Cooler weather is approaching as we inch into Autumn. With the drop in temperature we often see a drop in immune function and an increase in exposure to pathogens. Are you bracing yourself for the slew of illnesses sure to come? Or are you wanting to be more proactive with staying healthy? What are the best preventative measures that you should take for you and your family?

Nope, the flu shot is not on my list!

Eating a balanced diet; avoiding stress, environmental toxins, and unnecessary pharmaceuticals; and maintaining a high reserve of vitamins and minerals is a more reliable approach. And to deal with the Common Cold, Influenza, and even Whooping Cough (Pertussis) if they do occur, having Vitamin C in the form of sodium ascorbate in your medicine cabinet can literally be a life saver.

That’s a strong statement, I know, and you may have many questions about it’s validity. Please read on so I can answer your questions, dispel any myths, and help you see why Vitamin C is such an important micronutrient that we should be actively replenishing every single day.

What are the benefits of Vitamin C and why is it so unique?

Vitamin C is an essential micronutrient that has the following roles in the body:

Anti-oxidant

It’s an electron donor that repairs oxidative damage from…

  • stress (any type – physical, emotional, etc.)

  • UV radiation

  • microbes, infections

  • other chemicals such as chlorine)

Anti-histamine

It helps to manage allergic responses to…

  • food

  • insect bites

  • seasonal threats

  • pollutants

Enyme co-factor for…

  • collagen (healthy skin elasticity)

  • neurotransmitters (brain & motor function)

  • growth and fertility hormones

  • carnitine (energy metabolism)

  • iron absorption

Other benefits

It’s a fascinating fact that while Vitamin C is so important for humans, our species (in addition to gorillas & guinea pigs) are not able to synthesize it from glucose in the liver like the majority of other animals. (Interestingly, even though we all have the gene for the needed enzyme, it doesn’t work for some reason). We rely exclusively on food sources for our entire supply.

Can I get Vitamin C from whole foods or do I need to supplement?

It’s always best to get vitamins and minerals from our food. But we need to make sure we’re getting enough in our diet. This includes not just monitoring our intake of Vitamin C rich foods, but remaining aware that any form of stress, environmental toxins, too much sun, smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol, taking recreational drugs and eating pesticide-laden food all cause oxidative damage to our bodies and use up our Vitamin C reserves quickly.

 

The U.S. RDA for Vitamin C is 75mg/day for females, 90mg/day for males. But enlightened physicians are starting to realize that these amounts are the minimum to prevent scurvy and are far from what is suggested to achieve optimum health. Much of our population is deficient.

Suzanne Humphries, M.D. is an expert in the study of Vitamin C and is quite famous in the Alternative Medicine field for her high-dose Vitamin C protocol for Pertussis.

Humphries suggests that for healthy, stress-free, people who eat lots of organic fresh produce and have minimal toxin exposure they should consume 200-1000mg/day. Higher doses are necessary when traveling, dealing with oxidative stress, when chronically ill, and even with constipation (a sign, she says, of Vitamin C deficiency).

I highly recommend that anyone wanting to learn more about Vitamin C watch Suzanne’s video below, especially if you’re a health practitioner. Much of what I’ve referenced here is in this video:

What form of Vitamin C is best?

Again, whole food sources of Vitamin C are best. This micronutrient naturally includes a huge complex of other factors in food that aid absorption. But if supplementation is necessary, taking buffered sodium ascorbate is the next best idea. The presence of sodium helps with absorption. Even though some portion is not absorbed completely and is excreted in urine, it is better than nothing!

We need to be careful that we’re not consuming extra sugar with our vitamins, as may be the case with many conventional children’s vitamins or with fortified juice. Sugar basically interferes with Vitamin C absorption.

In my family, we strive to eat tons of Vitamin C rich foods, but we also use Source Naturals Vitamin C – sodium ascorbate crystals (when high doses are necessary) and Garden of Life Vitamin C Spray (I give this to my son after swimming, and is whole food sourced).

Are there any risks to taking Vitamin C?

Vitamin C is completely non-toxic. The LD-50 is much greater (and therefore less toxic) than table salt (4X), aspirin (60X), and caffeine (62X).

There are concerns that kidney stones can form with Vitamin C supplementation, but this has been reported mostly in older men who were totally dehydrated. No risks have been reported in women. Good urine output is needed to prevent stones in general, so it’s always a good idea to stay hydrated.

I hope you now have a greater understanding of Vitamin C’s vital role in maintaining wellness and how it can be used to treat you effectively when sick.

If you have any lingering questions, please let me know!

Do you emphasize Vitamin C consumption in your family’s wellness routine? With food or supplements? Let us know in the comments!

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Written by Brandy Falcon
I help families manage modern health challenges by connecting them to traditional wisdom and healing practices.  CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE