Vitamin C is an essential nutrient which cannot be produced by humans (Nutrients. 2017).
Because your body doesn't produce or store it, you need daily vitamin C for continued health. Vitamin C may be one of the most well-known immune nutrients that protect against immune deficiencies and which supports the prevention and recovery from the common cold and upper-respiratory issues, and also protects your cardiovascular system, eyes, skin, and other parts of your body.
Vitamin C is a particularly unique nutrient because it also functions as an antioxidant that protects your cells against potential damage.
As of September 2021, there are more than 20 studies that have been launched to investigate the benefits of vitamin C against COVID-19. You can review the status of these trials on clinicaltrials.gov
Vitamin C might help prevent COVID-19 and also lessen the inflammatory reactions behind some severe COVID-19 cases, according to a review of research on the topic
published in the latest issue of the journal Nutrition.
Vitamin C can be found in a variety of whole, plant-based foods like citrus fruits, bell peppers, strawberries, and broccoli. Obtaining nutrients from whole foods is always the best approach, but if you have difficulty meeting your nutrition needs for any reason, a supplement may be necessary.
The supplements on this list were chosen based on quality, manufacturing standards, usability, and price.
Here are the best vitamin C supplements of 2021.
1– 4. Best capsulesCapsules are the most popular form of vitamin C supplements. These are among the best on the market.
1. Viva Naturals Vitamin C
- Non-GMO Vitamin C Supplements with Citrus Bioflavonoids & Rose Hips for Immune Support & Antioxidant Protection
Features Non GMO Vitamin C
Our C vitamin contains premium Quali-C from Scotland, made by one of the world’s leading providers of this essential nutrient. Each batch is third-party tested for quality, providing 1000mg of vit C per serving.
Vitamin C With Bioflavonoids & Rose Hips
Protect yourself all season long with our specially formulated vitamin C 1000mg vegetarian capsules.* Complementing fruit extracts like citrus bioflavonoids and rose hips provide natural sources of vitamin C and work synergistically to support a healthy immune system.
Supports Collagen For Hair, Skin, Nails & Joints
Often going under the radar, vit C is an essential nutrient for collagen synthesis.* Collagen is the holy grail of beauty and joint support, and adding a high quality ascorbic acid like Vit C 1000mg to your wellness routine can help your body make more of it.
Non GMO Vitamin C 1000 & Veggie-Friendly
Our vitamin C capsules are non GMO and vegetarian friendly, making them an easy addition to any wellness practice or dietary lifestyle. Not to mention they’re manufactured without artificial dyes, salt, soy or dairy, so you can feel confident that you’re getting the most out of your vitamin C pills!
As a diabetic of 43 years, I've done pretty well. I can still see and pee and have all my feet and toes. I recently learned how high dose vitamin C can get rid of those age spots that mar our complexion as we get older. I had a big dark spot on my face go away and today I looked down at my feet and one of two scars was gone and the other was going. They had been there for several years. and They say diabetics don't heal well. Our bodies need Vitamin C to make collagen and to keep our skin healthy we all need more than the RDA, but Diabetics even more so. Diabetics use up our vitamin C quicker than most other people and it is a strong anti-oxidant. Even though I am doing fairly well, I did have a heart attack 10 years ago. My arteries were brittle and since I wasn't taken vitamin C at that time, my body didn't have the materials to repair and keep my arteries flexible. I take this C and I also take another Liposomal Vitamin C 1:1. I have taken up to 40,000 mg in a day spread out throughout the course of the day. Like 2,000 and hour. No ill effects and with some pleasant surprises such as I described.
4.7 out of 5 - 7,786 global ratings
2. Smarter Raw Whole Food Vitamin C
- Vegan, Real Immune Support
- 60 Vegan Capsules
- 100% Made with 11 Premium Raw & Natural Whole Food Berries such as Acai, Acerola, Amla, Cranberry, Goji, Jabuticaba, Mangosteen, Maqui, Pomegranate, Strawberry, & Schisandra.
