Vitamin C is an essential antioxidant and is responsible for many functions in the body. While not all of the oral supplements that we take are fully absorbed, IV delivery of Vitamin C ensures that 100% of the vitamin is bioavailable. When given in high doses, Vitamin C converts from an antioxidant to an oxidative therapy.
High-dose Vitamin C IV therapy is beneficial in treating a multitude of conditions including viral and bacterial infections, cancer supportive therapy, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, allergies, arthritis, auto-immune diseases, and chronic pain.
Our high-dose Vitamin C therapy is administered by a full-time registered nurse and licensed medic that is experienced and trained in administering IV therapy. This therapy will require basic lab work from your practitioner, so please give us a call if you would like to see if high-dose Vitamin C IV therapy is right for you.
Research has discovered the powerful anti-tumor agent of Vitamin C IV Therapy. High doses of vitamin C are selectively toxic to cancer cells, meaning the vitamin C fights cancer cells while leaving healthy tissue alone.
Dr. Mark Levine, an internationally acclaimed researcher at the National Institutes of Health, led a team of researchers to analyze the cancer-killing effect of high-dose vitamin C treatment. They discovered that after a high dose and rapid intravenous infusion of vitamin C, large concentrations of vitamin C react spontaneously with the molecular oxygen within tumors and generate large amounts of hydrogen peroxide, which is lethal to tumor cells.
Its anti-cancer benefit kills the cancer cells from the inside out by forming hydrogen peroxide-based on the theory that cancer cells don’t have a catalase enzyme to break hydrogen peroxide. It boosts the immune system function, fights viruses, neutralizes bacterial toxins, removes toxic metals, and enhances the function of all organ systems. Protects cells from damage caused by free radicals. It is critical for healing many acute and chronic diseases.
Vitamin C is an essential nutrient for many reasons. Also known as ascorbic acid, Vitamin C is water-soluble, so it can’t be stored in large amounts by the body. You’ve got to ingest it daily. Vitamin C is crucial for skin, bones, ligaments, tendons, teeth, eyes, and blood vessels.
You may have heard of vitamin C as a cold remedy or as something to take to “boost your immune system,” but it actually has benefits far beyond just immune system support.
Did you know vitamin C plays a key role in supporting hormone function and thyroid health? It’s also great for your cardiovascular system and can even help keep your skin looking youthful.
Let’s explore all the ways vitamin C is important for health. In this article we’ll cover:
- Benefits of vitamin C for immunity
- How vitamin C supports your hormones
- Vitamin C for adrenal health and anxiety
- Top food sources of vitamin C
- Different supplement forms
- Dosages that have been shown to be beneficial in the research
1. Vitamin C For The Immune System
As you’re likely aware, vitamin C is a critical component in keeping your immune system in tip-top shape. Many studies have shown its efficacy in cases of bacteria and viral infection, including lung inflammation caused by the flu and pneumonia.
It’s thought that vitamin C’s immune-supporting benefits come from its ability to help produce white blood cells — the body’s defenders against infection.
And levels of the vitamin are low in patients who have severe infections like tuberculosis, further indicating a relationship between vitamin C levels and the immune system.
Does Vitamin C “Boost” Your Immune System?
Vitamin C is important for protecting immune cells. Your immune cells, lymphocytes specifically, produce reactive oxygen species (ROS), which are great in defending against foreign invaders but can also damage the immune cells themselves. Because vitamin C is an antioxidant, it provides protection for these important cells. These lymphocytes will actually increase the levels of vitamin C they have in order to protect themselves, which is one reason why the body may require increased levels of vitamin C.
In addition, vitamin C supports your immune system in producing white blood cells and helping these cells (specifically lymphocytes, neutrophils, and phagocytes) function at their best.
But while it is an essential nutrient for a healthy functioning immune system, it does not “boost” immune activity. Rather, it supports your immune system’s defenses against viruses, bacteria, and other invaders. And it also protects your immune cells.
Can Vitamin C Prevent or Cure a Common Cold?
Sadly, there just isn’t a cure for the common cold. And as great as vitamin C is, it won’t prevent you from catching it either.
In a Cochrane Review that looked at 29 studies with a total of 11,306 participants, it was concluded that at the dose of 200 mg or more of vitamin C, there was no reduction in the risk of contracting the common cold.
However, it was also found that regular supplementation with vitamins had a “consistent effect in reducing the duration of common cold symptoms, which is based on 31 study comparisons with 9745 common cold episodes.”
- In adults, supplementing with 200 mg/day was found to reduce the duration of colds by 8% and in children by 14%.
- In children, vitamin C at a dose of 1,000-2,000 mg/day shortened colds by 18% and also reduced the severity.
This review concluded that:
Nevertheless, given the consistent effect of vitamin C on the duration and severity of colds in the regular supplementation studies, and the low cost and safety, it may be worthwhile for common cold patients to test on an individual basis whether therapeutic vitamin C is beneficial for them.
