Thursday, April 18, 2024
HomeWhat Does Vitamin C Do For The Human Body

What Does Vitamin C Do For The Human Body

Do I Need Any Investigations

What does vitamin C do in the human body?

Your doctor may suspect vitamin C deficiency after asking you careful questions about your diet and listening to the symptoms that you have. A blood test can be taken to measure vitamin C levels and may help to confirm the diagnosis.

Your doctor may also suggest some other blood tests to check for other deficiencies in your diet. For example, vitamin C is also needed for the absorption of iron from food. Therefore, iron deficiency often occurs in people who are deficient in vitamin C.

X-rays or scans to look at your bones may also be suggested because specific changes to the bones, including ‘thinning’ of the bones, are often seen in someone with vitamin C deficiency.

How Is Vitamin C Used In The Human Body

Vitamin C functions as a reducing agent and as an antioxidant in the human body. As a reducing agent, vitamin C is responsible for maintaining iron and copper ions at reduced states so they can function properly in a variety of reactions including collagen synthesis, carnitine synthesis, tyrosine metabolism, neurotransmitter and hormone synthesis, and drug degradation. As an antioxidant, vitamin C reacts with free radicals in blood or inside cells to protect DNA, proteins, and long-chain fatty acids from potential damage.

What Is The Normal Level Of Vitamin C In The Human Body

Vitamin C levels are normally between 0.4 and 1.7 mg/dL in the human bloodstream. The concentration in tissues is normally higher but varies from tissue to tissue. For example, vitamin C in white blood cells can be up to 80 times higher than in blood. Vitamin C deficiency occurs when blood vitamin C concentration drops below 0.2 mg/dL.

Don’t Miss: What Is Vitamin C Serum Used For

The Recommended Dietary Allowance

The recommended dietary allowance for vitamin C is based on the amount of vitamin C intake necessary to maintain neutrophil vitamin C concentration with minimal urinary excretion of vitamin C and is proposed to provide sufficient antioxidant protection . The recommended intake for smokers is 35 mg/day higher than for nonsmokers, because smokers are under increased oxidative stress from the toxins in cigarette smoke and generally have lower blood concentrations of vitamin C .

Table 2. Recommended Dietary Allowance for Vitamin C

Life Stage

Promoting Differentiation Of Keratinocytes

Pin on Healthy Remedies

The integrity of the skin barrier may be related to the differentiation of keratinocytes, which affects the function of the skin barrier and causes skin diseases. Vitamin C enhances the late differentiation of keratinocytes, overcomes the differentiation-dependent oxidative stress, and maintains the integrity of the entire cuticle , which is an important prerequisite for the integrity of the skin barrier, ensuring the function of the skin barrier and preventing skin water loss, which in turn can lead to skin disorders.

Also Check: What Vitamin D3 Does To Your Body

How To Choose A Supplement

The FDA licenses various supplements. However, some of them are not held to the same safety standards as pharmaceuticals. Therefore, if you wish to take a vitamin C supplement, you should ensure that its a high-quality one bought from reliable sources. You should also have a clear idea about the dosage and choose supplements that have been tested by reputable companies. It is best to consult your doctor before you opt for a vitamin C or a multivitamin supplement.

Vitamin C is an important nutrient that keeps the immune system functioning properly. Most adults need 90 mg of vitamin C per day. To get enough of it in your diet, ensure you eat a variety of vegetables and fruits. Fruits rich in vitamin C include cantaloupe, orange, grapefruit, and other citrus fruits, kiwis, mangos, papayas, pineapples, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, etc. Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflowers, certain peppers. spinach, tomatoes, and potatoes are some vegetables rich in vitamin C.

If you are suffering from vitamin C deficiency or need advice on increasing your immunity, visit the 8-2-8 Urgent Care walk-in clinic in Oceanside, CA. Our medical team will provide an effective solution to ensure an adequate vitamin C intake and strengthen your immunity.

How Vitamin C Supports A Healthy Immune System

Vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin well known for its role in supporting a healthy immune system. Because your body cannot make vitamin C, it must come from the foods you eat every day.

