Medication, Devices & Supplements

Vitamin C

Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is one of the many important nutrients that your body needs to work properly and stay healthy. You only need a small amount of these nutrients, and you can usually get all the vitamins and minerals you need by eating a balanced and varied diet.

While many other nutrients are stored in the body, vitamin C cannot be stored, so it needs to be in your diet every day or taken as a supplement.

Vitamin C is a strong antioxidant and it is important in the following functions:

  • Protecting our cells and keeping them healthy
  • Supporting wound healing
  • Maintaining healthy bones, cartilage, blood vessels and skin.

How much vitamin C do I need?

Adults need around 40mg of vitamin C every day, which should come from your diet. Foods rich in vitamin C include:

  • Citrus fruits (like oranges or orange juice)
  • Strawberries
  • Broccoli
  • Peppers
  • Potatoes
  • Guava

Vitamin C supplements

Taking a vitamin C supplement or multivitamin can prevent and treat low levels of vitamin C. The supplement should be taken with or after food.

Always tell your doctor if you plan to take vitamin C supplements or a multivitamin, and you have any of the following conditions:

  • Diabetes
  • Kidney stones
  • Anemia
  • Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency
  • Any previous reaction to ascorbic acid or other supplements
  • You are pregnant, trying to get pregnant or breast feeding
  • Patients on chemotherapy may need higher doses of vitamin C supplements.

Never exceed the stated dose as it may cause stomach upset or diarrhea. If you think you may have taken too much vitamin C, contact your healthcare provider as soon as possible.

The best way to ensure you are getting enough vitamin C is by following a balanced and varied diet and eating foods which are naturally rich in vitamin C.

Eating a balanced diet, rich in vitamins and minerals, is one of the many proactive steps you can take to maintain your overall health. Talk to the Family Medicine Program team at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi to learn more.

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This page has been reviewed by a medical professional from Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi. Information on this page is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or health care provider. Please consult your health care provider for advice about a specific medical condition.

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