Vitamin C is named ascorbic acid which means, ‘The acid that counteracts scurvy’.
The highest concentration is found in white blood cells and blood platelets. The adrenal glands and pituitary gland plus the testicles and ovaries have particularly high concentrations of vitamin C while the vitamin C concentration in the brain is 10 times higher than that found in the blood.
Why do we need to supplement?
Humans are one of the only mammals unable to make their own vitamin C.
Almost all mammals are able to synthesize vitamin C in their adrenal glands by means of enzymatic conversion of glucose. In these animals, vitamin C works as a hormone. In humans, on the other hand, the gene of the vitamin C-producing enzyme contains a number of mutations resulting in an inability to produce the vitamin and therefore we depend on our diet or supplements for our supply.
Humans have an increased need for vitamin C in situations with oxidative stress like burns and serious infections. Also, smokers have an increased need for vitamin C.
How does it work in the body?
Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin and an antioxidant that is part of several (intra-cellular redox) systems involved in neutralising reactive oxygen compounds (also known as free radicals). Vitamin C is a co-factor in different enzymatic processes and distributes itself through the body’s water-based areas, which includes everything that is not fat and bone tissue. Vitamin C Is important for our energy-yielding metabolism, our immune and nervous system and also psychological functions.
Benefits in Research:
Vitamin C is an important antioxidant that’s able to protect our cells from oxidative stress, which happens when we’re exposed to pollution, UV rays, poor dietary choices and our own metabolism (especially during sports/strenuous activity).
Vitamin C is able to regenerate vitamin E. Vitamin E is the fat-soluble counterpart to vitamin C and is also able to protect cells from oxidative stress. When vitamin E neutralizes free radicals, vitamin C is able to ‘refresh’ the vitamin so it can work again and again.
Vitamin C maintains the enzyme prolyl hydroxylase in its active form which helps to ‘hydroxylate’ recently produced connective tissue (collagen). If the body cannot hydroxylate collagen, this is considered the main symptom of scurvy which also includes weakness, fatigue, gum disease and bleeding from the skin.
Improves iron absorption
Vitamin C has been shown to improve the absorption of non-haem iron in food 1. Non-haem iron is present in certain plant-based foods, including dark green leafy vegetables as well as supplements. This makes vitamin C a good choice for those who rely on plant-based foods/supplements for their iron intakes, including vegans.
Various studies show that vitamin C can help restore circulation restricted due to other facts, including smoking and obesity. In one double-blind trial, vitamin C supplementation improved fore-arm circulation in smokers versus placebo 2. In an alternate double-blind trial, vitamin C supplementation restored more circulation in obese children versus the effects of a placebo and was able to reduce incidences of high blood pressure in stress 3.
Vitamin C is involved in various parts of the immune system such as encouraging the production of white blood cells and protecting these cells from oxidative stress, through its antioxidant ability. Various studies show that vitamin C supplementation can also improve wound healing 4, and speed up recovery from certain infections 5.
Bio-C-Vitamin is a film-coated formula using the non-acidic calcium ascorbate form. Other forms of vitamin C may be acidic and in sensitive individuals can contribute to acid conditions such as acid reflux (heartburn).
1.Hurrell R, Egli I. Iron bioavailability and dietary reference values. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2010;91(5):1461S-1467S.
2.Stamatelopoulos, Lekakis, Papamichael, Papaioannou, Cimboneriou, Stamatelopoulos. Oral Administration of Ascorbic Acid Attenuates Endothelial Dysfunction After Short-term Cigarette Smoking. International Journal for Vitamin and Nutrition Research. 2003;73(6):417-422.
3.Fernandes Pricilla Regina Oliveira Fernandes, Lira Fabio Alexandre dos Santos, Borba Vanessa Vieira Lopes, Costa Maria José Carvalho, Trombeta Ivani Credidio, Santos Maria do Socorro Brasileiro et al . Vitamin C restores blood pressure and vasodilator response during mental stress in obese children. Arq. Bras. Cardiol. 96( 6 ): 490-497
4.DESNEVES K, TODOROVIC B, CASSAR A, CROWE T. Treatment with supplementary arginine, vitamin C and zinc in patients with pressure ulcers: A randomised controlled trial. Clinical Nutrition. 2005;24(6):979-987.
5.Bakaev, V. V.; Duntau, A. P. The International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, Volume 8, Number 2, February 2004, pp. 263-266(4)