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Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is an essential nutrient that plays a critical role in some of your body’s most vital functions.

In addition to supporting skin health and your immune system, vitamin C also works as an antioxidant that protects your cells against potential damage (1).

Vitamin C deficiency is rare in developed countries, but inadequate intake of the vitamin can lead to symptoms like dry skin, achy joints, bleeding gums, and poor wound healing (1).

If you smoke, have kidney disease, take certain medications, or consume a very limited diet, you may be at an increased risk for vitamin C deficiency (2).

Vitamin C can be found in a variety of whole, plant-based foods like citrus fruits, bell peppers, strawberries, and broccoli (1).

Obtaining nutrients from whole foods is the preferred approach, but if you have difficulty meeting your nutrition needs for any reason, you may need to take a supplement.

The supplements on this list were chosen based on quality, manufacturing standards, usability, and price.

Keep reading for our picks of the 11 best vitamin C supplements.

Vitamin C plays an essential role in the body. Thanks to its antioxidant properties, it has been found to have several benefits, particularly for skin and immune health.

Found concentrated in the skin, vitamin C boosts collagen production and helps protect from UV damage (3).

The most commonly known benefit of vitamin C, though, is for immune health, particularly as it relates to the common cold.

Some research has found that supplementing with vitamin C can shorten the duration of a cold and may help prevent and treat other infections, such as tetanus and pneumonia. But more human studies are needed (4).

Additionally, a systematic review found that vitamin C supplementation was effective in lowering blood pressure in people with hypertension (5).

Preliminary research also suggests that vitamin C has anticancer properties and that a high dose supplement could potentially be used as an alternative treatment in people with cancer (6, 7, 8).

Other research has been investigating the use of vitamin C supplementation in people with stress-related disorders, such as depression and anxiety, because it has been shown to help improve mood. However, more research is still needed overall (9).

When shopping for a vitamin C supplement, you’ll want to consider quality, dose, and price. You’ll also want to decide on the form of supplement you’re interested in, such as chewable tablets or a powder.

Quality

Evaluate whether a brand is reputable by exploring its ingredient sourcing and looking for companies that abide by the current Good Manufacturing Processes established by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

To ensure that a product contains what it says it does, it’s best to look for one that’s tested by a third-party organization, such as United States Pharmacopeia (USP), Consumer Lab, or NSF International.

Finally, it’s also worth looking at the ingredient list and choosing a product that’s free of artificial additives or preservatives. Similarly, if you’re trying to limit your intake of added sugar, you’ll want to avoid sweetened supplements.

Dose

A very important consideration is the dosage, since vitamin C supplements come in a wide range of doses.

For most healthy men and women, it’s recommended to consume 90 mg and 75 mg of vitamin C per day, respectively (1).

However, some people may benefit from a higher dosage of vitamin C. If this is the case, it may be more economical and convenient to find a concentrated supplement. This way you won’t be stuck taking multiple servings of a lower dose option.

Generally, high doses of 1,000 mg or above are unnecessary and could contribute to unwanted side effects. Consume high doses only if your doctor recommends doing so (1).

Price

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.

Form

Vitamin C supplements are available in several forms, including:

  • liquids
  • chewable tablets
  • swallowable pills
  • powders

If you prefer to take a pill, you’ll want to check out encapsulated vitamin C supplements. However, if you don’t like swallowing pills or want to mix the supplement into beverages, you’ll want to purchase a liquid or powdered product.

A note on price

General price ranges with dollar signs ($–$$$) are indicated below. One dollar sign means the product is rather affordable, whereas three dollar signs indicate a higher price range.

Generally, prices range from $0.02–$1.48 per serving, or $14–$35.60 per container, though this may vary depending on where you shop.

Gummies and liquid formulations generally have a slightly higher price per serving than tablets or powders.

Note that serving sizes vary by product.

Pricing guide

  • $ = under $0.20 per serving
  • $$ = $0.20–$0.40 per serving
  • $$$ = over $0.40 per serving

Most rigorously vetted vitamin C supplement

Thorne Vitamin C with Flavonoids

  • Price: $
  • Form: capsules
  • Serving size: 1 capsule
  • Dose: 500 mg per serving

Thorne is well known for producing some of the highest quality supplements on the market, and this product is no exception.

Each capsule provides 500 mg of vitamin C and 75 mg of citrus-derived flavonoids. These compounds are found in fruits and vegetables and boast both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits (10).

Thorne manufacturing facilities are certified by several globally recognized third-party regulatory agencies, including NSF International and the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA).

