Inflammation usually occurs when our body is trying to protect us from harmful substances (through white blood cells.) But, a prolonged state of acute inflammation (which becomes chronic in nature) can cause health problems. The right nutrients such as vitamin C can help you in fighting inflammation. Let’s understand the connection vitamin C and inflammation.
What Is Chronic Inflammation And Why Is It Bad?
Chronic inflammation occurs when the immune system doesn’t function properly. In certain cases, the system may work more than required and may mistake a healthy cell for a harmful pathogen. Unlike acute inflammation, chronic inflammation is related to all kinds of diseases like arthritis, hair loss, diabetes and even cancer.
These are three stages of inflammation:
- Irritation – This is the first stage, which leads to swelling.
- Discharge – Pus is released from the area of swelling. This is the discharge of harmful material from the body.
- Granulation – Formation of tiny tissues in the inflamed area, as the swelling diminishes.
Symptoms of Chronic Inflammation
- Continuous pain and irritation
- High blood pressure / blood sugar problems
- Skin problems
- Constant state of fatigue
Vitamin C And Inflammation: Here’s How It Helps
Inflammation acts as a part of our body’s immune response. Vitamin C is known to maintain proper functioning of the immune system. Our body can produce harmful matter due to improper digestion. Harmful particles can even enter the body from the atmosphere. These harmful substances are known as free radicals and may lead to oxidative stress in the immune system.
According to a research conducted in 2007, Vitamin C is an antioxidant that can help the immune system by fighting off these free radicals. This reduces the time period of acute inflammation and prevents and fights chronic inflammation in our body as well. Without such antioxidants, the immune system may face oxidative stress, leading to prolonged inflammation.
In another study, vitamin C (500 mg twice daily) has shown potential effects in reducing inflammation in patients with hypertension and/or diabetic obese patients.