How Much Vitamin C Is Enough
Most of the studies Moyad and his colleagues examined used 500 daily milligrams of vitamin C to achieve health results. That’s much higher than the RDA of 75-90 milligrams a day for adults. So unless you can eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, you may need to take a dietary supplement of vitamin C to gain all the benefits, Moyad says. He suggests taking 500 milligrams a day, in addition to eating five servings of fruits and vegetables.
“It is just not practical for most people to consume the required servings of fruits and vegetables needed on a consistent basis, whereas taking a once-daily supplement is safe, effective, and easy to do,” Moyad says. He also notes that only 10% to 20% of adults get the recommended nine servings of fruits and vegetables daily.
Moyad says there is no real downside to taking a 500-milligram supplement, except that some types may irritate the stomach. That’s why he recommends taking a non-acidic, buffered form of the vitamin. “The safe upper limit for vitamin C is 2,000 milligrams a day, and there is a great track record with strong evidence that taking 500 milligrams daily is safe,” he says.
Still, American Dietetic Association spokeswoman Dee Sandquist, RD, suggests doing your best to work more fruits and vegetables into your diet before taking supplements.
What Does Vitamin C Do
Vitamin C has three key roles:
Without enough Vitamin C, youre more susceptible to illness and may experience symptoms like tiredness, low appetite and weakness though as you can probably tell, these are rather ambiguous side effects that could be caused by a host of reasons.
Youre sure to have heard of scurvy before this is the disease that plagued the British navy in the 1700s. Scurvy is the most extreme case of Vitamin C deficiency, and was troublesome for sailors back then because they didnt have access to fresh fruit and vegetables on their extended overseas journeys. It can result in bleeding gums, slow-healing wounds, weakness, bruising, swelling, painful joints and even death, so its pretty serious stuff.
Vitamin C And Zinc Supplements
The mineral zinc also helps to maintain normal immune system function.
Vitabiotics Ultra Vitamin C Fizz contains 1000mg of vitamin C as well as added zinc for maximum efficacy.
The Vitamin C Fizz is great for post exercise and hectic lifestyles. As its an effervescent, it offers rapid absorption and the delicious drink makes a great alternative to swallowing tablets.
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Why Does Vitamin C Do
You might be wondering why do we need vitamin C? Vitamin C has many important functions in the body. ‘It’s essential for the production of collagen, the chemical signals in our brains and the metabolism of protein,’ says Medlin.
‘Vitamin C is also an important antioxidant, which means that is can neutralise cell damage, which may contribute to preventing diseases like some cancers and heart disease. Vitamin C also helps in the absorption of plant based iron.’
Vitamin C is involved in the following processes in the body:
- Protecting cells from oxidative damage caused by free radicals.
- Helping the body to synthesise collagen, which is required in the structure and function of connective tissues, such as skin and bones.
- Maintaining the normal structure and function of blood vessels and neurological function.
- Increasing the absorption of iron from plant sources in the intestines.
Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin, so is not stored in the body. The recommended daily intake for an adult is 40mg per day but smokers may need more.
How Many Mg Of Vitamin C Do You Need Per Day
You might be surprised to learn that the recommended dietary allowance of Vitamin C for adults is probably lower than you think. The recommended daily amount for adult men is 90 mg/day, but goes up to 125 mg/day for smokers, as smoking increases the need for more antioxidant support. While healthy women generally need 75 mg of Vitamin C per day, the recommendation goes up for women who smoke and for pregnant or breastfeeding women .2,
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How Much Vitamin C Per Day Do I Need
Get Enough Of This Essential Vitamin To Help Support Your Health
Vitamin C is an important vitamin for good health and it plays many important roles including supporting the normal function of the immune system and the nervous system, increasing iron absorption, reducing tiredness and fatigue and supporting the skin.
Read more about the benefits of Vitamin C here.
How Much Vitamin C Per Day For Adults
The NHS states that men and women aged between 19 and 64 should get 40mg of vitamin C every day, while the general NRV or Nutrient Reference Value is 80mg. Of course, many experts believe there are times when higher levels of vitamin C can be beneficial. A supplement can help safeguard the levels of vitamin C.
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How To Prepare Foods To Retain Vitamin C
Vitamin C can be lost from foods during preparation, cooking or storage. To prevent loss of vitamin C, do the following:
- Serve fruits and vegetables raw whenever possible.
- Steam, boil or simmer foods in a very small amount of water, or microwave them for the shortest time possible.
- Cook potatoes in their skins. Be sure to wash the dirt off the outside of the potato.
- Store cut, raw fruits and vegetables in an airtight container and refrigerate. Do not soak or store in water.