All Thorne supplements are tested for potency, purity, and quality multiple times throughout the manufacturing process, so you always know you’re getting a top-tier product.

Pros

  • free of gluten, dairy, soy, and artificial flavors
  • produced in facility certified by NSF International and TGA
  • tested multiple times throughout the manufacturing process

Cons

  • large capsule size may be difficult to swallow for some

Best subscription vitamin C

Care/of Vitamin C

  • Price: $
  • Form: capsule
  • Serving size: 1 capsule
  • Dose: 250 mg per serving

Care/of makes it easier to stay healthy by creating a personalized supplement subscription plan based on your needs.

Its supplements feature ingredients sourced from trusted suppliers, and all products undergo three rounds of testing to ensure quality and effectiveness. Final supplements are also third-party tested to ensure the contents match the label.

This supplement contains 250 mg of fermented vitamin C per serving, along with 65 mg of antioxidant-rich flavonoids.

What’s more, it’s also vegan, gluten-free, and made without any genetically modified ingredients.

Pros

  • vegan, gluten-free, and non-GMO
  • fermented to increase absorption
  • sourced from trusted suppliers and tested in-house for quality
  • affordable
  • third-party tested

Cons

  • requires a subscription

Best vegan vitamin C

Amazon Elements Vitamin C

  • Price: $
  • Form: tablets
  • Serving size: 1 tablet
  • Dose: 1,000 mg serving

Amazon Elements is a line of premium products that strives to have “transparent origins.” This means that the company sources its ingredients carefully, as well as tests its vitamins for potency, integrity, and purity.

One of the brand’s bestselling products is its Vitamin C tablets, which are gluten-free as well as free from preservatives and artificial colors and flavors.

Each tablet has 1,000 mg of vitamin C in the form of ascorbic acid, which helps support a healthy immune system (1).

However, keep in mind that only people whose healthcare professional has advised them to take a high dose supplement should use this product because it contains a higher amount of vitamin C than most people need.

While you can buy this supplement as a one-time purchase, Amazon Elements also allows you to subscribe and have the supplement mailed to you on a monthly basis.

Pros

  • gluten-free
  • vegan
  • made without any artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives
  • tested in-house for potency, purity, and integrity
  • affordable

Cons

  • high dosage may not be suitable for everyone
  • no information available on third-party testing

Best chewable

NOW Chewable C 500

  • Price: $
  • Form: chewable tablets
  • Serving size: 1 tablet
  • Dose: 500 mg per serving

If you’re not a fan of swallowing pills, NOW Foods chewable vitamin C tablets may be the product for you.

NOW 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 prides itself on its meticulous testing protocols. Each supplement is tested in-house for purity and potency, and all of NOW Food’s manufacturing facilities are certified by the FDA.

Pros

  • vegan and free of major allergens
  • tested in-house for quality and produced in facility certified by FDA
  • tablets are chewable

Cons

  • some people may not enjoy the taste and texture of these chewable tablets
  • products aren’t third-party tested

Best chewable with extra antioxidants

Nature’s Bounty Vitamin C with Rose Hips

  • Price: $
  • Form: chewable tablets
  • Serving size: 1 tablet
  • Dose: 500 mg per serving

Nature’s Bounty is a supplement company that’s maintained a strong reputation for quality for decades.

Each chewable tablet provides a dose of 500 mg of vitamin C, along with rose hips to help boost your intake of antioxidants (11).

Nature’s Bounty holds itself to a high standard when it comes to ingredient sourcing and manufacturing, and each product is tested multiple times throughout the manufacturing process to ensure purity, quality, and strength.

The company’s manufacturing facilities have also been audited by third-party agencies, including USP and Specialized Technology Resources.

Pros

  • vegetarian-friendly
  • free of artificial flavors, gluten, soy, and milk
  • tablets are chewable
  • manufactured in a facility that has been audited by third-party regulatory agencies

Cons

  • some online reviewers find that the orange flavor does not taste good

Best vitamin C gummies

Gummy vitamins are one of the hottest trends in nutrition supplements, understandably so. Whether you’re a kid — or a kid at heart — taking your vitamin C has been made easier.

However, though gummy vitamins are convenient and may taste good, they should not be confused with candy.

It’s important that you don’t exceed the recommended dose, since too much vitamin C could lead to unintended side effects. Like other supplements, be sure to store these away from little ones to avoid a potential overdose.

Nordic Naturals Vitamin C Gummies

  • Price: $$
  • Form: gummies
  • Serving size: 2 gummies
  • Dose: 250 mg per serving

Nordic Naturals Vitamin C Gummies are made from high quality, natural ingredients and are suitable for adults and children over 4 years old.

