Vitamin C has been popularized by the Nobel Prize winner Linus Pauling. For example, the wild mountain gorilla (weighing 120 to 160 kg) ingests daily between 2000 and 4000 mg of ascorbates (vitamin C) and sometimes even more. The average western man taking no supplements consumes a few tens of milligrams, and the recommended daily intakes of vitamin C are 60mg.
It should be noted that the majority of mammals synthesize their own vitamin C in varying amounts depending on the stresses that would be equivalent to 10,000-20,000 mg per day for a medium-sized adult human, taking into account body mass.
All anthropomorphic animals, including humans, suffer from a genetic error preventing them from synthesizing the enzyme L-gulonolactone oxidase. This enzyme is involved in the last step of a chain reaction to convert glucose into ascorbic acid.
This genetic mutation would have occurred about 25 million years ago. Other mammals that can not synthesize vitamin C are guinea pigs and an Indian species of fruit bat (Pteropus medius).
Orthomolecular medicine proposes to correct this deficit by providing quantities comparable to those synthesized by other mammals, namely several grams per day (normalized quantity according to body mass). The extraction of ascorbic acid in such amounts from natural sources would be very costly. The adoption of a nutrition similar with that of primates does not seem to be compatible with civilization. It is therefore advisable to use synthetic ascorbic acid.
It should be noted that some people think that synthetic vitamin C is harmful or ineffective. There are commercially available vitamin C tablets obtained from acerola cherries. These are much more expensive, per kilogram, than ascorbic acid in the form of crystalline powder that can be obtained from other sources.
This example can be applied to all nutrients, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, antioxidants, probiotics and other biocompatible molecules that are beneficial to health.
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