Best Vitamin C Supplements of 2020 (Reviews & Buyer’s Guide)

Best Vitamin C Supplements

If you’re looking for a grade-A ascorbic acid (vitamin C) product, you’ll quickly find that the market is oversaturated with different brands pushing a large number of different products. This can leave you overwhelmed with choices and might complicate your shopping experience.

This is where our comprehensive guide comes into play to help you choose the best vitamin C supplement!

Our list of the top 10 ascorbic acid products on the market gives you every piece of information you need, may that be dosages, administration formats, types of formulas, and so on.

So, without further ado, here’s our list of the best of the best:

Our Choice of The Top-Ranking Vitamin C Products

Product
Rating
Key Features
Website
1
OVERALL RATING
9.7
Expert Review
  • Sustained release
  • The best vitamin C to take
  • Certified product
  • Vegan/vegetarian friendly
FROM: $ 27.99
Visit Site
2
OVERALL RATING
9.5
Expert Review
  • Enriched with flavonoids
  • Derived from natural flavors
  • High-ranking product according to vitamin C reviews on medical sites
  • Rigorous testing
FROM: $ 23.00
Visit Site
3
OVERALL RATING
9.3
Expert Review
  • Veggie-friendly, non-GMO
  • The best source of vitamin C supplement for those who don't like pills
  • Enriched with bioflavonoids
  • Frequent discounts
FROM: $ 26.95
Visit Site
4
OVERALL RATING
9.2
Expert Review
  • Third-party tested
  • Great tart tangerine flavor
  • Dairy and gluten-free
  • 250 mg of pure vitamin C
FROM: $ 21.95
Visit Site
5
OVERALL RATING
9.0
Expert Review
  • Great taste
  • Considerable amount of vitamin C per serving
  • For both children and adults
  • Amazing alternative to sweets
FROM: $ 22.49
Visit Site
6
OVERALL RATING
8.8
Expert Review
  • 300 tablets
  • Added rose hips
  • Reputable brand
  • Gluten-free
FROM: $ 35.73
Visit Site
7
OVERALL RATING
8.7
Expert Review
  • High-quality
  • Third-party tested
  • 1,000 mg of ascorbic acid per serving
  • Enhanced absorption
FROM: $ 35.60
Visit Site
8
OVERALL RATING
8.6
Expert Review
  • 454 servings
  • Third-party tested
  • 1,000 mg of vitamin C per serving
  • Discounts for one-time delivery
FROM: $ 16.69
Visit Site
9
OVERALL RATING
8.5
Expert Review
  • Certified
  • Live probiotics and enzymes
  • Complete vitamin C supplement
  • No fillers or binders
FROM: $ 35.99
Visit Site
10
OVERALL RATING
7.4
Expert Review
  • 10 months worth of vitamin C
  • Good value for price
  • 1-year return policy
  • No chemical preservatives
FROM: $ 17.99
Visit Site

Top 10 Vitamin C Supplement Reviews

  • Type: 1,000 mg vitamin C tablets
  • Price: $27.99
  • Doses per container: 250 tablets (120-tablet bottle also available)
  • Shipping policy: Standard fee or free shipping for orders over $50 in the 48 States and the District of Columbia
  • Return policy: 30-day return for a full refund, return shipping costs not covered
  • Discounts: N/A

When asked about the best form of vitamin C to take, aside from the natural one, most users will point out that tablets are the most convenient ascorbic acid sources, which is hard to argue with.

Debating is totally unnecessary when you have NOW Foods 1,000 mg formula at your disposal, which has been created to provide a slower, sustained release of the vitamin. This makes it an ideal choice of supplementation for those who want to reap the benefits of vitamin C but, for one reason or another, can’t have fresh fruits and vegetables for every meal. It is also the right fit for those who can’t be bothered with figuring out how to correctly dose their vitamin C powders or liquids.

The product also has quite a few certificates, making it ideal for those looking for soy-free, kosher, vegan/vegetarian, non-GMO, and GMP quality assured products.

NOW Foods is hands down the best vitamin C brand for most people. What’s more, its users praised the product for the added rose hips that enhance the value even more.

