Best Vitamin C Supplement

Health & Beauty

Best Vitamin C Supplement

Vitamin C is a powerful supplement that your body doesn’t create on its own. Today’s diets, however, don’t provide enough vitamin C for several unfortunate reasons and that’s why it’s important for most of us to reach for a high-quality supplement. If you’ve ever tried to find a high-quality supplement, however, you understand how quickly overwhelming the task can be. Fortunately, we’re here to help!

We’ve compiled an uber helpful guide to finding the best vitamin C supplement, including why the food you’re eating probably doesn’t provide enough vitamin C, what the benefits are of taking a vitamin C supplement, how to know which ingredients to avoid in the best vitamin C supplement.

The Buyer’s Guide to the Best Vitamin C Supplement

When it comes to finding the best vitamin C supplement for you or your family, it’s first important to understand why you need a supplement. Vitamin C is an antioxidant found in a variety of fruits and vegetables, including citrus fruits like oranges and lemons, cruciferous veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, and brussels sprouts, and green and red peppers.

Why Can’t I Just Eat My Vitamin C?

Good nutrition from high-quality food sources helps us grow, develop, and helps to prevent disease. Unfortunately, soil depletion, the stripping of nutrition from the soil due to intensive, non-sustainable agriculture means our food is less nutritious than it was even a decade ago!

A University of Texas study in the early 2000s found “reliable declines” in the nutritional content (including vitamin C) of over forty different fruits and vegetables and another similar study found that “one would have to eat oranges today to derive the same amount of Vitamin A as our grandparents would have gotten from one.”

These studies make a convincing case for using the best vitamin C supplement, but there are a few more reasons to start taking vitamin C.

What Ingredients Should I Avoid in My Vitamin C Supplement?

Like other supplements, vitamin C supplements can hide all sorts of unsavory filler ingredients or preservatives. It’s important to read the label; here are some ingredients to avoid:

  • Artificial flavors or colors
  • Sucrose (sugar)
  • Sucralose (Splenda)
  • Carrageenan
  • Stearic acid

Instead, look for ingredients like rosehips and bioflavonoids, which can increase absorbability of vitamin C and also act as triggers letting you know that the supplement is a high-quality one.

You should also look for non-GMO labels, as companies will often use GMO corn as a vitamin C filler. Gross!

What Kinds of Vitamin C Are There?

Vitamin c sounds like such a simple ingredient to supplement with; unfortunately, it’s not that simple! There are five kinds of vitamin C supplements:

  • Ascorbic acid
  • Sodium ascorbate
  • Calcium Ascorbate (Ester-C)
  • Liposomal vitamin C
  • Whole food sources

All kinds can be beneficial. However, there are pros and cons to each. Ascorbic acid, also known as synthetic vitamin C, is common and inexpensive. Sodium ascorbate is ascorbate acid bonded to sodium; it’s thought to be more readily absorbed by the body. Ester-C (calcium ascorbate) is known for being gentle on the stomach, and liposomal vitamin C is bonded to lecithin, making it a fat-soluble vitamin that might be more readily absorbed.

Finally, there are whole food options, sourced from extremely potent vitamin C food sources. These often have less vitamin C than their synthetic counterparts, but there may be better choices for everyday use.

The Benefits of Taking Vitamin C

1. Vitamin C Protects Your Body From Oxidative Stress  

While vitamin C hasn’t been proven to prevent the common cold, it has been shown to shorten recovery times. That’s because vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant, and antioxidants play a vital role in strengthening your body’s immune system and in protecting your body’s cells from free-range killers in the body known as free radicals.

Free radicals cause what is known as oxidative stress on the body, and oxidative stress has been implicated in everything from aging to disease to a lowered immune defense. Vitamin C, therefore, is believed to play a vital role in preventing disease and some of the more painful side effects of the aging process.

2. Vitamin C May Help Prevent Dementia

One of the exciting benefits of taking vitamin C is that it may help to prevent dementia and give your brain a boost!

Low levels of vitamin c in the blood have been linked to poor cognitive function more than once, while another study found vitamin c levels may impact the buildup of plaque in the arteries (atherogenesis) of the elderly. Science this study established a link between atherogenesis and cognitive impairment; vitamin C may play an important role in protecting individuals from cognitive decline.

3. Vitamin C May Help to Lessen Your Risk of Heart Disease

A 2008 study found that individuals who supplemented with at least 500 mg of vitamin C a day for four weeks experienced decreased LDL cholesterol (the “bad” cholesterol) levels. Since high cholesterol is a marker for heart disease, this is an important finding.

