15 Amazing Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid) Benefits

by Kiran Patil last updated -

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The health benefits of vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, include the prevention and treatment of scurvy, common cold, lead toxicity, and has anti-cancer potential. It aids in boosting the immune system, lowering hypertension, curing cataracts, combating stroke, maintaining the elasticity of skin, healing wounds, and controlling the symptoms of asthma.

Vitamin C or ascorbic acid is one of the most effective and safest nutrients. It is a water-soluble vitamin and a powerful antioxidant in the synthesis of collagen, which helps make the blood vessels and muscles strong. The human body doesn’t have the capacity to generate vitamin C. Therefore, it needs to be received through food and other supplements.

Important Sources of Vitamin C

The important sources of vitamin C are citrus fruits such as oranges and grapes. Strawberries, raspberries, cabbages, cauliflowers, other leafy vegetables, red peppers, potatoes, broccoli, chilies, watercresses, parsley, brussels sprouts, cantaloupes, mange touts, and kiwi fruits are also rich sources of this vitamin. Cooking food at low temperatures and for a shorter period is important to keep the vitamin C preserved and beneficial.

Health Benefits of Vitamin C

The health benefits of this amazing antioxidant are explained in detail below:

Prevents Scurvy

Scurvy is caused by an insufficient intake of ascorbic acid. The symptoms of scurvy appear due to the weakening of connective tissues, bones, and blood vessels that include collagen. Vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant, is required for the production of collagen.

Treats Common Cold

A 2013 report published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews suggests that ascorbic acid enhances the immune system of our body, which protects us from cold and cough. The study also showed that when administered regularly, vitamin C reduces the duration of colds. Besides, it facilitates the absorption of iron and, therefore, strengthens the body’s resistance to infection. It also fights against viruses.

Lowers Hypertension

People with hypertension are at high risk of developing cardiovascular diseases. According to a 2012 research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, vitamin C intake helps in lowering the body’s blood pressure in the short term.

Foods rich in vitamin C (whole and halved sweet limes, red and yellow chili pepper, red cherries) with glasses of sweet lime juice and cherries on a wooden table

Acts as a Potent Vasodilator Antioxidant

Treatment with vitamin C has effectively resulted in the proper dilation of blood vessels in the cases of atherosclerosis, congestive heart failure, high cholesterol, angina pectoris, and high blood pressure. Dr. Melissa A. Moser, University of Connecticut, USA, in her 2016 report published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences, carried out epidemiologic research on vitamin C to study its potential role in cardiovascular diseases. Results have found that the supplements of this vitamin improve blood vessel dilation and protect cardiovascular health.

Treats Lead Toxicity

Lead toxicity is a severe health problem found mostly in children, especially in urban areas. Abnormal development and growth have been found in some children who are exposed to lead. They develop behavioral problems, learning disabilities, and also tend to have a low IQ. It may damage the kidneys and increase blood pressure in adults. Vitamin C supplements can reduce the blood lead level.

Treats Cataracts (Eye Disorder)

Cataracts are the most common conditions of visual problems. A decrease in the level of vitamin C in the lens of the human eye has been found more common when cataracts are present. Excessive intake of ascorbic acid increases the blood supply to the ocular areas of the body. According to the American Optometric Association, when Vitamin C is consumed with other essential nutrients, it can slow the progression of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and visual acuity loss.

Anti-cancer Potential

According to the National Cancer Institute, some clinical trials have shown that when cancer patients are given a high dosage of vitamin C, they show improved quality of life and fewer side effects. However, other studies say that it is better to abstain from this treatment until the effects are fully studied.

Combats Stroke

Vitamin C helps in reducing the risk of stroke, a type of cardiovascular disease. A diet full of vegetables and fruits supplies a good quantity of this vitamin, which maintains an appropriate blood pressure level. It also protects the body from free radicals which could be the reason for the stroke.

Improves your Mood

Vitamin C plays a key role in the production of neurotransmitters like norepinephrine. They affect the mood of a person and are critical to the proper functioning of the brain. A 2013 study conducted by Canadian researchers revealed that short-term therapy with vitamin C improves mood and reduces psychological distress in those acutely hospitalized patients with a high prevalence of suffering from hypovitaminosis.

Boosts Immunity

Immunity is another important benefit of this vitamin. Vitamin C is widely known for its contribution to the immune system and its stimulation of white blood vessels in the body.

Repairs Wounds

Vitamin C helps repair wounds. It facilitates the growth of the connective tissues, which speeds up the process of healing wounds.

Health benefits of vitamin C - infographic

Controls Asthma

Ascorbic acid helps reduce the symptoms of asthma. It helps to protect against the harmful effects of pollution on the human body, which often results in asthma-like symptoms.

Manages Diabetes

One of the chief reasons for diabetes, as found by various studies, is low levels of ascorbic acid. Supplements of vitamin C are beneficial as a way to manage diabetes, given that they help in the processing of insulin and glucose.

Prevents Heart Diseases

An adequate amount of ascorbic acid is essential for the protection of blood vessels from the damage that free radicals can cause them. This could be a major cause of a heart disease called atherosclerosis. Vitamin C acts as a preventative agent against this heart disease, as well as various other cardiac problems.

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About the Author

Kiran Patil is the founder of Organic Facts. He has a keen interest in health, nutrition, and organic living. He completed his B.Tech and M. Tech (Chemical Engineering) from IIT Bombay and has been actively writing about health and nutrition since over past 12 years. When not working he likes to trek and do gardening.

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