Each 2-gummy serving contains 250 mg of vitamin C — but it also has 4 grams of added sugar.

The orange-flavored gummies are sweetened with cane sugar and colored with natural fruit and vegetable juices. They don’t contain any artificial sweeteners or flavors and are gluten- and dairy-free.

Nordic Naturals vitamin C gummies are third-party–tested for purity and potency, so you know you’re getting what you paid for.

Pros

  • free of gluten, dairy, and artificial sweeteners and flavors
  • third-party tested for purity and potency
  • may be preferable for children and people who have difficulty swallowing capsules

Cons

  • relatively expensive

Best vitamin C supplement for kids

Llama Naturals Elderberry Gummies

  • Price: $$$
  • Form: gummies
  • Serving size: 1 gummy for children 2–3 years old; 2 gummies for children 4 years old and up
  • Dose: 9–18 mg per serving

Llama Naturals Elderberry Gummies may be a good option if you’re looking for a quality supplement specifically designed with your children in mind.

Each flavored gummy provides 9 mg of vitamin C and is free of added sugar. They don’t have any artificial colors, sweeteners, or preservatives, and are 100% gluten- and soy-free.

These gummies are also formulated with other ingredients that may help support immune health, including elderberry and zinc (12, 13).

According to Llama Naturals, all of its products are third-party tested and include a risk-free, money-back guarantee.

Pros

  • vegan
  • certified organic
  • free of gluten, soy, tree nuts, added sugar, and artificial ingredients
  • formulated to support immunity
  • third-party tested

Cons

  • not the most affordable option

Best liquid vitamin C supplement

Pure Encapsulations Liposomal Vitamin C Liquid

  • Price: $$$
  • Form: liquid
  • Serving size: 1 teaspoon (5 mL)
  • Dose: 1,000 mg per serving

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 (14).

Each teaspoon (5 mL) provides 1,000 mg of vitamin C and doesn’t contain any added sugars or artificial sweeteners.

Because this is product contains a higher amount of vitamin C than most people need, it’s best to check with your doctor before using the full amount.

All Pure Encapsulations products are certified gluten-free and third-party tested for quality, purity, and potency.

Pros

  • certified gluten-free, non-GMO, and free of artificial colors, flavors, and sweeteners
  • third-party tested
  • contains liposomal vitamin C to increase absorption
  • easy-to-use liquid form

Cons

  • more expensive than other supplements
  • contains more vitamin C per serving than most people need

Best vitamin C spray

Garden of Life Vitamin C Organic Spray

  • Price: $$$
  • Form: spray
  • Serving size: 5 sprays (2.1 mL)
  • Dose: 60 mg per serving

Garden of Life 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 2 flavors and is suitable for adults and children over 4 years old.

The vitamin C dose in this product is lower than many traditional supplements, making it a good option for people who eat a variety of vitamin-C–containing foods but still require a little help meeting their daily needs.

All Garden of Life products are third-party–tested for quality and purity, and they are produced in GMP-certified manufacturing facilities.

Pros

  • made from certified organic food blend
  • third-party tested and produced in FDA-certified facility
  • spray may be preferable over tablets, capsules, or pills

Cons

  • may not be suitable for those on a tight budget

Best vitamin C powder

Powdered supplements may be a great, flexible option. If you plan on mixing them into juices and smoothies or want to fill your own capsules with customized doses, powdered vitamin C might be the way to go.

Swanson Vitamin C Powder

  • Price: $
  • Form: powder
  • Serving size: 1 scoop (1 gram)
  • Dose: 1,000 mg per serving

Swanson 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 itself to an exceptionally high standard. All of its supplements undergo both in-house and third-party testing to ensure purity and accuracy.

Pros

  • free of added fillers, sweeteners, and preservatives
  • third-party tested
  • powder form allows you to easily adjust the dose

Cons

  • some people may not enjoy the taste
  • needs to be mixed with foods or liquids prior to consumption

Bulk Supplements Vitamin C Powder

  • Price: $
  • Form: powder
  • Serving size: 1 scoop (750 mg)
  • Dose: 750 mg per serving

Bulk Supplements Vitamin C Powder is pure vitamin C without any added ingredients, such as preservatives, sugars, or fillers.

Each scoop provides a 750-mg dose, but like other powdered supplements, it’s easy to adjust the serving to meet your needs.

All Bulk Supplements products are produced in an FDA-approved facility and are third-party tested for purity and potency.

