Why Do We Need Vitamin C Benefits & Sources
When you’re sick with the sniffles, the first advice you’ll probably hear is, “Get some Vitamin C!”  Well, yes, Vitamin C is great for supporting the immune system and keeping bugs at bay.  But you may be surprised to learn that this is just one of the many roles this super nutrient plays in the body. 


What is Vitamin C?

Vitamin C (AKA ascorbic acid/ascorbate) is a water-soluble vitamin, which means it dissolves in water for quick absorption into the body. This also means that the body cannot store it for long, so your levels need to be topped up daily.  It’s also an antioxidant and an important cofactor in many bodily processes, such as building collagen and making many different chemicals that the body needs to stay healthy. 

Let’s check out all the roles that the Big C plays in the body and why it’s so important to take every day.


Vitamin C Benefits

Supports healthy immune function

Vitamin C plays an important role in supporting specific white blood cells, the cells that form much of your immune defences. It supports the production and function of lymphocytes and phagocytes[1], which make up the frontline of your body’s defence system. At the same time, it protects these cells from oxidative damage caused by free radicals. 

This super nutrient also supports the production of antibodies: special proteins that your immune cells “stick” to harmful substances so your body can get rid of them[2].


Fights oxidative stress

Oxidative stress is caused by unstable molecules called free radicals, which are formed in your body following exposure to stress, UV rays, processed foods, alcohol, cigarette smoke, pollution, and loads of other everyday things. Free radicals not only damage cells and DNA but the damage can trigger the onset of many health conditions.

As an antioxidant, vitamin C “neutralises” free radicals and helps clear them out of the body. It also shields your cells from further damage[3].


Supports collagen production 

Vitamin C plays a crucial role in building collagen, the protein that makes up most of your connective tissue[4]. Collagen is responsible for maintaining the strength of your bones, tendons, ligaments, cartilage, and skin. 

Ascorbic acid supports the activation of specific enzymes that make up the structure of collagen, which helps with tissue repair and elasticity. It’s also essential for proper bone formation, wound healing, and the maintenance of healthy gums. 


Helps with iron absorption

Vitamin C is great for enhancing your body’s ability to absorb iron[5]. Iron is vital for carrying oxygen from your lungs to other parts of the body via red blood cells. Vitamin C is especially useful for vegetarians who only get their iron from plant sources such as leafy greens and legumes.

What’s more, Vitamin C may help prevent substances such as tea and calcium from blocking the absorption of iron.


Helps make brain chemicals

Vitamin C works alongside several other nutrients to support the production of “happy chemicals”, including dopamine and norepinephrine [6]. Dopamine is known as the “feel-good” hormone because it’s linked to our brain's reward system and helps produce a sense of happiness. Vitamin C may also support healthy serotonin levels, which lift mood. 

In fact, some research has shown that people with higher levels of vitamin C are more likely to feel happier and more positive[7]!


Supports energy production

Ascorbic acid is also a cofactor for enzymes involved in the synthesis of carnitine, an important chemical that helps the body turn fat into energy. It’s been found that a severe lack of vitamin C can result in fatigue, lethargy, weakness, and even muscle tiredness. These symptoms were first reported among sailors who suffered from scurvy, a serious form of vitamin C deficiency.


Good Vitamin C sources

Boosting your Vitamin C intake should start with eating the right foods. The foods with the highest amounts include:

  • Citrus fruits: oranges, lemons
  • Kiwifruit
  • Capsicums: red, green, yellow
  • Berries: blueberries, strawberries, blackcurrants
  • Tomatoes
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Leafy greens: spinach, kale

But because Vitamin C doesn’t stay in the body for long - and your body NEEDS plenty of it -  it’s often easier (and more beneficial!) to take it in supplements.  

And there are lots of options! 


The best Vitamin C supplements 

Powders or chewables are a good way to take a high dose of your daily C because they’re well-absorbed and easy on the stomach. They also taste great! Try Clinicians Hi-Dose Vit C Powder or Ethical Nutrients Extra C Zingles. Kids also love Radiance Kids Vitamin C + Zinc Gummies.

Liposomal supplements are also a very effective way to boost your levels quickly. These supplements encapsulate ascorbic acid in phospholipids, which means it’s delivered directly to your bloodstream and cells without being broken down. Check out LipoShell Vitamin C Lipo-Sachets or Clinicians Liposomal Vitamin C & Quercetin.

Bargain Chemist has a massive range of Vitamin C powders, tablets, chewables, liquids, and even capsules. Stock up on this precious vitamin now - your body will thank you for it! 

Always read the label and use as directed. Vitamins are supplementary to a balanced diet.


[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5707683/

[2] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/7163630/ 

[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK499877/

[4] https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/2325967118804544

[5] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/6940487/

[6] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3527656/

[7] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6071228/