In therapeutic trials at doses of 1-8 g/ day, there were no significant effects of beginning vitamin C supplementation once there was an onset of cold symptoms.
The takeaway here is that consistent daily supplementation has a more significant effect than taking vitamin C at the onset of cold symptoms. Keep reading because we’ll be covering food sources and supplements for vitamin C.
2. Vitamin C for Stress and Anxiety
Vitamin C is required for making catecholamines, otherwise known as stress hormones. In fact, your adrenal glands are one of the organs with the highest concentrations of vitamin C and leverage this vitamin to do their job. This is why we include vitamin C in our Adrenal Support formulation.
In times of stress, your adrenal glands increase the production of catecholamines. Because of this, they are using more vitamin C, which is why some people benefit from increased intake during times of chronic stress.
When it comes to anxiety, there have been small studies pointing to the benefits of vitamin C. In a small double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial studying the effects of 500 mg daily vitamin C supplementation on anxiety in students, it was found that the students supplementing with vitamin C had lower levels of anxiety compared to students in the placebo group.
3. Vitamin C As A Natural Antihistamine
In addition to supporting the immune system, vitamin C also acts as a natural antihistamine, which is great news for anyone who suffers from allergies.
Histamines are inflammatory compounds that are a normal part of immune response but when they overreact in certain instances, they can cause an allergic reaction. Vitamin C can help temper that allergic response of seasonal allergies, but understand it is not a treatment for severe allergic reactions, so call your doctor or seek immediate medical care if this is what you’re experiencing.
Histamines can also play a role in PMS. Histamine in your body, while part of the normal female cycle, can create issues, causing anxiety, migraines, and period pain. Taking vitamin C regularly might help with PMS symptoms that are a result of inflammation caused by histamines.
4. Vitamin C And Iron
Vitamin C and iron are quite the dynamic duo. Vitamin C has been shown to help with the absorption of non-heme iron quite nicely. This is great news for anyone suffering from anemia. It’s also something to keep in mind if you’re experiencing a heavy period of blood flow. The amount of vitamin C ingested corresponds directly with the absorption levels of soluble iron.
5. Vitamin C And Thyroid Health
Possibly because of its role in increasing iron absorption and its a strength as an antioxidant, it appears that supplementation with vitamin C can help regulate T3, T4, and TSH levels in
In one study, thyroid patients who were given vitamin C saw improved symptoms and lowered oxidative stress. And it seems this holds true for both hypothyroid and hyperthyroid conditions.
6. Vitamin C As A Powerful Antioxidant
Antioxidants protect you from free radicals, which are unstable molecules that are linked to disease and aging. Vitamin C is one of the most potent antioxidants and can help increase the levels of antioxidants in your blood.
This, in turn, helps prevent many chronic diseases. Antioxidants have been shown to fight heart disease, cancer, Alzheimers, and help delay the physical effects of aging. In short, they’re super important for your health, and getting as many of them in your diet or through high-quality supplementation is a really good idea.
7. Vitamin C For Heart Health
While we can’t completely attribute vitamin C intake to a healthier heart, it seems like increased intake of this vitamin may indicate better heart health.
In one study, participants took 700 mg of vitamin C in supplement form for 10 years. And the results indicated that they had a 25% lower chance of getting heart disease. In another review, it appeared that vitamin C supplementation reduced bad cholesterol and triglycerides.
Of course, it’s always possible that those with healthier habits like exercise and eating lots of fruits and veggies are more likely to take supplements, but it’s still a great case for upping the vitamin C wherever and whenever you can.
8. Vitamin C For Memory
It stands to reason then, that studies have shown that when vitamin C intake increases, levels of dementia and cognitive decline decrease. This appears to hold true whether vitamins are ingested in supplement or whole food form.
9. Vitamin C for Healthy Skin
When levels of vitamin C inside the body are low, we can start to see that reflected in the skin. People with vitamin C deficiency often have rough, dry, or inflamed skin. We also know that vitamin C helps make collagen…so it only makes sense that beauty industry professionals decided to apply vitamin C to our skin topically might have a benefit.
Turns out they were right — vitamin C serums are amazing natural skin boosters, evening out redness and helping to reduce the appearance of dark spots. In addition, it seems to help increase collagen production, which as any woman in her forties knows, helps decrease fine lines and wrinkles. It’s antioxidant benefits also appear to help protect the skin from sun damage.
What Kind Of Vitamin C Is Best?
The focus should be on obtaining vitamin C through your diet first. However, as noted in the research studies presented in this article, the benefits of vitamin C have been found through supplementation.
20 Whole Food Sources of Vitamin C
Vitamin C is found abundantly in whole foods, especially raw fruits and vegetables.