PROS:
  • Sustained release
  • Added rose hips
  • Vegan and vegetarian friendly
  • Certified product
CONS:
  • No free shipping for orders under $50
  • Return shipping costs are not covered
  • Type: Vitamin C 500 mg capsules with citrus bioflavonoids
  • Price: $23.00
  • Doses per container: 180 capsules
  • Shipping policy: $11.95 shipping fee for orders of less than $90; free shipping within the United States (except for Alaska and Hawaii); free shipping for wholesale orders over $99.00
  • Return policy: Returns are to be pre-approved by Thorne and received within 14 days
  • Discounts: Subscribe to save 10% on each refill order

If you are looking for vitamin C without bioflavonoids, this Thorne product isn’t for you. However, those who are on the lookout for bioflavonoid-enhanced supplements will find this high-quality supplement brand of immense value. Thorne Vitamin C is a potent product with citrus-derived flavonoids — compounds with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

When it comes to quality and purity, Thorne’s product line is praised and certified by some of the most notable international independent regulatory agencies, like NSF International and TGA.

Rigorous testing throughout the manufacturing process and international certificates, coupled with natural, dairy-free, gluten-free products have earned Thorne this high ranking. All things considered, this supplement brand is ideal for those health aficionados who want a truly safe, verified, and tested vitamin C product.

All things considered, Thorne would make a fine addition to your supplement stack, as it offers everything you need from an ascorbic acid product — from tried and tested manufacturing processes to international certifications, and more.

PROS:
  • Enriched with flavonoids
  • Derived from natural flavors
  • High-ranking product according to vitamin C reviews on medical sites
  • Rigorous testing
CONS:
  • Lack of information about returns
  • Type: Vitamin C 1,000 mg tablets
  • Price: $26.95
  • Doses per container: 250 tablets
  • Shipping policy: Free shipping on orders over $59.00
  • Return policy: 90-day money-back guarantee
  • Discounts: Save 25% with a one-time purchase or get 10% off refill orders by subscribing

What is the best vitamin C supplement? In our book, the best vitamin supplement is the one that is convenient and lets you meet your recommended dietary dose without any problems. With that in mind, if you are looking for a popular product that passed all the tests with flying colors, Viva Naturals 1,000 mg vitamin C is the supplement for you.

Every batch is third-party tested, and this particular product includes rose hips and citrus bioflavonoids that give even more bang for your buck. 

What’s more, those looking for organic and vegan options will be delighted to find out that this organic vitamin C 1000mg product is veggie-friendly and non-GMO.

On the negative side, some reviews mentioned that users had stomach aches after consuming the product, so before opting for this supplement, consult your doctor and ask for their advice.

PROS:
  • Veggie-friendly, non-GMO
  • 90-day money-back guarantee
  • Enriched with bioflavonoids
  • Frequent discounts
CONS:
  • Free shipping available only for orders exceeding $59.00
  • Type: Vitamin C 250 mg gummies
  • Price: $21.95
  • Doses per container: 120 gummies (smaller container with 60 gummies available too)
  • Shipping policy: Free shipping
  • Return policy: Returns to be requested within 30 days from receiving the order
  • Discounts: Save 5% by subscribing

Nordic Naturals might just have the best vitamin C gummies on the market, and not just in terms of taste! We understand that most people simply don’t like swallowing pills and would much rather go with chewables. If you belong to that group, you might also be on the lookout for the best ascorbic acid supplement brand names that offer some sweet alternatives.

These 250 g vitamin C gummies are a natural, high-quality supplement for not just adults but also children over the age of 4.

Each serving packs 250 mg of vitamin C and 4 grams of sugar making it a sweet addition to everyone’s supplement regimen.

The gummies are also made with natural fruit and vegetable juice, making them the best kind of vitamin C for kids. What’s more, these supplements contain no artificially derived colors or flavors. On top of that, Nordic Naturals gummies are dairy- and gluten-free.

PROS:
  • Third-party tested
  • Great tart tangerine flavor
  • Free shipping
  • 250 mg of pure vitamin C
CONS:
  • Sugar might not be optimal for everyone
  • Type: 282 mg vitamin C per 3 gummy vitamins
  • Price: $22.49
  • Doses per container: 150 gummies
  • Shipping policy: Retailer-dependent
  • Return policy: Retailer-dependent
  • Discount: Get $2 off the product with a coupon

Most children and adults would argue that the best chewable vitamin C products are gummies. If you wholeheartedly agree with the statement made above, then you might want to look into vitafusion’s Power C. Its intense orange flavor along with 282 mg of vitamin C per 3 gummies provides you with a steady and tasty supply of ascorbic acid throughout the day, making sure you perform at your best.

