Vitamin C: Top 10 Benefits, Rich Foods, Right Dosage and More


Medically reviewed by

Bajaj Finserv Health


7 min read


Vitamin C has numerous benefits for skin, hair, and overall health. However, in certain situations, it could interfere with the overall effectiveness of treatments. So, talking to a healthcare practitioner before its consumption is advisable.

Key Takeaways

  • Vitamin C plays a crucial role many important bodily functions, protects from harmful free radicals and boosts immunity
  • Foods rich in Vitamin C are citrus fruits, tomatoes, potatoes, broccoli, berries, pepper
  • Vitamin C supplements can interfere with the absorption and effectiveness of certain medications

Vitamin C is not just a regular nutrient. It's a powerhouse that is essential for our health. Vitamin C has many benefits; from boosting immunity, this nutrient does it all. However, consuming too much of it can have adverse effects. This is why knowing just how much Vitamin C you should have in your diet is important. 

This article will explore the sources, benefits, side effects, dosage, and more of Vitamin C to help you better understand how this nutrient impacts your health.

What is Vitamin C?

Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin essential for the growth, development, and repair of tissues in the human body. Since the human body cannot produce it naturally, we must get it from food. The usual food sources of Vitamin C are oranges, kiwis, tomatoes, broccoli, and peppers. They are also present in animal foods such as raw liver, fish, eggs, etc. 

Additional Read: Why Vitamin C is Important8 amazing benefits of Vitamin C Infographic

10 Health Benefits of Vitamin C

In this day and age, getting enough Vitamin C in your diet can be crucial for maintaining optimal health. Here are the top 10 health benefits of Vitamin C :

It Works as an Antioxidant

One of the main benefits is that it acts as an antioxidant in the body and prevents free radicals from damaging the body. When present in large numbers, free radicals put oxidative stress on our bodies, which is responsible for many harmful diseases. Vitamin C protects your body by strengthening your immunity, reducing inflammation, and protecting your cells from damage.

Good for Blood Circulation

Next on the list of Vitamin C benefits is healthy blood flow and a lower risk of heart disease.. Vitamin C has been shown to help lower inflammation and blood pressure, which are risk factors for heart disease. One of the benefits of vitamin C for men includes dealing with erectile dysfunction by improving blood flow to the penile area..

Vitamin C Benefits Cancer

Health experts suggest that eating vitamin c fruits and vegetables may cut down the risk of some types of cancer in the body. Additionally, according to some research, Vitamin C, to a certain extent, helps in improving the quality of life of patients undergoing cancer treatments and minimizes the side effects. [1]

Prevents Arthritic Ailments

Studies have linked Vitamin C benefits to gout prevention, a form of arthritis that attacks the toes. [2] The main reason for arthritis is the excessive deposition of uric acid in the body which ultimately causes crystal formation in the joints. These crystals result in inflammation and cause pain in the joints. Vitamin C reduces the uric acid level in the body and keeps your joints safe.

Helps in Anaemia

Other health benefits of vitamin C include prevention of anaemia. Lack of red blood cells in the body leads to Anaemia, which causes serious consequences if not treated. Anaemia is commonly caused by iron deficiency, as your body needs iron to produce red blood cells. Iron requires an acidic condition in the stomach to be dissolved and absorbed into your body, and Vitamin C helps to create that environment. Therefore, healthcare experts often recommend Vitamin C and iron supplements to treat Anaemia.

Boosts Immunity

One of the most well-known vitamin C benefits is strengthening your immune system.. Vitamin C protects your body against infection. It assists your body in producing several types of immune cells and improves their functioning to safeguard against infection. Various studies claim that Vitamin C's effect on the immune system helps deal with some infections such as Covid 19, sepsis, pneumonia, and various respiratory tract infections. [3] 

Vitamin C Benefits for Skin

A higher vitamin C intake helps lower wrinkles in the skin, and dryness of the skin, which are symptoms of the natural ageing process. Vitamin C is used in the topical form in various skin creams and orally in the medicinal form to take care of various skin ailments. One of the major benefits is that it helps in healing wounds and reduces skin inflammation caused by psoriasis and other skin diseases. Lastly, vitamin C improves collagen production, a natural protein in the skin, connective tissues, cartilage, bone, and tendon.