Research shows vitamin C is essential for the growth and repair of tissue all over the body. Vitamin C helps heal wounds and repair and maintain healthy bones, teeth, skin and cartilage a type of firm tissue that covers the bones. As an antioxidant, vitamin C fights free radicals in the body which may help prevent or delay certain cancers and heart disease and promote healthy aging. Vitamin C from foods also seems to reduce the risk of cartilage loss in those with osteoarthritis.

Though it may not keep you from catching a cold, there is some evidence that high doses of vitamin C may decrease the length of cold symptoms by as much as one to one-and-a-half days for some people. However, other studies did not result in the same findings, and the risk of side effects is greater with high doses of vitamin C supplements, so check with your doctor or registered dietitian nutritionist before taking.


Recommended Reading: What Vitamins Should A 47 Year Old Woman Take

How Should Foods Be Prepared To Retain Vitamin C

Vitamin C is easily destroyed during preparation, cooking, or storage. To retain vitamin C, follow these tips:

  • Eat fresh fruits and vegetables as soon as possible after buying them.

  • Cut vegetables just before eating or cooking.

  • Cook vitamin C-rich foods quickly in as little water as possible.

  • Microwave, steam, or stir-fry to retain the most vitamin C do not overcook.

Vitamin C And Cns Structure

Vitamin C – Functions, Absorption, Sources, & Deficiency

Ascorbate has an important role in the synthesis of collagen and elastin, components of the blood vessels that supply the neural tissue and the basal lamina moreover, the role of ascorbate as an inductor of myelination mediated by Schwann cells has also been demonstrated. Fernandez-Valle et al. observed that adding ascorbate to cultures of Schwann cells with ganglion neurons favored the production of the basal lamina, essential for the induction of myelination, and seemed to induce protein zero mRNA , which is a major component of myelin however, the mRNA expression of this protein was not exclusive of the ascorbate culture . It has also been shown that myelination occurs in the presence or absence of ascorbic acid and that the differences under these culture conditions were dependent on laminin . Other authors have described that p38, a member of the family of MAP kinases, plays an important role during the early stages of myelination induced by both ascorbate and laminin . Therefore, the main effect of ascorbate on myelination is probably due to the maintenance of the structural integrity of the basal lamina.

Also Check: Does Vitamin B Help Neuropathy

Why Getting Vitamin C Through Your Diet Is Important

Vitamin C is an important nutrient for your body since it:

  • Acts as an antioxidant
  • Supports your immune system

In addition, vitamin C is thought to have beneficial effects on your overall health, including reducing your risk of cancer, heart disease and the most common causes of vision loss .

While vitamin C is an important nutrient, your body doesn’t actually make it so it’s important to make sure you’re getting enough vitamin C from your diet.

The amount you need depends on your age and gender, but, in general, adults should aim to get between 65 to 90 mg of vitamin C per day. You can get all the vitamin C you need by drinking a glass of orange juice or eating a cup of strawberries, bell pepper, broccoli, Brussels sprouts or kale. In addition, some of the herbs you commonly cook with also contain significant amounts of vitamin C, including thyme and parsley.

Another reason to get the recommended amount of vitamin C through your diet, rather than a supplement, is that healthy, whole foods also contain other beneficial vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber.

Most people following a healthy diet have no problem getting the recommended amount of vitamin C every day. However, if you think you aren’t, you can always consider taking a multivitamin as most contain the recommended amount of vitamin C you need every day.

It Plays A Role In Enhanced Brain Function

Vitamin C also plays a role in neurotransmitter synthesis and cognitive function, Samuels says. Neurotransmitters are important for sending messages from the brain to the rest of the body, according to the University of Queensland, in Australia. And more vitamin C may be associated with increased brain function. A systematic review published in September 2017 in Nutrients found higher vitamin C concentrations in cognitively intact study participants compared with those with impaired cognition

Read Also: What Is The Most Effective Vitamin D Supplement

Potassium Helps Regulate Muscle And Heart Contractions

The nervous system helps regulate muscle contractions.

However, altered blood potassium levels can affect nerve signals in the nervous system, weakening muscle contractions.

Both low and high blood levels can affect nerve impulses by altering the voltage of nerve cells .

The mineral is also important for a healthy heart, as its movement in and out of cells helps maintain a regular heartbeat.

When blood levels of the mineral are too high, the heart may become dilated and flaccid. This can weaken its contractions and produce an abnormal heartbeat .

