Do You Need a Vitamin C Supplement? The Surprising Truth About Vit C Supplementation

vitamin c supplement

Thinking of taking a vitamin C supplement?

Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that is typically found in fruits and vegetables. It is required for a variety of tasks in the human body, the most well-known of which is the maintenance of a healthy immune system.

Some individuals take large amounts of vitamin C to help their immune systems, especially during cold and flu season.

Vitamin C pills, according to study, do not prevent colds unless you are subjected to severely cold conditions. If taken consistently before a cold begins, these may help to shorten the duration or severity of the illness (but not after symptoms arise).

Vitamin C supplementation, according to research, does not help prevent or cure COVID.

Fruits like oranges, strawberries, kiwi, and cantaloupe, as well as vegetables like bell peppers, spinach, tomatoes, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts, are high in vitamin C.

Vitamin C supplements can help you get the necessary 75 milligrams (for women) to 90 milligrams (for men) per day.

You should choose a supplement that works for you. Keep in mind that vitamin C supplements come in a range of options, from tablets and capsules to gummies and liquids.

Who Shouldn’t Take Vitamin C Supplements?

In general, vitamin C supplements are safe for most people. It’s important that they’re used as directed on the product label. 

It’s unlikely that a vitamin C supplement will help if your diet already includes fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin C. All you need is a half-cup of red peppers, six ounces of orange juice, or a big orange to get enough vitamin C. Most fruits and vegetables include vitamin C, so if you don’t consume them but eat a range of other fruits and vegetables, you’re probably getting enough from your diet.

READ NEXT: 8 Best Vitamin C Sources to Increase Your Vit C Intake

Furthermore, supplements are not intended to substitute a balanced diet. You may lose out on all of the benefits of eating nutrient-rich foods if you rely on food supplements to receive your vitamins. According to research, the total amount of nutrients available in food is more than the individual vitamins found in supplements.

vitamin c supplements or diet

Those who are susceptible to kidney stones or who are taking specific drugs. “Those who are prone to kidney stones or who are taking drugs such as statins, chemotherapy, blood thinners, or estrogen should speak with their healthcare physician beforehand to avoid any potential interactions or undesirable side effects,” Stark advises.

Taking more vitamin C if you already take a multivitamin or other supplement that contains vitamin C is unnecessary and may potentially cause unpleasant side effects such as nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.

Who Can Benefit from Vitamin C Supplements

Vitamin C is not produced by the body, so it must be obtained from diet or supplementation. Supplements are useful in raising vitamin levels in the blood in those who don’t get enough from meals.

Those who don’t consume a well-balanced diet

A supplement may be beneficial or even required if you don’t consume enough fruits and veggies.


Smokers require an extra 35 mg of vitamin C per day, so if you don’t get enough from diet, a supplement may be beneficial. 

People suffering from digestive or malabsorptive disorders

Vitamin absorption can be hampered by digestive problems, cancer therapies, and renal dialysis. Vitamin C tablets can assist to raise vitamin C levels in the blood. 

Athletes who compete in endurance events

While vitamin C supplements have not been demonstrated to prevent colds in the general population, some study shows that it may help endurance athletes during times of heavy activity.

who should take a vitamin c supplement

However, there is no solid evidence that vitamin C supplementation can help prevent or treat chronic illnesses. Vitamin C has been shown to help with cancer, cardiovascular disease, and type 2 diabetes in studies, but there isn’t enough evidence to warrant using high-dose supplements or striving for more than the recommended amount. 

More fruits and vegetables have been shown to help prevent and manage chronic illness in studies, so go for an additional helping of produce before reaching for supplements.

Vitamin C Forms

Vitamin C supplements come in a variety of forms, including capsules, gummies, chewables, powder, and liquid. If you’re managing your sugar or carbohydrate intake, check the ingredients on the gummy, chewable, powder, and liquid forms.

Ascorbic acid is the most prevalent type of vitamin C found in supplements. Other types include sodium ascorbate, food-based forms and rosehips. In terms of how the body can utilise vitamin C, there isn’t much of a difference between these types. 

Some products provide liposomal encapsulated vitamin C, which has been demonstrated in tiny trials to improve the amount of vitamin C the body can utilise.

However, the increased expense may not be justified because supplement doses are often far larger than what your body requires, and your body can likely obtain enough from alternative supplement forms.

Vitamin C Dosage

Always talk to your GP before taking a vitamin C supplement to confirm that the supplement is appropriate for your requirements and that you know how much to take.

The quantity you require is determined by your age, gender, lifestyle choices such as smoking, and other health issues. For women over the age of 18, the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) is 75 milligrams. For males, this is higher at 90 milligrams.

Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding require 85 milligrams.

Because the quantity your body absorbs may be less than what is offered in the supplement, many manufacturers provide more than the RDA. 16 Make sure, however, that the total amount contained does not exceed the acceptable upper limit (2,000 mg per day for those 19 and older).

Vitamin C Overdose

Although vitamin C is water-soluble and your body can eliminate any excess you take through food, taking too much vitamin C in the form of supplements might cause difficulties. The National Institute of Health recommends a tolerable upper limit (UL) of 2,000mg per day for persons aged 19 and higher.

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