Vitamin C | ... Free Vitamin Encyclopedia.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is essential to repairing and maintaining bones, teeth and cartilage. It’s needed to form collagen – a protein that’s used to make skin, cartilage and blood vessels. Vitamin C is vital for the repair and growth of tissues, and helping to heal wounds.[1]

Vitamin C is also an antioxidant, and can help protect against some of the damage caused by free radicals.[2] The build-up of these by-products over time is largely responsible for the aging process and can contribute to the development of various health conditions such as cancer, heart disease, and a host of inflammatory conditions like arthritis.[3] Antioxidants also help reduce the damage to the body caused by toxic chemicals and pollutants such as cigarette smoke.

Where do we get vitamin C?

We get vitamin C from fruits and vegetables. Some of the highest sources of vitamin C are citrus fruits, strawberries, tomatoes, broccoli, leafy greens and sweet potatoes. Other sources of vitamin C include cauliflower, brussels sprouts, watermelon, blueberries, raspberries, cabbage, mango and pineapples.

Too little vitamin C can lead to signs and symptoms of deficiency, including:[4]

  • Dry and splitting hair
  • Gingivitis (inflammation of the gums)
  • Bleeding gums
  • Rough, dry, scaly skin
  • Decreased wound-healing rate
  • Easy bruising
  • Nosebleeds
  • Weakened tooth enamel
  • Swollen and painful joints
  • Anemia
  • Decreased ability to fight infection
  • Possible weight gain because of slowed metabolism


What are the benefits of vitamin C?

Vitamin C is a staple when it comes to colds, but it provides many more benefits.

Bone Health

Vitamin C plays an essential part in calcium absorption[5] and the utilization of calcium in bone metabolism.[6]
Researchers have also found that supplementing with vitamin C can increase bone mineral density in older women[7] and decrease bone loss in older men.[8] Vitamin C also plays an important role in maintaining healthy bone mass.[9]

Heart Health

Higher vitamin C levels in the blood are associated with a lower risk of heart disease.[10] Plus, supplementing with vitamin C is more effective in preventing heart attacks than beta-blockers alone.[11] In a 16-year study, researchers also found that women who supplemented with vitamin C reduced the risk of heart disease by 28%.[12]

Skin Aging

Researchers examined the links between the aging of skin and nutrient intake in over four thousand women, and found that higher intakes of vitamin C are associated with a lower rate of wrinkles and dry skin.[13]


Researchers followed a group of over twenty thousand people for a decade and found that people with the highest concentrations of vitamin C had a 42% lower risk of stroke than those with the lowest concentrations.[14]


Vitamin C deficiencies have been linked with metabolic syndrome.[15]

In addition, negotiates the entry of vitamin C into cells, and it turns out that diabetics have insufficient levels of vitamin C in their cells[16]even when dietary intake exceeds recommended levels.[17] Because of this, some researchers suggest that supplementing with vitamin C might be a requirement for diabetics.[18]

Diabetics that supplemented with 500 mg of vitamin C a day improved arterial stiffness and lowered blood pressure, while those that supplemented with 1000 mg of each day showed a decrease in blood glucose and lipids.[19]

How To Choose A Supplement

There is a very wide range of vitamin C supplements available. However, there is little scientific evidence that any one form is better absorbed or more effective than another. Most experimental and clinical research uses ascorbic acid or its sodium salt, called sodium ascorbate. Natural and synthetic L-ascorbic acid are chemically identical and there are no known differences in their biological activities or bioavailabilities.[20]

For this reason, a specific vitamin C supplement is impossible to recommend at this time. Do you know of research that claims otherwise? …please share, that is what this WikiVites community is all about.


