Frisches Obst deckt den Vitamin C Tagesbedarf

Nature Basics | 25.11.2021

Daily requirement of vitamin C

Your body needs so much vitamin C!

Vitamin C is one of the most well-known vitamins and is an essential part of a balanced diet. Fresh fruits and vegetables in particular are known to be the main sources. But the valuable nutrient is also found in some processed foods. The daily requirement of the human body depends on various factors. You can cover it through food intake or with the support of supplements. By meeting the daily requirement, you effectively prevent the effects of vitamin C deficiency.


What is vitamin C?

The description includes the L-ascorbic acid and its derivatives. L-ascorbic acid is a colorless and odorless acid with an acidic taste. Unlike other forms of ascorbic acid, L-ascorbic acid exhibits a biological reaction. Its name is derived from the Latin name of the disease scurvy. Since the human body cannot produce ascorbic acid itself, you must get the nutrient from food.


What is vitamin C needed for?

The well-known vitamin is vital for the human body. It is involved in numerous metabolic reactions and belongs to the antioxidants. Antioxidants protect cells from aggressive oxygen compounds, also known as free radicals. By scavenging free radicals, antioxidants prevent cell damage. Furthermore, the nutrient supports the formation of connective tissue, bones, and gums. As a necessary nutrient for collagen formation, it also plays an important role in wound healing.


The vitamin has a positive effect on many areas of physical and mental health. It strengthens the immune system, improves iron absorption from plant foods and is crucial for the effectiveness of some hormones. In addition, it activates liver enzymes and thus supports detoxification processes in the human body. Because of the versatile positive effects, it is a vital component of the human diet.


What is the daily vitamin C requirement of the human body?

Covering the daily vitamin C requirement is possible in most cases through a balanced diet. The necessary amount of vitamin C depends on various factors. The most important factors are age, gender, and weight. Additional factors can be environmental, physical, or psychological stress.


The average daily requirement for adults is between 90 and 110 mg. Women need about 95 mg per day, while 110 mg are calculated for men. Covering this daily requirement is usually possible without any problems.


What are the daily vitamin C requirements for children?

The daily requirement of the human body also increases with age. For this reason, children need less ascorbic acid to cover their daily requirement. The exact value depends on the age of the child.


– 0 to 4 years: 20 mg

– 4 to 7 years: 30 mg

– 7 to 10 years: 45 mg

– 10 to 13 years: 65 mg

– 13 to 15 years 85 mg

– 15 to 19 years: 90 mg


The lower daily requirement of children is partly due to the fact that body weight plays an important role in the metabolism of the vitamin.


Who has an increased vitamin C requirement?

Some people need to cover an increased daily requirement in order to avoid deficiency symptoms. This increased daily requirement can be due to chronic diseases, environmental factors, physical or psychological stress. Pregnant or breastfeeding women also have an increased daily vitamin C requirement. For breastfeeding women, this value is 125 mg per day. Pregnant women need 105 mg per day from about the 4th month of pregnancy.


People who smoke also belong to the group of people with an increased daily vitamin C requirement. This is due to the increased vitamin C losses caused by metabolism. Smokers need a full 155 mg per day, while female smokers need 135 mg. Meeting this daily requirement is necessary to avoid vitamin C deficiency.


What are the effects of vitamin C deficiency?

The best-known symptom of vitamin C deficiency is scurvy. The disease was feared especially by sailors. However, due to the fact that even a small amount of vitamin C of about 10 mg per day helps against scurvy, the disease is hardly ever found in industrialized countries. However, if the amount of vitamin C is not sufficient to cover the daily requirement, some deficiency symptoms may still occur. Common signs of vitamin C deficiency are:


– An increased vulnerability to infections

– Poorer wound healing

– Listlessness and reduced performance

– Muscle pain

– Increased bleeding of the gums.


A severe deficiency can even be accompanied by psychological problems such as depression, joint pain or loose teeth. Antioxidant deficiency can also cause cellular damage more frequently. In addition, since the vitamin supports the absorption of iron, a vitamin C deficiency is often accompanied by an iron deficiency. A blood test will determine the deficiency so that you can treat it specifically.


In which foods is vitamin C found?

The intake of a sufficient amount of vitamin C is easily possible for most people through food. The main sources of the useful ascorbic acid are fresh fruits and vegetables. Some foods contain particularly high levels of ascorbic acid. These include:


– Citrus fruits

– Broccoli and kale

– Parsley

– Acerola cherries and black currants.


Storage and preparation are important factors for the vitamin C content in fruits and vegetables. Because ascorbic acid is water-soluble and sensitive to heat and light, foods lose up to 50% of their vitamin C content during cooking. More gentle preparation methods are steaming and stewing. Unpeeled and fresh fruit contains particularly high levels of the valuable vitamin.


As ascorbic acid is an antioxidant, it is also used as an additive in many other foods. By scavenging free radicals, the acid extends the shelf life of processed foods. As an additive, the acid is often found in juices, processed meats, jams, or breads. A diet that emphasizes fresh fruits and vegetables is usually sufficient to provide you with the necessary amount of vitamin C.


Vitamin C preparations and dietary supplements

In some cases, it is not possible to meet the vitamin C requirement through food intake. This can be the case, among other things, with strong environmental or health-related stresses. Preparations and dietary supplements do not replace a balanced diet and fresh fruit, but they can be used to meet increased vitamin C needs.


There are preparations made from natural sources of vitamin C, such as acerola extract. Dietary supplements, on the other hand, consist of pure ascorbic acid. These supplements can contain 50 to 1000 mg in various forms.


Is a vitamin C overdose harmful to health?

Vitamin C overdose is usually not harmful. The excess ascorbic acid is sorted out by the kidneys and simply excreted. However, a dosage of more than 1 g per day is not recommended. Doses of 3 to 4 g may increase gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhea. However, people with certain health conditions should not take higher dosages. Vitamin C overdose should be avoided in cases of kidney disease, iron metabolism disorders or kidney stones. In other cases, however, an overdose does not cause any damage and does not need to be treated.



The vitamin is a vital nutrient necessary for numerous metabolic processes. Since it belongs to the antioxidants and scavenges free radicals, it also protects against cell damage. Both physical and mental health suffer when vitamin C is lacking. A person’s daily requirement ranges from 90 to 110 mg, depending on their gender and weight. Children have a lower vitamin C requirement, while environmental or health factors can cause an increased daily requirement. You can cover your daily vitamin C requirement with your food or with the help of preparations and dietary supplements. Two oranges, 70 g of red peppers or 80 g of broccoli are sufficient to cover the daily requirement. By eating fresh fruit, vegetables and raw vegetables, you not only balance your diet, but also simply cover your vitamin C requirements.

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