Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is needed by the body for hundreds of different metabolic functions and it plays a central role in supporting many aspects of well-being. Although a healthy diet should be the foundation of good nutrition, supplementing with vitamin C is a great way to ensure that you are getting enough. Also, as a water-soluble vitamin and antioxidant there is no danger of over-dosing from vitamin C supplements — the body naturally excretes what it doesn’t require.
Learn about the many faces of this nutrient; an anti-aging supplement, a vitamin for heart health, an immune boosting nutrient, a vitamin for healthy skin, and for healthy gums. Also find out how to make sure you are taking the right vitamin C supplements.
An Anti-Aging Supplement
Why are vitamin C supplements beneficial for retarding the effects of the aging process? This nutrient acts as an antioxidant. It helps to neutralize the negative effects of reactive oxygen and nitrogen radicals in the body, thus protecting cells from damage and even decreasing the likeliness of chronic diseases such as cancer.
Working synergistically with other nutrient antioxidants, such as beta-carotene and vitamin E, vitamin C is an even more powerful anti-aging supplement. According to Phyllis Balch’s Prescription for Nutritional Healing, a study showed that people who took vitamin E and vitamin C supplements together over a long period of time had significantly higher cognitive abilities in older age.
An Important Vitamin for Heart Health
Ascorbic acid is also an important vitamin for heart health. It acts to lower levels of LDL cholesterol (low-density lipoproteins, also known as the bad cholesterol). While at the same time it improves levels of good, HDL cholesterol. As an antioxidant, vitamin C prevents oxidation, and therefore the hardening of cholesterol in the arteries, thus preventing atherosclerosis and reducing high blood pressure. Vitamin C is also good for heart health as it strengthens capillary walls.
Boost Immune Health with Vitamin C Supplements
Taking vitamin C will boost immune health and help the body recover from infections. How? This nutrient increases the activity of white blood cells, which help to ward off dangerous pathogens. It also increases production of the anti-stress hormone, interferon, which heightens the level of antibodies in the bloodstream. Taking vitamin C supplements can also help to protect the body from the negative effects of pollution.
The Benefits of Taking Vitamin C for the Skin
As the body ages, skin sags and weakens and sun exposure leads to an increased amount of free radical damage to skin cells. Vitamin C is beneficial for the skin, helping to address these problems. This nutrient is needed for the production of collagen, which is found in skin tissue, as well as tendons, ligaments, and blood vessels. Adequate amounts of collagen translate into stronger skin. Ascorbic acid is also needed for new tissue regeneration. As an antioxidant, it helps to combat the free radical damage from the sun.
Supplement with Vitamin C for Healthy Gums
This nutrient is so important for healthy gums. In fact, taking vitamin C supplements is a great way to help treat bleeding gums and a receding gum line naturally. According to the American Academy of Peridontology, people who consume less than 60 mg a day of vitamin C are one and one-half times more likely to develop gingivitis than people who consume 180 mg per day. Improving healing, strengthening connective tissue, and acting as a protective antioxidant, vitamin C is even good for a healthy mouth.
The Right Vitamin C Supplements
So taking vitamin C supplements is a good idea, but what are the best nutritional supplements to take? The natural ones. Look for products that have natural sources of ascorbic acid such as rose hips, berry extracts, and citrus. This is so important because synthetic vitamin C is not going to have the remarkable positive healing effect that ascorbic acid, naturally occurring with bioflavonoids and other beneficial phytochemicals, will have.
How much to take? The body is only going to absorb between 250 and 500 mg at one time. Adding this amount to a healthy diet that includes fresh fruits and vegetables will supply more than adequate amounts for the anti-aging, heart health, immune boosting, healthy skin and gums benefits of vitamin C.