Vitamin C: Your Body's Super Antioxidant

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How does vitamin C support the immune system?

Vitamin C: Your Body's Super Antioxidant

Vitamin C is one of the most important vitamins that you need for good health because it is involved in maintaining your immune system. Adequate vitamin C helps you fight off infections. In addition to its antioxidant properties, vitamin C does most of the repair work on the body. Vitamin C is necessary to help the body make collagen, a protein that is a component of skin, scar tissue, ligaments, tendons, and blood vessels. Vitamin C helps the body maintain and repair bones, teeth, and cartilage. It can even help wounds heal.

Vitamin C is water-soluble, so it is not stored in the body and you need to consume it every day. That's where supplements can come in, especially if you are following a restricted diet or if you just don't eat a variety of fruits and vegetables. Many multi-vitamin formulas contain vitamin C, or you can find it as its own supplement. The Institute of Medicine recommends 90 milligrams per day for men older than 18 years and 75 milligrams per day for women older than 18 years. Can you take too much vitamin C? The most common doses are 500-1,000 mg of vitamin C.

Some evidence suggests that vitamin C may cut down on your risk of getting a cold because of its role in immune system health, but it is more likely to help promote your recovery. In addition, research suggests that vitamin C may improve iron absorption. So if you are taking an iron supplement, you may want to include vitamin C, too, perhaps with a multivitamin.

   

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