Vitamin C is one of the most well-recognized nutrients in the world. Despite its “rock-star” status, have you ever wondered how Vitamin C works to provide your body with so many benefits?
Vitamin C was discovered in 1912, isolated in 1928, and, in 1933, was the first vitamin to be chemically produced. Partly for its discovery, Albert Szent-Györgyi and Walter Norman Haworth were awarded the 1937 Nobel Prizes in Physiology and Medicine and Chemistry, respectively.
Vitamin C is an essential vitamin, meaning your body can’t produce it. It’s water-soluble and found in many fruits and vegetables, including oranges, strawberries, kiwi fruit, bell peppers, broccoli, kale, and spinach.
Daily supplementation of Vitamin C is considered important to maintain adequate levels of this water-soluble nutrient. The recommended daily intake for vitamin C is 75mg for women and 90mg for men.
Vitamin C is involved in the repair of tissue and the enzymatic production of certain neurotransmitters. It is required for the functioning of several enzymes and is a powerful antioxidant that can strengthen your body’s natural defenses.
Antioxidants are molecules that boost the immune system. They do so by protecting cells from harmful molecules called free radicals. When free radicals accumulate, they can promote a state known as oxidative stress, which has been linked to many chronic diseases.
Studies show that consuming more vitamin C can increase your blood antioxidant levels by up to 30%. This helps the body fight inflammation. One of the main reasons people take vitamin C supplements is to boost their immune system, as vitamin C provides several health benefits which include:
- helps encourage the production of white blood cells, which help protect the body against infection;
- helps white blood cells function more effectively while protecting them from damage by potentially harmful molecules, such as free radicals;
- is an essential part of the skin’s defense system. It’s actively transported to the skin, where it can act as an antioxidant and help strengthen the skin’s barriers from invading bacteria and viruses.
What’s more, vitamin C appears to have even greater effects in people who travel under intense physical stress, due to travel fatigue, changes in climate and time zone, difficult professional and/or personal circumstances, or intense sports activities.
For this and a myriad of other reasons, the addition of Vitamin C to daily supplement regimen can be of particular benefit when on the move.
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