Vitamin C

Vitamin C, also know as ascorbic acid, is found in a wide variety of fruit and vegetables. Good sources include peppers, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes, oranges and kiwi fruit.

How much do I need?

Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin, which means you need it in your diet every day because it can't be stored in the body.

You should be able to get all the vitamin C you need from your daily diet. Adults need 40 mg a day.

What does it do?

Vitamin C has a number of important functions. For example it:

  • helps protect cells and keeps them healthy
  • might help the body absorb iron from food

What happens if I take too much?

Taking large amounts of vitamin C can cause stomach pain, diarrhoea and flatulence. But these symptoms should disappear once you stop taking the supplements.

What is our advice?

You should be able to get all the vitamin C you need by eating a varied and balanced diet. But if you decide to take vitamin C supplements it's important not to take too much because this could be harmful.

Taking 1000 mg or less of vitamin C supplements a day is unlikely to cause any harm.