The science behind a nutrient superstar
Vitamin C might be the most-hyped vitamin in history. Since it was discovered a little over a century ago, it has been credited with everything from preventing scurvy to fighting off colds to improving skin. But what’s the truth about this celebrity nutrient? Our nutritionists have pored over the science to give you the straight goods.
A janitor for your cells
Vitamin C (also called ascorbic acid) holds down a long list of jobs in your body: It helps build collagen; it supports your immune system; it makes it easier to absorb iron and—importantly—it works as an antioxidant. This means it aids in your body’s natural fight against cell-destroying free radicals.
Stay well, age well
Vitamin C’s hard work translates into some big health benefits: according to current research, Vitamin C helps your body fight invaders, renew cells, and stay healthy with age1,2—as long as you’re getting enough.
How much C do I need?
So how much Vitamin C do you need each day? That depends. Health experts generally recommend 75-90 mg daily, but your needs could vary with stress, smoking, viral illness, pregnancy and other factors3—meaning a daily dose above the recommended target might be appropriate. Fortunately, you excrete extra vitamin C through your urine, so high doses (0.5-1 mg) are still considered safe.
Where to get it (other than oranges)
When we talk about sources of vitamin C, citrus fruits are typically the first things that come to mind, but they’re far from your only options. Red peppers, strawberries and potatoes may actually be better sources. And if you’re not getting enough fruits and veggies, you can supplement with a high-quality multivitamin.
Tasty vitamin C recipes
Do you have questions about nutrition? Reach out. Our experts would love to help.