Our immune system is a complex network of protective processes – It uses our skin and mucous membranes as a physical barrier from our external environment whilst delivering immune cells and antibodies to fight against pathogens internally. Vitamin C holistically supports your immune system in various ways:
  • Antioxidant action: Protecting cells from harmful molecules called free radicals

Pathogens begin a reaction among cells that can cause oxidative stress, damage and inflammation within the body [1]. Vitamin C is a potent anti-oxidant that counteracts this oxidation whilst reducing damage and time of illness [2]. 

  • Strengthening skin defences: Maintaining cell membrane integrity

The skin and mucosal membrane are physical barriers our immune system use to defend against pathogens [3]. These physical barriers are made up of cells that need to be resilient and efficient within their functioning. Vitamin C enhances the integrity of cells walls, membranes and their proteins [4].

  • Supporting cell production & enhancement: Vitamin C is highly concentrated within our immune system

Vitamin C is highly concentrated within our white blood cells which protect us from pathogens. Vitamin C stimulates white blood cell production, and enhances their action [5]. 

 

Immunity References

  1. A. Puertollano, E. Puertollano, G. Á. de Cienfuegos, and M. A. de Pablo. (2011). “Dietary antioxidants: immunity and host defense,” Current Topics in Medicinal Chemistry, 11(14), 1752–1766.
  2. Carr, A., Frei, B. (1999). Does vitamin C act as a pro-oxidant under physiological conditions? FASEB Journal, 13(9):1007-1024. doi: 10.1096/fasebj.13.9.1007.
  3. Elias, P. M. (2007). The skin barrier as an innate immune element. Seminars in Immunopathology, 29(1), 3-14. doi: 10.1007/s00281-007-0060-9.
  4. Montecinos, V., Guzmán, P., Barra, V., Villagrán, M., Muñoz-Montesino, C., Sotomayor, K…Vera, J. C. (2007). Vitamin C is an essential antioxidant that enhances survival of oxidatively stressed human vascular endothelial cells in the presence of a vast molar excess of glutathione. Journal Biological Chemistry, 282(21), 15506-15. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M608361200.
  5. Carr, A. C., & Maggini, S. (2017). Vitamin C and Immune Function. Nutrients, 9(11):1211. doi: 10.3390/nu9111211.