Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant, which plays important role in wound healing, improves the absorption of iron, and contributes to immune defense.
But more doesn’t always mean better.

There’s no use taking high doses of vitamin C because the human body absorbs exactly the amount it needs. Any excess of vitamin C is normally excreted in the urine.

Vitamin C consumed from foods or supplements:

  • is not preventive therapy for cancer;
  • should never be prescribed (especially at high doses) during the cancer treatment as it can reduce the anti-cancer effects of radio- and chemotherapy;
  • doesn’t reduce the risk of age-related cataract (just like any other antioxidant);
  • doesn’t help you burn fat;
  • doesn’t make you more resistant to cold-related or viral diseases; however, according to a recent meta-analysis, taking vitamin C at the very first signs of cold may shorten treatment by one day (it requires further research so there weren’t any recommendations given).

Recommended Intakes (mg a day)

  • 0-12 m.o. – 25
  • 1-10 y.o. – 30
  • 11-14 y.o. – 35
  • 15+ y.o. – 40

Foods Highest In Vitamin C (mg)

  • Red or green pepper, 1/2 – 95 
  • Kiwi, 100 g – 90
  • Broccoli, 100 g – 89
  • Green peas, 100 g – 60
  • Strawberry, 100 g – 59
  • Orange, 100 g – 53
  • Orange juice, 100 ml – 50
  • Grapefruit or mango, 100 g – 39
  • Lemon juice, 1 tablespoon – 10.5 

Chronic use of vitamin C hasn’t been recommended by any dietetic association.

It’s difficult to consume too much vitamin C from foods (it’s possible, though).
But with supplements, it’s quite easy.

Maximum Intakes

1-3 y.o. – 400
4-8 y.o. – 650
9-13 y.o. – 1200
14-18 y.o. – 1800
19+ y.o. – 2000

Vitamin C Percentage Lost Through Cooking

Frying – 38%
Boiling – 33%
Stewing – 24%
Microwave oven – 16%
Steaming – minor losses (less than 10%)
Storing frozen for over 6 months – 17-51% depending on the type of food