Why Getting Vitamin C Through Your Diet Is Important
Vitamin C is an important nutrient for your body since it:
- Acts as an antioxidant
- Supports your immune system
In addition, vitamin C is thought to have beneficial effects on your overall health, including reducing your risk of cancer, heart disease and the most common causes of vision loss .
While vitamin C is an important nutrient, your body doesn’t actually make it so it’s important to make sure you’re getting enough vitamin C from your diet.
The amount you need depends on your age and gender, but, in general, adults should aim to get between 65 to 90 mg of vitamin C per day. You can get all the vitamin C you need by drinking a glass of orange juice or eating a cup of strawberries, bell pepper, broccoli, Brussels sprouts or kale. In addition, some of the herbs you commonly cook with also contain significant amounts of vitamin C, including thyme and parsley.
Another reason to get the recommended amount of vitamin C through your diet, rather than a supplement, is that healthy, whole foods also contain other beneficial vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber.
Most people following a healthy diet have no problem getting the recommended amount of vitamin C every day. However, if you think you aren’t, you can always consider taking a multivitamin as most contain the recommended amount of vitamin C you need every day.
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.
While diet is essential in maintaining a healthy body, exercise is as well. For those looking to incorporate diet and exercise into their daily routine, its beneficial to have a plan before proceeding. Go PRO today for access to tailored workout plans, training logs, certified personal trainers, and more.
Are Vitamin C Supplements Necessary
It is always best to get your nutrients from food rather than supplements.
Fruits and vegetables, especially citrus fruits, are good sources. Foods naturally rich in vitamin C include:
- Raw red peppers: 95 mg per 1/2-cup serving
- Orange juice: 90 mg per 3/4-cup serving
- Orange: 70 mg per one medium fruit
- Kiwi: 64 mg per one medium fruit
- Raw green peppers: 60 mg per 1/2-cup serving
- Cooked broccoli: 51 mg per 1/2-cup serving
- Strawberries: 49 mg per 1/2-cup serving
- Cooked Brussels sprouts: 48 mg per 1/2-cup serving
- Tomato juice: 33 mg per 1/2-cup serving
- Cantaloupe: 29 mg per 1/2-cup serving
If you don’t get enough vitamin C from what you eat, a supplement can help get you to the right levels.
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Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Abdollahzad, H., Eghtesadi, S., Nourmohammadi, I., Khadem-Ansari, M., Nejad-Gashti, H., and Esmaillzadeh, A. Effect of vitamin C supplementation on oxidative stress and lipid profiles in hemodialysis patients. Int J Vitam.Nutr Res 2009 79:281-287. View abstract.
Adams, J. B. and Holloway, C. Pilot study of a moderate dose multivitamin/mineral supplement for children with autistic spectrum disorder. J Altern Complement Med 2004 10:1033-1039. View abstract.
Ajayi, O. A., Okike, O. C., and Yusuf, Y. Haematological response to supplements of riboflavin and ascorbic acid in Nigerian young adults. Eur.J Haematol. 1990 44:209-212. View abstract.
Albanes, D., Malila, N., Taylor, P. R., Huttunen, J. K., Virtamo, J., Edwards, B. K., Rautalahti, M., Hartman, A. M., Barrett, M. J., Pietinen, P., Hartman, T. J., Sipponen, P., Lewin, K., Teerenhovi, L., Hietanen, P., Tangrea, J. A., Virtanen, M., and Heinonen, O. P. Effects of supplemental alpha-tocopherol and beta-carotene on colorectal cancer: results from a controlled trial . Cancer Causes Control 2000 11:197-205. View abstract.
Ali, S. M. and Chakraborty, S. K. Role of plasma ascorbate in diabetic microangiopathy. Bangladesh Med Res Counc.Bull. 1989 15:47-59. View abstract.
Almendingen, K., Hofstad, B., and Vatn, M. H. Dietary habits and growth and recurrence of colorectal adenomas: results from a three-year endoscopic follow-up study. Nutr Cancer 2004 49:131-138. View abstract.
How Much Vitamin C Supplement Should I Take A Day
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. Consequently, is 1000mg Vitamin C Safe?
Vitamin C is water-soluble, so any excess is usually excreted in the urine rather than stored in the body. It’s safe in almost any amount from foods, and supplements in recommended amounts are also regarded as safe for most people. Try reducing your vitamin C intake by 500 mg each week until you reach 1,000 mg a day.
One may also ask, how much vitamin C can the body absorb at one time? While small doses are completely absorbed, only a fraction of a single large dose of ascorbic acid can be absorbed at one time . Spacing the doses out will increase the overall absorption. You can take vitamin C every few hours, but it becomes a difficult practice to keep up.
Also Know, is 1000 mg of vitamin C too much?
Very high doses of vitamin C are known to cause gastric discomfort and diarrhea, and this is the basis for the current upper tolerable daily intake limit of 2,000 mg for adults. More limited, but concerning, evidence suggests problems with daily doses of just 500 to 1,000 mg of vitamin C.
