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Vitamin C: Complete Guide to Uses and Benefits

by | Nov 17, 2020 | Last updated Feb 15, 2022

vitamin c

“Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble nutrient found in some foods. In the body, it acts as an antioxidant, helping to protect cells from the damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are compounds formed when our bodies convert the food we eat into energy. People are also exposed to free radicals in the environment from cigarette smoke, air pollution, and ultraviolet light from the sun.

The body also needs vitamin C to make collagen, a protein required to help wounds heal. In addition, vitamin C improves the absorption of iron from plant-based foods and helps the immune system work properly to protect the body from disease.”

Types of Vitamin C

There are different forms of vitamin C supplements readily available at your local market or health food store ranging from multivitamins to chewables to lozenges. 

Vitamin C also comes in different chemical forms, including:

  • Ascorbic acid – This is vitamin C in its simplest form.
  • Vitamin C with bioflavonoids – Bioflavonoids are polyphenolic compounds found in vitamin C-rich foods. They increase the absorption of the nutrient when they are taken together.
  • Mineral ascorbates – This is the buffered form of vitamin C. As has been mentioned before, these are easier on your stomach. Under the mineral ascorbates, falls sodium, calcium, potassium, magnesium, zinc, molybdenum, chromium, and manganese ascorbate.
  • Ascorbyl palmitate – “Ascorbyl palmitate is a fat-soluble antioxidant used to increase the shelf life of vegetable oils and potato chips.”

Getting adequate vitamins is key to overall health. The best option is to eat a well-balanced diet packed with a rainbow of foods. Noom teaches you how to choose the best foods for weight loss, the right portion sizes, and more, all based on weight loss psychology. 

Vitamin C Deficiency

Vitamin C deficiency symptoms include fatigue, muscle weakness, leg rash, and gum problems. Deficiency that lasts a long time can result in a disease called scurvy. Scurvy is serious but rare. “The timeline for the development of scurvy varies, depending on vitamin C body stores, but signs can appear within 1 month of little or no vitamin C intake (below 10 mg/day),” according to the National Institutes of Health

Scurvy is a progressive condition, which means symptoms will grow worse over time if not treated. More extreme signs of vitamin C deficiency include bleeding through the skin, bleeding sores in the mouth, tooth loss, and increased length of time required to heal from wounds or injuries. If left unchecked, scurvy is life-threatening. 

Vitamin C Prevents Scurvy

Scurvy is caused by a severe deficiency of vitamin C. Its symptoms occur because of the weakening of connective tissues, bones, and blood vessels. They contain collagen, and vitamin C is necessary for the creation of collagen.

You most often hear about the condition from pirate and sailor stories from hundreds of years ago, but the condition is still around today. The first scurvy reports were found in writings from the 1500s, but it wasn’t until the 1920s that the connection with vitamin C was made, which led to a massive reduction in cases. 

Probably the most significant concern today with scurvy is the uptick in cases in children. Some children live with spectrum conditions like autism, and others focus on infants and children consuming plant-based diets without proper supplemental vitamin intake

Who is at Risk for Vitamin C Deficiency?

There are a few common factors that can increase your risk of vitamin C deficiency. As you’d expect, diet is one, but it’s not the only one. 

Poor Dietary Choices: If you’re not getting your daily intake of fruits and vegetables, there’s a good chance you don’t get the natural vitamin C you need. Supplemental vitamin C, by way of multivitamins or enriched foods that don’t otherwise contain the vitamin, can increase how much of the antioxidant you consume each day. 

Eating Disorders: Disordered eating, including anorexia and bulimia, can deplete the total amount of food digested and, thus, the amount of vitamins in food that’s absorbed. In anorexia, food is avoided, so adequate intake is impossible. With bulimia, food is purged before it can be digested and vitamin C absorbed. 

Alcohol Consumption: Don’t think drinking a couple of beers or glasses of wine a night will reduce vitamin C levels to the point of deficiency, but alcoholism can. Research suggests, “hypovitaminosis C is exceedingly common in patients with an Alcohol Use Disorder…”

Mental Disorders: The physical connection to mental illness has never been stronger. Research from 2018 showed an association between supplemental vitamin C intake and mental health status, leading authors to believe that deficiency could be an inherent problem in the population. “… supplement of vitamin C has a potential preventive and therapeutic effect on mental illness, such as major depressive disorder (MDD), schizophrenia, anxiety, and Alzheimer’s disease (AD).”

