Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin present in many fruits and vegetables and is beneficial for our body in many ways. You can also consume it from dietary supplements.
But how much vitamin C should you take and does the change in the amount affect your health?
You will find answers to all these questions in this article. Let’s dive deeper.
Why Do You Need Vitamin C?
Your body needs vitamin C for performing various functions such as;
- Vitamin C helps the body produce L-carnitine, collagen, and some neurotransmitters.
- It supports the body to absorb iron.
- Antioxidant properties of vitamin C help get rid of unwanted substances called reactive oxidative species (ROS) from your body.
- Helps improve the skin health.
- Helps boost your immunity.
- Helps heal wounds.
- The antioxidants in vitamin C may help lower inflammation and reduce the chances of developing various health conditions, including some cancers.
How Much Vitamin C Should You Take?
The recommended dosage or Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) of vitamin C varies from person to person, depending on factors like age, gender, and overall health condition, which is as follows:
|Age||Vitamin C dose|
|1-3 years old||15 mg|
|4-8 years old||25 mg|
|9-13 years old||45 mg|
|Teenagers (14-18)||65-75 mg|
|Adult women (19 and above)||75 mg|
|Adult men (19 and above)||90 mg|
|Pregnant women (19 and above)||85 mg|
|Breastfeeding women (19 and above)||120 mg|
However, research also suggests that the more vitamin C you take, the more it will benefit your immune system. That’s because our body continuously uses vitamin C for immune and inflammatory responses, leading to the depletion of C levels. Lower levels of C may leave harmful consequences on your health.
That said, the maximum daily intake of vitamin C is set to 2000 milligrams per day. This amount is considered Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL) which is unlikely to harm your health. It may help keep the plasma saturated with vitamin C and improve the C levels in cells and tissues.
What Happens If You Take A Lot of Vitamin C?
Frequently consuming vitamin C through natural food such as vegetables and fruits doesn’t pose any negative effects on your health. However, intake of vitamin C supplements above the recommended dosage or UL might show some mild side effects, such as
- Stomach cramping
- General abdominal discomfort
What happens is our body fails to absorb an excessive amount of vitamin C, which irritates the gastrointestinal tract.
What If You Have Low Vitamin C Levels?
Usually, vitamin C deficiency occurs because a person takes a diet low in vitamin C. However, constant vitamin C deficiency can lead to a severe condition known as scurvy. Scurvy is a very rare disease in which the body loses its ability to make enough collagen. The scurvy patient shows symptoms such as bruising gums, tooth loss, irritability, tiredness, weakness, anemia, and dry skin and hair.
Best Food Sources of Vitamin C
Below is a list of some fruits and vegetables that are the best source of vitamin C:
Vitamin C is an antioxidant and a water-soluble vitamin essential for our body. It promotes collagen production, wound healing, and strong immunity.
The recommended dosage for vitamin C ranges from 45–120 mg, depending on the person’s age and sex. See the table mentioned above to know how much vitamin C you should take.