Cough, sniffles, and sore throat? Then you need vitamin C. At least, that’s what numerous manufacturers of products for the common cold suggest. The vitamin C nutrient is regarded as a kind of miracle cure when pathogens have hijacked the body’s ship.
Today we explain what the power nutrient vitamin C is all about. We also examine the question of whether the antioxidants can be used effectively to prevent and treat respiratory infections.
Table of Contents
- What is Vitamin C?
- Foods Rich With Vitamin C
- This Is Why Your Body Needs Vitamin C
- “Jump Into the Sea” Without Vitamin C? No Way!
- Can Respiratory Infections Be Prevented With Vitamin C?
- Can Respiratory Tract Infections Be Treated With Vitamin C?
- Vitamin C | Vita C From Arktis Biopharma
What is Vitamin C?
Vitamin C belongs to the group of water-soluble vitamins. That means that it is not practically stored by your organism. Therefore, it is important that you take it regularly through your food.
Normally, water-soluble vitamins cannot overdose. However, here is the exception: Vitamin B12 is stored in your liver. Vitamin C, however, is not. For this reason, you can eat heartily when it comes to vitamin C-containing foods.
While we are on the subject…
Foods Rich With Vitamin C
Gotcha! At first, you probably thought of citrus fruits when you thought of vitamin C. However, there is a whole range of foods that are not even suspected to contain the vitamin. In fact, broccoli, rosehips, and sea buckthorn have higher vitamin C content than the popular oranges and lemons.
The Foods That Contain Vitamin C
- Black Currants
- Bell Peppers
- Brussels Sprouts
Good to know!
Vitamin C is a popular additive in processed products. Just a few examples are sausages and meat products. However, the manufacturers do not want to help us get nutrients with it, instead, they have a completely different goal.
Vitamin C is used as a popular substance, in this case, to make the food more durable and to preserve the original color. On the ingredients list, the additive is hidden behind the following numbers: E300 to E304, E315, and E316.
The Mysterious Vitamin C Bomb (Spoiler: It’s Not Camu-Camu)
Looking at modern superfoods, Camu-Camu is often recommended. The small red berries, native to the Amazon region of Brazil and Peru, are often given the winning nod when it comes to vitamin C. But I’ll tell you something: In fact, the Australian bush plum contains the highest vitamin C content.
For comparison, 100 grams of Camu-Camu berries combine for about 2,000 mg of vitamin C. The Australian bush plum, on the other hand, contains up to 5300 mg per 100 g. That’s about 100 times the vitamin C content of oranges. Grandiose, isn’t it?
This Is Why Your Body Needs Vitamin C
Vitamin C is probably the best known of its kind. It is rightly highly praised and pushed in the media. After all, the nutrient fulfills important tasks in your body. Without the water-soluble vitamin, selected metabolic processes in your organism would not be possible.
In addition, vitamin C ensures that the absorption and use of iron from plant sources are successful. The nutrient also stimulates the production of bile acids and the neurotransmitters adrenaline and noradrenaline.
Vitamin C is also important for your connective tissue. It helps build collagen and supports wound healing. But this is not the end of the list, because now come the real powers of vitamin C.
For one thing, the nutrient acts as a free radicals scavenger. To do this, you need to know that your body produces cell-damaging oxygen compounds as part of metabolic processes; they are also known as free radicals. These unpleasant guests can also be caused by UV radiation, the use of medications, or nicotine consumption.
Free radicals are seen as a critical issue because they seem to accelerate the aging process and are involved in the development of numerous diseases. Vitamin C helps to catch the culprits.
The power nutrient can also counteract the formation of cancer-causing Nitrosamines. These can be formed during digestion. In addition, you ingest them with certain foods, for example, salted sausages.
Last but not least, and you’ve probably been waiting for this: Vitamin C supports the immune system. Your organism needs the nutrient to strengthen its defenses.
“Jump Into the Sea” Without Vitamin C? No Way!
The chemical term for vitamin C is ascorbic acid. The designation loosely translates to “without the scurvy.” Do you like watching nautical movies or pirate movies? Then you have certainly come across the word “scurvy” before.