How Much Vitamin C Per Day Should You Take
The recommended daily allowance for vitamin C is 75mg for adult females and 90mg for adult males. However, there are certain conditions and scenarios when more vitamin C is recommended.
To boost immunity – One study found that taking 1 to 2 grams of vitamin C daily while sick shortened the duration of illness. Taking a higher dose has also been shown to potentially prevent more severe infections such as pneumonia.
To support healthy skin – The RDA is typically enough to support overall skin health and collagen production. However, some studies suggest that supplementation of up to 250mg per day is best to support wound healing.
Pregnant women – Recommended intake is 85mg per day to support moms needs and the babys development.
People who smoke – Generally, its recommended to add 35mg to the RDA per day, as people who smoke are already at higher risk for infection and cell damage.
People with iron deficiency – If youre iron deficient, you may be advised to take additional vitamin C to help with iron absorption. In fact, one study found that combining 100mg of vitamin C with an iron-rich meal increased iron absorption by 67 percent.
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Can You Have Too Much Vitamin C
The reason we need to top up our vitamin C regularly is that the nutrient is water soluble: in other words, our bodies cant store it and it gets flushed out when you urinate.
Because of this, its quite difficult to have too much vitamin C in your diet even with lots of fruit and veg and a moderate supplement. Potential problems usually only arise when youre taking very high vitamin C supplements of more than 1,000mg every day. This can cause stomach pain, diarrhoea, and flatulence.
You should also be careful if you suffer from haemochromatosis, a condition where your body retains too much iron in your blood. Thats because vitamin C can increase iron absorption.
Should I Take A Vitamin C Supplement
If you are eating a balanced diet, most likely you do not need to take a vitamin C supplement, says McGowan. Vitamin C is water-soluble meaning the body utilizes it but doesnt store it. For most healthy individuals, the body can only hold and use about 200 to 250 mg of vitamin C a day, and any excess is lost through urine, explains McGowan.
Despite this, you can overconsume vitamin C. This is most likely to occur with supplement use, so make sure your daily intake falls below the tolerable upper limit , or the maximum daily intake thats unlikely to result in negative health effects. That amount for a 1- to 3-year-old child is 400 mg, while its 650 mg for a 4- to 8-year-old child, 1,200 for a 9- to 12-year-old child, and 1,800 mg for a 14- to 18-year-old teenager. The UL for an adult is 2,000 mg. Keep in mind that if you take a multivitamin, youre getting vitamin C there, too dont forget to add that amount to your total supplemental intake.
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What Are Some Good Natural Sources Of Vitamin C
Vitamin C is found in many fruits and vegetables. Fruits include citrus fruits such as oranges, grapefruit and lemon, kiwi fruit, blackcurrants, strawberries and guava. Vegetables, including broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, cooked kale, Brussels sprouts and Chinese cabbage. The amount of vitamin C in fruits and vegetables varies, and can be influenced by season, transportation, shelf life and storage time.
Eating fresh fruit and vegetables is ideal because cutting, bruising, cooking, heating or exposing food to certain materials can destroy the vitamin C. To boost your intake, try adding in a fruit or vegetable thats high in vitamin C to some of your meals, or having an orange as a snack.
What Supplements Do I Need To Take
No one can answer that aside from your doctor. To learn more about the various supplements that doctors commonly recommend, check out this article.
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How Much Do I Need
Vitamin C dissolves in water and is not stored in the body, so we do need a consistent supply to maintain adequate levels, says registered dietitian Jillian Greaves. The recommended daily intake is about 75 mg per day for women and 90 mg per day for men. For women, you could get more than your daily requirement by eating one kiwi and men could have half a papaya and call it a day.
The Recommended Dietary Allowance
The recommended dietary allowance for vitamin C is based on the amount of vitamin C intake necessary to maintain neutrophil vitamin C concentration with minimal urinary excretion of vitamin C and is proposed to provide sufficient antioxidant protection . The recommended intake for smokers is 35 mg/day higher than for nonsmokers, because smokers are under increased oxidative stress from the toxins in cigarette smoke and generally have lower blood concentrations of vitamin C .
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How Much Vitamin C Should You Take
Vitamin C is a water-soluble nutrient with many vital functions in your body.
It helps strengthen your immune system, aids collagen production and wound healing, and acts as an antioxidant to protect your cells from free radical damage .
Vitamin C is also known as L-ascorbic acid, or simply ascorbic acid.
