Vitamin C benefits – why do we need it, sources and overdose

Undoubtedly one of the most famous player in the fight against colds and flu is vitamin C.

These and other additional health related issues will be addressed in this article.

As we know, most vitamins need to be fed periodically from food or supplements, as our body cannot produce the required amount on its own. So is Vitamin C.

First of all, what is Vitamin C?

Vitamin C (also known as ascorbic acid) is a water-soluble vitamin found in many types of fruits and vegetables. It acts as an antioxidant, neutralizing free radicals and reducing the risk of inflammation and disease.

Vitamin C has a wide range of metabolic functions and significantly enhances cellular immunity. It offers protection against oxidative free radicals and is crucial for the production of collagen, which is why taking high doses of Vitamin C reduces skin wrinkling and relaxation.


Health Benefits Of Vitamin C Intake

Benefit 1: Strong Antioxidant

Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that counteracts the effects of free radicals.

Free radicals are unstable molecules that can damage cells in the human body. This state is known as oxidative stress, which has been linked to many chronic diseases (source 1). Studies show that consuming more Vitamin C can increase the levels of antioxidants in our blood by up to 30%.

This helps the body’s natural defenses fight inflammation (source 2).


Benefit 2: Strengthens the immune system

Vitamin C (and other vitamins) is useful as an immune stimulator and modulator in certain situations.

The vitamin contributes to the immune defense by maintaining various cellular functions of both the innate and the adaptive immune system. Vitamin C acts as a barrier against pathogens and prevents various infections.


Benefit 3: Increases iron (Fe) absorption

One of the best benefits of Vitamin C is its ability to enhance iron absorption.

Vitamin C assists in converting iron that is poorly absorbed, such as plant-based sources of iron, into a form that is easier to absorb (source). This is especially useful for people on a meat-free diet, as meat is a major source of iron. In fact, simply consuming 100 mg of vitamin C may improve iron absorption by 67% (source 3).

As a result, vitamin C may help reduce the risk of anemia among people prone to iron deficiency.

This prevents problems such as iron deficiency anemia.


Benefit 4: Improves physical ability

Increased consumption of foods or nutritional supplements rich in Vitamin C can improve physical fitness and strength (especially in the elderly).

Vitamin C intake supports the function of the lungs and respiratory tract. Also can improve access to oxygen during exercise and can help reduce blood pressure.


Vitamin C is an impressive skincare ingredient that is shown to be effective in the following areas…

Vitamin C is an ingredient that should be part of everyone’s skincare routine—regardless of age or skin type.

It’s known (and loved) for its brightening and anti-aging abilities, and dermatologists also tout it for being one of the strongest protective antioxidants out there.


Protects against environmental stressors

As an antioxidant, one of vitamin C’s main functions is protecting the skin.

Normal cellular processes, as well as environmental insults like ultraviolet light and pollution, create free radicals in the skin. Free radicals are inherently unstable molecules that damage cells, promoting skin dullness, wrinkles, and even cancers. By scavenging these free radicals, vitamin C protects the skin, keeping it healthy and improving visible signs of aging.


Promotes collagen production

Vitamin C also plays an important role in collagen synthesis.

Collagen gives our skin support and structure, and as it degrades with age, we begin to notice wrinkles and lines. Vitamin C is a necessary cofactor for building collagen bundles, without which this process halts.


Lightens brown spots

Vitamin C is also helpful in lightening unwanted brown spots or decreasing brown discoloration by blocking the pathway of pigment synthesis.


Unconfirmed Health Benefits Of Vitamin C

Although vitamin C has many scientifically proven benefits, there are also unfounded claims, supported by either weak evidence or lack thereof.

Here are some of them:

  • Prevents the common cold: Although Vitamin C reduces the severity of colds and recovery time by 8% in adults and 14% in children, it is unable to prevent them on its own.
  • Reduces cancer risk: Several studies have linked vitamin C intake to a lower risk of cancer. However, most studies have found that vitamin C does not directly affect the risk of developing such a disease.
  • Prevents eye diseases: Vitamin C is associated with a reduced risk of eye diseases associated with advancing age. However, vitamin C supplements have no visible effect in combating these problems.
  • May cure lead toxicity: Although people with lead toxicity appear to have low levels of Vitamin C, there is no serious evidence or studies in people who suffer from such a problem.


