8

votes

Why megadose Vitamin C?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created December 20, 2011 at 3:09 AM

I noticed that several people have talked about megadosing their vitamin C, and I was wondering why? I know the loss of the ability to synthesize vitamin C has been put forward as a reason to megadose, but I'm not sure I understand that as a reason to consume more.

Here is my current knowledge of Vitamin C, based on conventional nutrition:

-Your ability to absorb vitamin C decreases as the dose increases. Ex. 1 g, you absorb 75%; 3 g, you absorb 40%; 5 g, you absorb 25%.

-Vitamin C at very high doses interacts with iron, creating oxidative stress

-A possible "rebound" deficiency occurs when supplementation is stopped because of decreased absorption

The reduced absorption I assume is the reason why people say that taking lots of vitamin C makes for pricey urine.

Has anyone experience health improvement from taking loads of vitamin C? Does anyone have any studies or articles they can direct me towards? I haven't really looked into this, but I thought one of you probably has and could give me a hand!

3b031bce7c181c10452ee202e2b54dc6

(803)

on February 23, 2013
at 06:41 AM

what kind of physical evidence comes from a liver detox?

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on January 17, 2012
at 04:51 PM

I did research it, but I asked the question here to see if anyone had experienced any positive effects, hence the question. Most of the research I found showed inefficacy, but sometimes lab-bench studies don't always transfer to real life. And the question wasn't so much about serious harm (it's water soluble, so nobody's going to be that worried), just about whether it is worth anything to take that much, especially because of the plummeting absorption that occurs.

082bf04a7486991c5e573a66f1404b3e

(813)

on January 03, 2012
at 02:43 PM

Just google vitamin c liver detox^^ If you're after a paper, I'm afraid I haven't checked. Considering the cost of vitamin C, it's worth a try based on overwhelming circumstantial evidence. As I've posted up before, an apple juice (3-day) detox did wonders for my liver (and there was lots of physical evidence lol) - basically a combination of zero fat, loads of VitC, and malic acid in apples to soften stones.

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on December 20, 2011
at 10:02 PM

Okay, thanks for the answer! I wasn't sure if I was being clouded by conventional nutrition in thinking that megadosing is probably useless, especially after seeing people here mentioning that they do, but glad to know I was on the right track! :)

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on December 20, 2011
at 10:00 PM

Where did you hear that vitamin C detoxes the liver? I've heard this before, but have never found a mechanism...

E2b9c679315c7c9c7265783dde89f350

(1303)

on December 20, 2011
at 08:22 PM

Do you think this might work even if a woman doesn't ovulate? I currently have to take norethindrone to bring on my periods, but I'd really like to find a natural alternative until my hormones come into balance (PCOS).

Cf32992bfa1907147c7cdc451bba9c63

(2890)

on December 20, 2011
at 05:08 PM

Jeff's correct. Reactive oxygen species cause some beneficial adaptations in the short term, artificially high antioxidants might impair the signalling. My advice: have as many oranges as you want, stay away from supplement form.

64433a05384cd9717c1aa6bf7e98b661

(15236)

on December 20, 2011
at 04:02 PM

Exercise naturally causes your body to get better at dealing with radicals it creates during exercise. Vit C supplementing can limit this.

B9637ddb9a9a5c6a7306e3c804fcd21d

(3217)

on December 20, 2011
at 04:00 PM

Happy - doctor-phobic as I am, I'd nevertheless think its best to get medical advice about taking any supplement during pregnancy. You're best off getting your C with plenty of multicoloured fruit & veg., which is enough for baby & mum. :-)

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on December 20, 2011
at 12:59 PM

Luckily someone let me know about this just after I had gotten pregnant (and had been trying for a long time) and had mentioned that I was about to take a bunch of Emergen C to deal with allergies. Whew, that could've been bad.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on December 20, 2011
at 11:29 AM

Interesting....could you explain this further?