- Lack of Vitamin C can cause Collagen loss leading to wrinkles, aging, weakened arteries, and immune system. Stress can cause Vitamin C deficiencies too.
- Not a synthetic Vitamin C supplement
- Natural Full Spectrum Citrus Bioflavonoids, Polyphenols & Antioxidants.
- Made in the USA
- No Fillers, Magnesium Stearate, Dioxides, Silica, Maltodextrin, Carrageenan, Soy, Milk, Egg, Corn, Tree Nuts, Artificial Colors, or Preservatives.
This product is exactly what I was looking for! I'm a Certified Health Coach and the source of vitamins and what's in them (read the ingredient list) are both of the utmost importance to me. Finding a Non-GMO Whole Food Vitamin C that didn't contain harmful chemicals such as magnesium stearate, silica, dioxides, maltodextrin, soy, carrageenan was SO IMPORTANT. Because of the purity of this brand, I will definitely recommend these Vitamin C supplements to clients. Supplementing with Vitamin C is crucial, but especially when our immunity may be at risk of being compromised, like during the cold and flu season. Additionally, these provide antioxidants, substances found in certain plants and fruits, that help stop free radicals from causing cell damage in your body. I'm loving this Non-GMO Whole Food Vitamin C!!
4.7 out of 5 - 2,285 global ratings
3. Nutra Champs Vitamin C
NutraChamps’ naturally sourced, vegan, non-GMO Vitamin C supplement comes in convenient, easy to swallow capsules so that you don’t need to guzzle down sugar-rich juices to get your dose of this essential nutrient.
NutraChamps’ premium formula didn’t just include L-Ascorbic Acid, the naturally occurring form of Vitamin C. Loaded with Elderberry, Citrus Bioflavonoids & Rose Hips, NutraChamps also delivers key antioxidant essentials to ensure you get more out of every dose.
Furthermore, Collagen is vital in ensuring the health of our hair, skin, nails, joints and connective tissue — but without the right amount of Vitamin C, the body can’t actually produce or store collagen. This makes taking the right dose SO important. With NutraChamps, you’ll get the doctor recommended dose and exactly what your body needs to thrive.
- Vitamin C 1000mg with Elderberry, Citrus Bioflavonoids & Rose Hips
- 120 Capsules
- Vegan, Non-GMO
- Antioxidant Supplement for Immune Health & Collagen Production
- Powerful antioxidant : Not only is Vitamin C an important antioxidant by itself, but it has also been shown to regenerate other antioxidants within the body. Add Elderberry, Citrus Bioflavonoids and Rose Hips to the picture and you’ve got an immune support boosting, antioxidant powerhouse!
I like everything about this new Nutra Champs supplement - the right dose, the right combination of complementary ingredients, vegan, non-GMO, easy swallow capsule, all aspects are excellent.
I like splitting my supplements morning and afternoon. I think it gives better, more even protection. The 500 mg capsules provide that and are a bit easier to swallow.
Besides the L-Ascorbic Acid, each capsule includes Elderberry, Citrus Bioflavonoids and Rose Hips. Good complements without sweeteners and flavor enhancers like you might get with tablets.
I'm on a plant based diet so finding high quality vegan supplements requires a capsule without gelatin. Nutra Champs always provide that for me. Ingredients are also not genetically modified.
This is a great way to get your vitamin C!!
4.7 out of 5 - 2,102 global ratings
4. Paleovalley Essential C Complex
- Vitamin C Food Supplement with Organic Superfoods for Immune Support
- 450 mg per Serving
- No Synthetic Ascorbic Acid
- No GMO, Fillers or Gluten
POTENT SOURCE OF ORGANIC VITAMIN C
Unless you like the taste of orange, it pales in comparison to just one unripe acerola cherry, which contains significantly higher concentrations of natural, full-spectrum vitamin C.
