A ZEST FOR LIFE: VITAMIN C
Also known as ascorbic acid, vitamin C is involved in over 300 metabolic reactions covering a variety of functions that impact on our immune system, bone and joint health and cell condition. Vitamin C can be found in citrus fruits, strawberries and green leaves and vegetables but as we are unable to store it in our bodies, it’s important that we maintain a regular intake. Insufficient levels of vitamin C can lead to conditions such as scurvy.
Vitamin C helps to support our immunity. It does this through its anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that help to suppress viral genes and improve symptoms (it is especially effective after exercise!). Studies show that in cases where vitamin C intake is higher, the risk of catching a cold can reduce by as much as 30%.
Joint, bone and muscle health
Vitamin C is also really important when making collagen - the elastic substance found in our skin, joints and blood vessels. By stimulating the production of collagen, vitamin C helps to reduce cartilage loss. The anti-oxidant properties of vitamin C can also help to reduce inflammation in our joints and reduce muscle soreness after exercise.
Vitamin C also helps to enhance the function of vitamin D - increasing our calcium absorption and keeping our bones strong. It also increases our absorption of iron which helps to reduce tiredness and fatigue through maintaining red blood cell formation (this carries oxygen around our body).
Vitamin C is an essential micronutrient and potent antioxidant that helps to support cell functions connected to our immune health. Vitamin C accumulates in cells called nutrophils, which play an important role in killing microbes that are in our bodies aiding our immune system in preventing and treating infections.
Vitamin C is also added to many anti-ageing skin creams and supplements. This is because of the anti-oxidant properties of vitamin C and the impact they have on free radicals. Free radicals are unstable molecules with an odd number of electrons that bind to other molecules and cause bad chemical reactions which can ultimately lead to fine line and wrinkles. Vitamin C helps to balance the number of anti-oxidants and free radicals in our bodies to prevent too many bad reactions occurring.
It’s important avoid taking too much vitamin C as this can lead to an upset stomach!
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