Vitamin C // Ascorbic Acid
Vitamin C Intake Recommendations
While in 1993 the2013 the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) set population reference intakes (PRI) for vitamin C (62), European nutrition societies, like the ones in Germany, Austria and Switzerland(D-A-CH) (63), referred to these values to define reference values for vitamin C intake (recommended intake).
|Age||Males: mg/day||Females: mg/day|
|Children and adolescents|
|18 years and older||110||95|
| Pregnant women
|a Smokers, D-A-CH
In 2013, EFSA stated that the average requirement (AR, applying to at least half of the population) to keep bodily vitamin C at healthy levels is an intake of 90 mg/day for men and 80 mg/day for women (63). The population reference intake (an ideal level for the majority of people) was set at 110 mg/day for men and 95 mg/day for women. These levels were sufficient, the expert panel said, to balance metabolic vitamin C losses and maintain fasting plasma ascorbate concentrations at about 50 micromoles/L (62).
In 2000, the U.S. Food and Nutrition Board revised the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) values for vitamin C upward, based primarily on the prevention of deficiency disease, rather than the prevention ofchronic disease and the promotion of optimum health. They used the near-maximal neutrophil concentration with minimal urinary excretion of ascorbate to provide antioxidant protection, which led them to deﬁne a Recommended Daily Allowances (RDA) (17).
RDA (mg/day) set by IoM:
|Life Stage||Age||Males: mg/day||Females: mg/day|
|0–6 months||40 (AIa)||40 (AI)|
|7–12 months||50 (AI)||50 (AI)|
|19 years and older||90||75|
|19 years and older||125||110|
|18 years and younger||-||80|
|19 years and older||-||85|
|18 years and younger||-||115|
|19 years and older||-||120|
|a AI: Adequate intake|
The recommended intake for smokers is 35 mg/day higher than for non-smokers, because smokers are under increased oxidative stress from the toxins in cigarette smoke and generally have lower blood levels of vitamin C (17).
Up to now, no functional biomarker was identiﬁed that could be used as a basis to deﬁne the dietary intake recommendations for vitamin C. New evidence support neutrophil motility as such a functional marker. Combined with established knowledge from pharmacokinetic studies and studies on cardiovascular diseases and common cold, intake recommendations should be increased to ≥200 mg/day which would be beneficial for the functioning of the immune system (73).
For a detailed overview of recommended daily intakes (PRIs/RDAs) of vitamins and minerals for adults derived from different countries and organizations see PDF.
Authored by Dr Peter Engel in 2010, reviewed and revised by Dr. Volker Elste on 22.05.2017