Getting a daily dose of vitamin C not only helps your body function properly, but it could aid in effective weight loss. In fact, people who are deficient in vitamin C may have a harder time losing fat mass, according to a review published in 2005 in the “Journal of the American College of Nutrition.” Taking high doses of vitamin C, however, could cause unpleasant side effects -- and isn’t a guarantee you’ll shed pounds.
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Effects on Weight Loss
Although vitamin C doesn’t necessarily cause weight loss, it seems to be related to body weight. According to the review published in 2005 in the “Journal of the American College of Nutrition,” higher vitamin C intakes are associated with lower body-mass indexes. The authors of this review also point out that getting sufficient amounts of vitamin C increases body fat oxidation during moderate-intensity exercise. Therefore, vitamin C deficiency may hinder weight and body fat loss.
Sources of Vitamin C
The recommended dietary allowance for vitamin C is 90 milligrams daily for men and 75 milligrams per day for women, according to the Institute of Medicine. These amounts should be treated as minimum daily requirements. Vitamin C-rich foods include red peppers containing 95 milligrams in 1/2 cup, orange juice providing 93 milligrams on each 3/4-cup portion, a medium orange with 70 milligrams and one medium grapefruit supplying 64 milligrams of vitamin C, according to the Office of Dietary Supplements. Vitamin C is also a common nutrient found in multivitamins and other dietary supplements.
Too Much Vitamin C
More vitamin C isn’t always better, even when you’re trying to shed pounds. Ingesting too much vitamin C may affect the absorption of other nutrients -- and could cause diarrhea, abdominal cramps and nausea, according to the Office of Dietary Supplements. To help avoid side effects and potential health risks, adults should aim to ingest no more than 2,000 milligrams of vitamin C daily. That includes vitamin C from food and drink, as well as supplements.
You won’t lose weight, even if you consume high amounts of vitamin C, if your overall caloric intake is higher than the number of calories you burn throughout the day. Eating vitamin C-rich, high-fiber fresh fruits and vegetables helps fill you up without the extra calories. To effectively shed about 2 pounds per week -- the maximum recommended amount for long-term weight-loss success -- eat 1,000 fewer calories than you burn off daily, suggests the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- Journal of the American College of Nutrition: Strategies for Healthy Weight Loss: From Vitamin C to the Glycemic Response
- National Institute of Health Office of Dietary Supplements: Vitamin C
- Institute of Medicine: Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs): Recommended Dietary Allowances and Adequate Intakes, Vitamins
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Losing Weight