Vitamin C is among the best-known important micronutrients due to its position in selling immune operate within the physique. However that’s not vitamin C is helpful for: it’s additionally nice for enhancing muscle restoration and limiting soreness after powerful coaching periods, and is doubtlessly helpful for shielding cognitive operate as you age.

Right here’s what our analysis group uncovered concerning the wide-ranging advantages of vitamin C supplementation.

Vitamin C advantages

1. Our attraction to Vitamin C as a remedy for the widespread chilly began within the Nineteen Seventies.

That’s when a person named Linus Pauling informed the world to start out taking heavy doses of Vitamin C. In his ebook The best way to Stay Longer and Really feel Higher, he really helpful megadoses (an precise scientific time period) of the vitamin to push back the widespread chilly, amongst different issues.

Why did the world hearken to this man?

As a result of he was (and nonetheless is) thought-about one of many high scientific minds of all time (1).  He just about single-handedly based the fields of quantum chemistry AND molecular biology. He was awarded two totally different Nobel prizes, in two totally different classes (chemistry and peace).

The person was sensible so the world listened when he informed us to take far more Vitamin C than anybody thought was attainable. So what if it introduced on a “laxative” impact. Kidney stones? No sweat if it means no extra colds. The phrase unfold and shortly Vitamin C and “remedy for the widespread chilly” had been linked eternally.

Though Linus Pauling’s recommendation could not have produced outcomes out the best way he hoped, individuals nonetheless line as much as purchase Vitamin C to today.

2. Extra scientific information has poured in since Pauling’s ebook got here out

To attempt to assist individuals kind out the information, The U.S. Nationwide Library of Drugs has an official authorities assertion on Vitamin C and colds: the analysis is “conflicting” (2).

This doesn’t appear very clear, and that’s as a result of the efficacy of Vitamin C is determined by who you’re, the place you reside, and exactly what consequence you’re looking for while you take the complement.

No research have but been in a position to set up a hyperlink between taking a Vitamin C complement and stopping a chilly.

3. Vitamin C could do one thing for colds, however not what you might suppose

Maybe when you’re a long-distance runner dwelling in Iceland, you will note a profit from Vitamin C supplementation. The one shred of proof supporting any constructive impact of Vitamin C on the widespread chilly was seen on individuals who had been exerting themselves very closely in winter environments. Particulars are as follows:

In 2007 a evaluation research was performed, after which up to date in 2013 (3). What meaning is researchers checked out all of the managed trials ever carried out involving Vitamin C, courting manner again to 1966.

That’s 40 years of Vitamin C analysis rolled into one completely succinct report.

The evaluation research concerned thirty trials comparisons and over 11,000 contributors. It was discovered that taking Vitamin C dietary supplements to stop a chilly was no simpler than taking the placebo.

In different phrases, mega-dosing your self with C won’t hold you from getting a chilly.

However the half concerning the cold-weather endurance athletes holds true: the identical evaluation research discovered an 8% probability that the chilly would finish sooner in the event that they took Vitamin C. They had been skiers, marathon runners, and troopers working in sub-arctic environments.

Docs speculate that the rationale for the profit is as a result of these tremendous athletic cold-weather varieties have a Vitamin C deficiency. By dosing themselves with C, they’re merely bringing their ranges again as much as regular.

So by no means ought to we deduce from that the necessity to mega-dose ourselves with Vitamin C so as to stop, shorten, or deal with the widespread chilly.

4. Vitamin C could also be outclassed by zinc for treating the widespread chilly

Seems we’ve been wanting down the mistaken complement path the entire time.  Researchers within the UK have revealed that Zinc, not Vitamin C, is the magic cold-fighter (4).

In one other look-back research involving 67 totally different research, treatments for the widespread chilly, together with Vitamin C dietary supplements, had been examined.  There have been no clear advantages to be present in any of the analysis for any of the normal treatments apart from zinc and washing your fingers quite a bit.

Vitamin C negative effects

It’s laborious to take an excessive amount of vitamin C. Vitamin C is a water-soluble complement, which signifies that it is extremely laborious to take an excessive amount of. When your physique will get extreme vitamin C, it will possibly often simply excrete the additional vitamin C in your urine.

