Category Archives: Vitamin C

Fighting Off Winter Illness With the Help of Vitamin C

Fight-Winter-Illness-Vitamin-C

With winter approaching, the majority of us modify our skincare routines, what we wear, and even what we eat in response to the colder, drier air. In addition to weather changes, winter also brings cold and flu season. Fortunately, changing your supplement routine to include Vitamin C supplements may help prepare your immune system for winter and shorten any colds or cases of flu you do catch. Read on to learn interesting facts about Vitamin C and its relationship to illnesses.

Vitamin C and Its Relationship to Winter Illnesses

  • Vitamin C, also known as L-Ascorbic Acid, is the most well-known antioxidant and Vitamin C supplements are the most commonly used supplement.
  • During the winter months, Vitamin C rich fruits are typically out of season. This can make supplements especially helpful for reaching the required daily dose.
  • Since it functions as an antioxidant, C is a well-known immune booster. It helps battle flu symptoms, shorten the duration of colds, and produce collagen.
  • When you are stressed, your body needs additional L-Ascorbic Acid. Consider grabbing an orange or a supplement to keep your immune system from being dragged down by the effects of stress. According to the book, “Boost Your Immune System Naturally” by Gary Singh, free radicals can get out of control during infections. Additional amounts of C can help “mop up” extra free radicals and help the body fight infection. The book also states that this powerful antioxidant may play a role in assisting white blood cells in destroying harmful invaders such as bacteria and viruses.
  • The minimum dose of this antioxidant is 60mg per day. It is crucial to ensure you are getting this amount through food or supplements.
  • In addition to Vitamin C, Iron and Vitamin B can also be helpful for staying healthy during the winter months.

Final Thoughts

Since you are probably crossing your fingers that you stay healthy this winter, make sure that you reach the dietary requirements for Vitamin C each day either through food or supplements. Although it cannot prevent sickness completely, it may boost your body’s ability to heal quicker.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Vitamin C and Workout Recovery

Workout-Recovery-Vitamin-C

Whether you’re brand new to working out, or a veteran fitness buff, muscle recovery is a key factor in avoiding injury. Did you know that Vitamin C has been proven to aid in workout recovery? Here are a few ways this powerhouse vitamin can keep you from getting sidelined.

1) It Packs an Antioxidant Punch

Antioxidants are nutrients that block damage created by free radicals. Not only can free radicals speed the aging process of our skin, but they can also speed the rate at which our muscles break down. Adding Vitamin C to your health regimen will boost your defense against free radicals and protect your muscles after a hard workout.

2) It Fights Inflammation

Vitamin C helps boost our metabolism. Great for losing weight, but also helpful in blocking proteins that are actually harmful to our bodies. The synthesis of certain proteins can increase the risk of inflammation and infection. The more inflammation, the greater the risk of muscle injury. By blocking the chemical reactions in your body that can lead to inflammation, you’ll experience less muscle soreness and be less likely to experience an injury.

3) It Boosts Immunity

After putting your body through a grueling workout, all of your internal systems are working hard on recovery. During this time, you may experience a temporary dip in your body’s ability to fight infection. Vitamin C protects your body against the onslaught of germs, digestive distress, and other potentially harmful after-effects.

4) It Knocks Out Cortisol

Cortisol is a stress hormone that increases during times that our bodies are under stress or extreme exertion. We store excess cortisol, and it can lead to an increase in fat around our midsections. Vitamin C helps lower cortisol levels after a workout, preventing the storage of excess levels and that pesky abdominal fat.

Increasing your Vitamin C intake is a simple way to help your body recover quickly from your workouts and prepare you for your next one. Don’t risk injury or illness by neglecting to add this important vitamin to your daily regimen.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Your Heart Health and Vitamin C

vitamin c suppliements heart health

Vitamin C, also referred to as ascorbic acid, is one of the most well-known antioxidants. Linus Pauling, a two-time Nobel Prize winner, pioneered the majority of research surrounding this powerful vitamin and its numerous health benefits.

More research has been conducted on this antioxidant than almost any other nutrient. For starters, it has been shown to help prolong the onset of cataracts by a decade. It also plays a crucial role in joint, bone, and immune health. Arguably, one of its most important roles is supporting heart health.