SUPERFOODS FOR IMMUNE SUPPORT
Vitamin C contributes to the normal function of the immune system that’s why this supplement contains acerola cherry, camu camu berry, and amla berry, three of the planet’s most concentrated natural sources of it.
NO SYNTHETIC ASCORBIC ACID
Taken in organic, concentrated forms, vitamin C found in whole foods such as in this supplement are far more bioavailable to help support nutrient absorption, energy level regulation, and overall immune function.
GENTLY DRIED TO PRESERVE NUTRIENTS
Our natural and organic ingredients contain absolutely no gluten, GMO, fillers, corn, soy, or rice and are minimally processed to avoid damaging their fragile nutrients.
100% GENTLY DRIED TO PRESERVE NUTRIENTS
Our natural and organic ingredients contain absolutely no gluten, GMO, fillers, corn, soy, or rice and are minimally processed to avoid damaging their fragile nutrients.
I started taking this less than a week ago, I was not symptomatic for anything except mid winter blues. I thought some vitamin C would help boost my mood and bonus- my immune system at the same time. I seriously had no idea how far from myself I was actually feeling. Just after a couple days, I woke up to my normal morning routine; feed the dog, make coffee, shower.... that’s when I felt it, I looked around and felt like a fog had been lifted. I felt like I was grounded, I had energy, I felt happy... I will definitely be keeping a bottle of this magic around at all times!
4.8 out of 5 - 593 global ratings
5 - 6. Best Chewable
5. NOW Foods’ Chewable C 500
If you’re not a fan of swallowing pills, NOW Foods’ chewable vitamin C tablets may be the product for you.
NOW Foods is a reputable brand that produces a variety of affordable, high quality nutritional supplements. Each orange-flavored tablet provides a 500-mg dose of vitamin C and contains just 1 gram of added sugar. They’re also 100% vegan and free of major allergens.
NOW Foods prides themselves on their meticulous testing protocols. Each supplement is tested in-house for purity and potency, and all of their manufacturing facilities are certified by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
I like the taste of slightly sour, so if you don't like that, maybe you won't like them. But they are better to chew than any other chewable vitamin C I have tried. I suddenly have more energy too. I wonder if it's the vitamin C?
4.7 out of 5 - 724 global ratings
6. Puritan's Pride - Chewable Vitamin C with Rose Hips Chewables
- Chewable Vitamin C-500 Mg with Rose Hips Chewables, 90 Count
- Highest quality vitamins and supplements
- Scientifically formulated
- Supports immune system health
- Gluten and Soy Free
- 45 to 90 day supply
These are very easy to chew and since I can not swallow normal dice vitamins do to surgery on my throat. The taste is also good.
4.6 out of 5 - 690 global ratings
7 - 8. Best Gummies
Gummy vitamins are one of the hottest trends in nutrition supplements — and understandably so. Whether you’re a kid — or a kid at heart — taking your vitamin C has never been easier or more delicious.
However, although gummy vitamins are convenient and taste great, they should not be confused with candy. It’s important that you don’t exceed the recommended dose, as too much vitamin C could lead to unintended side effects. Like other supplements, be sure to store them away from little ones to avoid a potential overdose.
7. Carlson Labs’ Kid’s Vitamin C Gummies
Carlson Labs’ vitamin C gummies for kids are a great option if you’re looking for a quality supplement specifically designed with your children in mind.Each orange-flavored gummy provides 125 mg of vitamin C and contains only 2 grams of added sugar. They don’t harbor any artificial colors, sweeteners, or preservatives and are 100% gluten- and soy-free.
When it comes to quality, Carlson Labs has been an industry leader since 1965. All of their products are manufactured in an FDA-certified facility and come with a purity and potency guarantee.
These gummies are good immune support and also taste great. My kiddo loves these. No bad taste.
