Recommended daily allowances, U.S.A., for ascorbic acid are several times the minimum daily requirement of about 10 mg to prevent clinical symptoms in adults. The recommended daily allowances reflect the levels of ascorbic acid required to produce tissue saturation in human beings, so that higher doses are promptly excreted in the urine. In various investigations, responses to ascorbic acid were not obtained under conditions where the intake was considerably lower than the recommended daily allowances, but higher than the level needed to prevent clinical symptoms of ascorbic acid deficiency. The human ascorbic acid requirement cannot be calculated by a linear extrapolation from guinea pigs per kg of body weight because guinea pigs are much smaller than human beings and, hence, their metabolism is more rapid per unit of body weight. Evolutionary loss of ascorbic-acid-synthesizing ability may be a neutral change that was incorporated by genetic drift.