Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is an organic compound important for skin, bones, and connective tissue. A known free radical scavenger in human skin, vitamin C works against ultraviolet-induced skin damage and oxidative stress. Vitamin C supplementation is therefore believed to be very helpful to target skin dryness, aging, and the ability to cope with cellular damage caused by sunlight.
Vitamin C promotes healing and helps the body absorb iron ingested from plant-based foods. A major antioxidant for the body, vitamin C very importantly works in conjunction with other skin antioxidants such as vitamin E, ubiquinone (Coenzyme Q10 in humans),* alpha-lipoic acid** and glutathione.***
Women’s antioxidant levels decrease during menopause and when antioxidant levels decline, signs of aging increase. By increasing the intake of antioxidants like vitamin C in the diet and through supplementation, uncomfortable symptoms of menopause, as well as potential health conditions related to oxidative stress post-menopause, may be alleviated or reduced.
While skeletal system disorders**** are prominent in post-menopausal women, cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death in women. The potential to develop cardiovascular disease has been shown to reduce when a person has regularly consumed vitamin C-containing foods.
Vitamin C is important for the man or woman concerned about showing physical signs of aging. The body plays a vital role in the formation of collagen, a protein required to help wounds heal and keep skin firm and healthy.
“Historically, the best… known scientific fact of vitamin C is that it is a very important cofactor involved in the process of collagen biosynthesis… A persistent supply of a sufficient amount of vitamin C can definitely delay wrinkle formation by inhibiting the decreases in collagen biosynthesis which is an unavoidable phenomenon in old people.” —Professor Wang Jae Lee, Department of Anatomy, College of Medicine, Seoul National University, Korea
Vitamin C abounds in fresh produce. Sources include citrus, red and green peppers, tomatoes, broccoli, and greens.
Ever so important is that vitamin C helps protect the body from disease by supporting the immune system overall.
More specifically, though vitamin C is not a guarantee against getting cancer or heart disease, research is ongoing as to whether vitamin C can or should be used as a treatment. It is documented that people who have regularly consumed lots of fruits and vegetables, and therefore, vitamin C, are shown to present a lower risk of developing many forms of cancer such as lung, breast, and colon.
Normal skin contains high concentrations of vitamin C transported into skin cells from blood vessels present in the dermal layer. Focus your diet on nutritional balance to ensure your skin gets all the vitamin C it needs to be resilient and healthy. Your entire body will benefit as vitamin C becomes your fundamental first line of defense against environmental stressors, health conditions, and aging.
* A nutrient required by the human body in small amounts in order to function and stay healthy; helps mitochondria (small structures in the cell) to generate energy; an antioxidant that helps prevent cell damage caused by free radicals (highly reactive chemicals).
** An antioxidant important for nerve health support
*** Master antioxidant of the body
**** Vitamin C is important for bone development and maintenance.
“Vitamin C.” MedlinePlus, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 23 Sept. 2021, https://medlineplus.gov/vitaminc.html.
“Office of Dietary Supplements - Vitamin c.” NIH Office of Dietary Supplements, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminC-Consumer/.
Prof. Lee, Wang Jae. Vitamin C In Human Health and Disease: Effects, Mechanisms of Action, and New Guidance On Intake. Springer. 2019.
Perricone, MD, Nicholas. Forever Young: The Science of Nutrigenomics for Glowing, Wrinkle-Free Skin and Radiant Health at Every Age. Atria Books. September 6, 2011.
Blair, Roberta M. Nutritional Cosmetics: Beauty from Within. Elsevier Science. July 30, 2009.
“The Roles of Vitamin C in Skin Health.” Nutrients: MDPI. 12 August 2017. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5579659/