Vitamin C has long been known to help with immunity. This water-soluble vitamin came to fame through Nobel Prize winning research in 1937 and has been since recognized as a key antioxidant and immune system strengthener. Deficiencies in vitamin C are associated with increased risks of infections as seen in pneumonia and other respiratory viruses as well chronic disease conditions such as diabetes, gastritis, pancreatitis, cancer, sepsis, and arthritis. Vitamin C, as a power anti-oxidant, also has anti-inflammatory effects.
Vitamin C stores deplete whenever your body is under duress as in chronic stress or acute illness so it is helpful to supplement regularly. As a water-soluble vitamin concerns for toxicity are minimal. A dose of 1000mg daily is considered beneficial for optimal health. Vitamin C is also helpful in collagen formation and tissue repair which makes it essential for people with degenerative conditions like arthritis or gum disease.
Vitamin C is found in a variety of plant foods including, but not limited to citrus fruits. High doses can also be found in berries, kiwis, tomatoes, bell peppers and leafy greens such as spinach or kale. Vitamin C is also helpful in absorbing iron and so iron-deficient people should consume vitamin C-rich foods or supplements with meals in order to increase absorption.
The majority of vitamin C supplements are chemically derived from ascorbic acid which is made from corn. I prefer supplements derived from whole foods sources such as acerola, amla and other berries rather than ascorbic acid, though if you are are not sensitive to the proteins in corn; both forms perform well in health studies. Some suggestions for whole food supplements include:
- Nature’s Way Alive Organic Vitamin C Powder
- Pure Radiance C
- Truly C by Force Naturals
- Vitamin Code Raw C
Vitamin C is safe for adults and children and has many healthy benefits, so consider boosting up for the cold and flu season and start taking your vitamin C!