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Vitamin C profile, daily requirement and more

Vitamin C - profile, daily requirement & more

Want to know more about vitamin C? Then you'll find what you're looking for here! I will now give you the most important information about this valuable, water-soluble vitamin, which is also known as ascorbic acid.

We start with a brief profile, continue with the intake, daily requirement, function, risk of overdose or deficiency, through to the best sources of vitamin C and food supplements. Finally, I will provide you with important information on what you need to bear in mind when eating a plant-based diet with regard to vitamin C.

Here is in advance a short Overview for you:

  1. Profile
  2. Recording
  3. Daily requirement
  4. Meaning
  5. Overdose
  6. Mangel
  7. Foods
  8. Vegan
  9. Food supplement
  10. Frequently asked questions

Notice: This article is not a substitute for medical advice, but merely provides general information about vitamin C. Please consult your doctor if you feel unwell or want to prevent health problems with medical care.


Assignment: water-soluble vitamins
Synonyms: Ascorbic acid, L-ascorbic acid, 3-oxoL-gulonic acid-γ-lactone, E 300
Important for: Builds up connective tissue, bones and teeth, antioxidant1
Daily requirement: 75-110 mg/day from the age of 19.2,3,4
Overdose: unlikely, maximum intake 2,000 mg3
Deficiency symptoms: including scurvy, poor wound healing, joint pain
Food: Acerola cherries, red peppers, parsley, citrus fruits, kale
Food supplement: in the form of tablets, powder or drops

The anti-scorbut vitamin

Vitamin C was originally also known as Anti-scorbut vitamin known. Scurvy, the sailors' disease, used to be caused by the low vitamin C diet on ships. In 1795, the British Navy therefore stipulated that a ration of lemon juice should be distributed to the crew of the Royal Navy every day.

Plants and most animals can synthesize the organic acid themselves. Humans, on the other hand, have to obtain vitamin C from plant foods. The Bioavailability of the vitamin is 80 to 100 percent when it is supplied through the diet.

However, when cooking with Preparation losses of 30 to 50 percent. This is because the cooking process inactivates the water-soluble vitamin. In the end, it simply passes into the boiling water. Longer storage can also lead to a loss of vitamin content.

Good to know: Foods containing vitamin C should be stored for a short time and, above all, eaten raw. When heating, blanch briefly. The cooking water can then simply be reused, for example to cook pulses or for a soup.

What is the daily requirement of vitamin C?

Kale pasta with vitamin C

The intake recommendations for this valuable vitamin are the subject of controversial debate. Currently, the recommendations of nutritional societies are geared towards avoiding deficiency symptoms. However, it can also make sense to take more vitamin C. As always, the reference values should therefore only be seen as a rough guide.

The Office of Dietary Supplements recommends that adult men aged 19 and over should have a daily intake of 90 mg Vitamin C. Adult women are recommended a daily intake of 75 mg recommended.3 The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) recommends a slightly higher intake of 110 mg for men and 95 mg for women.4

The feed recommendations of the German Society for Nutrition (DGE) are broken down by gender and age and are shown in mg/day in the following table2:

1 to under 4 years2020
4 to under 7 years3030
7 to under 10 years4545
10 to under 13 years6565
13 to under 15 years8585
15 to under 19 years10590
19 years and older11095
DGE reference values for daily vitamin C intake in mg2

The three nutrition societies mentioned above recommend an increase in vitamin C intake for pregnant and breastfeeding women off.2,3,4

The requirement is also increased by heavy physical exertion, high sweat loss, diabetes mellitus, alcohol abuse, medication, smoking and environmental pollution. An increased daily intake of 35-45 mg is recommended for smokers.2,3

What does the body need ascorbic acid for?

The essential vitamin acts mainly as a very powerful antioxidant and thus keeps the body's cells healthy. It also works closely with the antioxidant Vitamin E together by preventing lipid peroxidation and thus reducing the Protects cells.

Ascorbic acid is a Cofactor in the production of collagen and the synthesis of neurotransmitters and hormones. It also acts indirectly on the Fat metabolism as it is required for the production of the transporter carnitine, which is involved in fat burning. It is also required for the synthesis of peptide hormones, bile acid and the cytochrome P450 needed for detoxification. Interferon synthesis also regulates the Immune defense strengthened.

