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benefits of vitamin c for health

The Benefits of Vitamin C for Health

Most of the time, you think that you are not deficient in vitamin C, and don’t know the benefits of vitamin c for health. But the truth is that vitamin C deficiency can occur in all the age groups and genders. Vitamin C deficiency is either due to a lack of balanced diet or awareness. Vitamin C is a vital vitamin that the human body needs every day. Therefore, it is important to consume vitamin C daily. Vitamin C can be found naturally in many fruits and vegetables. It is also available as dietary supplements.

This article reviews the benefits of vitamin C for health, what it is, what it does, its advantages, the consequences of vitamin C deficiency, the sources of vitamin C, and the side effects of vitamin C.

What is Vitamin C?

Vitamin C is a water soluble and your body does not have any reserves of Vitamin C, unlike fats and carbs. It is also known as ascorbic and ascorbate. It is an important nutrient that your body required to boost immune system and form blood vessels, cartilage, muscle and collagen in your bones. As humans, we cannot produce Vitamin C in the body, so it must be obtained from dietary sources, primarily fruits and vegetables.

Benefits of vitamin c for health
Benefits of vitamin c for health

What are the functions of Vitamin C?

It is a most essential nutrient which helps your body to keep healthy and fit. There are several functions of Vitamin C as described below:

  • Support immune system and the function of the epithelial barrier, the cells that provide a physical barrier against pathogens.  In fact, Vitamin C has a key role in both innate and adaptive immune responses.
  • Acts as an antioxidants, and assists in collagen synthesis for healthy skin and also neutralize free radicals that may source by certain environmental factors, and enhance the tissue repairment.
  • Vitamin C treatment of healthy subjects promoted and enhanced natural killer cell activities.
  • Enhance the function of various white blood cells that work naturally to ward off infections.
  • Acts directly as an antimicrobial. It is known that several bacteria can ferment Vitamin C, whereas the presence of this vitamin exposes other species to oxidative stress, which may result in bacterial growth inhibition.
  • Heals your wounds faster, gives you plump glowing skin, and strengthen your bones and teeth. It also helps your body absorb and store iron.
  • Make your skin radiant and youthful.
  • Prevent and treat scurvy.

What are the benefits of Vitamin C for health?

Vitamin C is essential to your body for a number of reasons. Though Vitamin C’s main function is as an antioxidant, it also has important roles in many enzymatic and non-enzymatic reactions. Following are some benefits of Vitamin C:

1. Cardiovascular disease:

Some study have found that Vitamin C deficiency is associated with a higher risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality. Vitamin C found to be protective against cardiovascular disease and hypertension partly due to its antioxidant capability but also by supporting blood vessel function and modulating inflammation. Hence it is necessary to have adequate amount of Vitamin C to your body.

2. Cancer:

Vitamin C helpful in preventing cancer. Vitamin C supplementation may improve well-being, reduce pain, and increase survival in cancer patients. Eating foods rich in Vitamin C might lower your risk of many types of cancer, such as breast, colon or lung cancers. Vitamin C is rich in vitamins and minerals along with antioxidant properties, it may slow the progression of advanced age-related macular degeneration and the loss of visual acuity (sharpness) in individuals showing signs of the condition.

3. Immune function:

Vitamin C is very much required to supports immune function by upregulating immune cells, and therefore preventing or reducing duration of respiratory tract infections. Some Studies have suggested that supplementation with Vitamin C appears to be able to both prevent and treat respiratory and systemic infections. In addition, it can inhibit fungi and virus replication.

Vitamin C boost immunity
Vitamin C boost immunity

4. Cognitive health:

It is considered that lower Vitamin C levels in individuals who are cognitively impaired when compared to healthy individuals. Vitamin C may be used to improve neurotransmission (nervous system), which helps in learning, memory, and movement.

5. Blood sugar management:

Vitamin C is very helpful in management of blood sugar levels, due to its antioxidants properties.

