What is the Difference Between Vitamin D and Vitamin C

Posted by Wen Dan Jiang on

What is the Difference Between Vitamin D and Vitamin C?

Are you wondering what is the Difference Between Vitamin D and Vitamin C? The complex human body system has been designed to work in an astonishing way. The human biological system doesn't take breaks and shut down itself for a while; instead, it has a 24/7 job that requires proper fuel to carry out its functions perfectly. To bolster life between organs and muscles, our blood calls for certain nutrients and oxygen. However, vitamins and minerals are said to be the indispensable nutrients that the body requires.

What are Vitamins?

The body itself does not produce vitamins; rather, you can nourish your body with these nutrients through food or other supplements. Vitamins have the ability to build a substantial wall that makes it possible to fight against diseases. Following are the two types of Vitamins;

  • Fat-soluble vitamins
  • Water-soluble vitamins

Fat-Soluble Vitamins: These vitamins are stored in the cells, and these fatty tissues require fat to easily absorb these vitamins. There are only four fat-soluble vitamins, which can be good for your body and health.

Water-Soluble Vitamins: As the name suggests, these vitamins do not store in the body and leave through urine. These vitamins stay for a little while in the body, which means that the body requires the intake of these vitamins on a daily basis.

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Each and every vitamin has its own leverage and proposes different functions in the body. Some are good for skin and muscles, whereas some work to strengthen the body's tissues and cells. Some of them help build up the immune system, and some give the body energy to function perfectly. This article deals with the differences between two distinguished vitamins named as Vitamin C and Vitamin D.

Vitamin C

This effective water-soluble component is also known as ascorbic acid. It acts in the body as an antioxidant, which keeps us healthy by repairing damaged cells in the body. Damaged cells can cause free radicals, and this process of destruction and rebuilding is only fixed by the right amount of Vitamin C in the body.  One of the most crucial functions of vitamin C is that it helps the body to make collagen, which is an essential element responsible for healing wounds. Moreover, it also boosts the immune system to ensure optimal function of the body.

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Vitamin D

This sunshine component is also a phenomenal member of the vitamin family. Vitamin D is a bioactive vitamin which is also called Calcitriol. This fat-soluble vitamin is produced by the body when exposed to the sun rays. Two organs of the body have the capability to produce vitamin D, including liver and kidney. Its vital role in the body is to absorb phosphorus and calcium. Vitamin D is also profitable for healthy gums, teeth, and bones.

Main Differences between Vitamin C and D

Functional Differences

Vitamin C and D both have different functions to perform in the body. Some of the major functions include:

Vitamin C

Vitamin D

The right amount of this antioxidant component in the body heals wounds magically.

The efficiency of Vitamin D in the body leads to healthy and strong bones as it regulates calcium in the blood.

It lowers the risk of fatal diseases like heart attacks and certain cancers.

Vitamin D protects the body from developing osteoporosis, hypertension, and several other autoimmune diseases.

One of its main functions is the construction of protein, which helps in the formation of skin and absorption of iron from the green food consumed by the body.

Various studies have proved that vitamin D is an active agent to work against depression.

Vitamin C is a recognized cure for the common cold.

It works with parathyroid glands to balance calcium in the blood.

Symptoms of Deficiency

Vitamin C

Vitamin D

As Vitamin C is a vital part of nutrition, and for this, it should be consumed at very regular intervals so that its deficiency can be prevented. Symptoms of its deficiency may take some months to diagnose.

If you find someone depressed, especially in colder months, you can give them a dose of the sunshine vitamin, i.e vitamin D. because it is observed that depression is also an outcome of its absence in the body, especially in adult people.

However, there are some signs that can authenticate the problem of paucity. These are several inherent outcomes for the deficiency of vitamin C including

  • poor digestion
  • mental illness
  • rough skin (chicken skin)
  • slow wound healing
  • toothache or loss
  • bleeding gums
  • weak immunity
  • anemia
  • gain of weight
  • Weak bones etc.

Moreover, other symptoms may include the following.

