Last updated: 17/10/2022

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Who doesn’t know it? Since childhood, we have been told to eat fruits and vegetables so that our bodies contain enough vitamin C and we stay healthy. However, many people eat a diet low in vitamin C and therefore often turn to vitamin C tablets. But how do these affect our bodies and what are the consequences if we no longer take vitamin C?

In this vitamin C tablet test 2023 we will answer all the important questions on this topic. We want to support you in your search and find the optimal vitamin C tablets for you. You will get all the important information about the dosage and the foods that are rich in vitamin C. You will not only learn about the effect of the preparation, but also about the composition of the tablets.




Summary

  • Vitamin C tablets are suitable for all people who cannot get enough vitamin C from their diet and want to counteract a vitamin C deficiency with the help of tablets in order to prevent certain diseases.
  • Basically, vitamin C tablets differ in their dosage and concentration. Furthermore, they come in different flavours and dosage forms.
  • For adults and children, vitamin C effervescent tablets or lozenges are particularly suitable if they have difficulties or inhibitions swallowing vitamin C tablets.

The Best Vitamin C Tablets: Our Picks

There are many vitamin C tablets on the market from different manufacturers. However, not all tablets are convincing in terms of quality and ingredients.

Buying and evaluation criteria for vitamin C tablets

In the following, we will show you which aspects you can use to decide between the large selection of vitamin C tablets. The criteria include:

An individual choice for you ensures that you do not supply your body with an excess of substances it does not need. It is also important that a high quality is guaranteed and can be proven by the manufacturer’s certificates.

Dosage

The dosage of the tablets plays an important role in food supplements. The recommended dose of a vitamin C tablet differs depending on the level of concentration and the composition of the preparation. In addition, the concentration depends on how high your vitamin C deficiency is in the body and how the body tolerates these tablets.

Before buying, find out the recommended dose for you in order to find the right tablets. It is best to ask your doctor. Depending on your general condition, health, gender and age, there are different guideline values for the optimal dosage of vitamin C:

The daily requirement for men is about 110 mg and women have a value of 95 mg. For pregnant women, the value increases and lies between 105 – 125 mg (1).

We advise you to always read the package insert of your vitamin C tablets carefully in order to adhere to the daily dose and to avoid overdosing.

Quantity

Before buying, you should ask yourself whether you want to take the vitamin C tablets over a longer period of time or whether you are planning a short vitamin C cure. The advantage of stock packs is that they are cheaper than individual packs.

The intake dose is often 1 tablet per day.

The daily amount of vitamin C tablets depends on the concentration. With high-dose vitamin C tablets, make sure you take the right amount to prevent side effects.

Shelf life

The expiry date is important for all the tablets you take. The expiry date is printed on the packaging of the medicine and is the date until which a product can be used. In order not to affect the quality and effect of the product, it is assumed that it is stored properly according to the package leaflet. Some tablets are given a specific shelf life after opening the packaging.

The shelf life is given in months.

We therefore recommend that you check the expiry date before buying large quantities of vitamin C tablets. This has the advantage that you can avoid wasting and disposing of expired vitamin C tablets. If you notice that your tablets are past their expiry date, please dispose of them. We advise you not to continue taking the tablets as they can cause harmful side effects.

Ingredients

It is important to pay attention to the ingredients that make up vitamin C tablets to ensure the quality of your product. Their purpose is to provide you with all the essential nutrients:

  • Zinc
  • Iron
  • Bioflavonoids
  • Acerola
  • Rosehip extract
  • Vitamin D

The nutrients interact with each other, promote the absorption of vitamin C and ensure a long-lasting effect in the body.

Additives

Before buying, you should find out if your product contains additives and allergens. This will help you to rule out possible side effects, for example due to pre-existing conditions.

The fewer additives vitamin C tablets have, the more beneficial they can be for your health.