One serving consists of 30 calories (including 6 grams of sugar), which makes it an ideal choice for anyone who’s watchful of their food intake.

People who bought this particular supplement have praised it for its superior taste and steady supply of vitamin C. However, some have mentioned that they preferred the older version from five years ago, which contained less sugar.

Having put the best vitamin C supplement brands under test, we can conclude that, when it comes to flavor, vitafusion is undoubtedly at the top of its game.

PROS:
  • Great taste
  • Considerable amount of vitamin C per serving
  • Easy to take
  • Amazing alternative to sweets
CONS:
  • Lack of information about shipping and return policy on the main website
  • The concentration of sugar might be too high for some
  • Type: 1,000 mg vitamin C tablets
  • Price: $38.79
  • Doses per container: 300 tablets (smaller doses available as well)
  • Shipping policy: The one of Amazon
  • Return policy: The one of Amazon
  • Discounts: N/A

If users are spending hours on end combing through vitamin C supplement reviews, they most certainly are taking it seriously. Chances are, such thorough customers are planning to take supplements long-term so that they can reap all the benefits of ascorbic acid for a long time.

Nature Made vitamin C supplement is the kind of product you might want to try when considering long-term vitamin intake. One bottle of this supplement contains 300 tablets, which is more than enough for several months.  

Of course, there is so much more to Nature Made vitamin C than what meets the eye. The supplement is gluten-free and doesn’t include any artificial flavors or preservatives. Nature Made is one of the oldest brands on the market, and it seems they learned to always place priority on quality.

This vitamin C 1,000 mg product was designed following industry-leading practices, so rest assured that you are getting hands on a product of the highest quality. If that doesn’t impress you, you should also know that this supplement is tested by an independent third-party lab. 

On the downside, this is the priciest product on the list, which might discourage some buyers — hence, it received a slightly lower rank.

PROS:
  • 300 tablets
  • Added rose hips
  • Reputable brand
  • Gluten-free
CONS:
  • Might not be a viable option for those on a tight budget
  • No shipping and return information on the official website
  • Type: Liposomal liquid vitamin C 1,000 mg
  • Price: $35.60
  • Doses per container: 4 fl oz (24 servings)
  • Shipping policy: Same-day shipping for orders under $300 will add $10.00 to shipping fees
  • Return policy: 30-day return policy
  • Discounts: N/A

One of the best liposomal vitamin C products on the market, Pure Encapsulations Liquid Vitamin C uses phospholipids from non-GMO sunflower oil for optimal performance of vitamin C encapsulation.

According to available research, this kind of vitamin C may help absorb the compound better, meaning you will get the most value out of your serving.

Each teaspoon of the supplement contains 1,000 mg of ascorbic acid, 125 mg of sodium, and 250 mg of phospholipids — just the right amount to protect your body’s defense system. What’s more, the supplement is gluten-free and has been tested for purity, quality, and potency by independent agencies.

Even though the higher absorption rate would make this product the “doctor’s best vitamin C recommendation,” the supplement’s price might make customers consider less expensive options.

PROS:
  • High-quality
  • Third-party tested
  • 1,000 mg of ascorbic acid per serving
  • Best absorbed vitamin C
CONS:
  • Somewhat costly
  • Additional shipping fees
  • Type: Pure vitamin C powder
  • Price: $16.69 (16 fl oz)
  • Doses per container: 454 servings
  • Shipping policy: Standard shipping ($4.99) and free shipping on orders over $50
  • Return policy: 30-day return policy
  • Discounts: Buy the product for $10.84 (16 fl oz) for one-time delivery only

This supplement might be the best type of vitamin C product if you want to get your hands on pure, powdered ascorbic acid supplements.

Every scoop of the 454 servings contains 1,000 mg of vitamin C. However, if you want smaller doses, you can easily take less than a scoop.

Quality-wise, Swanson hosts in-house testings and also sends its supplements to independent, third-party agencies to check for purity and quality. This ensures that buyers get only grade-A batches of the supplement each and every time they make a purchase.

