What are vitamin C and its impact on the immune system?
Please read my medical disclaimer here!
You can find vitamin C in various types of foods, such as citrus fruits, green leafy vegetables, berries, etc., and it is also available as a supplement.
Ascorbic acid or vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin necessary for making collagen. Therefore, our tissues can grow and heal. Vitamin C also has a significant impact on our immune system and confronts autoimmunity diseases. Without vitamin C our immune system cannot be in its best condition. Remember that our body CANNOT store Vitamin C, and our kidneys will extract the unnecessary and extra amount of vitamin C.
Consuming too much synthetic made Vitamin C, such as ascorbic acid, CAN be harmful and cause damage to our urinary system. Therefore the best Vitamin C to consume is eating healthy organic vegetables and fruits that are harvested fresh and ripe. However, the concentration is higher in natural organic powders made from berries and vegetables that need to be stored in the refrigerator due to Vitamin C’s vulnerability to heat. Heat destroys Vitamin C.
Vitamin C in The First Defensive Line
Vitamin C is essential for creating collagen, and collagen is a required asset for connective tissue. Our skin stands as the first defensive line in our body, and when it faces an injury, pathogens can enter our body from it, but vitamin C will speed-up the healing process by making collagens.
After pathogens enter our body, our immune system has many ways to encounter them, and you can see the effect of vitamin C in some parts.
A general defense
One way to defeat pathogens inside our body is by interferons. When host cells detect viruses, they will release interferons to eliminate the threat, and vitamin C supports producing interferons. There are two types of interferons. The first type fights with viruses and, T-lymphocytes create interferons type II to activate macrophages. Interferons type II has an influential role in fighting autoimmunity diseases, especially cancer. As you may know, one of the most common defensive mechanisms used to obliterate pathogens is white blood cells.
Vitamin C in white blood cells
If you look at a white blood cell under a microscope, you will notice how dense ascorbic acids are in them. There are several reasons for this density and how vitamin C is also an influential asset to our internal immune system. When white blood cells notice a threat, they warn the other white blood cells by a secretion. Cytokine is a type of protein used as a messenger among white blood cells. This secretion will happen very slowly in the absence of vitamin C, and the attendance of vitamin C will amplify the speed of this secretion. After white blood cells notice a threat, they have many ways of neutralizing it.
Phagocytes and Vitamin C
Phagocytes are a type of blood cell that will siege the pathogen, and they will digest it. Vitamin C will help this digestion and the function of phagocytes. The matter that will help phagocytes defeat pathogens is nitrogen oxide. Vitamin C helps phagocytes generate nitrogen oxide much faster. Some bacterias and viruses have types of enzymes that will neuter mucus’s ability to catch them. Neuraminidase is a type of these enzymes. Vitamin C blocks the secretion of neuraminidase, and because of this, mucus can capture these pathogens.
Inside our body and cellular immune responses, there are other defensive mechanisms to help our immunity. Phagocytes will do a global and general defense, but there is a type of white blood cells that do specialized immune system in which T and B lymphocytes create an antibody specific for a kind of threat. T and B lymphocytes also have a part in defeating autoimmunity illnesses.
Vitamin C acts as a defender to T lymphocytes and assures their reproduction. Ascorbic acid also prevents the programmed death of T lymphocytes. Vitamin C will also secure the production of B lymphocytes. B lymphocyte’s actions will eventually lead to the production of antibodies. Antibodies will neutralize specific threats, and vitamin C protects B lymphocytes.
Vitamin C additionally has a direct impact on the production of antibodies. The activity of antibodies is a vital matter for our health.
Vitamin C in humoral immunity
There are different kinds of T and B lymphocytes with distinct duties; one type cooperates in humoral immunity. Our immune system has a memory. It can remember the records of pathogens, showing that it confronts them by experiencing an attack by the same pathogens, producing antibodies to eliminate them faster. This aspect of the immune system is called humoral immunity, making vaccination possible.
In vaccinating, a weakened pathogen enters our body that will confront it. The next time when the same pathogens enter our body, our immune system can recall that confrontation, and it will react to it faster.
Vitamin C assists T lymphocytes, B lymphocytes, and antibodies directly thus, lacking vitamin C is an issue for humoral immunity.
Natural killer cells
Another kind of lymphocyte is natural killer cells. Natural killer cells attack a corrupted cellule directly and without the need for antibodies.
Vitamin C in Defeating Autoimmune Diseases
There are some diseases in our organs that pathogens and other outside threats have no apparent part in it, and we cause them ourselves. One of these diseases is cancer. Autoimmune diseases happen when our body turns against its own; the reason is corrupted cells. Viruses can be a reason for a corrupted cellule; another reason might be a mutation within the DNA of a cell which, if not terminated, leads to dangerous and lethal types of cancer.
There are many autoimmune disorders, especially in the so-called civilized countries, showing the current lifestyle of consuming the wrong food containing lots of chemical components like conservatives or color agents, polluting the environment, lack of exercise, and enormous stress pressing on people nowadays that leads to an overworked immune system. By mistakenly attacking its healthy cells instead of the intruders, the body is damaging itself. If we don’t find the real cause and help the immune system reset, we will lose a huge amount of healthy tissues causing irreparable damage to our organs and anywhere in our body, including the possibility of final death.
