We’ve all heard of vitamin C – everyone loves it, whether they supplement with it or not. While it is most well-known for its antioxidant effect, this vitamin actually offers a wide array of wonderful properties that everyone can benefit from.

Vitamin C is a compound which is essential in the production of collagen, helping keep our skin, teeth and blood vessels in healthy condition. Its ability to enhance the health benefits of other supplements makes it the perfect ally for anyone interested in supplementation.

First things first:

  • Vitamin C is an essential substance to maintain the normal metabolic rate, and this contributes to keeping our collagen in good condition.
  • Vitamin C deficiency can lead to scurvy, a disease that can be fatal in its most severe form.
  • It is considered safe to supplement with vitamin C, although more sensitive people may suffer from intestinal discomfort if they supplement.

Ranking: The best vitamin C supplements in the UK

We’ve designed the following section as a ranking of the very best vitamin C supplements available on the British market. By analysing factors such as quality, price, and user reviews, we came up with a comprehensive selection so that you can find the product that’s just right for you.

No. 1: Natures Aid Vitamin C (100 chewable, sugar free 500mg tablets)

Natures Aid is an expert in natural health. A British company founded in 1981, it has won multiple awards and is approved by health agencies GMP and MHRA. These vitamin C tablets are of 500mg so you can take one or two per day. They are also chewable and sugar free, so it’s very easy to add these into your daily routine.

These tablets are suitable for vegans and not tested on animals. Additionally, they are free from artificial colours, flavourings, preservatives, gluten, lactose and yeast, so they are perfect for everyone! There are countless reviews affirming that the subtle orange taste is pleasant and they’re easy to chew, so these are the perfect tablets for those who don’t like swallowing hard pills and who want an enjoyable experience when supplementing.

 

No. 2: Nutravita Vitamin C 1200mg & Zinc 40mg (120 Capsules)

Nutravita is a high-quality British company that prides itself on producing dietary supplements of the highest standards. Nutravita is also committed to helping those less fortunate, so they are partnered with MissionDirect, a charity which helps to build schools in developing countries.

These high strength capsules contain Zinc as well as Vitamin C, meaning that they have multiple benefits, including contributing to the reduction of tiredness and fatigue and contributing to the normal function of the immune system. What’s more, these tablets are also vegan friendly, gluten and wheat free. They are also made with organic, non-GMO ingredients, so you know that what you are putting into your body is natural and healthy.

No. 3: Altrient C Liposomal Vitamin C 1000mg (30 sachets)

Altrient C is not like any other Vitamin C supplement – these vitamin C sachets have a scientifically proved liposomal delivery method. This means that the vitamin is contained in a microscopic bubble that gets carried to the cells within minutes, so say goodbye to tablets that take a long time to work!

Altrient’s cutting edge technology means that they are the world’s first and leading liposomal health and beauty supplements. The figures speak for themselves – 64% of users noticed an increase in skin elasticity in an independent double blind placebo trial. These sachets are also the number one best seller on Amazon for vitamin C and they are many times more powerful than any other oral form of vitamin C. So, what are you waiting for?

No. 4: Nu U Nutrition Vitamin C 1000mg (180 tablets)

Made in the UK and held to the highest safety standards in the world, these vitamin C tablets are at a reasonable price for a six month’s supply! Passed by the Good Manufacturing Practice Certification, these high strength, easy-to-swallow tablets are amazing value. Since they’re high strength, you don’t have to worry about dosage – simply take one a day and you’re sorted!

Free from allergens, suitable for vegans and free from gelatine and GMO ingredients, these tablets are healthy and good quality. Additionally, you know you’re supporting a good, well respected company when you buy these tablets, since a percentage of each sale goes to charitable causes.

No. 5: Your Supplements Vitamin C 100g (Powder)

For those who don’t like taking tablets or don’t have the time to whip up a solution of vitamin C powder and water in the morning, this USP pharmaceutical grade Vitamin C supplement powder by Your Supplements is for you. This powder is at a great price, has 100 servings and comes with a scoop so you can easily add vitamin C to your morning smoothie, juice or protein shake. Perfect for those with a busy lifestyle!

