RDA for vitamin C should be doubled
In addition to the long-known benefit of scurvy prevention, current
research associates increased intake of vitamin C with a variety of
other positive effects on health, including decreased risks of cancer,
cataracts, and cardiovascular disease. Most likely, these benefits are
related to the vitamin's antioxidant capabilities. The current recommended
daily allowance (RDA) of 60 milligrams of vitamin C per day is based
on the minimum amount needed to prevent scurvy, but may not be sufficient
to protect against other diseases. To reevaluate the RDA for vitamin
C, two researchers reviewed the biochemical, clinical and epidemiological
research into the role of vitamin C in disease prevention. Based on
data from 238 studies, these reviewers concluded that an increased vitamin
C intake is necessary to help prevent diseases besides scurvy, resulting
in a new RDA value approximately two times greater than the present
one. The article presents an excellent overview of the antioxidant capabilities
of vitamin C, particularly its function in humans.
Carr A, Frei B. Toward a new
recommended dietary allowance for vitamin C based on antioxidant
and health effects in humans. Am J Clin Nutr 1999; 69: 1086-107.
© 2003 by Herb Research Foundation,
Boulder, CO, USA.