The Importance of Vitamin C There are many vitamins that your body needs every single day to function properly. One such vitamin is vitamin C. The best way to get vitamin C is too each a balanced diet that includes foods like green peppers, citrus fruits, strawberries, green vegetables, fish, potatoes, broccoli, milk, and tomatoes. Look at the labels on your foods. Vitamin C is sometimes also called ascorbic acid. If you are worried that you cannot get enough vitamin C naturally in your food, talk to a doctor. He or she may recommend a daily vitamin C supplement to help you maintain the correct levels of vitamin C in your body. Vitamin C is one of 13 vitamins that out body needs. Some of these vitamins are fatsoluble, which means that our body can store them for later use. However, vitamin C is one of vitamins in the body that is not fat-soluble. Therefore, the body cannot store it and it must be consumed every day. How much vitamin C you should have in your body depends on your age, gender, weight, lifestyle, and, whether you are pregnant or not. What does vitamin C do? Basically, vitamin C is an antioxidant, which means that it battles the forces in our body that can cause organ, tissue, and cell damage. Therefore, vitamin C protects the body and may specifically be linked to reduce the signs of aging. If you do not have enough vitamin C in your body, you will develop scurvy. Scurvy is very uncommon in the United States, but can cause anemia, gum disease, skin hemorrhages, and weakness. When you begin taking vitamin C supplements, make sure that you follow your doctor’s recommendations. If you take too much vitamin C, you can overdose, just as you would with a typical drug. This is rare, because vitamin C water soluble and high amounts will leave the body at a normal rate, but when it does happen, it can cause kidney stones and interfere with vitamin B12 absorption, causing anemia. Diarrhea is also a side effect. Therefore, it is best to listen to you doctor’s recommendation. Frequently, you will automatically get enough vitamin C in your foods, especially if you are eating a healthy diet. If you are not and your doctor tells you to begin taking vitamin C supplements, look carefully at the labels of different brands before you buy anything. Because vitamin supplements are classified as foods and not drugs, they are not regulated by the government and each brand’s potency will vary slightly from the next.