Author: Suzan Macco, R.N.
My curiosity about the powers of Vitamin C has been piqued for good reason.
A diagnosis of breast cancer left me searching for alternative medicine & nutritional healing from everywhere, and what kept surfacing were bits of new and old accolades given to this easily attainable nutrient. Also, after having it as a big part of my own daily treatment, I'm taking a closer look at the vitamin, and the man most noted for not only his own use of the nutrient, but his scientific contribution on it's research, Dr. Linus Pauling.
Things to know: The possibility of diarrhea with larger doses. In that case, the dose is decreased to a smaller amount. Since Vitamin C is water soluble, whatever your body doesn't need (or absorb), goes out in the stool & urine. For that reason, it is recommended to take it in 2, 3, or even 4 divided doses throughout the day. It is better to keep a steady amount in the bloodstream & cells,
Dynamic Flow, as Dr. Pauling called it, which is:
"The dynamic flow model proposes restoring human physiology to approxi- mate that of animals that synthesize their own vitamin C. This can be achieved by consuming excess ascorbate, over and above the amount normally absorbed."
Dynamic flow lessens the window of opportunity for germs & disease to attack your cells.
Does Vitamin C cause acidity in the body? Physiologically, the acid/base is constantly regulated by the kidneys, and according to the pioneers on this subject at Orthomolecular.org, the acidity of Vitamin C is weak, and our bodies could tolerate a lot of it before any imbalance could possibly occur.
It's been reported that in the 1960's, Dr. Pauling himself not only recommended high doses of Vitamin C, but was taking 18 grams (18,000 mg) per day. He lived to a ripe age of 94.
Why do we need to take Vitamin C?
We need to take it as a supplement because humans, as well as a few other animals do not manufacture their own.
Humans lack an enzyme that is responsible for the conversion of glucose to vitamin C.
Therefore, we must obtain it through fruits and vegetables in our diets. Oranges, sometimes thought of as the vitamin C icon, has less of the vitamin than broccoli, red, green & yellow peppers, chili peppers, acerola cherries, & blackberries, and rose hips.
If you are not getting the recommended 9 servings of fruits and vegetables daily, taking a supplement may be wise. It is good to know that glucose competes with Vitamin C (a sugar acid) to get carried by insulin into the cells and the glucose usually wins, thus lowering your absorption of Vitamin C, and compromising your immune system. For this reason, you may not want to take your vitamin C supplements with sugary food or drinks.
What is it good for? Let's "C"!
Common cold & flu- By helping the body's cells fight infection by neutralizing bacterial toxins, and helps the immune system fight viruses. Dr. Pauling is not the only one promoting high dose vitamin C therapy. In Life Extension Foundation's publication, Disease Prevention and Treatment, 4th edition, page 660, is a supplement program which includes vitamin C, three times daily, for defense of the cold & flu.
Collagen Formation- In his book, How To Live Longer And Feel Better, page 90, Dr. Pauling states: "The synthesis of collagen, for which Vitamin C is essential proceeds in the body as one of its major manufacturing enterprises. A person who is dying of scurvy stops making this substance, and his body falls apart-- his joints fail, because he can no longer keep the cartilage and tendons strong, his blood vessels break open, his gums ulcerate and his teeth fall out, his immune system deteriorates, and he dies". Need I say more?
Antioxidant- It is one of the most popular water-soluble free radical scavengers that cleans up remnants after the battles of your immune system. Since it is not produced nor stored in your body, it can be taken in large amounts. You will know your tolerance and when your cells are saturated with vitamin C if & when diarrhea occurs. If that happens, just back off on it to a dose where diarrhea no longer occurs.
Anticancer- Vitamin C becomes a pro-oxidant in high doses & reportedly causes production of peroxide. Cancer cells, not having the enzyme needed to detoxify this peroxide, have a build-up of the peroxide which causes them to die.
(My own daily dose at Sanoviv was 30,000 mg (25,000 IV and 5,000 orally), without any adverse effects.)
Cardivascular protection- Studies done years ago by Dr. Linus Pauling & Dr. Matthias Rath, have shown much success in treatment of Heart Disease and Stroke, demonstrated in their Theory Of Cardiovascular Disease, by combining the nutrients of Vitamin C, Lysine, and Proline. In fact, they were granted a U.S. Patent for the cure of cardiovascular disease in 1994. Their non- prescription therapy is called the Pauline Therapy. It was Dr. Pauling's theory that heart disease is a result of chronic vitamin C deficiency. This is a high dose therapy. More details of their therapy can be seen here.
Adrenal fatigue- A constant state of stress can lead to adrenal fatigue, and weakened immune system. Your hormone and energy levels may be affected as well. If you have trouble sleeping, feel run down, have blood sugar problems, or even dark circles under your eyes, you may be suffering from adrenal fatigue. Besides seeking medical attention, there are some nutrients that may help. It is reported that Vitamin C can play a role in influencing cortisol levels in their response to stress. It is also reported that 3000 mg daily has been used in human studies to help combat this.
There is an overwhelming amount of information supporting the benefits of vitamin C. I have found that it is so useful for so many things, it is one supplement I will not be without.
For serious health issues, It is best to seek out the expertise of a Medical team that is familiar with high dose type of treatment that can guide you. For daily supplementation, boosting your "C" a little may be your best defense.