The downside may be the hassle of micro-dosing the product for better absorption. Even though powdered ascorbic acid is among the best forms of vitamin C to take on the market, for some people, this might be too much of a hassle, making them turn to other products instead.

PROS:
  • 454 servings
  • Third-party tested
  • 1,000 mg of vitamin C per serving
  • Discounts for one-time delivery
CONS:
  • Microdosing can be somewhat inconvenient
  • Could clump in the container
  • Type: 500 mg vegan capsules
  • Price: $35.99
  • Doses per container: 120 capsules (60-capsule container available too)
  • Shipping policy: UPS ground shipping fees apply; Free shipping within the US on orders of $25 and more
  • Return policy: Contact GoL customer service to return an item within 30 days of purchase
  • Discounts: 20% off

If you are looking for the best vitamin C supplement for skin, give this Garden of Life product a try. This great supplement packs 500 mg of whole food ascorbic acid with bioflavonoids, and it is enhanced with enzymes and live probiotics.

As a raw vitamin C supplement, it contains no fillers, binders, artificial flavors, additives, and sweeteners.

All in all, Garden of Life managed to put together a great product that blends the right compounds to support the heart, improve skin condition, boost the immune system, and aid digestion.

What’s more, GoL product has great vitamin C supplement reviews. It is also important to note that all Garden of Life products are tested by the leading third-party independent testing agency. It is no wonder many customers are on the lookout for the company’s supplements, which more often than not, end up hitting the shelf.

PROS:
  • Certified
  • Vegan supplement with bioflavonoids and enzymes
  • Whole food supplement
  • No fillers and artificial compounds
CONS:
  • Some noted unpleasant sensations in their stomach
  • “Bolted-on,” hard-to-open caps
  • Type: Vitamin C 1,000 mg tablets
  • Price: $17.99
  • Doses per container: 300 tablets
  • Shipping policy: Amazon shipping policy
  • Return policy: Refund within a year of purchase available
  • Discounts: N/A

Amazon Elements might not be the best brand of vitamin C, but according to users and professionals alike, it has proven to be pretty reliable on the supplement market. 

The best part is that the 300-tablet package ensures 10 months of continuous supplementation with Vitamin C for less than $20!

This product is also suitable for vegans and those who prefer gluten-free supplements. What’s more, it is made with no artificial colors, flavors, or chemical preservatives.

On the other hand, some users have raised concerns regarding inconsistent tablet sizes. Other customers seem to be concerned about the lack of manufacturing information.

All in all, this might not be the best high-dose vitamin C product, but it might be a solid option for those who want to supplement for a longer period of time with a single container of vitamin C.

PROS:
  • 10 months worth of vitamin C
  • Value price
  • 1-year return policy
  • No chemical preservatives
CONS:
  • Lack of manufacturing information
  • Inconsistent tablet sizes

Ranking Methodology

After seeing our vitamin C supplement reviews and learning about the products’ benefits, perks, and other important characteristics, you’re probably interested in the methods and criteria we’ve used to rank the products that made it to our final list.

Allergens

The best vitamin C products will rarely cause any problems, let alone allergic reactions.  That being said, there have been reports of reactions following the consumption of ascorbic acid supplements in high dosages. 

In most cases, the symptoms will become apparent within minutes or a few hours after the intake. The most common symptoms are: itchy skin, swollen mouth, lips, and/or face, difficulty breathing, headaches, vomiting, and rashes. If you notice any unusual reactions, seek immediate medical attention.

Nevertheless, we’ve tried to include the best vitamin C products that have little to no allergens and contain as little artificial components as possible.

Certificates

The supplement market is huge, and new products hit the stands every month. With such a huge marketplace, it’s easy for some manufacturers to “slip under the radar” and push low-quality supplements.

In our book, that is unacceptable. We think that, since these products are supposed to improve people’s wellbeing, the supplements should be made only with top-notch ingredients, and they should adhere to the highest safety and quality standards.

The best way to assess the top vitamin C brands is by taking a deeper look at their certifications. Most companies have high standards and are open only to the best manufacturers who prioritize quality.

We took our time going through numerous certifications to ensure that only the best-quality supplements make it to your shelf.

Third-Party Lab Tests

Approval from an independent testing facility can most certainly appease customers who are concerned about the quality of products they spend their money on.