6. Eye diseases:

There are some evidences that people who have higher levels of Vitamin C in their diets have a lower risk of developing cataracts. Therefore, consuming Vitamin C supplements in combination with other vitamins and minerals appears to prevent age-related macular degeneration (AMD) from worsening.

7. Energy: 

Vitamin C is also important for normal energy production by supporting regulating enzymes, which are involved in burning fat for energy by the mitochondrial function.

8. Collagen synthesis

Vitamin C is essential for the formation of collagen. Specifically, Vitamin C has been shown to stabilize collagen mRNA, thus increasing collagen protein synthesis for repair of the damaged skin.

9. Skin health –

Vitamin C plays an important role to your skin due to it is full of various nutrients including antioxidants properties. Following are the effective benefits if Vitamin C to the skin:

  • Promoting collagen formation and neutralizing damaging free radicals
  • Helpful in addressing delay the aging process of the skin and prevent dark pigmentation
  • Prevent and reduce wrinkle and fine lines in the body
  • Protection from sun exposure (ultra-violet radiation), and helps from skin tanning, rough skin, redness of the skin
  • Decrease dryness of skin and provides moisture to your body
  • Helps in healing a wound instantly by accelerating the production of collagen and elastin
  • Stimulates collagen and elastin production which improves the skin texture and quality, and helps the skin to become tight and firm
  • Helps in reducing the signs of inflammation such as rash, redness and irritation
  • It helps repair the body’s damaged cells and makes you look fresh all through the day
Vitamin C helps glowing skin
Vitamin C helps glowing skin

What are symptoms of a Vitamin C deficiency?

Vitamin C deficiency in the human body can lead to the following diseases:

  • Scurvy
  • Rough skin
  • Abnormalities in the growth of body hair
  • Swollen joints, which can lead to Arthritis
  • Anaemia
  • Impaired immune health
  • Increased vulnerability to infections
  • Compromises the formation of collagen
  • Delay wound healing
  • Hemorrhage (internal bleeding from ruptured blood vessels)
  • Fatigue
  • Skin ageing
  • Easy bruising and excessive bleeding
  • Weak bones
  • Gum and teeth problems

Therefore, you should always ensure an adequate Vitamin C intake to prevent several life-threatening diseases and ailments.

What are sources of Vitamin C?

It has been noted that daily diet intake of Vitamin C good for maintaining health and prevent deficiency of nutrients. There are several sources by which you can consume Vitamin C. Most important to note that heat may destroy Vitamin C, hence to preserve Vitamin C, consider consuming your produce raw or steamed, as opposed to broiled, grilled, or roasted.

Your body cannot produce Vitamin C on its own, therefore we must get it through a clean, healthy diet. The best and natural sources of Vitamin C includes the following fruits, and vegetables:

FruitsVitamin C contentHealth benefits
Lemons129 mg of 100 gmReduce blood pressure, improve dental health, nails, skin, help in weight loss, prevent kidney stones
Bell peppers128 mg of 100 gmLow in calorie, rich in fiber, Help in weight loss, good for eye health and vision, prevent cataracts and blindness, vitamin B 6 and anti-cancer compound
Guava288 mg of 100 gmFiber and protein
Papayas61 mg of 100 gmZinc, magnesium, vitamin A, fiber, Ward off arthritis and bone issues, boost immunity, quick relief from constipation and digestive disorders
Broccoli89 mg of 100 gmHigh in potassium, vitamin A & vitamin K, Good for heart & brain
Kiwi93 mg of 100 gmAnti-aging, good for constipation, reduces bad cholesterol
Strawberries59 mg of 100 gmRich in Antioxidants, flavonoid, Reduce cognitive decline up to 2 and a half years
Oranges45 mg of 100 gmHigh fiber, rich in vitamin A & flavonoids, potassium, Relieves constipation, reduce  oxidative stress in the cells, help in fight depressions, prevent the spread of cancer, relieves acidity issues, good for hair, reduce allergic asthma
Snow peas60 mg of 100 gmLess fat and calorie, fiber, potassium, iron, Manage diabetes levels, reduce inflammation in gut and stomach
Banana10 mg of one medium bananaRich in potassium
Tomatoes23 mg of 100 gmRich in potassium, Manage blood pressure levels & blood sugar, good for weight loss, improve heart health, eye health, liver health, combat cancer
Grapefruit44 mg of half medium size grapefruitBoost immune system
Brussel sprouts37 mg of half cooked brusselsHelp in protect against cancers of the stomach, lungs, kidney, breast, bladder, and prostate. Also help you in high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, and diabetes
Potatoes22 mg of one medium size baked potatoesHigh in carbs
Apples8 mg of one medium size appleRich in fiber
Spinach8 mg of one cup raw spinachPowerhouse for the immune system