Smoking: In one clinical study with more than 11,000 participants, “smokers of 20 cigarettes [one pack] daily had the lowest vitamin C dietary intake and serum levels, while smokers of 1-19 cigarettes daily had decreased vitamin C intake and serum levels.”

Vitamin C as an Antioxidant

Antioxidants are important to protect your long-term health. “Antioxidants are essential for animal and plant life since they are involved in complex metabolic and signaling mechanisms.” They function by protecting your cells from damage from potentially harmful chemicals known as free radicals. Free radicals can harm cells and DNA by oxidizing them via chemical reactions. Antioxidants work against the free radicals by neutralizing them so that they can no longer harm your cells.

Antioxidants like vitamin C have been shown to have beneficial effects on liver function, kidney function, the digestive system, cardiovascular function, neurological function, and even certain cancers. According to the International Journal of Cancer, “high overall dietary antioxidant capacity is associated with a lower risk of breast cancer.”

Vitamin C isn’t the only antioxidant. Other examples of antioxidants include vitamin E, “selenium, and carotenoids, such as beta-carotene, lycopene, lutein, and zeaxanthin.”

Antioxidants are critical to overall health and well-being. Are you getting enough? Noom helps you choose the healthiest foods and keep portion sizes under control with psychology-based lessons that stick with you for life. 

Vitamin C Benefits – Vitamin C is Good For:

Vitamin C assists in the repair and regeneration of tissues, prevents heart disease, aids in the absorption of iron, and helps stave off scurvy.

It decreases LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. Research shows that it may prevent some types of cancer by fighting free radicals. It aids in neutralizing the effects of nitrites.

Nitrites are preservatives that are found in some processed foods, such as deli meats. They may increase your chances of getting cancer.

If you take a vitamin C supplement, you may lessen a cold’s duration and symptoms. Also, a vitamin C supplement may help keep cataracts away and boost your immune system.

Let’s take a closer look at what role vitamin C plays in your health.

Helps the common cold

When many people get signs of a cold coming on, they reach for vitamin C. Vitamin C was first recommended for colds in the 1970s. But, what does science have to say about the proven effects of vitamin C on the immune system and, thus, the common cold?

After reviewing years of clinical results, researchers have found that even in people who take vitamin C daily, an extra dose of vitamin C can be enough to impact the course of the common cold positively. “Extra doses of vitamin C could benefit some patients who contract the common cold despite taking daily vitamin C supplements.”

In Korea, researchers uncovered that vitamin C could reduce the risk of getting the common cold. The study involved military soldiers and led to possible changes in healthcare policies within the military. 

When 82 previous studies were reviewed, authors found, “Regarding vitamin C, regular supplementation (1 to 2 g/day) has shown that vitamin C reduces the duration (in adults by 8%, in children by 14%) and the severity of CC.”

May lower hypertension

People who have hypertension are at a higher risk of developing cardiovascular problems. Vitamin C helps lower your blood pressure.

In patients with existing hypertension, when administered 300 mg of vitamin C per day for six months, significant decreases in blood pressure and pulse pressure were noted. With this came a substantial increase in the control of hypertension among participants receiving vitamin C treatment. 

In a review of eight randomly controlled trials that included more than 600 participants, “ vitamin C supplementation resulted in a significant reduction of blood pressure in patients with essential hypertension.” 

It looks like vitamin C also works in patients with underlying health conditions like type 2 diabetes mellitus. Research suggests vitamin C augments cytoprotective and antimutagenic actions, which may explain why it’s beneficial in fighting hypertension. 

Reduces risk of stroke

Vitamin C reduces the risk of stroke. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables can help with hypertension. It also protects the body from free radicals. They may be part of the cause of strokes.

According to the Journal of the American Heart Association, “ stroke remains the second leading cause of death globally and the most common cause of disability in adults in most regions. In the United States alone, it is estimated that there are 795,000 people who experience a new or recurrent stroke each year.” But, research suggests that vitamin C can reduce the risk of stroke. In a study published in the journal, it was found that. “this meta-analysis suggests significant inverse relationships between dietary vitamin C intake, circulating vitamin C, and risk of stroke.” 

Improves iron absorption

Iron is very important for the body. It carries oxygen, helps in producing energy, and aids in forming antioxidants. However, one type of iron, nonheme, is not well absorbed during digestion.

If you eat vitamin C at the same time as nonheme iron, it can significantly increase its absorption. Some of the primary sources of nonheme iron are beans, spinach, lentils, and fortified cereals.