Vitamin C and Heart Health

Ascorbic acid has been proven to provide the heart with a variety of benefits:

  • It enhances the level of natural glutathione in the body and thereby helps prevent coronary artery disease.
  • As a potent scavenger of free radicals, it helps protect arteries.
  • It helps strengthen blood vessels walls by supporting the synthesis of collagen. If collagen is weak, oxidized LDL, heavy metals, and toxins create inflammation in the vascular lining. This is how atherosclerotic plaque begins to form.
  • Vitamin C helps improve vasodilation, the ability of arteries in the heart to widen to accommodate more blood when needed – this is one of the main factors in decreasing the risk of heart disease. It improves vasodilation by increasing Nitric Oxide’s availability. Nitric Oxide is a promoter of vasodilation.

What Does the Research Say?

recent meta-analysis analyzed the effect of antioxidant supplements on arterial stiffness. The results indicated that antioxidant supplements played a significant role in helping to reduce arterial stiffness. However, decreased arterial stiffness was only observed in studies that used ascorbic acid combined with other antioxidants, such as Vitamin E. Additionally, antioxidant supplementation was the most effective in patients that already had low concentrations of Vitamins E and C in their plasma.

How to Obtain It

Vitamin C is classified as an “essential nutrient”. This means it is not manufactured by our body and must be consumed in foods or supplements. Foods rich in this antioxidant include tomatoes, citrus fruits, broccoli, strawberries, watermelon, and kiwis. Vitamin C supplements are another very effective method in meeting your daily requirements for this key vitamin.

 

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Which Organs Benefit from a Boost in Vitamin C?

vitamin c boost

While many of us know that Vitamin C helps support a healthy immune system, it also plays important roles in the health and maintenance of other organ systems. From our heart to our skin, let’s take a look at which of our bodies’ systems benefit from a boost in Vitamin C.

Cardiovascular Health

Vitamin C can be a big part of maintaining healthy blood pressure levels. Keeping blood pressure within a healthy range is important to prevent heart disease and reduce the risk of a stroke. In fact, a study from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that people with higher levels of baseline plasma vitamin C had a 42% lower risk for stroke.

Skin Health

Vitamin C is also a factor when it comes to keeping your skin healthy. A double-blind, placebo-controlled study revealed that taking liposomal Vitamin C every day can help your skin age gracefully by increasing skin firmness and reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.1 This may happen because the body uses vitamin C to produce collagen. Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body. It provides structure to many parts of the body, including bones, skin, tendons and ligaments, and is a key part of connective tissue that helps maintain firm and healthy skin.

Muscular Health

As discussed earlier, Vitamin C is essential to the natural production of collagen, which plays many roles in the muscular system.  Collagen makes up the connective tissue found in tendons and blood vessels, and muscles throughout the body.  Vitamin C may also help reduce the build-up of lactic acid during exercise and promote muscle recovery from normal exercise.

1 LivOn Labs, Princeton Consumer Research (2014) A Double-blind, Home-Use Study in Approximately 45 Healthy Volunteers with Aging, Non-Firm Skin to Assess the Efficacy or Different Treatment Dosages of a Vitamin C Dietary Supplement Compared to a Placebo Control Group.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

4 Reasons Vitamin C is Great for Skin Care 

vitamin c supplement

It’s no secret that our bodies need Vitamin C. It supports healthy immunity, prevents scurvy, and helps us feel good from day to day. But did you know that Vitamin C is also great for your skin? Here are four of the many reasons you should add Vitamin C to your skin care routine.

Important Role of Vitamin C

Important Roles of Vitamin C

Many people assume Vitamin C is only required in tiny amounts; just enough to prevent scurvy. After all, this Vitamin C-deficiency disease spawned the chemical name ascorbate for Vitamin C. Ascorbate literally means “against scurvy.” Were this its only function, tiny amounts of Vitamin C would be sufficient for most people on the planet. But, there’s vastly more it can do.

Vitamin C is required in many essential metabolic processes – two of which we have highlighted below: Collagen Synthesis and Calcium Incorporation.

Collagen Synthesis

Vitamin C is essential for the synthesis and maintenance of collagen, the most abundant protein in the human body. Collagen comprises about 25% to 35% of the total protein content in the body. Its strong, connective, elongated fibrils are found in skin, ligaments, tendons, cartilage, bone, blood vessels, the intestines, and the discs between spinal vertebrae. It is also found in the cornea and in muscle tissue.

