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Vitamin C supplements can be important for some due to dietary restrictions or a medical condition. There are many options available.

Vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin and antioxidant essential for health. It helps the immune system, skin, and bones function, and it counteracts damage from free radicals, which are molecules that can adversely affect the body.

This article looks at who may benefit from taking vitamin C, how much people need to consume per day, and some of the best vitamin C supplements available on the market.

Vitamin C supplements come in different forms, including:

  • gummies
  • hard and chewable tablets
  • powder
  • liquid

Some supplements may include other vitamins or minerals alongside vitamin C. They may contain high amounts of these ingredients, so individuals should consider how the supplement will fit into their current diet to ensure they do not have too much of a particular vitamin or mineral.

Medical News Today’s methodology

Medical News Today chooses products that meet the following criteria:

  • Ingredients: MNT chooses products containing safe and high-quality ingredients that are clearly labeled. They should also confirm they are free from pesticides, heavy metals, and mold.
  • Dosage: MNT chooses products that must clearly state the supplement dosage.
  • Serving size: MNT selects products in which manufacturers recommend a safe dosage.
  • Third-party testing: MNT chooses products that must undergo third-party testing for contaminants by an ISO 17025-compliant laboratory.
  • Available certificate of analysis: MNT chooses companies that demonstrate transparency and share a product’s certificate of analysis (COA) following receipt of its third-party lab results.
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There are many vitamin products on the market, and because they are not FDA-regulated before they go on sale, they may vary significantly in purity, ingredients, and dose.

People should always buy vitamin C from a reputable company, which means the company follows current Good Manufacturing Practices (CGMPs), and the products undergo third-party testing.

The products below contain safe doses of vitamin C for adults and have undergone independent testing for quality.

Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based and correct at the time of publication.

Medical News Today follows a strict product selection and vetting process. Learn more here.

Best for vegans: Care/of Vitamin C

  • Amount of vitamin C per serving: 250 mg
  • Form of vitamin: capsules
  • Count: 30 capsules
  • Price: $7 for a 30-day supply

Care/of is a vitamin subscription service that creates personalized plans for individuals based on their health needs.

The brand’s vitamin C supplement undergoes multiple rounds of testing to ensure safety, and the brand also sources its ingredients from trusted suppliers.

The supplement is vegan, gluten-free, and genetically modified organism (GMO)-free, and contains 250 mg of fermented vitamin C per serving.

The company recommends taking 1 capsule per day with breakfast or lunch.


  • vegan capsules
  • gluten- and GMO-free
  • small monthly cost


  • subscription is necessary
  • the supplement provides well over the recommended daily amount of vitamin C
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Best for a multivitamin: Ritual Postnatal

  • Amount of vitamin C per serving: 12 mg
  • Form of vitamin: capsules
  • Count: 60 capsules
  • Price: $39 for 30 servings

Ritual is another multivitamin subscription service. The brand includes vitamin C in its postnatal multivitamin, among other supplements.

Each serving contains 12 mg of vitamin C and several other nutritional supplements, including choline, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, and biotin.

Ritual claims that its ingredients are traceable and that customers can use the website to track the exact origin of the ingredients in the products.

The company recommends taking 2 capsules per day.


  • also contains vitamin D3, iron, and folate
  • it may be especially suitable for the postnatal period
  • traceable ingredients
  • vegan capsules


  • subscription required
  • more expensive monthly cost
  • may not have the right balance of vitamins for those outside the postnatal period
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Best for a liquid vitamin: Pure Encapsulations Liposomal Vitamin C Liquid

  • Amount of vitamin C per serving: 1,000 mg per teaspoon
  • Form of vitamin: liquid
  • Count: 120 milliliters, or 24 servings
  • Price: around $38.50 for 24 servings

The Pure Encapsulations Liposomal Vitamin C Liquid provides 1,000 mg of vitamin C in 1 teaspoon and has a citrus flavor.

According to the company, it contains non-GMO ingredients and is suitable for vegans and vegetarians.

This is a liposomal vitamin C product, meaning tiny bubbles of oil contain the product’s vitamin C.

According to one 2020 study, the gut absorbs this form of vitamin C easier. However, the company may have factored this into the product’s price, which is higher than that of other products by other brands.

The company is National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) and Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) certified, and its ingredients are tested for contaminants.

Pure Encapsulations recommends taking 4 drops (1 teaspoon) per day.


