Vitamin c for Immune System

The water-soluble vitamin, Vitamin C is also known as ascorbic acid. It is helpful in building up the blood vessels, skins, and making bones stronger. It is also highly beneficial in repairing the connective tissues and in making your immune system stronger. 

It is important that an average man should have at least 90 mg of vitamin C while an average woman should intake 75 mg of vitamin C per day. This can be done by consuming some food items that are higher in vitamin C concentration such as strawberries, oranges, kiwi, bell peppers, spinach, kale, broccoli, and many others.
In case, a person suffers from severe deficiency of vitamin C, there are different chewable tablets and other vitamin C supplements available for intake. But make sure that these supplements and tablets are only taken under the supervision of a medical expert. 

Vitamin C helps in strengthening immune system and fight infections in a much better manner. Here is how it works.


1. Interferons and Phagocytes

Our body has the ability to fight any unwanted foreign body that enters the system. This is done with the presence of interferons. These are produced in the body when an unknown pathogen is detected in the body. The interferons after detecting such a pathogen help the cells build a protective defense around them to prevent the pathogen from causing harm. Vitamin C is highly effective in increasing the production of such interferons and hence improving the immune system of the body. 

Again, phagocytes are mainly white blood cells that attack the pathogen and digest and neutralize them. Vitamin C helps in increasing the amount of such white blood cells in the body and helps with efficient functioning to keep the body safe.


2. White Blood Cells

Many cells in the immune system have a higher amount of Vitamin C, as much as 80 times more than that in the plasma cells. This is important because white blood cells are helpful in the production of cytokine. The cytokines are mainly proteins released by some of the white blood cells that help in communicating and transmitting the information about a detected pathogen to the other cells in the body. This way, it helps in enhancing the immune system in the body. Thus, by maintaining levels of Vitamin C in the body, the count of cytokines is also increased and promotes efficiency in the transmission.


3. Cellular Immune System

The human body is designed with cellular immunity and antibody immunity to fight against dangerous pathogens entering the body. The cellular immune response helps in the activation of natural killer cells, antigen-specific T-lymphocytes, and macrophages. These elements attack the pathogens and destroy them before it hampers any systems in the body. 

The T-lymphocytes are mainly a type of white blood cells and are an integral part of the immune system. Vitamin C helps in keeping these cells viable and alive so that they can fight against the pathogens along with the other elements of the immune system. Also, Vitamin C helps in multiplying the T-lymphocytes. 

Along with the T-lymphocytes, B-lymphocytes are also an important part of the immune system. These help in attacking the pathogens at the entry-level itself. Again, Vitamin C is helpful in maintaining the count of the B-lymphocytes in the system. 

The natural killer cells are small cells that are helpful in attacking an infected cell directly such as the cancer cells. Vitamin C increases the production of these natural killer cells and also supports them in the activity of attacking the cells to kill them. 


What is the best form of Vitamin C for intake?

Though natural fruits and vegetables such as oranges, broccoli, and many others are great sources of vitamin C, the intake of Vitamin C highly depends on the deficiency level of a person. Mostly, Vitamin C helps in fighting against viral and bacterial attacks that can cause common cold and flu. But if a person is not able to recover from the common cold, this can be a sign that the person has a deficiency of Vitamin C in the body. 

The natural Vitamin C sources are on the acidic side and the acid can easily be broken up after it is digested by the system. Hence, it is important in some cases to consult a doctor or  a medical expert for Vitamin C supplements that are less acidic in nature and also offer appropriate levels of Vitamin C to the body. To avoid any complications, always use medication prescribed by a physician only.


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