Likewise, low levels in the blood can also alter the heartbeat .

When the heart does not beat properly, it cannot effectively pump blood to the brain, organs and muscles.

In some cases, heart arrhythmia, or an irregular heartbeat, can be fatal and lead to sudden death .

Summary: Potassium levels have a significant effect on muscle contractions. Altered levels can cause muscle weakness, and in the heart, they may cause an irregular heartbeat.

Role In Redox Balance

Role Of Vitamin C In COVID 19 Treatment

There is a constant balance between oxidants and antioxidants in the body that helps to maintain redox homeostasis. This means that when there is an increase the production of ROS, the body’s response will be to increase of the activity of endogenous antioxidant systems through a mechanism of redox signaling . In addition, antioxidants can be obtained from exogenous sources along with the endogenous antioxidant system, these exogenous antioxidants play an important role in maintaining the redox balance. The endogenous antioxidant systems comprise antioxidant enzymes and antioxidant molecules . Vitamin C, vitamin E and flavonoids are among the exogenous antioxidant molecules ingested in the diet. There are also molecules that function as metal chelators , avoiding the production of the hydroxyl radical through the Fenton and Haber-Weiss reaction . An increase in reactive oxygen and nitrogen species that exceeds the ability of the antioxidant system to counteract the increase of ROS leads to an oxidative stress state.

Don’t Miss: How Much Vitamin C In An Apple

Can Taking Vitamin C Prevent A Cold

Theres been a lot of debate about if vitamin C helps prevent the common cold. Its a topic that has been extensively researched, and theres some evidence that vitamin C may reduce how long your cold may last, says Dr. Radhakrishnan. But he says taking vitamin C on a regular basis doesnt reduce how often youll get a cold or how severe it will be.

Although the medical evidence is not overwhelming, this vitamin may help reduce the duration of common cold, Dr. Radhakrishnan concludes. This is why some healthcare professionals recommend vitamin C for the common cold.

Given how safe and relatively inexpensive vitamin C is, it may be alright to give your child a short course of vitamin C during a cold but this should be discussed with your childs physician, he says.

Like your mom always said, an apple a day keeps the doctor away!

Do I Need A Vitamin C Supplement

As a general rule, it is always best to get your nutrients from food rather than pills. With that being said, taking a daily vitamin C supplement won’t cause you any harm and can bolster your RDA if you happen to fall short.

If you don’t think you’re getting enough vitamin C in your diet, don’t hesitate to supplement at the recommended dosages. At the same time, increase your intake of the following foods rich in vitamin C:

  • Red pepper : 95 milligrams per 1/2-cup serving
  • Orange juice: 90 milligrams per 3/4-cup serving
  • Orange: 70 milligrams per one medium fruit
  • Kiwi: 64 milligrams per one medium fruit
  • Green pepper : 60 milligrams per 1/2-cup serving
  • Broccoli : 51 milligrams per 1/2-cup serving
  • Strawberries : 49 milligrams per 1/2-cup serving
  • Brussel sprouts : 48 milligrams per 1/2-cup serving
  • Tomato juice: 33 milligrams per 1/2-cup serving
  • Cantaloupe: 29 milligrams per 1/2-cup serving

Also Check: Does Vitamin C Help With Joint Pain

Vitamin C Turns Into Natural Body Hydrogen Peroxide Once Daily Need Is Met

July 5, 2012 | RMN

One of the nice things about Nature is her simplicity and resource management. Oxygen docs including Linus Pauling know that your body needs somewhere around 8-10 grams of vitamin C daily, and if you take more, as taught by extraordinary biochemist Dr. Charles H. Farr for many years

All the Vitamin C overage we take is turned into Hydrogen Peroxide, you bodys first line of defense of your immune system.

WoW! Thats WHY that stuff works. The rest of the story.

This explains how suddenly Vitamin C megadoses magically have such curative effects. The body then naturally uses 4 antioxidant enzymes to turn the peroxide into water and singlet O oxygen, the greatest good free radical fighter and healer of all.

The media naturally lies and tells us oxygen creates free radicals, to scare you away from it and buy their drugs instead, but dont buy the free radical theory THEORY lie.

