Vitamin C deficiency is known to cause scurvy, characterized by bleeding gums and other connective tissue problems. But vitamin C deficiency was recently reported to cause a very different array of symptoms in several people. Learn more in the What It Does section of the Vitamin C Supplements Review. Also see our Top Picks for vitamin C.
If you are trying to build muscle with resistance exercise, go easy on vitamins C and E, according to a recent study. Get the details in the Concerns and Cautions section of the Vitamin C Supplements Review.
High doses of vitamin C can cause kidney stones and damage kidneys. People with certain diets or medical conditions may be more prone to these problems. Get the details, including those of a recent case, in the Concerns and Cautions section of the Vitamin C Supplements Review.
Older men asked to perform resistance (strength) training for 12 weeks showed less gain in bone density if they were given high daily doses of vitamins C & E than if they were given a placebo. This is not the first time that high-dose antioxidant supplements have been shown to reduce benefits from exercise. For details, see the "Concerns and Cautions" section of the Vitamin C Supplements Review >>
One of the forms of vitamin C in supplements is Ester-C. In addition to being non-acidic, a recent study suggests another possible benefit over regular vitamin C (ascorbic acid). Get more information about this and other forms of vitamin C in the "ConsumerTips" section of the Vitamin C Supplements Review >>
Higher intakes of vitamin C from foods are linked to lower risk of postmenopausal breast cancer in women, but getting vitamin C from supplements on top of that may increase the risk, says a new study. Get the details in the Vitamin C Supplements Review >>
A small clinical study recently found that taking vitamin C had a positive effect on blood vessels similar to a daily walk. The study focused on overweight and obese individuals, in whom blood vessel tone is compromised. Long-term effects were not studied. Get details about the study (including dose) and other pros and cons of vitamin C in the Vitamin C Supplements Review >>
A recent small study among men with low to adequate levels of vitamin C showed that supplementing with vitamin C reduced the incidence of colds compared to placebo. The men taking vitamin C also reported having more energy -- although this finding was not statistically significant. Learn more about what vitamin C can and cannot do, the dose used in this study, and results of our tests of vitamin C supplements, in the update to the Vitamin C Supplements Review >>
A recent study found that giving high-dose vitamin C or vitamin E to people involved in intensive exercise training blunted cellular changes thought to be important for improving muscular endurance. These and similar results recently reported with resveratrol raise concerns about high-dose antioxidant supplementation during exercise training. For details, see the updates to the "Concerns and Cautions" sections of the Vitamin C Supplements Review >> and the Vitamin E Supplements Review >>
A new, long-term study of Americans found the risk of dying over the course of the study (about 14 years) was lowest when antioxidant levels in the blood were above the lowest levels (the bottom 20% of the population). However, for people in the top 20% of blood levels for vitamins A and E, the risk of death increased compared to people with moderate levels. For selenium and beta-carotene, there was no significant difference in the death rate between moderate and high levels, although for vitamin C some additional benefit was seen at high, but not the highest, levels.
The results suggest that antioxidant supplements may be useful for those who are nutritionally deficient, but, as noted by the researchers, "beyond a certain threshold, higher levels do not lead to additional benefit, and may potentially be toxic." More details (including specific serum levels) are found in the linked updates to the following reviews, which include our test results and quality ratings of products:
A new analysis says it can help – a little. Get the bottom line, plus test results for 27 products, in the updated Vitamin C Supplements Review >>
Vitamin C supplements may modestly reduce blood pressure, particularly among people with elevated blood pressure, according to a review of the latest clinical studies. Get the details, as well as our tests of vitamin C supplements, in the updated Vitamin C Supplements Review. More >>