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Vitamin C Overview

According to scientists, vitamin C, also known as ascorbate or ascorbic acid, is the most effective and safe supplement that keeps the body running smoothly. [1]

Vitamin C: Benefits, Side Effects And Recommended Doses
Vitamin C Ingredients

Scurvy and other disorders associated with vitamin C deficiency have been treated with vitamin C in the past. It is now frequently promoted as a natural antidote to the common cold. Despite its reputation as a “immune booster,” there is little evidence that taking vitamin C helps actually prevent or treat infection. [2]

It is effective for many forms of wound healing, including cuts, broken bones, burns, and surgical wounds, as it is an essential element in the creation of collagen; it is taken orally and helps wounds heal faster. This single vitamin is also a strong antioxidant, meaning it can neutralize free radicals that cause genetic harm to cells, and it is required for protein metabolism. Skin wrinkling, cardiovascular illness, prenatal health concerns, and eye disease can all be prevented with it. [3]

Fruits and vegetables, particularly citrus fruits, are good sources of vitamin C.

Vitamin C Benefits

  • 1. May reduce your risk of chronic disease
  • Antioxidants are chemicals that help the body’s immune system function better. They do so by defending cells against dangerous chemicals known as free radicals. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that can help to increase the antioxidant levels in your blood. This could lower the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease.

    According to studies, increasing your vitamin C intake can boost your blood antioxidant levels by up to 30%. This aids the body’s natural defenses in their battle against inflammation.

  • 2. May help manage high blood pressure
  • Vitamin C has been demonstrated in studies to help people with and without high blood pressure lower their blood pressure. [4]

  • 3. May lower your risk of heart disease
  • Supplementing with vitamin C has been related to a lower risk of heart disease. These supplements may help lower heart disease risk factors like high LDL (bad) cholesterol and vitamins that lower triglycerides in the blood. [5]

  • 4. Cancer
  • Many forms of cancer, such as colon, breast, and lung cancer, may be reduced by eating a diet high in fruits and vegetables with vitamin C. It’s unclear whether this protective effect is linked to the amount of vitamin C in the diet. Taking vitamin C pills orally does not appear to have the same effect.

  • 5. Eye diseases
  • Oral vitamin C supplementation, in combination with other vitamins and minerals, appear to slow the progression of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). According to several research, those who consume more vitamin C in their diet had a lower risk of acquiring cataracts. [6]

  • 6. Boosts immunity
  • Because vitamin C is involved in many aspects of the immune system, it is one of the most common reasons people take good vitamin C supplements. [7]
    First, vitamin C promotes the creation of white blood cells called lymphocytes and phagocytes, which help the body fight infection, boost the skin’s defense system, and speed up wound healing.

Vitamin C Side Effects

Although vitamin C is normally safe, excessive doses can induce heartburn, headaches, nausea, exhaustion, and sleepiness, stomach cramps, and diarrhea. Adults should not take more than 2000 mg per day. Vitamin C in high dosages might also have a negative impact on exercise performance.

When taken for general health, the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of vitamin C is as follows: [8]

  • 40 milligrams per day for children 0 to 6 months
  • 50 milligrams per day for children 7 to 12 months
  • 15 milligrams per day for children 1 to 3 years
  • 25 milligrams per day for children 4 and 8 years
  • 45 milligrams per day for children 9 to 13 years
  • 65 milligrams per day for females 14 to 18 years
  • 75 milligrams per day for males 14 to 18 years
  • 75 milligrams per day for females 19 and over
  • 90 milligrams per day for males 19 and over
  • 80 milligrams per day for pregnant females 14 to 18
  • 85 milligrams per day for pregnant females 19 and over
  • 115 milligrams per day for breastfeeding females 14 to 18
  • 120 milligrams per day for breastfeeding females 19 and over

If you smoke, you should take an extra 35 mg every day. Those who have been diagnosed with a vitamin C deficiency should take 100 to 200 milligrams of vitamin C per day until their blood levels return to normal.

Vitamin C Supplements

Pills, capsules, chewable tablets, gummies, and effervescent powders and tablets are all available as vitamin C supplements. Vitamin C gummies, contrary to popular belief, are no more or less effective than vitamin C tablets or capsules.

This vitamin can be found in antioxidant supplements, multivitamins, protein bars, pre-workout supplements, and weight gainers.

Vitamin C FAQ’s

Q: What Does Vitamin C Do?