Is 500 mg of vitamin C safe?
Most of the studies Moyad and his colleagues examined used 500 daily milligrams of vitamin C to achieve health results. “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.
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Stop Taking Vitamin C Supplements If Youre Overdosing
However, the easiest and best way to handle a Vitamin C overdose is to either lower your daily intake significantly or stop taking the supplement altogether. That does not mean you need to stop eating fruits and vegetables that are rich in Vitamin C.
In most cases, lowering or eliminating Vitamin C in supplement form should be enough to eliminate most or all overdose symptoms. Drinking more water should also help to flush out your body and help you recover from an overdose.
However, be careful how much water you drink. Too much water or drinking a high volume of water too quickly can significantly reduce your sodium levels and lead to death.
What’s The Best Form Of Vitamin C To Take
Vitamin C supplements are available in many forms, the most common being ascorbic acid , followed by mineral ascorbates like sodium ascorbate, calcium ascorbate, potassium ascorbate, and magnesium ascorbate. And although less common, “you’ll also find unique vitamin C complexes with lipid or other bioactive components to elevate the absorption profile, as well as food-derived vitamin C sources in supplements ,” shares Ferira.
Depending on the dose, the bioavailability of vitamin C supplements can differ, which means some forms are able to enter your gut and circulation more easily, then get to work, traveling to cells around the body to scavenge free radicals *
“Free radicals can cause wear and tear to all parts of the body, including the brain and mind,” says dietitian Joanna Foley, R.D., CLT. But the right type of vitamin C can combat oxidative compounds head-on.*
While ascorbic acid and mineral ascorbates certainly have their merits and definite efficacy in lower doses , research shows that at more potent doses , a scientifically advanced vitamin C complex that includes lipid and citrus bioflavonoid componentsspecifically, a vitamin C compound called PureWay-Chas superior absorption and free-radical-scavenging abilities and can raise vitamin C blood levels and support anti-inflammatory actions more efficiently than other forms of vitamin C like ascorbic acid, calcium ascorbate, and calcium ascorbate-calcium threonate-dehydroascorbate .*
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What To Do Next
It would be nice to think, all you need to do is eat more foods rich in vitamin C, and I highly recommend you do that, but it would only be one part of the solution.
The answer is twofold.
1). Increase vitamin C in your diet, especially from the berry fruits as theyre not only high in vitamin C but are one of the best food sources when it comes to building up an antioxidant network to deactivate free radicals and 2). Find a well-formulated vitamin C skin care product.
The best on the market will be anhydrous or low water content with a pH below three or a stable lipid-soluble formula. In the case of L-ascorbic acid, and if the manufacturer cares enough, theyll package it in dark glass bottles or, more preferable, airless tubes or pumps with minimal exposure to the air.
A crucial point as vitamin C is not stable and oxidises pretty quickly once exposed to oxygen.
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Ways To Supplement Vitamin C
If you arent getting enough vitamin C, or youre experiencing mental fog, mood changes and other symptoms of low vitamin C, you may benefit from taking a vitamin C supplement. For example, Heights Smart Supplement conveniently provides a full days worth of this vital antioxidant.
There are many different forms of vitamin C available in supplements, including synthetic L-ascorbic acid and natural L-ascorbic acid. Research has found no evidence that one version of vitamin C is better or worse than another, and all have high bioavailability (your bodys ability to absorb and use vitamin C.
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How Safe Is Vitamin C
Vitamin C is very safe. If you get it through food sources there is very little chance of overdosing.
Even if you take supplements of vitamin C, you shouldnt notice any side effects as long as you take the daily recommended dosage.
Even if you take more than the daily recommended dose, your body is usually able to flush out the extra amount so that you dont get a toxic buildup of vitamin C in your body.
Extremely high amounts of vitamin C are considered to be more than 2,000 mg daily for adults. You may notice certain side effects such as diarrhea, nausea, and kidney stones.
The Best Time Of Day To Take Vitamin C
If you can name any antioxidant off the top of your head, its probably vitamin C. A super-star in immune health and skin-care alike, its probably one of the most popular supplements out there. Here, find out whenand howto take vitamin C to maximize its benefits.
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Supplementing With Vitamin C
Since our body cant produce vitamin C on its own, we have to obtain it through diet or supplementation. And, since our bodies can store vitamin C, we have to consume it regularly to meet our needs, explains Taz Bhatia, M.D., integrative health expert and author of Super Woman RX.
Many fruits and vegetablesmost notably bell peppers, kiwi, citrus fruits, kale, and Brussels sproutscontain vitamin C. True vitamin C deficiencies are rare in the developed world. However, many of us dont eat enough produce to meet all of our nutrient needs.
Plus, some peopleincluding pregnant and breastfeeding women, smokers, those with kidney issues, or those exposed to harmful environmentshave extra-high C needs. In all of these cases, vitamin C supplements can help.
