Let's be clear about one thing: Vitamin C is definitely a rockstar where supporting health is concerned—it’s an antioxidant and helps support normal immune function.*
While it might seem like a good case for adding this nutrient into a multivitamin, the truth is, additional vitamin C supplementation might not be necessary. Many of us consume plenty of vitamin C in an ideal way already: through food first. (That said, there may be cases where targeted supplementation can be helpful.)*
But before we dive into all that, let's take a quick crash course on vitamin C's role in the body.
First up: The impact of vitamin C.
According to the National Institutes of Health’s Office of Dietary Supplements, vitamin C has a host of supportive benefits, playing a role in supporting the immune system and iron absorption (similar to how vitamin D plays a role in supporting calcium absorption). The role of vitamin C is often related to its reduced form, ascorbate, which has been shown to have powerful antioxidant properties (one of which is the ability to fight against free radicals).* (1, 2)
The literature is clear: Vitamin C has been reliably shown to support normal immune function—and if seeking a little extra support, it’s worth exploring whether adding in a vitamin C supplement may help support nutrient needs.* (3, 10)
Fun fact: Our bodies don’t produce or store vitamin C.
Vitamin C is water-soluble. (In contrast, fat-soluble vitamins like vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E, and vitamin K are absorbed in fatty tissue, where they tend to stick around for a while.) But water-soluble vitamins like B and C are more “one and done”: We consume them, absorb what we need, then pee the majority out.
This means that we need to look outward for our vitamin C intake. But the good news is that most of us can meet those needs through diet alone.*