Best sources of Vitamin C

The main sources of vitamin C are citrus fruits such as oranges and grapes.

  • Apples;
  • Rosehips;
  • Raspberries;
  • Cabbage;
  • Cauliflower (other leafy vegetables);
  • Potatoes;
  • Broccoli;
  • Hot peppers;
  • Parsley;
  • Melons;
  • Lemons;
  • Kiwi;

…are also rich sources of this vitamin.

It is important to note that when consuming vitamin C from fruits and vegetables, it is advisable to consume them in raw form. Much of the vitamin is destroyed by heat treatment, freezing and even longer storage.

Interesting Fact: Among the richest foods containing vitamin C are rosehips – 1250 mg per 100 g, while citrus fruits contain only 50 mg per 100 g of fruit. This product may interest you –


OK, but how to keep vitamin C longer in food?

  • Consume the fruits and vegetables as soon as possible;
  • Clean vegetables just before you eat or cook them;
  • Cook vitamin C-rich foods as fast and with as little water as possible;
  • Use steam or microwave cooking (this can prevent the loss of vitamin C);


Recommended daily intake

About 90 mg is considered to be a common and healthy daily intake of Vitamin C.

For men and 75 mg. For women over 18 years.

In other cases, the recommended dose is the following:



  • 7-12 months: 30-35 mg daily;
  • 1-3 years: 15 mg daily;
  • 4-8 years: 25 mg daily;



  • Adolescents (ages 9-13): 45 mg per day;
  • Men (ages 14-18): 75 mg per day;


  • Female (ages 9-13): 45 mg daily;
  • Women (ages 14-18): 65 mg daily;
  • Pregnant women (19 years of age and older): 85 mg;
  • Breastfeeding women (19 years of age and older): 120 mg;

Often, these values ​​are difficult to reach because of the wrong nutritional choices we make or because of a diet that is too restrictive. We can easily make up for the lack of vitamin C supplements.


Types of Vitamin C

Some of the most common forms of Vitamin C for supplementation are:


Ascorbic acid

It is available in natural or synthetic form, such as chewable tablets, capsules, liquids and powders. Studies show that the natural and synthetic forms are chemically identical and show no difference in bioavailability or bioactivity.


Buffered Vitamin C

It consists of ascorbic acid mineral salts. Less acidic and recommended for people who have gastrointestinal problems with pure ascorbic acid. Calcium ascorbate is a popular form of buffered vitamin C and is well absorbed by the stomach.


Vitamin C with bioflavonoids

Bioflavonoids are plant compounds that function as antioxidants. Some studies indicate that bioflavonoids increase the bioavailability of ascorbic acid.


Local Vitamin C

Concentrated sera can be applied directly to the skin for protective antioxidant benefits. Used in anti-aging formulas. Recommended because small amounts of orally ingested vitamin C actually reach the skin.


Can I Overdose on Vitamin C?

Vitamin C, obtained from food or from dietary supplements at recommended doses, is considered safe.

Side effects are rarely observed, but at high doses (over 2000 mg per day), a laxative effect, nausea and gastritis can occur, as well as provoke kidney stones.


How Much Vitamin C Do You Take Daily?

Do you manage to get the necessary healthy doses of vitamins year-round and in what form? Share in the comments.

Looking for best vitamin C supplements in the UK?


Frequently asked question about vitamin C

Is vitamin c good for your heart/hearth health?


Is taking vitamin c supplements good for you?


Does vitamin c give you energy?

By itself, no.

But it helps absorb iron, which in turn is related to energy levels. Iron is key to the immune system, strength, endurance, etc. Hemoglobin is responsible for delivering oxygen through the red blood cells.


What is vitamin c used for?

  • best form of vitamin c to take?
  • does vitamin c help immune system?


How much vitamin c do i need a day?

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