Many of us only remember to take vitamin C when we're trying to ward off illness, feel a cold coming on, or are preparing to travel. And it's true - the importance of vitamin C for immune health can't be understated. Still, it also offers an abundance of other benefits that make it worthy of your everyday routine.
Vitamin C Basics
Vitamin C—AKA ascorbic acid—works with a lot of systems in your body. It helps your body create collagen, supports your immune system, and can combat free radicals in your body (more on that below).
Vitamin C is considered an essential nutrient because your body doesn't make it on its own. The good news is, you can find vitamin C in a lot of the foods you're probably already eating, including red peppers, strawberries, broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, lemon, and of course, oranges. If you aren't eating enough of those foods, that's okay too - there's a supplement for that.
Here are some of the reasons Vitamin C should be part of your daily routine.
Vitamin C Keeps Your Brain Sharp
One very key benefit of vitamin C is that it’s a powerful antioxidant. This means that it combats free radicals (which break down healthy cells) in your body that contribute to ailments like dementia.
Dementia is a word that refers to symptoms of reduced cognitive function or memory and mental acuity.
There's a lot of science that suggests that dementia symptoms are linked to oxidative stress and inflammation in the central nervous system.The good news is that studies show that high levels of vitamin C are actually perfect for your memory and overall thinking—especially as you age.
It Can Help Burn Fat
We’re all about loving the skin you’re in - and vitamin C can help you do just that. Studies show that when people have healthy levels of vitamin C, they can burn up to 30% more fat when they exercise those who don't have enough in their system. So if you're working hard to burn fat, vitamin C could be your secret weapon.
Vitamin C Can Keep You Looking Younger
Vitamin C and collagen are basically two peas in a pod. Collagen is the connective tissue in your hair, skin, nails, heart, and more. It's kind of like the glue that holds your body altogether. It's also the fountain of youth - and as such, collagen production slows down as you age. Vitamin C helps your body produce collagen— and the more collagen your body can make, the more it can keep creating.
It Helps Keep Oxidative Stress At Bay
As we mentioned, vitamin C is a pretty potent antioxidant. Antioxidants have a big job - they protect your healthy cells from free radicals. Free radicals are created by everything from the food you eat to the air you breathe to the amount of stress in your life. They wreak havoc on your body and are associated with a lot of illnesses related to aging. They do serve a purpose in your body, but if you accumulate too many of them, they damage cells in your body, which makes those cells malfunction. Vitamin C can keep free radicals under control - by neutralizing them. Some studies show that if you consume more vitamin C, you can bring your blood antioxidant levels by up to 30%.
It’s Great For Your Immune System
First thing’s first: vitamin C can't stop you from catching a cold—but it can help your body respond to illness better. Here's how it works: vitamin C helps your body produce white blood cells that protect you against infections. As mentioned above, vitamin C is also an antioxidant, so it helps protect your white blood cells.
Studies also show that vitamin C can help wounds heal faster, and it can help you recover from illnesses like pneumonia more efficiently. Additionally, research shows that when people don’t have enough vitamin C in their diet, they have a higher risk of virus-induced respiratory infections, like colds.
Bonus Fact: Not All Vitamin C is The Same
A question we get a lot is why bother taking a lot of vitamin C if you're going to pee it out anyway. So let's unpack that a bit. Most of the vitamins you consume, and even the food you eat isn't going to absorb all that well. This happens for a variety of reasons—in the case of vitamin C, it upsets your digestive system. Your body kicks it out if you take too much.
So if you're taking a chewable vitamin C every day, you might only be absorbing 10-20% of whatever dose you're taking. This is where liposomes (liquid vitamins) come in.
Liposomes are getting a lot of attention right now because they're incredibly effective at delivering nutrients to your body. Basically, liposomes are little envelopes of natural fats (commonly made out of sunflower oil) that hold nutrients vitamin C inside. They work in a few ways: liposomes help your body absorb vitamin C better because they don't only protect the nutrients inside them, but they protect your stomach from the nutrients (e.g., you won't get vitamin belly from a liposomal vitamin). Because of this, 95% of liposomal vitamin C can be absorbed into your body - which makes it more effective and more economical. The only more effective way to get vitamin C in your system is via IV.
The Bottom Line
Vitamin C is an essential nutrient that offers your body a variety of benefits. It can help your cognitive function, help you burn fat, keep your skin and hair looking great, quell oxidative stress, and boost your immunity. If it’s too hard to get enough vitamin C through your diet, supplementing vitamin C is a great way to go - and if you’re supplementing, doctors say liposomal vitamins are where it’s at.