Additives include:

  • Preservative
  • Binding agent
  • Colouring
  • Solubiliser

Especially with vitamin C tablets, many consumers look for a lactose-free, gluten-free and vegan composition. Vegan tablets are often also suitable for allergy sufferers. Before taking the tablets, allergy sufferers should ask a doctor or pharmacist for advice.

Guide: Frequently asked questions about vitamin C tablets answered in detail

In order to inform you comprehensively about the effectiveness of vitamin C tablets and to give you an understanding of the current state of science, we have summarised all the important information in the following sections.

Vitamin C Tabletten

Vitamin C supplements are a great addition to your diet. They help you to reach your daily dose of vitamin C.(Image source: Mizianitka/ Pixabay)

What are vitamin C tablets and how do they work?

Vitamin C is also known as ascorbic acid (AA). It is an essential nutrient that is found in many multicellular organisms in the human body. Ascorbic acid is a water-soluble vitamin and is found in varying amounts in fruits and vegetables (2).

Ascorbic acid is known as a multifunctional vitamin (3).

Vitamin C contributes to immune defence by supporting various cellular functions of both the innate and adaptive immune systems (4). Vitamin C plays an important role in many physiological processes in our body. Below we have listed some of these for you:

Action in wound healing

An important function of vitamin C is its role in protein synthesis. It helps in the formation of collagen. Collagen is essential for the skin, organs, bones as well as teeth.

Vitamin C is said to strengthen and firm the skin. That is why its use in anti-wrinkle is very popular.

The amino acid responsible for building collagen can only be produced if ascorbic acid is present in the organism. Through collagen formation, vitamin C plays a key role in wound healing. In addition, the vitamin C achieves an antioxidant effect. This can have the advantage that new tissue is built up with the help of the collagen produced.

A lack of vitamin C can stop the formation of collagen. The result is deficiency diseases, which are described in more detail below. Therefore, always make sure that you take enough vitamin C.

Did you know that the damage to the skin caused by UV light can be reduced with the help of vitamin C? While it does not act as a sunscreen because it cannot absorb UV light, the antioxidant activity of vitamin C helps heal UV damage caused. Interactions between the two antioxidant vitamins C and E are necessary to achieve UV protection. In addition, vitamin C can reduce the development of skin wrinkles as well as skin tumours (2).

Effect on cardiovascular diseases

The antioxidant property of vitamin C may help in the treatment of cardiovascular disease. In addition, vitamin C can be used to actively fight pathogens and reduce the expansion or dilation of blood vessels (2). A primary investigation was conducted on the question of whether vitamin C can reduce blood pressure. In the meta-analysis, subjects were given a vitamin C dose of up to 500 mg per day for eight weeks (5).

Blood pressure values <120 mm Hg and diastolic < 80 mm Hg are considered optimal(6).

The supplement was found to lower blood pressure by 3.84 and 1.48 mm Hg. For those with very high blood pressure, the reduction was greater and was 4.85 and 1.67 mm Hg. Significant results were found with the meta-analysis, but time-consuming long-term studies are needed to determine the positive and lowering effect of vitamin C on blood pressure (5).

Effect on the common cold

Vitamin C is used to prevent and relieve cold and flu symptoms (7).

Vitamin C Tabletten

Vitamin C tablets are not only suitable for adults but also for children. We recommend vitamin C lozenges for children. (Image source: image by press 👍 and ⭐/ pixaby)

The active ingredient is directly involved in the immune defence and is absorbed by the white blood cells. In this way, it supports the formation of antibodies. Vitamin C is involved in the immune system’s defence, but the results of many studies are rather inconsistent. It cannot be clearly proven whether the additional intake of vitamin C tablets reduces the occurrence of infections (8).

Furthermore, the white blood cells cannot absorb more than 200 mg of ascorbic acid a day, so a higher dose cannot definitively protect against pathogens (8).

Effects on eye disease

The main causes of vision loss in the elderly are retinal diseases and cataracts. Several studies have focused on the role of vitamin C in the development and treatment of these diseases.

