https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4zkDXfocVWkWhenever you have a cold or flu, the first thing you reach out for is likely a vitamin C remedy for quick relief. Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is a super vitamin that is vital for human health. It is a water-soluble vitamin that is available in vegetables and fruits such as broccoli, oranges, pawpaw, cauliflower, and kiwi.
Although crucial for some of the most critical body processes, it is not naturally produced in the body, and we must get it in our food or as a supplement. Vitamin C deficiency has serious health implications, including scurvy, gum disease, anemia, and joint pain, and dry, inflamed skin.
What are the benefits of taking vitamin C?
Vitamin C has numerous health benefits. These include:
- Boosting the immune system– Vitamin C stimulates the production of white blood cells, the body’s first defense against disease. It further protects these cells from free radicals, ensuring that they are healthy and effective in fighting off infections.
- Being a powerful antioxidant– Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that helps neutralize free radicals in the cells. If unchecked, free radicals cause oxidative stress to the cells, which can result in chronic illnesses.
- Increasing collagen production– Collagen is the structural ‘glue’ that holds our skin, bones, and tissue together. Vitamin C is a crucial co-factor in the production of collagen in the body. Without collagen, we would experience weak ligaments, easy bruising, loose teeth, and anemia.
- Accelerating wound healing– Vitamin C helps the body absorb iron, a mineral that is crucial in the healing of wounds. Wound healing also requires healthy collagen levels, likewise dependent on ample vitamin C. Studies have shown that vitamin C creams are useful in reducing scarring.
- Improving hair, skin, and nail health– As mentioned, vitamin C is crucial in the creation of collagen and absorption of iron, two components that are necessary for robust and healthy hair and skin. It also strengthens connective tissue, which maintains the integrity of nails. By fighting free radicals, vitamin C keeps our skin cells healthy, delaying signs of aging such as wrinkles and dryness.
What is high dose vitamin C, and what are its benefits?
High dose vitamin C involves taking larger doses of the vitamin, usually through an intravenous infusion (IV). Taking vitamin C via IV is advantageous in that the vitamin is absorbed directly into the bloodstream, and allows for higher doses to be administered to patients.
When taken in average doses, Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that helps fight free radicals that damage cells in the body. This, in turn, helps to boost immunity, fight infections, and improve health.
High dose vitamin C infusions, on the other hand, become pro-oxidative and can cause cellular damage and increase free radical production. Although this sounds detrimental to the body, the oxidative stress caused by high doses of vitamin C can be harnessed to combat pathogens and cancerous cells.
Is high dose vitamin C a viable cancer treatment?
Studies linking high dose vitamin C and cancer treatment have been ongoing since the 1970s. This connection was made famous in 1976 by Linus Pauling, a double Nobel Prize winner. His studies showed increased longevity in terminally ill cancer patients who took daily doses of vitamin C, both orally and intravenously.
While Pauling’s results have not been duplicated, some evidence shows that vitamin C can slow down the multiplication of cancerous cells. It also reduces the side effects of chemotherapy, such as nausea, fatigue, and vomiting, therefore improving the patient’s quality of life.
How much vitamin C should I take daily?
The daily recommended dose of vitamin C for adults is about 90mg, with a higher limit of 2000mg per day. Because vitamin C is water-soluble, the body does not store any excess amounts but rather expels them in urine. When taken orally, doses over 1000mg can cause diarrhea and irritate the digestive tract.
Intravenous delivery, on the other hand, can allow for much higher doses as it bypasses the digestive system. This dose can be adjusted depending on your health condition and needs. Too much vitamin C is rarely lethal, but should be administered by qualified personnel.
What are the best sources of vitamin C?
Vitamin C is found in fruits and vegetables, but can also be purchased as a supplement in various forms. The vitamin found in fruits and vegetables is the most complete as it contains bioflavonoids, which give the vitamin its numerous health benefits. Examples of foods rich in vitamin C include kale, broccoli, cauliflower, cantaloupe, pawpaw, oranges, lemons, strawberries, and tomatoes.
You can also get vitamin C in various forms such as ascorbic acid, Ester C (infused with calcium), topical vitamin C (creams and serums), and several others.
Most naturopathic clinics, including LIVV Natural Health, offer single nutrient vitamin C IVs or as a combination with other vitamins and minerals to achieve various health outcomes. This combination can relieve fatigue, fight infections and auto-immune disorders, elevate mood, and reduce stress on the body. If you feel that your health is out of balance, consult with your naturopathic doctor today, a vitamin C boost might be just what you need!
Dr. Kellen Shade NMD – LIVV Natural Health | Naturopathic Medical Doctor specializing in Autoimmune disease, Gastrointestinal health, PRP Facials, IV Vitamin Therapy, Men’s and Women’s Health, and Optimal Living.