Vitamin C

Vitamin C is an essential water-soluble vitamin. Good food sources of Vitamin C include: oranges/orange juice, grapefruit/grapefruit juice, gold kiwi fruits, strawberries, and sweet red peppers.1 The 100% Daily Value for Vitamin C (based on 2,000 kcal diet) is 60 mg,2 but it has been revised to 90 mg as of May 27, 2016.15 The 100% Daily Value for pregnant or lactating women is 120 mg, effective as of July 26, 2018.15

Forms

  • Ascorbic Acid: Ascorbic Acid, the scientific name for Vitamin C, is derived through a process that includes the hydrolysis and enzymatic fermentation of the carbohydrate glucose, which is obtained from the starch naturally present in corn.
  • Ascorbyl Palmitate: Ascorbyl palmitate is a fat-soluble form of vitamin C made by combining naturally derived ascorbic acid with palmitic acid, a natural fatty acid obtained from plants.
  • Rose hips Powder: Rose Hips Powder is made from the select ripened and dehydrated rose hips fruit of Rosa cania, or related species. The dried rose hips are ground into a fine powder and sifted. Rose hips are among nature’s most concentrated sources of natural vitamin C and include other constituents, such as carotenoids and flavonoids.

Major Health Benefits

Vitamin C promotes the absorption of iron from foods and is recognized as a protective antioxidant nutrient that helps neutralize free radicals that can cause cellular damage.3,4 Vitamin C contributes to normal collagen synthesis in blood vessels, cartilage, bones, teeth, and gums. Skin damage caused by UV light exposure can be also prevented by Vitamin C supplementation since oral vitamin C intake is known to effectively increase vitamin C levels in the skin.6,7 Vitamin C also plays an important role in the immune system by stimulating white blood cell (e.g., lymphocytes) production and responding to infected cells (through natural killer cells).8 Vitamin C may help reduce blood pressure by increasing dilation of blood vessels (vasodilation)9. Higher intakes and high blood levels of Vitamin C are associated with a reduced risk for gout and heart disease as well as death from all causes, including cancer and heart disease.10-13

Vitamin C deficiency, which is the cause of scurvy, leads to impaired collagen synthesis.5

Cautions

Consuming large amounts of vitamin C sometimes leads to gastrointestinal disturbances such as diarrhea.14

References

  1. Higdon, J. Vitamin C. Linus Pauling Institute, Oregon State University. 2000. (Reviewed by Michels, AJ in 2013) (Food Sources) http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/vitamins/vitamin-C Accessed 7/2015.
  2. US Food and Drug Administration. Guidance for Industry: A Food Labeling Guide (14. Appendix F: Calculate the Percent Daily Value for the Appropriate Nutrients). US Department of Health and Human Services. 2013 January. http://www.fda.gov/Food/GuidanceRegulation/GuidanceDocumentsRegulatoryInformation/LabelingNutrition/ucm064928.htm
  3. Food and Nutrition Board, Institute of Medicine. Vitamin C. Dietary Reference Intakes for Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Selenium, and Carotenoids. Washington D.C.: National Academy Press; 2000: 95-186. (pp. 103)
  4. Higdon, J. Vitamin C. Linus Pauling Institute, Oregon State University. 2000. (Reviewed by Michels, AJ in 2013) (Function)
  5. Higdon, J. Vitamin C. Linus Pauling Institute, Oregon State University. 2000. (Reviewed by Michels, AJ in 2013) (Deficiency)
  6. McArdle F, Rhodes LE, Parslew R, Jack CI, Friedmann PS, Jackson MJ. UVR-induced oxidative stress in human skin in vivo: effects of oral vitamin C supplementation. Free Radic Biol Med. 2002 Nov 15;33(10):1355-62. PMID: 12419467.
  7. Fuchs J, Kern H. Modulation of UV-light-induced skin inflammation by D-alpha-tocopherol and L-ascorbic acid: a clinical study using solar simulated radiation. Free Radic Biol Med. 1998 Dec;25(9):1006-12. PMID: 9870553.
  8. Food and Nutrition Board, Institute of Medicine. Vitamin C. Dietary Reference Intakes for Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Selenium, and Carotenoids. Washington D.C.: National Academy Press; 2000: 95-186. (pp. 117)
  9. Juraschek SP, Guallar E, Appel LJ, Miller ER 3rd. Effects of vitamin C supplementation on blood pressure: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Am J Clin Nutr. 2012 May;95(5):1079-88. PMID: 22492364; PMCID: PMC3325833.
  10. Choi HK, Gao X, Curhan G. Vitamin C intake and the risk of gout in men: a prospective study. Arch Intern Med. 2009 Mar 9;169(5):502-7. PMID: 19273781; PMCID: PMC2767211.
  11. Knekt P, Ritz J, Pereira MA, O’Reilly EJ, et al. Antioxidant vitamins and coronary heart disease risk: a pooled analysis of 9 cohorts. Am J Clin Nutr. 2004 Dec;80(6):1508-20. PMID: 15585762.
  12. Pocobelli G, Peters U, Kristal AR, White E. Use of supplements of multivitamins, vitamin C, and vitamin E in relation to mortality. Am J Epidemiol. 2009 Aug 15;170(4):472-83. PMID: 19596711; PMCID: PMC2727181.
  13. Roswall N, Olsen A, Christensen J, Hansen L, Dragsted LO, Overvad K,Tjønneland A. Micronutrient intake in relation to all-cause mortality in a prospective Danish cohort. Food Nutr Res. 2012;56. PMID: 22489215; PMCID: PMC3321248.
  14. Food and Nutrition Board, Institute of Medicine. Vitamin C. Dietary Reference Intakes for Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Selenium, and Carotenoids. Washington D.C.: National Academy Press; 2000: 95-186. (pp. 95)
  15. US Food and Drug Administration. Food Labeling: Revision of the Nutrition and Supplement Facts Labels. US Department of Health and Human Services. Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 103, p. 33982 / May 27, 2016. https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2016-05-27/pdf/2016-11867.pdf