Following this, supplements that were tested by third-party independent testing agencies managed to land higher on our top 10 list.

Vegan and Organic Products

Vegan-friendly, best organic vitamin C supplement options are great for those who are conscious about the origin of their supplements.

Balancing one’s diet is already challenging. But it gets even more tricky when you embark on a vegan or vegetarian journey. That is why many conscious eaters turn to supplements. For those following a vegan or vegetarian diet, it is important that all the ingredients are natural and not animal-derived.

When it comes to vegan supplements, the high-quality vitamin C products tend to have a vegan seal of quality or a similar label. Such labels indicate that the product underwent thorough examination, and that no ingredients are of animal origin.

Dosage Format and Administration Method

When looking for the best way to meet your vitamin C needs, you should put a priority on products that speed up absorption. 

When it comes to administration, there are several methods you can choose from:

  • Liquid vitamin C: comes in the form of drinkable vials and shakes. With this type of supplement, you are able to divide your daily recommended vitamin C intake into smaller dosages.
  • Effervescent tablets: these supplements are similar to capsules. They are generally easier to ingest as they dissolve in liquid. These tablets come in different flavors and sizes. They could be the best vitamin C supplement for toddlers, who tend to avoid capsules at all costs. 
  • Intravenous administration: for the most part, regular users won’t be able to get their hands on this form of vitamin C, as it’s most commonly used for medical purposes.
  • Tablets and capsules: some types of the best vitamin C on the market come in these forms, as they are probably the easiest to consume. The only problem is that, in most cases, they come in pretty high doses (like 1,000 mg), which is four times more than what is optimally recommended for most users.
  • Powders: dosing powders might be a bit bothersome. However, it might be the best option for those who want to spread their intake evenly throughout the day for the best results.

Choosing the best vitamin C supplement eventually boils down to personal preferences. However, we favored the products that help consumers meet their ascorbic acid needs in the most straightforward way possible. 

All the supplement types should be stored in dark places, at room temperature, away from extreme heat (unless stated otherwise by the manufacturer). 

Price

When it comes to vitamin C, the best brand will still offer its products at affordable prices.

We know that some buyers will have a set budget for their supplements. Even though these products are fairly inexpensive, we carefully examined the prices of all the listed products, aiming to strike a perfect balance between the quality and price tag.

You should know that some brands might be a bit more expensive, mainly because their products are being tested by third-party labs, or because their manufacturing is eco-conscious.

Finding the Best Vitamin C Supplement in 2020

In the previous section, we went over our set criteria. Now, it is time to learn more about this vitamin itself. Below, you will find information about its benefits, signs of vitamin C deficiency, best uses of the vitamin, best forms, and other aspects you should know about.

About Vitamin C

Also known as ascorbic acid, Vitamin C is one of the best-known vitamins. It’s an essential nutrient for body tissue repair, immunity development, and neuronal tissue protection. 

The effects of organic vitamin C were first recognized by James Lind, a Scottish doctor who discovered that citrus fruits are useful in the treatment of scurvy, a common disease at that time among sailors. However, back then, the doctor didn’t actually know what the compound was. It was Dr. Albert Szent-Györgyi who isolated it in 1928, and he named it hexuronic acid. In 1932, it was renamed to ascorbic acid by Walter Haworth.

What Is Vitamin C? 

A good vitamin C definition should mention that it is a water-soluble vitamin, meaning it dissolves in liquid. Such compounds easily evacuate through urine when consumed in excess — this is why it’s very hard to overdose on vitamin C.

The total amount of vitamin C that the body can hold for a limited amount of time ranges from 300 mg to around 2,000 mg. Higher levels of the compound are usually maintained in different tissues and cells, with the highest concentrations being in white blood cells, the brain, the pituitary gland, eyes, and adrenal glands. Lower concentrations can be found in saliva, plasma, and red blood cells.   

Vitamin C Functions

As the supplement market started advertising all the top rated vitamin C products, most people know about the compound’s antioxidant properties. However, the main functions of the vitamin have more to do with protecting and stabilizing body tissue. 

