Benefits of Vitamin C
While vitamin C appears to have several health benefits, many of these claims have little or no supporting scientific evidence. Vitamin C is claimed to be helpful for conditions such as the common cold, arthritis, asthma, and allergies. There may also be vitamin C benefits for children, as long as the vitamin is taken in moderate amounts.
Vitamin C is often claimed to provide a wide variety of health benefits (when taken by mouth). It is also claimed to provide numerous cosmetic benefits (when applied to the skin or taken by mouth). Sometimes vitamin C is claimed to be beneficial for the following uses:
- Common cold prevention and treatment
- Scurvy prevention and treatment
- Age-related macular degeneration treatment
- Cataract prevention
- Cancer prevention and treatment
- Heart health, including:
- Arthritis treatment
- Asthma treatment
- Allergy treatment (especially hay fever)
- Infertility treatment (in women)
- HIV/AIDS (to decrease transmission from pregnant or breastfeeding mothers to infants)
- Preeclampsia of pregnancy
- Iron deficiency (to increase iron absorption)
- Skin health, including:
- Protection from sun damage
- Wrinkle reduction.
Many of the claimed health benefits of vitamin C have little or no supporting scientific evidence in their favor (see Does Vitamin C Work? for more information). Generally, the most benefit is seen in people who have a vitamin C deficiency. Vitamin C supplementation is probably less beneficial for people who already have an adequate intake of vitamin C. Many foods naturally contain vitamin C, and vitamin C is added to many foods and beverages as well.