Many health and nutrition experts question the methodology for determining the minimum recommended daily allowance (RDA) for many nutrients. In most cases, the RDA is based on the minimum amount of a nutrient necessary to prevent disease—not an amount to promote optimal health. This is why it is not unusual to see supplements containing many times more than the RDA – like 1,000% of the RDA.
A case in point is the RDA for vitamin C. According to Professor Balz Frei, director of the Linus Pauling Institute, the RDA for Vitamin C should be doubled to 200 milligrams per day for adults from the current levels of 75 mgs per day for women and 90 mgs per day for men.
This increase will ensure cell and tissue saturation without posing any risk and may yield significant health benefits, says Frei.
Current levels are dictated by the levels required to prevent scurvy -- the vitamin C deficiency disease.
At the current low RDAs, studies in the U.S. and Canada have found that about a quarter to a third of people are marginally deficient in vitamin C and up to 20% are severely deficient. If, as Frei suggests, the current RDAs are too low, then the actual number of people considered deficient would be significantly higher.
Importance of Vitamin C
Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that your body cannot create or store. Therefore, you must obtain it regularly from your diet. You need vitamin C for growth and repair of many tissues throughout your body, including skin, cartilage, tendons, ligaments, and blood vessels. It is also needed for healing wounds and repairing and maintaining bones and teeth.
Vitamin C along with Vitamin E and Beta Carotene are among the body’s primary antioxidants. Antioxidants help block some of the damage caused by free radicals, substances that damage
DNA. It is thought that the build-up of free radicals over time may contribute to the aging process and other body damage.
Linus Pauling Institute