Fall 2013

Vitamin Fix

Most adults don’t get enough daily doses of C and E

Most people understand that antioxidants are a good thing to have in the body because they act to prevent or minimize naturally occurring cell damage linked to free radicals. Generally, the antioxidants contained in a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables are enough to combat most of this free-radical damage. But most of us fall short of meeting recommended daily intakes for vitamins C and E, says Jeffrey Blumberg, director of the antioxidants research laboratory at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts.

The average adult should be consuming 15 mg of vitamin E daily, but more than 90 percent of people fail to hit that mark. In fact, Blumberg says, most get only about half the recommended allowance in their diet.

“That’s a huge shortfall,” Blumberg told Time magazine. “That doesn’t mean they couldn’t, but they aren’t.” Vitamin C is another nutrient of concern in the American diet, he says. Women require 75 mg of C a day and men 90 mg per day. “That’s [a] really low [requirement],” Blumberg told Time. “Have a glass of orange juice, and you have practically met your requirement for the day.

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