Without going into too much detail, here are the main functions of vitamin C:

  • L-carnitine synthesis: the compound plays a crucial role in L-carnitine production. This amino acid is a key factor in the process of burning fat and metabolizing it into energy.
  • Neural protection: mature neurons need copious amounts of the compound in order to protect themselves from the stress generated by their activity.
  • Cutaneous enzymatic defense: together with vitamin E, it is responsible for capturing and getting rid of free radicals, meaning that your skin will look younger for much longer.
  • Intercellular matter production: consuming vitamin C tablets regularly can help improve tissue binding and provide stability to the components of the human body.
  • Absorbing iron: ascorbic acid is also known for its ability to bind to iron molecules and help the body absorb it more efficiently.
  • Melanogenesis inhibition: vitamin C also helps inhibit the formation of age spots and chloasma on the skin. 
  • Cardiac system protection: according to some data, vitamin C may have an antioxidant effect on bad cholesterol, preventing it from accumulating in the arteries.
  • The formation of collagen: when supplementing with the different forms of vitamin C, you can improve your body’s collagen production and regulation (the compound that contributes to hair, joints, teeth, and skin health). In this case, ascorbic acid also plays the role of a cofactor, as it stabilizes the amino acids that are required for collagen synthesis.
  • Neural development: Some research data suggest that brain tissue requires copious amounts of vitamin C to mature.

As of now, experts are still researching the compound and its potential functions in other areas as well.

Dosages

A part of knowing the best way to take vitamin C is keeping in mind the recommended doses of vitamin C.

The RDA for this compound has changed over the years, with the first recommendation being around 10 mg per day to keep the symptoms of scurvy at bay. Currently, realistic average dosages are closer to ten times higher (with the RDA being between 65 and 100 mg/per day) to reap all the benefits of ascorbic acid.

The truth is, professionals are still having a hard time pinpointing the most optimal dosage that can be applied to everyone. 

One thing they all agree on, though, is that the best form of vitamin C consumption is through eating fresh vegetables and fruits daily. It is estimated that people who focus on eating healthy will usually consume around 200-250 mg of ascorbic acid on any given day. Also, these people tend to have fewer cardiovascular problems and may live longer.

Absorption

Vitamin C can also be administered intravenously, even though it is most often consumed through foods or oral supplementation. In the latter cases, the absorption rate is rather high and mostly intestinal, reaching 90%, especially when consumed in small amounts frequently throughout the day.

High-concentration supplements may be less beneficial since, when taking higher doses (between 1,000 mg and 2,000 mg), the absorption rate drops to around 40%, and the excess will most probably be eliminated through urination within a few hours. This is also why the best vitamin C pills will most likely not be the ones with the highest concentration. 

Vitamin C Deficiency and Groups at Risk

Vitamin C deficiency has two distinct phases, with the first stage most often showing as unexplained fatigue followed by metabolic imbalances that may lead to weight gain and obesity.

The second stage can be potentially lethal, even though it is rare in the US. It mostly affects people who suffer from extreme malnutrition, and it tends to come with the following signs: 

  • Psychiatric disorders and problems: when not consuming enough ascorbic acid-rich foods or vitamin C capsules, neuronal health can deteriorate, which may lead to neurological problems that range from apathy to hypochondria and paranoia.
  • Serious infections: ascorbic acid also plays a major role in the development of enzymatic compounds that help fight infections. This means that the lack of vitamin C can dramatically increase the risk of suffering from different infections and illnesses.
  • Dental problems: poor ascorbic acid supplementation can also lead to the weakening of the intercellular joints, which, in turn, can cause teeth to fall out and gums to become inflamed.
  • Weakness: people with vitamin C deficiencies often have trouble gaining energy, meaning that they also suffer from fatigue.
  • Anemia: without consuming enough of the vitamin, the body might not be able to absorb enough iron because vitamin C helps with the absorption.
  • Slowly healing wounds: different types of vitamin C sources are essential in the healing process, as ascorbic acid plays a major role in collagen synthesis. Without it, wounds may not even heal — or they might heal but very slowly.

While the majority of people in the US consume enough vitamin C not to suffer from the symptoms above, there are certain groups that are more at risk of suffering from hypovitaminosis C.

