Vitamin C: is supplementation necessary for optimal health?

J Altern Complement Med. 2008 Dec;14(10):1291-8. doi: 10.1089/acm.2008.0165.


Background: Consumption of vitamin C is essential for life in humans because the body does not synthesize it. Numerous studies have demonstrated that supplementation with vitamin C enhances the immune system, avoids DNA damage, and significantly decreases the risk of a wide range of pathologies, such as cancers, and degenerative and chronic diseases. Moreover, it has been demonstrated that modern crop production, transport, and food storage severely impair the quality of food and provoke a loss in micronutrients, such as vitamin C.

Objectives: In this paper, we report that the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) in vitamin C is lower than the bodily needs. In fact, it does not seem to ensure true health protection and it appears difficult to reach an effective dose of vitamin C only through food consumption. Furthermore, the literature shows that vitamin C intake higher than the RDA is safe. Therefore, in order to achieve optimal health and avoid a number of diseases, we suggest that, in the present situation, vitamin C supplementation is required.

Conclusions: According to the current literature, we would like to emphasize that to ensure an optimal allowance of vitamin C, we advise 1 g daily intake of vitamin C supplementation, accompanied by a diet rich in fruits and vegetables.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antioxidants / therapeutic use*
  • Ascorbic Acid / therapeutic use*
  • Ascorbic Acid Deficiency / prevention & control
  • Chronic Disease / prevention & control
  • Fruit
  • Health Education / methods
  • Health Promotion / methods*
  • Humans
  • Nutrition Policy*
  • Nutritional Requirements
  • Vegetables


  • Antioxidants
  • Ascorbic Acid