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Vitamin C (ascorbic acid)

Vitamin C, also called ascorbic acid, is important for healthy cells and tissue, and wound healing.

People who don’t get enough vitamin C can develop scurvy.

There's some evidence that vitamin C may help shorten the length of colds for some people.

Vitamin C food sources

Many people get enough vitamin C from their diets. All fruits and vegetables contain some vitamin C and a healthy diet rich in fruit and vegetables should provide sufficient levels of vitamin C. Some food sources include:

  • Oranges and orange juice
  • Red and green peppers
  • Strawberries
  • Blackcurrants
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Potatoes

Vitamin C requirements

Adults need 40mg of vitamin C a day. The body can't store vitamin C, so it is needed in a person's daily diet.

Some people may be advised to take vitamin C supplements if they're not getting enough from diet alone.

Vitamin C supplement information

Vitamin C comes in tablets, capsules, chewables, and other forms. It is a standard ingredient in multivitamins. Doctors may sometimes give it by injection. As with any supplement, keep vitamin C supplements in a cool, dry place, away from humidity and direct sunlight.

Vitamin C warnings

WebMD Medical Reference

Medically Reviewed by Dr Rob Hicks on September 04, 2015

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