What is the single most well-known vitamin on the planet? Hint, its usually the first thing people dose up on at first sign of cold and flu.
Yes you got it, we’re talking about Vitamin C!
This water-soluble nutrient is essential for human health, as it is one of the few vitamins we cannot synthesize ourselves. You may be familiar with the story that lead to this discovery, involving sailors stuck at sea for months on end without any fresh fruits or produce. Their Vitamin C stores dropped so low that they developed life-threatening scurvy. After this connection was made, limes and lemons were always packed on board.
Scurvy and immune support aside, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C) also plays and important role in the health of our skin. It functions as an antioxidant, protecting our skin against free radical damage from environmental pollutants etc, as well as being a critical nutrient required for the synthesis of collagen type I and type III.
Perhaps it’s time to swap out the collagen supplements for some ol’ fashion vitamin C instead?
The maintenance of all our connective tissue (skin, blood vessels, tendon, cartilage and teeth) all rely on an adequate supply of Vitamin C. The RDI for adults is between 75-90mg per day.
Specific dermatological benefits of Vitamin C include:
Vitamin C plays a role in the formation of healthy, strong tissue. Without a sufficient supply, weak skin cells are created (due to lack of quality collagen) and wounds are slow or become difficult to fully heal.
Photodamage is the term given when oxidative damage affects skin proteins, ultimately leading to a change in the skin structure and appearance. Commonly known as wrinkles. Because Vitamin C is an antioxidant (protective against oxidative/free radical damage) and important co-factor in the synthesis of collagen (structural support of epidermis), there is strong evidence to suggest its beneficial effect on combating photodamage. Observational studies have found that those with higher Vitamin C intake have better overall skin appearance and fewer skin decreases (wrinkles).
The damage to skin by UV light exposure can be limited by the presence of Vitamin C. It is not a 100% preventative against sunburn or act like a ‘sunscreen’, but rather the antioxidant actions protect us against the free-radical damage of UV rays.
High intakes of Vitamin C can be correlated with a decreased risk of developing dry skin. The maintenance of dermal barrier function and effect on trans-epidermal water loss suggests Ascorbic Acid may be an important consideration in minimizing effects of atopic skin conditions such as dermatitis, eczema and psoriasis.
Increasing uptake of Vitamin C, or supplementing with a high-quality natural supplement like our Organic Amla Powder, may be indicated if you experience any of the following signs and symptoms of deficiency:
- Muscular weakness
- Swollen, bleeding gums
- Poor would healing
- Poor appetite
- Vague myalgias (pains)
- Congested hair follicles.
If left untreated, severe Vitamin C deficiency can result in shock, convulsions and potentially death if untreated.
Always speak to your trusted health care professional before taking any new supplements or making significant dietary changes.