Wednesday, July 17, 2024
HomeImmuneHow Does Vitamin C Support The Immune System

How Does Vitamin C Support The Immune System

This Is How Zinc Can Help You During A Cold

Can Vitamin C help the immune system with COVID-19? Penn State Health Coronavirus

Zinc is effective in fighting colds because it prevents the adherence of cold viruses to the host’s cells in the nasal mucosa it simply drives them out due to the fact that it occupies their docking location. Additionally, it inhibits the growth and stops the reproduction of these germs. Finally, zinc helps to alleviate the possible inflammation reactions caused by a cold because it prevents the release of histamine and stops the prostaglandin metabolism. Thus, the nasal mucosa does not swell as much, allowing the person to breathe easier. Owing to these findings, zinc should be taken in the form of a lozenge or gurgled as solution from an effervescent tablet before being swallowed. Although many complain of the taste, this is the only way that zinc can have a direct effect on the mucous membranes, fighting the viruses where they are instead of having to take the detour through the digestive tract.

The Discovery Of Scurvy

The discovery of vitamin C and scurvy happened at the same time, in the 1920s, when vitamin C deficiency was a serious and fairly common condition. Sailors on long sea voyages who subsisted on fish, dried meats, and hard tack , with no access to fresh or preserved produce, frequently experienced symptoms of scurvy, a disease characterized by the breakdown of connective tissues.

Historians estimate that between the first voyage of Columbus and the rise of the steam engine in the mid-19th century, over two million sailors perished from the disease. Shipping companies and governments assumed that half of the sailors would die from scurvy on any given voyage.

After experimenting with useless and often dangerous treatments like vinegar, elixir of vitriol , and various potent laxatives, seamen finally discovered a solution in the mid-1700s. When a badly damaged British naval fleet made their way to Juan Fernández Island with just a few hundred men left alive out of the original 1200, they miraculously reversed their scurvy once they began eating the foods readily available on the island: oats, clover, radishes, sorrel, and other vegetable foods rich in vitamin C.

Why Is Vitamin D Important

Vitamin D is unique because it’s one of only two vitamins that your body can produce on its own , and you can also get it from other sources like food or supplements. It’s also technically a hormone that regulates how much calcium is in your blood. Unlike other vitamins, it requires conversion in the liver and kidneys to make it an active hormone. “Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that our bodies use to absorb and maintain healthy calcium and phosphorus levels, which are necessary to grow and maintain our bones,” Tolentino says.

You’ve probably heard that vitamin D is important for your bones, but it supports your body in other ways, too.”While we generally associate vitamin D with musculoskeletal health, it actually has several functions in the body, including the role it plays in immune function and reducing inflammation,” Tolentino says.

Also Check: What Vitamin Is Good For Brain Function

What Is The Function Of Vitamins In Our Body

Vitamins act in concert and help in maintaining bone health and helping heal wounds. They also help convert food into energy, and repair cellular damage, as well as combining with minerals to bolster the immune system. Vitamins are necessary for normal growth and nutrition.

Note: Vitamins do not work effectively without the help of minerals. They work in conjunction to maintain immune system functions.

Oral Supplementation And Side Effects

Redoxon Orange Immune Support Triple Action Vitamin C ...

Vitamin C has an excellent safety profile, primarily due to its high water solubility and rapid clearance of excess levels by the kidneys . Although it is not possible to establish a UL for vitamin C, values of 1,0002,000 mg/day have been suggested as prudent limits by some countries, based on a potential risk of osmotic diarrhea and related gastrointestinal distress in some individuals at higher doses .

Since vitamin C is partially converted to oxalate and excreted in the urine, high doses of vitamin C could be associated with calcium oxalate stone formation . Ferraro et al. studied 156,735 women and 40,536 men, who reported episodes of kidney stones during an average follow-up of 11.311.7 years. The authors signicantly correlated the total vitamin C intake with a higher risk of incident kidney stones in men, but not in women. However, it is important to outline that this study had limitations to be considered. The presence of confounding factors were not taken into account during the follow-up, and the authors assessed vitamin C intake only through a questionnaire and with very long time intervals .

