Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid and L-ascorbic acid, is a vitamin found in various foods and sold as a dietary supplement. It is used to prevent and treat scurvy. Vitamin C is an essential nutrient involved in the repair of tissue and the enzymatic production of certain neurotransmitters. It is required for the functioning of several enzymes and is important for immune system function. It also functions as an antioxidant.
Evidence does not support use in the general population for the prevention of the common cold. There is, however, some evidence that regular use may shorten the length of colds. It is unclear if supplementation affects the risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, or dementia. It may be taken by mouth or by injection.
Vitamin C is generally well tolerated. Large doses may cause gastrointestinal discomfort, headache, trouble sleeping, and flushing of the skin. Normal doses are safe during pregnancy. The United States Institute of Medicine recommends against taking large doses.
Vitamin C was discovered in 1912, isolated in 1928, and in 1933 was the first vitamin to be chemically produced. It is on the World Health Organization Model List of Essential Medicines, the most effective and safe medicines needed in a health system. Vitamin C is available as an inexpensive generic medication and over-the-counter drug. Partly for its discovery, Albert Szent-Györgyi and Walter Norman Haworth were awarded the 1937 Nobel Prizes in Physiology and Medicine and Chemistry, respectively. Foods containing vitamin C include citrus fruits, kiwifruit, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, raw bell peppers, and strawberries. Prolonged storage or cooking may reduce vitamin C content in foods.
Natural Food Sources
- Kakadu plum 1000–5300 mg / 100g
- Camu camu 2800 mg / 100g
- Acerola 1677 mg / 100g
- Seabuckthorn 695 mg / 100g
- Indian gooseberry 445 mg / 100g
- Rose hip 426 mg / 100g
- Guava 228 mg / 100g
- Blackcurrant 200 mg / 100g
- Yellow bell pepper/capsicum 183 mg / 100g
- Red bell pepper/capsicum 128 mg / 100g
- Kale 120 mg / 100g
- Kiwifruit, broccoli 90 mg / 100g
- Green bell pepper/capsicum 80 mg / 100g
- Loganberry, redcurrant, Brussels sprouts 80 mg / 100g
- Cloudberry, elderberry 60 mg / 100g
- Papaya, strawberry 60 mg / 100g
- Orange, lemon 53 mg / 100g
- Pineapple, cauliflower 48 mg / 100g
- Cantaloupe 40 mg / 100g
- Grapefruit, raspberry 30 mg / 100g
- Passion fruit, spinach 30 mg / 100g
- Cabbage, lime 30 mg / 100g