A study four years earlier found that individuals with a high daily vitamin C intake via supplements enjoyed a lessened risk of major cardiac events. The study authors stress that the results are still preliminary; nevertheless, the study is promising!

In addition to helping you fend off dementia, the impact of aging, and heart disease, vitamin C also helps your body absorb iron, helps strengthen white blood cells, helps prevent gout, helps to lower blood pressure, and more. In truth, it’s a vitamin you need in your diet–luckily, it’s not difficult to find a high-quality supplement.  

What Kinds of Vitamin C Are There?

Vitamin c sounds like such a simple ingredient to supplement with; unfortunately, it’s not that simple! There are five kinds of vitamin C supplements:

  • Ascorbic acid
  • Sodium ascorbate
  • Calcium Ascorbate (Ester-C)
  • Liposomal vitamin C
  • Whole food sources

All kinds can be beneficial. However, there are pros and cons to each. Ascorbic acid, also known as synthetic vitamin C, is common and inexpensive. Sodium ascorbate is ascorbate acid bonded to sodium; it’s thought to be more readily absorbed by the body. Ester-C (calcium ascorbate) is known for being gentle on the stomach, and liposomal vitamin C is bonded to lecithin, making it a fat-soluble vitamin that might be more readily absorbed.

Finally, there are whole food options, sourced from extremely potent vitamin C food sources. These often have less vitamin C than their synthetic counterparts, but there may be better choices for everyday use.

How Much Vitamin C Should I Take?

The great thing about vitamin C is that it’s water-soluble. This means that whatever your body doesn’t use will be flushed out through your urine. Very high doses of vitamin C (more than 2,000 mg) can put undue stress on your liver or cause kidney stones, but for most people, a daily dose of around 200-250 mg a day is a great place to start.

You can talk to your doctor about increasing your dose to help with things like dementia, mental clarity, or high cholesterol.

How We Chose Our Ratings

Below, we’re sharing with you our top picks for the best vitamin C supplement for you or your family. Whether you’re looking for a daily supplement or you want something to help you address specific health concerns, we’ve got you covered!

Our goal is to provide you with honest, accurate information that makes you feel confident about your supplement choice. We’ve paid close attention to the testimonials and reviews of actual customers to bring you the most thorough, up to date information available.

Top 5 Best Vitamin C Supplements

1. Garden of Life Vitamin Code RAW Vitamin C

5 out of 5 stars

Garden of Life is one of the highest-quality supplement makers on the market today. It has tons of products, but some of our favorites are the RAW vitamins that utilize whole food ingredients. The idea behind using whole food sources of vitamin C is that, theoretically, your body handles nutrients better when they’re present with the nutrients they’d be present within nature.

Plus, RAW for Garden Code means that vitamin C has not been subjected to high heat. Garden of Life also uses zero synthetic ingredients (including fillers or binders) and no artificial flavors, colors, or sweeteners. This particular vitamin C blend comes with bioflavonoids and is sourced from twenty-three vegetables and fruits, including kale, parsley, and tart cherry.

Each serving (two capsules) includes 500 mg of vitamin C and an additional 60 mg of a probiotic and enzyme blend, designed to assist with absorption and digestion.

The entire product is certified vegan, certified gluten-free, and certified non-GMO. In short, this vitamin C product is extremely high quality.

Now, we also want you to keep the following in mind: a bottle of this stuff contains roughly 15,000 mg of vitamin C and costs about $.45 per serving–quite costly, especially for a vitamin C supplement.

Are there cheaper vitamin C options? Yes. Is the verdict still out on how much better whole food vitamin C sources are then synthetic sources? Yes. We still think it’s worth the additional money if your budget allows, simply for the overall quality, but if budget’s a concern, there are other products to try.   

Finally, the capsules are slightly larger than standard and may be difficult for some people to swallow. If that’s you, check out one of our chewable options below!

2. Nature’s Way Vitamin C with Bioflavonoids

5 out of 5 stars

Nature’s Way is a value brand that provides some excellent features. It does a great job here with its Vitamin C with Bioflavonoids. The ingredients are mostly clean (it does contain magnesium stearate, however) but overall it has a small number of ingredients.

The vitamin C is ascorbic acid so if you have a sensitive stomach or have had difficulty absorbing vitamin C in the past; this probably isn’t the best option for you. However, it is roughly $.04 per 500 mg serving–that’s significantly cheaper than our top pick from Garden of Life!

