See the bottom of this page for the ingredients highest in vitamin C
Health benefits of vitamin C
Vitamin C is essential for producing collagen which is vital for the formation of your organs and for maintaining their structure.
Vitamin C is a very powerful antioxidant which means it reduces the presence of potentially damaging ‘free radicals’ and may therefore protect your cells from damage and reduce the risk of diseases such Alzheimer’s disease and cancer.
It also helps to ensure that your immune system works effectively which means that the risk of acquiring a range of diseases may be reduced.
What is vitamin C
The term vitamin C describes several compounds exhibiting similar biological activities. Humans are unusual since they cannot make their own vitamin C and must instead obtain this important vitamin exclusively from their diets1
Why does it matter to me?
- Vitamin C contributes to the normal energy producing metabolism of cells and can therefore help to reduce both tiredness and fatigue2.
- Vitamin C is essential to produce collagen which is the most abundant protein present in humans and vital for the formation of the organs of the body3.
- Vitamin C is a well-established and effective antioxidant and can consequently provide protection from potentially damaging ‘free radicals’ that may cause dangerous modifications to important molecules (e.g. DNA and proteins).
- Adequate quantities of vitamin C consumption has been shown to reduce the likelihood of succumbing to a broad range of diseases associated with ‘oxidative stress’4.
- One example of this is Alzheimer’s disease. Although the research findings are constantly evolving, there is compelling human data to suggest that antioxidants like vitamin C can reduce the likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia5.
- Another example is cancer. The maintenance of adequate quantities of vitamin C in the diet has been implicated in the prevention of certain forms of cancer such as breast cancer and leukaemia6.
Vitamin C research
Studies have provided evidence that vitamin C enables the immune system to function effectively. This can reduce the likelihood of acquiring a range of microbial infections that cause disease8.
Some studies have suggested a link between the consumption of vitamin C and improving the health of the heart. However, the most recent data suggests that this link is tentative, and that further research is required7.
How vitamin C reacts with...
Vitamin E is also a powerful antioxidant and the production of its active form is increased in the presence of vitamin C. Therefore, both important vitamins work together synergistically to contribute to the maintenance of your health9.
What happens if I don't have enough?
The most well-known symptom of severe vitamin C deficiency is ‘scurvy’, a horrible condition which results in fatigue, swollen joints, bleeding gums, failure of wound healing, heart failure and eventually death.
Although scurvy is now rare in the developed world, mild vitamin C deficiency is surprisingly common and may give rise to some of the conditions described above10.
How much do I need?
The amount of vitamin C required to prevent chronic disease appears to be much greater than that required to prevent scurvy. The amount humans require daily to avoid scurvy is around 10mg, but the European RDA is 110mg in adult men and 95mg in adult women.
In addition, it is recommended that pregnant and lactating women, and anyone who smokes, consume an extra 10, 60 and 35mg of vitamin C respectively to compensate for the loses that these groups experience11.
In summary, the best currently available evidence suggests that people with optimal levels of vitamin C in their tissues and organs have a reduced risk of acquiring many different types of disease. Optimal levels are achieved by a consistent intake of fresh foods that contain high levels of vitamin C such as fruit and vegetables.