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Vitamin C: Your Key to Healthier Skin

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If you search the internet for methods of skin care improvement, chances are you will find several vitamin supplements. Many skin care sites will recommend using Vitamin C supplements to help improve the quality of your skin. Vitamin C (also known as L-ascorbic acid) is found in citric fruits and is also a vitamin additive in most foods.

Deficiency in vitamin C can lead to scurvy and lung borne disease in smokers. Vitamin C has been shown to be important in several major biological processes because it is a cofactor (a non-protein chemical compound that binds to enzymes) for enzymatic activities. But does Vitamin C help with skin growth?

Previous studies on Vitamin C have shown that it is helpful in repairing skin damage caused by ultraviolet radiation. Damage from ultraviolet radiation can cause mutations to skin cells and lead to different form of cancer. Stimulation of skin cells by vitamin C had shown to help repair UV damage. However, the reason for this was not well understood. A recent study conducted by Dr. Duarte, Cook, and Jones, showed that a derivative of Vitamin C, ascorbic acid 2-phosphate, stimulates the human dermal fibroblasts. Dermal fibroblasts are skin cells responsible for the synthesis of collagen in animal tissue. Collagen is a family of proteins responsible for structure of most tissue (including skin) in the human body. For skin, collagen I is responsible for skin structure and feel and is also present in scar tissue and skin healing.

Vitamin C has been shown to be a crucial cofactor for the synthesis of collagen I in these cells. Having Vitamin C helps to activate the production of collagen and redirects collagen to the site of injury, shortening the recovery time for damaged skin. Diets rich in vitamin C provide the means for skin regeneration and recovery.

So, there is truth to claims of vitamin C helping repair damaged skin. Having sufficient vitamin C in your diet can help repair damaged skin from UV radiation and keep skin healthy. Since collagen is important for keeping the skin’s appearance and structure, having enough vitamin C is important.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.