I first stumbled across this mind-blowing information in a documentary called Food Matters.This engrossing film discusses a range of issues concerning food, including how to use food to combat depression and natural cancer therapies. This film is critical for anyone interested in learning how to use food therapeutically. A good overview of the documentary can be foundhere.
Back to Vitamin C. I’ve reconfigured my thinking about it after personally experiencing its affects. I’ll tell you this: it’s more than just a vitamin as we know vitamins. In high doses, it does some pretty incredible work in our bodies.
You’d think I’d put this information right to practice. Fact is, even though I internalized that Vitamin C can kill viruses and bacteria with piqued interest, I forgot about it. It wasn’t until about a month later that I was able to test out Vitamin C’s potential.
Someone close to me was sick with strep throat, the fabulously unfailingly contagious infection. I spent the entire weekend around the afflicted person, right in their personal space. Made them tea, held their head, was around them while they coughed, you name it. I was doomed. I should have worn a doctor’s mask. I should have made them wear a doctor’s mask. Everything pointed to me catching strep, but I never did. Believe me when I say I don’t have a superhuman immune system. I mean, it’s good, but not that good. The truth? I one upped that gross fun killer.
I took the phrase “offense is the best defense” and made it my personal motto for the weekend. I took 10,000 mg of Vitamin C each day for four days. Sounds like a lot, but I experienced no side effects and great health. Even my skin was glowing. (Vitamin C is also central to collagen production.)
I’ve heard some skepticism about side effects and want to address the claims. There are a few old wives tales that perpetuate without a basis in fact. These myths include the claim that taking Vitamin C can result in teeth softening or kidney stones. Soft teeth would occur only if all I did all day was eat citrus fruit (which, by the way, are not the most optimal source of Vitamin C). This would wear down the enamel and cause soft teeth over time. This might also occur if I was chewing the ascorbic acid tablets rather than swallowing them and letting them dissolve in my mouth. Kidney stones? Bit of a joke. Vitamin C beneficially lowers pH levels in the body, increasing urine flow and helps keep stones from forming.
So, we can take it with little to no side effects. But why does Vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, apparently have superpowers in our bodies? In Chapter 9, “Some Affects of Ascorbic Acid” of The Healing Factor, Vitamin C Against Disease, Irwin Stone writes of Vitamin C as a bactericide,
One of the body’s defenses against bacterial infections is the mobilization of white blood cells into the affected tissues. The white blood cells then devour and digest the invading bacteria. This process is known as phagocytosis and is controlled by ascorbic acid. The number of bacteria that each white blood cell digests is directly related to the ascorbic acid content of the blood.
He also writes about Vitamin C as a virucide,
Ascorbic acid is also a potent and nonspecific virucide. It has the power to inactivate and destroy the infectivity of a wide variety of disease-producing viruses including poliomyelitis, herpes, vaccinia, foot-and-mouth disease, and rabies. It only does this, however, at relatively high doses, not a “vitamin” level.
Ascorbic acid plays a large role in our bodily defenses and healing abilities. Shouldn’t our bodies just release it when we need it? Not the case.
Stone also explains in this chapter that humans are unable to produce their own ascorbic acid, unlike other mammals that produce it naturally as a part of homeostasis. The only mammals that cannot produce it include primates and only one rodent, the guinea pig. (When taking care of my neighbor’s guinea pig, I was wondering why I had to feed it a strawberry a day… it makes sense now.) The kicker is that we have the gene, an enzyme called GULO. However, due to human evolution, our gene to naturally produce ascorbic acid has become apsuedogene. It’s there, but it’s inactive.
What do we do? We have to get it from an outside source. Vitamins are most effectively absorbed through eating foods containing them. Some of the foods densest in Vitamin C include strawberries, peaches, bell peppers, broccoli, kiwi, and oranges. (Make sure to eat clean produce! The authors of Skinny Bitch have put together great lists of which produce is best bought organically or conventionally.)
Using Vitamin C medicinally and need high doses for that strep or the flu? Reach for a bottle. (There are few supplements worth taking from a bottle in my opinion, and this is one of them.) The minimal starting dose, according to Stone, is 10% mg of your body weight in kg. (On average, a 154lb or 70kg person, would take 7,000 mg minimally.) More than the minimal suggestion is recommended if you’re trying to kill off a virus or bacterial infection because the body constantly metabolizes it. Keeping it at a constant level of, say 7,000 mg takes more than 7,000 mg. If you’d like to read more on his suggested amounts and reasoning, read Chapters 13 and 14 in The Healing Factor.
Lastly, what’s with Vitamin C shrinking tumors and being better than chemotherapy? Check out this clip from Food Matters:
Vitamin C is hardly a cure-all, but when you’re trying to maintain or obtain optimal health, there is real value in looking into our biology to understand what it is that we need. Our bodies are able to heal themselves spectacularly well, and in most cases, it’s just unnecessary to flood our system with antibiotics. If you’re wondering why you haven’t heard of Vitamin C being used in this way before, it’s because there’s no money in a cure, only in treatments (that frequently fail). More to come in future posts on why some information becomes mainstream and why some information doesn’t.
In Food Matters, Dr. Andrew Saul, a Therapeutic Nutritional Specialist, puts it best, “Good health makes a lot of sense, but it doesn’t make a lot of dollars.”
Post back comments about your own experiences with Vitamin C!
If you’d like to discover more about Vitamin C, check out some of these articles posted on theFood Matters website: