Oxidative Damage - The Real Cause of Aging
A good way to think of it is as "internal rusting."
The older we get, the greater this imbalance becomes, and the more we start to see the signs of damage. Which can be everything from physical signs of aging (like gray hair) to internal processes like inflammation or chronic pain. Oxidative damage is linked to a variety of diseases and conditions associated with aging, including:
Can Vitamin C Stop Oxidative Damage?
But not all vitamin C is equal
A study demonstrated this! Researchers took a group of habitual smokers and split them into two groups. One group got 1050mg of standard vitamin C tablets, and the other got 1050mg vitamin C from a whole food source - camu camu. After 7 days, the group that got the whole-food vitamin C from camu camu had significantly decreased signs of oxidative stress and inflammation. The group that got tablets of vitamin C had no changes.
Why Whole Food vs. Synthetic Matters So Much
In another study, 1000mg of isolated, synthetic vitamin C significantly reduced endurance capacity and decreased training efficiency. That's definitely not what we want!
Keep Using Vitamin C - Just Choose Wisely
The take away from all of this is that whole-food vitamin C is a powerful anti-aging tool, maybe one of the best ones we have! Just don't waste your time or money on synthetic or isolated vitamin C supplements. If you're not sure you have the real-deal, just flip your vitamin C bottle around and look at the supplement facts. Does it say "ascorbic acid?" That's likely a sign it is NOT whole-food vitamin C. If you are using an isolated vitamin C, consider swapping it for a whole food source.
Look for whole food sources like amla berry, camu camu berry, and unripe acerola cherry.