4.7 out of 5 - 47 global ratings
8. Purify Life Vitamin C Gummies for Adults & Kids
- Double Strength Immune Support
- Vegan, Gelatin Free, Gluten Free
- Defense Booster Supplement Replaces Capsules, Pills, Tablets & Syrup
- 90 Gummies : 3 Month Supply for Kids, 45 Day Supply for Adults
- Our Vitamin C Chews are 125mg per gummy and 250mg per serving of adults.
- Help reduce the cough, cold, allergies, congestion, and respiratory function issues
- Support your body tissue growth & repair, digestion, iron absorption, high blood pressure management, collagen formation. Boost development of stronger bones, cartilage, and teeth.
- Completely safe for toddlers, kids, and adults.
- Vitamin C is loaded with antioxidants, and will allow your body’s natural defenses to fend off unwanted intruders. Protect your internal cells from harmful free radicals and maintain immunity
I really like the taste of these gummies. Good sweet orange flavor. Although I will admit that when you open the container they have an initial weird smell and kind of odd taste right at first which I think is the sugar crystals on the outside of each gummy. But the inside tastes great. It's not all sticky on your teeth like some vitamin gummies. Would be great for kids for extra dose of Vit C. Good price per serving too
4.6 out of 5 - 400 global ratings
9 - 10. Best LiquidLiquid supplements are a convenient option for anyone looking for a supplement that can be easily mixed into beverages and absorbed quickly.
9. Pure Encapsulations’ Liposomal Vitamin C Liquid
Pure Encapsulations’ liquid vitamin C is made with a unique, liposomal form of vitamin C that’s encapsulated in sunflower oil. Research suggests that liposomal forms of vitamin C may boost your body’s absorption, so you get more out of each dose (Trusted Source
Each teaspoon (5 mL) provides 1,000 mg of vitamin C and doesn’t contain any added sugars or artificial sweeteners. All of Pure Encapsulations’ products are certified gluten-free and third-party tested for quality, purity, and potency.
I love the flavor! I am on a natural healing journey from cancer and we use large doses of vitamin C. Since it is water-soluble, it leaves the body within 2-4 hours, so having this liposomal form allows the body to absorb the C into fat tissue and dispense it over a longer period of time. Great as an anti-oxidant or as a cancer-fighter in my case. I use this 3x/day on the days I'm not taking high-dose IV vitamin C.
4.5 out of 5 - 43 global ratings
10. Garden of Life’s Organic Vitamin C Spray
Garden of Life’s vitamin C spray is made from a variety of 100% organic, whole foods like strawberries, blueberries, and tart cherries.You’ll receive a 60-mg dose of vitamin C in every 5 sprays, and it doesn’t contain any added sugar or artificial sweeteners. It comes in two flavors and is suitable for adults and children over 4 years of age.
The dose of vitamin C in this product is lower than many traditional supplements, making it a great option for anyone who eats a variety of vitamin-C-containing foods but still needs some extra help filling in potential nutrient gaps.
All of Garden of Life’s products are third-party tested for quality and purity, and its manufacturing facilities are FDA certified.
All 7 of us take this. The kids love the flavor and it’s really helped us stay healthy all winter long. Some of us have problems with our stomachs after using other kinds of vitamins but not with this spray. We use several different vitamin sprays made by Garden of Life and love their products
4.8 out of 5 - 24 global ratings
11 - 12. Best Vitamin C Powder Supplement
Powdered supplements are a great, flexible option. Whether you plan on drinking them mixed into juices and smoothies or want to fill your own capsules with customized doses, powdered vitamin C is the way to go.
11. Swanson’s Vitamin C Powder
Swanson’s vitamin C powder contains nothing but 100% pure, powdered vitamin C.
It dissolves easily into almost any liquid, and you don’t have to worry about any added fillers, sweeteners, or preservatives. Each scoop provides 1,000 mg of vitamin C, but you can tailor the serving size to fit your needs.