Reports investigating vitamin C in retinal disease and cataracts suggest that a vitamin C intake of more than 300 mg a day may reduce the risk and slow the progression of eye disease (2).

When and for whom is it useful to take vitamin C tablets?

Vitamin C tablets are suitable in most cases for all ages and gender groups suffering from a vitamin C deficiency. Therefore, vitamin C is one of the most commonly used food supplements. However, taking vitamin C tablets for a short period of time is not enough.

As soon as you do not swallow the daily dose of tablets, the effect of the tablets may wear off and your vitamin C level may drop again. The only alternative to tablets is a long-term change in diet. Your diet should include lots of healthy, vitamin-rich foods such as fruit and vegetables.

Can pregnant women take vitamin C tablets?

Getting the right nutrients is important at every stage of life, but it is especially critical during pregnancy. Both the expectant mother and the growing baby need to be provided with sufficient nutrients (9).

Pregnancy can increase the need for nutrients (9).

Before taking vitamin C tablets, we advise pregnant women only to discuss with their doctor which tablets with which ingredients are individually suitable for women during pregnancy. If necessary, the doctor can order a blood test to determine a deficiency.

Are vitamin C tablets also suitable for animals?

Besides humans, some animal species such as guinea pigs and some bat species cannot synthesise vitamin C themselves (10). Animals have to take in the important vitamins through food, because vitamin C supports the defence system and has positive effects on the animal’s coat.

At the pet food store you can buy vitamin C tablets for your guinea pig to provide your pet with important nutrients and to promote its health.

What are the side effects of vitamin C tablets?

Vitamin C tablets have many positive effects on the body, but overdosing can quickly lead to negative effects. As mentioned above, the daily amount of vitamin C is about 100 mg.

A daily intake of 500 mg of vitamin C has the effect that excess vitamin C is excreted via uric acid (11).

Furthermore, the high intake of vitamin C tablets can cause intestinal intolerance. Studies have scientifically proven that diarrhoea is caused in combination with stress in the form of anxiety, heat and cold (12).

The value should only be exceeded in exceptional cases if it has been specifically prescribed by your doctor. When taking vitamin C tablets, always pay attention to the correct dosage in order to avoid consequential damage and side effects.

What are the consequences of vitamin C deficiency?

The causes of vitamin C deficiency can vary. Based on the causes, we will explain the effects on the body in more detail in this section. There are several reasons why dietary recommendations for vitamin C are not followed. These include poor dietary habits, diseases as well as economic reasons.

In addition, the lifestyle led has a major impact on vitamin C levels in the body, which can either limit intake or increase the need for micronutrients (for example, smoking and alcohol or drug abuse) (13).

Vitamin C deficiency can primarily lead to impaired immunity and increased susceptibility to infections (4).

Infections in turn have a significant impact on vitamin C levels due to increased inflammation and metabolic demands. In addition, taking vitamin C can prevent and treat infections (4). A deficiency of vitamin C can cause the disease called scurvy in people.

Scurvy is characterised by a weakening of the collagenous structures in bones, cartilage, teeth and connective tissue. This can lead to poor wound healing, oedema, bleeding in the skin, mucous membranes, internal organs and muscles (14, 15).

People suffering from scurvy often have swollen, bleeding gums associated with tooth loss. Other consequences could include lethargy, fatigue, rheumatic pain in the legs and bleeding in the organs.

Vitamin C deficiency may also be associated with psychological changes such as hysteria, hypochondria and depression (15).

People with scurvy are susceptible to potentially fatal infections such as pneumonia (14, 15). In children, the syndrome is called Moeller-Barlow disease. In non-breastfed infants, it can occur around 6 months of age, characterised by widening of the bone-cartilage boundaries, severe joint pain and often anaemia and fever.

The consequences of this disease can be limping or further problems with walking, tenderness of the lower limbs, bleeding gums (15). In order to prevent diseases and to maintain and strengthen your immune system permanently, we advise you to take enough vitamin C.

How much do vitamin C tablets cost?

