Vitamin C’s Role in Your Immunity

Vitamin C’s Role in Your Immunity



Vitamin C is an essential nutrient that’s water-soluble, and found naturally in many fruits and vegetables. It has many functions in the body, including supporting immunity, helping to heal wounds, maintaining healthy skin and bones, aiding in the formation of collagen, and in tissue growth and repair. Vitamin C is also a powerful antioxidant that helps detoxify or cleanse the body from harmful substances.



Playing a crucial role in the maintaining of the immune system, vitamin C is usually the first thing your parents, friends and colleagues will all recommend for that nagging cough or first signs of the common cold — and here’s why the advice continues to be passed down.

When your body is fighting an infection, especially during illness, vitamin C is rapidly used up in the body due to its varied roles. Vitamin C itself not only has antimicrobial activities but it also stimulates the growth of lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell, which responds to an invading pathogen.

This integrated role of vitamin C in helping our body fight infection has made it a nutrient of interest in immune science for decades. In numerous trials, regular supplementation with at least 200 mg of vitamin C has been shown to reduce the duration and severity of cold symptoms. Among highly active people in the winter, such as skiers or skaters, vitamin C supplementation cut the occurrence of the common cold by half!


High intakes of fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin C are associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease. This may be due partly to the antioxidant content of these foods, as oxidative damage is a major cause of cardiovascular disease. Vitamin C has been shown to potentially reduce atherosclerosis — or the buildup of fatty plaques inside our blood vessels — by reducing the “stickiness” of immune cells. Furthermore, vitamin C can improve nitric oxide production, a key relaxer of our blood vessels, and extend the lifespan of the smooth muscle cells in our arteries and veins.

Population studies have also supported these heart-healthy benefits of vitamin C. One of the best-known and long-running studies is the Nurses’ Health Study, which ran for 16 years and included over 85,000 women nurses. The study’s authors found that, in this population, supplementing with vitamin C was associated with a decreased risk of heart disease.


The recommended dose to prevent deficiency of vitamin C is 75 mg per day for women and 90 mg for men. Deficiency in Canada is rare due to our generally ready access to high-quality food and supplements, but the above benefits are often seen at higher doses. Supplements are available from very low doses all the way up to 2000 mg for adults. This wide range means it has a good margin of safety, and because it’s water-soluble, the body can excrete excess vitamin C in urine. That being said, it’s important to speak with your health care practitioner before making any changes to your daily regimen.

Vitamin C is broken down by heat and light, so be sure to follow storage instructions on your supplement’s label. The best place to learn more about the variety of these products is your local CHFA Member health food store, where you’ll find it in a wide range of different forms, including capsules, powders, gummies, liquids and more. Most supplements come in the form of ascorbic acid, which is often how it appears in nature, so the absorption of supplements is generally good in the digestive tract. If you’re taking high doses, spread them out throughout the day to ensure optimal absorption.

Vitamin C carries with it a wide range of health benefits, from supporting immune health to playing a role in preventing cardiovascular disease. This winter, especially if you’re highly active and enjoying the great outdoors, consider adding a vitamin C supplement to keep your body in tip-top shape.

Boost Your Immune in 3 Simple Steps!

Boost Your Immune in 3 Simple Steps!

One study found that taking one supplement would help Canadians stay healthy in the winter, by saving up to 84,000 courses of antibiotics, 500,000 sick days, $9 million in direct health care costs and $100 million in lost productivity1.

Can you guess what the supplement is?

The answer? A probiotic!

The Gut-Immune System Connection

We are all aware that our immune system is tasked with the amazing job of keeping us healthy by keeping invading germs and viruses from making us ill. But if you were asked to point to your immune system, where would you point? Although your immune system helps to keep foreign invaders from taking hold in your body throughout your body, most of it is located in your gut. In fact, 70% of your immune system’s cells and tissues can be found there.

Probiotics are important for boosting immunity by helping to reinforce and modulate the immune system. Just like the immune system can be found throughout the body, probiotics can too! One study found that taking oral probiotics can change the microbiome all the way up to the nasal cavity2.

And even if you end up getting sick, a probiotic can help to reduce the duration of a cold. Two large meta analyses found that a quality probiotic helped to reduce duration, frequency and antibiotic use due to a respiratory tract infection. Taking a probiotic could help Canadians shave off an average of 2.3 days of a respiratory tract infection3.

Taking a probiotic will help to boost your immunity – but it’s also important to create the right environment for your probiotic to do its magic. That’s why Genuine Health has created a complete approach to gut health:

#1 Prime Your Gut

Fermented supplements can “prime” the gut to receive nutrition. Fermentation amplifies the nutrition of food by increasing the nutrient profile, and bioavailability of a variety of nutrients, including B vitamins, magnesium and zinc. Try our fermented vegan proteins+ or fermented Greek yogurt proteins+, and convenient fermented bars, which provide your body with easily absorbed protein – with gut health benefits.

