also made the training of school footballers about 25% easier and reduced fatigue by as much as 55%.
Vitamin C, in one of the studies carried out significantly reduced work-related stress when taken by healthy employees.
Vitamin C supplements can also improve physical activity levels in men who have very low vitamin C status.