Vitamin C

vitamin c fruit

     So if you take a multi-vitamin you probably assume you are getting enough Vitamin C.  And you are… enough to avoid Scurvy that is!  The RDA for Vit C is so low it is almost ridiculous.  In addition to eating a well balanced nutritional diet with naturally occurring Vit C, and taking my multi, I also take a Vit C supplement with a meal.  This is also very important for vegans, vegetarians/pescatarians because it helps increase absorption of non-heme iron which is the only kind you receive from plants or vegan supplements.  Non-heme iron is less easily absorbed but functions just as well as heme iron if you are absorbing enough.  Also, if I feel a little under the weather I up my dosage to about 1 every hour.  Yes I know that sounds like a lot but trust me you can handle it!

     Other countries actually use mega dose Vit C to treat illnesses ranging from the flu to cancer successfully.  Now there is a lot of hate on mega dosing Vit C, but first let me explain something to you.  Vit C is water soluble, which means that excess is excreted through urine so it does not build up or cause toxicity in the body.   Thus it is not really a vitamin that you can overdose on.  Now when you are well you just need a preventative dose and if you get ill you increase that dose because your need and the amount that you are capable of absorbing and utilizing increases.  Well how much do you increase?  Well first know that the higher the does that you take the less your body absorbs.  At a does of 500 mg your body absorbs about 80%., at 1000mg only 20%.  Thus you are absorbing 200 more mg of C by taking the lower does.

     There is also something called bowel intolerance which means that in very high doses Vit C when it is exceeding what your body will utilize will give you loose stools.  So if you reach that point cut back your dose.  That is a good measure to see if you are getting enough or too much.  One thing for you to take into concern would be if you have a problem with kidney stones or calcium levels in your body this would not be a good idea for you as it could cause kidney stones.  And also if you are diabetic or are on blood thinners you should take precaution as well.  For most healthy individuals however it should not be a problem.  I have taken at least 7,500 mg a day for a week at a time when I was ill and have never experienced them, but if you have in the past this is not for you!

     Vit C is a powerful antibacterial, viral and fungal.  It is an antioxidant, ant inflammatory and has shown success is destroying cancer.  At the very least taken in moderation on a daily basis you would be keeping your immune system boosted, fighting inflammation and oxidants.  Vitamin C has a very short half life only about 30 minutes ( how long it is active and circulates in your body before being excreted).  Thus if you are ill you can take it about every hour.  That is why for very sick patients in other countries they put them on Vit C IVs because it is a steady constant flow which is shown to be most effective.  It has been shown to be effective in treating cancer and is also used in conjunction with chemotherapy to increase its effectiveness and minimize side affects.  So if you do not already take it, it might be a good idea to start or to just keep in your house for cold and allergy season.

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