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Evening Standard
Evening Standard
Ellie Davis

Best vitamin C supplements: Top tablets to take to boost your levels

Emphasised from childhood, vitamin C is one of the most important nutrients in our diet.

It has a varied and crucial role in the proper functioning of the body, especially in the immune system. So, when everyone is sneezing and coughing around you, this is one vitamin you’ll want to call on when the dreaded common cold comes knocking. It will likely not prevent sickness, but it may shorten its hold.

Dr Carrie Ruxton, a dietitian at the Health and Food Supplements Information Service explains: “Vitamin C is an essential nutrient which supports wound healing, normal immune function and the production of collagen for skin and bone structure. It is also a powerful antioxidant, protecting our body cells from age - and environmental-related damage”.

Vitamin C supports the health of the cells, the healing process and the prevention of scurvy. It is also associated with healthy skin and has become a buzz ingredient in the beauty world for this exact reason, commonly found in serums and considered a staple in skincare routines around the world.

But here’s the thing: vitamin C cannot be stored in the body so we must source it from our diet. It is typically derived from fruits (it’s almost synonymous with oranges and orange juice) but is also found in strawberries and blackcurrants as well as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, peppers and surprisingly, potatoes.

Dr Ruxton reveals “Most people don’t get the recommended five daily servings of these. That’s why a daily multivitamin and multimineral supplement containing the recommended 80mg can be a useful way to bridge the gap”.

According to the NHS, “adults aged 19 to 64 need 40mg of vitamin C a day”, but the site also stresses the consequences of overconsumption. It’s not a pretty picture and includes diarrhoea, stomach pain and flatulence. The Mayo Clinic details that “over 2,000 milligrams a day increases the risk of significant side effects”, the latter of which is heightened with kidney conditions. So before adding more supplements to your diet, consider whether you are getting enough from the foods that you eat.

The dietitian highlights a scientific review by respected immunity expert, Professor Philip Calder from Southampton University. It reveals that “at least 200 mg of vitamin C is needed daily to reduce the severity of respiratory tract infections”.

She breaks this down: “For people already suffering from a cold or flu, even 1-2 grams of vitamin C can be needed for a few days. This equates to 12-24 oranges which would be almost impossible to consume. A high-dose vitamin C supplement with zinc – another immunity nutrient – can be a convenient way to provide the correct amount during illness. Studies show that the vitamin C in supplements is absorbed and works in the body to reduce the severity of colds”,

She adds “There is also evidence that higher doses of vitamin C are useful for warding off illnesses when training for endurance races”. During this time, for example, ahead of the London Marathon, she recommends, “You can take vitamin C at any time of the day but ensure that you only use high dose supplements of 1-2 grams for a couple of weeks during periods of illness or extreme exercise”.

Shop the best vitamin C supplements below

Nature's Bounty Vit C + Zinc 60 Gummies

This is a highly-rated supplement that is beloved for its sheer ease of consumption. Nature’s Bounty has created a dietary add-on in gummy form that makes it a tasty treat in the day and thus means you are getting the immune system support you are looking for, while relishing chewing the vitamin C and zinc-based product. The latter has been selected for its scientifically proven ability to support the work of vit C in protecting the body’s cells. It is sugar-free yet sweet-like in its orange taste.

Buy now £9.99, Holland & Barrett

Berocca Immuno Effervescent Tablets Orange Flavour 15s

Long a staple part of the post-night out cure kit, Berocca puts much-needed electrolytes and essential vitamins and minerals back into your body, including both vitamin C and B. Rachel Clarkson, registered dietitian at The DNA Dietitian explains that the formula “gives a heavy dose of vitamin C – a potent anti-oxidant that fights off free radicals that may be caused by drinking.”

Buy now £8.10, Boots

The Nue Co. Vitamin C Capsules

The Nue Co. creates its supplements using the finest natural ingredients, each of which is selected after a rigorous process of scientific testing. This targeted option is all about ensuring that we get our daily dose of vitamin C where the brand uses citrus bioflavonoids to encourage better absorption by the body.

The antioxidant-rich capsules were designed to provide an energy boost, and support immunity and there is also a suggestion from reviewers that it brightened their complexions. The label provides a vegan option that is free from nasties or fillers.

Buy now £16.00, Cult Beauty

Science In Sport Hydro Hydration Tablets

For athletes or long-distance runners, Science In Sport (SiS) is likely a brand that you are very familiar with. The label is known for its pre, during and post-exercise fuel, including the renowned energy gels.

