Vitamin C is the next topic in my series on The Brain and Nutrition. I doubt anybody has not heard of vitamin C and it’s role as an antioxidant and immune boosting vitamin. I like most people have taken it in winter to help boost my immune system and protect myself from colds. It is actually a vital antioxidant in the brain also and plays other important roles, including being a critical cofactor.
The author of “Your Miracle Brain”, Jean Carper even suggests that studies show vitamin C supplements can improve IQ, memory and other mental functions, especially in people with low levels of vitamin C. This isn’t surprising considering vitamin C is involved in making neurotransmitters (chemicals that affect our mind and mood) via it’s role as a cofactor
Your body can’t make or store vitamin C, so you must obtain it every day from your diet and, if necessary, supplements. Getting the right amount of vitamin C is vital for good health because as with all nutrients having too much or too little can cause health problems.
Vitamin C has many uses in the body, including:
• brain and nerve function – vitamin C is involved in making the neurotransmitters noradrenaline and serotonin, which affect mood
• helping protect us against many health problems, including age-related macular degeneration, asthma, cancer, the common cold, heart disease, high blood pressure and osteoarthritis
• an antioxidant – antioxidants protect our bodies’ cells (including brain cells) from damage
• helping absorb iron
• supporting a healthy immune system, so help us fight diseases
• muscle function
• helping make collagen (connective tissue)
• growth and repair of the body’s tissues
• wound healing
• repairing and maintaining bones, gums and teeth
• a natural antihistamine (prevents the release of the chemical histamine in the body)