As briefly touch on in an early post there are some discrepancies in the government RDA (recommended daily allowance) which is reflected well below.
- 40 milligrams per day or 280 milligrams per week taken all at once: the United Kingdom's Food Standards Agency
- 45 milligrams per day 300 milligrams per week: the World Health Organization
- 90 mg/day (males) and 75 mg/day (females): Health Canada 2007
- 60–95 milligrams per day: United States' National Academy of Sciences. The United States defined Tolerable Upper Intake Level for a 25-year-old male is 2,000 milligrams per day.
How can with the same science available, Canada recommend 75-90 mg/day and the U.K. only 40mg? What the heck 40mg 3potatoes and a kiwi? 2 oranges? 1 lemon and a happy fish? And what happens if we don’t get enough? Most people know that scurvy is caused by a chronic lack of vitamin C, so if we don’t get scurvy, were are fine right? Depending on your desired living standard if of full health this is wrong.
For how much vitamin C is contained per 100gr of fruit or vegetable I recommend you to have a look at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vitamin_C#Plant_sources.
Food preparation and growing conditions highly affect vitamin C content so as we boil, fry and bake away and buy fruit and veg which are product to grow quick (not well) the vitamin C content further reduces, (boiling decreases vitamin C content by up to 60%)
As the average U.K house hold only gets 2-3 fruit or vegetable per day out of the recommended 5, much of this is boiled, fried, processed, grown from plant variety which grown much quicker than the original fruit plant. The RDA set is already on the low side compared to Canada, half that 40mg and , you see a picture emerging of a potential insufficiency on incredible wide scale even in western countries.(see my post over fed undernourished) This still doesn’t cause scurvy (you have to go for about 3 week with only 2.5mg of vit C. This overt illness bares little significance of living a happy life feeling strong, full of energy.
Did you know that humans, guinea pigs, fruit bats and pigs are only a few of the handful of mammals in the entire mammal kingdom that cannot make their own vitamin C, the general consensus among scientist is that this represents the diet plentiful of vit C our ancestors ate, and therefore no need to make vitamin C. Some estimations suggest that monkeys get about 2000mg of vitamin C through diets and the natural production of vitamin C in other animals is substantially higher comparatively than the 40mg recommended by the U.K Gov Deriving from this and the tolerable upper level set but the U.S, doesn’t it make sense that actually by intelligent estimation 40mg should be at least 400mg for optimal functioning, rather than just staving off getting ill and never really feeling great.
The initial symptoms of scurvy are: becoming confuses, miserable, tired, unable to cope with stress, weak, anxious, short of breath, gums break down, bone begin to ache, important for eyesight. Sound familir? Now this can have a myriad of causes, but in modern society if you are low in vitamin C it is quite likely you are low in others.
Enough not to get scurvy, not enough to feel well??
Although working through diet is always preferable, supplement or herbs can really help and are sometimes needed. At the therapy room myself and a number of other therapist can help you with your nutritionial needs, as well as other therapist who (also) work on physical or emotional restrictive factors. Let us do what we do best so you can do what you do best!
Robert Tempelaar ND, DipHerb