When the flu strikes, taking vitamin C supplements is often the first choice to protect the body’s immune system. Vitamin C can indeed be relied upon to prevent disease. However, do you understand that vitamin C has various benefits?
Benefits of vitamin C for health
The manufacture of tissues and the body’s defense system requires the consumption of various types of vitamins and minerals. One of the important vitamins that help the body function is vitamin C, or also known as ascorbic acid.
Vitamin C (another name for ascorbic acid) is listed in the water-soluble vitamin group.
The body cannot produce and store vitamin C on its own. Therefore, you need to meet the needs of vitamin C every day from food consumption.
Adequate consumption of vitamin C can protect the body from disease attacks. However, this is not one of the benefits of vitamin C.
Nutrients identical to these fruits are also useful for skin tissue, blood circulation, and brain nerves.
Below are the various benefits that you can get from vitamin C.
1. Increase body endurance
Vitamin C helps increase the body’s immunity by encouraging the production of white blood cells called lymphocytes and phagocytes.
As an antioxidant, this vitamin also protects the body’s immune cells from damage caused by free radicals.
Not only that, vitamin C helps strengthen the skin’s defenses. The skin apparently does not only protect the body from air and space.
This largest organ of the human body also expels germs, fungi, and other microbes that cause disease.
2. Keeps skin healthy and tight
Vitamin C can be found in the dermis and epidermis of the skin. This is because vitamin C has properties in maintaining healthy skin. These nutrients encourage the creation of collagen and protect skin cells from damage.
Collagen is the main protein that forms the structure of your skin.
Production can shrink due to aging and free radicals from the environment. It is vitamin C that will help protect the production of collagen so that the skin stays healthy.
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3. Avoid iron deficiency anemia
Iron deficiency anemia is a disease that occurs when red blood cells do not have enough iron. Meanwhile, red blood cells need iron to bind oxygen and circulate it throughout the body.
You can avoid this situation by meeting the needs of vitamin C. Ascorbic acid works by increasing the absorption of iron, especially from vegetable sources where iron is more difficult for the body to absorb.
4. Helps control blood pressure
If you have hypertension, try adding foods rich in vitamin C to your daily menu. The reason is, various studies show that consumption of vitamin C can help lower blood pressure, especially in people with hypertension.
For the daily in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, vitamin C supplements can lower systolic blood pressure by 4.9 mmHg (mm of mercury) and diastolic by 1.7 mmHg. To get more leverage, balance it by lowering salt consumption.
5. Lower cholesterol
Vitamin C has properties for people with high cholesterol. Several previous studies have found that consuming as much as 500 mg of vitamin C per day can lower LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
LDL (low-density lipoprotein) and triglycerides are ‘bad’ cholesterol which can stimulate the formation of plaque in blood vessels.
Vitamin C helps prevent it by keeping both levels under control.
6. Help avoid gout
Gout disease is caused by high levels of uric acid in the blood.
Uric acid then forms crystals in the joints, causing pain and swelling. Interestingly, ascorbic acid has the ability to avoid this condition.
According to one study, taking vitamin C supplements for 30 days can lower blood uric acid levels in extreme ways. Moreover, people who regularly take vitamin C supplements have a 44% lower risk of developing gout.
7. Lower the risk of chronic disease
Vitamin C has properties as a natural antioxidant. Antioxidants are substances that protect various body cells from the effects of free radicals. Without antioxidant protection, the body’s cells are more susceptible to damage or harmful mutations.
Destruction or mutation of cells can cause several diseases, ranging from heart disease, hardening of the arteries, to cancer.
Consumption of vitamin C does not directly prevent the disease, but has the potential to reduce the risk.
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8. Accelerate wound treatment
Ascorbic acid indirectly participates in the treatment of injuries. The process of treating injuries requires a lot of protein, one of which is collagen. When the production of collagen is reduced, the injury will take longer to heal than it should.
Vitamin C triggers the creation, maturation, and release of collagen in injured tissue.
This helps speed up the creation of new tissue that will cover the injury. That way, the injury will heal faster.
9. Reduce the risk of eye disease
Consumption of vitamin C is believed to have properties for eye health. One study in the daily Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, for example, said that ascorbic acid has the potential to slow down the process of cataract formation.
Another research in the same daily also said that consumption of vitamin C and minerals helps prevent macular degeneration. This disease occurs when the part of the retina called the macula is damaged.
Known as a vit for the immune system, vitamin C actually has a number of benefits that may not be widely known.
To get these benefits, you just need to add a source of vitamin C to your menu every day.