One thing I’ve never understood is why people run for vitamin C products at the first sign of a cold, buying highly MARKETED and overpriced products, some laden with toxic chemicals, for their symptoms when vitamin C is indicated for PREVENTION?
Taking specific doses of RAW vitamin C well before the onset of symptoms can provide immunity to getting the virus, especially for those who are VERY athletic, such as competitive athletes or those who perform challenging physical labor in extreme temperatures outdoor.
Along with BATS, MONKEYS and GUINNEA PIGS, humans are one of the few animals who do not make our OWN vitamin C within our bodies because we lack an enzyme that helps us produce it on our own. A body deficient in vitamin C can develop a host of mild to severe issues and complications, including secondary complications that can result in death.
Therefore, vitamin C is deemed an essential nutrient for the body to operate optimally.
This includes preventing certain infections and conditions, wound healing and improved cardiovascular health. It is listed by our own regulating entities at a minimal dosage as a vitamin required to prevent scurvy, a disease that causes poor wound healing, bleeding gums, tooth loss, fatigue and anemia, but it’s dose requirements and implications are far greater!
Vitamin C is HIGHLY indicated in chronic pain reduction and physical healing. Many studies have found HIGH DOSE daily therapy with vitamin C to reduce chronic pain in back, neck, knee and shoulder. It is also proven to reduce illness affiliated with chemotherapy in cancer patients.
This essential, but often absent nutrient, is actually the key component in COLLAGEN and CONNECTIVE TISSUE building and maintenance in the body, both of which are necessary for healing!
Think about it. Cartilage in the knee causing inflammation and pain, degenerative disc problems with the back, old shoulder injuries, hip pain, knee injury from repetitive motion such as running or contact sport, chronic pain affiliated with POST-surgical repairs all play a role in the chronic pain we experience.
Chronic pain negatively impacts our quality of life, lessening our ability to do what we enjoy and what makes us happy and feeling fulfilled. We tend to make MORE excuses and make MORE toxic decisions that actually decrease our quality of life and create additional complications and problems.
Vitamin C is necessary in wound healing, which is extremely important in surgical situations and those with diabetic or other skin wounds.
Vitamin C is believed, at high doses, to reduce inflammation in the body. This includes inflammation around joints and connective tissues that cause pain and limit movements. This may be due to its powerful antioxidant properties, which help rid the body of FREE RADICALS, or substances that are known to cause inflammation and increase incidences of heart disease and cancer.
Studies have found that high doses of this powerful nutrient actually reduces heart damage by 20%, which is substantial in those with heart disease!
It has shown improvement in preventing and healing heart disease, cycstic fibrosis, bone disease, anemia, illness, including the common cold virus, inflammatory conditions, reducing chronic pain, allergies, healing injury and surgical wounds, blood vessel stability and so much more!
It is also believed to prevent and even reverse skin damage caused by the UV rays of the sun, which actually deplete the vitamin C levels!
Obese and overweight individuals have a higher incidence of vitamin C deficiency, and even HIGHER in the the Hispanic communities. This deficiency actually contributes to the bodies ability to lose fat, possibly belly fat, although it has little impact on weight loss.
So, are you struggling with belly fat? Chronic pain? Slow wound or injury healing? Constant allergies? Frequent illness and trips to the doctor for sniffles and colds? Are you contemplating surgery? Do you drink alcohol socially or even more and / or smoke/vape? Do you spend a lot of your time outdoors in the day sun or in a tanning bed? Do you eat poor quality foods, including junk foods, restaurant foods, snacks, sugar (hidden sugar), energy drinks, etc?
You are probably deficient in Vitamin C!
Not to mention it’s role in the collagen production and maintenance of our body, which actually begins to DECREASE after the age of 25 years old and even more rapidly in those who SMOKE, CONSUME SUGAR and spend time in the UV rays and causes aging skin, arthritis and chronic joint pain, there are a HOST of health benefits for taking DAILY VITAMIN C.
So the magic question is how much vitamin C and what type?
Contrary to popular belief, the BEST way to obtain vitamin C is through your diet, or food choices. This means raw or gently cooked fresh foods that are bursting with this nutrient.
