Because vitamin C is so essential to good health, it’s important to know what the correct vitamin C dosage is for you. Vitamin C plays a critical role in collagen formation and the maintenance of healthy bones and cartilage. It also supports the immune system and aids in wound repair. Adequate vitamin C consumption even improves the body’s ability to absorb iron. In its role as an antioxidant, vitamin C also helps block the damage caused by free radicals.
How Much Is Enough?
Vitamin C is such a key ingredient in good heath that most mammals have developed the ability to manufacture within their own bodies, but as humans lack this ability, adequate levels of vitamin C must be obtained from dietary sources or in supplemental form. The U.S. Food and Nutrition Board, part of the Institute of Medicine, recommends that healthy males over 18 consume 90 mg of vitamin C per day and that healthy women over 18 consume 75 mg per day. The recommendation goes up to 85 mg for pregnant women over 18 and 120 mg for lactating women over 18.
Some experts recommend that smokers take an additional 35 mg of vitamin C per day. Adults should not exceed 2000 mg of vitamin C per day. The recommendations for those under 18 are as follows: 40 mg of vitamin C per day for infants from zero to six months old, 50 mg for infants from six months to one year, 15 mg for children from one to three years of age, 25 mg for children from four to eight, 45 mg for children from nine to 13, 75 mg for males 14 to 18, 65 mg for females 14 to 18, 80 mg for pregnant females under 18, and 115 mg for lactating women under 18. Children from one to three years old should not take more than 400 mg of vitamin C per day. Those from four to eight years old should not exceed 650 mg per day. Nine-year olds to 13-year olds should not consume more than 1200 mg per day, and those from 14 to 18, including pregnant and lactating women, shouldn’t exceed 1000 mg per day.
Where to Get Vitamin C
Most fruits and vegetables, especially citrus fruits, are excellent sources of vitamin C. Vitamin C is also contained in most multivitamins, and is available in supplemental form.
“Vitamin C: MedlinePlus.” National Library of Medicine – National Institutes of Health. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 June 2010. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/vitaminc.html.
“Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University.” Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 June 2010. http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/vitamins/vitaminC/.
“Vitamin C – Overview.” University of Maryland Medical Center. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 June 2010. http://www.umm.edu/ency/article/002404.htm.