Why Vitamin C in Plant Oils Is the Secret Ingredient


Vitamin C has many benefits for our health, including the prevention of common cold, but it is not yet confirmed, with more evidence needed to support such a suggestion. However, research studies stated that vitamin C can reduce the severity of typical cold’s symptoms, especially nasal discharge, as it gives more support to the nasal blood vessels, preventing nasal congestion and discharge.

Research studies also suggest that vitamin C has a role in tissue repair. It’s also stated to be an essential element of skincare, whitening the skin and protecting it against damage caused by the sun and the aging process of the skin.

There are many food sources of vitamin C such as strawberries, Brussels sprouts, citrus fruits, and raw bell peppers. It’s listed in the World Health Organization’s List of Essential Medicines as the safest, most effective medicine for human health. That’s why it’s extracted from its sources to produce supplementation medications. To the extent that many countries have added vitamin C in their foods, even the breakfast cereals.

What Plant Oils Are

It’s obvious that plant oils are oils that come from plant origin, usually produced from the seeds. You can find many types of plant oils in the supermarket or health food stores and here are some examples of such plant oils used for cooking or as a dressing to your food:

  • Marula oil;
  • Sea buckthorn oil;
  • Rosehip oil;
  • Calendula oil;
  • Peanut oil;
  • Almond oil;
  • Olive Oil;
  • Coconut oil.

Such plant oils contain a lot of essential nutrients for our bodies such as omega 3 and 6 fatty acids and other essential fatty acids for our brain. Some of them may even contain vitamins, especially fat-soluble ones such as vitamins D, K, and E.

Do All Plant Oils Contain Vitamin C

Some may claim that as vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin, which cannot dissolve in oil, plant oils don’t contain such oil insoluble vitamin, containing only oil-soluble vitamins such as vitamin E, D, K, and A.

After much research, it’s found that vitamin C has a lot of forms. Some of them are water-soluble, and to our surprise, some are actually oil soluble. That’s why vitamin C can be found in some plant oils and also, for this reason, vitamin C can also be included in the formula of beauty products such as creams, lotions, etc.

An interesting fact is that some plant oils may contain vitamin C, while others may not. Here are some of the vitamin C containing plant oils:

Marula oil

Surprisingly, marula oil contains a large amount of vitamin C, often estimated by four times more than that vitamin C in oranges. It’s collected from the exotic fruit’s seed kernels of marula trees in South Africa and Madagascar.

Rosehip oil

Another plant oil that’s rich in vitamin C. It also contains vitamin E, D as well as one of the forms of vitamin A. However, vitamin C is the highest among these vitamins.

Sea buckthorn oil

Research studies stated that Sea buckthorn berries contain high amounts of vitamin C and therefore, their oil. It’s even noted that the vitamin C amount in Sea buckthorn oil is 12 times higher than that in oranges, containing also high amounts of vitamin E and A and essential fatty acids.

Calendula Oil

It’s one of the plant oils that are rich in Vitamin C. It also contains high amounts of vitamin E.

Carrot Seed/Root Oil

As it’s coming from carrots, it would, of course, contain a large amount of vitamin A. But, it’s also rich in vitamin C as well as vitamin E.

However, some plant oils may not contain vitamin C, and here are some examples of such oils:

  • Olive oil – it doesn’t contain vitamin C at all. However, research studies stated that olive oil is rich in vitamin K and E with small amounts of minerals but no vitamin C, even traces.
  • Coconut oil – it’s found that coconut oil contains no vitamins at all, even vitamin C. However, it’s rich in essential fatty acids.
  • Almond oil – another plant oil that doesn’t contain vitamin C, however, it’s rich in essential fatty acids and even proteins. It also contains a small amount of vitamin B6 and some minerals.
  • Peanut oil – although peanut oil is rich in vitamin E, it contains no vitamin C at all. It also contains high amounts of essential fatty acids.

In the end, not all plant oils contain vitamin C but some of them do, even in much higher amounts than that of citrus fruits. Also, the claim that vitamin C cannot be found in oils because of its water solubility “oil insolubility” is false as there are oil-soluble forms of vitamin C.


  1. Concerning marula, it is the fruit flesh rather than the oil that contains four times the vitamin C concentration of oranges. Whether the seed oil also contains some vitamin C, I don’t know, but it will certainly be much lower than the fruit flesh.


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