Promotes Hair Growth

Vitamin C is one of the most effective nutrients to strengthen hair as its antioxidant properties reduce the effects of free radicals on your scalp. Vitamin C benefits for hair include hair growth, preventing dandruff and reducing hair fall..

Speed Up Metabolism

Vitamin C plays a role in the production of carnitine, a molecule that helps the body convert fat into energy. By increasing the body's ability to burn fat, vitamin C may help to boost metabolism and support weight loss. Some research has suggested that vitamin C benefits weight loss by increasing feelings of fullness. [4] Vitamin C helps reduce calorie intake and support weight loss efforts by promoting feelings of fullness.

Prevents Neurodegenerative Disease

There is evidence to suggest that vitamin C benefits individuals with neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease. [5] Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that can help to protect brain cells from damage caused by free radicals. Vitamin C has also been linked to improved mood and a reduced risk of depression. It may help to reduce inflammation in the brain and increase the production of neurotransmitters such as serotonin, which are important for regulating mood.

It's important to note that vitamin C should not be relied upon as the sole treatment or prevention strategy for any disease. It's always best to get a general physician consultation before changing your diet or supplement routine.

vitamin c sources

Proper Dosage for Vitamin C

The recommended daily vitamin C intake varies depending on age, sex, and other factors. Here are the recommended daily intakes of vitamin C according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) [6]:

  • Infants 0-6 months: 40 mg
  • Infants 7-12 months: 50 mg
  • Children 1-3 years: 15 mg
  • Children 4-8 years: 25 mg
  • Children 9-13 years: 45 mg
  • Teen boys 14-18 years: 75 mg
  • Teen girls 14-18 years: 65 mg
  • Adult men: 90 mg
  • Adult women: 75 mg
  • Pregnant women: 85 mg
  • Breastfeeding women: 120 mg

What is Vitamin C deficiency?

Vitamin c deficiency occurs when your body doesn’t get enough vitamin C. The symptoms of vitamin C deficiency are:

  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Muscle and joint pain
  • Swollen and bleeding gums
  • Bruising easily
  • Slow wound healing
  • Dry and scaly skin
  • Anaemia
  • Mood changes

Extreme vitamin C deficiency could also lead to scurvy which manifests as: 

  • Bleeding gums
  • Gingivitis or Gum Disease
  • Loose teeth
  • Bruising
  • Generalized weakness
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Fever
Additional Read: Benefits of Becosule Capsules

What are the Different Side Effects of Vitamin C?

Usually, Vitamin C does not cause any side effects. But rarely, you can notice some possible Vitamin C side effects if taken in excesses, such as nausea, headache, heartburn, diarrhoea, stomach cramps, and kidney stones

Precautions of Vitamin C

  • Avoid taking high doses if you have kidney problems, as it can increase the risk of kidney stones
  • Vitamin C supplements can interact with certain medications, such as chemotherapy drugs and blood thinners. It's always best to consult with a healthcare professional before taking vitamin C supplements if you are taking medication
  • Taking vitamin C supplements on an empty stomach can cause stomach upset and gastrointestinal problems. It's best to take vitamin C supplements with food to reduce the risk of these side effects
  • Vitamin C could also interfere with treatment for hemochromatosis or excessive iron deposition in the body
  • People with G6PD deficiency should be careful before taking vitamin C. When G6PD-deficient individuals consume large amounts of vitamin C, it can lead to the breakdown of red blood cells

Vitamin C benefits for health are many. However, It's always best to consult with a healthcare professional before making any changes to your diet or supplement routine, especially if you have a pre-existing medical condition or are taking medication. If you have any concerns about your vitamin C intake, consider speaking with a healthcare professional. Visit the Bajaj Health Finserv to book an online appointment and speak to a doctor from the comfort of your home. 

Published on 29 Mar 2023Last updated on 9 May 2023

Please note that this article is solely meant for informational purposes and Bajaj Finserv Health Limited (“BFHL”) does not shoulder any responsibility of the views/advice/information expressed/given by the writer/reviewer/originator. This article should not be considered as a substitute for any medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always consult with your trusted physician/qualified healthcare professional to evaluate your medical condition. The above article has been reviewed by a qualified doctor and BFHL is not responsible for any damages for any information or services provided by any third party.


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