We’re living in ‘unprecedented times’. It’s an overused phrase at present, yet oh so true. But these unprecedented, uncertain times are leading to increased levels of stress and anxiety, especially in relation to health and wellness.
When there’s a threat to our health and wellbeing and everything feels a bit out of control, it can be difficult to know what to do that’s going to make an impact.
Some of the things we work with at Give Back Health are to reduce our stress levels and optimise our immune systems. Nothing is a certain but being in the healthiest state possible gives us a good baseline to work with.
The impact of stress on the body
There’s an argument that anxiety has an evolutionary function. It’s undoubtedly helped keep us alive throughout history and continues to keep us on alert.
But it’s no surprise that continually heightened levels of anxiety and stress are going to have some knock-on effects.
One of those is on our immune systems.
Under sustained pressure, our immune systems weaken and we become more susceptible to colds and bugs. In usual situations we might not even realise we’ve encountered a bug, but with a weekend immune system it could knock us for six.
While not everyone has the same options when it comes to supporting their immune system, for those of us who do have some control over the situation, it’s worth doing what we can.
How Vitamin C supports stress and immunity
From sleep through to supplementation, there are many different ways to support and boost our immunity. Ascorbic acid, commonly known as Vitamin C, is just one tool in a vast immunity toolkit.
Through decades of use and research, Vitamin C has been shown to do quite the number of things. For example, studies have demonstrated that it helps to synthesise the body’s main stress response hormones in the adrenal glands. This includes epinephrine, norepinephrine, cortisol, and histamine.
In relation to immunity, Vitamin C has been shown to stimulate a healthy immune response and help your body respond better to stress. It supports the tiny blood vessels that bring fresh blood, oxygen, nutrients and immune cells to the areas that are fighting illness. It has been shown to:
- increase the production of white blood cells (neutrophils, lymphocytes, and natural killer cells,
- increase levels of antibodies (IgA, IgG, IgM),
- protect the antioxidant capacity of immune enhancing nutrient, Vitamin E,
- protect against viral attack by stimulating the production of interferon.
Vitamin C also plays an important role when it comes to the way iron is handled in the body (bioavailability). It both improves the absorption of nonheme iron and promotes the utilisation of haem iron.
What this means in terms of immunity is that when you eat foods designed to improve your health, you’re likely going to get increased benefits if you do it in combination with Vitamin C (either from within foods or as a supplement) compared to when you don’t.
There’s a whole lot more that we could write about the humble, well-known, well-loved Vitamin C, but there’s a snapshot for starters.
The crux of it is that ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) does have some weight behind it when it comes to supporting the impact of stress on immunity levels. It’s why you continue to see it being used in immunity products.
It’s also why we’ve used it in our Immunity Plus product, alongside Vitamin D and zinc.
We’ve gone with a 250 mg dosage of ascorbic acid, which is the quantity of Vitamin C that’s been shown to get results. It’s the amount you’d want to see in any product that claims to support immunity.
Feel good. Give back.
DISCLAIMER: We recommend speaking with a registered medical practitioner before taking any supplements or vitamins to ensure you don’t encounter any adverse effects or clashes with current medications you may be taking.
- GlobinMed, Global Information Hub on Integrated Medicine, 2020
- Braun, L., & Cohen, M. (2015). Vitamin C. In Herbs & Natural Supplements. An evidence-based guide (4th ed., pp. 1102-24). Chatswood, NSW: Elsevier Australia.
- National Institutes of Health. Office of Dietary Supplements. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminC-HealthProfessional
- Ballaz SJ, Rebec G V. Neurobiology of vitamin C: Expanding the focus from antioxidant to endogenous neuromodulator. Pharmacol Res. 2019;146(June). doi:10.1016/j.phrs.2019.104321
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- May JM. Vitamin C transport and its role in the central nervous system. Subcell Biochem. 2012;56(Table 1):85-103. doi:10.1007/978-94-007-2199-9_6
- Travica N, Ried K, Sali A, Scholey A, Hudson I, Pipingas A. Vitamin c status and cognitive function: A systematic review. Nutrients. 2017;9(9):1-21. doi:10.3390/nu9090960