VITAMIN C (ASCORBIC ACID): Overview, Uses, Side Effects, Precautions, Interactions, Dosing and Reviews (2022)

Overview

Vitamin C is an essential vitamin that must be consumed in the diet. Good sources include fresh fruits and vegetables, especially citrus fruits.

Vitamin C is needed for the body to develop and function properly. It plays an important role in immune function. Most experts recommend getting vitamin C from the diet rather than taking supplements. Fresh oranges and fresh-squeezed orange juice are good sources.

Historically, vitamin C was used for preventing and treating scurvy. Today, people most commonly use vitamin C for preventing and treating the common cold. It's also used for autism, breast cancer, heart disease and many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support many of these uses. There is also no good evidence to support using vitamin C for COVID-19.

Side Effects

When taken by mouth: Vitamin C is likely safe for most people. In some people, vitamin C might cause side effects such as stomach cramps, nausea, heartburn, and headache. The chance of getting these side effects increases with higher doses. Taking more than 2000 mg daily is possibly unsafe and may cause kidney stones and severe diarrhea. In people who have had a kidney stone, taking amounts greater than 1000 mg daily increases the risk of getting more kidney stones.

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When applied to the skin: Vitamin C is likely safe for most people. It might cause irritation and tingling.

Special Precautions and Warnings

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Vitamin C is likely safe to take by mouth during pregnancy in amounts no greater than 2000 mg daily for those 19 years and older and 1800 mg daily for those 14-18 years old. Taking too much vitamin C during pregnancy can cause problems for the newborn baby. Vitamin C is possibly unsafe when taken by mouth in excessive amounts.

Infants and children: Vitamin C is likely safe when taken by mouth appropriately. Vitamin C is possibly unsafe when taken by mouth in amounts higher than 400 mg daily for children 1-3 years, 650 mg daily for children 4-8 years, 1200 mg daily for children 9-13 years, and 1800 mg daily for adolescents 14-18 years.

Alcohol use disorder: People who regularly use alcohol, especially those who have other illnesses, often have vitamin C deficiency. These people might need to be treated for a longer time than normal to restore vitamin C levels to normal.

Cancer: Cancerous cells collect high concentrations of vitamin C. Until more is known, only use high doses of vitamin C under the direction of your oncologist.

Chronic kidney disease: Long-term kidney disease might increase the risk of vitamin C deficiency. Vitamin C supplements might also increase the amount of oxalate in the urine in some people. Too much oxalate in the urine can increase the risk of kidney failure in people with kidney disease.

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A metabolic deficiency called "glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase" (G6PD) deficiency: Large amounts of vitamin C can cause red blood cells to break in people with this condition. Avoid excessive amounts of vitamin C.

Kidney stones: Large amounts of vitamin C can increase the chance of getting kidney stones. Do not take vitamin C in amounts greater than those found in basic multivitamins.

Smoking and chewing tobacco: Smoking and chewing tobacco lowers vitamin C levels. People who smoke or chew tobacco should consume more vitamin C in the diet.

Interactions ?

    Moderate Interaction

    Be cautious with this combination

  • Aluminum is found in most antacids. Vitamin C can increase how much aluminum the body absorbs. However, it is not clear if this interaction is a big concern. Take vitamin C two hours before or four hours after antacids.

  • Vitamin C might decrease how quickly the body gets rid of estrogens. Taking vitamin C along with estrogens might increase the effects and side effects of estrogens.

  • Large amounts of vitamin C might decrease how much fluphenazine is in the body. Taking vitamin C along with fluphenazine might decrease the effectiveness of fluphenazine.

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  • Vitamin C is an antioxidant. There is some concern that antioxidants might decrease the effects of some medications used for cancer. If you are taking medications for cancer, check with your healthcare provider before taking vitamin C.

  • Taking niacin with vitamin C and other antioxidants can decrease the effects of niacin on good cholesterol levels. It is unknown if vitamin C alone decreases the effects of niacin on good cholesterol levels.

  • Warfarin is used to slow blood clotting. Large amounts of vitamin C might decrease the effects of warfarin. Decreasing the effects of warfarin might increase the risk of clotting. Be sure to have your blood checked regularly. The dose of your warfarin might need to be changed.

  • Taking large amounts of vitamin C along with indinavir might decrease how much indinavir stays in the body. It's not clear if this interaction is a big concern.

  • Vitamin C is an antioxidant. There is some concern that antioxidants might decrease the effects of medications used for cancer. If you are taking medications for cancer, check with your healthcare provider before taking vitamin C.

