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Drugs and Health Products

Monograph: Vitamin C

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Date: 2007-09-13


Vitamin C (Natural Standard 2009)

Proper Name(s)

Vitamin C ( Sweetman 2007 , IOM 2003 , O'Neil et al. 2001 )

Common Name(s)

Source Material

The slash (/) indicates that the terms are synonyms. Either term may be selected by the applicant

Route Of Administration


Dosage Form(s)

  • The acceptable pharmaceutical dosage forms include, but are not limited to capsules, chewables (e.g. gummies, tablets), liquids, powders, strips or tablets.
  • This monograph is not intended to include foods or food-like dosage forms such as bars, chewing gums or beverages.

Use(s) or Purpose(s)

Statement(s) to the effect of:

A factor in the maintenance of good health  (IOM 2006, IOM 2000)


For products providing daily doses of vitamin C at or above the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA):
Helps to prevent vitamin C deficiency  (IOM 2006, Shils et al. 2006, Groff and Gropper 2000, IOM 2000)


Children 1 - 3 years:

Dose(s): 2.2 - 400 Milligrams per day

Children 4 - 8 years:

Dose(s): 2.2 - 650 Milligrams per day

Adolescents 9 - 13 years:

Dose(s): 2.2 - 1200 Milligrams per day

Adolescents 14 - 18 years:

Dose(s): 6 - 1800 Milligrams per day


Dose(s): 6 - 2000 Milligrams per day

  • Adults includes pregnant and breastfeeding women.
  • The maximum daily doses are based on the Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL) which applies to total vitamin C intake from food and supplements (IOM 2006).
  • The minimum daily doses are based on approximately 5% of the highest AI (IOM 2006). See Appendix 1 for definitions and Table 2 in Appendix 2 for AI values.
  • Vitamin C deficiency is rare in North America (IOM 2006; Shils et al. 2006; Groff and Gropper 2000; IOM 2000).

Duration of use

No statement is required

Risk Information

Statement(s) to the effect of:

Caution(s) and Warning(s):
No statement is required

No statement is required

Known Adverse Reaction(s):
No statement is required

Non-medicinal ingredients

Must be chosen from the current Natural Health Products Ingredients Database and must meet the limitations outlined in the database.


  • The finished product specifications must be established in accordance with the requirements described in the NHPD Quality of Natural Health Products Guide.
  • The medicinal ingredient must comply with the requirements outlined in the Natural Health Products Ingredient Database (NHPID).

References cited

  • Groff J, Gropper S. Advanced Nutrition and Human Metabolism, 3rd edition. Belmont (CA): Wadsworth/Thomson Learning; 2000.
  • IOM 2000: Institute of Medicine. Panel on Dietary Antioxidants and Related Compounds, Subcommittees on Upper Reference Levels of Nutrients and Interpretation and Uses of Dietary Reference Intakes, and the Standing Committee on the Scientific Evaluation of Dietary Reference Intakes, Food and Nutrition Board, Institute of Medicine. Dietary Reference Intakes for Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Selenium and Carotenoids. Washington (DC): National Academies Press; 2000.
  • IOM 2003: Institute of Medicine. Committee on Food Chemicals Codex, Food and Nutrition Board, Institute of Medicine. Food Chemicals Codex, 5th edition. Washington (DC): National Academies Press; 2003.
  • IOM 2006: Institute of Medicine. Otten JJ, Pitzi Hellwig J, Meyers LD, editors. Institute of Medicine. Dietary Reference Intakes: The Essential Guide to Nutrient Requirements. Washington (DC): National Academies Press; 2006.
  • MacKay D, Miller AL. Nutritional support for wound healing. Alternative Medicine Review 2003;8(4):359-377.
  • O'Neil MJ, Smith A, Heckelman PE, Budavari S, editors. The Merck Index: An Encyclopedia of Chemicals, Drugs, and Biologicals, 13th edition. Whitehouse Station (NJ): Merck & Co., Inc.; 2001.
  • Shils ME, Olson JA, Shike M, Ross AC, Caballero B, Cousins RJ, editors. Modern Nutrition in Health and Disease, 10th edition. Philadelphia (PA): Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2006.
  • Sweetman SC , editor. Martindale: The Complete Drug Reference, 35th edition. London (UK): Pharmaceutical Press; 2007.

Appendix 1: Definitions

Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA):
The average daily dietary nutrient intake level sufficient to meet the nutrient requirements of nearly all (97-98%) healthy individuals in a particular life stage and gender group (IOM 2006).

Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL):
The highest average daily nutrient intake level that is likely to pose no risk of adverse health effects to almost all individuals in the general population. As intake increases above the UL, the potential risk of adverse effects may increase (IOM 2006).

Appendix 2: RDA Values

The RDA values for vitamin C are provided below. For the purpose of this monograph, these values are intended to:

  • provide targets for setting appropriate supplement dosage levels;
  • provide the minimum dose for the use of the dose-specific use or purpose: "Helps to prevent vitamin C deficiency";
  • facilitate the optional labelling of % RDA values.
Table 1: Recommended Dietary Allowance for vitamin C based on life stage group (IOM 2006)
Life stage group Vitamin C (mg/day)
Children 1-3 y 15
4-8 y 25
Adolescents males 9-13 y 45
14-18 y 75
Adults males ≥19y 90
Adolescents females 9-13 y 45
14-18 y 65
Adults females ≥19 y 75
Pregnancy 14-18 y 80
19-50 y 85
Breastfeeding 14-18 y 115
19-50 y 120