Let's be clear about one thing: Vitamin C is definitely a rockstar where your health is concerned. It helps our bodies build collagen, muscle tissue, and blood vessels, and it’s also a powerful antioxidant, which means that it helps protect against cell damage in the body and support immunity. All this, and research shows that vitamin C can help out with iron absorption, too.*
While this all might seem like a good case for adding this nutrient into your vitamin rotation, the truth is you probably don't have to. Most of us consume plenty of vitamin C in an ideal way already: via the food we eat. That's why adding it to a multivitamin might be unnecessary—and in some cases, downright unhelpful.
But before we dive into all that, let's take a 15-second crash course on how vitamin C moves through the body.
Fun fact: Our bodies don’t produce or store vitamin C.
That’s because it’s water-soluble. For contrast, fat-soluble nutrients like vitamin A, vitamin E and vitamin K are absorbed in our fatty tissue, where they tend to stick around for awhile. But water-soluble vitamins like B and C are more “one and done:” We consume them, absorb what we need in the moment, and pee the rest out.
This means that we need to look outward for our vitamin C needs. But the good news is that most of us can meet those needs through diet alone.