This vitamin C powder is one of the cheapest Amazon has to offer, so there’s no excuse for not having glowing skin and a perfectly functioning immune system! Your Supplements vitamin C powder has only one ingredient: pure vitamin C powder as ascorbic acid, so there’s no need to worry about fillers, flow agents or binders.

 

Buying Guide: Everything you need to know about vitamin C

Also called ascorbic acid, vitamin C is one of the most popular vitamins in the business. It is essential for the maintenance of body tissues, the development of immunity and the protection of neuronal tissue. Since our body cannot produce this substance, it must be obtained through our diet.

Your diet can affect your behaviour positively or negatively.
(Source: lenetstan: 43640243/123rf.com)

In 1749, a Scottish doctor named James Lind discovered that a substance found in citrus fruits could be used to cure scurvy, a disease common in sailors at the time. However, it was only in 1932 that Dr. Albert Szent-Györgyi isolated this compound and gave it the current name of ascorbic acid or vitamin C.

Ascorbic acid deficiency became a real problem and claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands of people. Severe lack of vitamin C is very rare, but it is still possible to find low levels in certain people – in particular in smokers.

What exactly is vitamin C?

The term vitamin is composed of the Latin word vita (life) along with the suffix amine (organic compound). It refers to a number of different substances that regulate the enzymatic and hormonal activity of the human organism. These vitamins must be obtained through our diet because our bodies can’t make them ourselves.

Vitamin C is part of a group called water-soluble vitamins: these are vitamins that can dissolve in water. This class of vitamins – which also includes B vitamins – are characterised by how easily they are evacuated through urine in the event of excessive intake. This is the reason why it is deemed almost impossible to suffer from ascorbic acid poisoning, so you can’t have too much vitamin C.

The functions of vitamin C are connected with the stabilisation and protection of different body tissues.
(Source: Rasulova: 80695498/123rf.com)

Ascorbic acid is stored in the majority of body tissues, such as plasma, skin, neurons and glands. The highest concentration of vitamin C is retained by the adrenal glands, the ovaries and the testes. Experts believe that these specific organs require high amounts in order to produce hormones.

What are the different functions of vitamin C?

While its antioxidant properties are the most commonly known by the general public, the functions of ascorbic acid are actually more closely linked to the stabilisation and protection of various body tissues. We summed up its main functions in the following list:

  • Collagen formation: Vitamin C promotes the expression of genes that regulate the production of collagen. It also acts as a co-factor in stabilising the amino acids needed for the formation of collagen for your skin, hair, teeth and joints.
  • Production of inter-cellular matter: This matter acts as a cement by binding cells and tissues and providing stability to the body’s components.
  • Skin defence: Vitamins C and E work together to capture and eliminate free radicals. These chemicals are partly responsible for the ageing of our skin.
  • Melanogenesis inhibition: Melanogenesis – the creation of pigmented cells (melanocytes) – is inhibited by vitamin C, so vitamin C prevents the formation of patches on the skin, such as chloasma (hyperpigmentation), or age spots.
  • Neural development: Studies have shown that brain tissue – in particular developing neurones – require large quantities of ascorbic acid to mature.
  • Neural protection: Mature neurones consume huge amounts of vitamin C to protect themselves from the oxidative stress generated by their frenetic activity.
  • Iron absorption: Vitamin C is able to bind to the iron molecule (either through diet or supplementation), altering its structure to support its absorption in the intestinal tract.
  • Protection against heart problems: Experts say that ascorbic acid can have an antioxidant effect on LDL (bad cholesterol). This is because Vitamin C can stop LDL from oxidising and building up in the arteries. When there is an LDL build-up in the arteries, this can cause problems like atheroma or cholesterol plaque.
  • L-carnitine synthesis: Vitamin C is an important factor for the creation of L-carnitine. This amino acid plays an important role in energy metabolism, which accelerates the burning of fat that is then transformed into energy.

Scientists are still investigating what this vitamin does in our body. Vitamin C is also currently being used as an experimental treatment for different allergies (such as hayfever), age-related ocular degeneration, cystic fibrosis or even as a possible anti-cancer therapy.

What is the recommended dose of vitamin C?

