Time to boost your C intake

Everyone knows how important vitamin C is. It says so right on the orange juice container.

But not everyone knows how much they should get -- because the "100 percent US RDA!" listed on the OJ package isn't close to what you need for good health and a strong immune system.

Now, there's a big push to change the RDA as researchers from the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University call on health officials to more than double the current recommended guidelines, to 200 mg a day for adults.

That's up from the current RDA of 75 mg a day for women and 90 mg a day for men.

Writing in Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, the researchers say there's no risk at all to raising those C levels -- but plenty of benefits.

One recent study found that people with the highest C levels have a 60 percent lower risk of death by heart disease. Another found that people with low C levels are 62 percent more likely to die of cancer than those with high levels.

As a powerful antioxidant, vitamin C can fight off the damage of oxidative stress and protect the body from chronic inflammation as well as the all the conditions that come along for the ride.

It's also a world-class immune booster that can help keep away illness, including the common cold. If that's not enough, this vitamin can protect the lungs, eyes, and skin and lower blood pressure.

Delivered intravenously, it can help fight infections and even kill cancer cells.

Personally, I think 200 mg a day is still a bit on the low side. You can take 1,000 mg or more daily -- speak with your doctor about how much you need and the best way to get it.