  • liposomal vitamin C can make absorption easier
  • suitable for vegans and vegetarians
  • NSF certified
  • non-GMO


  • a more expensive option
  • provides over 1,000% of a person’s daily vitamin C
  • suitable only for people over 18 years of age
  • some of the research the company’s health claims are based on is around 10 years old
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Best for a chewable vitamin: NOW Supplements Orange Chewable Vitamin C-500

  • Amount of vitamin C per serving: 500 mg
  • Form of vitamin: chewable tablet
  • Count: 100 tablets
  • Price: around $11.85

People who do not like swallowing tablets may prefer a chewable vitamin. This product delivers 500 mg of vitamin C per chewable tablet.

The product is free from common allergens and suitable for vegans. It does contain some sugar and natural sweeteners, though this only totals 1 gram per dose. The tablets have a natural orange flavor.

According to the website, NOW exceeds GMP standards and tests all raw ingredients for safety and purity.

The company recommends taking one tablet 1–2 times per day.

Pros and cons

An advantage of this product is that it is chewable. Some people may find it easier to take a chewable vitamin than swallowing a capsule. Additionally, NOW tests all ingredients to ensure their safety.

However, this product does contain sugar and natural sweeteners. Although the number of sugars in this product is low, some people may prefer to purchase a vitamin that does not contain any sugar.


  • chewable
  • the company tests all of its ingredients
  • an affordable product
  • a high number of tablets in each bottle


  • contains sugar and natural sweeteners
  • provides over 500% of a person’s daily vitamin C
  • it does not use a third-party lab to test its products
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Best for a gummy: Nordic Naturals Vitamin C Gummies

  • Amount of vitamin C per serving: 250 mg
  • Form of vitamin: gummies
  • Count: 60 gummies
  • Price: around $12.70

Each serving of two gummies contains 250 mg of vitamin C. The gummies are suitable for vegans and free from gluten and GMOs.

Additionally, the company states it uses a third party to test the vitamins.

The company recommends this product for people over the age of 4 years and suggests taking 2 gummies daily with food.


  • uses a third party to test the product
  • suitable for people from the age of 4
  • chewable
  • affordable


  • higher in calories than other chewable options
  • provides over 200% of an adult’s daily vitamin C, which is too much for children
  • contains sugar and sodium
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Best for a spray: Garden of Life mykind Organics Vitamin C Organic Spray

  • Amount of vitamin C per serving: approximately 60 mg
  • Form of vitamin: spray
  • Count: 2 fluid ounces, or 27 servings
  • Price: $14.99 for 27 servings

This orange-tangerine flavored spray requires a person to spray the supplement directly into their mouth five times. This provides approximately 60 mg of vitamin C per dose, which equates to 67% of a person’s daily intake.

It may be ideal for individuals who do not wish to swallow or chew tablets.

The organic food blend which makes up the formula includes Amla berry extract and a selection of fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin C.

This product is certified vegan, non-GMO, gluten-free, and USDA organic. It also does not contain dairy or soy.


  • uses USDA-certified organic ingredients
  • suitable for vegans
  • free from allergens such as dairy and soy
  • it contains a lower dose of vitamin C, which is less likely to cause side effects


  • fewer servings than other products
  • does not provide 100% of a person’s daily vitamin C
  • no customer reviews online
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Best affordable option: Nature’s Bounty Vitamin C

  • Amount of vitamin C per serving: 500 mg
  • Form of vitamin: capsules
  • Count: 100 capsules
  • Price: $6.06 for 100 capsules

Nature’s Bounty vitamin C capsules provide 556% of a person’s daily vitamin C. The capsules contain gelatin, meaning they are unsuitable for vegans. However, they are free from a range of major allergens, including soy, milk, lactose, gluten, and wheat.

The vitamins are also free of artificial colors, flavors, and sweeteners.

The company writes that these capsules release vitamin C slowly, and a person can take 1 capsule a day.


  • very affordable
  • provides 100 capsules
  • free from allergens such as dairy, soy, and gluten
  • does not contain artificial ingredients


  • contains gelatin
  • contains a high dose of vitamin C
  • no online reviews
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Below is a table comparing all of the vitamin C supplements in this article.