  • Fatigue
  • hair loss
  • muscle ache
  • and in severe cases cardiovascular disease
  • rickets disease; a condition in which bone tissues do not grow well and become soft.


The human body requires these two vital vitamins as part of our daily routine. For this, it is good to be aware of the sources from where we can get them. Instead of taking pills, food sources are always preferred.

Vitamin C

Vitamin D

Food items for vitamin C are

  • soybeans
  • Collards
  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Kiwi
  • Mango
  • Strawberries
  • Raspberries
  • Watermelon
  • Tomato
  • Broccoli
  • green peppers
  • Red peppers etc.

While for vitamin D we can use dairy products, which are enriched with vitamin D like

  • Soy milk
  • Cheese
  • Yogurt

Other foods are

  • Oranges
  • Cereals
  • liver (beef)
  • Fish (salmon) etc.

How Much should be consumed daily?

As per the Institute of Medicine, the following is the grammage that should be consumed daily

Vitamin C

Vitamin D

  • 1-3 years old: 700 milligrams (mg)
  • 4-8 years old: 1,000 mg
  • 9-18 years old: 1,300 mg
  • 19-50 years old: 1,000 mg
  • Women 51 to 70: 1,200 mg
  • Men 51 to 70: 1,000 mg
  • Women and men 71 and over: 1,200 mg
  • Age 1-70: 600 IU
  • Age 71 and older: 800 IU

 Side Effects of Vitamin C and D

We all have heard that excess of anything is bad. Consuming these two vitamins in the right quantity is important. The following side effects may occur if consumed more than the quantity mentioned earlier.

Vitamin C

Vitamin D

As we know that Vitamin C is water-soluble, it means that it cannot be absorbed by our body. So, if it is consumed in excess, it will remain in the body, and that would be detrimental. Following are the side effects of the excessive intake of vitamin C:

  • If we take Vitamin C more than 2000 mg a day, then it will cause gastro problems, nausea, and diarrhea.
  • Vitamin C can absorb iron from food. In case of excessive vitamin C consumption, it will result in excess iron in the blood, which can lead to damages of the heart, liver, pancreas, nervous system, and thyroid.
  •  Excessive intake of Vitamin C can cause kidney stones.
  • Other problems of having excess amounts of Vitamin C are heartburn, insomnia, headache, abdominal cramps, vomiting, nausea, and diarrhea.
  • There are some other dubious side effects of vitamin C, which are not proven to be correct. This includes that excess of Vitamin C can disturb vitamin B12 and copper levels in the blood and serum, causing allergy to vitamin C, and corrosion of dental lacquer.

The side effects of vitamin D that are commonly observed include:

  • If the level of Vitamin D gets higher than 100 ng/ml (250 nmol/l), then it would be considered harmful. This increase can cause toxicity symptoms and can be responsible for extremely high blood levels resulting from mega dose.
  • As vitamin D can absorb calcium from the food, you take, and this is its main and important role in the body. But if it is consumed more, this will increase the level of calcium in the blood resulting in digestive problems such as vomiting, stomach pain, thirst, excessive urination, and fatigue.
  • Excessive intake of Vitamin D can cause kidney stones and kidney failure in adverse situations.

It’s strange yet a reality that although vitamin D is responsible for good bones but at the same time extremely dangerous for bones if consumed too much. Because its increased level in the body can interfere with K2 Vitamin activity and this interference results in bone loss.

Final Word

The above-mentioned differences prove that both vitamins C and D act differently in the body, yet play a significant role in sustaining a healthy body. Not only vitamin D or C, each and every vitamin is essential for healthy growth and sustenance. The golden rule is to have a balanced diet because, in this modern era where junk food has a global impact and is ruining health, including children's, only nutritious food can save us.

Junk food not only affects the appetite but also leads to issues like dementia and depression. A proper diet full of minerals and vitamins can lower health issues and novel diseases. As the cliché goes, 'health is a wealth,' we must also realize that this wealth needs to be taken care of as the body we have is the only body we have.


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