You probably don’t need reminding about the primary benefits of vitamin c, but we’ll say it again for the people in the cheap seats: Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that helps your body ward off excess free radical damage that can contribute to a host of health issues. It’s also a must-have for the production of collagen, the protein that’s essential for joint and skin health.
You may be less familiar, though, with some of C’s other roles, such as supporting healthy bones, keeping your cardiovascular system in tip-top shape, and even promoting a healthy balance of bacteria in your gut. And, now, research suggests that vitamin C has cognitive benefits, too.
Vitamin C And “mental Vitality”
The latest research confirms that vitamin C’s benefits are even more far-reaching than the basics it’s typically touted for. Case in point: A recent cross-sectional analysis and randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial published in the European Journal of Nutrition.
In this two-part investigation, the researchers first analyzed the potential connection between healthy young adults’ mood and mental function and their serum vitamin C levels (or how much vitamin C was measurable in their blood). They specifically looked at ratings of fatigue, attention, stress, depression, and positive or negative affects on mood.
The takeaway from this initial analysis? A positive correlation between vitamin C levels and attention levels.
From there, the researchers conducted a study in which people with low levels of vitamin C supplemented either with 500 milligrams of the nutrient or with a placebo twice a day for four weeks. The participants underwent attention and processing speed tests and rated their mood and energy before and after the four weeks.
The finding here: Those who upped their vitamin C intake experienced benefits related to attention, work absorption and engagement, and energy.
Go ahead and add cognition to the already-long list of ways that vitamin C supports your health, folks.
The researcher’s conclusion: “Inadequate vitamin C status is related to a low level of mental vitality.” They also note that increasing vitamin C status with supplementation promotes work motivation, cognition, and attention and focus.
Vitamin C is easy to find in a whole slew of foods, including bell peppers, strawberries, broccoli, and kiwi. If you struggle to meet your needs through food, adding a supplement to your routine is an easy way to ensure you hit the mark on the daily.