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How Vitamin C Benefits Your Mental Health


August 20, 2020 | Published by

While vitamin C is commonly known for its immune boosting capabilities including cold prevention, many people are not aware of the role it plays in mental health. Various scientific studies have shown that individuals who consume greater amounts of vitamin C experience less stress while encountering psychological challenges.1

When we consume vitamin C it causes the body to dispense mood-enhancing neurotransmitters such as epinephrine, norepinephrine, and dopamine. People with a vitamin C deficiency have few of these neurotransmitters, and, as a result, feel more stressed and irritable.1

A German scientific study tested the stress levels of 120 people by making them do public speaking while performing math problems. The subjects were given 1,000 mg of vitamin C before the task. Subjects that did not consume the vitamin showed higher blood pressure levels and elevated cortisol, while the subjects that did take the vitamin C had normal levels and even reported not feeling as stressed.1

Vitamin C also plays a key role in maintaining the integrity and function of many processes in the central nervous system including the maturation of neurons and the formation of myelin, which surrounds and protects nerve fibers as well as being essential for neuronal repair. Additionally, it has also been found to act as a neuromodulator, which may influence the regulation of mood.5

Research evidence also suggests that oxidative stress and free radical damage may play a relevant role in the pathogenic mechanisms that underlie a number of neuropsychological disorders, including depression.5

A 2011 study published in the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry stated that low levels of vitamin C were correlated with depression in the elderly, and another study from McGill University in Montreal found that administration of 500 mg of vitamin C twice a day to hospital patients significantly improved their mood. Vitamin C has also been linked in promoting health for individuals suffering from anxiety and bi-polar disorder.1

How Much Vitamin C Do I Need?

To find out how much vitamin C your body requires, try a very simple test called the Vitamin C Loading Test. On day one, take 500 mg of ascorbic acid plus an additional 250 mg every hour until your bowel movements become somewhat loose and runny. Once you have achieved this level, reduce your ascorbic acid by 500 mg and add approximately half the amount of bioflavonoids so you have a 2:1 ratio of ascorbic acid to bioflavonoids.3

This is usually the amount of vitamin C your body needs at this time. The most common point for this to occur is about 2,000 to 4,000 mg (2-4 grams) of ascorbic acid for people with chronic stress. Typically, the more severe your stress, the more vitamin C is necessary.3

How to Best Take Vitamin C

Because vitamin C is water-soluble and quickly used up or excreted from your body, it should be consumed several times per day. This is particularly true when your body is under any kind of physical, emotional, environmental or infectious stress.4

Oxidation is necessary to health and the resulting free radicals are normally handled by your body. However, too much oxidation can create an overload, which left unchecked can contribute to health issues related to free radical tissue and DNA damage, and the adrenal glands are especially vulnerable. This means that whether you are experiencing ‘good’ stress in aerobics class or a ‘bad’ stress dealing with a hectic lifestyle, or you are struggling with stress, making sure you get enough vitamin C makes sense for your body’s well-being.4

There are many food sources that contain vitamin C such as kale, broccoli, lemons, and sweet yellow peppers.5 When you’re not getting enough vitamin C from your diet, a sustained release vitamin C supplement, such as Dr. Wilson’s Adrenal C Formula®, can be quite beneficial.*


  1. Bundrant, M. Vitamin C and Its Key Role in Mental Health. Psych Central.
  2. Marano, H. The Cognitive Benefits of Vitamin C. Psychology Today.
  3. Got Stress? You Need Vitamin C.
  4. Vitamin C: Essential for Stress and Adrenal Function.
  5. Vitamin C and the Brain Connection. Amchara Detox Retreats.

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