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Ask the Vein Doctors: Why is it Good to take Vitamin C?

Posted on February 23, 2022

Have you wondered, why is it good to take Vitamin C? Well, there are many vitamin c benefits. It's linked to boosting immunity, reducing inflammation and improving blood flow. And, given all this potential, taking vitamin c could be a great way to protect your vein health, too. Let's take a closer look!

Vitamin C Sources Why is it good to take Vitamin C

Unlike vitamin D, which is hard to source through your diet, it's pretty easy to get your vitamin c dose from your food. You probably already know that oranges are a great source for this vitamin.

But if OJ's not your thing, you can also get a healthy dose of c vitamins from both red, yellow and chili peppers, parsley and thyme, kale, broccoli, brussels sprouts, kiwis, strawberries and more.

Now, while it's easy to source vitamin c, your body can't make or store this important nutrient. For that reason, you'll have to meet your body's intake requirements every day. And, though every body is different, most sources suggest getting 90mg daily.

Why is it Good to Take Vitamin C: Stronger Blood Vessels

Do you have spider veins? (These are small blood vessels, just beneath your skin, that become visible when they fill up with pooling blood.) Then taking vitamin c could help prevent your bulging veins from getting larger. How could that be?

As we mentioned earlier, this vitamin can reduce inflammation. In that role, it can help protect your blood vessels' lining, called the endothelial barrier. (This is important for all of us, but especially for people with inflammatory conditions.) Also, this important vitamin can help your body synthesize collagen. (All over, but especially in the walls of your capillaries.) By doing so, you can help prevent failed small blood vessels. And further reduce your risk for unsightly spider veins.

Effects on Atherosclerosis

Your veins aren't the only blood carriers that can benefit from your daily dose of vitamin c. In fact, this vitamin is also important for your arterial health. And here's how.

As you age, especially if your diet includes lots of fatty, processed foods, plaque can build up in your arteries. This can lead to a condition known as atherosclerosis, in which your arteries narrow and blood flow suffers. (Atherosclerosis can also contribute to peripheral arterial disease, or PAD, a condition we treat in our Houston and Dallas area vein clinics.)

Now, vitamin c can't prevent plaque build up. But it can prevent your smooth vascular muscle cells from dying. (We call cell death apoptosis.) In that way, if you've already got atherosclerosis, getting enough vitamin c can stabilize your existing plaque build up. And that will lower your risk for heart attack or stroke.

Why is it Good to Take Vitamin C for Blood Pressure?

Finally, taking vitamin c can help lower your blood pressure. In this case, the vitamin's effects on blood pressure are indirect, but important. At first, c vitamins boost nitrous oxide production in your blood vessels. That leads to vasodilation, when your blood vessels relax. After vasodilation, blood flows with greater ease. And that can lower your blood pressure.

Why is blood pressure so important? Well, when your blood pressure is too high, your heart and arteries work much harder. Over time, that extra makes your heart muscle thicken. If that happens, it won't fill properly, and every part of your circulatory system will suffer. For that reason, and all the others we just reviewed, taking vitamin c is a great way to protect your cardiovascular and circulatory health.

Embracing a Vein Healthy Diet spinach lowers PAD risk

As you can see, vitamin c is important for your vein health. But it's not the only nutrient you need to keep your blood pumping and prevent spider or varicose veins. To stay healthy, try cutting out fatty foods and excess alcohol, while limiting your salt intake.

Then, add in lots of fiber, as well as a rainbow's worth of fruits and veggies. Finally, try to swap animal proteins for leaner or plant-based options. And, if you're concerned about your risk for vein disease or PAD, schedule a consultationschedule a consultationschedule a consultation with our office. Together, we can review the lifestyle changes that will lower your risk for complications. And we can also decide if any further interventions will be necessary.

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