As we all seem to be suffering from the flu and cold season, I decided to research the Dietary Reference Intakes tables to see if women in their middle ages need a lot of vitamin C to be healthy, as well as reduce risk factors for chronic diseases by consuming foods with vitamin C. I chose this age group because women are having children later in life than our generations in the past, and they are in the work force simultaneously. Many of us take vitamin C supplements that have sugar in them, and we know sugar has been recently studied at length in relation to obesity and chronic diseases, most notably lectured on by Dr. Robert Lustig. I think it is best to absorb our vitamins from food sources rather than from candy!
According to the Recommended Daily Allowance chart, women who are aged 31-50 and pregnant should have 85 mg of vitamin C a day according to the RDA. We can have more, without a problem. Women who aren't pregnant in the same age range are recommended to have 75 mg a day. This is not much of a difference and that surprised me. They are comparatively similar. I thought pregnant women were supposed to have a lot more of everything to fuel the fetus and themselves. I know that there is an immunity that happens when pregnant, and the body knows better how to protect itself and naturally use the vitamin C. The body is a miraculous and efficient machine. In my opinion, we humans are the ones who mess with its perfection!
The upper limits for both pregnant and non pregnant women in the adult range is 2000 mg a day for the vitamin C intake. That's about 10 cups of chopped sweet red peppers! An average sized red pepper has 95 mg of vitamin C. So even one pepper gives us enough of the RDA for pregnant and non pregnant women in the age ranges 31-50. I was surprised at the lower levels of recommendations. I must keep reminding myself that the government is not recommending levels for optimum health, just for adequate amounts to avoid risks and nutrient deficiencies.
Vitamin C is water soluble, which means it dissolves in water. Our bodies are mostly water so if we do intake a lot of vitamin C through food or supplements we can eliminate the excess that our body does not use through our urine. Dr. Linus Pauling studied vitamin C for decades and concluded that we can take up to 10,000 mg a day if I’ll with the cold or flu. It is an immune builder as well. Vitamin C aids in almost all of our bodies’ reparations.
My personal intake of vitamin C foods are much higher than the RDA because I eat a lot of raw veggies and salads daily. For my age, 52, the recommended RDA for vitamin C is also 75 mg daily. When I'm sick with a cold or flu I eat a lot more lemons and tea with lemons, for the extra vitamin C. According to the National Institute of Health, cooking the fruits and vegetables lessens the value of vitamin C in plant matter because through the cooking the vitamin C is water soluble and destroyed by heat. (https://www.ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminC-HealthProfessional/#en6)
Thank you for asking me to dig deeper. I learned a lot from the NIH and their studies and will use this website and links to prestigious studies again. I invite you to communicate with me about your personal intake of foods or supplements with vitamin C in them. Do you take more when ill?