They are:

  • People with eating disorders: those who follow strict diets due to self-image problems and do not supplement them with the best vitamin C tablets are known to be at risk.
  • People with restrictive diets: people who can’t eat certain types of foods and have to follow low-variety diets (one particularly low in vegetables and fruits), may also suffer from hypovitaminosis C.
  • Alcoholics: excessive alcohol consumption has been linked to several nutritional deficiencies, one of them being vitamin C deficiency.
  • Smokers: people who smoke on a regular basis are around 18% more prone to suffering from the symptoms associated with the lack of vitamin C.
  • Women who take oral contraceptives: oral birth control use has been linked to lower vitamin C levels in some women.

Interactions with Prescription Medicine and Other Drugs/Treatments

When it comes to determining what the best vitamin C supplement is, it’s always good to know just how the combination ascorbic acid and prescription drugs can affect each other regarding absorption rates, effectiveness, and so on.

For example, vitamin C can increase aluminum absorption in the body when coming into contact with antacids containing aluminum.

In the case of estrogen-based contraceptives, the estrogenic activity becomes more prevalent in the body. With some antipsychotics, it has been shown that vitamin C can decrease their presence in the blood. It is also suspected that, in some cases, ascorbic acid can decrease the side effects of chemotherapy.

On the other hand, even the best vitamin C products can increase the time required to eliminate certain drugs from the body, like in the case of aspirin, paracetamol, and nifedipine.

Even though this may be the case, these effects, for the most part, shouldn’t be severe and shouldn’t pose a serious threat.

Interactions with Other Types of Supplementation

In most cases, the different types of vitamin C products can be used with other supplemental compounds to increase their effects. Different combinations will have different effects, and here are the most common combos you should know about: 

  • Combined with vitamin E: this combination can result in increased antioxidant capacity and can decrease certain cardiovascular risks, like the oxidation of atheroma plaques.
  • Combined with vitamin D: apart from increased antioxidant capacity, it can promote tissue regeneration, maintain better bone health, and decrease cardiovascular risks.
  • Combined with magnesium: when taken with magnesium, vitamin C products can increase collagen synthesis, help improve the appearance of the skin and prevent it from aging. If you are looking to improve the health of your skin, look for the best vitamin C pills for the skin along with the top collagen and magnesium products.
  • Combined with L-carnitine: in this case, vitamin C can increase the body’s levels of L-carnitine overall, which can lead to increased energy and can increase one’s chances of losing weight successfully.
  • Combined with selenium: this combo increases ossification and is useful in the prevention of liver damage.

Fortunately, a lot of the top vitamin C brands produce products that directly come with these combinations, giving users the chance to kill two birds with one stone. Also, people are encouraged to buy separate supplements to meet their needs because the end results are more or less the same.

Foods Rich in Vitamin C — The Best Source of Vitamin C

While proper supplementation is always a good idea, whole foods will undoubtedly remain the best choice for everyone, since they also contain other vital nutrients and vitamins apart from ascorbic acid.

Vitamin C Benefits and Side Effects

A diet that’s rich in this compound will help preserve the body’s internal balance and will show all the associated benefits as soon as regular consumption is established.

The presence of vitamin C in the body can:

  • Slow down the aging of the skin
  • Lower uric acid levels
  • Provide better cutaneous protection
  • Heal wounds faster
  • Increase levels of vitality and energy
  • Improve cardiovascular health
  • Control weight better
  • Reduce anemia symptoms
  • Reduce the convalescence period

As far as negative effects are concerned, as mentioned, overdosing on ascorbic acid is rather difficult, since in healthy people whose kidneys function properly, all excess amounts simply exit the body during urination.

Even though this may be the case, it’s still not recommended to exceed more than 2,000 milligrams a day. When vitamin C pills, for example, are overconsumed, intestinal discomforts may arise. These may include:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Difficult digestion
  • Stomach pain
  • Gastroesophageal reflux

With that in mind, people with kidney problems should always see their healthcare provider before considering starting ascorbic acid supplementation. 

Groups That Should Reconsider Vitamin C Supplementation

While the vast majority of people do fine when supplementing their diet with vitamin C, some people should be cautious before using these products and seek their doctor’s professional advice.

The following groups should check with their doctor before taking high potency vitamin C products: 

  • People with certain enzyme and endocrine disorders 
  • People with high oxalate levels in their urine
  • People with high iron levels in their blood
  • Pregnant (and breastfeeding) women — in their case, supplementation can be effective in the prevention of gestational hypertension. However, clinical supervision and medical guidance are advised during supplementation, even when supplementing with the top vitamin C products.

