Throughout cold and flu season, Vitamin C or L-ascorbic acid, or simply ascorbate is flaunted as the single best way to avoid the common cold or even a bout of flu. These benefits are real, as scientific studies actually back up Vitamin C as a way to dramatically improve the immune system and stave off major illness. There is, however, a far longer list of benefits that come from using Vitamin C as a regular health supplement on a daily basis. Ester C is a non-acidic version of Vitamin C which some people find easier to digest.
Vitamin C is the world's most popular vitamin in terms of deliberate consumption, in the form of multivitamins of Vitamin C supplements, as well as in terms of "incidental" consumption through foods and beverages. This is no surprise. For decades, Vitamin C has been marketed as an ailment for common colds and other seasonal illnesses, shown to consumers as a way to boost their immune systems.
These claims are based on several studies, all of which show that regular intake of Vitamin C can help the body more effectively defend itself against common pathogens. Notably, taking a Vitamin C supplement generally does not prevent disease. Instead, it's shown to dramatically shorten how long someone suffers from a cold, the flu, or other ailments, before the body is fully recovered and symptoms disappear.
Immune system benefits are only one effect of regularly taking Vitamin C, whether in supplement form or through a diet strategically designed to be rich in this compound. Indeed, studies have confirmed that it can be useful in healing wounds, reducing cataracts, and providing numerous other, smaller benefits. Among the most important benefits associated with regular Vitamin C intake are:
Vitamin C causes the body to produce collagen at a faster rate, which can benefit the healing process. Collagen itself is incredibly important when staving off infection and healing scrapes, cuts, or even broken bones. Those with a steady source of Vitamin C will find that they heal more quickly and experience less pain from even the most common injuries than those who do not regularly consume the substance.
In addition to promoting better immune system responses and elevating collagen levels, Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that can have a big impact on vision. Because of these antioxidant properties, regular intake of Vitamin C has been shown to prevent the onset of cataracts in those people prone to developing them later in life. The presence of more Vitamin C works to counteract the "free radicals" that cause clouding in the eye, which can reduce or prolong the need for cataract removal surgery in the future.
Two of the most common health concerns as people age are their blood pressure and their overall cholesterol level, each of which can show a risk for heart disease and other serious health risks over time. In several studies, those patients who regularly consumed the recommended amount of Vitamin C each day were more likely to reduce their cholesterol level over time. Furthermore, the vitamin has been associated with a gradual drop in blood pressure levels for those patients that have chronically elevated blood pressure.
Vitamin C has been shown to have a dramatic impact on those suffering from Diabetes. First and foremost, it helps the body regulate and maintain consistent blood sugar levels throughout the day. As any diabetic knows, that's already a really big benefit. The second major improvement offered by Vitamin C to diabetes sufferers is its ability to promote the synthesis of sugars and other materials by cells. This can eliminate blood sugar spikes and drops, making it easier to control sugar intake and appetite throughout the day.
There are generally several ways to add Vitamin C to an existing diet. Perhaps the most popular is simply to eat a diet rich in it. That means consuming more orange juice, broccoli, kale, strawberries, and red bell peppers, to name a few of the foods most concentrated with Vitamin C.
Another option is to take a robust multivitamin, which incorporates the vitamin alongside other key nutrients. For those with a distinct deficiency only in this particular vitamin, a Vitamin C specific supplement can be purchased.
With the benefits that can come just from consuming these foods or supplements, there's really no reason not to embrace the vitamin as a way to help us live longer, be sick less often, and forego some of the most common health problems associated with aging.
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