  1. ^ Iqbal, Khalid, Alam Khan, and Muhammad Muzaffar Ali Khan Khattak. “Biological significance of ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) in human health–a review.” Pakistan Journal of Nutrition 3.1 (2004): 5-13.
  2. ^ Bendich, A., et al. “The antioxidant role of vitamin C.” Advances in Free Radical Biology & Medicine 2.2 (1986): 419-444.
  3. ^ Valko, Marian, et al. “Free radicals and antioxidants in normal physiological functions and human disease.” The international journal of biochemistry & cell biology 39.1 (2007): 44-84.
  4. ^ Hampl, Jeffrey S., Christopher A. Taylor, and Carol S. Johnston. “Vitamin C deficiency and depletion in the United States: the third national health and nutrition examination survey, 1988 to 1994.” American journal of public health 94.5 (2004): 870-875.
  5. ^ Morcos, S. R., et al. “Effect of vitamin C and carotene on the absorption of calcium from the intestine.” Zeitschrift für Ernährungswissenschaft 15.4 (1976): 387-390.
  6. ^ Franceschi, Renny T., Bhanumathi S. Iyer, and Yingqi Cui. “Effects of ascorbic acid on collagen matrix formation and osteoblast differentiation in murine MC3T3‐E1 cells.” Journal of Bone and Mineral Research 9.6 (1994): 843-854.
  7. ^ Morton, Deborah J., Elizabeth L. Barrett‐Connor, and Diane L. Schneider. “Vitamin C supplement use and bone mineral density in postmenopausal women.” Journal of Bone and Mineral Research 16.1 (2001): 135-140.
  8. ^ Sahni, Shivani, et al. “High vitamin C intake is associated with lower 4-year bone loss in elderly men.” The Journal of nutrition 138.10 (2008): 1931-1938.
  9. ^ New, Susan A., et al. “Dietary influences on bone mass and bone metabolism: further evidence of a positive link between fruit and vegetable consumption and bone health?.” The American journal of clinical nutrition71.1 (2000): 142-151.
  10. ^ Simon, Joel A., and Esther S. Hudes. “Serum ascorbic acid and cardiovascular disease prevalence in US adults: the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III).” Annals of epidemiology 9.6 (1999): 358-365.
  11. ^ than Beta-Blockers, Is More Effective. “Oral ascorbic acid in combination with beta-blockers.” (2007).
  12. ^ Osganian, Stavroula K., et al. “Vitamin C and risk of coronary heart disease in women.” Journal of the American College of Cardiology42.2 (2003): 246-252.
  13. ^ Cosgrove, Maeve C., et al. “Dietary nutrient intakes and skin-aging appearance among middle-aged American women.” The American journal of clinical nutrition 86.4 (2007): 1225-1231.
  14. ^ Myint, Phyo K., et al. “Plasma vitamin C concentrations predict risk of incident stroke over 10 y in 20 649 participants of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer–Norfolk prospective population study.” The American journal of clinical nutrition 87.1 (2008): 64-69.
  15. ^ Cahill, Leah, Paul N. Corey, and Ahmed El-Sohemy. “Vitamin C deficiency in a population of young Canadian adults.” American journal of epidemiology 170.4 (2009): 464-471.
  16. ^ Will, Julie C., and Tim Byers. “Does diabetes mellitus increase the requirement for vitamin C?.” Nutrition reviews 54.7 (1996): 193-202.
  17. ^ Cunningham, John J., et al. “Reduced mononuclear leukocyte ascorbic acid content in adults with dependent diabetes mellitus consuming adequate dietary vitamin C.” Metabolism 40.2 (1991): 146-149.
  18. ^ Cunningham, John J. “The glucose/system and vitamin C: implications in dependent diabetes mellitus.” Journal of the American College of Nutrition 17.2 (1998): 105-108.
  19. ^ Mullan, Brian A., et al. “Ascorbic acid reduces blood pressure and arterial stiffness in type 2 diabetes.” Hypertension 40.6 (2002): 804-809.
  20. ^ Gregory JF, 3rd. Ascorbic acid bioavailability in foods and supplements. Nutr Rev. 1993;51(10):301-303.