Vitamin C is trending on social media for so many reasons:
1/ It’s a strong antioxidant, helping the body to manage the effects of excess free radicals.
2/ It’s needed for the health of many body tissues, from the heart, the brain, the gums, for formation of collagen plus much more.
3/ Most people know a bit about it and can relate to the need for it! Are you one of the people who learned about vitamin C at school? It’s come a long way since talk of sailors, scurvy and poor gums. Now we know it’s involved in the fine biochemical workings of the cell.
Of particular note is research on vitamin C and immune health, which has gained interest over the past few months, reviving interesting in one of our most well-known and popular nutrients. The new focus on vitamin C, in the context of maintaining healthy immune function, has caused many practitioners and research scientists to take a fresh look at vitamin C and what intakes are beneficial to health.
Various research scientists around the world have considered this, and different countries set their own reference values for the population to maintain health. In the UK, this is the Nutrient Reference Value, which, for vitamin C, is 80mg daily for adults.
But scientists publishing their paper in the Proceedings of the Nutrition Society have said that the body would benefit from more. They state that; “lack of overt deficiency does not necessarily indicate adequacy of intake”.
This is something that the natural products industry have been saying for a very long time, and the concept of ‘optimal’ intakes of vitamins and minerals has been at the heart of his industry’s ethos for decades.
But what amount, according to them, achieves this?
They say 200mg/day.
This is well within the limit regarded as safe for supplementation, which is 2000mg daily. Of course, you should check with a health practitioner to see whether this level is appropriate for you before you supplement. They might also advise you of the forms of vitamin C which are most suitable.
See our soundbite on ‘How much is too much’ for information about safe upper limits for supplementation.
Reference: Eggersdorfer, M. 2020, “What is the optimal intake of vitamin C?”, Proceedings of the Nutrition Society, vol. 79, no. OCE2.