Actually, a number of scientific trials have used very excessive doses of vitamin C (10,000 mg of vitamin C per day) for as much as three years with out recording any vital opposed results (5).

Very excessive doses of vitamin C could cause gastrointestinal issues, complications, and insomnia. Nonetheless, in response to the Mayo Clinic, an excessive amount of vitamin C could cause delicate to average diarrhea, nausea, cramping, complications, and insomnia (6).

Most of those negative effects are attributable to excessive concentrations of unabsorbed vitamin C pulling water into the digestive tract. These negative effects are not possible to seem in anybody at doses of 2000 mg per day or much less.

Vitamin C dosage

Most research use 100 to 1000 mg of vitamin C. Vitamin C is often studied in scientific trials at doses starting from 100 to 1000 mg per day or extra. However, the really helpful minimal day by day consumption is just 90 mg for males and 75 mg for ladies (7).

Preserve your vitamin C consumption beneath 2000 mg per day. As famous above, the tolerable higher restrict of vitamin C is 2000 mg per day for adults, which signifies that doses beneath this quantity are well-tolerated and never anticipated to end in any negative effects. As such, so long as you’re beneath this quantity, the best dosage goes to rely upon the specific goal of vitamin C supplementation that you’re aiming at.

For athletic restoration, purpose for 600-1000 mg. For instance, in case you are seeking to stop sickness after a marathon, triathlon, or one other lengthy and troublesome athletic occasion, 600 mg appears to be the best dosage.

Stopping muscle soreness could require a lot increased doses (1000 mg per day or extra). However, decrease doses have been studied for treating continual irritation amongst individuals with metabolic illness, and as little as 100 mg per day has been useful in observational analysis on decreasing the danger of continual ailments.

Vitamin C advantages FAQ

Q: How a lot vitamin C is an excessive amount of?

A: In observe, it’s very laborious to overload on vitamin C since it’s a water soluble vitamin. The tolerable higher restrict for vitamin C consumption, established by the Nationwide Institute of Well being’s Workplace of Dietary Dietary supplements, means that as much as 2000 mg of vitamin C per day will not be more likely to end in any opposed results.

Medical analysis has used doses past this degree, as much as 10,000 mg per day for as much as three years, with no critical opposed results, although at excessive doses it’s attainable to get gastrointestinal points merely from the quantity of vitamin C dissolved in your abdomen.

Protecting your supplemental vitamin C consumption beneath 2000 mg per day is a simple method to ensure that none of those points occur, whereas nonetheless getting any attainable advantages from the complement.

Q: What are the largest advantages of vitamin C?

A: Vitamin C is a closely studied vitamin, and the steadiness of the proof means that, whereas vitamin C won’t deliver concerning the main adjustments in long-term well being that many individuals hope for, it may be helpful at a number of particular purposes.

Its position in boosting your immune system appears to assist stop infections after powerful athletic occasions like extremely marathons or triathlons, and a few proof means that it might assist stave off cognitive decline.

Vitamin C can also be very useful in case you are attempting to spice up your iron ranges, as a result of iron absorption is considerably enhanced within the presence of vitamin C. For these and different area of interest purposes, vitamin C supplementation could make a whole lot of sense.

Q: What meals are highest in vitamin C?

A: Not surprisingly, the meals with the very best focus of vitamin C per serving are just about all vegetables and fruit. Oranges, strawberries, kiwi fruit, bell peppers, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts are a number of the meals which have probably the most vitamin C.

Every of those vegetables and fruit has no less than 60% of your really helpful day by day consumption of vitamin C per 100 grams of meals, and bell peppers and kiwi fruit have over 100%. 

These are a number of the most effective methods to get vitamin C in your weight-reduction plan from pure sources, although supplementation can also be an choice, particularly in case you are on the lookout for high-dose vitamin C.

Associated: Our best vitamin C picks


Vitamin C is greatest recognized for enhancing your immune operate, however is likely to be extra helpful as a software for muscle restoration after powerful exercises and for shielding the mind as you grow old.

Regardless, it’s one of many easiest and strongest antioxidants on the market, and is extraordinarily secure from a side-effects perspective.