  • Vitamin C helps protect the skin by promoting the production and migration of fibroblasts that support normal wound healing.
  • VitaminC protects against skin wrinkles seen in premature aging.
  • Increased VitaminC uptake by vascular smooth muscle cells increases the synthesis and maturation of Type I (aka Type 1) collagen.  Type I collagen accounts for about 90% of the body’s total collagen content.
  • High concentrations of VitaminC stimulate synthesis of Type IV collagen, which has important filtration characteristics in the kidney, the blood-brain barrier, and the arterial lining .

Promotes Calcium Incorporation into Bone Tissue

The formation and maintenance of quality, high-density bone material requires Vitamin C. Vitamin C promotes assimilation of calcium into the bone, protects against leaching of calcium out of the bones, and fights the oxidative stress that works against assimilation.

  • Vitamin C stimulates the formation of the cells that incorporate calcium into bone tissue (osteoblasts).
  • VitaminC inhibits the development of cells that dissolve calcium out of bone tissues (osteoclasts).
  • As a powerful antioxidant, VitaminC fights oxidative stress in bone tissues.
  • Collagen cross-linking, required to form the dense matrix for optimal bone strength, requires Vitamin C.

Vitamin C is essential to numerous functions inside the body. We’ve just outlined two more reasons to get your daily dose!

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

17 Ways Vitamin C Supports a Healthy Immune System

The power of vitamin C is often attributed to its role as an antioxidant. However, no other antioxidant can perform the many additional physiological and biological roles that vitamin C fills. To think of vitamin C as nothing more than an antioxidant would be a great understatement.

Among its many positive effects on the body, vitamin C is a strong supporter of healthy immune function. Here’s how:

  1. Vitamin C supports the production of interferons. Interferons are produced when the presence of pathogens is detected. They facilitate the ability of cells to launch protective cellular defenses.*

  2. Vitamin C enhances the function of phagocytes. Phagocytes are a type of white blood cell that envelop pathogens and other dangerous particles. Once the invaders are captured in this manner, they are enzymatically digested.*

  3. Vitamin C supports the cell-mediated immune response. There are 2 major ways that the body can respond to a pathogen: antibody-mediated immunity and cell-mediated immunity. Cell-mediated response refers to the activation of macrophages, natural killer cells, and antigen-specific T-lymphocytes that attack anything perceived as a foreign agent.*

  4. Vitamin C neutralizes oxidative stress.*

  5. Vitamin C improves and enhances the immune response achieved with vaccination.*

  6. Vitamin C enhances cytokine production by white blood cells. Cytokines are communication proteins released by certain white blood cells that transmit information to other cells, promoting the immune response.*

  7. Vitamin C inhibits various forms of T-lymphocyte death. T-lymphocytes are a type of white blood cell. They are an integral part of the cell-mediated immune defense system. Vitamin C helps to keep these important cells alive and viable.*

  8. Vitamin C enhances nitric oxide production by phagocytes. Phagocytes, as discussed in #2, are white blood cells that engulf invading microorganisms. Nitric oxide is produced in large amounts in these cells, and it is one of the agents that will kill captured pathogens.*

  9. Vitamin C enhances T-lymphocyte production. As mentioned in #7, these cells are essential to cell-mediated immune responses, and Vitamin C helps them to multiply in number.*

  10. Vitamin C enhances B-lymphocyte production. These white blood cells make antibodies as part of the antibody-mediated immune response. Antibodies are formed in reaction to the initial introduction of an invading pathogen or antigen.*

  11. Vitamin C inhibits neuraminidase production. Some pathogenic viruses and bacteria create neuraminidase, an enzyme that keeps them from being trapped in mucus, one of the body’s natural lines of defense. Inhibiting neuraminidase helps the body optimize this defensive mechanism.*

  12. Vitamin C supports antibody production and activity. Good antibody function is important to a healthy immune system.*

  13. Vitamin C supports natural killer cell activity. Natural killer cells are lymphocytes that can directly attack cells, like tumor cells, and kill them.*

  14. Vitamin C supports localized generation and interaction with hydrogen peroxide. Vitamin C and hydrogen peroxide can kill microorganisms and can dissolve the protective capsules of some bacteria, such as pneumococci. *

  15. Vitamin C enhances cyclic GMP levels in lymphocytes. Cyclic GMP plays a central role in the regulation of many physiologic responses, including the modulation of immune responses. Cyclic GMP is important for normal cell proliferation and differentiation. It also controls the action of many hormones, and it appears to mediate the relaxation of smooth muscle.*

