Vitamin C, The Elixir of Youth

My earliest memories of Vitamin C involve barely credible TV commercials from the 90s involving Sunny Delight. There was always a mom smugly proud that her children didn’t know they were getting a “100% serving of vitamin C” alongside 2% fruit juice and 98% corn syrup. Ah, the 90s. Vitamin C has long been known to be a potent antioxidant that fights free radicals that cause inflammation and disease. All I knew about this vitamin was that it packed a powerful punch against the common cold. 

As my knowledge of vitamins started to expand beyond the sugary colored drinks of childhood, I was surprised to discover that aside from the aiding that shadowy disease-fighting network in your body known as the Immune System, it actually resides in your skin and determines the quality of your collagen and elastic production! Vitamin C is critical for the synthesis of collagen, which is not only great for your skin but is one of the building blocks for blood vessels, tendons, ligaments, and bone. Moreover, Vitamin C helps with pigmentation and acts as a natural sunscreen.

How in the world does something I had always associated with atomic orange sugar-water have such a far reaching influence on your health and youthfulness?

Remember our last biology lesson involving the skin? Well let’s go back to that for a moment. Vitamin C is found both in the epidermis and the dermis of the skin, with the epidermis having a higher concentration.  There it sits, quietly and unrecognized for its importance, spinning out the very thing sought most by those longing for youthfulness—collagen. 

Unfortunately (you knew this was coming), aging causes a decline in the production of Vitamin C in both the epidermis and dermis. This means you have to give your skin some extra Vitamin C love. Fortunately, there are a few scientifically proven ways to do so and I will walk you through them in the next part of this series! If this conversation about Vitamin C and its role in healthy skin has been as much of a revelation to you as it had been to me, you will not want to miss what’s next!

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