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Vitamin C has a well established link with heart and vascular health benefits. These benefits are due to the positive effect vitamin C has on endothelial cell function. Endothelial cells are the main type of cell found in the inside lining of blood vessels, lymph vessels, and the heart
While research with synthetic vitamin C has shown both benefit and non benefit for heart and vascular protection, higher intakes of vitamin C rich fruits and green leafy veggies are correlated with better long-term cardiovascular health (1).
The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) also concluded that a cause and effect relationship has been established between the dietary intake of vitamin C and the protection of DNA, proteins and lipids from oxidative damage (2).
Vitamin C has a well established role in the normal function of the immune system. As an antioxidant, Vitamin C serves as an electron donor to reactive oxygen species which helps prevent free radical damage. Vitamin C is crucial to normal innate immunity, or the immune system you were born with, and adaptive immune function, the part of the immune system that destroys invading pathogens and any toxic molecules they produce (1, 2).
The National Academy of Medicine has also established that Vitamin C is essential to the normal function of the immune system. As an electron donor, Vitamin C counteracts reactive oxygen species and plays a critical role in normal innate and adaptive immune function (3).
Supplementation with vitamin C appears to play a role in the management of respiratory health. When used prophylactically, daily vitamin C intakes should be at plasma saturating levels, which is typically 100-200mg/day. This can help optimize cell and tissue levels (3).
Vitamin C plays an important role in maintaining skin health. Normal skin needs high concentrations of vitamin C to support the formation of the skin barrier and collagen in the dermis. It also has the ability to counteract skin oxidation and influence cell growth and differentiation (1).
In 2007, researchers using data from the first National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), examined associations between nutrient intakes and skin aging in 4025 women and found that higher vitamin C intakes were associated with a lower likelihood of a wrinkled appearance and dryness of the skin (2).
The European Food Safety Authority has also established a relationship between vitamin C and collagen formation. They concluded that Vitamin C contributes to normal collagen formation and the normal function of bones, teeth, cartilage, gums, skin and blood vessels.
Antioxidants are the key to healthy aging. They scavenge for free radicals which can reduce oxidative stress and slow down premature aging. Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that serves as an electron donor to counteract reactive oxygen species. Vitamin C is also essential to the production of collagen in skin cells, helping to support skin structure and delay signs of aging (1).