Part 2: The Long List of Vitamin C Health Benefits


Last week, we discussed how powerful vitamin C can be and how critical it is to make sure it's part of your everyday diet. We provided a list of benefits that give this vitamin such a positive reputation, but let's take a closer look and see just how advantageous vitamin C truly is for your overall health and well-being: 

1. A strengthened immune system
According to research conducted by The University of Hannover in Germany, many of the cells in the immune system, such as phagocytes and t-cells, need vitamin C to thrive. Additionally, the vitamin has a reputation for defense against minor sickness, such as the common cold.

2. Protection against Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
An analysis of a large-scale national study, led by Yonsei University College of Medicine, found that smokers who took a vitamin C supplement received protection against COPD.

3. A reduced risk of developing Alzheimer's disease
Researchers at the University of Hawaii found that both vitamin C and E provided protection against memory loss in men who had been living with vascular dementia. The results also made the researchers believe that the use of these supplemental vitamins may contribute to better overall cognitive function later in life.

4. A reduced risk of being overweight or obese
According to the American Physiological Society, a study conducted at the University of Colorado, Boulder, found that vitamin C can reduce the chance of endothelin, a small-vessel protein, from becoming constricted. If restrained, the vessel is less likely to streamline blood flow properly, which can increase the risk for vascular disease, which may result in obesity.

5. A lowered chance of experiencing stress
Vitamin C does not only provide physical benefits. According to Psychology Today, people who have high levels of vitamin C in their system are less likely to show mental signs of stress, and it's easier for them to relapse from a nerve-racking situation.

6. Protection against heart attack
This essential antioxidant also has the ability to protect your heart, according to Dr. Mercola. It blocks damage, caused by free radicals, that has the potential to develop into heart disease. It also keeps your arteries flexible, reducing your risk for heart attack, peripheral artery disease and stroke.

7. Lowered blood pressure
Dr. Mercola also shared that those who pay attention to vitamin C and follow a diet that's rich in the powerful antioxidant are able to lead comfortable lives with lower blood pressure. 

8. Prevention against Type 2 diabetes
Vitamin C also has the ability to decrease blood sugar levels, which can be especially beneficial for those living with Type 2 diabetes. With the proper diet – especially one that favors vitamin C –  diabetes can be diminished.

9. Maintained skin elasticity
Over time, skin naturally loses elasticity and begins to wrinkle. By taking a vitamin C supplement, or eating foods rich in the nutrient, you'll stimulate the body's collagen production, a protein that maintains the skin's strength and elasticity. 

10. A reduced risk for Age-Related Macular Degeneration
According to the Age-Related Eye Disease Study, sponsored by the National Eye Institute, people at high risk for AMD who took 500 mg per day of vitamin C, plus beta-carotene, vitamin E and zinc, saw a 25 percent decrease in the progression of the disease.

It's safe to say that a well-balanced diet loaded with vitamin C will do your body well. Eating fruits and vegetables that are rich in this vital antioxidant can benefit you, but you may need additional supplements to optimally support your body's health in stressful conditions.

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