Vitamin C (also known as ascorbic acid) is an essential nutrient that you need to obtain daily from your diet or through supplementation. Most species of animals can produce their own vitamin C, however humans are among one of the few species that are unable to produce their own vitamin C.
The discovery of vitamin C and its deficiency state are historically associated with a condition known as scurvy, which was seen when old-world sailors undertook long sea voyages without access to fresh fruits and vegetables, valuable sources of vitamin C. Most people these days are familiar with vitamin C’s ability to support the healthy functioning of the immune system. Vitamin C also provides a number of other beneficial actions for general health and wellbeing:
Vitamin C provides antioxidant activity and is considered to be our main water-soluble antioxidant. Antioxidants help to protect your body from free radicals and oxidative damage. High concentrations of free radicals in your body can lead to oxidative damage in various cells and tissues. Vitamin C also helps to regenerate your main fat-soluble antioxidant, vitamin E, and maintains your glutathione levels, your body’s ‘master’ antioxidant. See Vitamin C 1000 Plus.
- Collagen production
Collagen is your body’s most abundant protein, representing approximately 30% of total body protein, and is a major structural component of connective tissues found in your body, in skin, hair, nails, ligaments, tendons, cartilage, teeth and bone. Collagen provides tensile strength and firmness to connective tissues around your body. Vitamin C is needed for the formation of your body’s connective tissue and is essential for the production of collagen. If collagen is produced and vitamin C is not available, the collagen will be unstable, resulting in abnormal tissue structure. See Collagen Gold.
- Immune health
Vitamin C is important for the healthy functioning of your white blood cells and your immune response. See Vitamin C 1000 Plus.
Vitamin C is found in high concentrations in your adrenal glands and plays an important role in the production of your stress hormones, including cortisol and adrenaline. In times of stress, vitamin C can be quickly depleted from the adrenal glands and your urinary excretion of vitamin C increases. Our busy lifestyle means that we are often under physical, mental and emotional stress. See Vitamin C 1000 Plus.