Vitamin C plays an important role in the body’s immune system, it protects cells from the damage caused by toxins or pollutants. Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin, meaning that it’s not stored in our body, so needs to be consumed daily. More than we need is generally lost in the urine, so supplements can end up being expensive wee! Did you know that an orange per day almost meets an adult’s Vitamin C needs?
Research has shown that vitamin C intake through diet and supplementation can help to lower blood pressure. In a recent trial looking at vitamin C intake supplementation in preventing and treating pneumonia, there was no clear conclusion that supplementation was beneficial. Supplementation does not prevent you from catching a cold, but may help to shorten the duration of symptoms by half a day.
There is no need to supplement with Vitamin C throughout the year for the general, healthy population. If you feel concerned, seek professional advice. If you have a cold, it doesn’t hurt to take a supplement whilst unwell. To make sure you get enough, include these Vitamin C-rich foods:
– Citrus fruits e.g. oranges
– Brussel sprouts
TH. Chan. The Nutrition Source. 2020. Vitamin C [online]. Harvard, School of Public Health. Available at https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/vitamin-c/ [accessed 19 June 2022].
Lykkesfeldt, J., & Poulsen, H. (2010). Is vitamin C supplementation beneficial? Lessons learned from randomised controlled trials. British Journal of Nutrition,103(9), 1251-1259. doi:10.1017/
Stephen P Juraschek, Eliseo Guallar, Lawrence J Appel, Edgar R Miller, III, Effects of vitamin C supplementation on blood pressure: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Volume 95, Issue 5, May 2012, Pages 1079–1088, https://doi.org/10.3945/ajcn.111.027995
Padhani ZA, Moazzam Z, Ashraf A, Bilal H, Salam RA, Das JK, Bhutta ZA. Vitamin C supplementation for prevention and treatment of pneumonia. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2021, Issue 11. Art. No.: CD013134. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD013134.pub3. Accessed 28 June 2022.
By Emma McShane (Dietitian), edited by Nicole Bando (APD, IBCLC), July 2022