Studies Confirm A Little-Known Psychological Benefit Of Vitamin C
Vitamin C, also called ascorbic acid, is widely known for its immune-boosting capabilities. It helps to build bone by facilitating the production of collagen, abundantly found in the bone matrix.
But there’s a lesser-known benefit of Vitamin C that positively impacts your bones, your brain and the way you experience the world.
Today we’ll give you the evidence-backed facts on this seldom-mentioned but important function of Vitamin C.
Vitamin C: It Improves Your Mood
You may take Vitamin C to support your immune system and to ensure proper collagen production. But did you know that this Foundation Supplement also helps you to maintain a healthy neurochemical balance?
Vitamin C allows for the optimal production of serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine in the brain. These endogenously produced neurotransmitters enhance mood and help to stay positive and motivated.
In a study on the relationship between depression and Vitamin C, scientists in India found that depressed participants tended to have low Vitamin C levels, and they concluded that Vitamin C supplementation would have, “a positive effect in the treatment of these patients.”1
Here’s what they published about Vitamin C in the International Journal of Scientific Study.
“Vitamin C acts as the cofactor for the enzyme dopamine-beta-hydroxylase to convert dopamine into norepinephrine, which plays an important role in the regulation of mood. Evidence for the involvement of norepinephrine in depression is abundant, and latest studies on neural pathways and mechanisms highlight the specific role of norepinephrine in this disorder.
Vitamin C is needed for the conversion of tyrosine into dopamine, norepinephrine and epinephrine. These are the neurotransmitters providing with both physical and motivational energy and feelings of reward and satisfaction. Vitamin C is needed to convert tryptophan, amino acid present in the animal proteins in the diet, into serotonin, major neurotransmitter of the brain.” 1
This benefit of Vitamin C is especially valuable for Savers because of the link between depression and bone loss.
Vitamin C increases the production of neurochemicals that improve mood and combat depression.
Depression And Your Bones
Depression is a mental health problem that manifests in many forms. Common symptoms include loss of interest in activities that once brought pleasure, decreased energy, sleep disturbances or excessive sleep, difficulty concentrating, memory problems, appetite changes, persistent physical symptoms, increased irritability and anger, and thoughts of death or suicide.
Studies have shown that depression and feelings of low satisfaction are linked to bone loss and an increased risk of fracture.2
Further, research has shown that depression stimulates the sympathetic nervous system, which connects your bones and your brain. On activation, this system orders the adrenal glands to secrete norepinephrine. When there is too much of this hormone, as sometimes occurs in dangerous or stressful situations, anxiety, restlessness, and other symptoms can follow. Similar to the stress hormone cortisol, an extended exposure to high norepinephrine levels can lead to inflammation and bone loss.3
That gives the mood-enhancing, depression-relieving effects of Vitamin C one of its bone-building credentials.
Studies have linked depression to bone loss and increased fracture risk.
Antidepressant Drugs Increase Fracture Risk
Selective serotonin reuptake Inhibitors, or SSRIs, are antidepressant medications that work by moderating the reabsorption of the neurotransmitter serotonin. Well-known drugs such as Prozac, Zoloft, and Paxil are all SSRIs. A Canadian study observed that taking SSRIs doubled the risk of a fragility fracture in people over the age of 50.4
That’s because serotonin modulates the effects of parathyroid hormone and mechanical stimulation– two important components of the bone-building process. In essence, these drugs prevent bone formation.
That’s why non-pharmaceutical ways to reduce the effects of depression, including Vitamin C and exercise, are so critical for anyone battling osteoporosis.
Antidepressant drugs decrease new bone formation, increasing the likelihood of a fracture.
Vitamin C Doesn’t Stop There
Now you know how Vitamin C can support bone strength by improving mood and fighting depression. Here are some other benefits of this powerhouse vitamin.