Read Also: When Do Care Of Vitamins Expire

How To Get Enough Vitamin D

As of 2014, experts predicted that about 1 billion people worldwide have low levels of vitamin D or a deficiency making it one of the most common vitamin deficiencies. If you suspect you are low in vitamin D, you should ask your doctor for a test. This way you can make sure you are supplementing the right levels if you do need more. Always ask your doctor before starting a new supplement.

The recommendation for vitamin D for adults is between 600-800 IU, although that number is up for debate among the science and medical community.

There are three ways to get vitamin D: through food , from direct sun exposure on your skin and through supplements.

How Can Vitamin C Help Boost Your Immune System

While Dr. Adalja says that theres more data for vitamin D, there is some research to support taking vitamin C supplements, too. In case youre not familiar with it, vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin thats naturally present in some foods, like oranges, strawberries, broccoli, and tomatoes, per the NIH. Also known as L-ascorbic acid, its an antioxidant that plays an important role in immune function, the NIH says.

One review and meta-analysis conducted by researchers at Cochrane found that people who took vitamin C supplements when they had a cold had the infection reduced by 8% in adults and 14% in children. People who took vitamin D supplements also had less severe colds than those who didnt.

Vitamin C supplements may also help if you tend to exercise a lot. One Cochrane review looked at data on 642 marathon runners, skiers, and soldiers who took vitamin C supplements and found that taking anywhere from 250 milligrams to 1 gram a day of the vitamin reduced the risk of developing a cold by 50%.

Recommended Reading: What Vitamins Should A 45 Year Old Woman Take

Can Probiotics Help The Immune System

Many have touted probiotics, or âgood bacteria,â as another natural way to boost immunity. We know that they play a key role in helping maintain a healthy balance of bacteria in the gut, and new research supports the idea that they have beneficial effects on immunity.

For example, one study from 2020 â carried out, it must be noted, by a company that produces probiotics â found that probiotic use may reduce the incidence and duration of upper respiratory infections.

The authors call for more research to establish a relationship between probiotics and the immune system.

Many people are taking one or a combination of supplements to prevent or treat COVID-19. But there is not enough data to support the use of any vitamin, herb, or other supplement to treat or prevent this illness.

Only vaccines, together with strict hygiene measures, are proven to help prevent COVID-19. For severe cases of COVID-19, doctors may use specific medications.

Research does suggest that supplementation with vitamins and minerals can be a low-cost way to support optimal immune function.

Even supplementation with vitamins C and D above the current RDAs may be beneficial to the immune system, as long as dosages stay below the recommended safety limits.

Many supplements can interact with medications and other supplements. And combining different supplements can also lead to very high amounts of certain nutrients in the body, which can have potentially severe side effects.

Probiotics are safe for

The Long History Of Vitamin C: From Prevention Of The Common Cold To Potential Aid In The Treatment Of Covid

Does Vitamin C Really Help With Immunity Amid Pandemic?
  • 1Department of Movement Sciences and Wellbeing, University of Naples Parthenope, Naples, Italy
  • 2Centro di Ricerca Interdipartimentale nelle Attività Motorie e Sportive Sport Medicine Centre, University of Pavia, Voghera, Italy
  • 3Department of Pharmacy, University of Salerno, Fisciano, Italy
  • 4Department of Biology, College of Science, University of Bahrain, Sakhir, Bahrain
  • 5IRCCS Mondino Foundation, Pavia, Italy
  • 6Department of Public Health, Experimental and Forensic Medicine, University of Pavia, Pavia, Italy
  • 7Clinical Nutrition and Dietetics Service, Unit of Internal Medicine and Endocrinology, ICS Maugeri IRCCS, University of Pavia, Pavia, Italy

Read Also: How Much Vitamin D In An Egg

Vitamin Metabolites And Lymphocyte Homing

Roles of retinoic acid and 1,252VD3 in tissue-specific lymphocyte homing

Although vitamin A deficiency decreases the number of T and B cells in the small bowel lamina propria,,,, it does not affect lymphocyte migration to the colon. Analogously, GALT-resident DCs imprint T and B cells with homing capacity for the small bowel, but they do not induce colon-homing T cells. Therefore, retinoic acid is neither necessary nor sufficient to imprint colon-homing lymphocytes. The molecular signals that are responsible for lymphocyte homing to the colon and the reasons why T-cell migration to this compartment is controlled differently from homing to the small bowel are still to be determined.