Unlike other animals, humans cannot synthesize vitamin C on their own. Therefore, you must get enough of it from foods or supplements to maintain good health (
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/7the Right Way To Take Vitamin C
Studies suggest that our body’s capacity to absorb Vitamin C decreases by 50 per cent when we take more than 1000 mg of this vitamin in a day. All the extra amount of the vitamin is moved out of the body through urine.
It is best to take Vitamin C in the raw form as heat and light can destroy the amount of vitamin in the particular food. Cooking Vitamin C rich food for a long time at a high temperature can break down the vitamin. Apart from that, cooking in water can also make the vitamin seep into the liquid and when the liquid is not consumed you may not get the vitamin. Stir-frying or blanching are the best ways to preserve the vitamin. Also, try to eat fruits that are ripe as they contain the maximum amount of Vitamin C.
Heart Disease And Cancer
Research suggests that vitamin C may help prevent heart disease and cancer.
Antioxidants like vitamin C do seem to reduce the oxidative stress associated with these diseases. This can happen when there are too many free radicals in your body.
A 2013 review found that vitamin C may help prevent stroke. This was mostly true for people who had low intake of vitamin C before treatment or were at high risk for stroke.
The review only found this benefit for vitamin C from food sources, not from supplements.
A 2013 review noted that high intake of vitamin C does seem to be associated with a lower risk of certain cancers. It also noted that intravenous vitamin C has been shown to improve outcomes for cancer patients.
Many experimental cancer therapies include using vitamin C along with other treatments, however. This makes it hard to know how much of an impact vitamin C has on its own.
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How Much Vitamin C Do I Need Daily
Most animals produce their own vitamin C, but humans do not. We get vitamin C only from what we eat, specifically vegetables and fruits.
The recommended daily intake of vitamin C the bare minimum to prevent deficiency and keep the bodys immune response operating properly is 75 mg per day for an adult woman and 90 mg per day for an adult man.
Smokers, who are under greater oxidative stress than nonsmokers, are advised to consume an additional 35 mg daily. Functional physician Gregory Plotnikoff, MD, suggests that smoking one cigarette may burn up as much as 25 mg of a bodys vitamin C on its own.
Functional providers tend to recommend significantly more than the RDA because of the vitamins essential role in handling oxidative stress. For the average person who isnt suffering from a chronic illness, I think aiming for 400 mg a day is reasonable, Plotnikoff advises. Thats doable by intentionally getting a lot of fresh produce in ones diet. You dont necessarily need supplementation.
For those diagnosed with any chronic illness requiring the body to manage ongoing inflammation, he recommends as much as 1,000 mg per day.
The need for C also increases when everyday illnesses strike, adds functional-medicine physician Terry Wahls. The amount that you need daily if youre well is lower than the amount you need if youre not well, she says.
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Recommended Sodium Intake For Older Adults
Sodium is another important mineral. In most Americans diets, sodium primarily comes from salt . Whenever you add salt to your food, you’re adding sodium. But the Dietary Guidelines shows that most of the sodium we eat doesnt come from our saltshakers its added to many foods during processing or preparation. We all need some sodium, but too much over time can lead to high blood pressure, which can raise your risk of having a heart attack or stroke.
How much sodium is okay? People 51 and older should reduce their sodium intake to 2,300 mg each day. That is about one teaspoon of salt and includes sodium added during manufacturing or cooking as well as at the table when eating. If you have high blood pressure or prehypertension, limiting sodium intake to 1,500 mg per day, about 2/3 teaspoon of salt, may be helpful. Preparing your own meals at home without using a lot of processed foods or salt will allow you to control how much sodium you get. Try using less salt when cooking, and dont add salt before you take the first bite. If you make this change slowly, you will get used to the difference in taste. Also look for grocery products marked low sodium, unsalted, no salt added, sodium free, or salt free. Also check the Nutrition Facts Label to see how much sodium is in a serving.
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Can You Take Too Much Vitamin C
The tolerable upper intake for adults is 2 grams of Vitamin C consuming more than that can result in diarrhea and other unpleasant GI disturbances, says Greaves. She admits that severe side effects from too much ascorbic acid are very rare, but you may experience some discomfort if you take too much. Its pretty much impossible to have a vitamin C overdose, but lets not test that out.
The real problem with taking more vitamin C than you need is that it all goes to waste. Up to 100 mg a day of vitamin C will get almost completely absorbed, says Francesco-Maria Serino, MD, PhD. Above 100 mg a day and the fraction of vitamin C absorbed is progressively smaller. If you take more than 1 gram of vitamin C per day, less than 50% is actually absorbed and its eliminated by the kidneys.
That literally means that a 500 mg vitamin C supplement mostly gets peed down the drain.