Packed with vitamin C, this is an electrolyte boost that is made to be consumed alongside water. The effervescent tablets dissolve to improve hydration levels, while also giving you the benefits of iron, sodium and vitamin C. It supports your immune system through high-intensity activities.

Buy now £8.99, Amazon

Haliborange Iron Softies 30s

Haliborange has been a staple in households since the 1930s and is the UK’s number one kids’ vitamin label. The chewies are created for ages three to 12 to assist parents in encouraging their children to get their recommended dose of the important vitamin.

You may struggle to get them to eat their veggies, but they’ll relish the taste of these strawberry-flavoured gummies. The supplements contain a healthy hit of iron and vitamin C that contribute to immunity and support energy levels.

Buy now £6.30, Boots

Phizz 3-in-1 Hydration, Electrolytes & Vitamins

Best for: daily use

Think of Phizz like taking your daily Berocca, except with even more added benefits. Unlike other effervescent tablets on the market, Phizz functions as both a daily multivitamin as well as a fantastic rehydration remedy. The brand’s science-backed formula helps to triple water intake, deliver natural energy, and support the day-to-day workings of your immune system.

There are four flavours to choose from, including your classic orange, apple and blackcurrant, mixed berry, and mango. Simply pick whichever flavour tickles your fancy on any given morning, pop it into a bottle of water and be on your merry way. Phizz is suitable for vegans and vegetarians and is halal, dairy, soy, and gluten-free. It also doesn’t contain any artificial colours or flavours. Good stuff.

Buy now £13.50, Amazon

Sambucol Immuno Forte 30 capsules

These capsules are designed to support your immune system and prevent sniffles from becoming the full-on flu. Made from a blend of vitamin C and zinc, they also contain black elderberries which are prepped in Sambucol to maximise their health benefits. The Immuno Forte capsules are vegan and have a surprisingly tasty flavour, adults can take two capsules daily (one for children) and should be consumed with food.

Buy now £15.25, Boots

YourZooki Vitamin C 30x15ml sachets

Best for: a vital boost in skin radiance and energy

The importance of vitamin C has been stressed since our childhood but it has only recently become a staple skincare ingredient for its glow-giving results. On top of your topical application, take one sachet daily of this supplement to give your complexion radiance from the outside in, while also adding more antioxidants to your diet that will protect against the effects of free radicals. It plays a vital role in the growth, development and repair of body tissues and encourages the proper functioning of your immune system.

Buy now £35.99, Amazon

Wild Nutrition Food-Grown Vitamin C Capsules

Best for: a variety of all-natural supplements to complete your collection

Wild Nutrition is another of our favourite supplement brands that offer an extensive range of vegan vitamin sources created using food ingredients and developed with medicinal nutrition experts.

The range includes iron, magnesium, omega 3, vitamin D, and this specialised Vitamin C & Bioflavonoids option. The latter is derived from a citrus pulp that is effectively absorbed and retained in the body.

Buy now £24.00, Amazon

Bassetts Vitamins 7-11 Years Immune VIT C & Zinc 30's

This is another supplement designed to help little ones get their vitamin C. Created with the sole mission to provide support to their immune system, Bassetts has made a delicious and nutritious dietary add-on that is brimming with vitamin C and zinc – but crucially, no added colours, flavouring or sugar. The supplements have been created for ages seven to 11 with a soft, fruity orange taste.

Buy now £4.25, Amazon

Vitabiotics Ultra Vitamin C Tablets

When you’re constantly on the go, it’s not always easy to keep up with a balanced diet – that’s where Vitabiotics come in. To get your daily recommended dose of vitamin C, the brand has created the Ultra Vitamin C Tablets.

The ascorbic acid-based formula contains citrus bioflavonoids to enhance absorption so that you are reaping the rewards of the skin-enhancing, immunity-supporting and collagen-forming ingredient. It encourages a slow-release process and contains no artificial colours or preservatives.

Buy now £4.55, Amazon

VITL Rise & Energise

VITL’s Rise & Energise vegan pills are a popular choice for tackling fatigue during day-to-day life. Formulated with a range of the purest and most bioavailable vitamins, they’re easy to absorb, allowing you to enjoy all of the goodness contained in each digestible capsule.

These hard-hitting supplements don’t hold back the benefits. There’s a blend of a full B vitamin complex with vitamin C as well as Siberian ginseng to help reduce fatigue and support energy levels and CoQ10 to help reduce symptoms of fatigue.

Buy now £8.99, VITL

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