How Does Vitamin C Support The Immune System?
How does vitamin C support the immune system? It doesn’t come as a big surprise that over the last 2 years, interest in supporting the body's immune system has grown exponentially. In fact, we reported that in 2020, internet searches containing the term ‘immunity’ grew by over 600%.
Discovering ways to support our immune system with food and drink is important to not only help reduce the likelihood of getting sick, but also give us the best chance of fighting it when we do.
One ingredient that has been making headlines in the immunity space is vitamin C. At the right dosage, it is often linked to immune system function and can be found in a variety of products. But what exactly is it, and how does vitamin C support the immune system?
In this blog post, we’ve covered everything you need to know about vitamin C and its impact on our wellbeing and immunity. Find out more below.
PERKii Immunity Probiotic Shots
What Is Vitamin C?
Let’s start with the basics - what is vitamin C? Vitamin C is a water-soluble micronutrient and is essential for many of our bodily functions. It’s most commonly associated with its immunity effects, helping to protect us from the common cold over the winter months - though vitamin C can do so much more. It’s also responsible for the growth and repair of our bodily tissues, wound healing, iron absorption, and the creation of collagen.
This particular vitamin is typically found in fruits such as oranges, grapefruit, blackcurrant, strawberries, and mandarins. Though it doesn’t stop here - vitamin C can also be found in other foods such as parsley, kale, spinach, brussel sprouts, broccoli, and other leafy green vegetables.
How Does Vitamin C Help The Immune System?
So, how does vitamin C help the immune system? Whether it’s by stimulating white blood cell production or supporting iron absorption - here are 3 ways vitamin C supports our immune system.
1. Stimulate White Blood Cells Production
First and foremost, vitamin C helps the immune system by promoting the production and activity of white blood cells (3).
These cells are a crucial component of the immune system, as they flow through the bloodstream and respond to any wounds or foreign infections. White blood cells also create antibodies that defend and fight off viruses in the body to prevent infection.
Since vitamin C can help stimulate the activity of white blood cells, this particular nutrient is clearly very important when it comes to regulating our body’s natural defences.
2. Support Iron Absorption
Another handy immunity function of vitamin C is that it can support the absorption of iron in the small intestine (1).
Before being absorbed, vitamin C converts this mineral into a form that’s much easier for the body to absorb - helping to keep iron levels optimal.
When the body lacks iron, we experience a condition known as anaemia, which can trigger fatigue, weakness, shortness of breath, and poor immunity. Vitamin C helps by ensuring that the iron in our diet is properly absorbed and utilised by the body.
3. It acts as an Antioxidant
Since vitamin C is also known as an antioxidant, this humble nutrient can also stop damage to our bodies on a cellular level.
Our bodies are constantly exposed to free radicals from our surrounding environment, which can trigger inflammation and damage on a cellular level. If this is left unchecked over time, free radical damage can worsen - weakening immune responses and increasing our risk of several chronic diseases.
Antioxidants, such as vitamin C, help by stabilising free radicals and significantly reducing this damage long-term (2).
How Much Vitamin C Should I Take?
At this point, you might be wondering - how much vitamin C should I take to support my immune system?
The recommended daily intake (RDI) of vitamin C is approximately 40-60mg. This value will vary between children (slightly lower), pregnant/ breastfeeding women (slightly higher), or anyone with nutrient absorption issues.
It’s important to note that there isn’t much evidence to suggest taking a lot more than the RDI is beneficial to the human body. In fact, taking too much (2000mg or more a day) can cause gastrointestinal discomforts.
Is Liquid Vitamin C Better?
If you’re taking a vitamin C supplement to reach your daily targets, you’ll likely have the choice between a liquid or a tablet. This might leave you wondering which is better?
Vitamin C supplements in a liquid form are better than vitamin C tablets. This is because liquid supplements have a much higher absorption rate (around 90% vs. 20% of tablets) and they’re faster for your body to absorb compared to tablets (4).
Capsules and tablets usually have a protective outer coating, which takes effort for the body to break down before absorbing the nutrients. Since liquids don’t have this issue, they’re immediately ready for your body to digest and absorb.
PERKii Immunity Probiotic Shots
Are you looking for ways to add more vitamin C to your diet? We’d suggest getting your hands on the new PERKii Immunity Probiotic Shots.
These shots are a great source of vitamin C, containing 25% of your daily recommended intake - helping to support normal immune system function year-round. Plus, as they’re in a liquid form, they’re much easier for your body to break down and absorb compared to standard tablets.
Not to mention, they’re also a much tastier way to enjoy your daily probiotics - bottled with 8 billion targeted release probiotics in a 60ml serving.
Head to the online store to shop the range now!
References(1) Abdullah, Jamil, Attia, 2022, Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid), National Library Of Medicine, available at URL: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK499877/
(2) Alessio, Goldfarb, Cao, 2022, Exercise-Induced Oxidative Stress before and after Vitamin C Supplementation, International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, available at URL: https://journals.humankinetics.com/configurable/content/journals$002fijsnem$002f7$002f1$002farticle-p1.xml?t%3Aac=journals%24002fijsnem%24002f7%24002f1%24002farticle-p1.xml&content=abstract
(3) Huijskens, Walczak, Koller, Briedé, Senden-Gijsbers, Schnijderberg, Bos, Germeraad, 2014, Technical advance: ascorbic acid induces development of double-positive T cells from human hematopoietic stem cells in the absence of stromal cells, National Library Of Medicine, available at URL: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25157026/
(4) Ware, 2020, Liquid or Pill Vitamin: Which is Better?, Healing Blends, available at URL: https://healingblendsglobal.com/blogs/lifestyle/liquid-or-pill-vitamin-which-is-better