- Vitamin C’s powerful antioxidant properties protect cells (including bone cells) from oxidative damage caused by free radicals5
- Vitamin C is essential for collagen production- helping your body produce new skin, cartilage, tendons, and bone.6
- Higher Vitamin C levels result in higher bone mineral density scores.7
- Vitamin C lowers mild to moderate high blood pressure
- Vitamin C prevents colds and the flu by boosting immunity.9
- Vitamin C reduces inflammation by lowering inflammatory cytokines.10
- Vitamin C is necessary to maintain healthy skin
and it also reduces the effects of aging.11
- Vitamin C helps make exercise more effective, and recovery from exercise faster.5
- Vitamin C aids with weight loss and keeping off excess weight.12
- Vitamin C reduces the toxic load in the body- aiding your liver to function more efficiently.13
Vitamin C offers a wide range of general health and bone health benefits.
Make This Foundation Supplement A Priority
That’s a lot of positive effects from just one vitamin, and fortunately, it’s easy to get. You can incorporate more Vitamin C into your diet by eating plenty of Foundation Foods that contain it, such as berries, citrus fruits, cantaloupe, cabbage, cauliflower, and drinking water with a squeeze of lemon.
The Save Institute also recommends supplementing with a minimum of 500 mg up to an ideal 2000 mg per day. That way you can be sure you’re reaping the rewards that this multi-tasking vitamin provides.
In short, Vitamin C is essential for preventing and reversing osteoporosis.
Stop Worrying About Your Bone Loss
Join thousands of Savers from around the world who have reversed or prevented their bone loss naturally and scientifically with the Save Our Bones Program.
1 Prerana Gupta, et al. “Relationship Between Depression and Vitamin C Status: A Study on Rural Patients From Western Uttar Pradesh in India.” International Journal of Scientific Study. January 2014. Vol 1, Issue 4. Web. http://www.ijss-sn.com/uploads/2/0/1/5/20153321/ijss-08.pdf
2 Bab IA, Yirmiya R. “Depression and bone mass.” Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2010 Mar;1192:170-5. Web: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20392233
3 Rauma, PH, Koivumaa-Honkanen H, Williams LJ, Tuppurainen MT, Kroger HP, Honkanen RJ. “Life satisfaction and bone mineral density among postmenopausal women: cross-sectional and longitudinal associations.” Psychosom Med. 2014 Nov-Dec;76(9):709-15. Web: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25373893
4 Richards J. Brent, et al. “Effect of Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors on the Risk of Fracture.” Arch Intern Med. 2007;167:188-194. Web. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/fullarticle/411551
5 Harri Hemilä “The effect of vitamin C on bronchoconstriction and respiratory symptoms caused by exercise: a review and statistical analysis.” Allergy Asthma Clin Immunol. 2014; 10(1): 58.
6 Rene Aguirre. “Inflammation in the Vascular Bed Importance of Vitamin C.” Pharmacol Ther. 2008 Jul; 119(1): 96–103. Web. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2538426/
7 Chin KY, et al. “Vitamin C and Bone Health: Evidence from Cell, Animal and Human Studies.” Curr Drug Targets. 2018;19(5):439-450. Web.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26343111
8 Mohammed S Ellulu, et al. “Effect of vitamin C on inflammation and metabolic markers in hypertensive and/or diabetic obese adults: a randomized controlled trial.” Drug Des Devel Ther. 2015; 9: 3405–3412. Web. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4492638/
9 Carol S. Johnston, et al. “Vitamin C Supplementation Slightly Improves Physical Activity Levels and Reduces Cold Incidence in Men with Marginal Vitamin C Status: A Randomized Controlled Trial. ”Nutrients. 2014 Jul; 6(7): 2572–2583. Web. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4113757/
10 Grosso G. “Effects of vitamin C on health: a review of evidence.” Front Biosci (Landmark Ed). 2013 Jun 1;18:1017-29. Web. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23747864
11 Duarte TL, et al. “Gene expression profiling reveals new protective roles for vitamin C in human skin cells.” Free Radic Biol Med. 2009 Jan 1;46(1):78-87. Web. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18973801
12 Diego Fernando Garcia-Diaz, et al. “Vitamin C in the Treatment and/or Prevention of Obesity.” J Nutr Sci Vitaminol, 60, 367-379, 2014. Web. https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/jnsv/60/6/60_367/_pdf
13 Guo W, et al. “Vitamin C intervention may lower the levels of persistent organic pollutants in blood of healthy women – A pilot study.” Food Chem Toxicol. 2016 Jun;92:197-204. Web. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27090108