  • Taking vitamin C along with levothyroxine might increase how much levothyroxine the body absorbs. This can increase the amount of levothyroxine in the body and increase its effects and side effects.

    Minor Interaction

    Be watchful with this combination

  • The body breaks down acetaminophen to get rid of it. Large amounts of vitamin C can decrease how quickly the body breaks down acetaminophen. It is not clear if this interaction is a big concern.

  • Aspirin is removed by the body through the kidneys and in the urine. Vitamin C might decrease how the body removes aspirin and could potentially increase the amount of aspirin in the body. But it's not clear if this is a big concern.

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  • Vitamin C might decrease how quickly the body gets rid of choline magnesium trisalicylate. It is not clear if this interaction is a big concern.

  • Vitamin C might decrease how quickly the body gets rid of salsalate. Taking vitamin C along with salsalate might cause too much salsalate in the body, and increase the effects and side effects of salsalate.

Dosing

Vitamin C is an important nutrient. Fresh fruits and vegetables, especially citrus fruits, are good sources of vitamin C. The amount that should be consumed on a daily basis is called the recommended dietary allowance (RDA). For adult males, the RDA is 90 mg daily. For females 19 years and older, the RDA is 75 mg daily. While pregnant and breastfeeding, the RDA is 120 mg daily for people 19-50 years old. In children, the RDA depends on age.

Vitamin C is also available in supplements, combination products, liquids, lotions, creams, serums, sprays, and patches. Supplements have been used safely by adults in doses up to 2000 mg daily. Speak with a healthcare provider to find out what type of product and dose might be best for a specific condition.

CONDITIONS OF USE AND IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.

(Video) Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid) Tablet Ip 500 mg, 250 mg, Uses, Side Effects, Dosage -

This copyrighted material is provided by Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Consumer Version. Information from this source is evidence-based and objective, and without commercial influence. For professional medical information on natural medicines, see Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Professional Version. © Therapeutic Research Faculty 2018.

FAQs

What is the side effect of ascorbic acid vitamin C? ›

In some people, vitamin C might cause side effects such as stomach cramps, nausea, heartburn, and headache. The chance of getting these side effects increases with higher doses. Taking more than 2000 mg daily is possibly unsafe and may cause kidney stones and severe diarrhea.

What is ascorbic acid used for? ›

It is needed by the body to help wounds heal, to enhance the absorption of iron from plant foods, and to support the immune system. It works as an antioxidant to protect your cells against free radicals, which may play a role in heart disease, cancer and other diseases.

Who should not use ascorbic acid? ›

People with hemochromatosis, an inherited condition where too much iron builds up in the body, should not take vitamin C supplements. Vitamin C is generally considered safe because your body gets rid of what it does not use. But at high doses (more than 2,000 mg daily) it can cause diarrhea, gas, or stomach upset.

When should vitamin C be taken with ascorbic acid? ›

How to use Ascorbic Acid. Take this vitamin by mouth with or without food, usually 1 to 2 times daily. Follow all directions on the product package, or take as directed by your doctor. If you are taking the extended-release capsules, swallow them whole.

Can vitamin C cause urinary problems? ›

High vitamin C intake is not only associated with greater amounts of urinary oxalate but also linked to the development of kidney stones, especially if you consume more than 2,000 mg per day ( 11 , 17). Instances of kidney failure have also been reported in people who have taken more than 2,000 mg in a day.

Can Too Much vitamin C cause joint pain? ›

Although heralded as a powerful antioxidant that fights everything from the common cold to cancer, a new study shows that over a long period of time high doses of vitamin C is associated with worsening of one of the most common forms of arthritis -- osteoarthritis of the knee.

Is ascorbic acid healthy? ›

Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is a nutrient your body needs to form blood vessels, cartilage, muscle and collagen in bones. Vitamin C is also vital to your body's healing process.

Can vitamin C make you sleepy? ›

The Side Effects of Too Much Vitamin C

Common side effects include nausea, vomiting, heartburn, and esophagitis. You may also notice stomach cramps, diarrhea or intestinal obstruction. However, you can also experience symptoms such as fatigue, headaches, feeling sleepy or insomnia. Flushed skin is also a symptom.

Does vitamin C thicken or thin blood? ›

Like vitamin B3, vitamin C may have benefits in removing excess cholesterol from the blood to help make it thinner and lower blood pressure.

