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Vitamin C is a well-known, powerful nutrient. Also known as L-ascorbic acid, Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin. Unlike most mammals, humans do not have the ability to produce vitamin C and must take it from diet or supplements. Vitamin C is essential for the completion of many enzymatic reactions such as the production of collagen, one of the key components of connective tissue. It is also necessary for the production of many neurotransmitters as well as the regulation of gene expression.
Vitamin C is best known for its powerful antioxidant powers. A few hundred years ago, vitamin C deficiency, also known as scurvy, was quite common. By the late 1700s, the British navy became aware that scurvy could be cured by eating oranges or lemons, although vitamin C was not isolated until the early 1930s.
Fruits and vegetables are the best sources of vitamin C. Citrus fruits, tomatoes, and tomato juice, and potatoes, are major contributors to vitamin C in the American diet. Other good food sources include red and green peppers, kiwi, broccoli, strawberries, Brussels sprouts and melon.
Vitamin C deficiency is rare today, as most people get enough from food; however, some people choose to include Vitamin C supplements to optimize immune function, prevent colds, and support overall health. For most, vitamin C supplements are safe for general use, however it is always important to discuss supplement changes with a healthcare provider and seek medical help for illness.
Here are the best vitamin C supplements:
When choosing a supplement, one of the most important criteria to consider is purity, strength and quality. For this reason, Bounty Nature Vitamin C (see Amazon) is the best overall choice.
What to look for in a vitamin C supplement.
Gum supplements are a good choice for those who do not want to swallow pills. When buying a rubber supplement, pay attention to the gram of sugar per serving, ideally it is less than 4 grams per serving and does not contain harmful ingredients like food coloring and high fructose corn syrup. It is always recommended to brush your teeth after consuming gum-containing sugar to prevent tooth decay or inflammation of the gums.
There are many eraser products available, one of our favorites is from Megafood. Megafood Defense Gummy (see on Thrive Market) are low in sugar and free of common allergens, as well as the harmful ingredient glyphosate. Glyphosate, a key ingredient in the Weed Killer Summary, has made headlines recently due to its negative effects on hormones, gastrointestinal health, respiratory health, and immune function, among other concerns.
Herbs are another easy option to consume for those who prefer not to swallow pills, but not all herbal creams are created equal. Some have more sugar than others and some focus on natural ingredients while others contain artificial colors and flavors. Look for products that have 4 grams of sugar or less per serving.
Vitamin C sprays are a great choice for those on the go. Paying attention to about a teaspoon to measure dust can be frustrating and needing to rely on always having a glass of water to mix powder or swallow a tablet is difficult when traveling. Spray supplements also offer flexibility in the dose of vitamin C and can be a good option for families with different needs or different seasons of the year when diet or lifestyle may change.
We like Mykind Organics Vitamin C Spray (see on Amazon)with No need to worry about added sugars or stevia in this product. In addition to being sweetener-free, it is also preservative-free, pesticide-free and is certified by Kosher, Project Non-GMO Verified and NSF Certified Gluten Free.
Softgel / Tablet / Capsule
For consumers who are happy with swallowing supplements, you will find the most varied options available in mild or tablet form. If you are following a special diet like kosher, vegan or vegetarian, look for products that contain these special labels.
Most consumers will be familiar with the vitamin C powder package, which is often displayed at checkout counters in grocery stores and pharmacies. Most conventional powders on the market, such as Emergen-C (see Amazon), contain added vitamins and minerals for stronger immune support.
Although vitamins and minerals work synergistically, if you are already taking other supplements like a multivitamin or B-Complex, buyers should be aware of the excess of their intake and choose a powder that contains only Vitamin C. In addition , because Vitamin C is an acid, powders containing high doses of vitamin C can contribute to erosion or tooth decay when consumed frequently.
When it comes to vitamin C dietary supplements, there are many different forms available. There seems to be no definitive research to support the use of one form of Vitamin C over another.
For most, vitamin C supplements are safe for general use. However, it is always important to discuss additional changes with a healthcare provider and seek medical help for illness.
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A Non-GMO Project Verification Certificate (COV) demonstrates that an individual product is Verified by a Non-GMO ProjectWith According to the Non-GMO Project, the definition of GMOs (genetically modified organisms) is “plants or animals that have changed their genetic composition to exhibit traits that are not naturally their own”With Crops GMOs are created to withstand the application of toxic herbicides which can have negative health effects.
A note on the organic
Vitamin C dietary supplements can be made from whole foods as well as made synthetically. Unless there is a food source used in the manufacture of the supplement, it will be difficult to find a Vitamin C supplement that contains an organic label. For supplements, an organic option is not necessarily the best or preferred.
Third Party Certification
Buyers can view labels such as “CL, Labdoor, NSF or USP”. These labels indicate that a company has undergone voluntary third party testing of their products to check purity, strength and quality. These third party companies will also test for heavy metals and other contaminants.
Vitamin C supplements may contain supplements known to support the immune system. Common nutrients that are added to vitamin C supplements are Zinc, and Vitamins B. In addition, some products will add bioflavonoids which are believed to work synergistically with and increase the effectiveness of vitamin C.
Always check the ingredient list to make sure all ingredients are safe for your individual needs. Many times supplements that have additional ingredients can be more expensive than others. Consider how you can consume these other nutrients from food to save money and keep things simple.
Contraindications and Dosage
The dose you need for each supplement will depend on age, gender, presence of absence and specific conditions. As a benchmark, non-smoking men over the age of 19 need 90 milligrams of Vitamin C per day and women need 75 milligrams. Needs for women increase during pregnancy and lactation.
Although Vitamin C is water soluble and does not stay in the body for long, large doses can cause adverse effects, including heartburn, nausea, headaches, stomach cramps and diarrhea. Although Vitamin C is generally considered safe, it is always wise to update your healthcare provider with what you are taking and be on the lookout for side effects.
Vitamin C supplements do not have to cost an arm and a leg in order to be effective. The price of vitamin C supplements varies from approximately $ 7 to over $ 30. Pay attention to the number of servings in a bottle, as well as the dose when comparing products. Additional forms (tablets, capsules, liquid) and complementary ingredients will affect the price of the products.
What the experts say
“Vitamin C is a great way to boost your immune system, but it is also involved in many other interactions in the body. It’s an important nutrient for vegans and vegetarians to ensure they are absorbing iron in the diet. “Simply link your iron-rich food to a source of vitamin C to increase absorption, or consider a supplement if you do not think you are getting enough.”Eliza Savage, MS, RD, CDN
“As a tip, take water-soluble Vitamin C supplements with decaffeinated beverages. Caffeinated beverages can cause increased urination which can reduce vitamin concentration with fluid loss.” -Sydney Greene, MS, RDN
Why trust Verywell Health?
As a registered dietitian, Sydney Greene takes supplement recommendations seriously. Each product has been researched and verified by it against clinical trials, product reviews and third party testing websites. These are products that she would not only feel comfortable recommending to her customers, but would pick them up herself if needed.