You Can Never Have Too Much Vitamin C

Credit: iStock
Your first line of defense against sickness.

I keep always keep a big bottle of vitamin C gummies under my bathroom sink. Whenever I feel the beginnings of a cold coming on, I chew two to give my immune system a little extra muscle. Yes sir, when it comes to preventing colds and bugs, vitamin C is your first line of defense, and every diet needs a regular supply of it.

Credit: liv friis-larsen/Alamy

Vitamin C’s most well-known benefit to the human body is that it boosts production of white blood cells, which hunt down and eradicate foreign substances like germs and viruses. In addition to increasing production, vitamin C also makes your white blood cells more potent while giving them extra armor against harmful molecules.

But did you know that, in addition to the immunity boosts, there are lots of other benefits from a regular supply of vitamin C? For one thing, vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant, great for managing your iron levels and blood pressure. Vitamin C can aid your blood in the absorption of iron from your food, especially unusual sources of iron like plants. This is why vitamin C is extra important for vegans, who get all of their iron from plants. Vitamin C has also been proven to lower blood pressure, which lowers your risk for heart disease. There have even been claims that vitamin C can help you preserve your memory in old age and stave off dementia, though the jury is still out on that one.

Credit: Kate Somerville

Probably one of the best things about vitamin C is that it’s really easy to get into yourself. Just eat some fruit! Most fruits, especially citrus fruits like oranges, have vitamin C in them. If fruit doesn’t agree with you, however, over-the-counter vitamin C supplements are cheap and readily available (and they usually taste pretty good). There’s no dangerous side effects from high vitamin C levels, though if you take too much, you might get a headache or some nausea. Two gummies a day is plenty.