When it comes to purity and quality, Swanson holds themselves to exceptionally high standards. All of their supplements undergo in-house and third-party testing, so you can rest assured you’re getting a great product every time.
Lots in the container. The only other place I have seen to buy powdered Vit. C is Whole Foods, and the container is much smaller. Living in San Antonio, TX, you have to build up your immune system for all the allergens here. Since I started using Vit. C mixed with natural honey, green tea, and lemon juice every day, I have not gotten sick in three years. It really is worth it.
4.5 out of 5 - 465 global ratings
About this item
- Includes 30 single-serving packets (0.32 oz. each) of Emergen-C Original Formula in Super Orange flavor
- Each serving provides daily immune support* with more Vitamin C than 10 oranges (Based on the USDA.gov nutrient database value for a large, raw orange).
- Also contains B Vitamins, Electrolytes, and other Antioxidants like Zinc and Manganese
- Flavored vitamin mix is made with natural fruit flavors for a delicious Super Orange taste
- Vitamin C drink mix is a powder that dissolves quickly in water; it’s refreshing and caffeine-free
- Enjoy Emergen-C Original Formula Vitamin C supplement every day for routine wellness
- Emergen-C Original Formula is also available in gummy and chewable forms
- When buying, please check whether the product is "Ships from and sold by Amazon.com" just below the product price to make sure you are receiving this product from the manufacturer of Emergen-C to ensure proper product dating.
I researched a product that had vitamin C that is dissolved in liquid after my doctor told me that vitamin pills are not fully absorbed in our bodies. You mix this with water, since it fully dissolves your chances for absorption are much higher. I take one a day and have noticed that I am much less prone to getting viruses. It also tastes much better than competitor’s products and costs less as well. Highly recommend!
4.8 out of 5 - 2,265 global ratings
How to choose
Selecting the right vitamin C supplement depends on a variety of factors, including the form, quality, dose, and price. There are many forms of vitamin C available (ascorbic acid, sodium ascorbate, calcium ascorbate, liposomal vitamin C etc.) but there is not much evidence that one form is much better than another.
The ascorbate forms may be easier on your stomach, but you will still run a risk of developing loose stools at too high a dose.
You can also start by considering how you’ll be using the supplement. For instance, if you prefer to take a pill, you’ll want to check out encapsulated vitamin C supplements.
If you don’t like swallowing pills or want to mix it into beverages, your best bet is to consider liquid or powdered supplements.
Next, you want to check the supplement’s quality. Evaluate whether a brand is reputable by exploring their ingredient sourcing and manufacturing standards. A good product will also be tested by third-party organizations, such as USP, Consumer Labs, or NSF International.
Take a look at added ingredients, too. If you’re trying to limit your intake of added sugars, you want to opt for a supplement that doesn’t contain sugar.
Another factor to consider is the dosage. The recommended daily amount of vitamin C for adults is 90 mg for men, 75 mg for women, and up to 120 mg for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. However, certain medical conditions may require that you take much higher doses (NIH).
Children have lower vitamin C requirements, which range from 25–75mg per day, depending on their age. However, it’s not generally advised to give children a vitamin C supplement unless their pediatrician has recommended it.
Note that the Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL) for vitamin C for men, as well as women ages 19 and above, is 2,000 mg. Meanwhile, the UL for children ranges from 400–1,800 mg, depending on age. Daily intakes at or below these amounts are unlikely to result in any adverse health effects (NIH).
Vitamin C supplements come in a wide range of dosage options. If you’re looking for a high dose, it may be more economical and convenient to find a concentrated supplement. This way you won’t be stuck consuming multiple servings of a lower dose option.
Generally, high doses of vitamin C are unnecessary and could contribute to harmful side effects. Only consume high doses if your healthcare provider recommends doing so.
Finally, you want to consider your budget. Some professional-grade brands can be expensive, but keep in mind that a higher price doesn’t necessarily mean a better product. There are plenty of high quality options available at various price points.
