Why vitamin C is one of the most crucial vitamins for optimal health and well-being

Ascorbic acid, more popularly known as vitamin C, is a water-soluble vitamin that’s important for many biological processes. It is considered an essential nutrient because our bodies need it but can’t produce it on their own. In fact, we humans belong to a small group of animals – which includes primates and some birds – that need to get vitamin C from external sources. [1] And because our bodies don’t store vitamin C, we need to obtain a certain amount of it from our daily diet. [2]

Many foods contain high amounts of vitamin C. Unfortunately, they’re not all reliable sources of the nutrient because many need to be cooked before they are eaten. According to a study published in the journal Pediatrics, vitamin C in foods is destroyed by high temperatures and prolonged storage. [3] This is why nutritionists always recommend vitamin C sources that can be eaten raw, such as fresh organic fruits and vegetables. Another reliable source of vitamin C is clean supplements derived from natural products.

Why vitamin C is a nutrient you can’t do without

Your body can absorb up to 90% of the vitamin C from foods or supplements at moderate intakes of 30 to 180 milligrams (mg) per day. Once vitamin C enters your bloodstream, it is taken up by various cells, which then convert it into ascorbic acid. [4]

Some cells, such as those belonging to your brain, eyes, adrenal glands and pituitary gland, need to maintain high levels of vitamin C in order to function properly. This is because vitamin C helps drive some of the biochemical reactions that affect their functions. According to a study published in the journal Oral Diseases, vitamin C acts as a cofactor, or catalyst, for 15 different mammalian enzymes. [5]

One of the enzymatic reactions vitamin C has become known for promoting is the biosynthesis of collagen. During this crucial process, vitamin C helps ensure that the two enzymes responsible for stabilizing and providing structural strength to collagen molecules can do their jobs properly. [6] Because of its role as an essential cofactor for collagen production, vitamin C is able to support the health of your skin.

Collagen is the most abundant protein in your body. As a structural molecule, it provides support to various tissues and organs, such as your bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments and skin. [7] In fact, you owe your skin’s firmness and suppleness to this fibrous protein. [8] But because the body’s ability to produce collagen declines with age, sagging skin is a normal occurrence in older adults. Vitamin C can help you maintain your skin’s healthy and youthful appearance by supporting your body’s natural ability to produce collagen.

Another way that vitamin C benefits various organs of your body is by acting as an antioxidant. Antioxidants neutralize harmful free radicals by donating an electron to these unstable molecules. By doing so, antioxidants prevent free radicals from stealing electrons from important biomolecules, such as proteins, lipids and DNA. This saves them from oxidative damage, which has been linked to various health issues. [9]

Vitamin C is also known for supporting a healthy immune system. According to a study published in the journal Nutrients, white blood cells need vitamin C to help defend your body from external threats. In fact, these natural immune cells contain some of the highest levels of vitamin C among the cells of your body. [10] Vitamin C also supports the barrier function of your epithelial cells, which form the outer layer of your skin and line organs like your intestine. This barrier function is crucial for your body’s protection against harmful elements.

Aside from immune function, vitamin C also supports healthy respiratory and cardiovascular functions. In a study published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, researchers found ample evidence that high vitamin C intake can help people of all ages maintain healthy lung function. [11] According to the American Lung Association, lung function starts to decline gradually after the age of 35. [12] Therefore, eating vitamin C-rich foods or supplementing with vitamin C is a viable way for older adults to support a healthy respiratory system.

In terms of cardiovascular function, the results of controlled trials and cohort studies also suggest that vitamin C offers certain protective benefits. An article published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences noted that because vitamin C acts as an antioxidant, it can help protect your blood vessels from damage caused by oxidized lipids. Vitamin C is also said to promote the body’s natural production of nitric oxide. These activities can help you maintain healthy blood pressure levels that are already within the normal range. [13]

In your brain, vitamin C is needed by your cells for a number of functions, including supporting the healthy production and functions of chemical messengers (neurotransmitters). [14] Vitamin C also serves as a cofactor for the conversion of dopamine to noradrenaline, a hormone and neurotransmitter that helps your body respond to stress and exercise. Noradrenaline can promote healthy sleep-wake cycle, attention, emotions and memory storage. [15] 

According to research, the tissues in your digestive tract contain plenty of collagen. In fact, it is collagen that holds all of your digestive tissues together. Whenever these tissues are damaged, they require large amounts of collagen for repair. You can support your body’s natural ability to heal and maintain a healthy digestive system by ensuring that you always have adequate levels of vitamin C for collagen production. [16]

Another benefit of supplementing with vitamin C is that it can promote your body’s absorption of iron. Iron is an essential mineral that plays a crucial role in transporting oxygen to the cells of your body. But a number of factors affect your ability to absorb this important nutrient, the most notable of which is the form it takes. Heme iron from red meat, poultry and fish is easily absorbed by your body, but non-heme iron from plant-based foods is not.

Fortunately for those on a strict plant-based diet, vitamin C can bind to non-heme iron and form a complex that is easier for your body to absorb. Taking your vitamin C together with iron is a great way to increase the latter’s bioavailability, especially if you’re getting it from plant-based sources. [17]

Vitamin C is one of the few vitamins outside of the B-vitamin family that offers mental health benefits. Studies show that people who are deficient in vitamin C feel tired all the time and depressed. But dietary interventions, which include supplementing with vitamin C, have been shown to promote a positive mood among these individuals. [18] This suggests that maintaining healthy vitamin C levels is important for supporting good overall health and well-being.

