Glutathione, the master anti-oxidant, decreases with age. Vitamin C along with glutathione have beneficial effects on inflammation, the removal of toxins, the aging processes and on the prevention of age-related diseases such as atherosclerosis, cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and neurodegenerative diseases.
It is well accepted that nutritional status with respect to both macronutrients and micronutrients is important for skin and tissue health. Many vitamin deficiencies result in skin disorders, changes in elasticity and slowed wound healing. B vitamin deficiency, specifically, may result in patchy, red rashes or fungal skin and nail infections. Vitamin C deficiency results in skin fragility as well as impaired wound healing. Vitamin C is also critical for the promotion of collagen production and matrix stability of the skin and deeper tissues.
The free radical (oxidative stress) theory of aging allows an explanation of the underlying molecular process of the signs of aging and somewhat explains the disease process of age-related inflammatory conditions, such as atherosclerosis, cardiovascular diseases, dementia, diabetes, and osteoporosis. (Nutrients, 2017) Overall, the process of aging is characterized by a weakening of the immune system. This reduces the ability to fight off infections, increases auto-immune dysfunction and leads to an increased susceptibility to cancer.
Oxidative stress and chronic low-grade inflammation is increasingly being viewed as the major contributor to the aging process. “Inflamm-Aging” is characterized by a generalized increase in inflammation. It is known that the increased serum levels of C reactive protein (CRP) and pro-inflammatory cytokines, such as interleukin-6 (IL-6) and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) induce the release of free radicals. Inflamm-aging may be considered a reason for both the normal signs of aging as well as and the progressive weakening of the body.