Can Vitamin C prevent Coronavirus?
Check out the evidence tracker on vitamin C and COVID-19 from c19vitaminc.com
A review, published December 7, 2020, in the journal Nutrients, recommended the use of vitamin C as an additional therapy for respiratory infections, sepsis and COVID-19.
In December 16, 2020, Rob Verkerk, Ph.D., founder and scientific director of the Alliance for Natural Health, announced the launch of an international vitamin C campaign
in response to the Nutrients review, which "puts all the arguments and science in one, neat place."
However, large controlled studies demonstrating vitamin C's effectiveness in COVID-19 are still lacking. There are many such studies underway and you can review the status of these trials on clinicaltrials.gov
. As of September 2021, more than 50 studies have been launched to investigate the benefits of vitamin C against COVID-19.
The National Institutes (NIH) Panel
has determined that there are insufficient data to recommend either for or against the use of Vitamin C for the treatment of non-critically ill COVID-19 (last updated November 2020).
At the Cleveland Clinic, researchers are enrolling people into a study
to see if vitamin C or zinc — or a combination of the two — can reduce the duration of COVID-19 symptoms. Patients will be given the supplements after they have tested positive for COVID-19.
Currently, no definitive evidence supports the use of oral vitamin C supplements to prevent COVID-19.
Vitamin C may help shorten the duration and severity of colds caused by other viruses, but this is no guarantee that it will have the same effect on the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.
Additionally, vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin. It dissolves in water, meaning that excess amounts aren’t stored in your body but instead eliminated through your urine. Taking more vitamin C does not mean that your body is absorbing more (nih
High dose vitamin C supplements may even cause diarrhea, as they can signal your body to pull water out of the cells and into your digestive tract (NIH
Moreover, although high dose vitamin C appears promising for COVID-19 treatment, these doses were exceptionally high and given via IV — not taken orally. Additionally, it was only given in cases severe enough to require hospitalization.
Your best bet is to eat a diet that’s full of a variety of fruits and vegetables, which naturally provide all the vitamin C a healthy person needs — along with many other nutrients and antioxidants.
Possible side effects
Although vitamin C is a natural compound, getting too much of it can cause uncomfortable and potentially serious side effects.
Some of the most common reported side effects include headaches, flushed skin, nausea, and vomiting (NIH
). Consuming high doses of vitamin C for prolonged periods may also increase your risk of kidney stones (NIH
Always consult your healthcare provider prior to adding any nutritional supplement to your routine.
Vitamin C is an essential nutrient that plays a diverse role in keeping your body healthy. We need Vitamin C and we should ideally get it from whole fruits and vegetables.
Although vitamin C deficiency is rare in developed countries, it can cause serious health problems that, if left untreated, could be fatal. If you have trouble getting enough vitamin C from your diet, supplements are a great option. They come in a variety of physical forms, dosages, and price points.
Most people do not take 5 servings of fruits and vegetables on a daily basis. Further, Vitamin C is easily destroyed by heat during cooking and our human bodies are not capable of producing and storing Vitamin C. That being said, we would not recommend taking high dose supplementation of Vitamin C for maintenance purposes. Up to 500 mg/day should be reasonable.
Many vitamin C supplements in the market are above the US RDA. It’s important to seek a doctor’s advice if you intend to take high dose vitamin C on a long term basis. To be on the safe side, you may also request for your kidney functions to be monitored.
High dose Vitamin C are considered prescription dosage and is meant for 'treatment' and not 'maintenance'.
So should you just focus on Vitamin C alone or should you consider other supplements? Vitamin C alone might not be enough as an optimal strategy. A combination and a synergistic mix of supplements would be better.
What if you have seen multiple doctors and they are giving you mixed recommendations? Our recommendation is to stick to a data driven principle and discuss the evidence out there with doctors who are open to be updated with data-driven science and evidence based medicine.