To recap, here are 8 health benefits offered by vitamin C:*

  • Supports healthy immune function
  • Supports healthy respiratory function
  • Supports healthy cardiovascular function
  • Supports healthy brain function
  • Supports a healthy digestive system
  • Supports healthy, glowing skin
  • Promotes the absorption of plant-based iron
  • Naturally uplifts mood

The best vitamin C sources

As with all nutrients, the recommended daily allowance (RDA) for vitamin C varies depending on age and gender. [19] For children 4 to 8 years, the RDA is 25 milligrams (mg) for both males and females, while for those aged 9 to 13 years, the RDA for vitamin C goes up to 45 mg. For individuals aged 14 to 18, the RDA for vitamin C is 75 mg for males and 65 mg for females. The RDA for males and females aged 19 and above is 90 mg and 75 mg, respectively.

According to experts, consuming five servings of various fruits and vegetables can provide you with more than 200 mg of vitamin C. Some of the biggest vitamin C contributors in a standard American diet are tomatoes, tomato juice and potatoes. But if you’re looking to expand your sources and add variety to your diet, consider the following vitamin C-rich foods:

  • Raw red pepper, 95 mg per ½ cup
  • Fresh orange juice, 93 mg per ¾ cup
  • Fresh grapefruit juice, 70 mg per ¾ cup
  • Kiwi fruit (medium), 64 mg
  • Raw green pepper, 60 mg per ½ cup
  • Fresh strawberries, 49 mg per ½ cup
  • Raw broccoli, 39 mg per ½ cup
  • Fresh cantaloupe, 29 per ½ cup
  • Raw cauliflower, 26 mg per ½ cup

For people who don’t have access to these foods or can’t include them in their diets, you can rely on supplements to meet your daily vitamin C needs. Just make sure to buy your supplements from sources you can trust.

Where to get clean, non-GMO, pure vitamin C

Despite having many natural sources, vitamin C is one of the most popular supplements on the market. Many people take vitamin C supplements to enjoy its skin and immune benefits. But not all vitamin C supplements are as clean and safe as they’re made out to be.

Although many products say their vitamin C comes from whole food sources, that source is often GMO corn. [20] Vitamin C made from corn is produced from sorbitol, a sugar alcohol derived from a starchy raw material extracted from the GMO corn. [21] But before they get sorbitol, manufacturers first need to break down the corn starch. They do so by using heat, enzymes and a chemical you wouldn’t dream of ingesting: acetone. [22]

To hide these facts, manufacturers of GMO corn-derived vitamin C supplements use deceptive marketing strategies to pass off their products as “natural” and “organic.” What’s more, over 90% of the vitamin C market in the United States is now dominated by China. But due to the lack of regulation and the absence of rules that require proper labeling, there’s no way for you to know if you’re consuming products that are made in China or were created using raw materials from China.

The Health Ranger Store is known for providing only clean, high-quality, non-China and non-GMO health supplements, so you can expect nothing less from our Chief Originals Non-GMO Vitamin C 60 Caps and Chief Originals Non-GMO Vitamin C Powder. You simply won’t find a more superior, premium-grade vitamin C supplement on the market in terms of quality, potency and safety.

Chief Originals Non-GMO Vitamin C 60 Caps and Chief Originals Non-GMO Vitamin C Powder are sourced from the United Kingdom and manufactured following high standards of purity and safety. Our vitamin C is produced through the natural process of fermentation using only carefully chosen citrus as the main sources of raw materials.

Chief Originals Non-GMO Vitamin C 60 Caps and Chief Originals Non-GMO Vitamin C Powder deliver only purified, highly bioavailable vitamin C to support your body’s needs. You can choose to take a capsule one to three times daily with your meals or boost your vitamin C intake by adding our premium powder to your favorite drinks and recipes. Our pure vitamin C powder blends well into fruit smoothies and has a tangy taste that resembles the tartness of unripe strawberries.

Our high-quality vitamin C powder and capsules are non-GMO, non-China, non-corn and certified Kosher. They are also rigorously lab tested for glyphosate, heavy metals and microbiology. 

Support your overall health and well-being with the cleanest, lab-verified vitamin C supplements on the market!

*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to treat, cure or diagnose any diseases.

References

[1] https://paleoleap.com/

[2] https://www.mayoclinic.org

[3]https://pediatrics.aappublications.org/

[4]https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/

[5] https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/

[6] https://www.sciencedirect.com/

[7] https://www.healthline.com/

[8] https://www.news-medical.net/

[9] https://med.libretexts.org/

[10] https://www.mdpi.com/

[11] https://www.atsjournals.org/

[12] https://www.lung.org/

[13] https://www.mdpi.com/

[14] https://bmcpsychiatry.biomedcentral.com/

[15] https://www.hormone.org/

[16] https://healthyeating.sfgate.com/

[17] http://www.icppharm.com/

[18] https://www.mayoclinic.org/

[19] https://ods.od.nih.gov/

[20] https://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/

[21] https://corporate.evonik.com/

[22] https://sunwarrior.com/

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