• Tue. Jan 18th, 2022

What is the Optimal Vitamin C Intake

For many years the RDA the recommended daily allowance for vitamins was just based on preventing deficiency with a margin of safety but the miniscule amount of vitamin C for example needed to avoid scurvy not necessarily the ideal intake for optimal health so what might be the optimal intake of vitamin C.

Let’s ask the body how might we do that by seeing how much the body absorbs and excretes if you swallow 15 milligrams of vitamin C which is what you get eating about a quarter of an orange your body sucks up nearly 90% of it but if you take a supplement containing twelve hundred and fifty milligrams your body seems to realize that’s too much and so clamps down on absorption at the intestinal lining level and you end up absorbing less than half so by doing experiments where you slowly ratchet up the intake you can see when the body starts to say okay that’s enough and then magic level of intake appears to be about 200 milligrams a day when you take up to 200 a day.

Your body sucks it all up but above that your body tries to block further absorption suggesting our intestinal vitamin C transport mechanisms have evolved to fully absorb up to about 200 milligrams of vitamin C a day in addition vitamin C is reabsorbed in our Kitty’s back into our bloodstream to maintain our vitamin C blood levels up at around 70 or 80 micromoles per liter that’s the shaded region there which is what you reach at a vitamin C intake of about 200 milligrams a day.

So, even if you take 10 times as much vitamin C supplements you know 2,000 milligrams a ay your body will just pee and poop it  out to keep your blood levels in that narrow range so based on these kind of data one might propose that two hundred milligrams is the optimal daily intake of vitamin C you can confirm using disease data at what daily intake of vitamin C is there the lowest stroke risk for example apparently at about 200 milligrams a day while dietary vitamin C intake was associated with lower stroke risk vitamin C sup elements were not which is consistent with the overall body of evidence showing that antioxidant supplements in general don’t seem to protect against heart attacks or strokes but wait can you get all the way up to an intake of 200 milligrams a day without taking supplements no problem single servings of fruits and vegetables may have about 50 milligrams each so a measly five servings of fruits and veggies a day could get you to ideal blood levels you.