Benefits of vitamin C

Throughout history, the benefits of vitamin C have been relied for a number of ailments, even being used to treat scurvy in sailors – and pirates – when long voyages at sea made it impossible to stock up on fruits and vegetables.

While scurvy is no longer an issue today, vitamin C is still counted on to help the body heal in many other ways. However, the body is not able to make the nutrient on its own.

We recently got this question from a viewer:

Hey Dr. Manny,

Do vitamin C supplements have any benefit?


Though you can get your dose of vitamin C from a pill, it is still best to get your vitamins from food.

“Specifically look for your green and orange vegetables and some red ones too,” registered dietitian Ashley Koff told

“So for example broccoli, or the new broccoli leaf, or you could look at strawberries or any of your orange [-colored foods] – if you like papaya or sweet potato, these are going to be excellent sources of vitamin C,” she said.

A vitamin C-rich diet can help boost your immune system, and in addition to fighting off the common cold can help treat gum disease, acne, bronchitis, stomach ulcers and even bladder and prostate infections.

The U.S. Food and Nutrition Board recommends men over age 18 get 90 milligrams of vitamin C daily, and women over age 18 take in 75 milligrams daily.

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