Vitamin C

Julia Barber

Julia Barber

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Vitamin C

What is Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that your body needs to form blood vessels, cartilage, muscle, and collagen in bones. It is an antioxidant that helps protect your cells against the effects of free radicals. Free radicals can come from tobacco smoke and radiation from the sun, X-rays, or other sources. Free radicals can play a role in heart disease, cancer, and other diseases. vitamin C also helps your body absorb and store iron.

How much Vitamin C do you need?

The amount of Vitamin C you need is different for everyone and based on your age/sex. Below are the daily average recommended amounts of Vitamin C; Milligrams (mg)


Age 1-3

15 mg

Age 4-8

25 mg

Age 9-13

45 mg


Age 14-18

65 mg

Age 19 and up

75 mg


80-85 mg


115-120 mg


Age 14-18

75 mg

Age 19 and up 

90 mg

*Smoking can deplete Vitamin C levels so smokers need 35 mg more of Vitamin C a day than nonsmokers. 

Sources of Vitamin C

Fruits and vegetables are the best sources of Vitamin C. 

  • Citrus fruits and juices
  • Green peppers
  • Strawberries
  • Tomatoes
  • Broccoli
  • Sweet potatoes 
  • White potatoes 

What happens if you don’t get enough Vitamin C?

Vitamin C is essential for healthy bones and a deficiency can increase the risk of developing weak and brittle bones. Vitamin C is also needed to boost your immune system; low levels of this vitamin have been linked to an increased risk of infection. 

Low levels of Vitamin C can also cause iron deficiency as Vitamin C plays a vital role in the absorption of Iron. Other symptoms to look out for associated with not getting enough Vitamin C can include skin spots, swelling and/or bleeding gums, delayed healing of wounds, hair loss, and fatigue. 

Take Away 

Vitamin C is needed for the healthy development and growth of all of your body’s tissues. It is involved in the formation of collagen, absorption of iron, a healthy immune system, wound healing, and healthy bones, teeth, and cartilage.

Your body cannot make Vitamin C nor store it in large amounts so it is important to make sure you are getting enough. While supplements are available, the best source of Vitamin C is fresh fruits and vegetables. 

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