TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Vitamin C is an essential nutrient to maintain a healthy immune system. Inadequate intake of vitamin C can make one’s body more prone to getting sick, moreover, amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
However, many question the need of taking vitamin C supplements in high doses of 1,000 mg. A clinical nutrition specialist from Pondok Indah Bintaro Jaya Hospital, dr. Diana Felicia Suganda, said the recommended daily intake of vitamin C is around 90 mg to 105 mg, and that can be fulfilled by eating fruits including oranges, kiwi, and guava.
“We actually have to go back to the principle of balanced nutrition [which includes] carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. If it is sufficient, we don’t need to take supplements. If it’s not, getting supplements is permitted, but not everyone must take a 1000 mg vitamin C,” said Diana in a virtual discussion on Wednesday, June 10.
Consuming 1,000 mg vitamin C every day may cause long-term side effects, such as nausea, heartburn, vomiting, and insomnia.
Dr. Diana underlined that the maximum consumption of vitamin C should only be 250 mg, and that is only recommended for smokers. If one has maintained a balanced and healthy diet, there is no need for 1,000 mg supplements.
“One guava contains 126 mg vitamin C, orange 69 mg, and kiwi 166 mg. [We can] just take orange- and red-colored fruits,” she remarked.
“As for healthcare workers, they may get 500 mg to 1,000 mg vitamin C supplement, but not for every day. Because our daily need for vitamin C is only 90-105 mg,” dr. Diana said.