Vitamin C is a vital vitamin, meaning your body can’t create it. However, vitamin C has various purposes and has been associated with remarkable health benefits.
It’s water-soluble and observed in many vegetables, and fruits including strawberries, oranges, kiwi fruit, broccoli, bell peppers, spinach, and kale.
The suggested daily consumption of vitamin C is 75 mg for women and 90 mg for men (1).
While it’s usually recommended to get your vitamin C consumption from foods, many people turn to supplements to satisfy their needs.
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Here are 7 scientifically-proven health benefits of consuming a vitamin C supplement.
May reduce your chance of chronic disease
Vitamin C is an efficacious antioxidant that can increase your body’s natural defenses (2).
Antioxidants are molecules that promote the immune system. They do so by defending cells from dangerous molecules described as free radicals.
When free radicals grow, they can develop a situation identified as oxidative stress, which has been associated with many chronic diseases (3).
Vitamin C is an efficacious antioxidant that can enhance your blood antioxidant levels. This may further decrease the danger of chronic diseases like heart disease.
May help manage high blood pressure
Nearly one-third of American adults combat high blood pressure (6).
High blood pressure puts you in danger of heart disease, the dominant cause of death all over the world(7).
Researches have revealed that vitamin C may support lower blood pressure in both those with and without high blood pressure.
Animal research discovered that using a vitamin C supplement improved to ease the blood vessels that transport blood from the heart, which accommodated decrease blood pressure levels (8).
Furthermore, an analysis of 29 human researchers discovered that taking a vitamin C supplement decreased systolic blood pressure (the upper value) by 3.8 mmHg and diastolic blood pressure (the lower value) by 1.5 mmHg, on ordinary, in healthy adults.
In adults with high bp, vitamin C supplements decreased systolic blood pressure by 4.9 mmHg and diastolic blood pressure by 1.7 mmHg, on average (9).
While these outcomes are encouraging, it’s not obvious whether the conclusions on blood pressure are long term. Furthermore, people with high bp should not rely on vitamin C only for treatment.
Vitamin C supplements have been recognized to lower bp in both those with high bp and healthy adults.
May reduce your risk of heart disease
Heart disease is the superior condition of death all over the world (7).
Numerous circumstances develop the risk of heart disease, including high triglyceride or LDL (bad) cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, and low levels of HDL (good) cholesterol.
Vitamin C may benefit defeat these jeopardy factors, which may decrease heart disease risk.
For example, an investigation of 9 studies with a consolidated 293,172 participants observed that after 10 years, people who absorbed at least 700 mg of vitamin C every day had a 25% lower chance of heart disease than those who did not absorb a vitamin C supplement (10).
Interestingly, another review of 15 studies observed that utilizing vitamin C from foods — not supplements — was connected to a lower risk of heart disease.
But, experts were uncertain whether people who utilized vitamin-C-rich foods also followed a healthier lifestyle than people who took a supplement. Therefore, it remains ambiguous whether the differences were due to vitamin C or other characters of their intake(11).
Another investigation of 13 kinds of research looked at the results of taking at least 500 mg of vitamin C every day on jeopardy factors for heart diseases, such as triglyceride levels and blood cholesterol.
The investigation found that consuming a vitamin C supplement significantly decreased LDL (bad) cholesterol by approximately 7.9 mg/dL and blood triglycerides by 20.1 mg/dL (12).
In short, it looks that consuming or taking at least 500 mg of vitamin C every day may decrease the risk of heart disease. But, if you previously utilize a vitamin-C-rich diet, then supplements may not grant extra heart health benefits.
Vitamin C supplements have been associated with a diminished risk of heart disease. These supplements may reduce heart disease risk factors, including triglycerides and high blood levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol.
May help prevent gout attacks and diminish blood uric acid levels
Gout is a kind of arthritis that influences almost 4% of American adults (13).
It’s incredibly disturbing and involves swelling of the joints, particularly those of the big toes. People with gout encounter swelling and sudden, harsh attacks of pain (14).
Gout symptoms emerge when there is excessive uric acid in the blood. Uric acid is a waste product generated by the body. At great levels, it may deposit in the joints and crystallize.
Interestingly, various researches have revealed that vitamin C may benefit reduce uric acid in the blood and, as a consequence, defend against gout attacks.
For example, research including 1,387 men observed that those who utilized the most vitamin C had significantly lower blood levels of uric acid than those who absorbed the least (15).
