We’ve written at length in the past about the wonders of vitamin C. This super-nutrient is making big waves in the medical community; even mainstream medicine is beginning to acknowledge that it’s capable of much more than preventing scurvy.
In fact, it’s becoming clear that vitamin C plays a central role in the body’s self-defense processes—defense against pathogens, oxidative stress, and even the ravages of aging. And our symbiotic relationship with vitamin C has been a pivotal one since the dawn of our evolution. At one time, our bodies even manufactured ascorbic acid endogenously to combat perceived threats (this is a talent still enjoyed by many animals).
Given vitamin C’s affinity for safeguarding our health, it should come as no surprise that it holds great potential as an anti-aging aid. In past articles, we’ve explored how vitamin C can ward off or help heal serious illnesses, including (but most certainly not limited to) cancer, heart disease, sepsis, and infection (both viral and bacterial).
But there’s another, more “surface-level” anti-aging benefit that vitamin C can provide: radiant skin health.
Are your wrinkles a sign of vitamin C deficiency?
Before we dive into exactly how vitamin C protects the health and beauty of your skin, let’s talk a bit about vitamin C deficiency.
Beyond preventing scurvy, conventional medicine hasn’t had much to say about the importance of avoiding vitamin C deficiency. But the tide is turning: a growing body of research is demonstrating that by depriving your body of optimal vitamin C levels, you may be at risk for adverse health effects long before scurvy sets in.
To illustrate, consider this point: the minimum daily RDA of ascorbic acid for preventing scurvy is 46 mg/day (the “optimal” RDA is 65 mg/day, barely any higher than the minimum). Meanwhile, researchers have found that many mammals will naturally produce over 10,000 milligrams of ascorbic acid every day. When these animals are faced with an acute pathogen or stressor, their bodies can produce over 200,000 milligrams in a single day to combat the threat.
Given that our bodies used to have this same innate capacity, can you imagine the benefits we may be missing out on by only providing our bodies with a measly 65 milligrams of vitamin C per day?
While exceedingly few people would recommend taking 200,000 milligrams of vitamin C in a single day, there are an increasing number of experts that see vitamin C as a tool for safeguarding health and slowing the aging process, especially when taken in higher doses (at least 1,000 mg per day).
For example, given vitamin C’s role in collagen production (more on that below), there’s reason to believe that maintaining optimal levels can help prevent the wrinkles and other skin deterioration associated with aging.
If you don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables on a daily basis, are a smoker or drinker, or deal with even a moderate amount of stress on an ongoing basis, you should be especially vigilant about avoiding vitamin C deficiency (and the skin issues that come along with it). By eating and supplementing properly, you can enjoy some incredible skin benefits (in addition to the many other benefits provided by vitamin C).
Here’s just a few reasons why vitamin C is your skin’s best friend.
Collagen production. As mentioned above, ascorbic acid is critical for your body’s production of collagen, the protein that keeps skin cells young and healthy. For this reason, vitamin C is always present in both the dermis and epidermis, where it functions as an antioxidant and collagen regulator. Studies have shown that oral supplementation of vitamin C will increase levels in the skin, thus increasing the skin’s ability to ward off oxidative stress.
Protection against sun damage. The antioxidant capacity of vitamin C (particularly when it’s present in optimal levels in the skin) has been shown to limit the damage caused by UV exposure. Unlike sunscreen, which blocks the absorption of UV light (and impedes the skin’s synthesis of vitamin D), vitamin C simply minimizes the negative oxidative stress that UV rays can cause. Vitamin C certainly isn’t a replacement for responsible sun exposure, but it can help reduce the skin damage that can occur from spending too much time in the sun.
Wrinkle prevention. One of the most dreaded effects of oxidative-stress-induced skin aging is the development of wrinkles. Researchers now understand that age-related wrinkles can be eased and minimized simply by controlling the oxidative stress and collagen levels of the skin. Vitamin C accomplishes both tasks in one swoop: it protects against free radical damage and keeps collagen strong and abundant through a process called hydroxylation. Studies have shown that optimal skin levels of vitamin C can reduce wrinkles, reduce protein fiber damage, decrease the roughness of the skin, and increase collagen production.
How to get the most out of vitamin C
As with any nutrient, optimizing vitamin C levels begins with proper nutrition; any supplementation regimen should be built on a foundation of plenty of nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables (guava, oranges, red peppers, kale, and broccoli are great common food sources of vitamin C).
That being said, supplementation is the fastest and easiest way to glean the full benefits of vitamin C. There are many topical skin care products that contain vitamin C, but oral supplementation is still the wisest choice. As mentioned above, oral supplementation will increase levels of vitamin C in the skin, while providing all the other benefits that come from having high blood levels of vitamin C (using it topically won’t suffice for attaining higher blood levels).
High bioavailability is essential, so always be sure to supplement with a properly formulated vitamin C product like this one. PuraTHRIVE’s micelle liposomal vitamin C is a cutting-edge formulation of l-ascorbic acid (a fermented form of ascorbic acid that is more naturally “recognized” by the body).
It’s nanoencapsulated through two delivery methods for maximum absorption (micelle and liposomal delivery), and it’s absolutely delicious. Give it a try today to find out why vitamin C is the latest buzz in the natural health community.