Vitamin C enhances the absorption of nonheme iron. However, to get the effect of iron and vitamin C, you must eat them at the same time. If the iron in your meal comes from plant-based food, then you should have at least 25 mg of vitamin C at the same meal.

According to research, “An under-appreciated fact is that ascorbate, in addition to its well-established role in dietary iron absorption, is also vital for maximal uptake of iron from the serum-iron transport protein, transferrin.”

Improves mood

Vitamin C is a major factor in the production of certain neurotransmitters. They are chemicals that are necessary for brain function and mood.

Vitamin C protects the neuron against oxidative stress, alleviates inflammation, regulates the neurotransmission, affects neuronal development, and controls epigenetic function. All of these processes are closely associated with psychopathology.” 

However, the problem is that most studies have been completed on animals, so human research is needed to truly see a possible benefit between vitamin C and mood. 

Boosts immunity

Another vital benefit of vitamin C is its role in the immune system. It is essential for the immune system and stimulates white blood cells. Using vitamin C as an immune booster is probably the most widespread use of vitamins across the world.

Research has shown a connection between taking vitamin C or ascorbic acid to boost white blood cell function. Specifically, the production of specific lymphocytes is enhanced by supplementation. This includes patients with severe medical conditions like cancer. 

For a more complete look at how vitamin C works in immune function, the journal Nutrients shares, “Vitamin C contributes to immune defense by supporting various cellular functions of both the innate and adaptive immune system. Vitamin C supports epithelial barrier function against pathogens and promotes the skin’s oxidant scavenging activity, thereby potentially protecting against environmental oxidative stress. Vitamin C accumulates in phagocytic cells, such as neutrophils, and can enhance chemotaxis, phagocytosis, generation of reactive oxygen species, and ultimately microbial killing. It is also needed for apoptosis and clearance of the spent neutrophils from sites of infection by macrophages, thereby decreasing necrosis/NETosis and potential tissue damage.”

Repairs wounds

Vitamin C assists in the repair of wounds. It does this by aiding the growth of connective tissues. This quickens the process of wound healing.

Research specific to burn wound healing found terrific results in patients with second-degree burns. “The results of repeated measures ANOVA showed a statistically significant difference in mean scores of the wound between the two treatments (P = 0.047), wound healing significantly differed in the two groups, and topical vitamin C solution had a significant effect on the acceleration of wound Epithelialization. The administration of topical vitamin C is recommended for epithelialization of second-degree burns.”

But this effect isn’t limited to burn wounds. It appears that vitamin C helps promote the release of self-renewal genes. These genes work to impact wound healing on a cellular level.

Helps control asthma

Vitamin C aids in reducing the symptoms of asthma. It also helps in shielding you from the harmful effects of pollution. Pollution can cause asthma symptoms.

Though the effect was considered to have only small clinical significance, research does show that intake of foods rich in antioxidants can have “an impact in improving asthma control.” Any impact is a good impact, especially when it comes to a vitamin with so many other health benefits.

Low intakes of anti-inflammatory vitamins, like vitamins C and E, have a pro-inflammation effect. Asthma is an inflammatory condition, so adding more vitamin C and other anti-inflammatory vitamins to your diet is a step in the right direction. 

“By counteracting oxidants, reducing the generation of reactive oxygen species, vitamin C may inhibit external attacks in the respiratory tract, thus modulating the development of bronchial asthma.”

Lowers the risk of diabetes

Research has indicated that low levels of the vitamin can be responsible for diabetes. Supplementation with the vitamin can help with the illness, according to research. 

It looks like the effect of vitamin C on diabetes is affected by the fact that it fights oxidative stress and insulin resistance. 

There’s also the fact that people with diabetes mellitus are more likely to suffer from vitamin C deficiency, a “well-established” medical phenomenon. “Deficiency of vitamin C levels has an impact on the serum malondialdehyde levels suggesting increased oxidative stress. The higher oxidative stress would have led to an increase in glycated hemoglobin,” all of which affects insulin and the impact of diabetes on health. 

May help prevent heart disease

Vitamin C is crucial for protecting blood vessels from the harm of free radicals, along with several other heart benefits.

“Vitamin C is a powerful dietary antioxidant that has received considerable attention in the literature related to its possible role in heart health. Although classical vitamin C deficiency, marked by scurvy, is rare in most parts of the world, some research has shown variable heart disease risks depending on plasma vitamin C concentration, even within the normal range,” according to the International Journal of Molecular Sciences.