Medium avatar

(39831)

on December 20, 2011
at 06:10 AM

Good range is 400mg-3g per day. This isn't a megadose, merely a dose. This may be relevant: http://paleohacks.com/questions/76580/is-the-flippant-dismissal-of-vitamin-c-supplementation-in-the-paleo-community-mis#axzz1h3IL7oVd

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16 Answers

5
B9637ddb9a9a5c6a7306e3c804fcd21d

(3217)

on December 20, 2011
at 12:18 PM

Anything in excess is generally negative, and can have adverse effects. You will not get any more of the vitamin C benefits (immunity boosting, antioxidant, etc) by overdosing.

Because Vitamin C is water - soluble rather than fat-soluble, and gets excreted in urine, excess levels cannot accumulate in the body the way fat-soluble vitamins like vitamin A can (and hence cause vitamin A toxicity). However, since it is excreted in urine, very high and constant overdoses can put severe stress on the kidneys, and the digestive system (especially diarrhea as the body tries to flush out the excess vitamin C). Remember, in general, the body will flush out the excess if it can, and harm will be caused if it can't, so taking excess levels of vitamins will not give you extra conventional benefit.

There is something, though, that high doses of Vitamin C can be useful for, though I'm not going to recommend it. Vitamin C in high doses is an emmenagogue (it stimulates menstrual flow) and, hence, an abortifacient. Some women have used high vitamin C doses to either stimulate late periods (so it could be a potential amenorrhea solution) or terminate early pregnancies.

Hope this is helpful :-)

Lots of Paleo love

Milla

B9637ddb9a9a5c6a7306e3c804fcd21d

(3217)

on December 20, 2011
at 04:00 PM

Happy - doctor-phobic as I am, I'd nevertheless think its best to get medical advice about taking any supplement during pregnancy. You're best off getting your C with plenty of multicoloured fruit & veg., which is enough for baby & mum. :-)

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on December 20, 2011
at 12:59 PM

Luckily someone let me know about this just after I had gotten pregnant (and had been trying for a long time) and had mentioned that I was about to take a bunch of Emergen C to deal with allergies. Whew, that could've been bad.

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on December 20, 2011
at 10:02 PM

Okay, thanks for the answer! I wasn't sure if I was being clouded by conventional nutrition in thinking that megadosing is probably useless, especially after seeing people here mentioning that they do, but glad to know I was on the right track! :)

E2b9c679315c7c9c7265783dde89f350

(1303)

on December 20, 2011
at 08:22 PM

Do you think this might work even if a woman doesn't ovulate? I currently have to take norethindrone to bring on my periods, but I'd really like to find a natural alternative until my hormones come into balance (PCOS).

2
5d499545d6b77813b3037e1b076cae5d

on February 22, 2013
at 10:37 PM

A couple years ago i was getting sick constantly, even several dreaded "summer colds". I have a toddler who was in daycare and used to bring home all kinds of germs. plus I am a smoker. I finally got frustrated and decided to give the vitamin C a try. I take around 3000mg per day, 5000mg when I would feel some symptoms coming on. it has been over 2 years and I have not gotten the flu once. and this includes a very sick daughter sleeping on my chest and breathing all those little germs right in my face. I finally convinced my wife to try it as well and we both made it through the worst flu season in memory without even a sniffle. the latest little bonus benefit was when one of my wife's friends commented on how amazing my skin looks (I'm 39, she's 25). I try to ignore most "scientific studies", I've always believed my own personal experience will always be 1000x better than what song so called experts claims. I also take around 2000 IU of vitamin D, extra calcium supplements, and around 10,000 RDA of vitamin B. I drink about a gallon & half of water per day so my body is always flushing.

2
E8b24741f1fbca054f78f6328deafbf4

on July 13, 2012
at 05:37 AM

I starting taking a megadose of Vitamin C for heavy metal detox. What I noticed pretty quick was that I did not need to use my albuteral rescue inhaler any more. I went from using it one to three times a night,to maybe once a week, if that. This is an incredible change in my asthma symptoms. I am taking between 7500mg to 15000mg a day. Just under bowel tolerance.

