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How Much Vitamin C Is Enough?

By John Fleming

Vitamin C has gotten a reputation as something of a cure all in recent years. According to various reports, everything from the common cold to cancer can be helped by taking vitamin C. The focus on taking antioxidants has recently brought the attention back to vitamin C as a way of fighting off the aging process.

Although vitamin supplements are a healthy way to backup your diet, it is possible to overdo your intake of vitamin C. Some side effects can be stomach cramps and nausea. The recommended upper limit for adults is 2000 mg. per day.

The link between diseases like scurvy and vitamin C consumption was first diagnosed in the 19th century. Sailors on long voyages were particularly susceptible because they ate a diet of foods that could be stored for long periods. Rarely found today, the disease was eliminated after they began to include stores of lime juice on sailing ships.

Though scurvy is not common anymore, low levels of vitamin C can still lead to anemia, infections and even bleeding gums.

So, how much vitamin C is the right amount? In a 1999 study done by the NIH, it was recommended that the dietary allowance (RDA) of vitamin C for an adult should be 100 to 200 mg each day. This is about twice the amount that was previously thought to be optimal. Add an additional 35 mg if you are a smoker.

Taking vitamin supplements will supply you with the vitamin C that you need but the best way to make sure you’re getting sufficient amounts of vitamin C is through 5 servings per day of fruit and vegetables. Some great sources of vitamin C are strawberries, kiwi, oranges and mangos. Tomatoes and red peppers are also known to be packed with high levels of vitamin C.

Remember that vitamin C is easily destroyed during cooking and storage. The best way to get the maximum amount per serving is to make sure to consume fruit and vegetables that are fresh and uncooked.

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Article Citation
MLA Style Citation:
Fleming, John "How Much Vitamin C Is Enough?." How Much Vitamin C Is Enough?. 26 Jun. 2010. 24 Aug 2015 <>.

APA Style Citation:
Fleming, J (2010, June 26). How Much Vitamin C Is Enough?. Retrieved August 24, 2015, from

Chicago Style Citation:
Fleming, John "How Much Vitamin C Is Enough?"

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