The Natural Way: The benefits of Vitamin C

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Vitamin C is one of the best-studied supplements. No one disagrees on the many benefits this required vitamin provide. The impact on health, vitality and beauty is well documented. Clinical studies number in the thousands with many being done on very large groups of human beings, so there is little question that Vitamin C is very good for you in amounts up to 4000 mg. The place of question has to do with how much a person should take on a daily basis.

Many are familiar with Dr. Linus Pauling and his work with Vitamin C. He would use enormous amounts on his patients and then report the outcome on different diseases. Obviously, he wasnít just looking at the dietary need but the therapeutic use on ailments. He opened the door to the study and use of Vitamin C and decades later with his work still being influential in the debate of how much to use.

A big question is: Can our bodies use enormous amounts of Vitamin C if taken orally and digested? Or is it that huge doses can really only be helpful if done in a doctorís office and given through a needle into a vein? Trouble is, outcome studies of super high amounts donít always agree with each other. We do know Vitamin C flushes through our systems quickly with only a certain amount being absorbed. Too much and your colon will tell you.

The form of Vitamin C is also one of those question areas. It seems clear Vitamin C is best when combined with bioflavanoids. In nature, we would normally get this combination when eating citrus including the white material just under the peel. Rose hips prove this true as well. Recently, chemists have esterfied Vitamin C giving an improved absorption over time as the tablet digests at optimal places in the small bowel. An ascorbyl (Vitamin C) palmitate (a fat from coconut) is a novel and improved way of digesting C without it going through the kidneys, which improves the absorbed dose through the digestive cycle.

I usually tell people to eat plenty of citrus, berries and brightly colored veggies. Juices are good if not loaded down with sugar or corn syrup. Taking extra C is a good thing for our immune systems; ester C at 1,000mg/day or 500mg of ascorbyl palmitate on a regular basis does a good job.