  16. Vitamin C detoxifies histamine. This effect is important in the support of local immune factors.*

  17. Vitamin C enhances the mucolytic effect. This property helps liquefy thick secretions, increasing immune access to infection.*

  18. Vitamin C makes bacterial membranes more permeable to some antibiotics. *

  19. Vitamin C enhances prostaglandin formation. Prostaglandins are hormone-like compounds that control many physiologic processes, including regulating T-lymphocyte function.*

  20. Vitamin C concentrates in white blood cells. Some of the primary cells in the immune system concentrate Vitamin C as much as 80 times higher than the level in plasma. This assures extra delivery of Vitamin C to the sites of infection by the migration of these Vitamin C-rich white blood cells.*

References
[1] Siegel B, “Enhanced interferon response to murine leukemia virus by ascorbic acid” Infection and Immunity 1974 10(2):409-410.
[2] Siegel B, “Enhancement of interferon production by poly(rI)-poly(rC) in mouse cell cultures by ascorbic acid” Nature 1975 254(5500):531-532.
[3] Geber W, Lefkowitz S, Hung C, “Effect of ascorbic acid, sodium salicylate, and caffeine on the serum interferon level in response to viral infection” Pharmacology 1975 13(3):228-233.
[4] Dahl H ,Degre M, “The effect of ascorbic acid on production of human interferon and the antiviral activity in vitro. Acta Pathologica et Microbiologica Scandinavica. Section B” Microbiology 1976 84(5):280-284.
[5] Stone I, “The possible role of mega-ascorbate in the endogenous synthesis of interferon” Medical Hypotheses 1980 6(3):309-314.
[6] Karpinska T, Kawecki Z, Kandefer-Szerszen M, “The influence of ultraviolet irradiation, L-ascorbic acid and calcium chloride on the induction of interferon in human embryo fibroblasts” Archivum Immunologiae et Therapiae Experimentalis 1982 30(1-2)33-37.
[7] Nungester W, Ames A, “The relationship between ascorbic acid and phagocytic activity” Journal of Infectious Diseases 1948 83:50-54.
[8] Goetzl E, et al, “Enhancement of random migration and chemotactic response of human leukocytes by ascorbic acid” The Journal of Clinical Investigation 1974 53(3):813-818.
[9] Sandler J, Gallin J, Vaughan M, “Effects of serotonin, carbamylcholine, and ascorbic acid on leukocyte cyclic GMP and chemotaxis” The Journal of Cell Biology 1975 67(2 Pt 1):480-484.
[10] Boxer L, et al, “Correction of leukocyte function in Chediak-Higashi syndrome by ascorbate” The New England Journal of Medicine 1976 295(19):1041-1045.
[11] Ganguly R, Durieux M, Waldman R, “Macrophage function in vitamin C-deficient guinea pigs” The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 1976 29(7):762-765.
[12] Anderson R, Dittrich O, “Effects of ascorbate on leucocytes. Part IV. Increased neutrophil function and clinical improvement after oral ascorbate in 2 patients with chronic granulomatous disease” South African Medical Journal 1979 56(12):476-480.
[13] Anderson R, Theron A, “Effects of ascorbate on leucocytes. Part III. In vitro and in vivo stimulation of abnormal neutrophil motility by ascorbate” South African Medical Journal 1979 56(11):429-433.
[14] Anderson R, et al, “The effects of increasing weekly doses of ascorbate on certain cellular and humoral immune functions in normal volunteers” The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 1980 33(1):71-76.
[15] Anderson R, et al, “The effect of ascorbate on cellular humoral immunity in asthmatic children” South African Medical Journal 1980 58(24):974-977.
[16] Dallegri F, Lanzi G, Patrone F, “Effects of ascorbic acid on neutrophil locomotion” International Archives of Allergy and Applied Immunology 1980 61(1):40-45.
[17] Corberand J, et al, “Malignant external otitis and polymorphonuclear leukocyte migration impairment. Improvement with ascorbic acid” Archives of Otolaryngology 1982 108(2):122-124.
[18] Patrone F, et al, “Effects of ascorbic acid on neutrophil function. Studies on normal and chronic granulomatous disease neutrophils” Acta Vitaminologica et Enzymologica 1982 4(1-2):163-168.
Cunningham-Rundles S, “Effects of nutritional status on immunological function” The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 1982 35(5 Suppl):1202-1210.
[19] Oberritter H, et al, “Effect of functional stimulation on ascorbate content in phagocytes under physiological and pathological conditions” International Archives of Allergy and Applied Immunology 1986 81(1):46-50.
