The Importance of Getting Enough Vitamin C

Written By Cathy Doan (B. Pharm Honours)

21 May 2022

Vitamin C

Feeling tired, run down, and stressed? Feeling like you are coming down with a sore throat or cold?

Vitamin C may be just what you need to fight through the first signs of a cold and provide a continued boost of immunity all year round.

What is Vitamin C?

Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that contributes to our immune defence system by assisting various cellular functions that protect our body from infection.

It is a water-soluble vitamin that dissolves in water; therefore, it does not adequately get stored within the body so what you consume gets transported to your tissues via body fluids and any extra will get excreted via urine.

Importance of getting enough Vitamin C & how it supports immunity

Our immune system consists of several different types of white blood cells that assist in fighting off viruses and bacteria. Vitamin C helps our white blood cell production and function, which increases our immune response when we are sick. Those deficient in Vitamin C can result in poor wound healing and impaired immunity, thus highly susceptible to infections. Therefore adequate vitamin C intake decreases the incidence of the common cold and proved beneficial in the recovery process by decreasing the duration and severity of symptoms. Vitamin C also helps our body produce antibodies that bind to invading microbes to neutralise them preventing sickness and diseases.

Vitamin C is also found to have effects in alleviating inflammatory effects. When we are sick, our inflammatory responses are activated and enhanced, and therefore, it is found that treatment of such infections requires significantly higher doses of Vitamin C to compensate and reduce the inflammation.

Vitamin C also assists in maintaining our body’s first line defence, which is skin and mucous membranes. It helps produce collagen, a key protein in skin and wound repair and healing. An essential process that, if impaired, can put us at risk of obtaining infection from external diseases and germs.

How much Vitamin C is adequate & can we get enough naturally in our diet?

Our bodies do not produce Vitamin C therefore, we must ingest it from either our diet or supplementation. The foods that are Vitamin C rich include:

  • Citrus fruits (e.g. oranges, lemons, grapefruits)
  • Strawberries
  • Green vegetables
  • Tomatoes

On average, men eat approximately 90mg per day and women have 75mg per day of Vitamin C. However, studies have shown to have a strong immune system to fend off infections, we are required to have at least 200mg or more of Vitamin C a day.

Therefore, it is difficult to eat enough of these foods regularly to absorb adequate Vitamin C levels. There are also other factors that can impact our Vitamin C absorption, such as:

  • Lifestyle factors
    • Exposure to pollutants
    • Smoking
    • Alcohol
  • Economic reasons
    • Limited access to nutritious food
    • Socioeconomic status
    • Excessive physical stress
    • Excessive psychological stress

Therefore supplementation is recommended to increase our daily intake.

How Your Pharmacist Can Help

All Star Discount Chemists have a wide selection of various Vitamin C supplements, where our friendly pharmacists and team can assist you in selecting the most appropriate product.

Resources

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5707683/
  2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/1547201/
  3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23440782/
Cathy Doan (B. Pharm Honours)

Written by Cathy Doan (B. Pharm Honours)

Cathy has worked with Star Discount Chemist for six years. Cathy loves working with the community and finds building relationships with customers to be highly rewarding. Cathy is passionate about helping and enjoys assisting people on their health journeys.

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