Why Vitamin C Boosts Immunity?
Talking about the recent events of medical concern related to COVID-19, the need of the hour is to make sure you don’t contract the deadly virus OR, if you do, by any chance contract it, to have a healthy immune response so as to clear off the infection as soon as possible. Everyone would have also been told to have a regular dose of Vitamin C to help you fight the virus and keep your immunity high. Ever wondered why? Well this blog is an answer to all the questions you have about this important relationship between Vitamin C and Immunity.
To begin with let’s first understand :
What Is Immunity?
Immunity does NOT mean that you will not contract the disease.. It means you can still get infected with the pathogen or the virus. BUT. Your body has the ability to resist a particular disease or infection or toxin by recruiting antibodies against the same or by counteracting the effects of its products. In simple language it means your body has the ability to either fight the virus or pathogen because it already has antibodies against them, that recognise them as foreign particles and destroy them before they can harm your body. Or. If the pathogen or Virus has managed to make you host, it attacks the body by releasing some products and chemicals that can harm you. Your body has the ability to recognise these products and destroy them before they can cause damage to your cells.
What is the immune system?
The immune system is what protects your body from diseases and infections. It’s the bodily system that produces the immune response to defend your body from foreign substances, cells, and tissues.
What is an Immune Response?
Immune Response is all the action your body takes to fight a pathogen or virus which it either recognises or which is completely new. It recruits a group of cells and undertakes the sole responsibility of protecting the body from the infection on various levels. This entire process of the body to resist a foreign particle through many stages of fighting mechanism is nothing but your body’s immune response.
Every individual as we know it can take varied amounts of time to fight an infection, some people can fight infections at a faster rate without showing too many symptoms whereas someone else can fall very ill and take longer to get better. Let’s take an example of a simple common cold. All of us have had that in some stage of our lives and have also seen other people have a similar infection, and we can clearly understand how different people respond to a similar infection. That clearly depends on the strength of your immune system. Coming to the main topic of this blog. Why is Vitamin C important for immunity?
Why Vitamin C?
Vitamin C also scientifically called as Ascorbic acid, plays a vital role in our immune response in more than one way. Its ability to donate electrons makes it one of the vital micronutrients for human consumption.
- Vitamin C plays a role starting from the first stage of your immune response in a cellular level.
- Your skin and mucous membranes are your body’s first line of defence. A cut or puncture in your skin can become a doorway for infection-causing bacteria. Vitamin C helps your body to produce collagen – a key protein in skin, and one you need for proper wound healing. Thus speedening the process of closing an open wound which can fester many infections.
- Vitamin C is also a powerful antioxidant, thus preventing the skin from oxidative stress and delays aging.
- Vitamin C is needed by the bodies ‘Killing Cells’ also called Phagocytes, that help in killing of a microorganism.
- It is also needed to clear off the dead cells in the area of damage thus lessening any kind of tissue damage in the affected area.
- It is needed in production of the antibody carrying cells called the T and B cells needed to fight against foreign particles.
- Your Adrenal glands (responsible for fight and flight response) also use a lot of vitamin C. When your body is in stress a lot of vitamin c is consumed. This could also be one of the reasons why you can catch a common cold when you are stressed.
It is said that Vitamin C appears to both prevent and treat Respiratory infections.
Looking at the points above, you can see in mostly every stage of our immune response Vitamin C is much required. If there is an insufficiency of this in the body all these processes will slow down and it will take longer for the body to react to infections, which makes us both prone to new infections and also increases its inability to respond on time to save the body from the damages caused by it.
In today’s scenario where COVID- 19 is a killer infection it is very essential to keep ourselves well supplemented with Vitamin C, to help us both prevent and fight it with ease.
To conclude, Vitamin C is required for a healthy Immune response functioning indicating that a deficiency of which can lead to impaired immunity or a delayed immune response which can be dangerous for the body. Prevention of infection needs about 100-200 mg of Dietary Vitamin C on a daily basis, on the contrary treatment of any infection will need a higher dosage to meet the bodily demand of increased immune response.
Get your daily dose of Vitamin C. To stay safe and stay healthy.