Research shows that vitamin C helps heart function by enhancing arterial dilation thanks to its impact on the release of nitric oxide. It also possesses anti-inflammatory properties, which positively impacts not just heart health but overall health.

In an observational study of more than 13,000 men and women, vitamin C helped reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and cardiovascular mortality. The study alludes to the idea that vitamin C intake was sourced from whole foods rather than supplements. 

May help in the treatment of certain cancers

“Over the past century, the notion that vitamin C can be used to treat cancer has generated much controversy. However, new knowledge regarding the pharmacokinetic properties of vitamin C and recent high-profile preclinical studies has revived interest in the utilization of high-dose vitamin C for cancer treatment. Studies have shown that pharmacological vitamin C targets many of the mechanisms that cancer cells utilize for their survival and growth,” shares Natures Reviews Cancer

When it comes to cancer treatment, vitamin C works in a myriad of ways. Many oncology patients are at risk of “compromised vitamin C status,” thus supplementation to optimize vitamin levels. Intravenous delivery is the most effective in all cases dealing with cancer, and even doses at or above 75g have been delivered successfully. It also looks as if the vitamin can reduce some toxic side effects of chemotherapy.

Vitamin C and:


Researchers recently reviewed 18 randomized-controlled trials to see what kind of impact vitamin C supplementation had on things like muscle soreness, strength, and cortisol levels. Unfortunately, while the vitamin did reduce lipid peroxidation, it didn’t affect muscles or cortisol levels. 

The secret to using vitamin C for improved performance may not be a secret at all. It appears that the effect is prevalent only when the person using the vitamin is deficient in vitamin C. 

As is the case with clinical research, sometimes, studies show that vitamin C could impair exercise results. In one review of past research, authors found that taking vitamin C could actually promote muscle shrinkage


With obesity comes an increased risk of vitamin deficiency—especially fat-soluble vitamins like vitamin C. However, researchers have found that obese individuals are deficient in most vitamins.

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Vitamin C works to improve cellular function in patients with type 2 diabetes. When study participants were given a 1000mg dose of vitamin C daily for six weeks, significant positive cellular function changes were observed. 

“People with type 2 diabetes (T2D) have impaired exercise capacity, even in the absence of complications, which is predictive of their increased cardiovascular mortality. Cardiovascular dysfunction is one potential cause of this exercise defect. Acute infusion of vitamin C has been separately shown to improve diastolic and endothelial function…”


“Vitamin C is best known for its antioxidant properties, being able to scavenge damaging reactive oxygen species, thus protecting the body’s cells and tissues from oxidative damage and dysfunction. However, the vitamin also has numerous other important functions within the body, many of which are known to support healthy immune function.”

Preliminary research shows that when vitamin C is combined with glycyrrhizic acid, the combination “was associated with elevation of immunity and suppression of inflammatory stress, including activation of the T cell receptor signaling pathway, regulation of Fc gamma R-mediated phagocytosis, ErbB signaling pathway and vascular endothelial growth factor signaling pathway. We also identified 17 core targets of VC + GA, which suggest as antimicrobial function.”

Patients in China have responded to “high dose intravenous vitamin C infusions” with improvements in oxygenation seen in real-time, according to research authors. These results open the door to further research on the potential impact of antioxidants on Covid-19. 

Vitamin C Overdose

With so many health benefits, can you possibly get too much vitamin C? The recommended daily intake for vitamin C is around 75 to 90mg. The upper limit is set to about 2000mg. Larger doses may not harm, per se, but it will cause side effects in some people. Taking too much vitamin C can lead to:

  • Upset Stomach
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Stomach Cramps
  • Bowel Cramps
  • Diarrhea
  • Headache

The experts at Merck suggest any doses of vitamin C over 2000mg may promote an imbalance between antioxidants and prooxidants, leading to potential health risks like iron overload. This is referred to as vitamin C toxicity.

Foods with Vitamin C

Good sources of vitamin C are not hard to find. Here is a shortlist of some of the best sources of the antioxidant followed by a checklist you can print and save for quick reference. 


Strawberries are very sweet and are very high in vitamin C. They are also high in fiber and general antioxidants. Even serving gives you half of your daily requirement of vitamin C.

Acerola cherry

The acerola cherry is very rich in vitamin C. It contains about 65 times more vitamin C than an orange. If you find that they are not in season, you can still get them in powder form.

Citrus fruits

Citrus fruits include oranges, grapefruits, lemons, and limes. One average orange contains 70 mg of the nutrient. A small glass of orange juice contains even more. Oranges are the most popular source of the nutrient, but they are not the fruit with the greatest amount.


