Vitamin C helps our immune system, can lower our risk of having a stroke, prevents eye disease, and even prevents skin wrinkling! And a new study shows it may even help patients who are sick with Covid.
Vitamin C, also called ascorbic acid, is needed for the growth and repair of all body tissues. It is needed for wound healing and to maintain the health of our bones and teeth.
Vitamin C is important for our immune system and works as an anti-oxidant. Anti-oxidants are important because they protect against harmful molecules called free radicals, and also protect against chemicals and pollutants which can build up in our bodies and cause cancer, heart disease, and other ailments.
Vitamin C can’t cure the common cold, but it can help prevent complications of colds such as pneumonia.
Studies have found that patients with higher vitamin C levels in their blood have a 42% lower stroke risk.
Women who have higher vitamin C intakes have a lower likelihood of skin dryness and wrinkling according to a study that was performed on 4,025 women age 40-74.
Vitamin C can improve macular degeneration, a condition that effects the eyes.
A small study of hospitalized Covid patients found that 90% had very low, almost undetectable vitamin C levels. When they Covid patients were given vitamin C infusions, they showed improvement. This is a very early study though and more research is needed.
If a person is not getting enough vitamin C, they may have brown spots on the skin, and spongy gums that bleed easily. They may develop open wounds and even lose teeth. Lack of vitamin C can lead to fatigue and depression, because vitamin C is important for nerve health. Severe lack of vitamin C leads to a condition called Scurvy, which used to affect sailors who were at sea for months at a time without any fruit.
Can you get too much vitamin C? The RDA only recommends 75-90 mg a day, but scientists have studied daily doses of 500 mg a day and have found benefit. There is no risk to taking higher doses of vitamin C other than some patients will have mild stomach irritation or diarrhea. Vitamin C doesn’t build up in our system as our bodies eliminate the excess through urination.
When we think of foods that have vitamin C, we usually think of oranges. But there are many foods that have even more vitamin C than oranges. Here are foods that are very rich in vitamin C, ranked from highest amount of vitamin C:
Sweet yellow peppers