Vitamin C

Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, has several important functions so it is important that we ensure we have enough of it to keep ourselves healthy. Vitamin C protects the cells and keeps them healthy, it maintains a healthy skin, blood vessels, bones and cartilage. It also helps with wound healing.

A lack of vitamin C can lead to scurvy and mild deficiencies may occur in infants given unsupplemented cows’ milk and in people with poor or very restricted diets.

Sources of Vitamin C

Vitamin C is found in a wide variety of fruit and vegetables.

Good sources include:

  • oranges and orange juice
  • red and green peppers
  • strawberries
  • blackcurrants
  • broccoli
  • brussels sprouts
  • potatoes

How much vitamin C do I need?

Adults aged 19 to 64 need 40mg of vitamin C a day. You should be able to get all the vitamin C you need from your daily diet. Vitamin C can’t be stored in the body, so this is why it is important to keep a healthy diet on a daily basis.

What happens if I take too much vitamin C?

Taking large amounts of vitamin C can cause:

  • stomach pain
  • diarrhoea 
  • flatulence 

These symptoms should disappear once you stop taking vitamin C supplements.

You should be able to get all the vitamin C you need by eating a varied and balanced diet. If you take vitamin C supplements, don’t take too much as this could be harmful.