This daily allowance is designed to prevent deficiency in "average" healthy people. Vitamin C is not just to prevent scurvy, however.
To be fair, the authorities add a "prudential margin" when calculating RDAs for nutrients.
10mg of ascorbic acid daily, will prevent scurvy¹. 60mg is recommended with that prudential margin.
Some very picky children can get scurvy from a very restricted, poor diet. Elderly people living on bread and jam (jello) can too, as can alcoholics. None of these would be thought of as healthy, though.
Most people with an average intake of pollution and life stresses, are likely to need more than the RDA. Requirements skyrocket when one is ill.
Dr. Mark levine studied healthy men in a metabolic ward², with different ascorbate intakes.
Their white blood cells had 14 times as much vit C as the blood serum, and needed intake of 100mg per day to reach top levels. 6 of the 7 men had no spill over of vit C into their urine until this dose, and gastrointestinal absorption was complete up to 200mg.
He suggested a RDA of 200mg.
I presume none, because rats make their own. In case you haven't come across this, fruit bats, guinea pigs and some of the higher primates besides, most mammals make their own ascorbic acid.
A man sized rat would make about 7000mg a day, and that's when not stressed nor ill (when production increases dramatically.)
Some authorities believe we should all mimic rats (in this regard.) How much vit C to take is controversial. Levine thought 500mg a day was too much, but most people are happy up to 3000mg a day.
Personally, I find the only times I need a lot are when I'm just coming down with a nose cold or a flu like illness. Ascorbic acid stimulates our body to produce more "interferon", to fight viruses.
The way I decide is dowsing with a pendulum. Some people just use their intuition, others kinesiology. One can also attempt to be scientific and use special vitamin C urine testing strips, and take enough to spill over into the urine.
For people not inclined to use the above methods, I advise taking sodium ascorbate powder in water, chased by something more tasty. At the start of a cold or flu, symptoms should improve within half a day of this taken at bowel tolerance dose.
This dose is almost enough to come out the other end as odourless diarrhoea. One has to determine that dose by practical experience. It will be higher for more severe illness.
2000 to 3000mg per day is useful for prevention of recurrent urine infection in women.
Links at the bottom of this page are to intravenous vitamin C use. This is dramatically effective for influenza and glandular fever. People are feeling better by the time the injection is finished. I use 7500mg in 25ml, but a lot of people use double that amount routinely.
Dr. Fred Klenner used up to 200gm a day, in such things as snake bite envenomation.
Once picked off a tree, the ascorbic acid content of a piece of fruit, diminishes progressively. Once put through a factory, you may as well forget it, especially if artificial preservative has been added.
Fresh raw food is available to everybody, as sprouts of various seeds. The best is DIY sprouting in a jar with an old stocking over the top.
Chewing is needed, overcooking is not. Ascorbic acid is destroyed by heat.
Sodium ascorbate powder is the cheapest supplement and LypoSpheric vit C is the best absorbed. Neither tastes great.
1. Clinical manifestations of ascorbic acid deficiency in man. Robert E. Hodges M.D et al
http://www.ajcn.org/content/24/4/432.abstract - short and worth a read
2. Dr. M Levine Vitamin C pharmacokinetics in healthy volunteers: evidence for a recommended dietary allowance
Levine study - also short and worth a read
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