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Vitamin C: Everything it's good for!

Vitamin C: Everything it’s good for!

Everyone knows that vitamin C is the best weapon in the fight against colds and flu. It builds the immune system, and people have even self-medicated with loads of it, both supplementary and by eating loads of citrus to help the body stay healthy amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

However, vitamin C is in fact still underrated in the mainstream. Its properties help with skincare, nail growth and you can even find it in hair-care products. 

Vitamin C was first used to cure scurvy, a disease that causes weakness, lethargy, and sore arms and legs. Left untreated, people with scurvy experience decreased red blood cells, gum disease, changes to hair and bleeding from the skin may occur.

Interestingly, scurvy isn’t only treated with loads of vitamin C, but it is in fact caused by a lack of it, or ascorbic acid. 

Scurvy is uncommon these days, although it was a disease that affected pirates in the early days of sailing ships. 

Skincare

Vitamin C is responsible for your skin’s luscious glow and plumpness. Any skin-care products contain ascorbic acid, which occurs naturally in foods such as citrus fruit, tomatoes, potatoes and leafy vegetables. Vitamin C is important for bones and connective tissues, muscles and blood vessels. It also helps the body absorb iron, which is needed for red-blood cell production, explains Drugs.com.

Topical vitamin C helps with collagen production. Collagen and elastin are both very popular, naturally occurring protein fibres that help keep skin stay firm.

It also has anti-ageing properties. People who eat a diet high in vitamin C, like the Mediterranean diet, are lauded for their youthful looks and smooth skin. This is because vitamin C can help to combat the free radicals that cause skin damage, says Authority Diet. 

Skin damage that is caused by the ageing process includes fine lines, wrinkles and age spots. The older you get, the more sun damage occurs to the skin. Of course, the amount of sun damage depends on many factors: occupation, hobbies and other factors that you practise outside every day. 

Also, not using a vitamin C-enriched sunscreen (and one that has too low  an SPF rating, or even going out into the sunlight without sunblock) is detrimental to your skin’s overall health. 

When it comes to skincare, it is effective, both as a dietary supplement and with topical application. Board-certified dermatologist, Patricia Wexler, told Allure: “Because of its antioxidant properties, vitamin C aids in your skin’s natural regeneration process, which helps your body repair damaged skin cells.”

Bladder infection relief

Do you suffer from Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)? Then adding loads of vitamin C to your diet will help you wash that clean out! 

Of course, add to that drinking loads of water.

UTIs are quite common and have nothing to do with hygiene. Many people, mostly women, will experience multiple UTIs over the course of their lives.

Have you ever heard your doctor prescribe cranberry juice or any other drinks high in citrus for UTI? That is because the acid fights the growth of bacteria that cause a urinary tract infection.

Mental health and focus

It isn’t only great for your body, but studies show that there may be benefits for your mind as well.

It has now been linked to the prevention and treatment of depression and anxiety.

According to Mental Health Food, a vitamin C deficiency can cause neurological damage. Turns out, adding it to a diet can improve and in extreme cases, even reverse the symptoms of anxiety, depression and bipolar disorder.

Recently, the Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Department of Neuroscience in Nashville, Tennessee did a study in which it deprived mice of vitamin C. The study, which was published in the Journal of Neurochemistry, noted that the deprivation caused depressive and submissive behaviours as well as an increased preference for sugar.

Also, the mice experienced decreased dopamine and serotonin levels in the brain. Low levels of dopamine and serotonin are linked to high levels of anxiety and depression in humans as well as mice.
In humans, studies have found evidence of vitamin C helping fight depression in children.

Researchers at the Global Neuroscience Initiative Foundation in Los Angeles, California, studied the effects of fluoxetine (Prozac) and how it performed when administered to kids, both with and without the accompanying vitamin C supplement. 

The children who also received the vitamin had a significantly more positive result from the Prozac. 

These results suggest that vitamin C may increase the effectiveness of treatment with Prozac in depressed children.

Regardless, no matter how positive the results of a specific diet or supplement may have been for someone else, remember to always consult a medical professional before making any major changes to your own routines. 

Having a medical insurance like Affinity Health can help make receiving expert medical care possible, accessible, and most importantly affordable.

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