What is Vitamin C?
Vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin which plays a crucial role in the body functions. It is an essential nutrient which cannot by produced by the body and must be obtained through diet and vitamins. Commonly found in many vegetables and fruits, particularly citrus fruits- lemons, oranges or vegetables such as bell peppers, broccoli.
How does it work on a cellular level?
Vitamin C is known for its antioxidant properties which help to protect the cells from damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are molecules produced when the body breaks down food or when exposed to environmental factors such as smoke and radiation. Vitamin C is able to neutralize these free radicals preventing further harm.
Also vitamin C is involved in collagen synthesis, protein formation for connective tissues, skin, blood vessels, bones and cartilage, it also helps the body to absorb iron from plant based foods and supports the immune system
What can Vitamin C do to help improve overall absorption?
Vitamin C is key to the absorption of certain substances the most notable being non-haem iron which has several roles in the body and is converted in the stomach. Vitamin C can also form complexes with other minerals enhancing their solublity- allowing them to be more easily absorbed from the digestive tract.
Vitamin C helps to reduce the impact of inhibitors (which can hinder the absorption of select minerals).
1.National Institutes of Health (NIH), Office of Dietary Supplements. “Vitamin C: Fact Sheet for Health Professionals.” [Online]. Available: https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminC-HealthProfessional/
2.USDA FoodData Central. Provides data on the nutrient content of foods, including vitamin C content.
3.Carr, A.C.; Maggini, S. “Vitamin C and Immune Function.” Nutrients 2017, 9(11), 1211.
4.Padayatty, S.J.; Levine, M. “Vitamin C: The Known and the Unknown and Goldilocks.” Oral Diseases 2016, 22(6), 463–493.
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