Everyone NEEDS vitamin C as most people are in such a toxic, medication induced state consuming acid dominant foods, smoking, eating sugar in everything and drinking alcohol. The more toxic exposure and poor lifestyle choices you make, the more healthy and pain issues you have, the more you NEED it!
So the million dollar question is how much do I need and where do I get it?
I like to start with the ‘where’. If you are right with your nutrition and the fact that there are no mistakes in nature, then you shouldn’t t have many issues obtaining this powerhouse of healing and disease prevention.
The highest sources are found in FRESH papaya, broccoli, Brussels and cauliflower, followed by green and red peppers, spinach, strawberries, pineapple and kale, all of which contain OVER 100 mg per serving, papaya having the highest concentration at double that amount! It can also be found in other foods as well, but at lower concentrations, such as oranges, melons and cauliflower.
Adding an abundance of these vegetables and fruits to each meal and snack is essential. A fresh spinach, strawberry and red pepper salad, fresh broccoli and cauliflower stems, oven roasted Brussels and even fresh pineapple for dessert. Of course popping a mandarin orange or two into your mouth periodically can be a simple and easy alternative!
Real food sources are the MOST bio-available, meaning they are absorbed and start working immediately and last longer in the body!
If your lifestyle or geographical region does not allow for ample vitamin c, supplementation may be necessary. The best form of supplementation is RAW vitamin c.
Raw is derived from real foods and therefore maintains the same properties as direct food consumption. Conversely, Ascorbic Acid which is found in synthesized supplements and as food additives, has a short active period and therefore doesn’t supplement at the level needed. Moreover, it is often made from high fructose corn syrup from other countries which allow for genetically modified seeds, depleting even greater amounts of the benefits.
If supplementing, look for RAW vitamin C.
Finally, because vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin and excess is simply removed through the urine stream, it is very difficult to take ‘too much’. Studies have repeatedly proven that there isn’t a toxic level of vitamin C, and therefore can be safely consumed.
Generally, too much of it can cause minor stomach upset, but for many who live a toxic lifestyle, their levels of gas, bloating, intestinal distress and stomach issues are already at peak!
The amount you need is relative to your lifestyle and the many factors surrounding your daily habits and routines.
Do you smoke/vape/use tobacco products?
Are you obese or overweight?
Do you drink alcohol socially? weekly?
Do you eat a host of colorful fruits and veggies every day at every meal?
Do you sleep well, 6-8 unbroken hours?
Do you take medications? Prescription or otherwise?
Do you use chemical products on your skin/body?
Do you spend a lot of time indoors?
Are you under stress?
Do you spend a lot of time unprotected in the heat and direct sun of the day or use tanning beds?
Do you eat a lot of processed foods?
Do you eat a lot of hidden sugars in your foods?
Do you eat a lot of sugar or candy/sweets?
Do you have an active lifestyle with regular activity 3-4 days a week?
Do you drink plenty of unflouridated water?
Are you exposed to toxic metals such as aluminum, fluoride and others?
Are you over 25?
Do you have any chronic health issues or injuries or disease?
These factors all play into how much YOU need!
Although I do NOT follow FDA guidelines for my own health on vitamins and minerals or food sources as medicine and disease prevention, I do know the guidelines are a place to start with a smoking male needing about 130-140 mg per day to prevent diseases such as scurvy. Add in any other lifestyle factors, however, and these numbers shift dramatically.
It is said that between 2,000 – 3,000 mg per day is the safe zone, where stomach issues are not likely seen.
My husband takes approximately 4,000 – 6,000 mg each day, and I take approximately 2,000 – 3,000 mg each day.
People with kidney stones are said to not take more than 1,000 mg per day. It seems as though the optimal
daily level is around 1,000 mg per day for a healthy individual and a little higher, around 1,500-2,000 mg for those in a moderately toxic state, but MUCH HIGHER for those who are smoking, drinking, medicated, have poor eating habits and live a life that is stressed out.
Research sources like Dr. Alan Mandell, Dr Sydney Bush, Dr. Mathias Rath and other physicians who wrote books on their own groundbreaking research surrounding vitamin C benefits.
Bottom line, you probably aren’t where you need to be in terms of vitamin C intake!
And as with any concern or question, always consult your holistic physician or health care provider who is an expert in vitamins and mineral.