1 in 5 people have a reduced ability to process vitamin C
Find out if you are one of them and what you can do about it. Vitamin C, often referred to as The Holy Grail of skin care ingredients, is one of the most powerful tools in your arsenal against wrinkles and sagging skin.
Normal skin contains high concentrations of vitamin C. Vitamin C helps to stimulate collagen synthesis and protect against photodamage. Vitamin C serums have been widely reported to be topical skin saviours, but dietary intake of adequate vitamin C is more important than any skincare cream or serum. We all know we should eat a wide variety of fruit and veg to get an optimal supply of nutrients for health – but did you know that higher dietary intakes of vitamin C are associated with a lower likelihood of skin wrinkles?
So how does vitamin C support skin health?
UV light, pollution and poor diet can all produce damaging molecules called free radicals (I know – they sound like a hard left political party!). These free radicals attack cells, cause inflammation and generally wreak havoc in the body. One of the main organs to suffer at the hand of this assault is the skin, with damaged collagen and elastin leading to wrinkles and sagging skin.
We can’t really avoid free radicals – they’re formed in the body as a by-product of cellular metabolism. However, hope comes in the form of antioxidants. Antioxidants have the power to neutralise free radicals, helping to dampen down inflammation and protect against cellular damage. Vitamin C is one of the most powerful known antioxidants.
Why might I need extra vitamin C?
Research has shown that some people don’t process vitamin C from the diet as efficiently as others. This means that they may not have as much of this powerful skin saving antioxidant available to fight the signs of ageing.
The gene that plays a role in the utilisation of vitamin C can exist in two forms. 1 in 5 people have the variant of this gene that puts them at risk of a reduced ability to process vitamin C. This means that when consuming the same amount of vitamin C, they will have lower blood levels of vitamin C compared to people who possess the alternate variant.