2
62092dd7cc60f08dc35ce2d24d4d7a5c

on December 27, 2011
at 10:09 AM

Research megadose Vitamin C before you make these claims that it does nothing but harm. There has NEVER been harm proven from taking high doses of Vitamin C (10-20g). Just do the research and see for yourself. I have been taking the high amounts of it for 2 weeks now and have never felt better.

B

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on January 17, 2012
at 04:51 PM

I did research it, but I asked the question here to see if anyone had experienced any positive effects, hence the question. Most of the research I found showed inefficacy, but sometimes lab-bench studies don't always transfer to real life. And the question wasn't so much about serious harm (it's water soluble, so nobody's going to be that worried), just about whether it is worth anything to take that much, especially because of the plummeting absorption that occurs.

2
A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on December 20, 2011
at 06:29 PM

There's a reason why Homo Sapiens is a double knockout for vitamin C and uricase:

http://paleohacks.com/questions/13126/why-did-we-lose-the-ability-to-synthesize-vitamin-c#axzz1h6GbMSQ6

Complete loss of a gene indicates that it confers a strong survival advantage. Loss of uricase leads to increased uric acid and higher blood pressure. Higher blood pressure may be necessary if you want to avoid passing out when you stand up and walk around (H. Erectus).

If you avoid supranormal amounts of fructose that have no vitamin C (like Big Gulps), there is no reason to think we need to supplement. In fact, evolution decided against it. Fruit comes with vitamin C (as do many vegetables) - and that should be plenty.

2
082bf04a7486991c5e573a66f1404b3e

on December 20, 2011
at 09:20 AM

Depends what you mean. I megadose VitC (2-3 doses of 5-odd grams) occassionally (once every couple of months) in a fasting period to help detox my liver.

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on December 20, 2011
at 10:00 PM

Where did you hear that vitamin C detoxes the liver? I've heard this before, but have never found a mechanism...

082bf04a7486991c5e573a66f1404b3e

(813)

on January 03, 2012
at 02:43 PM

Just google vitamin c liver detox^^ If you're after a paper, I'm afraid I haven't checked. Considering the cost of vitamin C, it's worth a try based on overwhelming circumstantial evidence. As I've posted up before, an apple juice (3-day) detox did wonders for my liver (and there was lots of physical evidence lol) - basically a combination of zero fat, loads of VitC, and malic acid in apples to soften stones.

3b031bce7c181c10452ee202e2b54dc6

(803)

on February 23, 2013
at 06:41 AM

what kind of physical evidence comes from a liver detox?

2
C4f1a0c70c4e0dea507c2e346c036bbd

on December 20, 2011
at 04:05 AM

I hear its a powerful laxative. Tastes gross though.

2
Cf32992bfa1907147c7cdc451bba9c63

on December 20, 2011
at 03:59 AM

Reasons to megadose vitamin C?

You don't want adaptations from exercise or your body's own antioxidant system to improve.

64433a05384cd9717c1aa6bf7e98b661

(15236)

on December 20, 2011
at 04:02 PM

Exercise naturally causes your body to get better at dealing with radicals it creates during exercise. Vit C supplementing can limit this.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on December 20, 2011
at 11:29 AM

Interesting....could you explain this further?

Cf32992bfa1907147c7cdc451bba9c63

(2890)

on December 20, 2011
at 05:08 PM

Jeff's correct. Reactive oxygen species cause some beneficial adaptations in the short term, artificially high antioxidants might impair the signalling. My advice: have as many oranges as you want, stay away from supplement form.

1
Ad26c7e7f1c7a49b52de2d9c354705b9

on June 13, 2013
at 06:39 AM

Is no one on this post mentioning Linus Pauling? The latter part of his career was spent researching mostly just vitamin c. I know some are chipping in there bit of scientific knowledge but everyone just read some of Linus Pauling's work and you will see there is a very good reason we should take mega-doses of vitamin c

1
3d58b5fb4f9780e2f47d4dcc53338a5a

(2771)

on April 03, 2013
at 05:50 PM

Another issue that I didn't see anyone here talk about is the diminished need for vitamin C on our type of diet. Glucose and Ascorbic acid (vitamin C) compete for space because of their similar molecular make up. When insulin helps open up the cell walls to allow nutrients in, they both try to get in, with glucose having an edge on vitamin C. For those that have a high blood sugar level most of the time, they need a lot higher intake of C to hopefully get more into their system.

