Linus Pauling is widely considered one of recent history’s foremost experts on Vitamin C. Why, then, does his daily recommended value of Vitamin C differ from that of the Linus Pauling Institute (an institute which Linus Pauling himself started)? To put it simply, it all boils down to theory versus solid research.
For any pioneer in a scientific field, research all starts with a hypothesis. Pauling didn’t yet have research to back it up, but his hypothesis was that Vitamin C is necessary for the body to function properly; specifically, the immune system needs high levels Vitamin C to protect the body. He recommended 2,000 mg per day on the high end, but recognizing that would be tough in the 1970′s when he first made that recommendation, he said that at least 250 mg daily would be acceptable.
Pauling got the ball rolling. Now with several more decades of research to back their claims, the Institute recommends differing daily doses of Vitamin C depending on age, health condition, and gender. The Institute has a comprehensive chart showing the right amount of Vitamin C for all, from infant through old age. A healthy non-smoking adult female would take 75 mg per day, for example. But according to these researchers, 400 mg is still the optimum amount for all cells to be saturated in a healthy person.
That 400 mg daily dose is best for people whose immune systems are compromised or who are looking to fight specific diseases like coronary heart disease or diabetes.
While it may seem that the Linus Pauling Institute and Linus Pauling himself are at odds regarding Vitamin C, it’s really more of an evolution that has taken place. Surely Pauling would agree with the new recommendation by the Institute, because he based all his theories on hard science where it was available.