A: Vitamin C is an antioxidant that protects your cells from free radicals, which are chemicals formed when your body breaks down food or is exposed to tobacco smoke, radiation from the sun, X-rays, or other causes. [9]

Q: What is Vitamin C Good for?

A: Vitamin C is beneficial in a lot of ways. Here are some of the benefits of vitamin C supplements.

  • Boosts the immune system [10]
  • Enhances the brain function
  • Stimulates collagen synthesis
  • Contains antioxidant properties
  • Protects the eyes
  • Prevents iron deficiency

Q: What Are the Sources of Vitamin C?

A: Fresh fruits and vegetables are the best sources of vitamin C. Heat and cooking in water, on the other hand, can destroy some of the vitamin C content in these foods, so it’s best to eat them raw. [11]

The following fruits have the highest vitamin C content:

  • Cantaloupe
  • Kiwi fruit
  • Citrus fruits and juices,
  • Orange
  • Grapefruit
  • Strawberries
  • Raspberries
  • Blueberries
  • Cranberries
  • Papaya
  • Mango
  • Pineapple
  • Watermelon

The following vegetables have the highest vitamin C content:

  • Tomatoes and tomato juice
  • Red and green peppers
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Cabbage
  • Sweet and white potatoes
  • Winter squash
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Spinach,
  • Turnip greens, and other leafy greens

Q: Is It Okay to Take Vitamin C Everyday?

A: The recommended daily dose of vitamin C for adults is 65 to 90 milligrams (mg), with a maximum of 2,000 mg per day. Although excessive amounts of vitamin C in the food are unlikely to be hazardous, mega doses of best vitamin C supplements may induce negative effects.

Q: Who Are Those at Risk of Deficiency?

A: The following people are at risk of vitamin C deficiency: [12]

  • Smokers and those who are exposed to secondhand smoke
  • Babies who exclusively drink evaporated or boiled milk
  • People who do not eat a diverse diet
  • People suffering from certain medical problems, particularly those involving intestinal malabsorption

Q: Do I Need a Vitamin C Supplement?

A: As a general rule, food is always preferable to vitamin C in tablets for obtaining nutrients. Taking a daily vitamin C pill, on the other hand, will not hurt you and will help you meet your RDA if you fall short.

If you don’t think you’re receiving enough vitamin C from your food, supplement at the suggested doses.

Q: What Does Vitamin C Do for the Skin?

A: Vitamin C protects skin cells from free radical damage [13] induced by UV exposure since it is an antioxidant. It also helps to lighten hyperpigmentation, improve skin radiance by preventing melanin formation in the skin, and even out skin tone. [14]

Q: Does Vitamin C Help Acne?

A: Vitamin C has anti-inflammatory qualities and aids in the reduction of acne-related redness and swelling. When you apply the vitamin topically, the effects are more noticeable.

Final Verdict

Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that can only be obtained through food or supplementation.

It has been associated to various health advantages, including increasing antioxidant levels, boosting immunity, preventing gout attacks, lowering blood pressure, enhancing iron absorption, and lowering the risk of heart disease and dementia.

Overall, if you don’t get enough vitamin C from your diet, vitamin C supplements are an excellent and easy way to increase your intake.

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14 Sources

We review published medical research in respected scientific journals to arrive at our conclusions about a product or health topic. This ensures the highest standard of scientific accuracy.

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[2] Vitamin C:
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[7] Carr AC, Maggini S. Vitamin C and Immune Function. Nutrients. 2017;9(11):1211. Published 2017 Nov 3. doi:10.3390/nu9111211
[8] Recommended Intakes:
[9] Lykkesfeldt J, Michels AJ, Frei B. Vitamin C. Adv Nutr. 2014;5(1):16-18. Published 2014 Jan 1. doi:10.3945/an.113.005157
[10] Chambial S, Dwivedi S, Shukla KK, John PJ, Sharma P. Vitamin C in disease prevention and cure: an overview. Indian J Clin Biochem. 2013;28(4):314-328. doi:10.1007/s12291-013-0375-3
[11] Sources of Vitamin C:
[12] Vitamin C Intakes and Status:
[13] Pullar JM, Carr AC, Vissers MCM. The Roles of Vitamin C in Skin Health. Nutrients. 2017;9(8):866. Published 2017 Aug 12. doi:10.3390/nu9080866
[14] Telang PS. Vitamin C in dermatology. Indian Dermatol Online J. 2013;4(2):143-146. doi:10.4103/2229-5178.110593