Another research followed 46,994 healthy men over 20 years to decide whether vitamin C consumption was associated with developing gout. It discovered that people who practiced a vitamin C supplement had a 44% lower gout chance(16).
Additionally, an investigation of 13 investigations discovered that using a vitamin C supplement over 30 days significantly decreased blood uric acid, associated with placebo (17).
While there appears to be a strong connection between vitamin C consumption and uric acid levels, more researches on the impacts of vitamin C on gout are required.
Vitamin-C-rich supplements and foods have been connected to decreased blood uric acid levels and a lower chance of gout.
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Helps stop iron deficiency
Iron is an essential nutrient that has a type of function in the body. It’s necessary for making red blood cells and moving oxygen throughout the body.
Vitamin C supplements can further promote the consumption of iron from the diet. Vitamin C helps in converting iron that is inadequately absorbed, for example, plant-based sources of iron, into a form that is more comfortable to consume(18).
This is exceptionally beneficial for people on a meat-free diet, as meat is a significant source of iron.
In fact, simply absorbing 100 mg of vitamin C may develop iron absorption by 67% (19).
In conclusion, vitamin C may benefit reduce the danger of anemia among people inclined to iron insufficiency.
In one research, 65 children with delicate iron insufficiency anemia were given a vitamin C supplement. Researchers discovered that the supplement solely aided control their anemia (20).
If you possess low iron levels, absorbing more vitamin-C-rich foods or using a vitamin C supplement may benefit develop your blood iron levels.
Vitamin C can increase the consumption of iron that is inadequately absorbed, such as iron from meat-free sources. It may also decrease the danger of iron deficiency.
Health benefits of vitamin C to boost immunity
One of the main motives people use vitamin C supplements is to promote their immunity, as vitamin C is associated with several parts of the immune system.
First, vitamin C benefits stimulate the production of white blood cells identified as phagocytes and lymphocytes, which help defend the body against infection (21).
Second, vitamin C promotes these white blood cells function more efficiently while defending them from harm by probably toxic molecules, such as free radicals.
Third, vitamin C is an indispensable part of the skin’s protection system. It’s actively brought to the skin, where it can serve as an antioxidant and support strengthen the skin’s barriers (22).
What’s more, further, low vitamin C levels have been associated with poor health results.
Vitamin C may increase immunity by stimulating white blood cells to function more efficiently, stimulating your skin’s defense system, and improving wounds heal quicker.
Protects your memory and thinking as you age
Dementia is a general term used to explain the symptoms of poor memory and thinking.
It affects over 35 million people globally and usually happens among older adults (27).
Researches recommend that inflammation near the brain and oxidative stress, nerves, and spine (collectively identified as the central nervous system) can raise the prospect of dementia (28).
Vitamin C supplements may help against conditions like dementia if you don’t get sufficient vitamin C from your diet. But, additional human investigations are required to know the consequences of vitamin C supplements on nervous system health (36).
Low vitamin C levels have been connected to an enhanced risk of thinking and memory disorders like dementia, while high consumption of vitamin C from supplements and foods has been determined to have a protective effect.
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Unproven claims about vitamin C
While vitamin C has many reliably proven benefits, it also has many unproven claims backed by either weak evidence or no proof at all.
Here are some unproven claims regarding vitamin C:
- Prevents the usual cold. While vitamin C seems to decrease the hardness of colds and recovery time by 8% in adults and 14% in children, it does not stop them (37).
- Decreases cancer risk. A handful of researches have associated vitamin C consumption with a lower risk of several cancers. But, most researchers have observed that vitamin C does not influence the risk of developing cancer (38).
- Protects against eye disease. Vitamin C has been associated with decreased risks of eye conditions like cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. But, vitamin C supplements have no influence or may even produce harm (39, 40, 41).
- May treat lead toxicity. Although people with lead toxicity seem to have low vitamin C levels, there is no clear proof from human investigations that confirm vitamin C can heal lead toxicity (42).
Although vitamin C has countless proven benefits, it has not been shown to limit the common cold, protect against eye diseases, decrease cancer risk, or treat lead toxicity.
Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that must be taken from the supplements or diet.
It has been associated with numerous impressive health benefits, such as lowering blood pressure, improving iron absorption, boosting antioxidant levels, protecting against gout attacks, boosting immunity, and reducing dementia and heart disease risk.
In general, vitamin C supplements are a complete and straightforward way to enhance your vitamin C consumption if you struggle to get sufficient from your diet.