Does Vitamin C Increase Height?

We might hear much about vitamins D, K, or A regarding overall growth and health. However, one nutrient often ignored is vitamin C, essential for body tissues’ growth, development, and repair. Of course, it is suitable for all ages, but most important for childhood and adolescence. Come with us to know the reasons!

First, take a look at an overview of vitamin C

Vitamin C is an ascorbic acid and a nutrient the body needs to form cartilage, blood vessels, muscles, and collagen in bone. It is necessary for the body’s healing process. Vitamin C is also an antioxidant that protects the cells against free radicals’ effects, as well as helps the body absorb and store iron.

Because our bodies cannot produce vitamin C, we must take it from our diets. The foods richest in this nutrient include citrus fruits, strawberries, tomatoes, green peppers, white potatoes, sweet potatoes, and broccoli. Other good sources are papaya, mango, dark leafy greens, watermelon, cabbage, blueberries, pineapples, red peppers, and winter squash. But how to add these foods to your diet every day?

  • Keep cut-up fruits and veggies on hand for a quick snack.
  • Add grated and pureed fruits and veggies for meatloaf, soups, or muffins.
  • Include tomatoes, dark lettuce, and shredded broccoli slaw on wraps or sandwiches.
  • Enjoy raw veggies with hummus, salsas, and low-fat dips.
  • Use frozen fruit slices to make a cool smoothie.
  • Drink a glass of vegetable juice for a mid-afternoon snack.
  • Add fresh or frozen berries to pancakes, cereals, muffins, or salads.
  • Add dried fruit to cereals or a baggie for an easy snack.
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Then learn how vitamin C benefits our body

Prevent cell damage and diseases

An accumulation of free radicals is related to a risk of diseases, such as heart disease, cancer, and arthritis. So, consuming antioxidant-rich foods, like those high in vitamin C, can protect the body from free radical-related damage.

Protect the eyes

Since vitamin C is an antioxidant, it is believed to help ward off cataracts and reduce the progression of age-related macular degeneration. Some studies also prove that those having vitamin C levels in their diets have a lower risk of developing eye diseases.

Enhance iron absorption

Iron is necessary in correcting the functioning of the human body, transporting oxygen throughout the body, and removing waste, such as carbon dioxide. However, it is the most common nutritional deficiency in the U.S. because our body does not absorb iron from the plant source well. That’s why we need vitamin C, known as iron’s wingman. 

For instance, when you eat spinach (non-heme iron) and strawberries (vitamin C) together, the vitamin C in strawberries helps your body access and absorb more iron from the spinach than from eating it alone.

Support wound healing

Vitamin C stimulates collagen growth, a vital nutrient to healing wounds, including cuts, scrapes, and surgical incisions. A study pointed out that those who do not get enough vitamin C have been shown to heal more slowly than ones who get the recommended amount [1].

Improve healthy skin

We often mention the kind of vitamin C in foods, but did you know that serums and topical creams made with vitamin C might deliver good things for your skin? Yes, they do. Applying them to your skin will help reduce signs of aging, fade dark under-eye circles, and reinforce the effects of sunscreen.

Other possible benefits

  • Although vitamin C cannot prevent you from getting sick (it’s true), it can still be of help. Vitamin C might help you lower the harshness and duration of colds and the flu, as well as potentially decrease the risk of further complications [2].
  • Vitamin C might prevent and deal with cardiovascular disease, including strokes. However, researchers still cannot confirm how effective it might be [3]. 
  • In some studies, vitamin C might play a role in dealing with some cancers. But again, it just works as an adjunct to conventional cancer treatments, not a replacement [4].

How much vitamin C should you take daily?

Below is the recommended dietary allowances (RDAs) table for vitamin C [5].

Age

Male

Female

Pregnancy

Lactation

0-6 months

40 mg

40 mg

7-12 months

50 mg

50 mg

1-3 years

15 mg

15 mg

4-8 years

25 mg

25 mg

9-13 years

45 mg

45 mg

14-18 years

75 mg

65 mg

80 mg

115 mg

19+

90 mg

75 mg

85 mg 

120 mg

Smokers

They need 35 mg per day more vitamin C than nonsmokers

Also, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has published a recommended Daily Value (DV) for vitamin C for children aged 4 and above and adults is 60 mg.

So, does vitamin C increase height?

The short answer is NO. However, vitamin C is necessary for promoting cell growth and tissue repair, as well as increasing collagen synthesis. As we know, collagen can promote bone density and bone health, which might help you grow taller or maintain your height [6, 7]. As mentioned above, vitamin C is a vital factor in enhancing iron absorption in the body. According to a study, the combination of both nutrients is related to objective measures of bone geometry, strength, and size in 4th-grade girls [8].

Although consuming vitamin C does not make you taller directly, it supports your height growth indirectly. And of course, this is right because our height is determined by many factors from genetics to nutrition and other environmental factors.

A glass filled with orange pills next to sliced oranges on a table .

What about other nutrients for height growth?

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is a crucial nutrient in boosting calcium absorption, so it is needed for bone growth and remodeling. If you do not get enough vitamin D, it might lead to conditions linked to bone structure and density.

How much vitamin D should we take daily? The RDAs for ages between 0 and 12 months is 10 mcg (400 IU). Meanwhile, it is 15 mcg (600 IU) for ages between 1 to 70 years. One of the richest sources of vitamin D is from sunlight. Also, you can increase its intake via vitamin D-rich foods, such as mushrooms and vitamin D-fortified milk.

Calcium

It can not be denied that calcium is one of the most critical minerals needed for the body to enhance and optimize bone growth. An adequate calcium intake can promote the strength and longevity of your bones. It is easy to take it from milk, other dairy products, spinach, collards, turnip greens, and fortified soy products.

Vitamin K

Although vitamin K is often ignored in supporting height growth, this nutrient can boost bone density to enhance growth, as well as maintain height. The highest sources of vitamin K, accounting for up to 50% of total intake, are leafy greens, such as kale, spinach, cabbages, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts.

Vitamin A

The next important vitamin for maintaining healthy and strong bones is vitamin A. Besides, it helps increase growth hormone stimulation, which is needed for growth and development. A study pointed out that additional supplements of vitamin A daily contributed to height growth in children and teens up to the age of 17-18 [9].

In conclusion,

Although vitamin C is not the sole factor in making you taller, we cannot live without it. Because this nutrient helps different functions in our body and benefits our health optimally. The best thing is to combine vitamin C-rich foods and other important nutrients, exercise regularly, and sleep properly to improve height growth.

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