So, for conventional refined carb eaters out there, maybe a mega-dose is a good idea to combat the mega-dose of sugars they dump into their bodies. As we eat more naturally, the need to supplement decreases as well. That doesn't mean that other environmental factors like stress and pollution may influence our need to get a helping hand from a supplement.

And, as noted by other here, some do see a great benefit with allergies and other issues. I personally only want to supplement as little as possible because I don't know the long term affects on my body if I'm creating an unnatural environment that it's not adapted to.

1
E285341047dec05ae71f2e170cb2a886

on January 31, 2013
at 01:10 PM

Liposomal Vitamin C deals with many of the issues explained above.. with liposomal vitamin C your absorption rate skyrockets and you don't have the nasty side effects of standard vitamin C ..

Essentially what this is, is vitamin c encapsulated in lecithin, which to make a long story short.. is fat, usually derived from soy.

With this, you avoid the vitamin c from sitting in your intestinal track where it normally gets absorbed and can cause issues at high dosage.. instead it can be directly absorbed through the cell walls.

Absorption goes from 19% ( roughly ) with standard vitamin C supplementation, to around 97% without the side effects. I've been taking it 3,000mg every day for a few years now and it's made a major difference to me!

Google is your friend =) check it out.. there's even ways to make it yourself cheap and easy =)

1
932a20ea8b1aa165bef32d162a642d44

on September 12, 2012
at 04:17 PM

My asthma symptoms are significantly better when I megadose. I take 5000mg spread out throughout the day.

1
Medium avatar

on July 13, 2012
at 09:13 AM

Reduces benefits of exercise:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19433800

0
B3bc39b3a2650f3e8fc7395a78e3af49

(10)

on April 03, 2013
at 05:24 PM

Dr Andrew Saul basically destroys all common myths about vitamin C absorbtion at the below link full of scientific references further solidifying the credibility of what some would consider outlandish claims. Anyone interested in learning about vitamin C might want to read more on Dr Andrew Saul's research.

http://www.doctoryourself.com/c_roberts.html

0
36e58721c5ac68ff24dff9243db6e03d

on September 20, 2012
at 11:17 AM

Simply what does vitamin C actually do to a person’s overall health? Firstly, it includes a lot of natural health benefits for many who ingest this kind of vitamin on a steady basis. A couple of the most critical health benefits of common vit c consumption are usually younger skin area as well as healthful gyms. One more relevance of the actual vitamin is actually the actual intake of mineral, for instance iron, that's vital, particularly for those people who are identified for being anemic. Vitamin C was originally used in skin care. Individuals who routinely ingest this kind of vitamin will quickly realize how they experience quick recovery of their very own injuries and even cuts. Vitamin C additionally takes care of throughout the unwinding and strengthening of the protecting liner of a individual’s respiratory system areas. Vitamin C can also help people take advantage of health advantages, just like the reduction of respiratory complications, for example influenza, typical cold, as well as a variety of additional lung microbe infections.

Folks constantly hook up vitamin c along with the health and wellbeing of a person’s defense mechanisms. Simply what does Vitamin C deliver to the person's health and fitness and defense mechanisms? It can help for the reduction of free-radicals, that if neglected, can create critical destruction of the individual's overall health. Also, it can help the body’s defense system to reach reliable and powerful body using common detoxing. Along with this sort of a procedure, the entire body gets rid of pretty much all toxic compounds from the system. Our liver demands vitamin c in order to assist in the eradicating of poisons out of the body.

-1
E8b24741f1fbca054f78f6328deafbf4

on July 13, 2012
at 05:40 AM

I should add that I only take vitamin c in the form of ascorbic acid. Not time release. Not Ester-C. My understanding is that is has to be ascorbic acid. Only.

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