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
- brussels sprouts
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
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.