Vitamin C rich foods include:
- Bell peppers
- Brussels sprouts
- Hot peppers
- Mandarin oranges
Acerola cherries have a whopping 2,740% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin C. You may not be able to find them easily at the grocery store, but you can buy them powdered online.
Vitamin C Supplements
While there are many different available forms, the vast majority of studies examine ascorbic acid or sodium ascorbate, which is its sodium salt form. So when it comes to all the benefits you’ve read above, this is the form that was used.
There’s very little evidence that anyone form is more effective or that it is better absorbed. We’ll review the different forms below, but it is important to understand this as a lot of claims are often made about vitamin C benefits via different forms.
This is the most common form of vitamin C that has been demonstrated to have benefits in clinical trials and scientific studies.
While this may be difficult on the digestive system for those with known ulcers or sensitive stomachs, this can be an effective way to supplement with vitamin C. Plus, it is one of the most cost-effective versions.
But if you find this is difficult on your digestion, you may want to try taking it with food or opting for a buffered vitamin C version.
Buffered Vitamin C
Buffered vitamin C can be gentler on the digestive tract, but it may be absorbed slightly less. And when I say slightly, understand that it is not a huge absorption difference. If you tolerate it better than ascorbic acid then it is a better option for you.
Intravenous Vitamin C
Vitamin C that’s delivered through an IV directly into the bloodstream appears to be the most advantageous in circumstances where large amounts of vitamin C are needed quickly. It can also help you maintain a steady amount circulating in the blood.
It’s often used as a complementary cancer treatment, as it appears that cancer patients have lower levels of vitamin C, and it helps to offset some of the toxicity of chemotherapy treatment. Furthermore, since it’s an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, it’s believed to have anti-cancer properties. In a couple of studies, intravenous vitamin C treatment increased survival time for those who were administered it versus those who weren’t.
However, I want to be clear that vitamin C should not be used in place of any recommendations from your doctor regarding cancer treatment and that you should consult your doctor before pursuing this therapy. It’s also important to understand that vitamin C alone is highly unlikely to prevent cancer. Cancer is caused is complex and vitamin C and antioxidant status are only one piece of this.
Liposomal Vitamin C
Liposomal, or lipospheric, vitamin C is a vitamin that has been combined with very small fat-like particles. The liposomes help deliver the nutrient they’re combined with quickly and effectively. Research suggests that liposomal vitamin C is slightly more effective at producing circulating levels of vitamin C than the plain version of the vitamin, but not as effective as when it’s introduced intravenously.
Making liposomal forms of vitamins is difficult, so quality matters. If you’re opting for this version, make sure you’re getting it from a company you trust.
While many people will claim that liposomal and IV vitamin C are the best versions for absorption, there’s no substantial evidence that there is a significant difference for the average person. As you read above, there are considerations for using these other forms and times where IV vitamin C may be beneficial.
How Much Vitamin C Should You Take?
The recommended daily allowances for vitamin C intake for adults are:
- 75 mg for females
- 85 mg for pregnant females
- 120 mg for breastfeeding women
- 90 mg for males
Keep in mind that these suggestions are likely not high enough to achieve optimal levels of vitamin C in the body. Therapeutic doses are generally recommended in the 600-1000 mg per day range.
Clinically, I’ve observed, as have many other clinicians experienced in nutritional therapy, that supplementation with much higher doses is more tolerable during an acute illness than maybe otherwise. Remember, the studies on immunity have shown benefits with consistent daily supplementation and not initiation at the onset of symptoms. But we also understand that during acute illness our vitamin C requirements can increase. Because we are animals that don’t make vitamin C, there is an argument to be made that we need to increase our intake when we’re sick to support our bodies.
How Much Vitamin C Is Too Much?
Since vitamin C can’t really be stored by the body, it’s hard to take too much of it. For the most part, your body will excrete any excess vitamin C it can’t use in your urine.
Higher doses of vitamin C may cause some gastrointestinal issues like nausea and diarrhea. This is why it is advised to take in divided doses. In times of illness, it has been observed that higher doses are more tolerable compared to when someone is not currently ill.
If you’ve ever heard, “take it until bowel tolerance” then what that means is to take vitamin C until you develop loose stools and then back off to the dose that didn’t cause that issue.
Symptoms Of Vitamin C Deficiency
In today’s society, vitamin C deficiency is somewhat rare. Most people get enough from foods that are fortified with vitamins at the very least. However, some segments of the population are at greater risk for a deficiency, like smokers, alcoholics, and those with eating disorders. By some estimates, 13% of the population may actually struggle with lower levels of vitamin C. Vitamin C deficiency leads to a condition called scurvy. But I want to be clear, that optimal and deficient are two different things and the absence of scurvy doesn’t mean your levels of vitamin C are sufficient for your needs.
Some of the signs that vitamin C deficiency may be an issue include:
- Poor immunity
- Rough, dry skin
- Thin and brittle nails
- Bleeding gums
- Tooth loss
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