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How Vitamin C Can Help Keep You Healthy

How Vitamin C Can Help Keep You Healthy

Vitamin C for immune support? It’s not exactly breaking news. In fact, ramping up our vitamin C intake is one of the first things that many people do at the first sign of a cough, runny nose or sore throat. However, this only scratches the surface of what this powerful nutrient has to offer. In addition to boosting immunity[i], vitamin C also plays a key role in collagen formation, a substance vital for skin[ii], joint and circulatory health, aiding in the formation, maintenance and repair of tendons, ligaments and blood vessels. It also aids in bone health as well as wound healing[iii].

Ok, so we’ve established that vitamin C is important to help maintain optimal health. But how do we make sure we’re getting enough? It’s always a good idea to start with the diet. Once again, many people are well aware that citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruit are some of the best food sources of vitamin C around. But there are also some powerful, food-based vitamin C sources that perhaps don’t get enough love, including berries, tomatoes and kiwi, as well as green leafy vegetables like spinach and broccoli[iv].

That said, since our bodies aren’t able to synthesize vitamin C, we need a constant supply of it[v]. And since many diets can be hit-or-miss in the fruits and vegetables department, many people choose to add in a supplement. Additionally, the acidic nature of many food sources of vitamin C can often exacerbate digestive issues like heartburn[vi]. Unfortunately, many common vitamin C supplements also use an acidic form, ascorbic acid, leading to similar potential issues. To complicate things further, many supplement brands advertise “whole food” or “food-source” vitamin C products, while these are often just the same old ascorbic acid forms, with some plant-based components added in.

To get a vitamin C boost that’s easy on digestion, consider a form such as Ester-C®, comprised of less-acidic calcium ascorbate[vii]. In addition, when compared to ascorbic acid, the Ester-C® form has also shown greater absorption and retention within the white blood cells of the immune system, for up to 24 hours of immune support[viii]. The reason behind this enhanced absorption appears to be the presence of vitamin C metabolites, threonate and furanone, found only in calcium ascorbate[ix].

While vitamin C has rightfully earned its reputation as a powerful, natural immune booster, its many health benefits go far beyond simply keeping us going during cold and flu season. And whether relying on dietary sources, supplement forms, or a combination of the two, it’s definitely deserving of a place in your daily routine.

[i] Carr AC, Maggini S. Vitamin C and Immune Function. Nutrients. 2017;9(11)
[ii] Pullar JM, Carr AC, Vissers MCM. The Roles of Vitamin C in Skin Health. Nutrients. 2017;9(8)
[iii] Dephillipo NN, Aman ZS, Kennedy MI, Begley JP, Moatshe G, Laprade RF. Efficacy of Vitamin C Supplementation on Collagen Synthesis and Oxidative Stress After Musculoskeletal Injuries: A Systematic Review. Orthop J Sports Med. 2018;6(10):2325967118804544.
[iv] Chambial S, Dwivedi S, Shukla KK, John PJ, Sharma P. Vitamin C in disease prevention and cure: an overview. Indian J Clin Biochem. 2013;28(4):314-28.
[v] Nishikimi M, Fukuyama R, Minoshima S, Shimizu N, Yagi K. Cloning and chromosomal mapping of the human nonfunctional gene for L-gulono-gamma-lactone oxidase, the enzyme for L-ascorbic acid biosynthesis missing in man. J Biol Chem. 1994 May 6; 269(18):13685-8.
[vi] Jarosz M, Taraszewska A. Risk factors for gastroesophageal reflux disease: the role of diet. Prz Gastroenterol. 2014;9(5):297-301.
[vii] Lee JK, Jung SH, Lee SE, et al. Alleviation of ascorbic acid-induced gastric high acidity by calcium ascorbate and . Korean J Physiol Pharmacol. 2018;22(1):35-42.
[viii] Moyad MA, Combs MA, Vrablic AS, Velasquez J, Turner B, Bernal S. Vitamin C metabolites, independent of smoking status, significantly enhance leukocyte, but not plasma ascorbate concentrations. Adv Ther. 2008;25(10):995-1009.
[ix] Fay MJ, Verlangieri AJ. Stimulatory action of calcium L-threonate on ascorbic acid uptake by a human T-lymphoma cell line. Life Sci. 1991;49(19):1377-81.
SISU Ester-C®

About the Author: Sisu

“Sisu”

Sisu is committed to helping Canadians find their perfect balance. Their ever-expanding line of natural health products is driven by innovative, clinically-validated ingredients and industry-leading environmental awareness. Learn more at sisu.com.