With their free-radical-scavenging abilities and cellular protective properties, antioxidants are the cheat code to help add years to your life.* One nutrient, in particular, is a rather vital member of this longevity club. Introducing: vitamin C.
Vitamin C works as a potent antioxidant.
As the body's primary water-soluble antioxidant, vitamin C supports beautiful skin, immune response, cellular resilience, cardiovascular health, cognitive function, and more.*
"Vitamin C works as an antioxidant everywhere in the body—it's found in the blood, body fluids, and all of your cells and tissues,"* explains Alexander Michels, Ph.D., clinical research coordinator at the Linus Pauling Institute.
On a cellular level, C fulfills its free-radical-scavenging duties in the intracellular and extracellular fluid (i.e., inside and outside of cells) rather than in the cell membrane, like fat-soluble antioxidants.*
Vitamin C helps protect an impressive, diverse, and absolutely vital array of enzymes, molecules, and complex compounds in the body—such as proteins, lipids, carbohydrates, and nucleic acids (DNA and RNA)—by combating free radicals and reactive oxygen species1 (ROS).*
Vitamin C's role in recycling vitamin E.
And if all of that antioxidant action wasn't enough, vitamin C also supports the restoration of other vital antioxidants.* Specifically, vitamin C has the ability to regenerate fat-soluble vitamin E after it has been oxidized.*
"Vitamin E can prevent parts of our cell membranes from becoming oxidized, but when it does so, it gets oxidized itself—meaning that the vitamin E molecules lose electrons. In order for the vitamin E molecular to become functional again, it needs an electron from somewhere. And it just so happens that vitamin C is a great electron donor,"* explains Michels.
As the most potent radical-scavenging, fat-soluble antioxidant, vitamin E plays a big part in balancing oxidative stress, stabilizing the membrane and overall structure of the cell and supporting immune response. In other words, we need vitamin E, which means we also need the regeneration support that vitamin C offers.*
How our vitamin C supplement optimizes antioxidant activity.
What do you get when you pair vitamin C, plant-based lipids (from rice bran, to be exact), and a citrus bioflavonoid2 complex from 100% whole citrus fruits? The scientifically advanced, bioavailable formula in mindbodygreen's vitamin C potency+. This next-gen vitamin C product boasts ingredients clinically shown to optimally raise vitamin C levels in the body, promote cellular retention, and deliver the best daily antioxidant activity and oxidative stress balance throughout the body.*†
This robust vitamin C supplement delivers a high-potency 1,000-milligram dose of vitamin C (like 15 oranges!).‡ What's more, this vitamin C/lipid/citrus bioflavonoid trio helps you proactively get after free radicals3 more efficiently than other forms of vitamin C.*† (Talk about a longevity-driven dream team!)
When it comes to living a long, healthy life, vitamin C is a fantastic nutrient to have on your side. With its antioxidant power, role in vitamin E regeneration, and overall support of oxidative balance, vitamin C is an essential vitamin you certainly want to maintain sufficient levels of.*
If you're in the market for a vitamin C supplement that will meet your unique health needs, check out our roundup of best vitamin C supplements to find the perfect fit.
‡ 1 serving (2 capsules) of vitamin C potency+ delivers 1,000 mg (1 g) of vitamin C. That’s equivalent to the average vitamin C content provided in 15 whole oranges per USDA nutrient analysis data.
If you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or taking medications, consult with your doctor before starting a supplement routine. It is always optimal to consult with a health care provider when considering what supplements are right for you.
Morgan Chamberlain is a supplement editor at mindbodygreen. She graduated from Syracuse University with a Bachelor of Science degree in magazine journalism and a minor in nutrition. Chamberlain believes in taking small steps to improve your well-being—whether that means eating more plant-based foods, checking in with a therapist weekly, or spending quality time with your closest friends. When she isn’t typing away furiously at her keyboard, you can find her cooking in the kitchen, hanging outside, or doing a vinyasa flow.