How does Vitamin C help the human body?

I recently started having some symptoms of having an infection, especially cold chills and a mild fever, so I began taking big doses of Vitamin C. Yesterday the symptoms went away, so I began to wonder if the Vitamin C helped, and if so, how Vitamin C helps the human body’s immune system. So I asked ChatGPT, and got the following answer, which I have edited for clarity:

Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, plays a crucial role in supporting the human immune system in several ways:

  • Antioxidant Properties: Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant. Antioxidants help neutralize free radicals in the body, which are unstable molecules that can cause damage to cells.

  • Collagen Synthesis: Vitamin C is essential for the synthesis of collagen, a structural protein that plays a key role in the health of skin, blood vessels, and tissues. Maintaining the integrity of these barriers is important for preventing pathogens from entering the body.

  • Immune Cell Function: Vitamin C supports the function of various immune cells, including white blood cells (such as neutrophils and phagocytes) that play a crucial role in defending the body against infections. It enhances the movement of these immune cells to the sites of infection and helps them function more effectively.

  • Enhances Production of Antimicrobial Proteins: Vitamin C is involved in the production of antimicrobial proteins that act as natural defenses against infections. These proteins help the body combat pathogens like bacteria and viruses.

  • Improved Iron Absorption: Vitamin C enhances the absorption of non-heme iron (the type of iron found in plant-based foods) from the digestive tract. Iron is essential for the proper functioning of immune cells and overall immune system health.

If someone has a deficiency in vitamin C, they may be more susceptible to infections, and in such cases, supplementation may be recommended under the guidance of a healthcare professional.