The Immune-Boosting Properties of Natural Vitamin C

Vitamin C is an essential micronutrient, but do you really understand how important this vitamin is to your immune system? 

Since our bodies require vitamin C to function, we must consume it every day. Natural dietary sources of vitamin C include fruits such as oranges, grapefruits, and lemons. Real vitamin C is composed of a natural water-soluble ascorbic acid. But beware to avoid the “dead”, chemicalized ascorbic acid powders. Natural vitamin C acts as a powerful antioxidant and a cofactor for many enzymes in the body. It supports cell function in the innate and adaptive immune system and supports the epithelial barrier against pathogens.  

Your elegant immune system has several lines of defense that allow it to protect you. The first and most effective of those is skin, which acts as a barrier to resist infections from pathogens. Because vitamin C is such a powerful antioxidant, it boosts the natural regeneration of skin cells, which deters pathogens from infecting the skin. Remember, keeping bugs out is the first goal! 

If those pesky pathogens do find a way into our bodies, they will then face attack from white blood cells in our blood, known as “natural killer cells.” These cells are responsible for finding and attacking pathogens in the body so that they can help ensure good health. Vitamin C helps these white blood cells mature and thrive.  

The antioxidant properties of vitamin C also provide powerful properties against inflammation. Studies have shown that consuming additional vitamin C can increase blood antioxidant levels by up to 30%. These antioxidants are then able to combat free radicals better, thus supporting cellular health and wellness. Studies have also shown that supplementation with vitamin C may even be able to shorten the length of respiratory and systemic infections. 

There is no doubt that vitamin C is a superstar for our immune health. Be sure to consume adequate amounts of fresh fruit and vegetables every day, including citrus fruits, red peppers, and brussels sprouts. If you are not getting enough vitamin C from your food, then you may want to add a trusted vitamin C supplement (derived from real plants, not chemical powders) to add to your nutritional regimen. Your immune system will thank you! 

Resources

  1. Carr, Anitra C, and Silvia Maggini. “Vitamin C and Immune Function.” Nutrients, MDPI, 3 Nov. 2017, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5707683/. 
  2. Kim, Mi Kyung, et al. “Effect of Five-Year Supplementation of Vitamin C on Serum Vitamin C Concentration and Consumption of Vegetables and Fruits in Middle-Aged Japanese: a Randomized Controlled Trial.” Journal of the American College of Nutrition, U.S. National Library of Medicine, June 2003, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12805247.