|Facts About Vitamin C and the Immune System
Vitamin C or ascorbic acid is a powerful water-soluble antioxidant that, like all antioxidants, counters the effects of the cell-damaging molecules called free radicals that damage the immune system. Bioflavanoids, when added to Vitamin C, enhance its effectiveness. The human body does not naturally produce Vitamin C, so we must obtain this vital nutrient through the diet or through supplementation.
Vitamin C boosts immunity by increasing the production of B and T cells and other white blood cells, including those that destroy foreign microorganisms. It also increases interferon levels and antibody responses and has antiviral and antibacterial effects. These immune stimulating effects lead to improved resistance against infections. Vitamin C may reduce the duration of colds and the severity of cold symptoms such a sneezing, coughing and sniffling by reducing blood levels of histamine which can trigger tissue inflammation and runny noses. It may also protect the immune cells and surrounding tissue from oxidative reactions that occur when cells fight bacteria.