What’s the Best Vitamin C Supplement?
For adults, adequate consumption of one of the most essential antioxidant rich nutrients, vitamin C, otherwise known as Ascorbic Acid, is increasingly important as the seasons change. If you regularly eat fruits such as oranges, pineapple and mango, and vegetables such as broccoli, spinach and peppers, you’re receiving some… but are you getting enough?
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the Daily Value (DV) for adults and children 4 years of age or more is 60 mg. of vitamin C per day. If your multivitamin doesn’t meet this amount, additional supplementation may be needed. This is especially true as the golden years approach, when the body’s ability to absorb nutrients may be hindered by medication and/or chronic health issues.
Plus, because vitamin C is a water soluble vitamin, a continuous supply is needed. To avoid deficiency, many supplement savvy adults turn to vitamin c supplements in addition to their daily multivitamin.
Vitamin C Supplements May Help Sustain Many of the Body’s Functions, Including:
Immunity Support: Individuals who regularly take vitamin C may be better prepared for seasonal health conditions.
Free Radical Protection: Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that may help reduce free radicals and their effects. This may help slow down the aging process.
Maintains Healthy Body Tissue: Vitamin C is needed for the growth and repair of tissues in the body. It helps form collagen for healthy skin, and plays a key role in helping to sustain healthy cartilage, bones and teeth.
The best vitamin C supplement contains more than enough vitamin C for optimal health and well-being, such as 500 mg and 1,000 mg formulas. Some adults may opt for buffered formulas for easier, more comfortable supplement digestion. Others may prefer sustained release formulas, which steadily release contents over a longer period of time each day. There are tasty chewable supplements, too! Whichever you choose, it’s easier than ever to meet the DV for peak health at any age.*
Types of Vitamin C
Ascorbic acid is the form of vitamin C found naturally in food. It has good bioavailability but some people find it too acidic on their gut and can’t tolerate higher doses.
Bioflavonoids are beneficial plant compounds often added to vitamin C supplements. They deliver extra immune benefits and may help to increase bioavailability.
Mineral ascorbates such as calcium and magnesium ascorbate are often called ‘buffered’ vitamin C. Many people find these to be gentler forms of vitamin C that are better tolerated by the gut. It is important however to consider the accompanying dose of mineral (calcium, magnesium etc.) when taking higher levels.
Time-release vitamin C is often the preferred choice since vitamin C has better bioavailability when taken in smaller doses throughout the day. A time-release formula aims to solve this problem without taking multiple tablets, by releasing the vitamin C slowly throughout the day.
RDA: The Recommended Dietary Allowance for adults 19 years and older is 90 mg daily for men and 75 mg for women. For pregnancy and lactation, the amount increases to 85 mg and 120 mg daily, respectively. Smoking can deplete vitamin C levels in the body, so an additional 35 mg beyond the RDA is suggested for smokers.
UL: The Tolerable Upper Intake Level is the maximum daily intake unlikely to cause harmful effects on health. The UL for vitamin C is 2000 mg daily; taking beyond this amount may promote gastrointestinal distress and diarrhea. Only in specific scenarios, such as under medical supervision or in controlled clinical trials, amounts higher than the UL are sometimes used. 
Fruits and vegetables are the best sources of this vitamin.
- Citrus (oranges, kiwi, lemon, grapefruit)
- Bell peppers
- Cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower)
- White potatoes