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Is vitamin C a magical cure-all?

Wouldn't it be perfectly easy to stay healthy all the time if only we had the magical pill for everything? Yes, it certainly would be.

If you expect vitamin C to be just that I have to disappoint you. It CANNOT cure everything. And yet, the array of ailments we can heal with vitamin C is pretty astounding.

Have you noticed that quite often when we are sick all we want to drink is lemon juice? Or eat oranges and apples even if we cannot stomach anything else at the time? The body is asking for vitamin C

Or scurvy - the dreaded disease by all pirates - comes to mind. 
Did you know that cats and dogs synthesise their own vitamin C in the liver? Clever, isn't it. Especially in times of illness or stress when they need the extra boost they are able to produce more vitamin C and rest their digestion while fasting...

Sadly, us humans CANNOT produce enough vitamin C. We need a reliable source. And daily. And in times of great stress, illness, high pollution or other demanding times on our immunity we may need more than just a daily dose. We may need a therapeutic dose.  

First of all, what is it?
Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that is a powerful antioxidant. It fights oxidation in the body, down to every cell. Oxidation, in other words, is damage or ageing in the cells. As a result, they can no longer regenerate and detoxify as effectively as they should. This can show in the body's inability to heal/recover quickly from an illness or produce enough collagen. Another example would be too much acidity in the body. 
Bleeding gums, nosebleeds, easy bruising and even dry rough skin and splitting hair can all be signs of C deficiency. 

Vitamin C is an essential co-factor in the production of enzymes. It plays a role in maintaining healthy bones and teeth. It also helps the body absorb iron. Our adrenal glands hold the highest concentration of vitamin C. As you probably know, it is the adrenals that balance our main hormone cortisol and create our overall energy. Cortisol is responsible for insulin levels and influences all other hormones in the body. 

What conditions can vitamin C can help alleviate?

As I mentioned - faster recovery from an infection/illness, increase of collagen production for the skin and hair but also bones and teeth.
Vitamin C is absolutely crucial for cardiovascular health - it keeps the blood vessel walls strong, flexible and clean. It regulates blood pressure. Higher levels of vitamin C have been found to reduce the risk of a stroke.
Vitamin C is a natural antihistamine. It can alleviate any discomfort associated with hay fever or other allergies, even asthma.
Vitamin C is crucial for detoxification. It binds to toxins, free radicals and other unwanted substances in the body and removes them effectively. 
Last but not least, vitamin C is a powerful nutrient for cancer treatment. Although not accepted as the mainstream treatment, there are many private clinics that use intravenous vitamin C instead of chemo therapy.
Dr Tom Levy has been treating his patients successfully with vitamin C for many years and he says this: " Inflammation occurs when the toxins have consumed all of the vitamin C." He originally trained as a cardiologist but over the years he has seen many astounding benefits of vitamin C protocols for all sorts of health conditions. 

The beauty of vitamin C is that it is PERFECTLY SAFE! As a water-soluble vitamin it doesn't get stored. The body utilises as much as it needs and the rest gets flushed out. This is the reason why we need to take our dose throughout the day, not in one go. 

How much C to take?
Hmm, that is the million dollar question! It really depends on one's needs. We are all different genetically and metabolically. Someone may notice their health improving significantly on the RDA of 60 mg. However, for most people (even children) the dose will need to be much higher. Helen Case Saul recommends as much as 1 gram (i.e. 1,000 mg) of C for each year of age in children. She and her father Andrew Saul of That Vitamin Movie are huge advocates of vitamin C. 

In case of an emergency (high temperature, sickness, infection, asthma attack etc.) one needs to take a 'loading dose'. For an adult, 6 - 8,000 mg. Yes, this may seem a LOT. But remember, it is impossible to overdose on vitamin C.
If your symptoms go away within 10 to 15 minutes you can stop. If your symptoms are less severe but still there, you need to keep up dosing. At least 1 g of C every 10 minutes. Or 3 g every 30 minutes.
You can use this method as soon as you start coming down with a bug. If you 'grab' the bug early enough you may never get the actual sickness. Once you have the flu or cold vitamin C will help your body recover quicker.
Vitamin C also works synergistically with antibiotics and makes vaccinations safer as it removes toxins (including heavy metals) from the body. 

You have probably heard about the antibiotic resistant 'superbugs'. Well, it turns out high dose vitamin C can be the answer. 
The same goes for tetanus. The disease is a real problem in some third world countries, and yet a high dose vitamin C protocol can help the body cure it.

So, you are doing your high dose vitamin C healing protocol - but how do you know when your body had enough? When your tummy starts gurgling or you get gas - you have reached your bowel tolerance. It will cause a runnier stool but not necessarily diarrhoea. Once you reached your 'gurgling stage' you can reduce or even stop the dose. If your symptoms persevere you will have to reduce the amount and take it slower. 

Have you heard about Linus Pauling?
This two times Nobel prize winner (bio)chemist is also known as the 'vitamin C man'. He experimented with the recommended daily allowance of 60 mg a day. While this amount was enough to prevent scurvy, in his opinion it wasn't nowhere near enough to sustain a strong immunity and prevent or cure any illnesses. He established that humans need a minimum of 6 g of vitamin C a day.
One thing to remember is that Linus Pauling was talking about a healthy adult. The more toxicity there is in the body (from medications, inflammation, environmental pollution, stress etc.) the greater one's need for vitamin C may be.
Some cancer patients get as much as 70 to 100 grams (!!!) IV vitamin C.
I heard Dr Gonzales who runs a clinic in Puerto Rico talk about IV vitamin C. When such large doses are administered he recommends doing it only 3 times a week. Apparently, the body needs about a day to utilise all that vitamin C and turn it into hydrogen peroxide.  You may know or not that hydrogen peroxide is a powerful antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal agent that also helps with pain and detoxification. Without having time to convert C into hydrogen peroxide the body would simply eliminate the excess C - which would be a waste at this point, really.

