We keep emphasizing the importance of vitamin C in modulating your immune system. But how does it do it? Today we wanted to go over some of Vitamin C’s cool functions and how it can help with your immune system. And these are only the tip of the iceberg.
Anti-Oxidant or Pro-Oxidant?
Both! The way Vitamin C works is it can work both as an antioxidant and a pro-oxidant. This means it has the capacity to be anti-inflammatory and pro-inflammatory. We know the benefits to anti-inflammatory substances, but substances that cause inflammation can be helpful too.
Inflammation causes damage. And when you are fighting an infection, the goal is to damage and destroy infection. This is where Vitamin C’s pro-oxidant properties come in handy. Our body can use it both to inflict damage on an infection, but then it can turn around and help repair the damage caused in our body from the battle with the infection. The cells use Vitamin C to destroy AND repair which is cool. Vitamin C acts both as a sword and a shield.
It also has many other functions in our immune system.
Vitamin C stimulates the production of antibodies. Antibodies are essentially little tags that let your body know what is safe and what is dangerous. When an infection invades your body, antibodies come in and tag the infection as harmful and something that needs to be eliminated.
Vitamin C also stimulates the production and function of white blood cells, which are our cells that coordinate and attack an infection. And interestingly enough, immune cells have one of the highest concentrations of Vitamin C. While blood cells actually concentrate vitamin C in their cytoplasm and unleash it in the presence of an infection to help fight it.
Vitamin C can also boost the production of interferons. Interferons were actually named because they ‘interfere’ with the replication of viruses by protecting our cells.
It’s also important to note that humans lost their ability to synthesize their own Vitamin C and we must obtain it from the diet. It also only stays in our system for 24 hours, so another reason to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables to keep that Vitamin C working in your body!
Watch our YouTube Video to get more in-depth on Vitamin C! And check out Paleo Energy Power Pack for a daily dose of Vitamin C to help you recover.
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