Vitamin C plays a key role in supporting a healthy immune system 1-4. Its importance in immunity is further supported by studies with vitamin C supplements, suggesting that it may reduce the duration and severity of cold symptoms in some people.7 Vitamin C is thought to have an anti-histamine effect,1,4,5 and may support lung function.1,6 Furthermore, the absorption of iron found in plant-based foods may increase when consumed with vitamin C.1-4
Vitamin C is an antioxidant found in food and is necessary for collagen formation, an essential component of skin, bones, gums, and cartilage.1-4 Vitamin C also helps regenerate vitamin E into its antioxidant form providing further protection against damage.1,3
Fruits and vegetables supply about 90 percent of the vitamin C in the diets of the general population.3 Oranges and 100% orange juice are one of the richest sources of vitamin C.8 Grapefruit juice, kale, kiwi, and cauliflower also have significant amounts of vitamin C.
Between 1999 and 2018, vitamin C consumption dropped by 23 percent on average and this was largely driven by a 48 percent decline in 100% fruit juice consumption over that same time period.15 An 8-ounce glass of 100% orange juice is an excellent source of vitamin C, containing more than 100% of the recommended Daily Value.*
Citrus juices, such as Florida OJ, are reported to be the largest contributor of vitamin C in the diet.9
Life Stage Benefits
Below are age-specific benefits vitamin C provides the body:
Kids, Teens &Young Adults
- Helps with the healing of cuts and scrapes.
- Supports developing bones and tissues.
- Supports a healthy immune system to help a body in its natural fight against infection.
- Helps baby’s developing bones and tissues.
- Iron needs increase during pregnancy,1 and vitamin C may promote the absorption of plant-based iron when consumed together.1-4
- Vitamin C needs greatly increase during breastfeeding.1
- Vitamin C intake by mothers may influence the amount of vitamin C in breast milk;10 for example, drinking 3-5 servings of 100% orange juice per week doubled breast milk vitamin C concentrations.11
- Vitamin C’s antioxidant activity helps to mitigate inflammation, which is associated with many chronic diseases.
- Vitamin C needs increase during wound healing. 13
- May support cardiovascular health. 2-4
- Plays a role in healthy aging of the brain, particularly in elderly with insufficient vitamin C status. 2
- Diets low in fat and containing fiber, vitamin A or vitamin C may reduce the risk of some types of cancers – A disease associated with many factors.14
Learn more about the benefits Florida Orange Juice provides on the Nutrition Benefits page.
*Values based on a 2000 calorie diet. FDA rounding rules applied when calculating percent DV based upon 2018 rules. Information is not intended for labeling food in packaged form. Nutrient values may vary based on brand or product types.
- Vitamin C. Food and Nutrition Board, Institute of Medicine. Dietary Reference Intakes for Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Selenium, and Carotenoids. Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press; 2000:95-185.
- Vitamin C. Linus Pauling Institute Micronutrient Information Center. Oregon State University.
- Lykkesfeldt et al. Adv Nutr 2014; 5:16-18.
- Vitamin C. Health Professionals Fact Sheet. Office of Dietary Supplements. National Institutes of Health.
- Chatterjee et al. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. 1975;258(1):24-47.
- Hemila, BMJ Open. 2013;3:002416.
- Hemila et al. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2013(1):Cd000980.
- USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 28 (slightly revised). US Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Nutrient Data Laboratory; May 2016.
- Chun et al. J Nutr 2010;140:317-324.
- Bravi et al. Am J Clin Nutr 2016;104:646-62.
- Daneel-Otterbech et al. Am J Clin Nutr. 2005; 81:1088-1093.
- Dermatologic Therapy. 2007;20:314-321.
- The A.S.P.E.N. Adult Nutrition Support Core Curriculum, 2nd Ed. American Society of Parental and Enteral Nutrition. 2012.
- A Food Labeling Guide; Guidance for Industry. FDA Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. January 2013.
- Brauchla et al. Nutrients. 2021;13(2):420.