According to Balduzzi, vegans and vegetarians may also want to consider a vitamin C supplement. People on meat-free diets tend to be low in iron, he says. So, because vitamin C increases our non-heme iron absorption as much as four-fold, supplementing with C can help increase iron stores. .
Though you can supplement with as much as 2,000 milligrams of vitamin C per day, most doctors recommend somewhere between 50 and 200 milligrams if you need a supplement.
Special Precautions & Warnings
Pregnancy and breast-feedingLIKELY SAFEPOSSIBLY UNSAFE
Infants and children: Vitamin C is LIKELY SAFE when taken by mouth appropriately. Vitamin C is POSSIBLY UNSAFE when taken by mouth in amounts higher than 400 mg daily for children 1 to 3 years, 650 mg daily for children 4 to 8 years, 1200 mg daily for children 9 to 13 years, and 1800 mg daily for adolescents 14 to 18 years.
Alcoholism: Alcohol intake can cause the body to excrete vitamin C in the urine. People who regularly use alcohol, especially those who have other illnesses, often have vitamin C deficiency. These people might need to be treated for a longer time than normal to restore vitamin C levels to normal.
Alzheimer’s disease: Taking vitamin C along with vitamin E and alpha-lipoic acid might worsen mental function in people with Alzheimer’s disease.
Angioplasty, a heart procedure: Avoid taking supplements containing vitamin C or other antioxidant vitamins immediately before and following angioplasty without the supervision of a health care professional. These vitamins seem to interfere with proper healing.
Cancer: Cancerous cells collect high concentrations of vitamin C. Until more is known, only use high doses of vitamin C under the direction of your oncologist.
A metabolic deficiency called “glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase” deficiency: Large amounts of vitamin C can cause red blood cells to break in people with this condition. Avoid excessive amounts of vitamin C.
How Is This Medicine Best Taken
Use iron and vitamin C as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.
- This medicine works better if you take it on an empty stomach. You may take iron and vitamin C with food if it causes an upset stomach. Some foods like eggs, whole grain breads, cereal, dairy products, coffee, and tea may make iron and vitamin C not work as well. If iron and vitamin C causes an upset stomach, talk with your doctor about the best way to take iron and vitamin C with food.
- This medicine prevents many other drugs from getting into the body. If you take other drugs, check with your doctor or pharmacist to see if you need to take them at some other time than iron and vitamin C.
What do I do if I miss a dose?
- If you take iron and vitamin C on a regular basis, take a missed dose as soon as you think about it.
- If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
- Do not take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.
Vitamin C Benefits And Dosage
Not just for immunity, Vitamin C is a powerful brain nutrient. Explore vitamin C benefits in this supplement guide.
Vitamin C deficiencies are shockingly common in Europe and North America. Depending on factors like your diet, age and even your socioeconomic status, as many as one in five men and one in nine women don’t get enough vitamin C .
And while most people think of vitamin C as simply an immune-boosting nutrient, as an essential antioxidant vitamin C benefits all aspects of your health and wellnessincluding your brain health.
Whether you’re struggling to get enough vitamin C in your diet, or you’re trying to navigate the many vitamin C supplement options available, the following supplement guide will outline everything you need to know about vitamin C benefits, including:
The vital functions that vitamin C supports in your body
How vitamin C benefits your brain health, immune system, and other aspects of your wellness
How to know if you’re not getting enough vitamin C
What to eat to boost your dietary intake of vitamin C
What to look for in your vitamin C supplements
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Does Taking Vitamin C Help To Prevent Colds
Studies have shown that taking vitamin C does not help to prevent colds.
In a systematicreview, taking a daily dose of vitamin C was not shown to decrease the likelihood of getting sick with an upper respiratory infection . Commonly used over-the-counter vitamin C products like Emergen-C and Airborne have 1 gram of vitamin C per packet or tablet. It doesnt appear they prevent you from getting sick.
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How Much Vitamin C Should You Get Every Day
Image Credit:S. Hermann & F. Richter / Pixabay. This image has been modified.
For many years, the RDA for all vitamins were based on preventing deficiency, with a margin of safety, but the miniscule amount of vitamin C needed to avoid scurvy, for example, is not necessarily the ideal intake for optimal health. What might the optimal intake of vitamin C be? To find out, lets ask the body. But how? By seeing how much the body absorbs and excretes, which I go through in my video What Is the Optimal Vitamin C Intake?.
When we swallow 15 mg of vitamin C, the amount wed get eating about a quarter of an orange, our body absorbs nearly 90 percent of it. If we instead take a supplement containing 1,250 mg of vitamin C, our body seems to realize thats too much and clamps down on absorption at the intestinal lining level, and we end up absorbing less than half. By doing experiments where the level of intake is ratcheted up slowly, we can see when the body starts to say, Okay. Thats enough.
That magic level of intake appears to be about 200 mg a day. When we take up to 200 mg daily, our body absorbs it all. Above that level, however, the body tries to block further absorption, suggesting that our intestinal vitamin C transport mechanisms have evolved to fully absorb up to about 200 mg of vitamin C a day.
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