(NaturalNews) Vitamin C is one of the most well known, cost effective and universally beneficial antioxidants that we know of today. This vitamin topically and internally encourages beautiful skin, helps boost the immune system, and aids in the prevention of several types of cancer.
Vitamin C and skin health
Vitamin C is a key component of collagen and elastin synthesis in our bodies. Collagen and elastin are proteins that make up our skin, muscles and other connective tissue.
Collagen essentially creates a “foundation” for our skin. When it begins to deteriorate with age, we start to see the sagging and wrinkles that are customary signs of aging.
Collagen and elastin are the two main reasons our skin remains smooth and resilient in our youth. Elasticity provides the ability to “bounce back” after repeated movements. Years of facial expressions, exposure to excessive UV light and other damaging dietary or environmental factors really start to show when this elasticity is compromised.
Boosting vitamin C intake can help you regain some of the lost collagen and elastin by encouraging the body to produce more. Since vitamin C is also a very important antioxidant, it helps the body to eliminate the free radicals, which compromise healthy skin cells.
In addition to its internal benefits vitamin C is also useful in external applications. It helps reduce age spots and darker pigmentation from sun exposure. It also helps to provide better skin tone and color.
This is due to its mild exfoliating capabilities, which help rid the skin of dead skin cells to reveal a fresher layer of healthy skin cells. It also helps reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Vitamin C and immunity
Aside from its skin health benefits vitamin C also enhances immune function. It has been shown to stimulate the production and enhance the function of white blood cells.
White blood cells are essentially our front line defense against infection and they protect us from bacterial and viral invaders. Vitamin C has also demonstrated protective qualities over white blood cells which may lengthen their life span.
Vitamin C and cancer prevention
Numerous studies have linked higher vitamin C intake to a lower occurrence of several types of cancer. In mice, these studies have shown that the vitamin can inhibit or slow the growth of cancerous tumors. These include cancer of the lung, stomach, mouth, throat, and breast.
These studies primarily point to a benefit in eating fresh fruits and vegetables that are rich in numerous vitamins and minerals as well as vitamin C. Eating the whole food offers the greatest benefit since the vitamins and minerals complement one another and enhance overall absorption.
It is important that we replenish this vitamin every day. This vitamin is flushed out of the system daily by our natural bodily functions. Since the human body is not capable of synthesizing this vitamin on its own, it is replenished solely through diet and supplementation.
Preferably it is received via the diet as this is the most complete way to get your daily dose. Some great ways to include this in your diet include adding freshly squeezed lemon juice to your water, consuming citrus fruits and eating a variety of raw or minimally cooked fruits and vegetables.
However, you may also take a supplement. Since vitamin C is water soluble, it does not build to toxic levels in the body. Vitamin C also has the unique capability to “recycle” other antioxidants like vitamin e. This adds even more value to daily supplementation.