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Vitamin C

Vitamin C is one of the most studied and perhaps most important nutrients on the market today. It was the first vitamin discovered, when in 1747 a Scottish naval surgeon named James Lind discovered a nutrient in citrus that could help prevent scurvy among sailors. Since then, thousands of research studies have been conducted on vitamin C, linking it to an ever-expanding list of health-related benefits.

Although required in small quantities like other vitamins, vitamin C is a critical supplement needed by the body in maintaining the functions of vital organs and preventing degenerative diseases.

Overall Health Benefits

  • Lowers risk of heart disease [1-17]
  • Prevents and treats common cold [18-20]
  • Lowers blood pressure [21-24]
  • Helps lose weight [25-33]
  • Accelerates wound healing [34-35]
  • Prevents wrinkles and other signs of skin aging [36-40]
  • Boosts brain power [41-43]
  • Prevents age-related blindness [44-47]
  • Prevents cancer [48-52]

Proven Health Benefits

Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

An overwhelming body of clinical evidence shows that vitamin C is essential for heart health:

  1. In Spanish graduates, higher vitamin C intake was associated with a lower risk of heart disease. [1]
  2. In female nurses, supplementation with vitamin C lowered the risk of coronary heart disease (CHD). [2]
  3. In subjects who were free of CHD, high supplemental vitamin C intakes reduced the risk of CHD. [3]
  4. Several studies found that vitamin C deficiency was associated with a higher risk of cardiovascular disease. [4-7]
  5. A number of high quality studies found that vitamin C can help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by preventing plaque formation in the heart (atherosclerosis). [8-12]
  6. Studies also show that higher vitamin C intake was associated with a lower risk of death due to heart disease. [13-15]
  7. In smokers, supplementation with vitamin C prevented the development of heart disease. [16-17]

Prevents and Treats Common Cold 

Evidence suggests that the immune-boosting properties of vitamin C can help protect against common cold:

  1. In patients with common cold, daily supplementation with vitamin C reduced the symptoms. [18]
  2. In a test population, vitamin C relieved and prevented cold and flu symptoms. [19]
  3. In a randomized controlled trial, vitamin C supplementation significantly reduced the frequency of common cold. [20]

Lowers Blood Pressure

Vitamin has also been shown to lower high blood pressure:

  1. In hypertensive patients, vitamin C supplementation produced modest effects on reducing systolic blood and diastolic blood pressure.[21]
  2. In older people, higher vitamin C blood levels were associated with a lower blood pressure. [22]
  3. In young women, higher vitamin C levels at a young age were associated with a lower blood pressure. [23]
  4. In patients with hypertension, vitamin C supplementation together with standard therapy lowered blood pressure. [24]

Helps Lose Weight

Studies show that vitamin C can also help promote fat loss:

  1. A study found that vitamin C-depleted individuals were more resistant to fat mass loss. [25]
  2. A study reported that vitamin C can help prevent obesity by increasing feelings of satiety. [26]
  3. Higher vitamin C intake has been shown to reduce body mass index and waist circumference. [27]
  4. In obese adults adhering to a calorie-reduced diet, higher vitamin C reduced body weight by improving exercise capacity. [28]
  5. In obese women, higher vitamin C intake was associated with increased weight reduction. [29]
  6. In obese women, administration of vitamin C reduced fat mass, percentage body fat, body circumference, and skinfold thickness. [30]
  7. In young adults, it was found that low vitamin C status was associated with reduced fat loss. [31]
  8. In obese mice, the result showed that vitamin C supplementation prevented weight gain. [32]
  9. In rodents, vitamin C reduced body fat mass by affecting genes associated with obesity. [33]

Accelerates Wound Healing

Vitamin C has also been shown to play an integral role in wound healing:

  1. In wounded test mice, vitamin C supplementation improved wound healing by reducing inflammation. [34]
  2. A study found that combined supplementation of vitamin C with other energy-rich nutritional supplements resulted in faster wound healing. [35]

Prevents Wrinkles and other Signs of Skin Aging

Studies show that the antioxidant properties of vitamin C have anti-aging effects on the skin:

  1. Vitamin C has been shown to protect the skin against sun damage and hyperpigmentation. [36]
  2. In healthy females, skin application of vitamin C increased collagen synthesis. [37]
  3. In adult female volunteers, facial application of vitamin C improved skin color, elasticity, radiance, smoothness, and wrinkle appearance. [38]
  4. In patients with sun-damaged skin, topical application of vitamin C for 12 weeks reduced signs of skin damage. [39]
  5. In adult women, higher vitamin C intake was associated with a reduced appearance of wrinkles. [40]

Boosts Brain Power

Evidence suggests that vitamin C can help prevent cognitive decline associated with ageing and brain disorders:

  1. In Alzheimer’s disease (AD) mouse model, higher administration of  vitamin C prevented the development of AD-like conditions. [41]
  2. A study showed that vitamin C protected against oxidant stress and played an important role in the normal functioning of nerve cells in the brain. [42]
  3. A study also showed that vitamin C supplementation can help protect brain cells against various types of injury. [43]

Prevents Age-Related Blindness

Studies suggest that vitamin C is also essential for maintaining optimum eye function:

  1. A study showed that vitamin C supplementation prevented the development of cataract. [44]
  2. A study reported that vitamin C can help prevent eye degeneration through its antioxidant effects. [45]
  3. High levels of vitamin C have been shown to reduce the risk of cataract. [46-47]

Prevents Cancer

Studies show that the anti-oxidant properties of vitamin C can help combat various types of cancer:

  1. An analysis of several studies suggested that dietary and supplementary intake of vitamin C can reduce the risk of breast cancer. [48]
  2. A study reported that administration of vitamin C together with chemotherapeutic drugs can effectively kill tumor cells. [49]
  3. A study also found that  increased vitamin C reduced the risk of lung cancer. [50]
  4. A study showed that vitamin C exerts its anti-cancer effects through its antioxidant activities. [51]
  5. Increased vitamin C intake has also been shown to reduce the risk of esophageal cancer. [52]

References:

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  2. Osganian SK, Stampfer MJ, Rimm E, Spiegelman D, Hu FB, Manson JE, Willett WC. Vitamin C and risk of coronary heart disease in women. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2003 Jul 16;42(2):246-52. doi: 10.1016/s0735-1097(03)00575-8. PMID: 12875759.
  3. Knekt P, Ritz J, Pereira MA, O’Reilly EJ, Augustsson K, Fraser GE, Goldbourt U, Heitmann BL, Hallmans G, Liu S, Pietinen P, Spiegelman D, Stevens J, Virtamo J, Willett WC, Rimm EB, Ascherio A. Antioxidant vitamins and coronary heart disease risk: a pooled analysis of 9 cohorts. Am J Clin Nutr. 2004 Dec;80(6):1508-20. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/80.6.1508. PMID: 15585762.
  4. Moser MA, Chun OK. Vitamin C and Heart Health: A Review Based on Findings from Epidemiologic Studies. Int J Mol Sci. 2016;17(8):1328. Published 2016 Aug 12. doi:10.3390/ijms17081328.
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  27. Johnston CS, Beezhold BL, Mostow B, Swan PD. Plasma vitamin C is inversely related to body mass index and waist circumference but not to plasma adiponectin in nonsmoking adults. J Nutr. 2007 Jul;137(7):1757-62. doi: 10.1093/jn/137.7.1757. PMID: 17585027.
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