Best Vitamin C Supplement Canada

1

Getting the vitamin C you need for the day is easy! Have a glass of orange juice at breakfast, some sliced red pepper with dip for an afternoon snack, and a cup of strawberries for dessert. Following Canada’s Food Guide will help you meet your daily vitamin C needs.

Our bodies do not store extra vitamin C. Whatever we don’t need or use, will be removed in our urine. This means that everyday we need to eat foods that are rich in vitamin C to make sure we get what our bodies need to stay healthy.

Too little vitamin C may result in skin bruising, bleeding gums, poor healing of wounds, loose teeth, tender joints and infections.

Good sources of vitamin C

The best sources of vitamin C are vegetables and fruit. Other food groups do not contain much vitamin C.

Food

Portion

Vitamin C (mg)

Red bell pepper, raw

1 whole

312

Green bell pepper, raw

1 whole

146

Strawberries, raw

1 cup/250 mL

95

Kiwi

1 medium

75

Grapefruit juice

1cup/250 mL

70

Orange

1 medium

70

Broccoli, raw

½ cup/125 mL

61

Mango, sliced

1 cup/250 mL

45

Tomato, raw

1 medium

16

Potatoes, cooked

1 medium

15

Romaine lettuce, raw

1 cup/250 mL

14

Tip: When reading a food label for vitamin C, an excellent source (or very high in) will have more than 30 mg of the vitamin per serving.A very good source (or high in) will have at least 18 mg of vitamin C per serving.

Myth #1: Taking vitamin C will help prevent a cold

The start of winter also means the beginning of cold and flu season. Many people believe that taking vitamin C supplements can help prevent a cold. Research on vitamin C has not shown that it helps to prevent colds. In fact, taking too much vitamin C can actually make you feel worse. The best that can be said is that vitamin C (like other nutrients) is part of the package that can help keep you feeling good.

The best way to prevent a cold or flu is to wash your hands often and limit contact with people who are sick.

For more information:

Get the facts on the immune system FAQs

Myth #2: Organic foods are higher in vitamin C

Some people believe that one of the benefits of eating organic foods is that they are higher in nutrients than non-organic foods. But research studies on Vitamin C have not been able to prove this without a doubt. While we know that the way a food is grown probably does affect how much vitamin C it has, there is still more research needed.

What we do know is that the amount of vitamin C in a food is affected by the way it is cooked. Vitamin C is lost in cooking water and during long storage times. You can preserve vitamin C by cooking the food in very little water (like steaming or microwaving) and by eating fresh vegetables and fruit as soon as possible.

Should I take a vitamin C supplement?

For most healthy people, there is no need to take a vitamin C supplement. Following Canada’s Food Guide and eating the recommended number of vegetables and fruit means you should be able meet your vitamin C needs. Consuming very high amounts of vitamin C (such as in supplements) can cause diarrhea, nausea, stomach cramps and other health problems.

Meal Ideas

  • For breakfast, top your cereal or yogurt with sliced strawberries.
  • For an afternoon pick-me-up try raw green bell peppers and broccoli with dip.
  • Pack some canned mandarin oranges for your lunch.
  • Add dark green vegetables like broccoli and kale to soups, salads, omelets and pasta.
  • Spice up salads with apple slices or grapefruit segments.
  • For the kids, freeze cranberry or orange juice in ice cube trays with Popsicle sticks for a homemade frozen treat.

Tip: Sprinkle lemon juice on cut up veggies and fruit, like potatoes, avocados and apples. The vitamin C will keep them from turning brown.

Give these recipes a try:

Mango Chicken Wraps

Chicken and Corn Chowder

Vitamin C is a vital nutrient for health. It helps form and maintain bones, skin, and blood vessels. It is also an antioxidant.

Vitamin C occurs naturally in some foods, especially fruits and vegetables. Vitamin C supplements are also available.

Other names for vitamin C include L-ascorbic acid, ascorbic acid, and L-ascorbate.

In this article, learn more about why we need vitamin C, how much we need, and where to find it.

Why we need vitamin C
Share on Pinterest
Innocenti/Getty Images
ADVERTISEMENT

Vitamin C is water soluble, and the body does not store it. To maintain adequate levels of vitamin C, people need to consume food that contains it every day.

The body needs vitamin C for various functions. Here are some of them:

  • It helps the body produce collagen, L-carnitine, and some neurotransmitters.
  • As an antioxidant, it helps remove unwanted substances known as reactive oxidative species (ROS) from the body.
  • It helps the body absorb iron.
  • It boosts the immune system.
  • It enhances wound healing.

ROS are substances such as free radicals that result from natural bodily processes, exposure to pollution, and other factors. They can lead to oxidative stress, which can, in turn, cause cell damage.

Vitamin C’s antioxidant activity may help reduce inflammation and lower the risk of developing various conditions, including some cancers.

The body needs vitamin C to produce collagen. This is the main component of connective tissue and makes up 1–2% of muscle tissue.