Regarding the migration of ASCs, it has been proposed that CCR10 might have a role in the homing of IgA+ ASCs to the colon, mammary glands and probably to other mucosal compartments . However, it is currently unclear how CCR10 expression is induced by ASCs. Recent reports indicate that IgA+ ASCs might acquire CCR10 expression in colonic patches or in iliac lymph nodes following rectal immunization and that the expression of this receptor can also be induced by 1,252VD3 in human ASCs. However, 1,252VD3 does not induce CCR10 expression in murine ASCs in vitro and VDR-deficient mice have normal numbers of CCR10+ IgA+ ASCs, which indicates that 1,252VD3 might not be necessary for the induction of CCR10 expression by B cells in vivo, at least in mice.

What Does Vitamin C Provide To The Body

Vitamin C is the only vitamin that humans do not manufacture themselves in their body. Therefore, the body needs external help with this vitamin.

Research had found that Vitamin C is necessary for the growth and development and repair of all of your body tissues. It has many functions and one of these is the production of collagen. Collagen serves as a building block for bones, skin and hair, and all of the muscles, tissues and ligaments throughout the body. Collagen keep your skin from sagging, and helps keep the skin plump.

So, because collagen is an absolutely necessary element, you can see that without collagen and without Vitamin C the immune system, which is made up of many of these elements, the immune system would not be able to function effectively, nor would the body be able to heal wounds, cartilage, bones or teeth. So, you can see how important Vitamin C is for the immune system to function effectively.

Also Check: How Many Prenatal Gummy Vitamins Should I Take

How Much Vitamin C Is Enough

Most of the studies Moyad and his colleagues examined used 500 daily milligrams of vitamin C to achieve health results. That’s much higher than the RDA of 75-90 milligrams a day for adults. So unless you can eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, you may need to take a dietary supplement of vitamin C to gain all the benefits, Moyad says. He suggests taking 500 milligrams a day, in addition to eating five servings of fruits and vegetables.

“It is just not practical for most people to consume the required servings of fruits and vegetables needed on a consistent basis, whereas taking a once-daily supplement is safe, effective, and easy to do,” Moyad says. He also notes that only 10% to 20% of adults get the recommended nine servings of fruits and vegetables daily.

Moyad says there is no real downside to taking a 500-milligram supplement, except that some types may irritate the stomach. That’s why he recommends taking a non-acidic, buffered form of the vitamin. “The safe upper limit for vitamin C is 2,000 milligrams a day, and there is a great track record with strong evidence that taking 500 milligrams daily is safe,” he says.


Still, American Dietetic Association spokeswoman Dee Sandquist, RD, suggests doing your best to work more fruits and vegetables into your diet before taking supplements.

How To Encourage Your Vitamin C Intake

128 Airborne Chewable Tablets Vitamin C Original Immune ...

Should you need to encourage your intake, optimising your vitamin C levels has never been easier. In order to see the benefits of vitamin C, you may consider taking a vitamin C supplement. Supplements such as a Vitamin C Oral Spray are pill-free alternatives to traditional tablets.

Vitamin C cannot be stored in the body, so you need it in your diet every day. This daily spray uses oral spray technology to optimise your vitamin C levels fast and effectively.

With this easy-to-use, pill-free supplementation method, encouraging your vitamin C intake has never been easier. When sprayed into the mouth, this oral spray is an effective alternative to tablets and capsules. With a great tasting cherry and blueberry flavour, you can experience the health benefits of vitamin C.

You May Like: How To Get Vitamin D Levels Up

Do You Need Supplements

Health experts recommend that you consume adequate amounts of fruits and vegetables to meet your daily requirement of vitamin C. However, if you cannot do so, supplements may be required. You could also opt for a multivitamin supplement because it is possible that your body may not have adequate quantities of several nutrients.

