Vitamin C

The benefits of Vitamin C

Vitamin C has so many functions in the body because it acts as a cofactor, supporting a number of enzyme reactions in the body. This is why it can benefit us in so many different ways.

Interestingly, most animals on the planet can generate their own vitamin C and do not rely on food sources. However, a number of animals lack the enzyme necessary to make vitamin C, including humans, fruit bats, guinea pigs and primates. As humans, we need to consume our vitamin C in the form of fruits and vegetables.  While the recommended daily amount for a UK adult is around 40mg / day (according to the NHS), some animals can produce thousands of micrograms every day.

Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant

As an antioxidant, vitamin C plays an important role in protecting our body from harm by free radicals.  Free radicals are unstable molecules that can damage body cells, skin cells or our DNA. Free radicals can be a bi-product of our own metabolic processes, but many are external and include cigarette smoke, pollutants, ozone or burnt food. Vitamin C effectively mops up the troublesome free radicals and renders them safe.

Vitamin C does not work as a lone-ranger, instead this vitamin works with other antioxidants to perform this function, such as vitamin E.

Vitamin C therefore protects our tissues from early damage.

Vitamin C helps us to make collagen

Vitamin C is vital for collagen synthesis (creation). Collagen provides our tissues with structure, strength and support, and sometimes elasticity. The body makes different types of collagen, depending on where it is found in the body. As we get older, we can make less collagen than in our younger years. We might notice this in our skin, as we see more fine lines and wrinkles or in our tissues if we find we are getting injured more easily.  Collagen is also found in our cartilage, bone matrix, skin, tendons, arteries and ligaments.

Vitamin C’s importance for collagen production was discovered in the mid 1850’s following the death of sailors to the vitamin C deficiency disease scurvy, which was very common in sailors during the 16th -18th centuries. Symptoms of scurvy were caused by a breakdown in the body’s collagen, leading to gum disease, tooth loss, poor wound healing, and skin damage. The introduction of lime juice into the sailors’ diets, quickly resolved this serious health issue, giving British sailors the nickname ‘Limeys’.

Vitamin C helps to strengthen our immunity

Vitamin C can support our immune system in multiple ways. Firstly, it encourages the production of white blood cells, such as neutrophils which protect our body from infection. Having low levels of vitamin C  may lead to us being more susceptible to infections, whether bacterial or viral in nature.

It helps to reduce anaemia

Vitamin C promotes iron absorption in the body and increases our uptake of iron from our food. If taking iron supplements, it is always a good idea to make sure we are consuming sufficient vitamin C in our fruits and vegetables at the same time or in supplement form. Eating a kiwi or an orange with your iron rich meal, may help you absorb a little more iron from your meal.

Vitamin C supplements

Most supplements of vitamin C start in doses of 500-1000mg. Consuming more than 2000mg daily can lead to diarrhoea and nausea in some people, especially if taken in one dose.

Vitamin C is considered a safe supplement to take and is usually well absorbed by the body. It is also water soluble, which means we cannot store it and excrete any excess vitamin C in our urine.

Some supplements are considered time-released to improve their overall absorption, others may contain bioflavonoids which again may further improve absorption.

About the Author, Dominique Ludwig, Nutritionist MSc and Nutritional Therapist mBANT

Dominique Ludwig is an accomplished Nutritionist with over 30 years’ experience as a qualified nutritionist and almost 20 years as a nutritional therapist. The secret weapon of many high-profile clients and A-list celebrities, Dominique has been voted one of the top 15 nutritionists in the UK. She is a triple award winning nutritionist (Most Innovative Nutritionist 2022, Most Outstanding Nutrition Programme 2023, UK and Most Pioneering Weight Loss & Nutrition Programme 2023 – UK ), and is the founder of the Nutrition and Lifestyle Programme Renew Reset Recharge®, a pioneering nutrition, weight management and lifestyle programme that has been carefully created to support gut health and hormone health. To find out more CLICK HERE for details.

Dominique works out of her own busy practice, Dominique Ludwig Nutrition, both virtually or in person in Hampshire as well as Meyer Clinic in Chichester. Dominique has helped over a thousand clients, globally, live healthier lives. She is a regular contributor to The Times, The Sunday Times and Times 2, Sheerluxe, Top Sante and many other magazines and podcasts.

To work with Dominique you can book a short discovery call to find out more. DISCOVERY CALLS


Features published by Dominique Ludwig are not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. Always seek the advice of your GP or another qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, exercise or other health-related programme.

Dominique Ludwig

Dominique Ludwig is a Nutritionist MSc and Nutritional Therapist who is also BANT and AFMCP accredited. Dominique works in personalised nutrition with most health conditions. Founder of the Nutrition and Lifestyle Programme Renew Reset Recharge. Dominique is also Head if Nutrition at Meyer Clinic Chichester. Dominique has an enviable list of worldwide clients from actresses, Popstars, athletes and entrepreneurs

Other articles you might find interesting

Call to action

Phytoestrogens and Menopause

Menopause is a natural phase in a woman's life, signalling the end of her reproductive years. During this transitional period, the body undergoes significant hormonal changes, particularly a decrease in oestrogen production by the ovaries. These hormonal fluctuations can lead…...

Dominique Ludwig

Packed Lunches: Take Control of Your Midday Meal

In a world where convenience often trumps health, the humble packed lunch for adults is making a powerful comeback. Say goodbye to the siren call of ultra-processed "meal deals" and take control of your midday meal. Not only does bringing…...

Dominique Ludwig

Why iodine is important for health

Iodine is a tiny element with a colossal impact on our health. Often overlooked, this trace mineral is indispensable for the proper functioning of our bodies. An adult typically requires approximately 150 micrograms (mcg) of iodine per day, but this…...

Dominique Ludwig

Join the newsletter

You will receive regular factsheets, recipes and notices of special offers.