Another important point is the Increase in Absorption rate from Ironwhen foods containing iron and vitamin C are combined in a meal. What is equally particularly important nowadays is the anti-cancer effect of ascorbic acid and the Reduction in the risk of cardiovascular disease.3,5

According to studies, oxidative stress is increased by contraceptives such as the contraceptive pill, which leads to a higher risk of cardiovascular disease. This can be counteracted by an increased intake of vitamins C and E.6

The fact that vitamin C increases the excretion of uric acid also reduces the risk of developing gout.7

The Functions of vitamin C briefly summarized:

  • Antioxidant and protection of cells
  • Cofactor of many metabolic processes
  • Immune defense
  • Increase iron absorption
  • Anti-cancer effect
  • Reduced risk of suffering from cardiovascular diseases
  • Reduces the risk of developing gout

Is there a risk of an oversupply of vitamin C?

Due to the low toxicity of vitamin C, the EFSA has not established a Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL).8 According to the DGE, gastrointestinal complaints such as diarrhea can occur with intakes of 3,000 to 4,000 mg of vitamin C.1 The Office of Dietary Supplements mentions a UL of 2,000 mg, but at the same time mentions that it Hardly any evidence of health risks of high doses of ascorbic acid.3

Can a lack of ascorbic acid occur?

According to a statement by the German Society for Nutrition Germany is not a vitamin-deficient country and the population is sufficiently supplied with vitamins.9 According to the National Consumption Study IIHowever, according to a large-scale nutritional study conducted in Germany from 2005 to 2007, 32 percent of men and 29 percent of women do not reach the recommended reference values for vitamin C intake.10 Although this does not necessarily mean that these people suffer from a deficiency, it does not indicate an ideal nutrient supply.

Causes of a deficiency are mainly due to an unbalanced diet with little fruit and vegetables. Other reasons are absorption disorders, for example due to gastrointestinal illnesses or taking medication and/or the contraceptive pill. Smokers, passive smokers, alcoholics and infants who are not breastfed also belong to the Risk group.3

Symptoms of deficiency are bleeding gums, changes in the oral mucosa, susceptibility to infections, poor performance and susceptibility to stress. In severe cases tooth loss, impaired wound healing or psychological disorders.

What foods are rich in vitamin C?

Ascorbic acid is mainly found in Fruit and vegetables before. However, there are also major differences in content here. In the following table, I therefore present Good suppliers of vitamin C before:

  • Acerola cherry (1700 mg per 100 gram)
  • Sea buckthorn juice (260 mg per 100 gram)
  • Parsley (160 mg per 100 gram)
  • Red bell bell pepper (140 mg per 100 gram)
  • Broccoli (110mg per 100 gram)
  • Kale (100 mg per 100 gram)
  • Strawberries (60 mg per 100 gram)
  • Oranges, lemons (50 mg per 100 gram)

Other food groups such as pulses, cereals and dairy products, meat, nuts and seeds contain hardly any significant amounts of vitamin C. Therefore a wholesome diet rich in fruit and vegetables is essential for a good supply of vitamin C.

Delicious Kale chips with paprika marinade for example, are a real vitamin C bomb. However, ascorbic acid is also often found in processed foods and is declared as E 300.

Good to know: The acerola cherry originates from America and was already valued there by indigenous peoples as a source of health.11 Unfortunately, acerola is not available regionally, but should not be missing from the list due to its gigantic ascorbic acid content.

Paprika is excellent supplier of vitamin C

What do vegans need to look out for in their vitamin C intake?

Vegans tend to be better supplied with vitamin C than vegetarians or people on a mixed diet. This is because Ascorbic acid almost exclusively in fruit and vegetables and vegans logically eat a lot of it. This is why vitamin C is also mentioned in the DGE position paper on vegan nutrition. not as potentially critical nutrients for vegans.12

Which dietary supplements are recommended?

For many people, supplementation is not necessary. However, there are also special cases in which it can be useful to supplement ascorbic acid. These include, for example, people who, due to a Fructose intolerance eat little or no fruit and vegetables. In addition, targeted supplementation of vitamin C can help with a Iron deficiency to increase iron absorption. Supplementation could therefore make sense for the risk groups mentioned above.