[20] Levy R, Schlaeffer F, “Successful treatment of a patient with recurrent furunculosis by vitamin C: improvement of clinical course and of impaired neutrophil functions” International Journal of Dermatology 1993 32(11):832-834.
[21] Levy R, et al, “Vitamin C for the treatment of recurrent furunculosis in patients with impaired neutrophil functions” The Journal of Infectious Diseases 1996 173(6):1502-1505.
[22] Ciocoiu M, et al, “The involvement of vitamins C and E in changing the immune response” [Article in Romanian] Revista Medico-Chirurgicala a Societatii de Medici si Naturalisti din Iasi 1998 102(1-2):93-96.
De la Fuente M, et al, “Immune function in aged women is improved by ingestion of vitamins C and E” Canadian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology 1998 76(4):373-380.
[23] Glick D, Hosoda S, “Histochemistry. LXXViii. Ascorbic acid in normal mast cells and macrophages and neoplastic mast cells” Proceedings of the Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine 1965 119:52-56.
[24] Thomas W, Holt P, “Vitamin C and immunity: an assessment of the evidence” Clinical and Experimental Immunology 1978 32(2):370-379.
[25] Evans R, Currie L, Campbell A, “The distribution of ascorbic acid between various cellular components of blood, in normal individuals, and its relation to the plasma concentration” The British Journal of Nutrition 1982 47(3):473-482.
[26] Goldschmidt M, “Reduced bactericidal activity in neutrophils from scorbutic animals and the effect of ascorbic acid on these target bacteria in vivo and in vitro” The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 1991 54(6 Suppl):1214S-1220S.
[27] Washko P, Wang Y, Levine M, “Ascorbic acid recycling in human neutrophils” The Journal of Biological Chemistry 1993 268(21):15531-15535.
[28] Siegel B, Morton J, “Vitamin C and the immune response” Experientia 1977 33(3):393-395.
Jeng K, et al, “Supplementation with vitamins C and E enhances cytokine production by peripheral blood mononuclear cells in healthy adults” The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 1996 64(6):960-965.
Campbell J, et al, “Ascorbic acid is a potent inhibitor of various forms of T cell apoptosis” Cellular Immunology 1999 194(1):1-5.
[29] Mizutani A, et al, “Ascorbate-dependent enhancement of nitric oxide formation in activated macrophages. Nitric Oxide: Biology and Chemistry 1998 2(4):235-241.
[30] Mizutani A. Tsukagoshi N, “Molecular role of ascorbate in enhancement of NO production in activated macrophage-like cell line, J774.1” Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology 1999 45(4):423-435.
[31] Fraser R, et al, “The effect of variations in vitamin C intake on the cellular immune response of guinea pigs” The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 1980 33(4):839-847.
Kennes B, et al, “Effect of vitamin C supplements on cell-mediated immunity in old people” Gerontology 1983 29(5):305-310.
[32] Wu C, Dorairajan T, Lin T, “Effect of ascorbic acid supplementation on the immune response of chickens vaccinated and challenged with infectious bursal disease virus” Veterinary Immunology and Immunopathology 2000 74(1-2):145-152.
[33] Schwager J, Schulze J, “Influence of ascorbic acid on the response to mitogens and interleukin production of porcine lymphocytes” International Journal for Vitamin and Nutrition Research 1997 67(1):10-16.
[34] Rotman D, “Sialoresponsin and an antiviral action of ascorbic acid” Medical Hypotheses 1978 4(1):40-43.
[35] Ecker E, Pillemer L, “Vitamin C requirement of the guinea pig” Proceedings of the Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine 1940 44:262.
[36] Bourne G, “Vitamin C and immunity” The British Journal of Nutrition 1949 2:342.
Prinz W, et al, “The effect of ascorbic acid supplementation on some parameters of the human immunological defence system” International Journal for Vitamin and Nutrition Research 1977 47(3):248-257.
[37] Vallance S, “Relationships between ascorbic acid and serum proteins of the immune system” British Medical Journal 1977 2(6084):437-438.
[38] Sakamoto M, et al, “The effect of vitamin C deficiency on complement systems and complement components” Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology 1981 27(4):367-378.
Feigen G, et al, “Enhancement of antibody production and protection against systemic anaphylaxis by large doses of vitamin C” Research Communications in Chemical Pathology and Pharmacology 1982 38(2):313-333.
