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Vitamin C: All you need to know

Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is one of the best known and widely used supplements. Historically used by sailors to treat scurvy, Vitamin C can be obtained naturally in the diet from a number of sources such as citrus fruits and vegetables.

The benefits of vitamin C

Vitamin C is a natural antioxidant that is probably  best known for the support it provides the immune system. This is particularly the case after exhaustive exercise, when the immune system is depleted and the body vulnerable to infection.

Perhaps less well known is the role that vitamin C plays in the normal formation of collagen. Collagen is a vital component of cartilage, tendons, ligaments and connective tissues. A low intake of vitamin C could result poor development of connective tissues, which could result in an increased risk of ligament and tendon injuries.

How much vitamin C should I take?

The daily recommended intake of vitamin C is just 80mg, but most nutritionists suggest this is extremely conservative and recommend daily doses of between 500mg and 1,000mg. Doses greater than 1,000mg can cause digestive issues so should not be exceeded.

When should I take vitamin C?

Vitamin C can be taken at any time of day, although some experts recommend taking it before a meal.

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Nothing beats a healthy, balanced diet to provide all the nutrients we need. But when this isn’t possible supplements can help. This article isn’t intended to replace
medical advice. Please consult your healthcare professional before trying supplements or herbal medicines.