This is a deficiency symptom that occurs when too little vitamin C is consumed. It was very common among sailors at that time. They suffered from swollen hands and feet, bleeding gums, and exhaustion due to a nutrient-poor diet. Now you know why a barrel of oranges is always rolled onto the ship in movies.
Can Respiratory Infections Be Prevented With Vitamin C?
Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s move on to the really interesting part. Respiratory infections are annoying, but not uncommon. Large parts of the population have to fight with them several times a year. Preschoolers even four to eight times a year. As a rule, these are viral infections. Generally, they are called colds.
Vitamin C is often recommended when it comes to preventing colds. Let’s take a critical look at the question of whether this is actually possible.
The fact is, there is no unanimity on this subject. While some medical experts promote vitamin C prevention to the land of myths, there are certainly studies that suggest its suitability for prophylaxis.
For example, there have been studies that examined the preventive effects of vitamin C in people who were exposed to high levels of physical exertion. For example, the focus was on marathon runners and soldiers who performed exercises in the cold. The study participants started taking vitamin C 2-3 weeks before the stress.
The result: About half of the colds could be prevented by the procedure, however, no specific recommendation for treatment can be derived from this.
The general consensus is that vitamin C alone is not capable of preventing colds. However, since research suggests that the nutrient does have its uses in exercise combined with the cold, you’ll have to decide for yourself what the power vitamin can do for you.
Good to know!
Don’t be disappointed now! After all, a balanced vitamin C level is important in any case to keep your defense system strong. The body police can therefore only intervene effectively if the nutrient supply in your organism is right.
Can Respiratory Tract Infections Be Treated With Vitamin C?
This question is also fascinating. Let’s take another trip into the realm of science.
In one study, people who reported cold and flu symptoms were given high doses of vitamin C. The doses were given to the control group. This showed that, unlike the control group, symptoms decreased by 85% after administration. The study authors concluded that vitamin C, administered before or after symptom onset, can relieve symptoms.
A survey study summarized the results of nine studies. It found that vitamin C, taken as a daily dietary supplement, can shorten the duration of the common cold.
I would like to join you in an attempt to explain why vitamin C might be useful for preventing and treating colds. Let’s rewind and look at your immune system again.
Let’s assume the unfavorable case that the flu viruses have made it to your mucous membranes. In this case, vitamin C becomes active in your organism. It gives the command to produce white blood cells. These, in turn, are important for overpowering and destroying the attackers. Moreover, it clings to free radicals to avert harm to your body. In this way, vitamin C reduces oxidative stress that can wreak havoc on your immune system.
Cool stuff, though the effort comes at a price: your vitamin C levels can drop as a result. Therefore, to support your immune system, it may be a good idea to take vitamin C when a cold comes knocking.
Good to know!
There are various recommendations for vitamin C intake. One states that at the first signs of a cold, 3000 mg of vitamin C (from natural sources) should be taken daily – over a period of 5 days. This is not always easy, especially because appetite often continues to decrease as the symptoms progress. Nutritional supplements can provide support.
Vitamin C | Vita C From Arktis Biopharma
Vitamin C, a popular micronutrient, is constantly consumed by your body. Since it is a water-soluble vitamin, it is not stored in the body. Accordingly, you should constantly replenish it. After all, ascorbic acid supports the normal function of the immune system, especially during and after intense physical exertion.
With Arktis BioPharma’s vitamin C, you benefit from a non-acidic and therefore stomach-friendly complex. Our product combines both vitamin C and the bioflavonoids quercetin and rutin, which contribute to an improved supply – good news for all those who have an increased need.
The vitamin C preparation from Arktis BioPharma relies on Ester-C®. This is a winning mix of vitamin C in the calcium ascorbate form and the natural vitamin C metabolite L-Threonate. The vitamin C supplement is recommended because it improves the absorption of the nutrient. It also allows vitamin C to remain in the body longer.
A good vitamin C supply, sufficient exercise, and relaxation can help you to better withstand colds (respiratory infections) in the future. Arktis BioPharma supports you with high-quality food supplements – made in Europe – and accompanies you on your active way of life.