Beyond The Common Cold

Although supplements can’t ward off the common cold, vitamin C is still important to your health. It serves essential roles in the human body and supports normal immune function, according to a 2017 report in the journal Nutrients.

Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant, meaning it neutralizes free radicals generated by the body’s normal metabolism and by exposure to environmental stressors, including ultraviolet radiation and air pollution. Free radicals are charged particles that can damage cells, tissues and genetic material if left unchecked, and thus trigger harmful inflammation.

Besides stopping free radicals, vitamin C helps to activate several key enzymes in the body, which go on to synthesize hormones and build collagen, a tough protein found in skin and connective tissues, according to the 2017 report. These hormones help control the response of the cardiovascular system to severe infections, while collagen fortifies the skin against injury.

Vitamin C may also bolster the fatty membranes in skin and connective tissue, thus protecting organs like the lungs from pathogens, according to cell culture and preclinical studies. When bugs do infiltrate the body, vitamin C helps direct immune cells called neutrophils to the site of infection and defends these cells against free radicals, the 2017 report noted.

Recommended Reading: Which Prenatal Vitamins Should I Take

Optimizing Your Dietary Vitamin C

How do you optimize your vitamin C intake from foods? Start with choosing good sources of vitamin C . Then, pay attention to how you prepare those foods. Certain preparation methods can lower the amount of vitamin C in a food. Boiling can substantially reduce the content, whereas microwaving, surprisingly enough, preserved the most. In general, the longer and the hotter the cooking method, the more vitamin C was destroyed.

Storage methods also play a role. Fresh and frozen produce tends to have more vitamin C than canned. The longer you keep that fresh produce in your fridge or on your counter, the less vitamin C you end up with. Frozen produce is a good option as the freezing process can destroy some of the enzymes that eventually degrade vitamin C.

Though not well documented, the amount of vitamin C in fruits and veggies may also differ significantly depending on where theyre grown, how theyre grown, how long they sit after harvest, what season it is, and how theyre stored. Even fruits grown on different branches of the same tree can vary in their nutrient content!

  • 1 medium guava = 126 mg
  • 1 medium red bell pepper = 152 mg
  • 1 medium orange = 70 mg
  • 1 cup of raw broccoli = 40 mg
  • 1 small lemon = 30 mg
  • 1 small papaya = 95 mg
  • 1 cup of raw Brussels sprouts = 75 mg
  • 1 cup of raw strawberries = 60 mg
  • 1 kiwi fruit = 64 mg
  • ¾ cup of diced pineapple = 48 mg
  • 1 cup of frozen cauliflower florets = 21 mg
  • 1 cup of raw cantaloupe = 57 mg
  • 1 large tomato = 25 mg

Benefits Of Vitamin C

How Nutrition Supports the Immune System

Vitamin C benefits your health in many important ways. From supporting your immune system to help you fight diseases, to encouraging healthy skin and eyes. Ensuring you supplement recommended levels can help you avoid vitamin C deficiency. The benefits of vitamin C include:

  • Helping to protect cells and keeping them healthy
  • Maintaining healthy skin
  • Supporting eye health
  • Helping prevent skin wrinkling
  • To encourage healthy skin and support the immune system, you need the benefits of vitamin C. Ensuring a proper dosage can help you see these vitamin C benefits and avoid deficiency.

    You May Like: What Prenatal Vitamins Are Best For Conceiving

    How Much Vitamin C Per Day

    Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is known for being found in citrus fruits like oranges and orange juice. Vitamin C benefits many key functions in the body, including immune health and wound healing. Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin, and therefore the body does not keep a store of it. Therefore, a daily vitamin C supplement may be recommended.

    According to the NHS, adults aged 19 to 64 need 40mg of vitamin C a day. Supplementing nutrients to these guidelines can help encourage you to experience the benefits of vitamin C. Ensuring you are intaking these optimum levels can help you experience these benefits of vitamin C for yourself.


    Most Popular