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IADSA Highlights Major Discrepancies in Global Vitamin C Guidance


Daily vitamin C recommendations vary significantly worldwide even though the data underlying them are broadly the same, according to a new “Mind the Gap” resource from the International Alliance of Dietary/Food Supplement Associations (IADSA).

Research shows that there is an almost threefold difference between the lowest and the highest recommendations for vitamin C issued by national and regional health authorities. Some scientists are now calling for an alignment of guidance to help people attain optimum vitamin C status. 

Full details are outlined in the latest Mind the Gap story – ‘A world of difference: Why do global recommendations for Vitamin C vary so widely?’ Available to view online at www.iadsa.org/mind-the-gap/english/vitamin-c#intro, it also explores the case for reviewing daily vitamin C intake recommendations for specific demographic groups, including pregnant and lactating women, smokers, the elderly and people who are obese.

According to IADSA, vitamin C prevents scurvy, a disease that was once common among sailors, but is thankfully now rare. However, it also performs a number of important functions in the body. In particular, it is a major scavenger of free radicals, helping to protect cells from oxidative damage. It also helps to maintain healthy skin, bones and cartilage, and supports the immune and nervous systems.

“The benefits of vitamin C stretch well beyond the prevention of scurvy into a range of other key areas of health and wellbeing,” commented Dr. Gerhard Gans, chair of IADSA. “To optimize people’s vitamin C status, IADSA believes that greater consideration needs to be given to the setting of appropriate daily intake recommendations. We agree that aligning the criteria used for establishing these would be a positive step.”