Vitamin C and bones - NL-040
Vitamin C, mostly known for its role in boosting immunity, is an extremely important nutrient for bone health too. It not only keeps your bones healthy, it also reduces and improves symptoms in osteoarthritis and reduces the risk of osteoporosis and fractures as we age.
What makes vitamin C good for your bones? Vitamin C is an essential cofactor for the enzymes required for making collagen, a fibrous protein that is an important component of all your connective tissues. It also helps repair damaged collagen fibres. Collagen is an abundant protein found everywhere in the body, in your skin, bones, joints, muscles, cartilage, blood vessels and even cornea of the eye. It is the major building block of your bones, improves bone mineral density and keeps them strong.
Additionally, vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant and scavenges free radicals that damage bone tissues. It reduces inflammation, a prominent feature in arthritis. Due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, vitamin C is critically useful in reducing painful symptoms in people with knee osteoarthritis (OA).  Other studies show that Vitamin C supplements may help maintain bone mineral density and reduce the risk of fractures in postmenopausal women . Reduced production of hormones, such as estrogen, adversely affects the health of bones in postmenopausal women, increasing the risk of osteoporosis. It is a condition where bones become weak, brittle and prone to fractures.
Vitamin C deficiency interferes with how your body produces healthy collagen and affects important processes such as tissue repair and wound healing. Its role in collagen synthesis, reducing oxidative damage (by scavenging free radicals) and controlling inflammation is what makes vitamin C good for your heart health too. Chronic Vitamin C deficiency can increase the risk of heart disease as vitamin C keeps arteries flexible, protects the inner lining of the arteries (endothelium) and helps maintain blood pressure.
Your body can't make vitamin C on its own. Consuming a lot of fresh fruits and fresh vegetables is a great way to get a good dose of vitamin C, but if you smoke, eat a lot of junk food or suffer from stress and chronic health conditions, or consume coffee frequently you might want to consider taking vitamin C supplements. Infections, stress and smoking rob your body of important antioxidants including vitamin c and minerals like magnesium. Considering how important Vitamin C is for your skin, muscles, bones and immunity, low levels can cause slower healing of wounds, rough skin, premature skin ageing, excessive fatigue, weak bones, joint pain and poor immunity. It can also lead to anaemia, as vitamin C is required for iron absorption and production of red blood cells. Vitamin C deficiency can also cause depression and irritability.
- Ripani et al. Vitamin C May Help to Reduce the Knee’s Arthritic Symptoms. Outcomes Assessment of Nutriceutical Therapy. Med Arch. 2019
- Kim et al. Favorable effect of dietary vitamin C on bone mineral density in postmenopausal women (KNHANES IV, 2009): discrepancies regarding skeletal sites, age, and vitamin D status. Osteoporos Int. 2015