Pros

  • doesn’t contain any added ingredients like sugar, fillers, or preservatives
  • dosage is easily adjustable
  • third-party tested and produced in a GMP facility

Cons

  • must be mixed with food or liquid

ProductPriceFormServing sizeVitamin C per servingServings per container
Thorne Vitamin C with Flavonoids$ capsules1 capsule500 mg90
Care/of Vitamin C$capsules 1 capsule250 mg30
Amazon Elements Vitamin C$ tablets 1 tablet1,000 mg300
NOW Chewable C 500$chewable tablets1 tablet500 mg100
Nature’s Bounty Vitamin C with Rose Hips$chewable tablets 1 tablet500 mg90
Nordic Naturals Vitamin C Gummies$$gummies2 gummies250 mg60
Llama Naturals Elderberry Gummies$$$gummies1 gummy for children under 4, 2 gummies for over 49–18 mg30 or 60
Pure Encapsulations Liposomal Vitamin C Liquid$$$liquid1 teaspoon (5 mL)1,000 mg24
Garden of Life Vitamin C Organic Spray$$$spray5 sprays (2.1 mL)60 mg27
Swanson Vitamin C Powder$powder1 scoop (1 gram)1,000 mg454
Bulk Supplements Vitamin C Powder$powder1 scoop (750 mg)750 mg1,333

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 (2):

  • headaches
  • flushed skin
  • nausea
  • vomiting

Consuming high doses above 1,000 mg per day of vitamin C for prolonged periods may also increase your risk for kidney stones (2).

In one large study, taking 1,000 mg of vitamin C per day was associated with a significantly higher risk of developing kidney stones in men (15).

Always consult your doctor prior to adding any nutritional supplement to your routine.

Should you take vitamin C daily?

If you’re eating a balanced diet rich in nutritious ingredients, like fruits and vegetables, taking a vitamin C supplement likely isn’t necessary.

However, taking a vitamin C supplement daily may be beneficial for people who are at risk of deficiency, including people who (1):

  • smoke
  • have health conditions that decrease their absorption of vitamin C
  • follow restrictive diets that may not provide enough vitamin C

How much vitamin C should adults and children take?

The recommended daily amount of vitamin C for adults is 90 mg for men, 75 mg for women, and up to 120 mg for people who are pregnant or nursing. However, certain medical conditions may require that you take much higher doses (1).

Children have lower vitamin C requirements, ranging from 25–75 mg per day, depending on their age. However, healthcare professionals generally do not advise giving children a vitamin C supplement unless their pediatrician has recommended it.

Note that the Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL) for vitamin C for men and women ages 19 years and older is 2,000 mg. That said, some people experience side effects with frequent and prolonged intake of 1,000 mg per day (1, 2, 15).

Meanwhile, the UL for children ranges from 400–1,800 mg, depending on their age. Daily intakes at or below these amounts are unlikely to result in any negative health effects (1).

What is the best form of vitamin C to take?

Though most vitamin C supplements come in the form of ascorbic acid, several other types are also available.

Mineral ascorbates, such as sodium ascorbate or calcium ascorbate, are less acidic and may be preferable by people who experience digestive side effects when taking regular ascorbic acid. However, there is limited research on whether these forms are actually more well-tolerated (16).

Meanwhile, liposomal vitamin C is a form encapsulated in liposomes, a small vesicle made from cholesterol or other phospholipids. These supplements can help increase the absorption of vitamin C, but they are also often more expensive (14, 17).

Some supplements also combine vitamin C with other flavonoids, such as citrus extract. While some research suggests that this could boost vitamin C absorption, other studies have turned up mixed results (16).

Can vitamin C hurt your kidneys?

Excess vitamin C is excreted from the body through urine in the form of oxalate, which is an organic acid (18).

High amounts of oxalate can build up in your kidneys, which can increase the risk of kidney stone formation (19).

For this reason, people who are prone to kidney stones are advised not to take high dose vitamin C supplements (18).

What is the best natural food source of vitamin C?

Vitamin C is found naturally in many fruits and vegetables, such as (1, 2):

  • red and green peppers
  • oranges
  • strawberries
  • broccoli
  • grapefruit
  • kiwis
  • tomatoes

However, some cooking and storing methods can reduced the vitamin C content of these foods, so it’s a good idea to opt for raw or steamed fruits and vegetables when possible (1, 2).

Useful supplement shopping guides

Check out these two articles to help make supplement shopping a breeze:

Vitamin C is an essential nutrient that plays a diverse role in keeping your body healthy.

Although vitamin C deficiency is rare in developed countries, it can cause serious health concerns 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.

Always consult a healthcare professional prior to adding any new supplements to your health and wellness regimen.