Benefits Of Vitamin C – More Than Just Anti Aging For Your Skin

Taking vitamin C is one of the safest supplements that you can take. But there can be side effects if you take more than you need!

Also, children have a different intake requirement from adults!

So if you’re not sure if you need vitamin C, or you just want to know more about this popular vitamin, keep reading!

What Is Vitamin C?

Vitamin C or ascorbic acid, is a well-known water soluble vitamin with antioxidant properties. This makes it popular in anti-aging creams and Vitamin C serums.

Your body cannot make its own vitamin C.

But you can get your daily dose of vitamin C from many vegetables and fruit. Citrus fruits, strawberries, broccoli, potatoes, and blackcurrants are packed with vitamin C! Everything from your skin and bones needs vitamin C for regenerative purposes (*1). 

Citrus Fruits Are A Natural Source Of Vitamin C
Citrus Fruits Are A Natural Source Of Vitamin C – photo credits Karolina Grabowska (Pexels)

Since vitamin C cannot be synthesized or stored in large amounts in the body:

You will need a daily intake of vitamin C for general good health and well-being (*2). 

Common forms of vitamin C for supplements:

  • Sodium ascorbate
  • Ascorbic acid together with bioflavonoids
  • Calcium ascorbate

Benefits Of Vitamin C

Unlike other multivitamins, there’s no risk in taking too much vitamin C (i.e. ascorbic acid poisoning). As the body can easily flush it out the excess through your urine.

In that case, it’s only a waste of your money!

What Are The Benefits Of Vitamin C
What Are The Benefits Of Vitamin C – photo credits Any Lane (Pexels)

Some of the many vitamin C benefits:

  • Improves immune health (as do the best probiotics in Malaysia)
  • Anti-aging
  • For brain and heart health
  • May encourage fat burn during exercise
  • Calcium absorption for bones
  • Helps to reduce blood pressure (and risk of heart disease)
  • Iron absorption
  • Collagen production
  • Can protect you from gout (i.e. lower uric acid in blood)

Experts have labelled vitamin C as one of the safest and most effective nutrients.

But what makes vitamin C so great?

Some of the benefits of vitamin C include:

1. Improving Immune Health

The most famous perception of vitamin C is that it is extremely beneficial for colds and flus.

That’s only partially true:

Vitamin C cannot cure a cold. But studies have shown that it can prevent worsening of symptoms. Or development of serious complications, including pneumonia and lung infection (*3).

Vitamin C (Effervescent)
Vitamin C (Effervescent) – photo credits Muriel Haudot (flickr)

2. May Improve Heart Health

Other studies suggest that vitamin C can decrease risk of heart disease and heart attacks. However, there are limitations (i.e. unreliable consistency) among such studies. So this benefit is yet to be confirmed (*4).

3. May Improve Brain Health

On another note, vitamin C is an important component of brain function. And there are high levels of vitamin C in our nerve cells! Sufficient vitamin C will also limit oxidative damage to the brain (*5).

Other than ensuring proper functioning of messengers in the brain:

There is concern that there may be a link between vitamin C deficiency and mental health too (*6).

Some Prefer Taking Vitamin C Solutions Instead Of Tablets
Some Prefer Taking Vitamin C Solutions Instead Of Tablets – photo credits Charlotte May (Pexels)

4. Supporting Your Bones And Cartilage

Collagen is an important component of your bones. And vitamin C is vital in collagen formation.

In fact, studies suggest that increased vitamin C can lead to greater bone density (*7).

Besides that, vitamin C also prevents cartilage breakdown by stimulating collagen formation (*8).

5. Anti-aging And Skin Benefits

Vitamin C serums are said to brighten and hydrate your skin. It can also reduce undereye circles, hyperpigmentation, and redness of skin (*9).

6. May Help With Gout

Some studies have suggested that vitamin C can reduce uric acid. This help with preventing gout flare-ups. However, more research is required to confirm these claims (*10).

7. Preserving Teeth And Gum Health

Vitamin C is shown to promote healthy gums and teeth (*11).

It strengthens your gums and prevents gum disease. Including severe gum infections like periodontitis (an irreversible condition that can lead to teeth loss).

Some Vitamin C Supplements Dissolve In Water
Some Vitamin C Supplements Dissolve In Water – photo credits PhotoMIX Company (Pexels)

What Is Vitamin C Deficiency?

Vitamin C deficiency happens when you don’t get enough vitamin C. This will affect your health in the long run.

Serious prolonged cases can even lead to a condition called scurvy. Scurvy is fatal disease but rare in developed countries.

Some symptoms of scurvy include (*12):

  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Easy bruising
  • Pain in muscle and joints
  • Dry skin
  • Nose bleeds
  • Slow wound healing
  • Tooth loss and weight loss
  • Poor immunity

Who Is At Risk Of Vitamin C Deficiency?

Vitamin C deficiency is relatively rare, but roughly 1 in 20 people are somewhat affected by it (*13).

Several groups are at higher risk of vitamin C deficiency (*14, 15):

  • Those who do not eat a healthy balanced diet or are on restrictive diets
  • Smokers and second-hand smokers
  • Those with medical conditions that affects absorption of nutrients (Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis)
  • People who consume a lot of alcohol
  • Pregnant and breastfeeding women
  • Anyone with eating disorders, IBD, etc

Although you may not be in this high-risk group:

Proper supplementation of vitamin C can support general health and well-being.

Are There Health Risks Of Taking More Vitamin C Than You Need?

An overdose can cause the following:

Signs of nausea, including headaches, abdominal cramps, and vomiting. And risk of developing kidney stones.

Know The Risks Of Taking Too Much Vitamin C
Know The Risks Of Taking Too Much Vitamin C – photo credits alex_virt (flickr)

To avoid this, do not take more than 2000mg daily for adults (*16, 17).

Warning/Caution

If you are pregnant or breast feeding, have certain medical conditions, or taking medication (including herbal products, vitamins and supplements):

 Always consult a doctor or pharmacist before taking vitamin C products.

As certain products may not be safe for you. And may interact with your current medications.

If you experience allergic reactions after taking a product (Such as hives, difficulty breathing or swelling of the face and lips):

Stop taking the product and seek medical attention immediately.

Some of these products contain aspartame. Which many people have concerns about. Unfortunately, this topic is extremely controversial and research has yet to confirm anything. To be safe, take less than 40mg/kg/day (*18).

Conclusion

Feel more confident in picking out the best vitamin C supplement for your family and you!

Now that you know more about the benefits and risks that come with taking vitamin C as a supplement!

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Jasmine Chiam

A student in the Pharmacy field. Loves writing and wanted to do something related to medicine but did not personally want to be a doctor. Her passion for writing sparked again and somehow drew her towards content writing. An avid gamer and music-lover who is crazy about salmon and sushi. Dreams to visit Japan one day (for the salmon), hopefully with her own hard-earned money. Linkedin.