Adults in their older years can load up on more vitamin C to help their cells combat oxidative stress and prevent damage to their tissues, says a study by led by Christopher Bell at the University of Colorado. While most living organisms on Earth require oxygen for survival, it is typical for oxygen to react with other molecules to form free radicals, or ‘toxic oxygen’.

Toxic molecules can react with oxygen to create an effect known as ‘oxidative stress’. As people grow older, the effects of oxidative stress become greater. It is largely believed that oxidative stress can contribute to various ailments that are brought about by destroying tissue.

Older adults have a lower metabolic rate because their nervous systems are unable to provide support to the resting metabolism. This increases oxidative stress. Younger people are able to fight off the effects of oxidative stress because their bodies produce an abundant amount of antioxidants. This rate of production goes down as they age, which increases the importance of eating more vegetables and fruits that are rich in antioxidants.

One such antioxidant is vitamin C. Bell found that the metabolism of older adults between the ages of 60 to 74 years old increased by 100 calories per day after directly administering vitamin C into their veins. High metabolic rates have been linked with low risks for diabetes and heart attack because of vitamin C’s beneficial influence on body fat and body weight.

Vitamin C’s Anti-Aging Effect

Perhaps more interesting is vitamin C’s crucial role in aging. By neutralizing oxidative stress due to cell damage, vitamin C can play an important anti-aging role and lead to a more youthful appearance. Perhaps more importantly, vitamin C can boost collagen.

Collagen is a structural protein that provides firmness to the skin. Younger people have an abundant amount of collagen, but it decreases with age, which often shows as wrinkles, loose skin, laxity, and crow’s feet. Vitamin C is the only antioxidant that also acts as a collagen stimulator – which means that it works on cells that don’t produce enough collagen.

Vitamin C also brighten skin tone and lightens pigmentation by protecting against UVA an UVB exposure. It can help combat against melasma, sun spots, and hyperpigmentation – all of which cause an uneven coloring of the skin. This means that a good way to start your day is by applying a moisturizer rich in an antioxidant complex such as vitamin C.

You can eat fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin C to protect the skin against the aging process, get rid of damaged cells, and stimulate production of collagen. A great idea is to use both collagen and retinol for best results.

The cumulative impact of tobacco smoke, environmental production, stress hormones from our own body, and sun exposure can result in the rapid production of free radicals and wreak havoc among healthy cells. By incorporating more vitamin C, a person can fight wrinkles, arthritis, and age spots.