Do you need Vitamin C on Low Carb Diets
Do you need added Vitamin C on carnivore or ketogenic diet? Photo by Wouter Meijering on Unsplash

Do you need Vitamin C on Low Carb Diets


What is Vitamin C?

Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin, also called l-ascorbic acid. It’s classified as a vitamin because its a chemical that put body can’t produce on its own. Instead, vitamin C (like all vitamins) has to come from an external source such as food.

Scurvy - Vitamin C Deficiency

The role of Vitamin C in the human body

Vitamin C places an important role in the body and is used to produce collagen, protein synthesis as well as acting as an antioxidant. Vitamin C also helps the gut absorb iron and is an important part of helping the immune system work properly.

How much Vitamin C does the body need?

When we talk about how much of a supplement such as a vitamin or mineral is needed in the diet, we can use several different terms. It’s important to understand the difference in the terminology and what each term correlates to in regards to the amount needed by an individual. Since there is a wide variation between the amount of vitamins and minerals needed by different individuals, the guidelines will list different amounts if we are talking about the minimal amount needed to prevent disease or the average dose needed for a certain percentage of the population.

The Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) level in the U.S. is the amount of the supplement that will meet the daily requirements of 97.5% of the population. The Estimated Average Requirement ( EAR) is the amount that will meet the daily requirements of 50% of the population.

Is it possible to get too little Vitamin C

There are two case reports of children developing scurvy on the ketogenic diet. One case study was in a 5-year old autistic child while on the ketogenic diet while a second case study was reported in a 9-year old girl who was on the ketogenic diet for refractory seizures. Both children, even though they were on the ketogenic diet, had a much more restrictive diet where neither ate any fruits or vegetables for several months while on the diet. Both children had their scurvy resolve when started on Vitamin C supplementation.

While the ketogenic diet does require a much lower carbohydrate item, it doesn’t completely restrict vegetables or even fruit, so its still possible to get the RDA amount of Vitamin C while on the ketogenic diet.

Best Foods High in Vitamin C for Ketogenic Diet

Most people think of oranges and other citrus fruits as being the foods highest in Vitamin C. Some people on low carb diets might worry that foods high in Vitamin C also contain too many carbohydrates. The good news is that there is a wide variety of fruits, vegetables and even animal sources to meet your daily requirements of Vitamin C on a low carb diet.



chart of foods high in Vitamin C

How do I get Vitamin C on a low carb or carnivore diet?

Typically, most dietary recommendations for Vitamin C are from eating fruits and vegetables. So the question that comes up is how to get adequate Vitamin C on a low-carbohydrate diet like the ketogenic diet or the carnivore diet.


The good news is that a very small amount of daily Vitamin C is needed on low carb diets such as the ketogenic or carnivore diet. The Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of Vitamin C is only 10 mg per day.



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