Free radicals come from toxins getting into the body and interrupting and ripping apart normal chemical processes, leaving all the fragments free radicals for active oxygen to mop up. If you do not have enough active oxygen you naturally have problems, and no one these days has enough OXYGEN or PLANT MINERALS.

The active oxygen does all the wonderful things in the long list that Vitamin C gets the credit for.


Vitamin C mops up free radicals from radiation andrepairs DNA.

What Is Vitamin C Deficiency

The ABCDs of vitamins

Deficiency, or a lack, of vitamin C in your body happens because of a lack of sufficient amounts of vitamin C in your diet. Over time, a lack of vitamin C means that new collagen cannot be formed. This causes various tissues in your body to start to break down and the health and repair of your body become affected. Persistent vitamin C deficiency, usually over a period of around three months or more, can lead to an illness known as scurvy.

Don’t Miss: What Vitamins Improve Egg Quality

References And Recommended Reading

Grano,A. & De Tullio, M. C. Ascorbic acid as a sensor of oxidative stress and aregulator of gene expression: The Yin and Yang of Vitamin C. Med Hypoth69, 953â954 .

Grollman,A. P. & Lehninger, A. L. Enzymic synthesis of L-ascorbic acid in differentanimal species. Arch Biochem Biophys.69, 458â467 .

Halliwell,B. Vitamin C and genomic stability. MutatRes 475, 29â35 .

Knowles,H. J. et al. Effect of ascorbate onthe activity of hypoxia-inducible factors in cancer cells. Cancer Res.63, 1764â1768.

Nishikimi,M. & Yagi, K. Molecular basis for the deficiency in humans of gulonolactoneoxidase, a key enzyme for ascorbic acid biosynthesis. Am J Clin Nutr 1203Sâ1208S .

Poliseno, L. et al. A coding-independent function of gene and pseudogenemRNAs regulates tumour biology. Nature465, 1033â1038 doi10.1038/nature09144.


May Reduce Your Risk Of Chronic Disease

Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that can strengthen your bodys natural defenses .

Antioxidants are molecules that boost the immune system. They do so by protecting cells from harmful molecules called free radicals.

When free radicals accumulate, they can promote a state known as oxidative stress, which has been linked to many chronic diseases .

Studies show that consuming more vitamin C can increase your blood antioxidant levels by up to 30%. This helps the bodys natural defenses fight inflammation .


Vitamin C is a strong antioxidant that can boost your blood antioxidant levels. This may help reduce the risk of chronic diseases like heart disease.

7 ).

Studies have shown that vitamin C may help lower blood pressure in both those with and without high blood pressure.

An animal study found that taking a vitamin C supplement helped relax the blood vessels that carry blood from the heart, which helped reduce blood pressure levels .

Moreover, an analysis of 29 human studies found that taking a vitamin C supplement reduced systolic blood pressure by 3.8 mmHg and diastolic blood pressure by 1.5 mmHg, on average, in healthy adults.

In adults with high blood pressure, vitamin C supplements reduced systolic blood pressure by 4.9 mmHg and diastolic blood pressure by 1.7 mmHg, on average .


Vitamin C supplements have been found to lower blood pressure in both healthy adults and those with high blood pressure.

7 ).

13 ).

Don’t Miss: Do One A Day Vitamins Have Iron

Vitamin C And Neuronal Differentiation Maturation And Survival

The effect of ascorbate on the differentiation of embryonic stem cells into neurons in vitro is associated with an increase in the expression of genes involved in this process . Lee et al. found that cells treated with ascorbate significantly increased the expression of NeuroD, Notch, BMP2, and BMP7, genes associated with the differentiation of neuronal and astrocytic cells. The same study demonstrated that vitamin E and glutathione do not have the same effect as ascorbate on neuronal cell differentiation so that the mechanism involved might not be directly related with its antioxidant effect . An increase in neurite formation in neurons in vitro due to the potentiating effect of 2-glucoside-L-ascorbic acid on the nerve growth factor has also been shown. This is an effect that the authors also attributed to a different mechanism given its antioxidant properties . An increase in the expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor associated to the presence of ascorbate has also been observed in cell culture. BDNF activates the Ras-MAP kinase pathway, which contributes to cell survival by enhancing the expression of the enzymes of the endogenous antioxidant system .


Most Popular