Vitamin C, we tell you a lot about it, and yet… We will never tell you enough about it because ascorbic acid is an essential nutrient for your body. There is already so much information about this vitamin that we will not add more for anything. Instead, let’s try to inform ourselves about this vitamin usefully.
We know that we need vitamin C because our body cannot make it, unlike most animals. Our food must therefore be provided with it daily.
Vitamin C Or Ascorbic Acid, What Is It?
Vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, is an essential micronutrient for the body’s normal functioning. Discovered in the 1930s, it was popularized by a researcher named Linus Pauling, particularly in the prevention of colds and seasonal colds. This scientifically supported finding comes from vitamin C is necessary for the immune system.
Vitamin C is an antioxidant, a natural component that neutralizes free radicals. These are simple molecules that destabilize our cell membranes and their DNA. It is the biological role best known to the general public. Other vitamins like vitamin E and A are antioxidants.
When there are hundreds of naturally occurring antioxidant molecules in fruits and vegetables, why should vitamin C matter? Answers are below!
Vitamin C As An Antioxidant Is Present In Our Everyday Diet
From a dietary standpoint, vitamin C is present in most fruits and vegetables. It is the most common and abundant natural antioxidant that nature offers us.
If the orange is known for this fact, other fruits such as kiwi (280/800 mg/kg), lemon , green vegetables, or crucifers also contain it. Vitamin C is therefore easily consumable with a healthy diet. The presence of antioxidants, and ascorbic acid first, is an essential criterion for maintaining health and longevity.
Indeed, scientific research considers that preserving cellular integrity through antioxidants is a verified marker of organic aging and skin health, for example. Indirectly, vitamin C – just like vitamin D – could be considered a natural and essential element that contributes to longevity in human beings.
On the other hand, the absence of a healthy and varied diet offers tiny vitamin C to the body, which is problematic, as we will see later.
Also Read: Vitamin C – An All-Round Genius
Vitamin C, A Biologically Essential Micronutrient
Ascorbic acid is our first antioxidant, but it also intervenes in many organic and metabolic functions—the best known of these concerns its role as an essential cofactor in collagen synthesis.
As you know, collagen is a structural protein present everywhere in our bones, organs, and muscles. Pictorially, collagen is comparable for our body to the steel of reinforced concrete. Collagen (along with elastin) solidifies the structure of the body. In addition to this, collagen is also the first protein of the skin. With hyaluronic acid, collagen gives firmness and suppleness to your skin, preserving its beauty.
Here too, vitamin C has proven, considering its role in collagen synthesis, that it helps maintain supple skin synonymous with youth.
Ascorbic Acid Is Not Just A Vitamin; It Is Also An Essential Cofactor In Many Cellular Reactions
However, let’s add that vitamin C also participates in synthesizing an amino acid that you know well, i.e., L-Carnitine. Here too, ascorbic acid plays a role as an essential cofactor in the endogenous production of carnitine, an important cellular transporter for our energy metabolism.
As a cofactor, vitamin C is essential for the enzymes that synthesize catecholamines, a class of molecules made from L-Tyrosine. You may know them better as dopamine, norepinephrine, and adrenaline (or epinephrine). These neurotransmitters wouldn’t exist without vitamin C (and neither would we!).
Thus, ascorbic acid is involved in many relationships with a large number of enzymes, which explains its importance for our health.
Are There Other Health Criteria On Which Vitamin C Can Intervene?
To date, ascorbic acid appears as a significant subject for more than 57,200 scientific studies. Suffice to say that vitamin C should be taken seriously if you regularly practice a sport, and even more so for sedentary people.
Science has linked vitamin C to stress, depression, protection of the central nervous system (your brain!), risk of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, cardiovascular disease, atherosclerosis, and others.
According to scientific research, many studies have linked this vitamin to different types of cancer, but it would be illusory to think that ascorbic acid can cure cancer.
Nevertheless, vitamin C would protect against the risk of cancer and reduce the incidence of the disease itself through many complex mechanisms.
Vitamin C Is Also Involved In Athletes’ Health, Performance, And Immune System
Apart from the essential role of ascorbic acid in the synthesis of collagen and L-Carnitine, the antioxidant effect of vitamin C also plays a protective role in muscle mass, especially when athletes start taking an age.
Protein synthesis is naturally reduced with aging by cellular oxidation phenomena caused by free radicals. By protecting muscle cells from these harmful effects, vitamin C would reduce the risk of muscle loss and sarcopenia.
In contrast, clinical studies have shown that vitamin C can reduce the recovery of young bodybuilders. Indeed, post-exercise muscle recovery is based precisely on the presence of cellular oxidants. These useful ” free radicals ” then act as molecular signals necessary to trigger the processes leading to muscle fibers repair.
However, vitamin C retains its protective role on the immune system, especially when subjecting your body to intense bodybuilding, Cross-training, or endurance training.
It was pretty challenging to imagine that a subject as simple as vitamin C could take us so far. However, this article will have the merit of reminding you of the importance that can be given to this vitamin, especially if the high-intensity sport is part of your daily life.