Papayas are extremely rich in nutrients. One serving gives you all of your daily requirements of vitamin C. Papayas are also very rich in vitamin A.

Black currant

You can tell by their dark purple color that they are high in vitamin C. The fruit has about 180 mg per serving. It is also rich in other nutrients, such as potassium.


Kiwis have more vitamin C than oranges do. They are also very rich in potassium. Research has indicated that children who consume them have stronger respiratory tracts than other children.

Bell peppers

Bell peppers are another food that is very rich in vitamin C. They have been studied for their cardioprotective effects. The yellow variety contains the most vitamin C.


One guava contains over 250 mg of the nutrient. This is over twice the daily requirement. Guavas are also rich in dietary fiber and some other nutrients.

Brussel’s sprouts

One serving of this vegetable contains almost 50 mg of the nutrient.


Many of these types of fruit contain a lot of vitamin C. One cup of cantaloupe gives you 70 mg of the nutrient. Watermelon is a particularly good source of vitamin C.

Dark leafy greens

Spinach and kale are members of this vegetable group. Kale, in particular, has 130 mg per serving. That is a whole day’s requirement of the nutrient.


One serving of the vegetable contains over 90 mg of the nutrient. Broccoli is also known as a wonderful detox food.


Even though it is not a bright-colored vegetable, cauliflower contains a lot of vitamin C.


Tomatoes are a great source of vitamin C. The sun-dried variety is remarkably concentrated with the nutrient.


Many fresh herbs are rich in vitamin C. These include thyme, basil, and parsley. Thyme has a whopping 160 mg in one cup.

Checklist of High Vitamin C Foods

Here’s a quick checklist of high vitamin C foods that can quickly take your levels from deficient to sufficient. All vitamin C levels are per one-cup serving, followed by the daily value (DV) percentage, and figures and stats are based on information from USDA Nutrition Data.

  1. Acerola cherry: 1644mg (2740% of DV)
  2. Guava: 377mg (419% of DV)
  3. Mustard spinach: 195mg (217% of DV)
  4. Kiwi: 167mg (185% of DV)
  5. Bell peppers: 152mg (169% of DV)
  6. Banana peppers: 103mg (114% of DV)
  7. Strawberries: 98mg (108% of DV)
  8. Brussel’s sprouts: 97mg (107% of DV)
  9. Oranges: 96mg (106% of DV)
  10. Papaya: 88mg (98% of DV)
  11. Broccoli: 81mg (90% of DV)
  12. Bitter melon: 78mg (87% of DV)
  13. Cooked cabbage: 56mg (63% of DV)
  14. Tomato: 55mg (61% of DV)
  15. Cauliflower: 55mg (61% of DV)
  16. Serrano peppers: 47mg (52% of DV)
  17. Black currant: 46mg (52% of DV)
  18. Boiled sweet potatoes: 42mg (47% of DV)
  19. Snow peas: 38mg (42% of DV)
  20. Kale: 23mg (26% of DV)

Vitamin C content of fruits and vegetables may vary between raw and cooked. 

Herbs also supply a healthy vitamin C source that can increase the antioxidant profile of just about any dish. All values are per ounce of herb. 

  1. Fresh thyme: 45mg (50% of DV)
  2. Dried parsley: 35mg (39% of DV)
  3. Fresh dill weed: 24mg (27% of DV)
  4. Saffron: 23mg (26% of DV)
  5. Cayenne pepper: 22mg (24% of DV)
  6. Paprika: 20mg (22% of DV)
  7. Chili powder: 18mg (20% of DV)
  8. Dried basil: 17mg (19% of DV)
  9. Dried rosemary: 17mg (19% of DV)
  10. Dried marjoram: 15mg (17% of DV)

Vitamin C Pills and Supplements

Some animals can make vitamin C in their bodies. Humans, however, need to get it from food and other sources.

Most experts recommend that you get your vitamin C from your diet rather than from supplements.

Historically, vitamin C was used for preventing and treating scurvy. Scurvy does not frequently occur anymore. It was once a common illness among sailors.

This occurred because it was impossible to keep fruits and vegetables fresh for long sea voyages.

Nowadays, people commonly use the vitamin for preventing and treating the common cold. People also use it for other types of infections, depression, and cognitive disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease. Other people use it to raise the absorption of iron from foods.

