Category Archives: Ask a Doctor

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

Beware of Fake Supplements

beware of fake supplements

In their column, “Health Advice”, Drs. Oz and Roizen, recently discussed “Supplemental Phonies.” The Doctors referenced a study that looked at 44 herbal products, 30 species of herbs and 50 leaf samples. The study concluded that:

  • 59% of the products contained material from plants NOT listed on the label.
  • Just 48% contained what they claimed as the active ingredient.
  • Of the 12 companies researched, only two delivered what they promised on the label without any substitutions.

Study Conclusion

The study used DNA barcoding to conduct a blind test of the authenticity for 44 herbal products representing 12 companies. Their findings were shocking.

“Most of the herbal products tested were of poor quality, including considerable product substitution, contamination and use of fillers. These activities dilute the effectiveness of otherwise useful remedies, lowering the perceived value of all related products because of a lack of consumer confidence in them. We suggest that the herbal industry should embrace DNA barcoding for authenticating herbal products through testing of raw materials used in manufacturing products. The use of an SRM DNA herbal barcode library for testing bulk materials could provide a method for ‘best practices’ in the manufacturing of herbal products. This would provide consumers with safe, high quality herbal products.”

See the abstract of the study

Our Promise to You

As a loyal LivOn Labs’ customer, you can rest assured that all of our high performance dietary supplements meet or exceed industry standards. If an ingredient is printed on our cartons; we guarantee that the unadulterated ingredient is included in the supplement. Furthermore, each and every batch of Lypo-Spheric™ supplements undergoes rigorous laboratory testing before it is ever released to you!

LivOn Labs works hard to ensure our products meet our strict requirements. Our products are all non-GMO, dairy free, vegan, animal cruelty free, sugar free and free of artificial flavoring. We are the supplement of choice for those concerned about their health

Beware of fake supplements!

Man Plans God Laughs

Dr. William Thornton enrolled at the National College of Natural Medicine (NCNM) in 1975. Thirty-eight years later he received his degree in Naturopathic Medicine.

Man plans god laughs

Obviously, Dr. Thornton’s education took a long and windy road before he finally graduated in 2012. Ironically, just three months before graduation, his health caused yet another detour. As Dr. Thornton says, “Man Plans God Laughs.”

In describing his educational journey in his essay, “We’re not in Kansas anymore,” Dr. Thornton relates:

… a sudden onset of bacteremia and endocarditis put me in the hospital, threatening to take me permanently out of school and out of life. As my very competent physicians ….puzzled over the cause of the infection, they administered massive amounts of IV antibiotics. In between hospitalizations, there were high doses of IV  vitamin C (sodium ascorabete) … which I credit from keeping me from sepsis. The infection was eventually narrowed down to a root canal tooth gone bad. I believe the IV-C saved my life, in conjunction with the fine work of my MD physicians….

 

Ironically, the efficacy of IV-C and the work of Thomas Levy, MD, JD, sparked my interest in wanting to provide this service for patients with infections, and they are part of the original motivation that brought me back to NCNM.

Today Dr. Thornton is a licensed naturopathic and chiropractic physician and retirement is not part of his vernacular.

While this is a very unusual story, unfortunately Dr. Thornton’s illness is not. Connecting the Dots Between vitamin C and Root Canal-Treated Teeth
For those who doubt the connection between Root Canals, Disease and Supplements like vitamin C, we recommend an article by Dr. Thomas E. Levy, “Root Canals are a Primary Cause of Chronic Disease.” This article, which can be found on Dr. Levy’s website, www.peakenergy.com, notes that

Root canal-treated teeth can be the primary cause of chronic disease, and they can always be expected to worsen pre-existing chronic disease. As all disease eventually boils down to selected areas, tissues, and organ systems of the body having chronically increased oxidative stress, the pro-oxidant toxins of root canals promote all diseases at the cellular level. If you have one or more root canals, or if you are planning on getting one, ingest a broad spectrum of quality antioxidant supplements on a regular basis if extraction and cleaning of the socket(s) are not possibilities for you.

For those seeking more information on root canals and disease, many articles and books have been written on this subject including The Roots of Disease. Connecting Dentistry and Medicine. Philadelphia, PA: Xlibris Corporation.