Vitamin C

Also indexed as:Ascorbate, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), C Vitamin, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Ester-C
Vitamin C: Main Image

Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that has a number of biological functions.

  • Reliable and relatively consistent scientific data showing a substantial health benefit.
  • Contradictory, insufficient, or preliminary studies suggesting a health benefit or minimal health benefit.
  • For an herb, supported by traditional use but minimal or no scientific evidence. For a supplement, little scientific support.

Our proprietary “Star-Rating” system was developed to help you easily understand the amount of scientific support behind each supplement in relation to a specific health condition. While there is no way to predict whether a vitamin, mineral, or herb will successfully treat or prevent associated health conditions, our unique ratings tell you how well these supplements are understood by the medical community, and whether studies have found them to be effective for other people.

For over a decade, our team has combed through thousands of research articles published in reputable journals. To help you make educated decisions, and to better understand controversial or confusing supplements, our medical experts have digested the science into these three easy-to-follow ratings. We hope this provides you with a helpful resource to make informed decisions towards your health and well-being.

This supplement has been used in connection with the following health conditions:

Used for AmountWhy
Athletic Performance and Reducing Pain and Speeding Muscle Strength Recovery after Intense Exercise
400 mg daily for several days before and after intense exercise3 stars[3 stars]
Taking vitamin C for several days before and after intense exercise may reduce pain and speed muscle strength recovery.
Bronchitis
200 mg daily3 stars[3 stars]
In a double-blind study of elderly patients hospitalized with acute bronchitis, those given vitamin C improved to a significantly greater extent than those who were given a placebo.
Bruising
400 to 800 mg daily, with flavonoids3 stars[3 stars]
Vitamin C supplements have been shown to reduce bruising in people with low vitamin C intake.
Capillary Fragility
Treat deficiency with up to 1 gram daily3 stars[3 stars]
In cases of deficiency, vitamin C has been shown to increase capillary strength, in seniors and people with diabetes in particular.
Common Cold and Sore Throat
1 to 4 grams daily3 stars[3 stars]
Studies have shown that taking vitamin C may make your cold shorter and less severe.
Gingivitis
300 mg daily3 stars[3 stars]
If you are deficient in vitamin C, supplementing with this vitamin may improve your overall gum health.
Glaucoma
At least 2 grams daily3 stars[3 stars]
Supplementing with vitamin C may help reduce intraocular pressure.
High Cholesterol
1,000 mg daily3 stars[3 stars]
Vitamin C appears to protect LDL cholesterol from damage, and in some trials, cholesterol levels have fallen when people supplement with vitamin C.
Infection
1 to 4 grams daily3 stars[3 stars]
Vitamin C has antiviral activity, and may help prevent viral infections or, in the case of the common cold, reduce the severity and duration of an infection.
Male Infertility and Sperm Agglutination
1,000 mg daily3 stars[3 stars]
Vitamin C protects sperm from oxidative damage and keeps sperm from sticking together.
Scurvy
Refer to label instructions 3 stars[3 stars]
Although scurvy is uncommon in Western societies, many doctors believe that most people consume less than optimal amounts of vitamin C, especially smokers.
Stress
100 to 3,000 mg daily3 stars[3 stars]
Studies have shown that supplementing with vitamin C helps to normalize stress-hormone levels.
Sunburn

(Vitamin E)
2,000 to 3,000 mg vitamin C and 1,000 to 2,000 IU vitamin E3 stars[3 stars]
Antioxidants may protect the skin from sunburn due to free radical–producing ultraviolet rays. Combinations of vitamin E and C offer protection against ultraviolet rays.
Wound Healing
1 to 3 grams daily3 stars[3 stars]
Taking vitamin C may promote connective tissue repair.

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The information presented by Healthnotes is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires December 2017.