5 ways in which Vitamin C is linked with Immunity
Vitamin C has received a great deal of attention in recent times, and with good reason. This year has systematically brought health to the forefronts of our minds, with our lives filled with daily reminders to be mindful of our wellbeing. However, with restrictions slowly melting away and our resolve to be wary of the virus weakening with each phone call of a friend down the road, having a strong immune system has become all the more important. Vitamin C does everything to ensure that your immune system is working at optimum levels.
Production of White Blood Cells
Playing a vital role in supporting your immune system, Vitamin C stimulates the production and function of white blood cells like phagocytes, lymphocytes and neutrophils. White blood cells protect you from, and fight off, bacteria and viruses to prevent infection and illness.
Stimulates the function of Chemotaxis and Phagocytosis
Vitamin C is said to stimulate the body’s ability to perform chemotaxis, which is the means by which your body’s disease fighting cells are alarmed to the site of infections by pathogens. That’s right, Vitamin C helps your body’s internal alarm bells sound louder, prompting infection fighting cells to reach problem areas faster. What’s more, Vitamin C also stimulates the function of phagocytosis, which is how your cells attack pathogens and infection causing cells.
Vitamin C prevents harm to White Blood Cells
Phagocytes, lymphocytes and neutrophils collect high levels of vitamin C, which can prevent oxidative damage to these cells caused by free radicals. Phagocytic leucocytes, the ones which kill unwanted, infection causing pathogens, attack by releasing particular toxins. These phagocytic leucocytes are extremely noble, because the toxins they release also damage them. Of course, Vitamin C has found a way to help. It has been shown that by virtue of its antioxidant nature, Vitamin C protects these leukocytes from inflicting damage on themselves through the toxins they release.
Stimulates production and effect of Antibodies
What’s more, studies have also shown that Vitamin C assists the production and function of antibodies which are yet another part of your immune system’s extensive response to disease causing microbes.
Reduced Chances of Respiratory Tract Infection & Quicker Recovery
Further studies conducted across a wide cross section of people including the elderly, young boys, soldiers in the US, UK, Japan and the Soviet Union indicated that regular vitamin C intake can reduce the incidence of infections to your respiratory tract! When Vitamin C supplementation was tested among patients in hospitals across the US, Egypt and Iran for various illnesses, it was seen that the length of time one suffered from their respective illness was decreased. Specifically, those receiving Vitamin C were released from the intensive care unit quicker and supplementation also reduced the need for mechanical ventilation. Wow!
Finally, by stimulating collagen production, Vitamin C also strengthens your skin; your body’s first line of defence against bacteria and viruses which may cause infection.
Vitamin C is therefore a holistic support mechanism for your immune system, helping it fight off illness in many direct and indirect ways.
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