SCIENTIFIC OPINION ON DIETARY REFERENCE VALUES FOR VITAMIN C
Following a request from the European Commission, the EFSA Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies (NDA) was asked to deliver a scientific opinion on Dietary Reference Values (DRVs) for the European population, including vitamin C.
Vitamin C (L-ascorbic acid) is an enzyme cofactor for biochemical reactions catalysed by monooxygenases, dioxygenases and mixed function oxygenases. Vitamin C plays an important role in the biosynthesis of collagen, is essential for the synthesis of carnitine and catecholamines, and is also involved in the metabolism of cholesterol to bile acids. Vitamin C in aqueous solution readily scavenges reactive oxygen and nitrogen species, and is part of the antioxidant network of the body.
Gastrointestinal absorption is about 80 % for an intake of about 100 mg/day. Vitamin C is transported as the free anion ascorbate in plasma, and is distributed to all tissues. Biomarkers of body stores are related to the size and turnover of vitamin C body stores, and to the mass balance of vitamin C in the body. In this Opinion, plasma ascorbate concentration is cons ...