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Vitamin C

Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, has several important functions.

These include:

  • helping to protect cells and keeping them healthy
  • maintaining healthy skin, blood vessels, bones and cartilage
  • helping with wound healing

Lack of vitamin C can lead to scurvy.

Good sources of vitamin C

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

Good sources include:

  • citrus fruit, such as oranges and orange juice
  • 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 cannot be stored in the body, so you need it in your diet every day.

What happens if I take too much vitamin C?

Taking large amounts (more than 1,000mg per day) of vitamin C can cause:

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

What does the Department of Health and Social Care advise?

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, do not take too much as this could be harmful.

Taking less than 1,000mg of vitamin C supplements a day is unlikely to cause any harm.