The current requirement for vitamin C to avoid the deadly disease scurvy is based on decades of studies during the World War II. The level of vitamin C was determined to keep optimum health – no more no less. However, new studies have brought about the need to revise the vitamin C levels to prevent scurvy.
Vitamin C is an important element in your body’s ability to heal wounds because the creation of scar tissue depends on the collagen protein, and the production of collagen depends on vitamin C. In addition to knitting skin back together, collagen also maintains the integrity of blood vessel walls, thus protecting against stroke and heart disease.
Researchers have suggested that even the WHO recommended levels of 45 milligrams a day might not be adequate. Researchers say that their data suggest that the WHO’s recommendation is too low to prevent weak scar strength.
Researchers tracked down and reviewed the World War II study’s data and put the data through modern statistical techniques designed to handle small sample sizes, techniques not available to the original scientists. The results of their work were published Monday in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Researchers discovered that the data from this unique study — which has been a cornerstone used by WHO and other agencies for establishing healthy levels of vitamin C in humans — needed more than an “eyeball method” of data assessment.
“It is concluded that the failure to reevaluate the data of a landmark trial with novel statistical methods as they became available may have led to a misleading narrative on the vitamin C needs for the prevention and treatment of collagen-related pathologies,” the researchers wrote.
“Robust parametric analyses of the (Sorby) trial data reveal that an average daily vitamin C intake of 95 mg is required to prevent weak scar strength for 97.5% of the population. Such a vitamin C intake is more than double the daily 45 mg vitamin C intake recommended by the WHO but is consistent with the writing panels for the National Academy of Medicine and (other) countries,” they add.
Researchers also found that recovery from a vitamin C deficiency takes a long time and requires higher levels of vitamin C. Even an average daily dose of 90 milligrams a day of vitamin C for six months failed to restore normal scar strength for the depleted study participants.