Collagen is a vital component in fibrous tissues such as:

  • tendons
  • ligaments
  • skin
  • the cornea
  • cartilage
  • bones
  • the gut
  • blood vessels

Low levels of vitamin C in the body can lead to scurvy. Symptoms of scurvy include swollen joints, bleeding gums and loose teeth, anemia, and tiredness.

Benefits

The benefits of vitamin C may include the following.

Wound healing

Vitamin C helps the body produce collagen and is present in skin, muscle, and other tissues.

People with a low intake of vitamin C may experience slower wound healing, as their bodies will be less able to produce collagen.

During times of recovery, healthcare professionals may recommendTrusted Source supplements for people with low vitamin C levels.

Cardiovascular health

Vitamin C may benefitTrusted Source cardiovascular health for several reasons. Studies have suggested that it may:

  • have antioxidant properties
  • help widen the blood vessels
  • improve nitric oxide production
  • help reduce plaque instability in atherosclerosis

This could help protect against heart disease and hypertension, or high blood pressure.

However, there is not enough evidenceTrusted Source to suggest that taking supplements will help protect heart health.

Cataracts and age-related macular degeneration

Vitamin C may help lowerTrusted Source the risk of cataracts and slow the progression of age-related macular degeneration. However, more research is needed.

Experts believe that oxidative stress may be a factor in both conditions, so any benefit may be due to vitamin C’s antioxidant activity.

Diabetes

A 2019 studyTrusted Source looked at 31 people aged around 60 years to see whether or not taking vitamin C supplements made a difference to their glucose levels after eating.

After taking supplements for 4 months, the participants’ glucose levels and blood pressure improved, compared with taking a placebo. This suggests that vitamin C could, one day, be a treatment for diabetes.

Anemia

Vitamin C enhances the absorption of iron, and some healthcare professionals recommend taking vitamin C supplements with iron tablets to improve absorption in people with iron deficiency anemia.

One 2020 studyTrusted Source looked at 432 people who took iron supplements for iron deficiency anemia. Some took vitamin C with their iron supplement, and others did not.

However, both groups saw similar increases in iron, suggesting that vitamin C supplementation is unnecessary for this purpose.

Pollution

Air pollution consists of various substances and chemicals that can have a negative impact on people’s health.

Some researchTrusted Source has suggested that a combination of vitamin C and vitamin E may have an antioxidant effect that can help reduce symptoms of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Allergies

During an allergic reaction, the immune system triggers an inflammatory response that can lead to symptoms such as swelling and hives. During this process, the body produces ROS, which can lead to oxidative stress.

In a 2018 studyTrusted Source, 71 people with skin or respiratory allergies received various doses of intravenous vitamin C, and the researchers observed the severity of the participants’ symptoms. Their paper concludes that taking a high dose of vitamin C may help reduce allergy symptoms.

They also found evidence to suggest that low vitamin C levels were common in people with allergies.

Motion sickness

In a 2014 studyTrusted Source, 70 people took 2 grams of either vitamin C or a placebo and then spent 20 minutes on a life raft in a wave pool. Those who took the supplement had lower levels of seasickness.

For more in-depth resources about vitamins, minerals, and supplements, visit our dedicated hub.

Can vitamin C help treat the common cold?

Many people believe that vitamin C can cure a common cold, but research has not confirmedTrusted Source this.

However, taking dosages of 200 milligrams (mg) or more per day may benefit people who:

  • participate in extreme physical activity
  • have exposure to cold temperatures
  • have low vitamin C levels due to smoking

Vitamin C and cancer therapy

Vitamin C may help treat cancer, though experts have not confirmed this.

As an antioxidant, vitamin C protects the body from oxidative stress, which can occur when ROS levels are high. Oxidative stress can lead to cell damage and may play a role in some cancers.

A 2015 mouse studyTrusted Source found that taking high doses of vitamin C may slow the growth of some types of cancerous tissue. The paper suggests that vitamin C could, one day, become a new treatment for colorectal cancer.

Also, the authors of a 2013 reviewTrusted Source suggest that vitamin C might work well alongside other treatments to benefit people with cancer.

The National Cancer InstituteTrusted Source note that some alternative therapists already use intravenous vitamin C when treating cancer, fatigue, and infections. However, they note that more research is necessary.

Intravenous vitamin C does not currently have approvalTrusted Source from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat cancer.

Requirements

The Office for Dietary SupplementsTrusted Source advise people to consume the following recommended daily allowances (RDA) of vitamin C per day:

Age Sex RDA (mg)
0–6 months any 40
7–12 months any 50
1–3 years any 15
4–8 years any 25
9–13 years any 45
14–18 years male 75
14–18 years female 65
19+ years male 90
19+ years female 75

Additional vitamin C is necessary during pregnancy and while breastfeeding.

Sources

The best sources of vitamin C are fresh fruits and vegetables. However, heat and cooking in water can destroy some of the vitamin C content in these foods, so eating raw foods is best.

Some good sources of vitamin C include:

  • red and green peppers
  • oranges and orange juice
  • grapefruit
  • kiwifruit
  • strawberries
  • spinach and other green, leafy vegetables
  • tomatoes
  • potatoes
  • green peas

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Like
Close
TheSuperHealthyFood © Copyright 2022. All rights reserved.
Close