Vitamin C is a complex of ascorbic acid, minerals and bioflavonoids.
It’s needed for a number of functions in the body; an anti-oxidant, redox reactions, building enzymes and collagen. Think of C for Collagen.
Ascorbic acid is the main active ingredient. It’s a simple organic molecule converted from glucose by an enzyme which enters the cell by the same receptor to glucose. Humans lack the enzyme needed to convert glucose to ascorbic acid so our ascorbic acid must come from food.
Ascorbic acid is powerful, simple, safe and inexpensive. The only other supplement this good is iodine.
If we don’t have any Vitamin C for a couple of months we get “scurvy” and literally disintegrate, it looks like we’re rotting apart – teeth fall out, joints collapse, blood hemorrhages through the skin. After about four months without ascorbic acid we die an ignominious and horrible death. Collagen has weakened so catastrophically the corpse of a scurvy victim can’t be picked up by the arms and legs because they just tear off the body.
The classic modern victim of scurvy is a child with meningococcal disease. The flourishing bacteria cause massive oxidative stress which quenches all available ascorbic acid, especially at the periphery (limbs). Blood vessels lose collagen integrity and leak, tissue dies. The most critically required medicine is IV Vitamin C, but sadly the children only get IV antibiotics and amputation.
Most people consume far less than their needs and suffer a wide range of distressing health problems they can’t understand. It’s called ‘sub-clinical scurvy’ – scurvy without the gross clinical signs. It could be a weak immune system with allergies and hay fever. It could be deep exhaustion from collapsed adrenal glands. It could show signs of weak collagen such as spider veins, loose teeth, weak joints or retinal detachment.
Amounts to Consume
The balance between vitamin C levels against adrenal hormone secretion and oxidative stressors has been well studied and most functions of the body can be measured in the blood.
The Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) is 45 milligrams (mg). People eating a healthy diet consume 200-300 mg vitamin C daily, an amount easily obtainable from fruit and vegetables. At this intake the plasma levels of vitamin C become fairly stable as metabolic functions proceed.
Supplements are usually 500 mg tablets of ascorbic acid, the main active ingredient. This is a common amount to use in scientific trials; which generally show slight benefit from the vitamin C without useful medical effects.
Yet for adult humans to have similar tissue levels as animals which synthesize their own vitamin C we need 10,000 mg daily (10 grams). Under stress, if injured or sick, this requirement goes up to 30grams, even 50 or 80 grams.
Recommended Daily Allowance, or Therapeutic Prescribing?
Two different perspectives emerge.
One sees daily food intake as the normal amount. The other knows we need much more and takes ascorbic acid as a twice daily supplement.
What happens if someone begins high doses of ascorbic acid?
The effect of initial high doses is often diarrhea because the gut cannot absorb it. Then, the cells increase in vitality because vitamin C supports so much of cell function. There will be detoxification with chemicals and heavy metals moving into circulation. Mineral imbalances and deficiencies may occur including a slight copper deficiency. You could feel unwell.
If higher doses are attempted a health plan should be decided.
Yet for a well mineralized person whose body is fairly clear of toxins a daily intake of 10,000 mg becomes a normal baseline for being healthy and feeling well.
It’s best to use the most natural vitamin C possible, which is preferably from foods or superfoods. If ascorbic acid is used it should be mixed with bioflavonoids and minerals. Vitamin C is a water soluble vitamin so supplements don’t last beyond about 6 hours in the body, doses have to be divided and spread out through the day; minimum twice a day, optimum dosing is 4 times daily. Start with about 1000 mg daily and increase slowly to a daily average of about 10,000mg a day.
Vitamin C is safe and necessary.
Vitamin C is as powerful as a pharmaceutical yet very safe even at extremely high doses.
After it was first made in a laboratory in the early 1930’s it was trialed extensively over the next 20 years. No-one was ever harmed and no toxic upper limit was ever established.
But the 1950’s were a time of growth for chemistry and pharmacology – the active principles of herbs were isolated and patented, new drugs were synthesized. Ascorbic acid is not the kind of beneficial compound that suits the pharmaceutical model, it was vilified and suppressed. Many people think it’s dangerous!
Few doctors recommend ascorbic acid and none will prescribe it. It’s doubtful they can even recognize scurvy. For example, it has been shown that 90% of people admitted to hospital are deficient in Vitamin C and that everyone leaves hospital with lower levels than when they entered.
Please take control, keep a stock of Ascorbic Acid powder and maintain a good daily dose.