[39] Li Y, Lovell T, “Elevated levels of dietary ascorbic acid increase immune responses in channel catfish” The Journal of Nutrition 1985 115(1):123-131.
[40] Wahli T, Meier W, Pfister K, “Ascorbic acid induced immune-mediated decrease in mortality in Ichthyophthirius multifiliis infected rainbow-trout (Salmo gairdneri)” Acta Tropica 1986 43(3):287-289.
[41] Johnston C, Kolb W, Haskell B, “The effect of vitamin C nutriture on complement component C1q concentrations in guinea pig plasma” The Journal of Nutrition 1987 117(4):764-768.
[42] Haskell B, Johnston C, “Complement component C1q activity and ascorbic acid nutriture in guinea pigs” The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 1991 54(6 Suppl):1228S-1230S.
[43] Wu C, Dorairajan T, Lin T, “Effect of ascorbic acid supplementation on the immune response of chickens vaccinated and challenged with infectious bursal disease virus” Veterinary Immunology and Immunopathology 2000 74(1-2):145-152.
[44] Heuser G, Vojdani A, “Enhancement of natural killer cell activity and T and B cell function by buffered vitamin C in patients exposed to toxic chemicals: the role of protein kinase-C” Immunopharmacology and Immunotoxicology 1997 19(3):291-312.
[45] Horrobin D, et al, “The nutritional regulation of T lymphocyte function” Medical Hypotheses 1979 5(9):969-985.
[46] Scott J, “On the biochemical similarities of ascorbic acid and interferon” Journal of Theoretical Biology 1982 98(2):235-238.
[47] Siegel B, Morton J, “Vitamin C and immunity: influence of ascorbate on prostaglandin E2 synthesis and implications for natural killer cell activity” International Journal for Vitamin and Nutrition Research 1984 54(4):339-342.
[48] Atkinson J, et al, “Effects of ascorbic acid and sodium ascorbate on cyclic nucleotide metabolism in human lymphocytes” Journal of Cyclic Nucleotide Research 1979 5(2):107-123.
[49] Panush R, et al, “Modulation of certain immunologic responses by vitamin C. III. Potentiation of in Vitro and in vivo lymphocyte responses” International Journal for Vitamin and Nutrition Research. Supplement 1982 23:35-47.
[50] Strangeways W, “Observations on the trypanocidal action in vitro of solutions of glutathione and ascorbic acid” Annals of Tropical Medicine and Parasitology 1937 31:405-416.
[51] Miller T, “Killing and lysis of gram-negative bacteria through the synergistic effect of hydrogen peroxide, ascorbic acid, and lysozyme” Journal of Bacteriology 1969 98(3):949-955.
[52] Tappel A, “Lipid peroxidation damage to cell components” Federation Proceedings 1973 32(8):1870-1874.
[53] Kraut E, Metz E, Sagone A, “In vitro effects of ascorbate on white cell metabolism and the chemiluminescence response” Journal of the Reticuloendothelial Society 1980 27(4):359-366.
[54] Robertson W, Ropes M, Bauer W, “The degradation of mucins and polysaccharides by ascorbic acid and hydrogen peroxide” The Biochemical Journal 1941 35:903.
[55] Nandi B, et al, “Effect of ascorbic acid on detoxification of histamine under stress conditions” Biochemical Pharmacology 1974 23(3):643-647.
[56] Johnston C, Martin L, Cai X, “Antihistamine effect of supplemental ascorbic acid and neutrophil chemotaxis” Journal of the American College of Nutrition 1992 11(2):172-176.
[57] Kastenbauer S, et al, “Oxidative stress in bacterial meningitis in humans” Neurology 2002 58(2):186-191.
[58] Versteeg J, “Investigations on the effect of ascorbic acid on antibody production in rabbits after injection of bacterial and viral antigens by different routes. Proceedings of the Koninklijke Nederlandse Akademie van Wetenschappen. Series C” Biological and Medical Sciences 1970 73(5):494-501.
[59] Banic S, “Immunostimulation by vitamin C” International Journal for Vitamin and Nutrition Research. Supplement 1982 23:49-52.
[60] Wu C, Dorairajan T, Lin T, “Effect of ascorbic acid supplementation on the immune response of chickens vaccinated and challenged with infectious bursal disease virus” Veterinary Immunology and Immunopathology 2000 74(1-2):145-152.
[61] Ericsson Y, “The effect of ascorbic acid oxidation on mucoids and bacteria in body secretions” Acta Pathologica et Microbiologica Scandinavica 1954 35:573-583.
[62] Rawal B, “Bactericidal action of ascorbic acid on Pseudomonas aeruginosa: alteration of cell surface as a possible mechanism” Chemotherapy 1978 24(3):166-171.