In this case I can Vitamin C capsules from organic acerola recommend. The Capsules you get here.*

As an all-rounder I can also give you Barley grass powder recommend. Two teaspoons already contain 15 mg ascorbic acid and many other vitamins and nutrients. You can simply dissolve the powder in water and mix it into smoothies, dressings, yogurt or muesli. Barley grass powder you get here.*

Tip: You can find even more info about vegan supplements in the article Nutritional supplements for a vegan diet.

FAQ: The most frequently asked questions about VITAMIN C

What foods are rich in vitamin C?

Significant amounts of vitamin C are only found in fruit and vegetables. Red peppers, broccoli and kale are particularly rich in this valuable vitamin.

What functions does vitamin C have in the body?

Vitamin C is a valuable antioxidant that protects your cells. It also helps with metabolic processes, immune defense and cancer prevention. It also increases the absorption of iron.

Is vitamin C water-soluble or fat-soluble?

Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin.

What is high-dose vitamin C good for?

In high-dose vitamin C therapy, vitamin C is administered to the body via infusions. This form of therapy is used in orthomolecular medicine to treat girdle rosacea, for example.

Is vitamin C heat-resistant?

No, vitamin C is inactivated when heated. Therefore, you should eat foods containing vitamin C primarily raw or blanch them only briefly.

consume mainly FRUIT AND VEGETABLES for sufficient vitamin C

With a Diet rich in fruit and vegetables you can absorb a lot of this valuable antioxidant nutrient. A balanced diet with plenty of vitamin C and E is particularly important and valuable if you are very stressed or exposed to a lot of environmental pollution. You can even specifically increase your intake of ascorbic acid with foods such as barley grass powder, sea buckthorn juice or acerola.

It is best to supplement your healthy diet with other health measures such as cold shower, much movement at the fresh air and Meditation. If you integrate just a few of these health-promoting measures into your everyday life, you are guaranteed to notice many positive changes over time.

If you have any questions, suggestions or criticism about this article on vitamin C, please use the comments function.

All the best,

Julian from CareElite

PS.: In our Nutrient database you will find even more information on all nutrients for a healthy diet. Next, for example, take a look directly at the article on Vitamin B6 on. Have fun!


1 German Nutrition Society: Selected questions and answers on vitamin C. [17.08.2021].

2 German Nutrition Society: Vitamin C, [17.08.2021].

3 National Institutes of Health. Office of Dietary Supplements: Vitamin C. Fact Sheet for Health Professionals, [17.08.2021].

4 European Food Safety Authority: Scientific Opinion on Dietary reference values for Vitamin C, [17.08.2021].

5 Center for Health: Vitamin C in the Fight Against Cancer, [17.08.2021].

6 F. Zal, Z. Mostafavi-Pour, F. Amini, A. Heidari (2012): Effect of vitamin E and C supplements on lipid peroxidation and GSH-dependent antioxidant enzyme status in the blood of women consuming oral contraceptives. Contraception. DOI: 10.1016/j.contraception.2011.11.006, Epub 2012 Apr 9. PMID: 22494786.

7 Zentrum der Gesundheit: Vitamin C - an all-round genius, [17.08.2021].

8 European Food Safety Authority: Tolerable Upper Intake Levels for Vitamins and Minerals, [17.08.2021].

9 A. Bechthold, V. Albrecht, E. Leschik-Bonnet, H. Heseker (2012): DGE statement: Assessment of the vitamin supply in Germany. In: Ernährungsumschau 59 (2012), pp. 324-336. Online: [17.08.21].

10 Max Rubner Institute. J. Möhring, H. F. Erbersdobler (2008). Nationale Verzehrs Studie II - Ergebnisbericht Teil 2. In: Lebensmittel-Warenkunde Für Einsteiger, (Springer), pp. 121-146. Online: [17.08.2021].

11 Zentrum der Gesundheit: Acerola: The natural vitamin C, [17.08.2021].

12 Deutsche Gesellschaft für Ernährung e. V.: Supplement to the position of the German Nutrition Society regarding population groups with special nutritional needs, [17.08.2021].

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Julian Hölzer

Julian Hölzer

Hi, my name is Julian and I am a trained vegan nutritionist. In 2016 I started to get involved with veganism and quickly learned how big an impact our diet has on the environment and how diverse plant-based diets can be. That's why I want to inspire you to get involved with veganism too.

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