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Don't Give Vitamin C the Cold Shoulder!

We've all heard about the benefits of vitamin C -- especially its potential use in preventing the common cold. Getting enough vitamin C shouldn't be a problem in developed countries with year-round access to fresh fruit and vegetables, which makes the results of a recent study all the more perplexing.

Researchers collected blood samples from 492 generally healthy, middle-class patients visiting a health care facility for routine health, gynecological and pregnancy exams. After evaluating vitamin C levels daily for 10 consecutive days, the researchers determined that 6.3% of the patients had vitamin C deficiency (less than half of the minimum recommended daily allowance, or RDA) and a whopping 30.4% had vitamin C depletion (barely the minimum RDA).

These rates are startling considering that a single piece of fruit (i.e., an orange) often provides a full day's supply of vitamin C. Could it be you're giving vitamin C the cold shoulder? Make sure you stock your refrigerator with plenty of fruits and vegetables high in vitamin C and other valuable nutrients. After all, a happy vitamin C helps make you and your loved ones happy and healthy.


Johnston CS, Thompson LL. Vitamin C status in an outpatient population. Journal of the American College of Nutrition, August 1998;17(4), pp366-70.

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