Human vitamin C requirements

Z Ernahrungswiss. 1987 Jun;26(2):125-37. doi: 10.1007/BF02019608.


The importance of vitamin C is reflected in its multifunctional roles which include participation in collagen and carnitine syntheses, promotion of iron absorption and the more recently discovered participation in noradrenaline synthesis, inactivation of free radical chain reactions, prevention of N-nitroso compound formation and more. Given the many extra-antiscorbutic functions of the vitamin, the Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA) should not just prevent deficiency disease but should aim at providing sufficient amounts for all vitamin C-dependent functions to operate at full capacity. The concept of vitamin C tissue saturation is best able to meet this demand. The use of kinetic models has shown that the body pool is saturated with a daily intake of 100 mg vitamin C in non-smokers and 140 mg in smokers, amounts that may be regarded as optimal RDA values. Certain disease states may be accompanied by still higher vitamin C requirements but the exact amounts are not yet known.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Ascorbic Acid* / metabolism
  • Ascorbic Acid* / pharmacology
  • Humans
  • Kinetics
  • Nutritional Requirements
  • Scurvy / prevention & control
  • Species Specificity


  • Ascorbic Acid