Health

Health Benefits of Vitamin C Supplements

When you feel a cold coming on, you might reach for a vitamin C supplement for its health-strengthening properties. “Vitamin C is an essential nutrient, which means that we need to get it from food or supplements in order for us to meet our needs,” says Tamar Samuels, RDN, cofounder of Culina Health based in New York City.

The National Institutes of Health’s Office of Dietary Supplements recommends that adults get 75 milligrams (mg) of vitamin C per day for women and 90 mg daily for men; smokers should get an additional 35 mg per day, and pregnant and breastfeeding women should get 85 and 120 mg, respectively.

RELATED: Am I Getting Enough Vitamin C?

According to the Mayo Clinic, most people source enough vitamin C through diet alone — it’s readily available in citrus fruits, peppers, tomatoes, and berries, among other fruits and vegetables. And while getting your vitamin C through food is best, you may opt for vitamin C supplements to fill in the gaps or get a higher dose. “Most vitamin C supplements start with 100 to 500 mg per capsule, which is definitely higher than the vitamin C content found in vitamin C–rich foods,” Samuels says.

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