Gout is a type of arthritis that affects approximately 4% of American adults.
It is incredibly painful and involves inflammation of the joints, especially those of the big toes. People with gout experience swelling and sudden, severe attacks of pain.
Gout symptoms appear when there is too much uric acid in the blood. Uric acid is a waste product produced by the body. At high levels, it may crystallize and deposit in the joints.
Interestingly, several studies have shown that vitamin C may help reduce uric acid in the blood and, as a result, protect against gout attacks.
For example, a study of 1,387 men found that people who consumed the most vitamin C had significantly lower blood levels of uric acid than those who consumed the least .
Another study followed 46,994 healthy men over 20 years to see if vitamin C intake was linked to developing gout. Interestingly, people who took a vitamin C supplement had a 44% lower gout risk.
Additionally, an analysis of 13 clinical studies found that taking a vitamin C supplement over 30 days significantly reduced blood uric acid, compared to a placebo.
While there appears to be a strong link between vitamin C intake and uric acid levels, more studies on the impact of vitamin C on gout are needed.
Summary Vitamin C-rich foods and supplements have been linked to reduced blood uric acid levels and lower risk of gout.
Iron is an important nutrient that has a variety of functions in the body. It is essential for making red blood cells and transporting oxygen throughout the body.
Interestingly, vitamin C supplements can help improve the absorption of iron from the diet. Vitamin C assists in converting iron that is poorly absorbed, such as plant-based sources of iron, into a form that is easier to absorb.
This is especially useful for people on a meat-free diet, as meat is a major source of iron.
In fact, simply consuming 100 mg of vitamin C may improve iron absorption by 67%.
As a result, vitamin C may help reduce the risk of anemia among people prone to iron deficiency.
In one study, 65 children with mild iron deficiency anemia were given a vitamin C supplement. Researchers found that the supplement alone helped control their anemia.
If you suffer from low iron levels, consuming more vitamin C-rich foods or taking a vitamin C supplement may help improve your blood iron levels.
Summary Vitamin C can improve the absorption of iron that is poorly absorbed, such as iron from meat-free sources. It may also reduce the risk of iron deficiency.
6. Boosts Immunity by Helping White Blood Cells Function Better
One of the main reasons people take vitamin C supplements is to boost their immunity.
Vitamin C is involved in many parts of the immune system.
First, vitamin C helps encourage the production of white blood cells known as lymphocytes and phagocytes, which help protect the body against infections.
Second, vitamin C helps these white blood cells function more effectively while protecting them from damage by potentially harmful molecules, such as free radicals.
Third, vitamin C is an essential part of the skin’s defense system. It is actively transported to the skin where it can act as an antioxidant and help strengthen the skin’s barriers.
Studies have also shown that taking vitamin C may shorten wound healing time.
What’s more, low vitamin C levels have been linked to poor health outcomes.
For example, people who suffer from pneumonia tend to have lower vitamin C levels, and vitamin C supplements have been shown to shorten the recovery time .
Summary Vitamin C may boost immunity by helping white blood cells function more effectively, strengthening your skin’s defense system and helping wounds heal faster.