What is daily recommended intake of Vitamin C?

It is vary based on factors including age, gender, health status, and environmental exposures. The following table summarizes the daily recommended dietary allowances (RDAs) and adequate intake (AI) of Vitamin C.

0-6 months40 mg40 mg  
7-12 months50 mg50 mg  
1-3 years15 mg15 mg  
4-8 years25 mg25 mg  
9-13 years45 mg45 mg  
14-18 years75 mg65 mg80 mg115 mg
19 and above90 mg75 mg85 mg120 mg
Additional 35 mg per day of Vitamin C requires for the smokers.
Vitamin C fruits support overall health
Vitamin C fruits support overall health

What are side-effects of Vitamin C?

Small doses of Vitamin C is considered safe, excessive amount of Vitamin C may cause the following symptoms:

  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach cramps
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Sleepiness
  • Insomnia
  • Vomiting
  • Heartburn
  • Nausea
  • Inflammation that might damage the esophagus
  • A blockage that keeps food or liquid from passing through your small intestine or large intestine
  • Skin flushing

 It is recommended that long term use of supplements increases risks of above side effects, and consult your doctor for advice.


Overall, Vitamin C is one of the most effective nutrient that your body needs regularly. It is recommended you must include Vitamin C in your daily balanced diet of fruits and vegetables and incorporating supplements if required, to keep your immune system in top shape. The health benefits of Vitamin C have been observed for cardiovascular disease, cancer, ocular diseases, immune function, cognitive health, blood sugar levels, and skin health.


What is vitamin C good for?

Vitamin C has a range of beneficial effects on the human body, including aiding in the development of collagen, which is essential for the maintenance of healthy skin. Additionally, it functions as a potent antioxidant, protecting cells from harm from free radicals. Furthermore, it is involved in the healing process of wounds and the uptake of iron from vegetable-based foods into the body.

How much vitamin C should I take daily?

The amount of vitamin C you need to take each day can vary depending on your age, gender, and health. But for the majority of adults, it’s usually good to get between 65 and 90 milligrams a day. Eating a variety of foods that are rich in vitamin C, like citrus fruits and berries, can help you get enough of this important nutrient.

What are the best food sources of vitamin C?

The most effective sources of vitamin C are derived from citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons and grapefruits. Additionally, strawberries, kiwis and bell peppers are excellent sources of vitamin C. Furthermore, green leafy vegetables such as spinach and broccoli are highly beneficial for increasing vitamin C intake.

Can I take too much vitamin C?

Yes, taking too much vitamin C can cause digestive problems like diarrhea, nausea, or stomach cramps. Taking too much vitamin C from supplements for too long can also cause health problems, so it’s usually best to stick to the recommended daily limit, which varies by age and gender.

Does vitamin C prevent or cure the common cold?

Although vitamin C is often used to reduce the length and intensity of cold symptoms, it doesn’t prevent or treat the common cold. Vitamin C may help boost your immune system, but its effectiveness in preventing and treating colds varies from person to person. Other factors, such as good hygiene and overall health, play a more important role in preventing and managing colds.

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