Are Vitamin C Supplements Actually Beneficial at All? – Experts Weigh in!

Are Vitamin C Supplements Actually Beneficial at All? – Experts Weigh in!

As you may know all too well, vitamin C is one of the most popular nutritional supplements out there and it makes sense as to why! After all, it has always been promoted for supposedly boosting the immune system but also supporting the health of the skin in addition to many other benefits.

With that being said, it is easy to see why it has become such a common choice for people, especially during the flu season when they feel like they need a little boost for their immune system to fight the common cold and influenza.

However, while there is no doubt that vitamin C is indeed really important when it comes to improving one’s overall health, it is actually not certain whether it is that effective when taken as a supplement or not!

But what do experts in the field of nutrition have to say about this? Are vitamin C supplements worth your investment or should you just forget about them and just get this nutrient straight from eating foods rich in vitamin C?

Medical consultant at Oh So Spotless, Liana Casusi, MD, told POPSUGAR that “Vitamin C is one of the few really safe and effective supplements we can take. There’s actually more good than harm, and even with accidental ingestion of large doses of this vitamin, major side effects rarely occur.”

According to a study, taking vitamin C supplements can actually reduce one’s cold and flu symptoms by no less than 85 per cent!

At the same time, other data suggests the benefits are much more modest than that but there is no real harm in taking some vitamin C supplements when you are sick as it definitely can’t make your symptoms any worse.

However, there is no proof that vitamin C is able to reduce the risk of developing other, more serious conditions or lessening their symptoms so it’s important to not just consider it this sort of miracle nutrient that can fix everything.

Another expert and “Hormonally Yours” podcast host, Melissa Azzaro, RDN, explains that “Vitamin C supplements are not a preventative treatment for more serious diseases such as cancer and metal toxicity, at least according to the available data.”

According to Azzaro, vitamin C is generally well tolerated by pretty much everyone’s bodies and is also relatively affordable and easy to find so there is no surprise why they are so many people’s go-to supplements.

Furthermore, she mentions that, beyond keeping colds and the flu away or speeding the recovery process from these viral infections, vitamin C has many other potential benefits including:

– Encouraging the production of collagen,

– Enhancing iron absorption in the body,

– Preventing scurvy,

– Supporting bone health,

– Combatting inflammation.

But knowing for sure whether you should take vitamin C supplements or not is a hard question to answer without knowing what your lifestyle and diet are like.

This is because supplementing needs are widely different for people depending on a variety of factors including their diet and medical history.

Azzaro goes on to tell the news outlet that “Certain populations do appear to benefit from vitamin C supplementation routinely, including athletes, people with low plasma vitamin C concentration, and people with a high risk of infection.”

Taking vitamin C supplements routinely is not usually recommended, not because it can be detrimental to people’s health but simply because it is really rare to have a vitamin C deficiency.

As long as you feature vitamin C rich foods in your diet, including red bell peppers, citrus fruits and kiwis, you should be receiving enough of this nutrient for you to take advantage of its benefits fully, in which case, supplementation is not needed.

So how much vitamin C do you need?

If you decide to take vitamin C supplements anyway, you may be wondering what the right dosage should be!

You may be aware that such supplements are usually available in a variety of doses, from as low as only 50 mg to as high as 5,000 mg so it can be difficult to really know how much you actually need.

Well, Azzaro points out that “There is no ‘best’ dose recommendation when it comes to vitamin C intake, as each person has different nutritional needs.”

She goes on to add that between 500 and 1,000 mg a day is “generally tolerable for most people,” but she still recommends that you should make sure to consult your doctor about it, letting them determine the right dosage for your particular situation for the best results.

Katherine Baldwin

Katherine is just getting her start as a journalist. She attended a technical school while still in high school where she learned a variety of skills, from photography to nutrition. Her enthusiasm for both natural and human sciences is real so she particularly enjoys covering topics on medicine and the environment.

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