Vitamin C is probably the best known of all the vitamins and is vital for many bodily functions. It performs these functions:
- Repels undesirable bodily parasites.
- Stimulates the production of collagen in the skin.
- Assists anti-body formation.
- It is a natural antihistamine, can reduce allergic reactions.
- Naturalizes pollutants.
- Maintains healthy skin.
- Increases the rate of wound healing.
- Turns food into energy
- Fighting free radicals in its antioxidant role, which means it can protect against cancer and heart disease.
So many foods contain Vitamin C; here are a few examples: broccoli, cabbage, sweet pepper, watercress, spinach, strawberries, raspberries, tomatoes, oranges, lemons, melon – and others.
However, it deteriorates quickly and, as the most unstable of the vitamins, it is easily destroyed by cooking, so ideally eat these foods fresh, and raw if possible. Adversely affected by pesticides and toxic metals such as lead, aluminum, mercury, and cadmium; also by alcohol, drugs, smoking, rancid oils, burning of food.
As we can use more vitamin C than is likely to be readily obtained from food, it’s best to take a supplement too. Experts disagree about the correct level to use. Many experts agree that the UK RDA of 40mg (at the time of writing) is too low, and reflects only the level required to prevent deficiency symptoms of frequent colds, easy bruising, nose or gum bleeding and lack of energy.
Only a limited amount of vitamin C is stored, and unlike most mammals, we do not produce our own supplies so it’s important to maintain a good supply from external sources.
My recommended dosage is 1,000mg a day; however, more can be beneficial. It is usually tolerated up to about 10,000mg per day (possibly more in the grips of infection) but beyond that loose bowels may cause problems. This is not a sign of toxicity and will stop when the dose is reduced. They discharge excess in the natural process of urinating. Our tolerance and usage increase when fighting an infection.
WARNING: Take the advice of your medical specialist about vitamin C supplementation if you are having radiation or during chemotherapy, as high doses may interfere with cytotoxic drugs.
How does vitamin C promote good, healthy skin?
Continued use of beauty products incorporating vitamin C is another method of obtaining supplies, in addition to supplementation and in the diet. On a note of caution, skin or beauty products do not usually include an ability to shield the skin from the harmful UV rays of the sun, so they should not be used as an alternative to sunscreen.
The benefits of skin products containing vitamin C include:
- Perks up sun-damaged skin.
- Minimize the effect of facial lines and wrinkles.
- Improves skin tones.
- UV aging is reduced, to achieve younger-looking skin.
- Effective when used under normal make-up or overnight.
- Pores are unclogged.
- It has a moisturizing effect.
- Promotes collagen production.
- Maintains an elastic effect on your skin.
To be useful and effective to the skin and body, vitamin C should be in the form of L-ascorbic acid. Once applied, it has been found by studies to remain in the skin for up to 72 hours.
Collagen is a protein found in connective tissue that allows skin tissue to resume its natural shape and to retain its youthful appearance. Vitamin C is the only antioxidant proven to increase collagen synthesis; It aids in the healing of minor cuts and wounds.
The body’s natural ability to produce collagen is reduced as you mature; In addition, the decrease is accelerated by the effects of photoaging. L-ascorbic acid, the natural form of vitamin C, sends a message to the collagen genes to manufacture more collagen. It is also a cofactor for enzymes vital in collagen synthesis.
Vitamin C and Sun Protection
Vitamin C also has a role as an antioxidant and free radical inhibitor. The harmful UV rays of the sun will promote free radicals, which are very reactive molecules.
Free radicals are stimulated by overexposure to UV radiation from the sun. As UV radiation deeply penetrates the skin creating free radicals as well as other reactive agents that hit and damage the skin’s lipids, vitamin C helps the body to neutralize these free radicals.
The production of collagen is affected when the skin is exposed to free radicals. The effect is the onset of early wrinkling and skin deformation.
Vitamin C and Melanogenesis
Research shows that vitamin C helps decrease melanin formation. Melanin is responsible for the skin’s dark pigmentation and studies show that Vitamin C contributes to skin lightening.
Preparation can clarify and even out skin tone, as it lightens dark spots and skin blemishes.
Guidelines for checking out vitamin C brands:
- Ask if the product contains L-ascorbic acid. There are certain products contain L-ascorbic acid within a vitamin C complex.
- L-ascorbic acid should be at a low pH level to effectively penetrate the skin.
- Check out the stability of the product.
- L-ascorbic acid, low pH and high concentration, is desirable in a product.
- Remember that when a label says “vitamin C,”, it does not mean that it contains L-ascorbic acid.
Regardless of all the benefits, vitamin C provides, one should note that it is important not to get stuck on just one antioxidant alone. Researchers suggest that due to the complex process of skin aging, despite the undoubted effectiveness of vitamin C, taking a wide range of antioxidants is the most effective way to address the effects of aging.
Other important ingredients in a skin-care product include natural extracts from vegetables and fruits to provide the maximum antioxidant and age-defying blend of nutrients for the skin. Phytonutrient (beneficial chemicals found in plants) are known to be the strongest in the most colorful fruits and vegetables.
In addition to obtaining these from sensible eating, beauty products can be an alternative source, so check the ingredients. Vitamin C and other antioxidants play an important role in keeping your skin healthy and looking good. Discover the best ways to boost your vitamin C supplies. Joy Healey qualified as a nutritionist in 2019 at the prestigious Institute for Optimum Nutrition in London.