Topical vitamin C is used by some to protect their skin from the sun. They also use topical vitamin C to help with damage from radiation therapy.

Vitamin C Dosage

How much is vitamin C necessary for your daily requirement?

According to the National Institutes of Health, the recommended daily allowance for vitamin C is 90 mg per day for men and 75 mg per day for women.

Men and women who smoke should add another 35mg daily, according to the National Institutes of Health

Here is a list of the total recommended vitamin C intake by age and contributing factors, based on the NIH Office of Dietary Supplements. 

  • “Birth to 6 months: 40mg
  • Infants 7-12 months: 50mg
  • Children 1-3 years: 15mg
  • Children 4-8 years: 25mg
  • Children 9-13 years: 45mg
  • Teens 14-18 years (boys): 75mg
  • Teens 14-18 years (girls): 65mg
  • Adults (men): 90mg
  • Adults (women): 75mg
  • Pregnant teens: 80mg
  • Pregnant women: 85mg
  • Breastfeeding teens: 115mg
  • Breastfeeding women: 120mg”

Vitamin C Side Effects

Vitamin C is an essential nutrient. However, it is possible you’ll experience side effects if you take too much vitamin C or you up your intake too much too quickly. The most common side effects are:

  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Heartburn
  • Bloating or cramps
  • Headache
  • Insomnia

Conclusion on Vitamin C

Vitamin C is indeed a vital element of any diet. In this article, we have shown how vitamin C is vital in many body systems. The truth is that it is relatively easy to get vitamin C through your diet with even just one serving of certain fruits and vegetables.

Can vitamin C cure a common cold? Can vitamin C fix all of your ills? Some people would have you think so. The truth is that there is not a lot of evidence that it can cure or prevent your cold. However, it is undoubtedly important to get your daily requirement, and it may even help prevent certain chronic types of illnesses.

If you fear that you can’t get the amount of the vitamin you need through your diet, there are good available supplements. However, too much vitamin C is not a good thing. It may disturb your stomach. 

High vitamin C foods are the perfect addition to the Noom eating plan. These antioxidants help fight inflammation and cellular damage common in men and women who are overweight or obese. Check out Noom today to lose weight for the last time. 

Questions and Answers About Vitamin C

What is vitamin C good for?

Vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, is a potent antioxidant. It protects cellular function and health while supporting skin, bones, cartilage, and blood vessels, among many other benefits. Researchers are reviewing possible effects on everything from cancers to obesity. 

What food is highest in vitamin C?

Fruits and vegetables tend to have the highest natural concentrations of vitamin C. 

What are other foods with vitamin C?

Aside from fruits and vegetables, foods with the highest amount of vitamin C will likely be enriched with the vitamin. Foods like meats and pasta, unless added, do not contain the antioxidant. 

How much vitamin C should I take daily?

The recommended intake for men is 90mg daily, and for women is 75mg daily. If you are a smoke, add 35mg to this total. Women who are pregnant or nursing also need increased amounts of the vitamin, which is why it’s often found in prenatal vitamins. 

Is it safe to take 500mg of vitamin C daily?

Research has shown that taking up to 2000mg of vitamin C daily is safe. Higher doses of vitamin C can cause gastrointestinal side effects like cramping and diarrhea, so it may be best to start out lower and work your way up to a larger dose. 

How much vitamin C is too much?

Intake of anything over 2000mg of vitamin C daily in a home setting is considered excessive. 

What is the best way to get vitamin C?

Nature has provided the best way to get vitamin C – whole fruits and vegetables. While supplements are available and effective, your body will always prefer vitamins in their natural form for optimal absorption. 

What about vitamin C supplements vs. vitamin C foods?

Vitamin C supplements and vitamin C foods will increase serum vitamin C levels, but the body processes food-based vitamins more efficiently than supplements. 

What is the best time to take vitamin C?

It is best to take vitamin C on an empty stomach, so try upon waking or at least 30 minutes before the first meal of the day. When it comes to supplements and medications, coffee is often considered a “food.”

How long does it take for vitamin C to work?

Depending on the condition being treated with vitamin C, it can take upwards of one month or longer to reach full benefits. However, in patients with scurvy, symptoms have improved within 48 hours and total recovery within a week. 

What medications should not be taken with vitamin C?

According to Drugs.com, vitamin C shouldn’t be taken along with Adderall, amlodipine, atorvastatin, amoxicillin, ciprofloxacin, ubiquinone, gabapentin, levothyroxine, lisinopril, metformin, omeprazole, prednisone, and warfarin.