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Vitamin C Supplements

Vitamin C is also called ascorbic acid and ascorbate. This vitamin has many benefits. Vitamin C is an antioxidant. This means that it fights cell damage in the body. Damaged cells increase the risk of cancer and heart disease. Vitamin C may help you resist these diseases. But does it help cure the common cold? Probably not. So far, there is no evidence that taking vitamin C truly helps cure colds.

Vitamin C tablets and oranges on table.

Suggested Daily Value

Daily Values are reasonable amounts to have each day for good health.

Vitamin C — 60 mg

Why Use a Supplement?

Most people eat enough vitamin C to meet the suggested daily value. But some people need more than they’re likely to get from diet alone. This includes smokers and people under extreme stress. You might want to use a vitamin C supplement if you fall under one or more of the following categories:

  • I smoke or often breathe secondhand smoke.

  • I have an increased risk for heart disease or cancer.

  • I eat fewer than 5 servings of fruits and vegetables daily.

  • I do not eat citrus or other foods containing vitamin C on most days.

  • I am under a great deal of stress.

  • I am recovering from a serious burn or injury.

Food Sources of “C”

Vitamin C is found in many plants. Good sources include:

  • Citrus fruits and juices (grapefruit, oranges, limes, and lemons)

  • Cranberry juice

  • Kiwis, strawberries, mangoes, papayas

  • Tomatoes, bell peppers, potatoes

  • Bok choy, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower

If You Take Vitamin C

Here are some tips to help you get the most from a vitamin C supplement:

  • Take no more than 500 mg at one time, or 1,000 mg per day.

  • Read the label to be sure the product will not expire soon.

  • Store supplements in a cool, dry place, away from sun and heat.

  • Eat a healthy diet to provide all the nutrients your body needs.

 

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