More vitamin C might make you healthier. Researchers are urging that the recommended daily allowance for this nutrient go up. The current recommended daily level for vitamin C is 75 milligrams for women and 90 milligrams for men. But researchers argue that the number should be raised to 200 milligrams.
The current recommended level reflects a basic fallacy in how nutrient needs are analyzed: Appropriate levels of naturally occurring nutrients and appropriate levels of synthetic drugs are evaluated the same way.
“Significant numbers of people in the U.S. and around the world are deficient in vitamin C, and there’s growing evidence that more of this vitamin could help prevent chronic disease,” said Balz Frei, one of the world’s leading experts on vitamin C. “The way clinical researchers study micronutrients right now, with the same type of so-called ‘phase three randomized placebo-controlled trials’ used to test pharmaceutical drugs, almost ensures they will find no beneficial effect. We need to get past that.”
Several studies suggest that higher levels of vitamin C could help reduce the cases of heart disease, stroke, cancer, high blood pressure and chronic inflammation.