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Vitamin C Benefits: Doubling Up Offers Better Health with Little Risk

Orange Juice

Scientists say that getting more vitamin C daily is better for long-term health.

How much vitamin C are you getting each day? A new article in Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition says that your intake should be double what is currently recommended.

Scientists are speaking up about the suboptimal recommended daily allowance (RDA) of vitamin C, saying that it should be increased to 200 milligrams per day to ensure tissue and cell saturation and promote better overall long-term health. This is more than double the current recommendation of 75 milligrams per day for women and 90 milligrams per day for men.

Researchers argue that the current RDA levels are based on the prevention of vitamin C deficiency or the disease, scurvy. However, the present recommended level may not be adequate for people to reap the powerful antioxidant benefits of vitamin C. Many well-designed studies show that optimal amounts of vitamin C can aid in cell integrity and heart health.

Professor Balz Frei, director of the Linus Pauling Institute, points out that experiments designed to test the safety and efficacy of pharmaceutical drugs are not appropriate for determining the health-promoting capacities of nutrients that are required for normal metabolism. Additionally, short-term clinical studies are not able to capture vitamin C benefits, which may take years or decades of optimal consumption.

Evidence shows that there are a large number of people who are vitamin C deficient, even at the current low RDA. Various studies have found that about a quarter to a third of people are marginally deficient, and up to 20 percent in some populations are severely deficient. Smokers and older adults, for example, are at significant risk for vitamin C deficiency.

The RDA represents a minimum level of intake to avoid deficiency diseases. There is an abundant amount of research showing that intakes as great as 1,000 milligrams contribute to plasma and tissue saturation, therefore optimizing the antioxidant properties of vitamin C.

High intakes of vitamin C have not been found to be toxic to the body; however, doses of more than 1,000 milligrams may cause stomach discomfort or diarrhea. An easy fix is to consume vitamin C as a supplement along with food.

As Frei stated in a press release, “The benefit-to-risk ratio is very high. A 200 milligram intake of vitamin C on a daily bases poses absolutely no risk, but there is strong evidence it would provide multiple, substantial benefits.”

Along with guinea pigs and apes, humans are not able to produce vitamin C. Instead, we rely on the foods we consume such as kiwi, bell peppers, and citrus fruits. It can be difficult to get 200 milligrams of vitamin C just through your diet—you would need five to nine daily servings of fruits and vegetables along with a six-ounce glass of orange juice.

Isagenix can help! Be sure you are getting the vitamin C you need by supplementing your diet with Isagenix C-Lyte which contains 520 milligrams of vitamin C per serving.

Reference: Frei B, Birlouez-Aragon I, Lykkesfeldt J. Authors’ Perspective: What is the Optimum Intake of Vitamin C in Humans? Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr 2012;52:815-29. doi:10.1080/10408398.2011.649149

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