The recommended daily allowance (RDA) of Vitamin C has changed over the years. It was originally advised to consume 10 mg per day, which was considered enough to keep scurvy symptoms at bay. Nowadays, it is believed that an intake of 100 mg daily allows you to fully benefit from its properties.

The truth is that experts simply have not been able to determine if there is an optimal dose for the general population. It is assumed that amount of vitamin C we need varies from person to person, depending on genetic differences, disease and metabolic rate.

People who follow diets rich in fruits and vegetables have an ascorbic acid intake ranging between 200 and 250 mg per day. These individuals tend to have reduced rates of cardiovascular disease and an increased life expectancy.

foco

Consuming 100 to 250 mg of vitamin C every day would therefore offer the greatest health benefits.

How is vitamin C absorbed?

While ascorbic acid can be administered intravenously, it is most frequently obtained through diet or oral supplementation. In those cases, its absorption is primarily intestinal and has a high rate, reaching 90% if the vitamin is ingested in small amounts throughout the day.

On the other hand, the absorption rate of the substance when administering a very high dose (around 1,000-2,000 mg) is drastically reduced to 40%. Not only that, most of the vitamin C that our body obtains this way won’t exert its beneficial effect and will be eliminated in our urine within the next few hours.

Citrus fruits have high levels of vitamin C.
(Source: Lightwise: 24220551/ 123rf.com)

This is why, to ensure proper optimal absorption of this substance, that it is advised to use small doses of vitamin C (30-100 mg) spread throughout the day. Your organism has the ability to store up to 2,000 mg of ascorbic acid. After that, it excretes the surplus to prevent the vitamin from building up.

foco

Did you know that the majority of mammals are capable of generating vitamin C from other nutrients? Humans, however, are unable to produce this compound and must obtain it through diet.

What are the consequences of vitamin C deficiency?

It was during the 15th and 16th centuries that the lack of vitamin C was most problematic, causing the illness and death of countless sailors who embarked on adventures and spent months in ships without access to fresh food (especially citrus fruits). This state of deficiency is what we call scurvy.

There are two different phases of scurvy, the first one manifesting itself as unexplained fatigue. It may also come with a metabolic imbalance that favours weight gain and, in the later stages, obesity. This type of vitamin C deficiency is the most frequent type found in our modern-day society.

Vitamin C is found in a great variety of foods.
(Source: Przemyslaw Ceglarek: 87942962/123rf.com)

The second stage of scurvy, which will occur if the ascorbic acid deficiency intensifies, is potentially fatal. Nowadays, this phase is particularly rare, only affecting individuals suffering from extreme malnutrition. Here are the symptoms and signs of this stage of scurvy:

  • Bleeding and spontaneous haemorrhages: The blood vessels are weakened and will bleed easily, since the cement that binds cells together deteriorates.
  • Weakened gums and teeth: When the bond between cells becomes fragile, gums bleed easily and teeth can fall out.
  • Fatigue and weakness: It is difficult to obtain energy without ascorbic acid, and this leads to weakness and tiredness (asthenia).
  • Difficulty in healing wounds: Vitamin C is essential for the healing and synthesis of collagen. Without it, wounds may not heal, and if they do, they heal very slowly.
  • Anaemia: Anaemia can be triggered by bleeding and difficulty absorbing iron, both of which are caused by vitamin C deficiency.
  • Apathy, sadness and psychiatric disorders: Ascorbic acid is essential for the maintenance of neuronal health. A lack of this vitamin C leads to a series of psychiatric and neurological symptoms, ranging from apathy to paranoia and hypochondria.
  • Severe infections: To develop the enzymatic compounds responsible for fighting infections, our immune system requires large amounts of ascorbic acid. The lack of ascorbic acid will therefore negatively affect our ability to fight infections and therefore increase our risk of of suffering from a number of diseases.

Who is at high risk of being vitamin C deficient?

