Vitamin C is crucial for the role it plays in forming a protein used in skin, tendons, ligaments, and blood vessels, as well as repairing and maintaining bones, cartilage, and teeth. It also has antioxidant properties, which means it helps block damage from free radicals in the body that may be formed after food/tobacco consumption, and play a role in regressing the aging process, as well as building up and contributing to the treatment of cancer, heart disease, and other health conditions. It has been shown that taking vitamin C supplements regularly may shorten the duration of the common cold and allow for milder symptoms. Achieving higher blood levels of vitamin C can provide a wide range of health benefits by protecting against immune system deficiencies, eye health, cardiovascular disease, and cancer.
Vitamin C is one of the first nutrients depleted under stress, smoking, and obesity, so increasing vitamin C levels will help strengthen the weakened immune system in these conditions. Those with higher blood concentrations of vitamin C show a significant 42% lower risk of stroke than those with lower concentrations, and they also show better skin-aging appearance with less wrinkling and dryness. Higher blood vitamin C concentrations also reduce the risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease. It does this by reducing cell proliferation in different types of cell lines such as pancreatic, prostate, colon, mesothelioma, hepatocellular, and neuroblatsoma lines. Many lab studies have found that vitamin C causes the death of cancer cells due to a chemical reaction it causes which produces hydrogen peroxide, resulting in cancer cell death. In cancer patients, high-dose vitamin C has also been shown to increase quality of life and reduce cancer related side effects.