The Real Difference Between Vitamin C And Vitamin D

Vitamin C and vitamin D are both important to our overall health. These vitamins are often found in supplements as well as sometimes in beauty products. So what makes each one unique and how are they different?

Also known as L-ascorbic acid, vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin. This means that excess amounts of the vitamin are flushed out of our body when we go to the bathroom. It's an essential nutrient that our bodies need to help form blood vessels, cartilage, muscle, and collagen in our bones (via Medical News Today). It is also an antioxidant that protects our cells from free radicals that can enter our bodies when we're exposed to things like tobacco smoke or radiation from the sun. Finally, vitamin C helps us absorb and store iron.

Vitamin C is found in many fruits and vegetables such as oranges. While it's recommended that people try to get most of their nutrients from whole foods, vitamin C supplements have proven to be a safe way to reach our daily recommended intake. It is recommended that adults take no more than 2,000 mg per day of a vitamin C supplement. Serious side effects are rare, but too much of this vitamin may cause gastrointestinal issues.

How is vitamin D different from vitamin C?

Vitamin D is another essential nutrient that your body needs, as it helps to build and maintain healthy bones. Unlike vitamin C, vitamin D is fat-soluble (via Healthline). This means it dissolves in fat and gets stored in your body's tissue. Additional amounts of the vitamin do not get flushed out of your system, so it's easy to take too much and experience negative side effects. Answers vary when it comes to what scientists believe the ideal daily intake should be for an adult, but it's recommended that you do not take a daily supplement amount of more than 4,000 IU a day.

Although you can get vitamin D from sunlight and certain foods, deficiencies are very common. People at the highest risk of developing a vitamin D deficiency include post-menopausal women, those who use steroids, pregnant and breastfeeding women, and the elderly (via Cleveland Clinic). People who do not frequently go outside are also at risk. Talk to your doctor if you fall into any of these groups and they may recommend the use of a vitamin D supplement.