New Delhi: With an accelerated rise in the prevalence of non-communicable diseases (NCD) in India, Vitamin C has become one of the most needed nutrients to lead a healthy life. Cardiovascular diseases, cancer, respiratory diseases, and diabetes form the leading NCDs affecting Indians, associated with the highest mortality rates.
Two-thirds of Indians affected by NCDs fall in the most productive age group (26 to 59 years), as per a 2021 ASSOCHAM report. Of these, diabetes and hypertension have particularly high associated burdens, with a prevalence of 2.9 percent and 3.6 percent respectively, across the country.
Alongside good diet and nutrition to enable better NCD management, there is a clear need for self-care solutions to maintain optimal health. While a healthy, balanced diet is essential for good nutrition, the country`s nutritional consumption is inadequate on its own, with people’s existing diets contributing to malnutrition and rising NCD incidence.
Below-mentioned are three reasons why Vitamin C plays a vital role in NCD management:
1. Vitamin C (or ascorbic acid) plays a crucial role in supporting various aspects of the immune system.
2. As a powerful antioxidant, Vitamin C also strengthens the body’s natural defences. Dr. Deepak Talwar, Director and Chair, Pulmonary Sleep and Critical Care, Metro Centre for Respiratory Diseases, Noida stated, “Vitamin C is an essential nutrient to boost immunity. It is observed that patients with common NCDs, like diabetes and hypertension, require more vitamin C than others, owing to the high oxidative stress seen in these patients. Specifically, patients with diabetes have 30 percent lower vitamin C concentrations than non-diabetics. Individuals can boost their regular nutritional intake through vitamin C supplementation, in addition to a rich, balanced diet, comprising citrus foods and tomatoes.”
3. Vitamin C also plays a role in alleviating seasonal infections, like cold and flu, during the winter season, especially in people suffering from NCDs. In cardiovascular diseases or hypertension patients, the nutrient can protect end-organ damage and improve vascular endothelial function, which helps regulate blood clotting. Explaining the role of Vitamin C, Dr. Parag Sheth, Director, Global Medical Affairs, Abbott said, “Vitamin C offers impressive health benefits, such as boosting immunity and antioxidant levels. Abbott is committed to raising awareness on the importance of vitamin C, thereby encouraging adequate daily intake, which can benefit immunity and promotes overall health and well-being.By providing trusted, quality solutions to meet specific local needs, we aim to help people benefit from good health and live better, fuller lives.”
Vitamin C deficiency has been observed across the country, with an estimated 74 percent and 46 percent prevalence amongst adults of North India and South India respectively. The deficiency is commonly observed in people suffering from NCDs, resulting in lower immunity levels to manage their conditions. To ensure adequate intake of the micronutrient and benefit from its positive outcomes on one’s overall health, vitamin C supplementation can be beneficial.