Your Body Can't Make This Essential Nutrient On Its Own — Here's How To Get It
The body produces a plethora of good-for-you compounds all on its own, like hyaluronic acid, glycerol1, and collagen (although your natural production slows as you age). However, some essential nutrients can't be produced by the human body at all, yet they play a critical role in maintaining healthy bodily functions.
One such nutrient? Vitamin C. It's true: Your body can't make2 its own vitamin C or store it. For this reason, it's important to make sure you get enough through your diet every day—but loads of people are failing to do so. Here's how you can ensure you meet the benchmark.
Why you need to consume vitamin C orally.
Considering vitamin C is so well known (an "old-school" nutrient, if you will), you may be surprised to find out that your body can't actually make vitamin C on its own.
"Vitamin C in humans must be ingested for survival. Most of the animal kingdom can produce its own vitamin C; however, humans cannot produce it and therefore need to consume it to maintain life," cosmetic chemist Ron Robinson once told mbg.
Perhaps the most popular benefit of vitamin C is immune system support.* This is a worthy benefit to mention, given that vitamin C stimulates the production and function of white blood cells (i.e., the cells working hard for our innate and adaptive immune systems to keep us healthy).*
However, vitamin C has plenty of other benefits to note as well: "Vitamin C is required for support of tissues in all parts of the body including the skin. It is essential for life [and] maintaining the integrity of gums, bones, and teeth,"* Robinson says.
In terms of skin longevity and healthy aging, again, vitamin C deserves honorable mention: Without this antioxidant, your body cannot effectively produce collagen3.* As you may know, collagen production plays a significant role in skin health—but you can read all about that here.
How to up your vitamin C intake.
Because you cannot produce vitamin C on your own, you need to make sure you consume enough every day. Foods rich in vitamin C include guavas, red sweet peppers, grapefruit, broccoli, and a few others you can check out here.
Still, 42% of the U.S. adult population4 has insufficient vitamin C levels, which is where supplements come in to help close that gap, in addition to providing functional health benefits.* For an effective and high-potency option you can count on each day, mbg's vitamin C potency+ delivers 1,000 milligrams of vitamin C in a cutting-edge format with superior absorption while also incorporating an array of citrus bioflavonoids.*†
This supplement has been carefully crafted to offer a powerful dose of vitamin C (equivalent to 15 oranges, in fact) in a gentle and optimized form.‡ This way, you know that you're receiving a powerful daily C dose to support your immune, skin, joint, cellular energy, cognitive, and vascular health.*
While the human body does create many key compounds needed to survive, vitamin C is not one of them. This antioxidant is a major contributor to immune, skin, and cognitive health, which is why it's important to prioritize your daily dose of vitamin C, and foods plus a high-quality supplement can definitely be complementary in that daily endeavor.* And believe it or not, vitamin C has even more benefits than we mentioned here—including gut health, hormone balance, and nervous system support.*
Hannah Frye is the Assistant Beauty Editor at mindbodygreen. She has a B.S. in journalism and a minor in women’s, gender, and queer studies from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. Hannah has written across lifestyle sections including health, wellness, sustainability, personal development, and more. She previously interned for Almost 30, a top-rated health and wellness podcast. In her current role, Hannah reports on the latest beauty trends, holistic skincare approaches, must-have makeup products, and inclusivity in the beauty industry. She currently lives in New York City.