What is Ascorbic Acid and How Can It Help Your Health?
Ascorbic acid, more commonly known as Vitamin C, is a water soluble nutrient found naturally in some
foods. As one of the most efficient and safe nutrients, ascorbic acid works as a powerful antioxidant to
assist the body in producing stronger muscles, the synthesis of collagen and the production of blood
vessels. While ascorbic acid is not made within the body, most individuals get Vitamin C nutrients
through citrus foods, such as grapes or oranges, and fruits such as kiwi, strawberries and raspberries.
Ascorbic acid can also be obtained by eating brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, potatoes
and most leafy vegetables.
Ascorbic acid or Vitamin C has a number of important health benefits because of its antioxidant
structure. Some of the most known advantages to keeping your ascorbic acid levels at the appropriate
levels include treatment of the common cold, reducing hypertension, treatment of cataracts, combating
stroke, and maintaining the elasticity of the skin.
Treating the Common Cold
One of the most common health benefits of Vitamin C is its ability to help the body fight off symptoms
of the common cold. Ascorbic acid assists the body with the production of blood vessels as well as the
absorption of iron, each which strengthen the immune system. While ascorbic acid does not prevent a
cold, it has been known to help in reducing the severity and duration of cold symptoms including cough,
sore throat and blocked nasal passages.
Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, is common among adults with persistent health
conditions, high stress occupations and poor diet. Because ascorbic acid has a diuretic effect that
eliminates excess fluid from the body, blood vessel walls are relaxed which can bring blood pressure
down. Some studies suggest that taking additional doses of ascorbic acid help in reducing hypertension
over an extended period of time, typically two to six months.
Treatment of Cataracts
Cataracts are a common eye disorder that affect individuals more as they age. Studies have shown that
those who suffer from cataracts have a decreased level of ascorbic acid in and around the lens of the
eye. In some cases, an increase in Vitamin C increases blood supply to the areas surrounding the eye,
which can lead to a lower potential for cataracts.
Another major health benefit with ascorbic acid is the protection it provides against stroke. As a type of
cardiovascular disease, a stroke is more likely to take place in individuals with an unhealthy diet and high
blood pressure. Because Vitamin C is found in healthy, natural foods and works to lower blood pressure
over time, a correlation can be made between increased levels of the nutrient and a reduction in the
potential for experiencing a stroke.
Maintaining Skin Elasticity
Ascorbic acid works within the body to facilitate the synthesis of collagen, a protein that assists in blood
vessel and cell growth. When collagen levels are high, the skin retains its firmness and strength, and has
an easier time repairing from cuts, wounds or other injuries. Ascorbic acid also protects the body from
free radicals, a known cause for damaged, dry skin. Ensuring you get enough Vitamin C helps keep skin
looking and feeling healthy.
Ascorbic acid dosage varied among men, women and age groups, but should follow this general guideline:
Adult Men – 90 mg per day
Adult Women – 75 mg per day
Children ages 9-13 – 45 mg per day
If you find it challenging to get the necessary amount of ascorbic acid through diet alone, supplements
are a smart addition. Ascorbic acid comes in the form of a powder that can be added to liquid and
ingested, or as a capsule to be taken with meals.