Vitamin C information, FAQ and product listing page. This page contains everything you need to know about vitamin C.

What is vitamin C and what does it do?

Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin. Unlike many mammals, human bodies do not have the ability to create their own vitamin C. As such, we as humans have to obtain vitamin C through food or supplements.

Vitamin C is required to perform the synthesis of collagen, a critical component in the structure of tendons, blood vessels, tendons, bone, and ligaments. The synthesis of the neurotransmitter norepinephrine also relies heavily on the participation of Vitamin C. These neurotransmitters are important to our bodies due to their role in brain function and the affects they have on mood.

For those looking to stay healthy, Vitamin C should be an important part of your diet. It is required for the synthesis of carnitine, which is a small molecule essential for the transportation of fat to cellular organelles called mitochondria. This converts the fat in your body to energy, not only allowing you to lose weight, but enables your body to run more efficiently. (1)

Recent search has also indicated that Vitamin C may be involved in the metabolism of cholesterol found in your body to bile acids (also known as bile salts). This may have positive implications for not only your blood cholesterol levels, but for the incidence of gallstones. (2) Vitamin C is also a highly productive and efficient antioxidant. Even in small proportions in your body, vitamin C can protect your molecules (proteins, fats, carbohydrates) from damage by free radicals and other toxins and pollutants such as smoking. (1)

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What foods contain vitamin C?

A variety of fruits and vegetables contain vitamin C content. Approximately five servings of fruit and vegetables should average out to around 200 MG of vitamin C.

Food Serving Vitamin-C-(mg)
Orange juice ¾ cup (6 ounces) 75
Grapefruit juice ¾ cup (6 ounces) 60
Orange 1 medium 70
Grapefruit ½ medium 44
Strawberries 1 cup, whole 82
Tomato ½ cup, raw chopped 23
Sweet red pepper 1 medium 141
Broccoli ½ cup, cooked 58
Potato 1 medium, baked 26

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What is the suggested intake of vitamin C?

In the United States, the RDA or recommended daily allowance for vitamin C was just recently revised from upward of 60 mg daily for both men and women. The RDA is determined by basing the usage of vitamin C (or any dietary supplement) on the prevention of deficiency disease as opposed to the promotion of optimum health. The suggested intake for smokers of vitamin C is 35 mg per day higher than those that do not smoke, due to smokers being under increased oxidative stress from the toxins that are produced in cigarette smoke. (5)

Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for Vitamin C:

Life Stage Age Male|mg/day Fem|mg/day
Infants 0-6 months 40 (AI) 40 (AI)
Infants 7-12 months 50 (AI) 50 (AI)
Children 1-3 years 15 15
Children 4-8 years 25 25
Children 9-13 years 45 45
Adolescents 14-18 years 75 65
Adults 19+ 90 75
Smokers 19+ 125 110
Pregnancy Under 18 - 80
Pregnancy 19+ - 85
Breastfeeding Under 18 - 115
Breastfeeding 19+ - 120

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What are the signs of vitamin C deficiency?

Deficiency of vitamin C has been known for centuries as scurvy, a potentially fatal disease. Near the beginning of the 1800s, the British navy realized that scurvy could be combated by eating oranges or lemons. While they knew these fruits could prevent scurvy from occurring, nobody knew the actual vitamin C was the cure (when it was isolated) until the early 1930s.

Symptoms of scurvy include the ability to easily bruise or blood, tooth loss, hair loss, and joint pain and swelling. An early sole symptom of scurvy is usually fatigue. It’s rare for individuals to have a deficiency of vitamin C, as it can be thwarted with only 10 mg a day. (3)

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Who can benefit from using vitamin C supplements?

Everybody can benefit from taking vitamin C. Vitamin C helps prevent many common diseases that inflict millions every year, including coronary heart disease, stroke, cancer, cataracts, and lead toxicity. Vitamin C can also assist in the treatment of vasodilatation (lacking the ability to dilate), hypertension, cancer, diabetes, and the common cold. (4)

Benefits to bodybuilders/athletes:

  • Maintains high testosterone levels

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Does vitamin C have any side effects?

No, as long as you don’t take too much. It’s recommended that you do not take more than 2,000 mg daily, as this can lead to an upset stomach and diarrhea.

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1. Carr AC, Frei B. Toward a new recommended dietary allowance for vitamin C based on antioxidant and health effects in humans. Am J Clin Nutr. 1999;69(6):1086-1107.2. Simon JA, Hudes ES. Serum ascorbic acid and gallbladder disease prevalence among US adults: the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III). Arch Intern Med. 2000;160(7):931-936.3. Weinstein M, Babyn P, Zlotkin S. An orange a day keeps the doctor away: scurvy in the year 2000. Pediatrics. 2001;108(3):E55.4. Pauling LC. Vitamin C and the Common Cold. San Francisco: W. H. Freeman; 1970.5. Food and Nutrition Board, Institute of Medicine. Vitamin C. Dietary Reference Intakes for Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Selenium, and Carotenoids. Washington D.C.: National Academy Press; 2000:95-185.