There are some nutrients that are vital for us humans. Ascorbic acid, commonly known as vitamin C,is one of them. Without them, our body cannot function properly. Since we cannot produce it in the body, we need to absorb the vitamin through food. But how high is the vitamin C daily requirement? What happens if there is too little or too much vitamin C?
Here you will find all information at a glance.
What is vitamin C actually good for?
You probably know vitamin C mainly from its effect on the immune system. But that’s not all. Your body also needs ascorbic acid for a functioning iron metabolism and to protect your cells from free radicals.
In addition, the acid is also used to build up connective tissue, which can affect the regenerative capacity of your skin and wound healing in general.
No wonder, then, that an undersupply of vitamin C can have serious consequences.
What happens if there is too little or too much vitamin C?
Unlike other vitamins, our body can handle an overdose of vitamin C relatively well. The excess ascorbic acid is usually simply excreted in a healthy metabolism. Especially people with kidney problems should therefore be careful. You may react more sensitively to a greatly increased intake.
At extremely high doses of several grams of the nutrient a day, too much vitamin C can lead to discomfort in the gastrointestinal tract (such as diarrhea).
Since the vitamin plays such an important role in our body, an undersupply can lead to numerous problems. Typical symptoms include an increased susceptibility to infections and worsened wound healing. If the daily requirement is not covered for a long time, even scurvy sets in.
In addition to excessive fatigue, this disease is mainly noticeable by bleeding on the gums but also on the skin. With a particularly severe deficiency of vitamin C, scurvy even leads to internal bleeding with serious health consequences.
This makes it all the more important that you know about your vitamin C daily requirement and thus absorb sufficient ascorbic acid.
How much vitamin C do we need a day?
The German Nutrition Society (DGE) sets the reference value for the daily requirement of vitamin C at about 100 mg. “Approximately” because the need can vary depending on age and gender. In addition, other circumstances can also cause your body to need more vitamin C.
So let’s take a closer look at the need:
Vitamin C Daily Requirement by Age and Gender
|Age||Daily requirement male||Daily requirement female|
|Infants up to about 4 years||~20 mg||~20 mg|
|4 to 7 years||~30 mg||~30 mg|
|7 to 10 years||~45 mg||~45 mg|
|10 to 13 years||~65 mg||~65 mg|
|13 to 15 years||~85 mg||~85 mg|
|15 to 19 years||~105 mg||~90 mg|
|19 and older||~110 mg||~95 mg|
As already mentioned, the vitamin C daily requirement may be increased under certain circumstances. During pregnancy, you should increase your daily intake to about ~105 mg and during breastfeeding even to ~125 mg.
But even as a smoker, you need more ascorbic acid. This is mainly because smoking people usually lose more nutrients through metabolism. When it comes to the supply of vitamin C, this even goes so far that their daily requirement can be increased by up to 40%. Smokers should therefore consume about 135 mg and smokers about 155 mg of vitamin C per day.
Heavy physical strain or prolonged exposure to cold temperatures can also cause the need for vitamin C to skyrocket. If this applies to you, you should definitely pay attention to an increased vitamin C intake.
How do you even come up with these reference values?
When adults talk about the daily requirement of a vitamin, they usually mean the amount needed to compensate for normal losses through the metabolism.
The recommendations for children and adolescents are then calculated taking into account a lower body weight. This also applies to the differences in daily requirements between men and women.
How to cover the daily requirement without any problems
With all the talk about the vitamin C daily requirement, you’re probably wondering how you can get enough vitamin C at all. In contrast to other vitamins, vitamin C is mainly found in plant foods. With a varied diet, you can cover the daily requirement well even with a vegan diet.
If you don’t want to worry about your diet, supplements are also an effective way to get enough ascorbic acid. Especially if there is already a deficiency, vitamin C supplements can help you. If you suspect an undersupply, you should definitely consult your doctor, who can advise you on the right intake.
What has the most vitamin C?
In terms of food, the selection of vitamin C donors is large. Citrus fruits,for example, offer a lot of vitamin C, even if they do not have the most of it.
For proper vitamin C bombs, you should reach for chilies and peppers, cabbage vegetables, blackcurrants or rose hips. Gently prepared, you can easily get to your daily requirement with them.
200 g of gently cooked Brussels sprouts or 150 g of raw peppers (red) correspond to about 150 mg of vitamin C and thus even more than the normal daily requirement of about 100 mg.