PriceFormVitamin C per servingServing size per dayNumber of servings
Care/of$7capsule250 mg1 capsule30
Ritual$39capsule25 mg2 capsules30
Pure Encapsulationsaround $38.50liquid1,000 mg1 teaspoon24
NOW Supplementsaround $11.85chewable tablets500 mg1–2 tablets100
Nordic Naturalsaround $12.70gummies250 mg2 gummies30
Garden of Life$14.99spray60 mg5 sprays27
Nature’s Bounty Vitamin C$6.06tablets500 mg1 capsule100

Vitamin C has many benefits. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the body uses vitamin C to make collagen, which is an essential part of connective tissues and plays a role in wound healing. Vitamin C also aids the formation of L-carnitine, a chemical in the brain that turns fat into energy.

Furthermore, vitamin C is involved in protein metabolism and helps the body absorb iron in plant foods. The NIH also mentions vitamin C’s antioxidant activity and its important role in the immune system. A 2018 study suggests that this antioxidant activity may offer protection against pollution damage, which may cause lung cancer, asthma, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

There is a wide range of scientific research into the benefits of vitamin C for certain health conditions. For instance, the authors behind a 2021 study suggest that people with type 2 diabetes may benefit from vitamin C supplementation as it may help improve their blood pressure and glycemic control.

The NIH suggests that vitamin C may help reduce a person’s chance of developing heart conditions, as it helps widen blood vessels and increase nitric oxide production, but more research is needed.

Another 2021 study suggests that high dose intravenous (IV) vitamin C may reduce some of the side effects of cancer therapy. Other work found that high dose vitamin C may also have anticancer properties through its ability to inhibit the migration and metastasis of breast cancer cells.

However, people should speak with a doctor before taking high doses of vitamin C.

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), vitamin C deficiency is rare in the United States.

However, although most people can get enough vitamin C from fruits and vegetables, others may have difficulty getting enough vitamin C from their diet.

Those who may be at risk of vitamin C deficiency include:

  • older adults
  • people with alcohol use disorder
  • people with an eating disorder
  • people who smoke, as cigarette smoke increases the damage that free radicals cause, resulting in a higher need for vitamin C
  • people who eat restricted diets for medical reasons
  • people with certain medical conditions, such as kidney disease that requires hemodialysis, conditions that cause malabsorption, and some types of cancer
  • infants who drink boiled cow’s milk — the heat destroys the small amount of vitamin C it contains

Anyone concerned that they have a deficiency can ask a doctor for blood tests to determine which nutrients they need. A long-term vitamin C deficiency can lead to scurvy.

Further resources

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

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According to the NIH, a person should consume the following amounts of vitamin C per day:

0– 6 months40 mg40 mg
7–12 months50 mg50 mg
1–3 years15 mg15 mg
4–8 years25 mg25 mg
9–13 years45 mg45 mg
14–18 years65 mg75 mg
19+ years75 mg90 mg

Additionally, people who are pregnant or lactating will require more vitamin C:

14–18 years80 mg115 mg
19+ years85 mg120 mg

Typically, the small intestine absorbs up to 100 mg of vitamin C from food per day. Once the cells have become saturated with vitamin C, they cannot absorb more.

However, some believe that taking very large doses of vitamin C, or “megadosing,” is beneficial. This may stem from a 1976 paper indicating that high dose vitamin C could prolong the lives of people with terminal cancer.

However, more recent studies have yet to repeat this result.

Vitamin C doses of over 2,000 mg per day may cause side effects, such as:

People with particular health conditions and those who take certain medications may also need to avoid vitamin C supplements. These conditions include hemochromatosis, which causes the body to store too much iron, and kidney stones.

Vitamin C may also interact with chemotherapy treatment.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) cannot approve or regulate vitamin C products before they go on sale. For this reason, people need to discuss taking any new supplement with a doctor and choose products carefully.

There are several forms of vitamin C. In supplements, vitamin C usually comes in the form of ascorbic acid. However, some supplements contain other forms, such as sodium ascorbate, calcium ascorbate, or ascorbic acid with bioflavonoids.

There are various ways people can take vitamin C, including:

  • capsules
  • chewable gummies
  • effervescent tablets
  • powders
  • liquids
  • sprays

Some people may prefer the convenience of swallowing tablets, while others may prefer a powder to mix into drinks.

People with problems absorbing nutrients may prefer a sublingual supplement, which a person places under the tongue, as the body absorbs these in the mouth rather than the intestines.