The majority of us nowadays have sufficient levels of vitamin C, in great part due to the increased availability of fresh foods, as well as the vitamin supplements found in most packaged foods. That being said, up to 5% of the population may suffer from hypovitaminosis C, (vitamin C deficiency) with the following groups being most at risk:

  • Smokers: Regular smokers face an increased probability of suffering from ascorbic acid deficiency (18% vs. 5% of the general population).
  • Those taking oral contraceptives: The use of such contraceptives has been linked with a decrease in vitamin C levels.
  • Those who consume high amounts of alcohol: People who consume alcohol excessively tend to suffer from numerous nutritional deficiencies, including vitamin C.
  • Children and the elderly: People of these ages groups should follow carefully planned diets, since they are at a higher risk of suffering from vitamin C deficiency because they tend to be dependent on others for nutrition.
  • Those who suffer from eating disorders: Individuals who suffer from eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa may suffer from ascorbic acid deficiency.
  • Those who have restricted diets: There have been reports of hypovitaminosis C in individuals who suffer from food allergies and intollerances; since their diets tend to have less variety than those who do not have restricted diets. Similarly, those who do not consume many fruits and vegetables also face a higher risk of being deficient in various nutrients, namely vitamin C.

Individuals in these groups should be particularly attentive to the onset of symptoms of scurvy. Fortunately, this condition is very easy to treat: consuming vitamin C-rich foods or taking supplements will relieve symptoms in as little as 24 hours.

Terry MartinDirector of the Delphi Smoking Cessation Forum

“It is estimated that smokers require an extra daily intake of 35 mg of vitamin C compared to non-smokers.”

What foods are rich in vitamin C?

Varying amounts of vitamin C can be found in fresh fruits and vegetables. Citrus fruits and berries contain particularly high contents of vitamin C, as do certain vegetables, such as broccoli. The following table indicates the content of the foods richest in vitamin C:

Food (100 grams) Vitamin C content (mg) % RDA (100 mg)
Moringa (leaves from the moringa tree – a superfood which is commonly taken in capsule form) 3,000 3,000%
Acerola (a cherry-like fruit) 1,600 1,600%
Guava 300 300%
Blackcurrants 200 200%
Red Bell Peppers 190 190%
Parsley 130 130%
Kiwis 90 90%
Grapes 90 90%
Broccoli 80 80%
Brussel Sprouts 80 80%
Green Bell Peppers 60 60%
Persimmon 60 60%
Papaya 60 60%
Strawberries 60 60%
Oranges 50 50%
Lemons 40 40%
Grapefruits 30 30%
Spinach 30 30%
Cabbage 30 30%
Potatoes (with skin) 20 20%

Bear in mind that the ascorbic acid values in the table above represent the content found in raw foods. Cooking fruits and vegetables will alter their vitamin C content, reducing it in most cases. This is why you are strongly encouraged to consume these foods raw.

That being said, certain foods cannot be eaten raw, such as potatoes. In that case, you are advised to cook them for as little time as possible, preferably using cooking methods that most preserve the vitamins, like steaming. A useful tip to get the most nutrients out of potatoes is to to bake them with the skin still on, as this preserves a higher content of ascorbic acid, compared to peeled potatoes.

Limes are ideal if you want to increase your vitamin C intake.
(Source: Ventrella: 29796800/ 123rf.com)

What are the benefits of a healthy intake of vitamin C?

A diet rich in ascorbic acid will help maintain your organism’s homeostasis – its ability to preserve internal balance. The consumption of vitamin C offers various benefits, which will appear within a few hours or days. The condition of your skin, brain, bones an immune system are all positively affected. Here are some more benefits of the wonderful vitamin that is vitamin C:

  • Skin protection: The ascorbic acid stored in your skin protects the epidermis (top layer of skin) from the dangers of sunlight and radiation.
  • Prevention of ageing: Vitamin C reduces the deterioration of your skin and other tissues, hence slowing down the ageing process.
  • Sensation of energy and vitality: High enough ascorbic acid supplies will contribute to your normal energy metabolism and will counteract both fatigue and apathy.
  • Lower risk of cardiovascular problems: Vitamin C can reduce your risk of cardiovascular problems, since it avoids the the oxidation and build-up of plaques in the arteries.
  • Improvement of anaemia symptoms: A diet rich in vitamin C favours the absorption of iron, hence alleviating the symptoms of anaemia. This is particularly important for vegans and vegetarians, since the iron found in plants is absorbed with more difficulty than that of animal products.
  • Weight control: Vitamin C is essential for the synthesis of L-carnitine and for the correct metabolism of fats. Optimal ascorbic acid levels boosts lipolysis (fat burning) and contributes to controlling body weight.
  • Healing of ulcers, burns and other wounds: High vitamin C levels contribute to the production of collagen and other skin components that are required for prompt wound healing.
  • Shorter recovery period from illness: Certain studies have demonstrated a correlation between high ascorbic acid consumption and a shorter length of diseases and illnesses, as well as less intense symptoms.
  • Lower uric acid levels: Excess uric acid is linked to the appearance of diseases such as gout. Various research have shown that vitamin C intake can decrease uric acid levels in the blood.

