Vitamin C is one of the safest and most effective nutrients, experts say. It may not be the cure for the common cold (though it’s thought to help prevent more serious complications). Vitamin C has been used historically to prevent or treat scurvy and other illnesses associated with vitamin C deficiency. Today, it is widely touted as a natural defense against the common colds. Although vitamin C is considered to be an “immune booster,” there is little evidence that taking it can actually prevent or treat an infection. But the benefits of vitamin C may include protection against immune system deficiencies, cardiovascular disease, prenatal health problems, eye disease, and even skin wrinkling.
A recent study published in Seminars in Preventive and Alternative Medicine that looked at over 100 studies over 10 years revealed a growing list of benefits of vitamin C.
“Vitamin C has received a great deal of attention, and with good reason. Higher blood levels of vitamin C may be the ideal nutrition marker for overall health,” says study researcher Mark Moyad, MD, MPH, of the University of Michigan. “The more we study vitamin C, the better our understanding of how diverse it is in protecting our health, from cardiovascular, cancer, stroke, eye health [and] immunity to living longer.”