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Vitamin C: What You Need To Know

  blog post author icon   blog post published date icon   09/30/23


Vitamin C can reduce the duration and severity of common cold symptoms by an average of 8% in adults and 14% in children. But this doesn't even scratch what this nutrient can do for the human body. It's no wonder Vitamin C (also known as L-ascorbic acid) is one of the most widely known and taken supplements.

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    It provides a multitude of health benefits. But do you understand the key benefits of vitamin C and how to ensure you get enough? Read on as we explore the ins and outs of this important vitamin.

    Sources of Vitamin C

    The best sources of vitamin C are whole foods, especially fruits and vegetables. Consider adding the foods below to your regular diet to increase your intake.

    • Citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruit and lemons
    • Strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and cranberries
    • Tomatoes, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and leafy greens
    • Red and green peppers
    • Pineapple and papaya
    • Kiwi, guava and cantaloupe

    A daily serving or two of the above can help you meet your needs from real food rather than supplements alone. Keep in mind that vitamin C is easily destroyed by heat, light, and air. As such, you'll want to consume the above foods raw or lightly cooked and soon after cutting or peeling.

    Dietary supplements are also a great source of vitamin C. They are beneficial for individuals who have difficulty eating enough fruits and vegetables. People with increased needs due to stress, illness, or smoking can also benefit from vitamin C supplements.

    How Much Vitamin C Do You Need?

    The recommended daily vitamin C intake is 90mg for men and 75mg for women. However, higher doses may be beneficial for optimal health and disease prevention. For instance, smokers need an additional 35mg per day.

    Likewise, pregnant women need around 85mg per day. The recommended daily intake for infants is 50mg. Consuming vitamin C-rich foods can help reach these levels, but a doctor may also recommend supplements.

    Benefits of Vitamin C: Elevating Wellness With Vitamin C

    From supporting immune function to promoting cardiac health, vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant essential for overall well-being. Here are some of the top scientifically proven benefits of getting enough vitamin C.

    Immune System Support

    Perhaps the best benefit of vitamin C is its role in strengthening the immune system. As an antioxidant, it protects against oxidative stress, which destroys immune cells. It also produces white blood cells and increases activity, helping the body fight infections.

    Vitamin C also helps enhance the activity of natural killer cells and antibodies. This goes a long way toward preventing or reducing the severity of infections. Moreover, the nutrient acts as an anti-inflammatory agent. It modulates the immune response to avoid excessive inflammation.

    Promotes Collagen Production

    Vitamin C is essential for synthesizing collagen, the most abundant protein in the body. Collagen gives strength and structure to our skin, bones, cartilage, tendons, and ligaments. It also helps to heal wounds and repair tissues.

    Without enough vitamin C, collagen production is impaired, and scurvy can develop. Bleeding gums, loose teeth, bruising, anemia, and poor wound healing characterize this rare but serious disease.

    Antioxidant Benefits

    Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that can protect our cells from oxidative stress caused by free radicals. Free radicals are unstable molecules that can damage our DNA, proteins, and lipids. The result is aging, inflammation, and chronic diseases.

    Vitamin C can neutralize free radicals and prevent or repair their damage. It also works with other antioxidants, such as vitamin E and glutathione, to enhance their effects. This reduces your risk of chronic diseases and more.

    Enhances Iron Absorption

    Vitamin C helps enhance the body's absorption of non-heme iron. Non-heme iron comes from plant sources like vegetables, beans, and grains. Studies show that getting enough vitamin C improves the uptake of this type of iron uptake from food.

    Consuming vitamin C and iron-rich foods can boost iron levels. This helps prevent deficiencies like anemia. Certain groups at risk for low iron are especially likely to benefit from maximizing vitamin C intake.

    Supports Heart Health

    Vitamin C has been shown to support cardiovascular health in key ways. Studies link higher vitamin C intake to a decreased risk of heart disease. Part of the reason for this is that it fights oxidative stress that damages blood vessels and arteries.

    Vitamin C also benefits the heart by lowering blood pressure and LDL cholesterol. It helps prevent dangerous clot formation in the arteries as well.

    Possible Side Effects of Vitamin C

    While vitamin C is generally safe and well-tolerated, excessive intake may cause unwanted effects. Even though vitamin C is water soluble, excess amounts are typically flushed out in urine. Common side effects include:

    Digestive Issues

    High doses of vitamin C may cause diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, and bloating. These symptoms are usually mild and transient and can be avoided by reducing the dose. Taking the vitamin with food or water also helps.

    Kidney Stones

    Vitamin C can increase the excretion of oxalate in the urine, a substance that can form kidney stones in some people. People with a history of kidney stones or kidney disease should consult their doctor before taking high vitamin C doses or supplements.

    Interactions With Medications

    Vitamin C may interact with some medications, affecting their efficacy or safety. For example, vitamin C may decrease the effectiveness of some antibiotics, anticoagulants, and chemotherapy drugs. It may also increase the risk of bleeding or bruising when taken with aspirin or other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).

    Learn More About Vitamin C and Healthy Living

    Vitamin C is an essential nutrient that plays a vital role in many bodily functions. It's best to get vitamin C from natural food sources, but dietary supplements can also be beneficial. Be sure to talk to your doctor before taking any vitamin supplements, especially if you have any underlying health conditions. is your trusted partner for professional-grade supplements, including Vitamin C. Get in touch to learn more.

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Jay Todtenbier is an original founder of in 2010 and has operated the business ever since. He is also a tennis instructor and gospel musician. Formerly he spent 25 years in business development, technology and marketing with startups and major corporations having gone through the tech boom in Silicon Valley in the 90s. He became passionate about, and began studying and practicing Wellness as a Lifestyle after experiencing chronic, personal health challenges including depression, auto-immune disorders, and being overweight that impacted his ability to live a healthy, vibrant life. Since then, he has been an advocate for healthier living encouraging others to live better through making small, gradual changes to lifestyle behaviors relating to whole-foods nutrition, stress management, reasonable exercise, proper sleep, and the use of targeted, high-quality supplements.

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Faith Hoffman has spent 23 years in business practices, research, and customer relations for brand products and national companies. Lengthy hospital stays for auto-immune disorders, including the onset of heart and liver disease, led her to research the benefits of quality all-natural supplements and the importance of living a healthy lifestyle.

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