Vitamin C Benefits and Sources Are Plentiful

If you’ve ever been told to eat your fruits and vegetables, it might be because they are an abundant natural source of vitamin C. Vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, is well-known as an essential vitamin and nutrient. Found in fruits, vegetables, and supplements like multivitamins and lozenges, vitamin C is everywhere and with good reason. Vitamin C can make a difference between good health and illness because of its powerful antioxidant effects inside the body.

This article will discuss:

  • Vitamin C’s functions
  • Deficiency in vitamin C
  • Where to get vitamin C

Vitamin C’s functions

Vitamin C provides a host of benefits, most of which play an important role in the proper functioning of the body. What are some of these functions?

Vitamin C:

Boosts the immune system. Vitamin C strengthens white blood cells, which are responsible for fighting off bacteria and viruses. People who don’t get enough vitamin C are vulnerable to many of health problems, ranging from colds to scurvy to cancer.

Gives energy. Vitamin C aids in the production of other important substances like L-carnitine, a chemical involved in chemical energy production. L-carnitine works by transporting fats to the mitochondria, which provide the cell with energy. Mitochondria take fats and convert them into much needed energy. Without enough vitamin C, L-carnitine levels can drop, making it harder for cells to oxidize fat and get the energy they need to function.

Is essential to the nervous system. Vitamin C helps to produce neurotransmitters, which are responsible for the communication between the brain and nerves. Without neurotransmitters, people can’t think clearly or move properly. Vitamin C is responsible for aiding in the production of the neurotransmitter norepinephrine, one of the hormones responsible for the “fight or flight” response.

Aids in the formation of collagen. Collagen is the strong connective tissue that give our bodies structure. It holds the skeleton together, attaches muscles to bones, and keeps skin and organs in place. Without collagen, our bodies would literally fall apart.
Is an antioxidant. Vitamin C protects the body by neutralizing free radicals, unstable cells that create a chain reaction of further cellular damage.

Finally, studies have connected vitamin C with preventative effects, including that it significantly lowers the incidence of diseases like:

  • High cholesterol
  • Gallstones
  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Cancer
  • Cataracts

Deficiency in vitamin C

Historically, the most common disease associated with vitamin C deficiency is scurvy. Although scurvy is often thought of as a disease that sailors used to get, it can still happen to anyone who is deficient in vitamin C. Scurvy causes many problems including:

  • Slow wound healing
  • Bleeding gums
  • Tooth loss
  • Pneumonia
  • Eventual death

That’s a serious disease for just one vitamin deficiency to cause.

It was hard to provide fresh fruits and vegetables during a voyage. Preserved meats, which contain no vitamin C, remained edible for the entire trip, and thus became sailors’ main source of nutrition. Without vitamin C sources on board, an entire crew could be wiped out from scurvy on long voyages.

However, scurvy is immediately reversible by eating foods containing vitamin C. Once sailors figured out what caused scurvy, they began bringing fruits like oranges and limes on their journeys. Now, sailors bring foods with essential vitamins with them, making it easier to avoid vitamin deficiencies.

Although the most common, scurvy isn’t the only problem that a vitamin C deficiency can cause. Not getting enough vitamin C can leave the body unprotected and undernourished, which weakens the immune system and makes you more vulnerable to disease. Even though scurvy is an uncommon disease in a society with abundant fruits, vegetables, and fortified products, you still need to be conscientious of your vitamin C intake to ensure your body gets enough of this essential vitamin.

Where to get vitamin C

Most animals produce vitamin C naturally in their liver. However, humans lack the liver enzyme that is necessary to do this, so vitamin C must come from the diet. Vitamin C has a reputation as an at-home remedy for curing colds. However, even if you aren’t sick, you need vitamin C in your daily diet in order to stay healthy. The recommended daily dosage is different depending on age, sex and lifestyle, so make sure to check dietary guidelines for how much vitamin C you should consume.

Some good sources of vitamin C include:

  • Fruits like oranges, apricots, lemons, limes, mangos, bananas, berries, grapefruit, cantaloupe, and others
  • Vegetables like brussel sprouts, asparagus, broccoli, greens, peas, peppers, tomatoes, and others
  • Vitamin C supplements in multivitamins or as a standalone supplement

Dr. Perricone has formulated supplements that include vitamin C and vitamin C ester, both in combination with other vitamins and also as a separate supplement.

Vitamin C is an important part of the everyday diet as it both prevents disease and makes the body healthier. By adding fruits, vegetables, and vitamins to your diet, your body will get all the vitamin C it needs to function at its best. Vitamin C ester creams are another Perricone-developed method to strengthen collagen and reduce irritation.

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8 Comments • Please comment below


  1. Dear,
    my name is Daniel Larocque. I’m a Dentist in France, specialized in treating bad breath and related problems since many years.
    I am new to the internet, so please forgive my possible ignorance about the technical part of this forum.
    I am leaving my comment here, because I’m really interested in what is being said everywhere on the internet. And, I want to come back again.
    Kind regards,

    Daniel Larocque

  2. I have lines around my eyes with puffiness and deep lines around my mouth from nose to chin I am 67 years old and would like to be a Perricone tester. What do I have to do to qualify.
    Thanks .

  3. [...] the body: Vitamin C ester is fat soluble, meaning it can incorporate itself into the cell membrane and stay in the body for a [...]

  4. I have Thalassemia and I feel fatique easily. I also have acne problems. I would like to see if Vitamin C will help improve my skin and increase my energy level. Thanks.

  5. About 9 months ago, I was diagnosed with anemia after suffering from super fatigue and had to start taking iron supplements. I was also undergoing laser resurfacing and was having a difficult time healing afterward. I spoke with someone at Perricone about these issues and they recommended the Super Antioxidant and the Vitamin C. The Vitamin C really helped my body utilize the iron and I felt better almost immediately. Also, my skin began to heal faster after the procedures I was having done in the doctors office. I highly recommend this product in concert with other supplements from Perricone.

  6. I commented earlier on products mainly for the face. But, then I was thinking, what about the rest of the body. Mainly, your loose or wrinkled skin on arms and legs (mainly around knees). When you bend your arms and there are wrinkles on top at the bend area. Do you have a product that works best for all this? Lotion, creme, or vitamins? I would really like to be more informed on this. Thank you for the consideration.

  7. I am 62 years old and feel I look pretty good for my age. However, my concerns are deep lines around mouth and laugh line areas, puffiness around the eye area (have had it since youth) and I do break out with products that are too oily. Any suggestions?

    I recently read about Acetyl-L carnitine. Has used it and had positive results with this supplement?

  8. Didn’t realize Vit. C was important for healing… the hubby is not eating ANY fruits these days and very few veggies and evertime he has a scratch or bruise it takes forever to heal… maybe I can get him to read this and take my “eat your veggies!” nagging seriously!