There are still many ongoing studies of the benefits of vitamin C. It is possible that this substance can also slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease, alleviate the symptoms of numerous allergic reactions, treat chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), or act as an painkiller. The latest research on ascorbic acid is indeed very promising.

Who should take vitamin C supplements?

You are always encourage to obtain your daily vitamin C intake directly from a healthy diet. That being said, the daily demands of the modern world – such as a strenuous work schedule or insufficient time to cook – can make it very hard for you to meet your RDA. This is when vitamin C supplements come in handy, as you can easily add them to your diet.

Smokers who take oral contraceptives or are trying to lose weight will greatly benefit from ascorbic acid supplements. Individuals who suffer from anaemia can also take vitamin C to promote the absorption of iron from their diet or medical treatment, therefore speeding their recovery.

Vitamin C significantly increases our health and immune system.
(Source: Tsyhanova: 51018559/ 123rf.com)

Finally, a positive correlation was identified between ascorbic acid supplementation and a decrease in blood pressure. Researchers have observed a reduction of 5 mm Hg of diastolic pressure and a drop of 1.5 mmHg of systolic pressure in patients with high blood pressure. This proves that vitamin C intake may help control hypertension.

Dr. Josh AxeClinical Nutritionist & Health Author

“Interestingly enough, one study actually found that consuming 100 milligrams of vitamin C alongside a meal increased iron absorption by a whopping 67 percent.”

What types of vitamin C supplements are available?

If you cannot reach your RDA of vitamin C through your diet alone, you are encouraged to use supplements. You’ll find different types of vitamin C supplements on the British market. This makes it very easy for you to get a product tailored to your personal needs. Here is a list of the most common types and how they work:

  • Ascorbic acid: This is the original form of vitamin C. It is available in its natural form and as an artificial formula. The effectiveness and degree of absorption of both types of ascorbic acid are very similar. Note that it can sometimes be difficult for the body to digest and could produce diarrhoea or heartburn, especially at high doses.
  • Vitamin C bound to minerals or salts: Vitamin C is sometimes associated with minerals such as zinc, calcium or magnesium. This form is much more tolerable for the stomach and is recommended for individuals who have suffered from intestinal discomfort after taking ascorbic acid supplements.
  • Vitamin C with bioflavonoids: Bioflavonoids are plant-based compounds that have antioxidant properties and promote the absorption of vitamin C.
  • Topical vitamin C: You can also find ascorbic acid creams and powders on the market. These products are purely cosmetic, contributing to blurring appearing spots and skin tone irregularities. This method only allows a minimal quantity of vitamin C to pass into your blood.

Individuals seeking to enhance their vitamin C absorption should therefore focus on ascorbic acid-based supplements, or products with bioflavonoids. On the other hand, people who regularly suffer from heartburn should opt for supplements with vitamin C and mineral salts.

The latest studies on vitamin C are very promising.
(Source: Vitali Krasouski Ceglarek: 27562503/123rf.com)

How should I take my vitamin C supplement?

The majority of manufacturers recommend taking the supplement once a day – be it in capsule, liquid, powder or effervescent tablet form. However, you can actually increase your body’s absorption by taking several smaller doses throughout the day: three ascorbic acid doses with your meals, for instance, will lead to a higher absorption.

As you can imagine, it is more difficult to divide capsules and tablets into various doses. In that case, we recommend opting for supplements in powder or liquid form. Consuming 100-150 mg of vitamin C with each of the three main meals is considered to be the most effective way to increase your levels of this substance.

