Self-care starts with staying healthy. Find ways to stay healthy this winter with our self-care guide to cold and flu.
×
All of Your.MD’s Health A-Z articles are reviewed by certified doctors

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is also known as ascorbic acid and has several important functions. For example, it:

  • helps protect cells and keeps them healthy
  • is necessary for the maintenance of healthy connective tissue, which gives support and structure for other tissue and organs
  • helps wound healing

A 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:

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

How much vitamin C do I need?

Adults need 40mg of vitamin C a day. Vitamin C cannot be stored in the body, so you need it in your diet every day. You should be able to get all the vitamin C you need from your daily diet.

What happens if I take too much vitamin C?

Taking large amounts (more than 1,000mg per day) 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, do not take too much because this could be harmful. Taking less than 1,000mg of vitamin C supplements is unlikely to cause any harm.

Content supplied byNHS Logonhs.uk

Find this article useful?

Important: Our website provides useful information but is not a substitute for medical advice. You should always seek the advice of your doctor when making decisions about your health.

Try the App
3 million downloads