April 19, 2021

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There's nothing like our health

Health Benefits of Vitamin C Supplements

6 min read

When you feel a cold coming on, have you ever reached for a vitamin C supplement to keep the sniffling and coughing at bay? You’re not alone. Taking vitamin C supplements is common in the United States, with about 35 percent of adults taking multivitamins that contain vitamin C and 12 percent taking a separate vitamin C supplement, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

“Vitamin C is an essential nutrient, which means that we need to get it from food or supplements in order for us to meet our needs,” says Tamar Samuels, RDN, cofounder of Culina Health based in New York City.

Most vitamin C supplements contain vitamin C in the form of ascorbic acid, which is comparable in bioavailability to the vitamin C that naturally occurs in foods, according to the NIH. “Vitamin C and ascorbic acid are the same thing, and the terms can be used synonymously,” Samuels says.

The NIH recommends that adults get 75 milligrams (mg) of vitamin C per day for women and 90 mg daily for men; smokers should get an additional 35 mg per day, and pregnant and breastfeeding women should get 85 and 120 mg, respectively.

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