Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is an essential vitamin necessary to our survival. It plays a role in a number of biological functions, and is required for the production of everything from collagen to some neurotransmitters. But despite its importance, our bodies don’t produce vitamin C naturally, so we have to rely on outside sources for our daily intake of vitamin C, like our diet and supplements.
Vitamin C’s importance has been known ever since the 18th century, when sailors started to eat citrus fruits (which have large amounts of the vitamin) at sea to prevent scurvy. These days, most of us aren’t sailing the Atlantic, and we don’t run the risk of severe vitamin C deficiency. But making sure you’re getting enough vitamin C may lead to some great benefits.
One of the biggest benefits of vitamin C is the boost that it provides your immune system.* Not only is vitamin C a powerful antioxidant, it also has been suggested that vitamin C can support a healthy immune system in certain individuals, possibly even helping prevent the common cold.
Vitamin C supplements can help anyone support a healthy human system. In a meta-analysis of placebo-controlled studies, regular vitamin C supplementation consistently reduced the length of the common cold. While anyone may benefit from vitamin C supplements, a few groups of people stand to gain more:
It’s no secret that moderate exercise aids a healthy immune system. But for certain athletes who undergo intense physical exertion (think marathoners or skiers), the benefits of vitamin C supplementation is potentially more pronounced. In a review of several studies, vitamin C supplementation significantly reduced the risk of the common cold for subjects under physical stress.
Vitamin C can also may help iron absorption. Meat is major source of iron in many people’s diets, so for those on a meat-free diet like vegetarians and vegans, absorbing iron efficiently is important. Vitamin C supplements could help vegetarians and vegans attain the healthy iron-absorption rate they need.*
According to the National Institutes of Health, most adults need between 75mg and 90mg of vitamin C a day in order to meet their daily requirements. Additionally, there aren’t believed to be serious negative side effects from high intakes – even more incentive to supplement your daily intake.*
Whether you’re looking to support your seasonal wellness, or just maintain a well-rounded diet, vitamin C is a great way to supplement a healthy lifestyle.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Solaray products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.