#2 Seed Your Gut

The type of probiotic that you take matters – it’s important to find a probiotic that contains plenty of live microorganisms with a guaranteed delivery mechanism. Genuine Health’s advanced gut health probiotic is crafted with 15 strains of super-potent bacteria that mimic the balance found in the gut. advanced gut health probiotic is encapsulated in a delayed-release, plastic-free capsule that’s been shown to deliver up to 10x the bacteria to the gut. Look out for advanced gut health probiotic in 15 and 50 billion CFU and two new probiotics for women: advanced gut health probiotic women’s DAILY and UTI.

#3 Feed Your Gut

Good nutrition is important to keep your body healthy in cold and flu season – and good nutrition is needed for your gut, too! Once you seed your gut with healthy, hearty bacteria from a probiotic, you need to feed them – that’s where a prebiotic comes in.

Just as it’s important to find a quality probiotic, it’s equally important to find a quality prebiotic. Based on cutting-edge research, Genuine Health created new fermented organic gut superfoods+, the ultimate prebiotic superfood, and the perfect partner to your probiotic! Using the latest research on prebiotics, fermented organic gut superfoods+ was made with 22 fully fermented organic superfoods and prebiotics to prime the gut and nourish a healthy gut ecology.

This winter, consider a three-pronged approach to staying healthy – a complete approach to gut health from Genuine Health.



  1. Wijnkoop, I et al. The Clinical and Economic Impact of Probiotics Consumption on Respiratory Tract Infections: Projections for Canada. PLoS One. 2016; 11(11): e0166232.
  2. Cross, M.L. Immune-Signalling by Orally-Delivered Probiotic Bacteria: Effects on Common Mucosal Immunoresponses and Protection at Distal Mucosal Sites. International Journal of Immunopathology and Pharmacology. 2004.
  3. Wijnkoop, I et al.


…the makers of Recovery® introduce Prevent Daily Immunity Optimizer and Prevail Cold & Fever

PURICA extended its long-standing commitment to the development of natural stress relief and immunity support products by introducing PURICA Prevent Daily Immunity Optimizer and PURICA Prevail Cold & Fever.

Prevent and Prevail join Immune 7 Immune Support and Complete 360 Stress Relief & Immune Support in the suite of natural immunity optimizers produced by PURICA, which was founded 18 years ago. Also featured as an important ally in stress relief and immune function is the wellness formulation PURICA Vitality Adrenal Support.

“From the inception and launch of PURICA in 1999, one of our essential aims and priorities was helping people protect themselves and their families from the wear and tear of daily stress by strengthening and optimizing their immune systems naturally,” said Jason Watkin, Founder, Chair & CEO of PURICA, the makers of Recovery Whole Body Health & Pain Relief and now Immune 7, Complete 360, Vitality and Prevent and Prevail.

“The leadership position that’s been held by Immune 7 over the past decade has only spurred us on to develop companion products designed to mitigate against daily stress and in the process support the immune system,” added Watkin. “Prevent and Prevail continue in that tradition of producing the finest immunity supplements.”

The new PURICA Prevent Daily Immunity Booster is a 100% natural formulation designed to balance immune cell activity and provide daily enhancement for the immune system. It has been shown to produce a 50% improvement in immune response and enhances the body’s ability to handle stress. Prevent contains Immunidiol, a combination of two herbs: Panax ginseng and Astragalus membranaceus.

PURICA Prevail Cold & Fever is a companion formulation that is also 100% natural. Clinical trials of Prevail, which is anti-inflammatory, antiviral and antibacterial, have validated its capacity to quickly stop the progression of the common cold and to reduce sore throat, fever and coughing. It combines three herbs—honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica), forsythia (Forsythia suspensa) and skullcap (Scutellaria baicalensis) — which work synergistically to target viral replication and fire up the immune response. It has been shown to produce 83% 3-day effectiveness for the common cold. Prevail is also available in a Purikidz formulation designed specifically for children aged 3 to 9 years.

“Our customers are the ones who are constantly informing us as to what’s important to them and there’s no question that stress relief and immunity are among the common concerns of most people, including for their children,” said Watkin. “Prevent and Prevail this spring and Complete 360 last fall are our latest responses to those looking for more options.”

For more information on PURICA Prevent and PURICA Prevail or other PURICA natural health foods and supplements, visit Media, general practitioners and clients are also invited to follow PURICA on Twitter at and on Facebook at

This month (October 2017) you can show this coupon at the tills (on your phone or print it out) tos ave an additional $2 Off Prevent and Prevail:

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