There is a small price range between the different vitamin C tablets. Depending on the concentration and ingredients as well as the dosage form of the tablets, the cost varies. In the following table we have listed the prices per 100 grams:

Type Price range
Vitamin C tablets to swallow approx. 3 to 10 euros
Vitamin C lozenges approx. 4 to 55 euros
Vitamin C effervescent tablets approx. 1.50 to 5 euros

Different prices are due to the quality of the preparations and the different manufacturers on the market.

What alternatives are there to vitamin C tablets?

Besides tablets, there are other vitamin C preparations that have the same effect on the body but differ in their form of administration:

  • Vitamin C capsules: Similar to vitamin C tablets, capsules are swallowed in combination with liquid. The difference to tablets is that the active ingredient is only released in the intestine.
  • Vitamin C pellet: Vitamin C in the form of pellets are small granulate beads that can be taken without liquid. The consistency of these beads is reminiscent of powder. Vitamin C pellets are ideal for taking on the go.
  • Vitamin C Liposomal: Especially children and also some adults have difficulties swallowing tablets or capsules. Vitamin C Liposomal is the liquid form of the preparation. The daily dose can be easily taken.

Which foods are rich in vitamin C?

If you have a vitamin C deficiency, you do not necessarily have to take vitamin C tablets, because vitamin C is also found in food. The most important natural sources of vitamin C are fresh fruits and vegetables, especially peppers, citrus fruits and berries.

The use of vitamin C as an antioxidant additive in drinks such as fruit juices, nectars and soft drinks are also important sources of vitamin C supply (16).

Vitamin C Tabletten

Fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamin C. That is why smoothies are suitable for all seasons. They strengthen the immune system. (Image source: Silvia Rita/ Pixabay)

If you want to get vitamin C from your diet, the following foods with a high vitamin C content are perfect for you:

Foods Vitamin C content (per 100 grams) (16)
acerola 1700 mg
rosehip 1250 mg
sea buckthorn 450 mg
nettle 300 mg
guava 273 mg
black locust berry 177 mg
parsley 159 mg
pepper 120 mg
kale 105 mg
lemon 53 mg
orange 50 mg
kiwi 46 mg

Conclusion

Vitamin C tablets are very important for the human organism. Especially when the vitamin C level in the body is rather insufficient. Vitamin C has various positive effects on the human body. Among other things, it helps to strengthen and support the immune system and promotes wound healing.

If you notice that you are showing symptoms of a vitamin C deficiency, it is imperative that you consult a doctor in order to avoid illnesses that may occur later. He or she will examine you sufficiently and make a correct diagnosis.

Picture source: Songpracone/ 123rf.com

References (17)

1. DGE (2016): D-A-CH-Referenzwerte für die Nährstoffzufuhr, 2. Auflage, 2. Aktualisierte Ausgabe 2016.
Source

2. Pehlivan, Eryilmaz Fadime. (2017). Vitamin C: An Antioxidant Agent. Intech, 1-15. DOI: 10.5772/intechopen.69660.
Source

3. Ochiai, Y.; Kaburagi S.; Obayashi K.; Ujiie, N.; Hashimoto, S.; Okano, Y.; Masaki, H.; Ichihashi, M.; Sakurai, H. A new lipophilic pro-vitamin C, tetra-isopalmitoyl ascorbic acid (VC-IP), prevents UV-induced skin pigmentation through its anti-oxidative properties. J Dermatol Sci. 2006 Oct;44(1):37-44. doi: 10.1016/j.jdermsci.2006.07.001. Epub 2006 Aug 28. PMID: 16935471.
Source

4. Carr C. Anitra, Maggini Silvia (2017): Vitamin C and Immune Funktion, in Carr C. Anitra, Lykkesfeldt Jens (Hrsg.): Vitamin C in Health an Disease. Basel: MDPI.
Source

5. Juraschek, SP.; Guallar, E.; Appel, Lj.; Miller, ER.: 3rd. Effects of vitamin C supplementation on blood pressure: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Am J Clin Nutr. 2012;95(5):1079-1088. doi:10.3945/ajcn.111.027995
Source

