Vitamin C

Vitamin C


Key Findings

  • Vitamin C supports many body processes, including collagen production and cardiovascular function; it may also reduce the risk of cancer and the severity of the common cold.
  • It is a strong antioxidant and can remove the free radicals that damage DNA and cause aging.
  • Vitamin C is part of a nutritionally balanced diet and is abundant in citrus fruits and leafy green vegetables.

A Jack of all trades

Vitamin C is an essential, water-soluble vitamin and a powerful antioxidant. Based on what it does for the body, the “C” in vitamin C might as well stand for “comprehensive.” This nutritional powerhouse provides support for a wide range of body functions, from heart and eye health to wound healing and cancer prevention.

Let’s take a deeper look at some of these benefits (which also start with “C”): Collagen, Colds, the Cardiovascular system, and Cancer.

Vitamin C is required for making collagen, a protein that gives strength to skin and connective tissues like tendons, cartilage, ligaments and blood vessels. It decreases the appearance of wrinkles on skin, promotes healing of burns and wounds, and helps protect the skin against damage from the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays.

Vitamin C supports the immune system and may help reduce the symptoms of the common cold. However, having a regular daily intake is crucial; taking one dose when you’re sick won’t provide the same benefits.

Vitamin C helps balance blood pressure, and some studies suggest it helps keep arteries flexible and reduces the negative effects of LDL cholesterol. This reduces atherosclerosis (buildup of plaque in blood vessels) and lowers your chance of stroke, heart attack and peripheral artery disease.

Some experts believe that a vitamin C-rich diet decreases the risk of some cancers. And as part of cancer therapy, vitamin C can be administered intravenously to help support chemotherapy. Since this is a specialized treatment protocol, intravenous (IV) therapy should be performed by a trained holistic specialist like Dr. Sergey Kalitenko.

But that’s not all

Besides these “four C’s”, vitamin C also strengthens the retina to prevent macular degeneration, it lessens allergy-related conditions like asthma and eczema, and it can help reduce blood pressure in people who have diabetes or women who are at risk for pre-eclampsia. As a powerful antioxidant, vitamin C destroys the free radicals that cause damage to DNA and contribute to aging.

Best sources of vitamin C

The recommended daily amount (RDA) for people age 19 and older is 90 mg for men and 75 mg for women. This amount is not hard to get from a well-balanced diet, since vitamin C is found in many foods, including (in alphabetical order):

  • Berries
  • Broccoli
  • Citrus fruits (oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruit)
  • Dark leafy greens (kale, spinach, turnip greens)
  • Fortified breads, cereals and grains
  • Kiwi
  • Melons (watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew)
  • Peppers (particularly red peppers)
  • Tomatoes

Because vitamin C is water soluble, your body can only use 200 to 250 mg a day. The rest is excreted in the urine. As a result, vitamin C is relatively safe in reasonable dosages. Citrus fruits and leafy vegetables should supply the amount most people need, but those with medical conditions or dietary insufficiencies may need to take supplements, which are available in many forms and dosages. Ideally, vitamin C supplements should be taken multiple times a day with meals. Discuss your supplement plan with your doctor or holistic practitioner.


When it comes to optimal health and well-being, the C’s have it. Vitamin C is a powerful nutrient that strengthens many systems, including the immune system, the cardiovascular system, connective tissue and your body’s ability to deal with cancer. A diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables should supply the vitamin C you need, but supplements are also available for those who need them.