Vitamin C with Bioflavonoids comes in 1000 mg (1 g) capsules, so you only have to take one each day–but you may not be comfortable with taking 1000 mg. If that’s you, you can find Nature’s Way Vitamin C in other dosages.

The package is vegetarian and gluten-free and contains added sugar, corn, or dairy products. The capsules are plant-derived (no glycerin). Overall, an excellent product that has earned its 91% approval rating on Amazon.

3. Ester-C Vitamin C  

4.5 out of 5 stars

These vitamin C tablets are exactly what their name suggests: in the ester-c form of vitamin C. Vitamin C supplement reviews are rife with people complaining about upset stomachs, diarrhea, and the like, so a vitamin C product that gets good marks for being gentle on the stomach is a nice surprise! These tablets are large but can be broken in half if you have trouble swallowing them (they’re not chewable).

Because of how the Ester-C tables are made, they have zero acidity. Plus, they contain a bioflavonoids complex naturally found in citrus for help with absorbing the vitamin C. The company claims that vitamin C continues to work in your system for 24 hours after you take it.

There’s nothing to prove this claim, but if your aim is to boost your immune system or help your body recover from a cold or illness, it might be worth taking Ester-C up on its claim! There are a large number of reviews indicating how much this product has helped people recover from sickness and prevent sickness.

The tablets come in 1000 mg (1 g) servings and can be cut in half, as we already noted if you want to take less daily or at one time. At about $.04 per 500 mg serving, these cost roughly the same as our Nature’s Way pick–but they might be easier on your stomach.

4. Pure Synergy Pure Radiance C

4 out of 5 stars

Pure Synergy’s Pure Radiance C is one of the most expensive on the list–nearly a dollar per 500 mg of vitamin C. However; it comes with such high reviews and extremely high-quality controls that we feel it belongs on this list.

Instead of synthetic vitamin C, Pure Synergy utilizes vitamin C from wild-harvested camu camu as well as organic acerola. Camu camu is a small bushy tree famous for its extremely high vitamin C content and acerola is a type of cherry shrub also known for its high vitamin C content.

This supplement also relies on buckwheat berry sprouts, rose hips, lemon peel, and other whole food, natural ingredients, but there are no preservatives or artificial ingredients included, and the entire list is vegan, gluten-free, non-GMO, and dairy-free.

The pills are reasonably easy to swallow, but you’ll find that if you want to take a large amount daily, you’ll have to consume quite a few pills. However, as we explained, this is one of the highest quality whole food sources of vitamin C available.

The reviews are fantastic. One reviewer explains, “My wife, who suffers from dry eyes following cataract surgery has been taking a very special and pricey eye drops prescription to alleviate the dry eyes and the severe tearing up that goes with it. She also took this vitamin C product just because she felt it was good for her without any thought it would help her dry eyes. After several weeks of use, she noticed that her eyes weren’t a problem and she didn’t need the medication drops any longer. We can only conclude that it was the natural/real Vitamin C that made the difference.”

Another reviewer mentions, “I have tried many different brands of vitamin C through the years. After much research on product information, I was very pleased to find a natural source vitamin C that is helpful, easily assimilated by the body, and is not irritating or harsh for a sensitive stomach. I also had to find one that did not include strawberries, as I am very allergic to strawberries. I have been very pleased with this gentle but effective product, and even give it to my 93-year-old mother.”

5. Slice of Life Adult Gummy Vitamins Vitamin C

4 out of 5 stars

We wanted to include a chewable option on this list that would even work for older children–and Slice of Life Adult Gummy Vitamins fits the bill nicely! At about $.34 per 500 mg serving they’re not inexpensive, but they are delicious and easy to consume (reviewers report it’s like taking candy).

They do contain added sugar, but all their ingredients are dairy-free, gluten-free, organic, and non-GMO. Plus, there are no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives. The doses are also small enough to allow you to take low doses if that’s your preference. One word of caution: these gummies can melt. If you’re shipping them in the summer, make sure you’re prepared to grab the order off your front door ASAP.

Final Thoughts

Whether you’re on a tight budget and want the most bang for your buck, or you want to spend the extra dollars for something that’s as close to nature as possible, our list of vitamin C supplements has you covered.

The bottom line, however, is that all of the supplements we listed here are extremely high quality and will have you reaping all the numerous benefits of vitamin C before you know it. And if you don’t want to select one of our picks, you’ll be able to do your research thanks to our buyer’s guide. Happy shopping!

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