6. DGE (2016): Speisesalzgehalt in Lebensmitteln senken. Hohe Speisesalzzufuhr erhöht den Blutdruck. PRESSEINFORMATION der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Ernährung e.V., Bonn. S. 1-3.
Source

7. Gorton, HC.; Jarvis, K. The effectiveness of vitamin C in preventing and relieving the symptoms of virus-induced respiratory infections. J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 1999 Oct;22(8):530-3. doi: 10.1016/s0161-4754(99)70005-9. PMID: 10543583.
Source

8. Yogeshwar, Ranga (2003): Quarks & Co. Abc der Vitamine. Köln: Druckerei Kopp,1-30.
Source

9. Kuala, Jilian (2020): Supplements During Pregnancy: What’s Safe and What’s Not. Healthline Parenthood.
Source

10. Stahl, Anna; Heseker, Helmut (2010): Vitamin C: Physiologie, Vorkommen, Analytik, Referenzwerte und Versorgung in Deutschland. Ernährung-Umschau, Forschung & Praxis. S. 134-140.
Source

11. Saller, Reinhard; Römer-Lüthi, Christine; Brignoli, Reto; Meier, Remy (2007): Vitamin C – Antioxidans gegen Atemwegsinfekte. Schweizer Zeitschrift für Ganzheitsmedizin. Jg. 19, Heft 3. Basel: Verlag für GanheitsMedizin. S 149-155)
Source

12. Cathcart, RF.: Vitamin C, titrating to bowel tolerance, anascorbemia, and acute induced scurvy. Med Hypotheses. 1981 Nov;7(11):1359-76. doi: 10.1016/0306-9877(81)90126-2. PMID: 7321921.
Source

13. Carr, AC.; Maggini, S.: Vitamin C and Immune Function. Nutrients. 2017;9(11):1211. Published 2017 Nov 3. doi:10.3390/nu9111211
Source

14. Hemilä H. Vitamin C and Infections. Nutrients. 2017 Mar 29;9(4):339. doi: 10.3390/nu9040339. PMID: 28353648; PMCID: PMC5409678.
Source

15. Sudha, J. Devaki; Raveendran, Lali Reshma (2017): Vitamin C: Sources, Functions,Sensng and Analysis. In: Hamza Amal (Hrsg.): Vitamin C. Croatia: IntechOpen.
Source

16. Domke, A.; Groflklaus R.; Niemann, B.; Przyrembel, H.; Richter, K.; Schmidt, E.; Weiflenborn, A.; Werner, B.; Ziegenhagen, R.(2004): Verwendung von Vitaminen in Lebensmitteln, Toxikologische und ernährungsphysiologische Aspekte, Teil 1.
Source

17. Bässler, K-H.; Grühn, E.; Loew, D.; Pietrzik, K. (2002): Vitamin-Lexikon für Ärzte, Apotheker und Ernährungswissenschaftler. 3. Auflage. München, Jena: Urban&Fischer.

