- is an essential vitamin and not produced by the body
- is water-soluble and found in many fruits and vegetables, including oranges, strawberries, kiwi fruit, bell peppers, broccoli, kale and spinach
- recommended daily intake for vitamin C is 75 mg for women and 90 mg for men
- it’s advised to get your vitamin C intake from foods, however, people turn to supplements to meet their needs
shares seven scientifically proven benefits of taking a vitamin C supplement in "7 Impressive Ways Vitamin C Benefits Your Body".
1. Strong Antioxidant That May Reduce the Risk of Chronic Diseases
Vitamin C is a strong antioxidant that can boost your blood antioxidant levels. This may help reduce the risk of chronic diseases like heart disease.
- Studies show that consuming more vitamin C can increase your blood antioxidant levels by up to 30%. This helps the body's natural defenses fight inflammation.
2. May Help Battle High Blood Pressure
Vitamin C supplements have been found to lower blood pressure in both healthy adults and adults with existing high blood pressure.
- an animal study found that taking a vitamin C supplement helped relax the blood vessels that carry blood from the heart, which helped reduce blood pressure levels
- an analysis of 29 human studies found that taking a vitamin C supplement, on average, reduced systolic blood pressure (upper value) by 3.84 mmHg and diastolic blood pressure (lower value) by 1.48 mmHg in healthy adults
- in adults with existing high blood pressure, vitamin C supplements reduced systolic blood pressure by 4.85 mmHg and diastolic blood pressure by 1.67 mmHg, on average
- it’s not clear if the effects on blood pressure are long-term
- people with high blood pressure should not rely on vitamin C alone for treatment
3. Fights Heart Disease Risk Factors, Potentially Lowering Heart Disease Risk
Vitamin C supplements have been linked to a reduced risk of heart disease. These supplements may lower heart disease risk factors, including “bad” LDL cholesterol and blood triglycerides.
- an analysis of nine studies with a combined 293,172 participants found that after 10 years, people who took at least 700 mg of vitamin C daily had a 25% lower risk of heart disease than those who did not take a vitamin C supplement
- another analysis of 15 studies found that consuming vitamin C only from foods, not supplements, was linked to a lower risk of heart disease
- analysis of 13 studies looked at the impact of taking at least 500 mg/day of vitamin C on risk factors for heart disease, such as blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels and found that taking a vitamin C supplement significantly reduced “bad” LDL cholesterol by approximately 7.9 mg/dl and blood triglycerides by 20.1 mg/dl
- it seems that taking or consuming at least 500 mg of vitamin C daily may reduce the risk of heart disease. However, if you already consume a vitamin C-rich diet, then supplements may not provide additional heart health benefits.
4. Could Reduce Blood Uric Acid Levels and Help Prevent Gout Attacks
Vitamin C-rich foods and supplements have been linked to reduced blood uric acid levels and lower risk of gout.
- a study of 1,387 men found that people who consumed the most vitamin C had significantly lower blood levels of uric acid than those who consumed the least
- another study followed 46,994 healthy men over 20 years to see if vitamin C intake was linked to developing gout
- people who took a vitamin C supplement had a 44% lower gout risk
- an analysis of 13 clinical studies found that taking a vitamin C supplement over 30 days significantly reduced blood uric acid, compared to a placebo
5. Helps Prevent Iron Deficiencies by Improving Iron Absorption
Vitamin C can improve the absorption of iron that is poorly absorbed, such as iron from meat-free sources. It may also reduce the risk of iron deficiency.
- simply consuming 100 mg of vitamin C may improve iron absorption by 67% which is extremely beneficial to people on a meat-free diet
- in one study, 65 children with mild iron deficiency anemia were given a vitamin C supplement. Researchers found that the supplement alone helped control their anemia
6. Boosts Immunity by Helping White Blood Cells Function Better
Vitamin C may boost immunity by helping white blood cells function more effectively, strengthening your skin’s defense system and helping wounds heal faster.
- studies have also shown that taking vitamin C may shorten wound healing time
- low vitamin C levels have been linked to poor health outcomes
7. Protects Your Memory and Thinking as You Age
Low vitamin C levels have been linked to an increased risk of memory and thinking disorders like dementia, while a high intake of vitamin C from foods and supplements has been shown to have a protective effect.
- low levels of this vitamin have been linked to an impaired ability to think and remember
- several studies have shown that people with dementia may have lower levels of vitamin C in the blood
- high vitamin C intakes from food or supplements have been shown to have a protective effect on thinking and memory with age
*Unproven Claims About Vitamin C*
Although vitamin C has many proven benefits, it has not been shown to prevent the common cold, reduce cancer risk, protect against eye diseases or treat lead toxicity.
- Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin and must be obtained from the diet or supplements.
- It has been linked to many impressive health benefits, such as boosting antioxidant levels, reducing blood pressure, reducing heart disease risk, protecting against gout attacks, improving iron absorption, boosting immunity and reducing dementia risk.
- Vitamin C supplements are a great and simple way to boost your vitamin C intake if you struggle to get enough from your diet.
Note: This is just a summary of a much longer article. The original article is evidence-based and provides many, many links to substantiate the claims made.