Vitamin Cs Health Benefits

Nutrition
March 15, 2012

Why you should consider upping your vitamin C intake.

Vitamin C is an important antioxidant. Also known as ascorbic acid, vitamin C helps your body to absorb iron and to form collagen in bones, cartilage, muscle and blood vessels, states the Mayo Clinic. It is a common vitamin found in citrus fruits and other sources. Upping your intake of the vitamin may have various health benefits.

Protection against common cold. Increasing your intake of vitamin C has been thought to offer protection from the common cold. However, according to both the Mayo Clinic and the Linus Pauling Institute, the benefits of vitamin C for preventing the common cold are inconclusive.

Skin health. Vitamin C does benefit your skin, the largest organ in your body. Because the vitamin helps in the formation of collagen, it can help your skin retain firmness while promoting cell growth. Its antioxidant properties can help fight free radicals, preventing damage or death to healthy cells. Vitamin C may help reduce the “effects of sun exposure, such as sunburn or redness (called erythema),” reports the University of Maryland Medical Center.

Lowering high blood pressure. People suffering from hypertension may experience a lowering of their high blood pressure when upping their vitamin C intake. If you have high blood pressure, be sure to talk to your doctor before beginning any vitamin regimen.

Potential arthritis prevention. Because vitamin C is needed for collagen formation in your body, it may help prevent arthritis when ingested as part of a healthy nutrient-rich diet. However, the University of Maryland Medical Center states that no evidence suggests vitamin C supplements can prevent or treat osteoarthritis.

Protection from age-related macular degeneration. Macular degeneration is a chronic eye disease that can result in the loss of vision. When vitamin C is combined with other antioxidants, it may help to protect your eyes from vision loss due to age-related macular degeneration.

Lowering uric acid levels. Gout sufferers experience high uric acid levels, which can lead to gout attacks. Upping intakes of daily vitamin C intakes can help to lower uric acid in the body, reducing the inflammation and pain common with gout.

Vitamin C deficiencies. A deficiency in vitamin C can cause a condition known as scurvy. Scurvy can cause bleeding gums, tooth and hair loss as well as joint swelling and pain. In some cases, survey can be fatal. It is rare to see scurvy in developed countries; however, if vitamin C levels are not maintained, there is the potential for the disease.

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