Referenz-Tabelle
DGE (2016): D-A-CH-Referenzwerte für die Nährstoffzufuhr, 2. Auflage, 2. Aktualisierte Ausgabe 2016.
Go to source
Wissenschaftliche Studie
Pehlivan, Eryilmaz Fadime. (2017). Vitamin C: An Antioxidant Agent. Intech, 1-15. DOI: 10.5772/intechopen.69660.
Go to source
Klinische Studie
Ochiai, Y.; Kaburagi S.; Obayashi K.; Ujiie, N.; Hashimoto, S.; Okano, Y.; Masaki, H.; Ichihashi, M.; Sakurai, H. A new lipophilic pro-vitamin C, tetra-isopalmitoyl ascorbic acid (VC-IP), prevents UV-induced skin pigmentation through its anti-oxidative properties. J Dermatol Sci. 2006 Oct;44(1):37-44. doi: 10.1016/j.jdermsci.2006.07.001. Epub 2006 Aug 28. PMID: 16935471.
Go to source
Wissenschaftliche Studie
Carr C. Anitra, Maggini Silvia (2017): Vitamin C and Immune Funktion, in Carr C. Anitra, Lykkesfeldt Jens (Hrsg.): Vitamin C in Health an Disease. Basel: MDPI.
Go to source
Meta-Studie
Juraschek, SP.; Guallar, E.; Appel, Lj.; Miller, ER.: 3rd. Effects of vitamin C supplementation on blood pressure: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Am J Clin Nutr. 2012;95(5):1079-1088. doi:10.3945/ajcn.111.027995
Go to source
Wissenschaftlicher Artikel
DGE (2016): Speisesalzgehalt in Lebensmitteln senken. Hohe Speisesalzzufuhr erhöht den Blutdruck. PRESSEINFORMATION der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Ernährung e.V., Bonn. S. 1-3.
Go to source
Wissenschaftliche Studie
Gorton, HC.; Jarvis, K. The effectiveness of vitamin C in preventing and relieving the symptoms of virus-induced respiratory infections. J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 1999 Oct;22(8):530-3. doi: 10.1016/s0161-4754(99)70005-9. PMID: 10543583.
Go to source
Broschüre
Yogeshwar, Ranga (2003): Quarks & Co. Abc der Vitamine. Köln: Druckerei Kopp,1-30.
Go to source
Wissenschaftlicher Artikel
Kuala, Jilian (2020): Supplements During Pregnancy: What’s Safe and What’s Not. Healthline Parenthood.
Go to source
Wissenschaftlicher Artikel
Stahl, Anna; Heseker, Helmut (2010): Vitamin C: Physiologie, Vorkommen, Analytik, Referenzwerte und Versorgung in Deutschland. Ernährung-Umschau, Forschung & Praxis. S. 134-140.
Go to source
Wissenschaftlicher Artikel
Saller, Reinhard; Römer-Lüthi, Christine; Brignoli, Reto; Meier, Remy (2007): Vitamin C – Antioxidans gegen Atemwegsinfekte. Schweizer Zeitschrift für Ganzheitsmedizin. Jg. 19, Heft 3. Basel: Verlag für GanheitsMedizin. S 149-155)
Go to source
Wissenschaftliche Studie
Cathcart, RF.: Vitamin C, titrating to bowel tolerance, anascorbemia, and acute induced scurvy. Med Hypotheses. 1981 Nov;7(11):1359-76. doi: 10.1016/0306-9877(81)90126-2. PMID: 7321921.
Go to source
Wissenschaftliche Studie
Carr, AC.; Maggini, S.: Vitamin C and Immune Function. Nutrients. 2017;9(11):1211. Published 2017 Nov 3. doi:10.3390/nu9111211
Go to source
Wissenschaftliche Studie
Hemilä H. Vitamin C and Infections. Nutrients. 2017 Mar 29;9(4):339. doi: 10.3390/nu9040339. PMID: 28353648; PMCID: PMC5409678.
Go to source
Sammelband
Sudha, J. Devaki; Raveendran, Lali Reshma (2017): Vitamin C: Sources, Functions,Sensng and Analysis. In: Hamza Amal (Hrsg.): Vitamin C. Croatia: IntechOpen.
Go to source
Buch
Domke, A.; Groflklaus R.; Niemann, B.; Przyrembel, H.; Richter, K.; Schmidt, E.; Weiflenborn, A.; Werner, B.; Ziegenhagen, R.(2004): Verwendung von Vitaminen in Lebensmitteln, Toxikologische und ernährungsphysiologische Aspekte, Teil 1.
Go to source
Buch
Bässler, K-H.; Grühn, E.; Loew, D.; Pietrzik, K. (2002): Vitamin-Lexikon für Ärzte, Apotheker und Ernährungswissenschaftler. 3. Auflage. München, Jena: Urban&Fischer.
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