Eating more fruits and vegetables is the best way for someone to naturally increase their vitamin C intake.

The NIH suggests:

  • half a cup of raw sweet red pepper, which contains 95 mg of vitamin C
  • three-quarters of a cup of orange juice, which contains 93 mg of vitamin C
  • half a cup of broccoli and half a cup of strawberries, which totals 97 mg of vitamin C
  • one medium orange and half a cup of cooked cabbage, which totals 98 mg of vitamin C

Some companies also fortify their breakfast cereals with added vitamin C.

High heat, water-based cooking methods, and prolonged storage can destroy some foods’ vitamin C content.

For this reason, the NIH suggests lightly steaming or microwaving vegetables to retain more of their nutrients.

People taking more than 1,000 mg of vitamin C daily may have a high chance of developing stomach pain, diarrhea, and flatulence.

The National Library of Medicine associates vitamin C supplementation via IV with adverse effects, such as headaches, dizziness, and flushing. Migraine may also occur with daily doses of 6 g.

It also writes that high amounts of vitamin C can increase a person’s risk of developing kidney stones.

It also states that doctors may not recommend vitamin C supplementation if a person has a blood condition, which may include sickle cell disease, thalassemia, and hemochromatosis.

Vitamin C may interact with some medications, such as chemotherapy and radiation medication. The NIH also mentions that vitamin C has interacted with medications for controlling blood cholesterol levels.

People should speak with a doctor before taking a vitamin C supplement to ensure it will not interact with current medications or health conditions.

Vitamin C deficiency can be fatal without treatment. A person should consult with a doctor if they have symptoms that may indicate a vitamin C deficiency.

These symptoms include:

A person should also contact a doctor before taking vitamin C, particularly if they have a medical condition, are pregnant, or take any medications.

Below are answers to some common questions about vitamin C.

How much vitamin C should a person take?

According to the NIH, the recommended daily vitamin C intake for most non-lactating adults is 75–90 milligrams (mg).

Can vitamin C damage the kidneys?

According to the NIH, there is some evidence that high doses of vitamin C can increase the risk of kidney stones. Ingesting high amounts of vitamin C can increase oxalate in the urine, which could lead to kidney stones, especially in people who have renal disorders.

However, the NIH also states there is conflicting evidence of whether kidney stones and vitamin C intake are related. The organization says that people most at risk of kidney stones due to ingesting too much vitamin C are those with existing high amounts of oxalate in their urine.

Should people take vitamin C daily?

People should aim to ingest the NIH’s recommended daily intake of vitamin C per day, which is 75–90 mg for non-lactating adults.

One source of vitamin C is fruit and vegetables. For example, three-quarters of a cup of orange juice contains 106% of a person’s RDA of vitamin C.

However, the NIH says that there is an upper tolerable limit of how much vitamin C a person can consume before experiencing side effects such as diarrhea and nausea. This depends on age, as detailed below:

  • 1–3 years: 400 mg
  • 4–8 years: 650 mg
  • 9–13 years: 1,200 mg
  • 14–18 years: 1,800 mg
  • 19+ years: 2,000 mg

Which form of vitamin C is best?

Some people find that ascorbic vitamin C causes digestive discomfort. Buffered vitamin C can help reduce the risk of stomach irritation.

Additionally, vitamin C supplements come in various forms, from tablets and capsules to powders and sprays. People who do not want to swallow tablets can opt for a supplement they can dissolve in water or spray directly into their mouth. Other people may prefer a chewable supplement.

What is a good source of vitamin C to take daily?

People can get their vitamin C from different foods, such as:

  • citrus fruits
  • red and green pepper
  • baked potatoes
  • strawberries
  • broccoli
  • fortified cereal

What is a trusted brand of vitamin C?

Nordic Naturals and subscription services such as Care/of and Ritual are some popular brands selling vitamin C supplements. They use third-party testing to assess the safety and purity of their products, meaning people can feel more secure about what the supplement contains.

People should check lab results and ingredient lists carefully before buying a supplement.

Most people get enough vitamin C by eating a varied diet including fruits and vegetables. However, some people may need to take a supplement.

All forms of vitamin C work in much the same way, but people should always choose a reputable seller and consider the dose, quality, and price point before buying a product.

Consuming too much vitamin C may cause side effects, and vitamin C supplements are not suitable for everyone. It is always best to consult a doctor or registered dietitian before taking a vitamin C supplement.