What is the precaution of ascorbic acid? ›

Vitamin C is not stored in the body. If you take more than you need, the extra vitamin C will pass into your urine. Very large doses may also interfere with tests for sugar in diabetics and with tests for blood in the stool.

Does vitamin C thicken blood? ›

Large Doses of Vitamin C Supplements Linked to Atherosclerosis. Regular intake of vitamin C pills over time may quicken the thickening of artery walls, a condition known as atherosclerosis, according to USC Keck School of Medicine researchers.

What supplements to avoid if you have high blood pressure? ›

Examples of herbal supplements that can affect your blood pressure or blood pressure medications include:
  • Arnica (Arnica montana)
  • Ephedra (ma-huang)
  • Ginseng (Panax quinquefolius and Panax ginseng)
  • Guarana (Paullinia cupana)
  • Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra)

Is it safe to take ascorbic acid everyday? ›

"The safe upper limit for vitamin C is 2,000 milligrams a day, and there is a great track record with strong evidence that taking 500 milligrams daily is safe," he says.

Which vitamin is best for hair fall? ›

The 5 Best Vitamins for Hair Loss Prevention, Based on Research
  1. Biotin. Biotin (vitamin B7) is important for cells inside your body. ...
  2. Iron. Red blood cells need iron to carry oxygen. ...
  3. Vitamin C. Vitamin C is essential for your gut to absorb iron. ...
  4. Vitamin D. You might already know that vitamin D is important for bones. ...
  5. Zinc.
18 Nov 2020

When is the best time to take ascorbic acid? ›

Ascorbic acid tablets are usually taken once a day. Doses of 25-75 mg are sufficient to prevent vitamin C deficiency. You can take the tablets at whatever time of day you find easiest to remember, either before or after meals.

What can I take to stop peeing so much? ›

What can I do to control frequent urination?
  1. Avoiding drinking fluids before going to bed.
  2. Limiting the amount of alcohol and caffeine you drink.
  3. Doing Kegel exercises to build up strength in your pelvic floor. ...
  4. Wearing a protective pad or underwear to avoid leaks.
8 Nov 2019

What helps incontinence at night? ›

Nighttime Incontinence Strategies
  1. Don't drink water or any other fluids a few hours before you go to bed.
  2. Don't drink bladder-irritating fluids such as alcohol or caffeine at nigh.
  3. Elevate your legs while you watch TV at night before you go to bed.
  4. Use compression stockings while you elevate your legs.
20 Jul 2020

What can I drink for overactive bladder? ›

Other bladder-friendly drinks include:
  • plain water.
  • soy milk, which may be less irritating than cow's or goat's milk.
  • less acidic fruit juices, such as apple or pear.
  • barley water.
  • diluted squash.
  • caffeine-free teas like fruit teas.

What deficiency causes joint pain? ›

A vitamin D deficiency can affect both physical and mental health, but many people have low levels of vitamin D without realizing. The physical symptoms of a deficiency may include muscle pain in the joints, including rheumatoid arthritis (RA) pain, which often occurs in the knees, legs, and hips.

What type of magnesium is best for joint pain? ›

For best absorption, choose magnesium orotate, oxide or citrate. Too much: Tolerable upper limit (UL) = 350 mg.

What fruit is highest in vitamin C? ›

1. Kakadu plums. The Kakadu plum (Terminalia ferdinandiana) is an Australian native superfood containing 100 times more vitamin C than oranges. It has the highest known concentration of vitamin C, containing up to 2,907 mg per 100 grams.

Does vitamin C prevent blood clots? ›

Vitamin C may protect the body against effects of pollution. It may also prevent blood clots and reduce bruising.

What vitamin is good for sleep? ›

A study in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine found the combination of omega-3s and vitamin D from fatty fish like salmon improved sleep in participants. Researchers think it's because of the effect of those nutrients on regulating serotonin.

Can vitamin C cause kidney stones? ›

Taking high doses of vitamin C supplements, such as 500 mg or more a day on a regular basis, has been shown to increase the risk of developing kidney stones in some people. This is particularly true in people who have had calcium oxalate stones in the past or who have a family history of these stones.

Can vitamins cause urinary problems? ›

Anecdotally, vitamins can increase bladder irritation or even cause urethral pain (especially B complexes and vitamin C).

What supplement removes plaque from arteries? ›

Omega-3 fish oils are effective at increasing HDL cholesterol levels—that's the good one—and reducing plaque buildup in arteries. This study shows that omega-3 acids not only reduce plaque buildup in arteries but also reduce the risk of stroke and heart attack by up to 26% of those who are at risk of heart disease.