You may be quite sceptical about all the claimed benefits of vitamin C...
You know what? Try it!
I tend to take these kinds of claims of 'superpower' with a grain of salt. I am naturally very sceptical. But I'll tell you about my personal experience. This was a Saturday night sometimes last year. I was watching Andrew Saul's presentation at That Vitamin Summit. I knew my older son (9 years old at this time) was getting down with a chesty cold as he started coughing in the day. He might have been in bed for an hour or so when he came downstairs as white as a sheet and totally breathless. His airways were so constricted that he could not even talk. It looked like an asthma attack. I just heard Andrew recount the story of his children's neighbour who had suffered from asthma. And how one day when playing with the Saul kids he grabbed a bottle of vitamin C and emptied it into his mouth. When his mother came to pick him up she was very worried about her son overdosing. But as it turned out later the only result of his overdose was the fact that he cured his asthma!
I thought, well, there is nothing for it. Being late Saturday night we cannot get to a doctor easily, anyway. So I gave my son 7 one gram tablets of vitamin C with bioflavonoids to swallow. They were huge things and he struggled with them a lot. Then we just sat there and watched Andrew Saul's presentation while I heard my son's chest rattle and squeak as he was laboriously taking in some shallow breaths.  Some 10 or 15 minutes later my son started to laugh. I looked at him in surprise. His face was a healthy colour and his breathing was perfectly quiet, too. He was taking deep breaths in and out and told me he was feeling happy.
Wow... After that he went to bed and slept peacefully the whole night. His cold was almost completely gone the next day.

The other personal experience is with Candida. I wrote in my article about Candida that the only way to truly get rid of it is to take enzymes that will break its tough outer shell. I was taking these enzymes for a few weeks and they worked for a while. But as my hormones spiked throughout my cycle I could feel my symptoms coming back. I think once Candida takes total control over the body it is nearly impossible to clear it, even with those enzymes. Because the fact is that even if we reduce the Candida population in the body, there is still so much toxicity and acidity to deal with. And so I thought of vitamin C. It is an anti-toxin, right? It helps with detoxification, getting rid of acidity and its by-product hydrogen peroxide is a powerful antifungal agent.
I am very pleased to say that my symptoms are mostly gone - pretty much from day 1 of taking vitamin C. Wow!
I started with 5 grams a day but now I take about 12 to 15 g, depending on how I feel. It is helping with my hay fever, as well. I can vouch for the fact that the more 'trouble' is ongoing in the body, the more C it needs. When I started with the C protocol for Candida I didn't have any problems with hay fever. But now that the season is in full swing and there is loads of pollen around I require more vitamin C.

Which form is best to take? 
Powder or tablets/capsules? If you plan to take a lot of vitamin C, the powder is cheaper.
The most common is ascorbic acid. The powder is very sour and bitter and can damage the enamel of your teeth as it is so acidic in the mouth. Ascorbic acid is the cheapest and most available form in the shops and, sadly, not very potent. In fact, it can also deplete bioflavonoids in the body. I rarely ever take it nowadays, and ONLY with added bioflavonoids.

I usually take sodium ascorbate and magnesium ascorbate, both in powder form. The sodium one tastes a little salty but fine otherwise. You may find that you need less salt in your food. Don't take too much sodium ascorbate in the long term, though, as you would unbalance your electrolytes with too much sodium.
The magnesium ascorbate powder's taste is only for strong stomachs in large volumes - it is bitter and metallic. But the added benefit is that you get a decent amount of magnesium at the same time. In the long term, I take 1-2 teaspoons of magnesium ascorbate daily and find it practical as it covers my needs for both nutrients, vitamin C and magnesium.

Another powder form is calcium ascorbate, where you get a small amount of calcium bound to your vitamin C. It tastes similar to the previous powders. If you take this form, remember to up to magnesium as you don't want too much calcium on its own. Ideally, calcium and magnesium are in a balanced ratio in the body.
There are liposomal C supplements, too. They work well - they get straight into the cell, even better than the IV vitamin C. Sadly, they are very expensive (and taste BAD).

Final thoughts on safety and long-term use

If you have an acute problem, high dose vitamin C (synthetic or not) is a great solution. 
If you have a long-term problem or simply wish to maintain good health, I would look for more holistic (wholesome) sources of vitamin C, not the cheapest.
Taking high doses of ascorbic acid can and will deplete bioflavonoids in the body. When we look at vitamin C under a microscope ascorbic acid is the outer layer only. Food based vitamin C always contains bioflavonoids and even a small amount of copper. Bioflavonoids (also called vitamin P or polyphenols) are plants compounds, powerful phytochemicals (found in the rind of citrus fruits, black currants, rose hips) that add flexibility and strength to blood vessels. If we deplete bioflavonoids we will encounter nose bleeds, bruising, spider veins, even varicose veins.
The best forms for long-term supplementation would be a wholesome
 food source vitamin C from acerola cherry, kamu kamu, amla or acai. 
Remember that 
Drinking lemon water, freshly juiced greens, celery, grapefruit and oranges (citrus with the rind on), juiced barley or wheat grasses and eating sauerkraut and green sprouts (fenugreek, broccoli, alfalfa, radish etc) will provide good amounts of bioflavonoids as well as vitamin C on a regular basis. 

Have you tried high dose vitamin C? What are your experiences?

UPDATE: Chris from has recently made an interview with Dr Ron Hunninghake who is an expert on the use of intravenous vitamin C. This interview is a must-watch!



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