View this post on Instagram

Happy Monday! 😋

A post shared by Plant Powered House (@plantpoweredhouse) on

Since this vitamin is water-soluble, you are not obliged to take it with food. This means that its degree of absorption isn’t affected by the way you consume it. However, vitamin C ingested on an empty stomach can lead to intestinal discomfort, which is why experts recommend taking it with food.

foco

Since vitamin C is water-soluble, it does not accumulate in your body for long periods of time. This is the reason why you should have a daily intake to maintain its levels.

Can vitamin C supplements cure or prevent colds?

Many people believe that vitamin C intake can alleviate cold and flu symptoms. In reality, the relationship between ascorbic acid and infectious illnesses is quite controversial, and no studies have been able to prove that its intake can actually help prevent these diseases.

Vitamin C supplementation has also been tested on people who already have cold or flu symptoms, but the results were unclear. None of the studies carried out could prove a reduction in illness time or reduction in nasal congestion or discomfort associated with colds and the flu.

Three small doses with meals will provide a higher absorption of vitamin C.
(Source: Maria Averburg: 66931014/123rf.com)

That being said, it does not mean that ascorbic acid is useless against all infections. There have been reports of a significant reduction of the severity of nasal discomfort after supplementing with vitamin C in individuals subjected to excessive stress – a factor that increases the likelihood of contracting a cold or the flu.

Can vitamin C supplements trigger or induce menstruation?

Some say that ascorbic acid can oppose the actions of progesterone, the female hormone responsible for the changes in uterus tissue. This hormone prepares the uterus to receive the embryo in the event of successful fertilisation and menstruation occurs when progesterone levels fall below a certain value.

This the reason why many people who menstruate consume vitamin C-rich foods or take ascorbic acid supplements to induce menstruation and alleviate the discomfort associated with the premenstrual phase of the cycle. These include breast pain, abdominal swelling and irritability, amongst others.

Janet Zand and Robert RountreeMedical Doctors & Authors of Smart Medicine for a Healthier Child

“Vitamin C is a mild anti-inflammatory that may help decrease menstrual discomfort.”

In reality, no research has been able to back up the fact that ascorbic acid induces menstruation. However, many people claim that supplementing with high doses (about 1-2 grams) of vitamin C is helpful in alleviating the discomfort associated with premenstrual tension.

Is it possible to consume too much vitamin C?

The water-soluble properties of ascorbic acid means that all excess is eliminated in the urine of healthy individuals who do not suffer from kidney dysfunction. It is therefore virtually impossible to be poisoned with vitamin C, regardless of the quantity taken.

However, there is still a maximum recommended amount of 2 grams of this substance per day. When excessively high amounts of this acid compound are consumed, it can lead to intestinal discomfort such as gastroesophageal reflux, stomach pain, difficult digestion, diarrhoea and vomiting.

You should always consult with a health professional before starting supplementation.
(Source: Tunedin123: 37777665/123rf.com)

Individuals suffering from different types of kidney disease – such as chronic kidney failure – should always check with a healthcare professional before supplementing with vitamin C. Affected kidneys may be unable to remove excess ascorbic acid, worsening the state of the existing disease.

Are there problems linked with vitamin C supplementation?

Ascorbic acid supplements are considered safe in most cases, and they can be used by the vast majority of the population without potential side effects. However, individuals from the following at-risk groups should be cautious and consult their doctor before using any vitamin C supplement:

  • Individuals with high levels of oxalates in urine: Oxalates are small crystals found in urine and that may form kidney stones and obstruct the flow of urine. The consumption of ascorbic acid can contribute to the appearance of new kidney stones in people with a predisposition.
  • Individuals with excessively high blood iron levels: A common symptom amongst several blood pathologies – such as thalassemia – is an unwanted increase in iron levels. This mineral can build up in vital organs such as the heart, lungs, liver and brain. In this case, increased iron absorption is not recommended.
  • Individuals suffering from specific endocrine and enzyme disorders: Some rare genetic diseases, such as G6PD deficiency, may be aggravated by the use of ascorbic acid supplements.