©2014 LivOn Labs. Content adapted from Primal Panacea by Thomas E. Levy, MD, JD.

Can Vitamin C Upset Your Stomach?

upset stomach

Vitamin C is well known for providing many benefits, including shortening the duration of a cold, boosting the immune system and supporting the natural production of collagen.  But yes, taking high doses of traditional vitamin C – pills, powders, and capsules – can upset your stomach and then some…

Here’s why:

Most traditional vitamin C supplements contain straight ascorbic acid.  Ascorbic acid is recognized as the primary force behind the power of vitamin C, but it is an acid.  A moderate amount of acid in the gastric system helps to digest food and kill bacteria, but too much acid leads to heartburn, bloating, belching, and flatulence.

High quality vitamin C supplements use gentler, less-acidic types of vitamin C to help prevent this gastric upset.  These supplements typically include sodium ascorbate, ascorbic acid with bioflavonoids, ascorbyl palmitate, calcium ascorbate, or mineral forms of ascorbate.

The type of vitamin C you take, however, is only one part of the issue.  Because no matter what type of vitamin C you ingest, it’s primarily absorbed through an active transport system (unless it’s encapsulated in liposomes, but we’ll get to that later).

Active transport of vitamin C relies on sodium-dependent vitamin C co-transporters (SVCTs) to carry each vitamin C molecule through special doorways into the bloodstream, cell or tissue.  SVCTs can only carry one molecule of vitamin C through one door at a time.

This system works efficiently for a healthy person taking small doses of vitamin C, but when you take high doses of vitamin C, the absorption is severely restricted by the number of SVCTs and the number of open doors. If there aren’t enough SVCTs to carry all of the vitamin C into the blood, or all of the doors are closed, the vitamin C that was not absorbed is forced to exit the body.

This forced exit occurs because the most common forms of vitamin C are water soluble – meaning the vitamin C dissolves in water, and cannot be stored by the body for later use.  So when a large dose of water soluble vitamin C is taken and there are not enough SVCTs or open doors, all of the unabsorbed vitamin C is sent to the colon. Water is then drawn into the colon in order to dilute and excrete the vitamin C.  Then… straight to the bathroom.

Unless you are looking for a good cleanse, there are two ways to prevent these unpleasant experiences when taking high doses of vitamin C:

  • Take single doses of <500 mg of sodium ascorbate, several times a day.  Sodium ascorbate is recommended most by vitamin C experts, and it is commonly used in high dose intravenous (IV) infusions.
  • Take vitamin C encapsulated in liposomes.  Liposomes are tiny spheres that form a protective membrane around the vitamin C.  This prevents the vitamin C from being destroyed in the digestive system, while promoting delivery directly into the bloodstream and cells.  And because liposomes do not use the body’s active transport system, you can take high doses of liposomal vitamin C without worrying about where to find the nearest bathroom.

References:

  • Li, Y. and Schellhorn, E. 2007. New developments and novel therapeutic perspectives for vitamin C. Journal of Nutrition. 137: 2171-2184
  • Hickey S., Roberts H, Miller N, (2008), “Pharmacokinetics of oral vitamin C” Journal of Nutritional & Environmental Medicine July 31.

© 2014 LivOn Labs

Researchers Claim RDA For Vitamin C is Flawed

The controversy over vitamin C and orthomolecular medicine began with the publication of Linus Pauling’s book, “Vitamin C and the Common Cold”. A quarter of a century later the controversy around vitamin C continues.

Steve Hickey, PhD and Hillary Roberts, Phd, pharmacology professors and graduates of the University of Manchester in Britain, are challenging the established Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for vitamin C, which is 75 and 90 milligrams for males and females respectively. In their book “Ascorbate, The Science of Vitamin C”, Hickey and Roberts point out some biological flaws to justify their attack on the RDA for vitamin C. The rapid elimination of vitamin C was demonstrated graphically; however, the Institute of Medicine (IM) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) did not account for the half-life of vitamin C. This flawed approach is one of the main contentions that Drs. Hickey and Roberts maintain.

