How taking extra Vitamin C lightens skin
|In healthy adults, Vitamin C raises glutathione levels in the red blood cells and lymphocytes | |Glutathione helps determine the balance of light and dark pigments (pheomelanin and eumelanin) in our skin. L-cysteine and | |the TYRP1 enzyme also play a part in this balance | |Taking high doses of Vitamin C (1,000 – 3,000 mgs) can help to lighten skin over time |
Since you’re reading this page, you’ve probably already asked yourself: can taking Vitamin C really lighten your skin? The short answer is: Yes, it can.
But how exactly does Vitamin C help lighten our skin?
The answer to that question is a bit longer, but reading on will be worth it in the end (I promise!). If you don’t have the time to read about just how taking high doses of Vitamin C can lighten your skin, just bookmark this page to read later. What is Vitamin C?
Before I go on to explain what Vitamin C has to do with our skin color, I think it’s important to know just what Vitamin C is first. Vitamin C (also called Ascorbic Acid) is a water-soluble vitamin, and is needed by our bodies to form collagen in bones, cartilage, muscle and blood vessels. We get Vitamin C from fruits and vegetables, particularly citrus fruits like lemons, limes and oranges. It is also readily available in pill or liquid supplements. Although it is a vitamin, Vitamin C is also an antioxidant. This means it can neutralize free radicals which would otherwise damage our skin and other organs. And since it is soluble in water, Vitamin C works both inside and outside of our cells to combat this free radical damage. [pic]Vitamin C and our skin
The skin is the largest organ in the human body and collagen is the building blocks. Our skin benefits greatly from Vitamin C because of its unique collagen-forming properties. Scientists have found that collagen protein requires Vitamin C for the molecules to achieve the best configuration possible. Vitamin C prevents collagen from becoming weak and susceptible to damage (a process is called hydroxylation). Vitamin C also increases the level of the procollagen messenger RNA. It is also needed to “export” the procollagen molecules out of our cells and into the extracellular spaces. In other words, Vitamin C is crucial in ensuring the structural integrity of our collagen. Vitamin C also helps to heal any wounds we might have. Studies have shown that when Vitamin C was given to burn victims in high doses, it reduces the transfer of blood and waste products into the tissues (capillary permeability). This could be partly due to Vitamin C’s scavenging effect on free radicals (its antioxidant properties). In another study, when Vitamin C (2,000 mg) and natural Vitamin E (1,000 IU) were given to 20 men and women, their resistance to sunburn increased by 20% after just 8 days. They had lower levels of inflammation and skin damage compared to the placebo group, which became more sensitive to sunburn. Vitamin C is one antioxidant that boosts two more – glutathione and Vitamin E Have you ever heard of that saying, one thing leads to another? This is especially true with Vitamin C. This is because taking Vitamin C doesn’t just increase the Vitamin C levels in our blood, it also increases two more very important antioxidants – glutathione (a major antioxidant) and Vitamin E (a fat-soluble antioxidant). |Higher Vitamin C levels boosts glutathione and Vitamin E | |Glutathione |Vitamin E | |Glutathione is our bodies’ most prevalent antioxidant |Vitamin E is probably the most important fat-soluble antioxidant | |It plays an important role in detoxing our bodies |It protects our cells from oxidation...
References: and Further Reading
Extracts of clinical studies on Vitamin C’s relationship with gluthathione levels
CS Johnston, CG Meyer and JC Srilakshmi
Department of Family Resources and Human Development, Arizona State University, Tempe 85287.
We examined the effect of supplemental ascorbic acid on red blood cell glutathione. Subjects consumed self-selected vitamin C-restricted diets, and, under double-blind conditions, ingested placebo daily for week 1 (baseline), 500 mg L-ascorbate/d for weeks 2-3, 2000 mg L- ascorbate/d for weeks 4-5, and placebo daily for week 6 (withdraw). Mean red blood cell glutathione rose nearly 50% (P < 0.05) after the 500-mg period compared with baseline, and the changes from baseline for individual subjects ranged from +8% to +84%. However, the increases in plasma vitamin C and red blood cell glutathione were not correlated (r = 0.22). At the 2000-mg dosage, mean red blood cell glutathione was not significantly different from the value obtained at the 500-mg dosage. After the placebo-controlled withdraw period, red blood cell glutathione did not differ from baseline. These data indicate that vitamin C supplementation (500 mg/d) maintains reduced glutathione concentrations in blood and improves the overall antioxidant protection capacity of blood.
Background: Ascorbate and glutathione play central roles in the defense against free radicals and oxidants that are implicated in chronic diseases.
Objective: The objective was to determine the ability of vitamin C supplements to modulate the concentration of glutathione in human lymphocytes.
Design: The effect of vitamin C supplements was determined in a sequential study with time points before supplementation, after 13 wk of vitamin C supplements (500 or 1000 mg/d), and after 13 wk of matching placebo. The supplementation group was selected on the basis of low plasma ascorbate (
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