Pregnant women and those who are breast feeding also have to be cautious. Ascorbic acid supplementation has been used successfully to prevent the onset of gestational hypertension in pregnant women. However, supplementing without clinical control is not advised, and a thorough medical supervision is necessary.

How much do vitamin C supplements cost?

Ascorbic acid supplements tend to be very affordable, ranging from £5 to £15. The great news is that the price isn’t generally affected by brand, but rather by the amount of tablets, capsules or quantity of powder found in the product.

There are other factors that may lead to an increase in the final price of the supplement. These include the other benefits that the supplement has for the body. These include the addition of other vitamins, minerals, antioxidant compounds, plant extracts or even probiotics. Zinc, for instance, is often used as a remedy for cold and respiratory tract diseases and is commonly found in vitamin C supplements. These supplements tend to cost more than supplements that contain solely vitamin C.

Buying checklist

There are a large number of vitamin C supplements on the market. It is therefore difficult to choose a product that perfectly suits the individual needs of each buyer. Our checklist can help you narrow your search and find the perfect supplement for you.

  • Interaction with other medications
  • Allergens
  • Vegan and vegetarian information
  • Format of supplement
  • Combination with other supplements
  • Value for money

Interaction with other medications

Vitamin C can interact with a number of different medications, dramatically altering their absorption and effectiveness. The following table will show you the interactions most frequently observed as a result of combining ascorbic acid supplements with drugs:

Medicine Result of interaction with vitamin C
Antacids with aluminium (Almax®) Increased aluminium absorption
Oestrogen (contraceptives) Increased oestrogen activity
Anti-psychotics (Fluphenazine) Decreased quantity of medicine in blood
Chemotherapy Decreased effects of chemotherapy (suspected, currently under study)
Anti-HIV medication Reduced time of activity of the medication
Statins (high cholesterol medication) Reduction of the effectiveness of the medicine (suspected)
Niacin (vitamin B3) Decreased niacin effects
Warfarin (anticoagulant) Decreased medicine effectiveness
Paracetamol Increased time required to eliminate the medicine
Aspirin Increased time required to eliminate the medicine
Nifedipine (high blood pressure medication) Increased time required to eliminate the medicine

These effects are not considered to be particularly severe and should not generally pose a threat to your health. That being said, you are encouraged to wait two hours between taking the medicines above and any vitamin C supplement. As always, you should also check with your doctor before taking ascorbic acid in combination with any treatment.

Allergens

Ascorbic acid supplements rarely provoke allergic reactions. However, there have been reports of hypersensitivity reactions after excessive consumption of vitamin C supplements. The artificial components bound to the vitamin may also lead to allergic manifestations.

You may see allergic symptoms within minutes or hours after taking the vitamin C supplement, the most common are:

  • Itching of the skin
  • Swelling of the face, lips or mouth
  • Appearance of rashes
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Vomiting
  • Headaches

It is essential that you seek immediate medical attention should you feel any of the above symptoms.

Vitamin C plays an essential role in strengthening your immune system.
(Source: Elena Nichizhenova: 90923167/123rf.com)

Vegan and vegetarian information

Vegans and vegetarians will have no difficulty finding vitamin C supplements, as vitamin C can be obtained from foods of plant origin. That being said, you should always be particularly careful with the other ingredients that make up the product: certain elements of animal origin are found as part of the capsule or as an bulking agent.

The very best vegan supplements tend to feature a vegan seal of quality on the product, indicating that it has been thoroughly examined and that it contains no animal products, nor was tested on animals. This seal of quality provides a practical, comfortable and safe way to know that the supplement you’re buying is perfectly suitable for your lifestyle.

