Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid and ascorbate is a water-soluble vitamin that naturally found in many fruits and vegetables. This means that it dissolves in water and is delivered to the body’s tissues but is not well stored, so it must be taken daily through food or supplements. Even if most mammals can synthesize it, the human organism has lost its capacity during evolution. Therefore, we have to get it from food every day. Vitamin C was isolated and identified in 1931 by Albert Szent-Gyorgyi, Nobel Prize winner in medicine and physiology in 1937.
Vitamin C is an essential vitamin, meaning your body can’t produce it. Humans, unlike most animals, are unable to synthesize vitamin C endogenously, so it is an essential dietary component  it has many roles and has been linked to impressive health benefits.
Benefits of taking a vitamin C supplement:
1.Strengthens your immune system
Vitamin C promotes good functions of your immune system. This is also why it is prescribed as a cure at the start of the cold season, in order to protect against ambient viruses. It is involved in particular in the renewal and functioning of globules
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that can strengthen your body’s natural defenses. It helps neutralize the action of free radicals by protecting the body from the damage they can cause. This helps extend the life of the cells, making them more resistant.
2. Vitamin C supplementation would help fight high blood pressure
One Study have shown that a 500 milligram daily supplement of vitamin C can significantly reduce high blood pressure in hypertensive patients. Researchers in this study precise that the amount of 500 milligrams vitamin C per day used to produce the blood pressure reductions would be without any side effects.
A more recent study on 29 randomized clinical trials that reported systolic and / or diastolic blood pressure values, found that by taking an average of 500 milligrams of vitamin C per day – about five times the recommended daily requirement -, the pressure blood pressure was reduced by 3.84 millimeters of short-term mercury. Among those diagnosed with hypertension, the drop was almost 5 millimeters of mercury.
3.Keeps blood vessels healthy
Vitamin C promotes dilation of blood vessels by preventing them from narrowing and keeping them healthy. In addition, it plays a fundamental role in protecting the heart, acting as an agent for the prevention of heart disease, high cholesterol and high blood pressure.
A Meta- analysis of observational studies showed that high supplemental vitamin C intake reduce incidence of major coronary heart disease (CHD) events. 
A 2008 longitudinal study found that taking a vitamin C supplementation with at least 500 mg per day for a minimum of 4 weeks, can result in a significant decrease in serum LDL cholesterol and triglyceride concentrations. 
4.May reduce the risk of gout
Taking a vitamin C supplement may lower the risk of gout. In a 2009 study showed that the more vitamin C men took, the less likely they were to get gout. Gout is an inflammatory arthritis that causes excruciating pain and swelling triggered by the crystallization of uric acid within the joints. However according to the results of a new study in 2013 vitamin C does not reduce uric acid (urate) levels to a clinically significant degree in patients with established gout.
Vitamin C supplementation, alone or in combination with allopurinol, appears to have a weak effect on lowering uric acid levels in gout patients. Taking vitamin C supplements at the levels in the study (less than 2,000 milligrams per day) may be a safe and effective way to prevent gout.
5. helps Iron absorption
Iron is an important nutrient that has a variety of functions in the body. It is essential for making red blood cells and transporting oxygen throughout the body. There are two types of iron: heme iron, found in meats, poultry, and seafood; and non-heme iron, which is found in fruits, dark leafy vegetables, grains and legumes. Both types of iron are precious; however, the body has more difficulty absorbing non-heme iron – and that’s where vitamin C comes in. Vitamin C improves the absorption of non-heme iron, the type of iron found in plant foods such as leafy vegetables. This is especially useful for people on a meatless diet, as meat is a major source of heme iron.
A 2018 study suggest that vitamin C acts as a “double agent” in iron supplementation therapy for iron deficiency anemia, boosting iron absorption for preventing iron deficiency and preventing liver damage due to excessive iron intake during treatment.
Taking iron supplement pills and getting enough iron in your food will correct most cases of iron deficiency anemia.
6. Protects your cognitive function and your memory
A study found that cognitive function was lowest in people with the lowest vitamin C status, whether measured by food intake or plasma concentration of ascorbic acid. Author concluded that Vitamin C status is a determinant of cognitive function in the elderly by its effect on atherogenesis. High vitamin C intake can protect against both cognitive impairment and cerebrovascular disease.
Another study in 2013 showed that adequate vitamin C intake is critical in the slowing the onset and progression of Alzheimer’s disease (dementias of the Alzheimer’s type, DAT). 
7- Promotes healthy skin, hair and nails
Vitamin C is necessary to create a protein known as collagen – an important part of the structure of hair. Vitamin C also helps your body absorb iron, a mineral necessary for hair growth. Vitamin C helps the elasticity of the skin, which means that it prevents the appearance of stretch marks, promotes hair growth and strengthening and maintains the integrity of the nails.
Normal skin contains high concentrations of vitamin C, which supports important and well-known functions, stimulating collagen synthesis and assisting in antioxidant protection against UV-induced photodamage.