People Who Should Take Vitamin C Supplements

Even though, ideally, people should aim at fulfilling their vitamin C needs through vegetables and fruits, everyone who is healthy and has no deficiencies can use ascorbic acid supplements.

For instance, smokers who also take oral birth control pills, and those who are trying to drop weight will greatly benefit from using a good vitamin C supplement. People who suffer from anemia are also encouraged to consider using these supplements.

On a more scientific note, there was a positive relationship found between vitamin C supplementation and decreases in high blood pressure, which makes it also a good option for those who suffer from hypertension.

Types of Vitamin C Supplements

As stated above, some find it hard to hit their RDA of ascorbic acid through food sources only. For them, the usage of supplementation can be a great idea as they can easily reach their daily allowance and they can choose from a wide array of products.

Below, we will list the most common supplement types and add a short description to each:

  • Topical vitamin C: these products come in forms of creams and powders and are mostly for cosmetic use as they are mainly used to fix spots and other skin tone irregularities. For those who want to improve skin health, looking for the best vitamin C powder will make perfect sense.
  • Bound vitamin C: In this form, ascorbic acid is usually bound to salts and minerals (most commonly to calcium, zinc, or magnesium). 
  • Pure ascorbic acid: the original form of the vitamin. It is available in its natural form, but you can also get it as an artificial formula, with both of them having similar degrees of absorption and effectiveness. Pure ascorbic acid might not be the best form of vitamin C supplement to take for everyone, as people with more sensitive stomachs can experience digestion problems.
  • Vitamin C with bioflavonoids: The latter are plant-based compounds with antioxidant characteristics. 

Taking Vitamin C Supplements

Most manufacturers will recommend users to take the products once a day. There’s no real best time to take vitamin C. However, most professionals will agree that for the best results and for better absorption rates, people should opt for taking several smaller doses of the compound throughout the course of the day and most preferably with meals, as this method will produce even higher absorption rates.

Ideally, consuming around 100 to 150 mg of the compound with your main meals is believed to be the best way to supplement your diet and reap all the benefits of the vitamin.

Again, this compound is water-soluble, meaning you don’t have to eat the most effective vitamin C product with food to necessarily improve its absorption rate. However, when you take vitamin C on an empty stomach, you may experience a certain degree of intestinal discomfort.

Vitamin C Price

These products tend to be affordable, generally ranging from $10 to $25. In most cases, the final price isn’t really affected by the brand label, and the main culprits behind the price tag are usually the dose per container and vitamin C concentration.

On the other hand, additional antioxidant compounds, other vitamins, minerals, and plant extracts can make the final product more expensive.

That being said, a cheap vitamin C doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s low-quality or less effective. An inexpensive product may just have a less potent ascorbic acid content or may come in a smaller package when compared to more expensive products.

The Takeaway

Now that you know everything about the different types and forms of the compound, its benefits, potential side effects, and dosages, you’ll be able to choose the best vitamin C supplement from our list.

FAQs

Is it OK to take vitamin C pills every day?

Even though vitamin C is essential for a healthy and balanced life, it is possible to take too much of it. Taking pills every day is okay. However, if you take too much, the excess will most likely leave with your urine, or in some cases, it might cause mild side effects, like nausea, diarrhea, or heartburn.

One of the main reasons why using the best vitamin C supplement is essential is that the body does not store or produce vitamin C on its own. For most, a cup of fruit, pepper, or broccoli will give all the vitamin C they need for the day.

How much vitamin C supplement should I take?

The recommended daily amount for adults is between 65 and 90 milligrams per day, with the upper limit is around 2,000 mg/day.

Which vitamin C is best for the immune system?

Basically, all vitamin C supplements are great for the immune system as long as you are taking them within the recommended daily amount. For most people, the RDA of vitamin C can be simply fulfilled with a healthy diet, rich berries, citrus fruits, and veggies like peppers, spinach, broccoli, and kale.

Which is the best vitamin C supplement?

For most, the choice of the best vitamin supplement will mostly boil down to personal preference. Some will find a higher-concentration product to be ideal for them, while others will get a product that delivers less amount of vitamin C per serving. Some will also prefer powders and liquids over pills and capsules.