Vitamin C Immune System Benefits: How Does It Help Support Your Immune System? †
Jan 11, 2021
Quick Health Scoop
As an essential nutrient, vitamin C cannot be produced in the body
Vitamin C plays a role in supporting a healthy immune system†
Vitamin C delivers powerful antioxidant properties†
Since a well-functioning immune system plays a critical role in your well-being, you need to provide your body with the right nutrients to stay healthy. If you’re looking to support your immune system all year, then you might think about vitamin C as well. But what is vitamin C and where can you find it? More importantly, how does vitamin C help support your immune system?† Read on to discover how you can put “the immune support vitamin” to help you.†
What is Vitamin C and How Can I Get It?
As a water-soluble vitamin, vitamin C (a.k.a. L-ascorbic acid) is an essential nutrient, which means your body can’t produce it. Fortunately, you can obtain what you need through your diet and, if needed, supplementation. While citrus foods like oranges and grapefruits are rich in vitamin C, you can also find it in a variety of other fruits and vegetables,1 such as:
Green and red bell peppers
New research of US population data shows that over 45% of Americans are not meeting their vitamin C needs through food alone.2 Those who smoke have higher vitamin C requirements to help counteract the oxidative stress of smoking and smokers generally have lower concentrations of vitamin C. If you don’t regularly eat the foods above, you may not be getting the Vitamin C your body needs to stay healthy. Consider adding a Vitamin C supplement to meet your daily nutrient needs.
How Does Vitamin C Help Support the Immune System?†
Vitamin C plays several key roles in the body, both as an antioxidant and as an enzyme co-factor, assisting in reactions such as making collagen and carnitine. Vitamin C also helps in iron absorption in the GI tract.† While this key nutrient plays a variety of roles in the body, vitamin C is best known for its role in helping to support your immune system.†
For starters, vitamin C helps support function of immune cells.† As an antioxidant, vitamin C delivers antioxidant activity and helps to support immune cells by neutralizing free radicals.†3
How Does Vitamin C Compare to Other Immune-Supporting Nutrients?†
While vitamin C is important when it comes to helping to support your immune system,† other nutrients also play valuable roles in supporting a healthy immune system.† Take a look at how these other nutrients help support your immune system.†
Vitamin A: This fat-soluble vitamin comes from animal sources in the form of retinol and fruits and vegetables in the form of carotenoids, like beta-carotene. Carotenoids are converted to active vitamin A in the body. Recognized for its role in the immune system, vitamin A helps support the immune system.†
Vitamin D: Nearly all immune system cells have vitamin D receptors that allow this key nutrient to support a healthy immune response.†
Zinc: This mighty mineral helps with many processes in the body, including the immune system. Zinc helps support a healthy immune system.†
The Bottom Line
To sum it all up, vitamin C is an essential nutrient that plays a critical role in supporting your healthy immune system.† If you’re not sure whether you’re getting enough vitamin C, consider taking a vitamin C supplement to fill the nutrient gap.
Lisa Beach is a seasoned journalist whose work has been published in The New York Times, Good Housekeeping, Eating Well, Parents, AARP’s Disrupt Aging, Optimum Wellness, and dozens more. She also writes for a variety of health/wellness-focused brands. Check out her writer’s website at www.LisaBeachWrites.com.
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