Its antioxidant properties and its important role in the synthesis of collagen make vitamin C an important factor in the anti-aging process. The consumption of vitamin C helps fight the damage caused by toxins in our daily life and slows down the effects of free radicals in our body by slowing down the aging process of cells and preventing wrinkles and dryness of the skin.
A 2007 study of nutrient intake and the appearance of skin aging found that Higher intakes of vitamin C and linoleic acid and lower intakes of fats and carbohydrates are associated with better skin-aging appearance.
8- Help prevent cataract development
Vitamin C intake may decrease risk of cataracts. According to American Optometric Assossiation , women taking vitamin C for 10 years or more experienced a 64 percent reduction in the risk of developing nuclear cataracts. Researchers estimate that by delaying the onset of cataracts for 10 years, half of cataract-related surgeries could be averted. Other research showed that women taking a daily supplement with a dosage of 364 mg experienced a 57 percent reduction in their risk of certain types of cataracts. Taking a supplement with at least 300 mg/day of vitamin C appears to help prevent cataract development.
How much vitamin C is sufficient?
The recommended daily allowances ( RDAs) for vitamin C is 75 mg for women and 90 mg for men.
|Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) for Vitamin C|
|1–3 years||15 mg||15 mg|
|4–8 years||25 mg||25 mg|
|9–13 years||45 mg||45 mg|
|14–18 years||75 mg||65 mg||80 mg||115 mg|
|19+ years||90 mg||75 mg||85 mg||120 mg|
|Smokers||Individuals who smoke require 35 mg/day
more vitamin C than nonsmokers.
Food Sources of vitamin C
Fruits and vegetables are the best sources of this vitamin C. Fruits with the highest sources of vitamin C include:
Guava, Pineapple, Strawberries, , kiwi, Mango, Papaya, Broccoli, Kale, Bell peppers, Citrus (oranges, lemon, grapefruit) , Tomatoes, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, White potatoes. Acerola Cherries, Rose Hips, Blackcurrants, Thyme, Parsley, Mustard Spinach, Lychees, Persimmons
Symptoms of Vitamin C Deficiency
Scurvy is a well-known symptom of severe vitamin C deficiency. But scurvy is a rarity in most developed countries, as many products rich in vitamin C are available. It can lead to anemia, debility, exhaustion, spontaneous bleeding, pain in the limbs, and especially the legs, swelling in some parts of the body, and sometimes ulceration of the gums and loss of teeth. Other signs of vitamin C deficiency are:
- Scaly skin
- Bleeding gums
- Rough, dry, scaly skin
- Decreased ability to fight infection
- Nose bleeds
- Easy bruising
- Reduced healing rate
- Splitting hair
Which form of vitamin C ?
Vitamin C is available in several forms:
- Ascorbic acid
- Mineral ascorbates ( calcium ascorbate, sodium ascorbate, magnesium ascorbate)
- liposomal vitamin C
- Vitamin C Ester ( is a highly differentiated, fat-soluble form of Vitamin C)
Regular vitamin C, ascorbic acid, is acidic. This acidity can cause stomach irritation in some people. The ascorbate forms (calcium ascorbate, sodium ascorbate, magnesium ascorbate) may be easier on your stomach. But could cause diarrhea at a very high dose.
Liposomal Vitamin C is sodium ascorbate wrapped in microscopic double-layered bubbles made of essential phospholipids that transport the vitamin into the bloodstream and the cells.
Ester-C is used to treat and prevent vitamin C deficiency. You should not use Ester-C if you have ever had an allergic reaction to a vitamin C supplement. Ask a doctor or pharmacist about using Ester-C.
 Paul Knekt , John Ritz, Mark A Pereira, Eilis J O’Reilly, Katarina Augustsson, Gary E Fraser, Uri Goldbourt, Berit L Heitmann, Göran Hallmans, Simin Liu, Pirjo Pietinen, Donna Spiegelman, June Stevens, Jarmo Virtamo, Walter C Willett, Eric B Rimm, Alberto Ascherio Antioxidant Vitamins and Coronary Heart Disease Risk: A Pooled Analysis of 9 Cohorts 2004 Dec;80(6):1508-20 DOI: 10.1093/ajcn/80.6.1508
 Marc P McRae . Vitamin C Supplementation Lowers Serum Low-Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol and Triglycerides: A Meta-Analysis of 13 Randomized Controlled Trials PMCID: PMC2682928. DOI: 10.1016/j.jcme.2008.01.002
 Huan He , Yang Qiao, Zeyu Zhang, Zelong Wu, Dan Liu, Zhangping Liao, Dong Yin, Ming He Dual Action of Vitamin C in Iron Supplement Therapeutics for Iron Deficiency Anemia: Prevention of Liver Damage Induced by Iron Overload 17;9(10):5390-5401. doi: 10.1039/c7fo02057k. PMID: 30272083 DOI: 1039/c7fo02057k