Can vitamin C affect your heart? ›

April 27, 2000 -- A new study from the U.K. confirms previous research showing vitamin C supplements can lower blood pressure. But other research shows that vitamin C supplements also might harden the arteries, increasing the risk for heart attack or stroke.

What foods thicken your blood? ›

Leafy Greens

The highest sources include parsley, kale and Swiss chard. One cup of raw parsley contains 984 micrograms of vitamin K; a cup of raw kale contains 472 micrograms; and 1 cup of raw Swiss chard contains 299 micrograms.

What is the food of vitamin C? ›

citrus fruit, such as oranges and orange juice. peppers. strawberries. blackcurrants.

Is vitamin C good for skin? ›

Skin benefits of vitamin C

A few clinical studies have demonstrated that vitamin C can improve wrinkles. One study showed that daily use of a vitamin C formulation for at least three months improved the appearance of fine and coarse wrinkles of the face and neck, as well as improved overall skin texture and appearance.

Is ascorbic acid a drug? ›

Ascorbic Acid is an over the counter and prescription medicine used to treat the symptoms of Ascorbic Acid Deficiency (Scurvy), Urinary Acidification and as a nutritional supplement. Ascorbic Acid may be used alone or with other medications. Ascorbic Acid belongs to a class of drugs called Vitamins, Water-Soluble.

Does vitamin C destroy B12? ›

Vitamin C may destroy vitamin B12 (avoid large doses of vitamin C within one hour of taking oral vitamin B12). All B vitamins act synergistically and excess levels of one may lead to imbalance or deficiency in others. It is advisable to take B vitamins as a complex rather than as single substance supplements.

What causes thick blood in the body? ›

Thick blood is caused by heavy proteins, or by too much blood in the circulation. Too many red cells, white cells, and platelets will result in blood thickening. Another cause is an imbalance in the blood clotting system.

Does vitamin C affect cholesterol? ›

Vitamin C has been shown to be an effective therapeutic for reducing total serum cholesterol, but epidemiologic studies have determined that low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol are actually better predictive measures of coronary heart disease risk.

What foods raise your blood pressure quickly? ›

Salty foods can increase blood pressure. Try eating canned soup, smoked fish, cottage cheese, pickled items, and olives. Caffeine. Coffee and caffeinated tea may temporarily spike blood pressure by stimulating the cardiovascular system and boosting your heart rate.

What is the best vitamin for high blood pressure? ›

Foods high in vitamin C, vitamin E, potassium, selenium or L-arginine are good options if you're looking to lower your blood pressure. Antioxidants protect your cells from damage and can reduce inflammation, which, in turn, can keep blood pressure in control.

Is Ginger good for high blood pressure? ›

The use of ginger in cardiovascular diseases has long been known. Ginger is known to have a diuretic7 and blood pressure (BP)-lowering effect. In the traditional medicine practice of Pakistan, herbalists prescribe ginger to hypertensive patients to be taken after dinner.

How do I rebuild my immune system after Covid? ›

3 Ways to Boost Your Immune System Against COVID-19
  1. Sleep. We heal when we sleep. ...
  2. Lower stress levels. Although you should practice lowering your stress levels year-round practicing amid this virus outbreak is particularly important as stress directly impacts your immune system. ...
  3. Enjoy a balanced diet.

Can vitamin C cause heart palpitations? ›

There's no evidence to suggest that a zinc or vitamin C deficiency or overdose can cause heart palpitations.

Does excess vitamin C cause hair loss? ›

Yes, overdoing vitamins and nutritional supplements can cause hair loss.

What lack of vitamin causes GREY hair? ›

Vitamin B-12 deficiency is one of the most common causes of prematurely graying hair. Researchers have noted that vitamin B-12 deficiencies are often concurrent with folic acid and biotin deficiencies in people whose hair has started to turn gray early.

Why does hair thin with age? ›

Women and men experience hair loss for a variety of reasons as they age, such as hereditary traits, endocrine disorders, thyroid disorders, reduced hormonal support, and nutritional deficiencies. In women, menopause is a big player as they enter their 40s.

Which vitamin is good for GREY hair? ›

B complex vitamins such as B12, Biotin, and B6 are important for strength and colour of hair. Deficiencies of any of these nutrients are known to promote hair greying. B complex supplements are very useful in preventing greying. We require about 500 to 600 mcg per day.

