Vitamin C: Why and How Much We Should Take It?

Vitamin C: Why and How Much We Should Take It?

Vitamin C is a crucial body nutrient that serves several benefits. It possesses incredible antioxidant properties that help to promote overall health. 

This vitamin is not naturally produced by the body. It occurs abundantly in many food items, such as citrus fruits and vegetables. Also, the body does not store this vitamin. So, you must consume it every day to prevent its deficiency in the body. 

Here, we will learn the many benefits of this vitamin for our bodies. Besides, we will also look at the recommended daily intake of the nutrient to help you evade any deficiency. 

Why We Need Vitamin C For Our Body?

Also known as ascorbic acid, vitamin C is water-soluble. It is needed in the body for several functions. The most noteworthy of them are as follows:

  • The body requires this vitamin to produce collagen, the substance that provides skin its elasticity. Besides, it is also needed to produce L-carnitine and some neurotransmitters. 
  • Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant that helps to eliminate free radicals from the body. If these free radicals accumulate in the body, they cause oxidative stress which is linked to several chronic ailments. 
  • The vitamin improves the absorption of iron in the body. When consumed with food items that are rich in iron, it particularly helps to boost the absorption rate. 
  • It boosts the immune system. It stimulates the production of white blood cells that protect the body from external pathogens and infections and increase immunity. Besides, it helps these cells to function more effectively by safeguarding them from the effect of free radicals. 
  • The vitamin enhances wound healing. It produces collagen present in the skin that increases the rate of recovery. 

The antioxidant nature of vitamin C benefits the body in multiple ways. It reduces inflammation as well as lowers the risk of developing several ailments, including cancer and heart diseases. 

On the other hand, low levels of the nutrient may lead to distressing symptoms, such as swollen joints, anemia, fatigue, bleeding gums, and loose teeth. 

How Much Vitamin C Should You Take Every Day?

There is a specific set of reference values that determines the daily intake of the nutrient. This is known as the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA). It is the average daily nutrient intake of vitamin C that an individual must consume from foods and supplements together. 

The RDA for this vitamin is as follows:

Age

Male

Female

Kids (1-3 years)

15 mg

15 mg

Kids (4-8 years)

25 mg

25 mg

Adolescents (9-13 years)

45 mg

45 mg

Teenager (14-18 years)

75 mg

65 mg

Adults (19+ years)

90 mg

75 mg


This is the average daily intake for a regular individual. Apart from this, women who are pregnant and breastfeeding require a greater amount of the nutrient. For instance, pregnant women who are 19 and above need to consume 85 mg of vitamin daily. And those who are breastfeeding must take 120 mg every day. 

Also, smokers and passive smokers require more of this vitamin. Thus, they should take an additional 35 mg than those who do not smoke. 

In addition to the RDA recommendations, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has also issued Daily Value (DV) guidelines. Essentially, DV refers to the percentage of the nutrient that is derived from different food items and supplements. Every food label specifies the %DV that tells the amount of vitamin C present in that particular product. 

The recommend DV for the vitamin for originally 60 mg. This is for adults and children who are above 4 years of age. However, recently, the DV has been updated to 90 mg. 

Is It Possible to Take Too Much Vitamin C?

Vitamin C is important to support your overall health. But at the same time, consuming too of the nutrient can harm your gastrointestinal tract rather than benefit it. It any lead to cramping, diarrhea, and nausea. 

Also, because the vitamin increases the rate of iron absorption, consuming too much of it may lead to problems like hemochromatosis, a condition that makes the body retain a lot of iron. 

So, it is best to stick to the RDA guidelines for vitamin C. It is best to source the nutrient needs from fruits and vegetables. This will also go a long way in supporting your overall health and immunity


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