Half Life of Vitamin C

The half life of any substance is the time it takes for half of the substance to be removed from the body. Vitamin C’s half life is quite short, about 30 minutes in blood plasma, a fact that the IM and NIH failed to recognize. NIH researchers established the RDA for vitamin C by conducting a test 12 hours or 24 half life’s after consumption. Due to the short half life of vitamin C, many studies make the conclusion that high-dose supplemental vitamin C is ineffective. Drs. Hickey and Roberts state that due to its rapid deterioration, a very high dose of vitamin C would not achieve the same concentration in the blood serum over time as several administered doses.

Drs. Hickey and Roberts decided to perform an experiment to measure the blood plasma levels of liposomal vitamin C, which was published in the Journal of Nutritional and Environmental Medicine. It was titled Pharmacokinetics of oral vitamin C. Their results indicate that, following oral intakes, high blood plasma levels can be achieved with liposomal vitamin C formulations. The results suggest that such levels (400microM/L or above) could be sustained indefinitely with repeated dosing at short intervals (say 5-grams every 4-hours).

RDA for Vitamin C

In the past, Drs. Hickey and Roberts have shaken the foundation and confidence of the IM and NIH for failing to investigate the use of high-dose vitamin C properly. They have repeatedly challenged the RDA for vitamin C on studies using only 15 healthy subjects and single dosages. They also contend that the RDA is intended to set a level of nutrient consumption that would prevent disease, specifically Scurvy, among the vast majority of the population. However their research shows that 35% of the population is in need of more than the RDA including:

  • Smokers ( 50 million)
  • Estrogen and Birth Control Pill Users (13 and 18 million)
  • Diabetics (16 million)
  • Pregnant females (4 million)
  • and even people taking aspirin

Contradictory Data

Drs. Hickey and Roberts confronted the IM and NIH with their own data however they claim the saturation point is reached at a certain concentration of ascorbic acid in blood plasma. They later published a paper in early 2004  showing they had achieved three times greater concentration of vitamin C in the blood circulation than previously thought possible using high-dose vitamin C [Annals Internal Medicine, April 6, 140: 533-37,2004]. A similar published German study also confirms vitamin C supplements can elevate vitamin C concentrations beyond what NIH scientists said was possible. [Archives Biochemistry Biophysics, March 423: 109-15, 2004]. NIH researchers continue to maintain that no more than 200 milligrams of oral vitamin C is required for human health and that a diet which includes the recommended five servings of fruits and vegetables would provide adequate vitamin C. But only 9 percent of the US population consumes 5 servings of plant foods daily. The National Cancer Institute has abandoned their 5-a-day recommendation in favor of a 9-a-day servings of fruits and vegetables once they realized five servings did not provide the proper dietary intake of vitamin C and other essential vitamins in the prevention of cancer or heart disease.

Hickey has called for the IM and NIH to retract the current RDA or provide scientific justification for their recommendation.

What do you think? Is the RDA for vitamin C adequate?

For more on the RDA for vitamin C, check out our article about the RDA for Guinea Pigs.

Are You Healthier Than A Guinea Pig?

The US Recommended Dietary Allowance for vitamin C is higher for Guinea Pigs than it is for humans!

You may be thinking, that can’t be true but read on.

The US Department of Agriculture states

“The Guinea pig’s vitamin C requirement is 10-15 mg per day under normal conditions and 15-25 mg per day if pregnant, lactating, or growing.”(1)

Doesn’t sound shocking until you realize that an adult guinea pig weighs about 2.2 pounds. Guinea pigs therefore need between 10-25 milligrams of vitamin c per pound. The average human weighs 180 pounds however the US RDA for vitamin C is 90 mg for men, 75 mg for women, and if you smoke, they allow an additional 35 mg/day. All of these figures are inadequate if we measure up pound for pound with the guinea pig.

guinea pigs vitamin c

So how much vitamin C should we consume?

If we use the same logic the US Government uses on guinea pigs, our vitamin C intake should be between 820 mg and 2,000 mg.

According to a recent article written by Andrew W. Saul, Ph.D., it is “no wonder that so many people are sick and no wonder their medical bills are so high.”

Dr. Saul concludes his article by saying, “If we are going to have health insurance coverage for everyone, wouldn’t it be nice for the government to first offer us the same deal it gives to Guinea pigs?”

What do you think?

guinea-pig-480x280

(1) US Department of Agriculture Animal Care Resource Guide, Animal Care, 12.4.2 http://www.aphis.usda.gov/animal_welfare