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Vitamin C

Vitamin C is an antioxidant. It is important for your skin, bones, and connective tissue. It promotes healing and helps the body absorb iron.Photograph of an orange

Vitamin C comes from fruits and vegetables. Good sources include citrus, red and green peppers, tomatoes, broccoli, and greens. Some juices and cereals have added vitamin C.

Some people may need extra vitamin C:

  • Pregnant/breastfeeding women
  • Smokers
  • People recovering from surgery
  • Burn victims

Also known as ascorbic acid, vitamin C has also been linked with pain relief — though the full story on vitamin C’s pain-reducing effects is still being written. A Dutch study of more than 400 people found that daily doses of vitamin C helped reduce pain in people with wrist fractures.

However, another recent study done in England found that treatment with antioxidants, including vitamin C, did not provide pain relief for people with chronic pancreatitis from alcohol abuse.

Chronic pain cure or not, eating plenty of vitamin C-rich foods is a good idea for general health . Great sources include red sweet peppers, strawberries, citrus fruits, and broccoli. The recommended daily allowance of vitamin C is 90 milligrams for men and 75 mg for women, but adults can take up to 2,000 mg daily without adverse effects.

How much vitamin C do I need?

The amount of vitamin C you need each day depends on your age. Average daily recommended amounts for different ages are listed below in milligrams (mg).

Life Stage Recommended Amount
Birth to 6 months 40 mg
Infants 7–12 months 50 mg
Children 1–3 years 15 mg
Children 4–8 years 25 mg
Children 9–13 years 45 mg
Teens 14–18 years (boys) 75 mg
Teens 14–18 years (girls) 65 mg
Adults (men) 90 mg
Adults (women) 75 mg
Pregnant teens 80 mg
Pregnant women 85 mg
Breastfeeding teens 115 mg
Breastfeeding women 120 mg

If you smoke, add 35 mg to the above values to calculate your total daily recommended amount.

 

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