When is the best time to take vitamin C morning or night? ›

Many people wonder when the best time is to use their Vitamin C products. While some associate Vitamin C with daytime, others believe nights and evenings are best to use their Vitamin C-infused products. The truth is, Vitamin C can work effectively in the days or evenings.

Is vitamin C good before bed? ›

What many do not know is that vitamin C plays a significant role in boosting sleep health. Studies have shown that individuals with greater concentrations of vitamin C have better sleep than those with reduced concentrations.

What are the side effects of ascorbic acid? ›

Ascorbic acid may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if either of these symptoms is severe or does not go away:
  • diarrhea.
  • nausea.
  • heartburn.
  • fatigue.
  • flushing.
  • headache.
  • difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep.
  • gas.
15 Oct 2020

Is it safe to take ascorbic acid everyday? ›

"The safe upper limit for vitamin C is 2,000 milligrams a day, and there is a great track record with strong evidence that taking 500 milligrams daily is safe," he says.

When is the best time to take vitamin C? ›

While Vitamin C is a largely helpful nutrient, it is a water-soluble nutrient, which is best absorbed when you take them empty stomach. An ideal way would be to take your supplement first thing in the morning, 30-45 minutes before your meal.

What happens if you drink vitamin C at night? ›

What many do not know is that vitamin C plays a significant role in boosting sleep health. Studies have shown that individuals with greater concentrations of vitamin C have better sleep than those with reduced concentrations.

Should you take vitamin C everyday? ›

The recommended daily intake for vitamin C is 75 mg for women and 90 mg for men ( 1 ). While it's commonly advised to get your vitamin C intake from foods, many people turn to supplements to meet their needs.

Can vitamins cause urinary problems? ›

Anecdotally, vitamins can increase bladder irritation or even cause urethral pain (especially B complexes and vitamin C).

What fruit is highest in vitamin C? ›

1. Kakadu plums. The Kakadu plum (Terminalia ferdinandiana) is an Australian native superfood containing 100 times more vitamin C than oranges. It has the highest known concentration of vitamin C, containing up to 2,907 mg per 100 grams.

When is the best time to take vitamin C morning or night? ›

Many people wonder when the best time is to use their Vitamin C products. While some associate Vitamin C with daytime, others believe nights and evenings are best to use their Vitamin C-infused products. The truth is, Vitamin C can work effectively in the days or evenings.

What vitamins should not be taken at night? ›

There are several reasons why you should not take certain supplements at night. For example, a supplement could contain sugar or caffeine, which could cause sleep problems.
...
  • Vitamins B. ...
  • Multivitamins and energy herbs. ...
  • Vitamin D. ...
  • Calcium. ...
  • Vitamin C. ...
  • Zinc.
11 Dec 2020

When should you take vitamins morning or night? ›

“Digestion slows down during sleep, so taking your nutrient supplement late at night would not be associated with an efficient absorption.” Neil Levin, a clinical nutritionist at NOW Foods, agrees that morning is best for multivitamins and any B vitamins.

What vitamin is good for sleep? ›

A study in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine found the combination of omega-3s and vitamin D from fatty fish like salmon improved sleep in participants. Researchers think it's because of the effect of those nutrients on regulating serotonin.

What should you not take with vitamin C? ›

Possible interactions include:
  • Aluminum. Taking vitamin C can increase your absorption of aluminum from medications containing aluminum, such as phosphate binders. ...
  • Chemotherapy. ...
  • Estrogen. ...
  • Protease inhibitors. ...
  • Statins and niacin. ...
  • Warfarin (Jantoven).

Is vitamin C good for hair? ›

Vitamin C Benefits for Hair

Vitamin C benefits for your hair are from a necessary property within the vitamin that creates the protein, known by the more popular term, collagen. Vitamin C promotes hair health, reduces hair loss and improves hair growth. Vitamin C deficiency can also result in dry hair and split ends.

What happens if you take vitamin C every day? ›

While vitamin C has low toxicity and therefore, doesn't cause serious adverse effects at high intakes However, it can cause gastrointestinal disturbances — including diarrhea, nausea, and abdominal cramps.

Which vitamin is best for hair fall? ›

The 5 Best Vitamins for Hair Loss Prevention, Based on Research
  1. Biotin. Biotin (vitamin B7) is important for cells inside your body. ...
  2. Iron. Red blood cells need iron to carry oxygen. ...
  3. Vitamin C. Vitamin C is essential for your gut to absorb iron. ...
  4. Vitamin D. You might already know that vitamin D is important for bones. ...
  5. Zinc.
18 Nov 2020

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