Unsupported Browser

Your web browser appears to be outdated. Our website may not look quite right in it.

Please consider updating your browser to enjoy an optimal experience.

Dismiss this message

Blog Image

Everything you need to know about vitamin C

37

Many or all of the products featured here can be from partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influencer our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.


Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin that is essential for human health. It is a powerful antioxidant that helps protect cells from the damaging effects of free radicals, which are compounds that can damage cells and contribute to the development of a variety of health problems. Vitamin C is also important for the production of collagen, a protein that is essential for the proper functioning of skin, blood vessels, and connective tissues.

In addition to its antioxidant and collagen-producing properties, vitamin C plays a number of important roles in the body. It helps to maintain the health of the skin, teeth, and gums, and it aids in the absorption of iron from plant-based foods. Vitamin C is also important for the immune system, as it helps to protect the body against infection and disease.

Vitamin C can be found in a variety of foods, including oranges, strawberries, kiwi fruit, bell peppers, spinach, and tomatoes. It is also available as a dietary supplement in the form of tablets, capsules, and powders. It is important to get enough vitamin C to maintain good health, but it is generally safe to consume, even in large amounts. However, high doses of vitamin C supplements can cause side effects in some people, such as nausea, diarrhea, and stomach cramps. It is always best to speak with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement regimen.

How much vitamin C should I consume daily?

The recommended daily intake of vitamin C varies depending on your age, sex, and life stage. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends the following daily intake of vitamin C for adults:

  • For men: 90 milligrams (mg) per day
  • For women: 75 mg per day

During pregnancy, the recommended daily intake of vitamin C increases to 85 mg per day, and while breastfeeding, it increases to 120 mg per day.

It is important to note that these recommendations are for the average person and may not be appropriate for everyone. Factors such as your overall health, lifestyle, and any medications you are taking can affect your vitamin C needs. If you are concerned about your vitamin C intake, it is always best to consult with a healthcare professional for personalized recommendations.

Vitamin C is found in a wide variety of foods, so it is generally easy to get enough from your diet. Some good sources of vitamin C include oranges, strawberries, kiwi fruit, bell peppers, spinach, and tomatoes. Vitamin C is also available as a dietary supplement in the form of tablets, capsules, and powders. However, it is important to speak with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement regimen.

What foods contain a lot of vitamin C?

There are many foods that are rich in vitamin C. Some good sources of vitamin C include:

  • Oranges: One medium orange contains about 70 mg of vitamin C, which is more than 100% of the recommended daily intake for adults.

  • Strawberries: One cup of strawberries contains about 89 mg of vitamin C, which is more than 100% of the recommended daily intake for adults.

  • Kiwi fruit: One kiwi fruit contains about 64 mg of vitamin C, which is about 85% of the recommended daily intake for adults.

  • Bell peppers: One cup of chopped red bell pepper contains about 190 mg of vitamin C, which is more than 250% of the recommended daily intake for adults.

  • Spinach: One cup of cooked spinach contains about 9 mg of vitamin C, which is about 12% of the recommended daily intake for adults.

  • Tomatoes: One cup of chopped tomatoes contains about 32 mg of vitamin C, which is about 40% of the recommended daily intake for adults.

In addition to these foods, many other fruits and vegetables are good sources of vitamin C. Some examples include broccoli, papaya, pineapple, cantaloupe, and raspberries. Vitamin C is also found in some fortified foods and drinks, such as fortified cereals and juices. It is important to eat a varied diet to ensure that you are getting enough of this essential nutrient.

Does the human body produce vitamin C?

No, the human body does not produce vitamin C. Vitamin C is an essential nutrient, which means that it must be obtained from the diet. It is found in a variety of foods, including oranges, strawberries, kiwi fruit, bell peppers, spinach, and tomatoes.

Unlike some other animals, humans do not have the ability to synthesize vitamin C from glucose, which means that we must obtain it from our diet or supplements. This is because humans lack the enzyme L-gulonolactone oxidase, which is necessary for the synthesis of vitamin C.

Vitamin C is important for many functions in the body, including the production of collagen, a protein that is essential for the proper functioning of skin, blood vessels, and connective tissues. It is also a powerful antioxidant that helps protect cells from the damaging effects of free radicals, which are compounds that can damage cells and contribute to the development of a variety of health problems. Vitamin C is also important for the immune system, as it helps to protect the body against infection and disease.

It is important to get enough vitamin C to maintain good health, but it is generally safe to consume, even in large amounts. However, high doses of vitamin C supplements can cause side effects in some people, such as nausea, diarrhea, and stomach cramps. It is always best to speak with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement regimen.

Should I use supplements to consume enough vitamin C?

In most cases, it is possible to get enough vitamin C from your diet without the need for supplements. Vitamin C is found in a wide variety of foods, including oranges, strawberries, kiwi fruit, bell peppers, spinach, and tomatoes. Eating a varied diet that includes a variety of these foods can help ensure that you are getting enough vitamin C.

However, there may be some cases where a vitamin C supplement may be necessary. For example, if you have a medical condition that affects your ability to absorb vitamin C from your diet, or if you have a deficiency due to a lack of vitamin C-rich foods in your diet, a supplement may be recommended.

It is always best to speak with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement regimen. They can assess your individual needs and determine whether a vitamin C supplement is appropriate for you. It is also important to follow the recommended dosage and use supplements only as directed. High doses of vitamin C supplements can cause side effects in some people, such as nausea, diarrhea, and stomach cramps.

Can one over-supplement vitamin C?

While vitamin C is generally safe to consume, even in large amounts, it is possible to over-supplement with this nutrient. It is important to follow the recommended dosage and use supplements only as directed.

The recommended daily intake of vitamin C varies depending on your age, sex, and life stage. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends the following daily intake of vitamin C for adults:

  • For men: 90 milligrams (mg) per day
  • For women: 75 mg per day

During pregnancy, the recommended daily intake of vitamin C increases to 85 mg per day, and while breastfeeding, it increases to 120 mg per day.

Excessive intake of vitamin C can cause side effects in some people, such as nausea, diarrhea, and stomach cramps. It can also interfere with the absorption of certain medications and may increase the risk of kidney stones in some individuals.

It is important to speak with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement regimen, including vitamin C supplements. They can help you determine the appropriate dosage and monitor your intake to ensure that you are getting the right amount of this nutrient.