Recommended Vitamin C Dosage

How much vitamin C?
Fact Checked

The correct vitamin C dosage will depend on several factors. Your particular health conditions as well as your tolerance to vitamin C should be considered. Other factors include age, sex and habits that may be detrimental for your health.

Correct Vitamin C Dosage

The correct vitamin C dosage, as determined by the Institute of Medicine, is based on your age and sex. Your personal best dose will range somewhere between the Recommended Daily Allowance, or RDA and the Tolerable Upper Limit, or UL.

Children

In very young children, the RDA for males and females is the same. Infants up to six months old should receive 40 mg per day. Children from seven months to 12 years should get 50 mg per day. These amounts are considered the Adequate Intake, or AI. This amount is used because the RDA for such young children cannot be determined. Children this young should not have vitamin C supplements; their diet should provide adequate amounts of this vitamin.

Older children have an actual RDA, not an AI. Kids aged one to three should get 15 mg each day for boys and girls with an UL of 400 mg. At ages four through eight, the RDA goes up to 25 mg per day with an UL of 650. Ages 9 through 13 require 45 mg each day with a UL of 1200.

Once kids reach adolescence, their RAD for vitamin C will depend on if they are male or female. Boys aged 14 through 18 need 75 mg a day and girls need 65 mg per day. Whether male or female, the upper limit is 1800 mg.

Adults

Adult males aged 19 and older need 90 mg of vitamin C each day. Adult women need 75 mg. However, women who are pregnant should get at least 85 mg of vitamin C according to the RDA. Pregnant women younger than 18 only need 80 mg.

Breast-feeding women need a much higher vitamin C dosage. Women under 18 who breast-feed should get at least 115 mg of vitamin C each day which women 19 and older who are breast-feeding need a minimum of 120 mg.

Smokers also need more vitamin C than the average adult. Men who smoke need at least 125 mg and female smokers need at least 110 mg each day.

In any case, adults should not typically consume more than 2000 mg per day unless directed by a professional.

Treating Illness

Doses of vitamin C may be increased if you have a particular illness that improves with vitamin C supplementation. Keep in mind, the RDA amounts are established to maintain good health. They are minimum amounts. If you are sick, you will need higher doses of many vitamins, including vitamin C. These doses should not exceed the upper limit. It is best to discuss doses for treating illness with your health care provider, as it will vary based on illness.

You can also let your body be your guide. Taking more vitamin C than your body can tolerate will typically result in upset stomach and diarrhea. Those who are especially sensitive to vitamin C can try Ester-C, which is designed to be easier on the stomach.

Getting Enough

The average person can get plenty of vitamin C simply by taking in the recommended five to seven servings of fruits and vegetables each day. However, according to WebMD, only 10 to 20 percent of adults actually do this. Therefore, most people can safely supplement their intake of vitamin C for good health.

You can take vitamin C supplements in pill of powder form, but you can also focus on adding vitamin C rich foods to your diet. Citrus fruits are well known for being rich in vitamin C. You can also enjoy broccoli, cantaloup, strawberries, kiwis, tomatoes and sweet bell peppers.

You can learn more about the benefits and uses of vitamin C, visit The Vitamin C Foundation.

Recommended Vitamin C Dosage