View this post on Instagram

Wellness #Wednesday 🍊Did you know that skin is the human body’s largest organ?! Are you nurturing yours?! 🧐 At Arabella’s, skin health starts with @hydrafacial + science based skin care (@skinmedica and @auspectskincare have you covered) and of course skin care makeup by Jane Iredale. 💫 *** FREE GIVEAWAY ** If you had to choose between skin care or makeup which one would it be? Head over to our Facebook and Comment your choice, like & share this post to be entered to win a FREE Auspect Vita C Serum (valued at $75) 🤩🙌🎉 📸: @auspectskincare . . . . . #SkinCare #auspect #skinmedia #vitaminC #wellness #WellnessWednesday #Spa #Giveaway #Healthy #JaneIredale

A post shared by Arabella's Salon And Spa (@arabellassalonandspa) on

Format of supplement

You should not forget to consider the form in which ascorbic acid is administered if you want to choose the product that’s most tailored to your needs. As we’ve mentioned above, various formats are available on the British market. We’ve listed the most popular doses and formats for you below:

  • Capsules or tablets: This option is the most comfortable and easy to take. However, the majority of tablets come in an excessive dose (about 1 gram), far exceeding the RDA of 250 mg.
  • Effervescent tablets: The ease of use and storage of this form of supplement are very similar to that of capsules and tablets, yet they are easier to ingest, since they don’t involve swallowing a pill and you dissolve them in liquid before taking them. The quality of the product will influence its taste.
  • Shakes or drinkable vials: You can also buy vitamin C in its liquid form. This makes it easier to ingest and allows you to divide it into smaller doses.
  • Powder: Storing and using this form of supplement is more complicated than others, as it needs to be dissolved in liquid and mixed before you can take it. However, the fact that it is so easy to dose greatly increases its value for money.
  • Intravenous: This form of vitamin C is only available for medical use. It is used as a semi-experimental medication to treat severe diseases such as Parkinson’s or cystic fibrosis.

All supplements, regardless of their format, should be stored at room temperature (unless the manufacturer’s instructions state otherwise), away from sunlight and extreme heat. The good news is that their shelf life is very long, which means that they can be stored for years without losing their properties, as long as their packaging is kept in optimal condition.

Vitamin C plays an essential role in strengthening your immune system.
(Source: Elena Nichizhenova: 90923167/123rf.com)

Combination with other supplements

One of the greatest properties of ascorbic acid is that it can be combined with other supplements to increase their health benefits. In the table below, we’ve briefly explained the different supplement combinations you can do, and what effects they will have on your organism:

Combination Effect Usefulness
Vitamin C + Vitamin E Increased antioxidant capacity Decreased cardiovascular risk (reduced oxidation of LDLs)
Vitamin C + Vitamin D Increased antioxidant capacity and tissue regeneration Decreased cardiovascular risk (reduced oxidation of LDLs), quicker wound healing, maintenance of bone health
Vitamin C + Collagen Increased tissue regeneration Improved skin appearance, rapid healing, prevention of ageing, accelerated healing of bone fractures
Vitamin C + Magnesium Increased collagen synthesis Improved skin appearance, prevention of ageing
Vitamin C + L-carnitine Increased overall L-carnitine levels Increased energy levels and destruction of fat
Vitamin C + Selenium Increased formation and hardening of bones Prevention of osteoporosis
Vitamin C + Zinc Regulation of immunity Reduction of rhinorrhoea (runny nose) and flu symptoms

Many manufacturers make supplements that directly include some of the combinations mentioned above, allowing you to consume both compounds in a single capsule. You can also simply buy both supplements separately and take them at the same time: the end result will be the same.

Value for money

Ascorbic acid supplements often provide very high doses of vitamin C (500-1,000 mg). Bear in mind that the RDA for vitamin C is 100-250 mg/day. We strongly encourage you to divide your intake into smaller doses, helping you get the most out of your supplement. This way, you’ll save a lot of money while getting the same health benefits.

Summary

Vitamin C is one of the most popular supplements out there, and it shouldn’t be missing from your diet. It can offer countless benefits for your body, helping you achieve optimal health in a very short time. You’ll find this substance extremely useful, whether you want to increase your energy, improve the appearance of your skin or overcome apathy.

We hope our guide on vitamin C has helped you better understand this substance. You should now know exactly how to make the most of ascorbic acid supplements, and how to get the best products at the best prices. Give this supplement a chance, and we’re sure you’ll be more than pleased!

If you liked our article on vitamin C, feel free to share it on your social media, and leave us a comment in the section below!

(Source of featured image: VanHorn: 12947194/ 123rf.com)

Rate this article

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars
29 Vote(s), Average: 4.52 of 5
Loading...