T lymphocytes have to discover the corrupted cellule and act by destroying it. After T lymphocytes find the targeted pathogen, natural killer cells will attack the pathogen via different enzymes, programmed death of that pathogen will initiate.
Ascorbic acid supports the immune system being able to do its proper work. It improves the communication between various parts of the immunity system, helps create T lymphocytes and their liveliness, and encourages natural killer cells in their action.
What Would Happen if Vitamin C Wasn’t There?
What would happen if vitamin C wasn’t there to assist in modulating the immune system. For example, HIV is a virus that targets a very particular type of T lymphocytes which is called T-helper cells. T lymphocytes and B lymphocytes will operate poorly if T-helper cells are disabled. The loss of T-helper cells disrupts and weakens our immune system; hence our body becomes vulnerable to sicknesses.
Now you understand how our immune system works if one organ is interrupted; imagine what would happen if we remove an element that affects all the aspects of our immune system. Explicitly, our immune system would work indisposed if it lacks vitamin C, a condition most people suffer these days due to vegetables and fruits containing a poor amount of vitamin C, caused by harvesting them unripe and shipping them too far, and storing them too long.
Other Reasons Why Vitamin C is Vital:
Vitamin C, and Prostaglandins.
Complex chemical reactions control many actions in our body; hormones are a critical chemical compound for managing activities. Prostaglandins restrain some psychological processes; vitamin C backstops prostaglandin’s forming. Syntheses of prostaglandins arrange T-cells to operate.
Vitamin C is a good antioxidant.
One other benefit of vitamin C is that vitamin C acts as an antioxidant, and it’s helpful for the natural defensive system. Having properties of an antioxidant, vitamin C prevents and decreases the possibility of chronic illnesses. Oxidative stress is a common reason for chronic diseases and, vitamin C, with its antioxidant attributes, can help detoxify oxidative stress, which helps with heart diseases.
High blood pressure can lead to heart diseases. When speaking of high blood pressure, vitamin C can be a controller to high blood pressure and put the blood pressure in a lower position, but; the influence is not that great. Vitamin C can also prevent “some” heart diseases by lowering the LDL in the blood. It is important to note that receiving more than enough vitamin C is unbeneficial because it will be flushed out of the body.
Vitamin C helps to produce iron.
Inside our body, iron has a significant performance in transporting oxygen to all of our organs, being a vital component of red blood cells. Vitamin C aids in better iron absorption.
Vitamin C reduces the amount of uric acid, preventing Arthritis.
Excess uric acid in our bloodstream, a natural waste product from the digestion of foods containing purines, can cause an arthritis disease called Gout; one sign of it can be the formation of uric acid’s crystal at specific parts of our body, especially in our big toe. Gout is a painful illness, but; studies have shown that people who take vitamin C as a supplement; have a lesser measure of uric acid in their blood.
Vitamin C helps your memory as you grow older.
As we grow in age, our power of thinking and remembrance starts to decline, the loss of cognitive functioning. Dementia is a term used by doctors to describe a state that results in brain dysfunctions. Some research proved that taking vitamin C supplements will impact shielding our brain against damage resulting in the inability to think and recall the memories of our past.
Vitamin C amplifies certain drugs.
Mucolytics, are a type of medicine produced for people suffering from acute or chronic bronchitis, creating a lot of mucus. Mucolytics, affecting the mucus by making it less sticky or less thick, granting better access to the infection, and allowing the particles that resulted in the infection to be removed by coughing up smoothly.
Vitamin C amplifies the effect of mucolytics, helping to dissolve fats and fluidize mucus; also granting more reliable access to infection for our immune system; In this way, our immunity system can access the infection and terminate the threats without being held back by the mucus surrounding the infected area.
Vitamin C preventing the usual cold. (Unproven.)
It is not so clear how vitamin C prevents catching a cold, and it is unproven up to this point; however; there are some shreds of evidence and researches that show vitamin C is effective against the common cold, and taking doses of it can shorten the duration of cold and it’s symptoms by a small percentage, proving the fact how it interferes our immune system positively.
In conclusion, vitamin C is influential through all the different stages of the immune system; and all aspects of it. Our skin, which is the most and first defensive mechanism of our immune system fending off a bacterial threat, while our respiratory tract’s mucosal tissue is a specialized defense warding off viral attacks.
If we are infected we transfer pathogens like viruses to other people through coughing and sneezing, as well as through all bodily fluids. Taking vitamin C supplements can prevent many different diseases or strengthen our defense system helping to control and heal auto-immunity.
For older people, consuming vitamin C, whether from food sources or taking a supplement, can improve their immunity. While a person grows older, their immune system becomes weaker and less active, making them more vulnerable to viruses and other pathogens.
Malfunction of organs resulting in various illnesses might be controlled and prevented by consuming Vitamin C, speeding up the wound healing, controlling high blood pressure, preventing heart diseases, amplifying immune system, and defeating autoimmunity diseases, fighting different kinds of cancer, helping to create antibodies and boosting special immune defense, improving our brains in terms of memory and thinking, and many other things.
Although vitamin C can help improve or heal all the mentioned matters, it cannot guarantee a fully safe body. However, it is a vital vitamin for many processes in our body, helping to modulate our immune system, making it stronger.
Please let me know what your experiences are. Do you take vitamin C, and do you feel any improvements in your body?
To Your Health,