Several people seem to be recommending vitamin C supplements lately and when I looked I was surprised there was not much on the subject here. So...
Do you take vitamin C supplements?
- If so why?
What dose to you take and recommend?
- What are your reasons?
When do you take your vitamin C?
Such as with or apart from meals?
With other supplements?
Single or multiple doses?
What type of vitamin C supplement do you take?
- Pills, powder etc.
On what evidence do you base your answers to these questions?
- Any interesting links are appreciated.
asked byMatt_1 (19245)
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on October 17, 2011
at 10:09 AM
I don't see a point to copy/paste my previous writings here. It is against DRY principle. As Dragonfly nicely said, people should learn to use search.
The studie that Dean reffered to [vitamin c and/or antioxidants prevent exercise benefits http://www.ajcn.org/content/87/1/142.abstract] is wrong, there are at least 10 studies with oposite or neutral conclusions, for start
Furthermore, all animals would suck at sports if that was true, because they all produce very high amounts. This is not what happens and the research is obviously wrong.
Additionally, in almost all studies it becomes apparent that fat oxidation increases which means that mitochondria actually work better.
Scurvy is final fallout of entire organism. Sub clinical scurvy appears far before final meltdown. 10mg per day is enough to not become fluffy ball of cells without structure [scurvy] and that is amount even produced by intestinal bacteria. Amounts for optimal health are FAR greater. Thats why some people and g. pigs never get scurvy - the body can recycle C fast enough if you are not under severe stress and have normal microbiota.
You don't get megadose to prevent scurvy, thats what modern medicine whats you to think. If you think only scurvy is important, then you should ditch your vitamin D too and go live in a cave as you will for sure not get rickets. There are bunch of other effects of C in the healthy body:
An unexpected finding with clinical implications is that SLC23A1 knockout mice have a functional outcome in relation to ascorbate concentrations that is not scurvy. Pregnant SLC23A1 knockout mice lose approximately one-half of their pups despite ascorbate concentrations that are several-fold above those associated with scurvy. Raising plasma ascorbate concentrations from ???30 to 40 ??mol/L prevents fetal loss in these mice
Urinary losses may not be important at all for AA requirement, because SVCT1-/- mices excrete 18 fold more and yet require it badly and upregulate bioshythesis thus basically losing food (see here):
Although Slc23a1-/- mice lost as much as 70% of their ascorbate body stores in urine daily, we observed an unanticipated compensatory increase in ascorbate synthesis.
RDA of 60mg borders with criminal and is obviously wrong, based on flawed study measuring body and plasma saturation with white blood cells serving as proxy for tissue levels. Its described extensively in the book "Ridiculous Dietary Allowance" by Hickey and Roberts or their next superb book "Ascorbate: The Science of Vitamin C". Mr Levin conducted new study only year later and proved his method was wrong before and proposed new RDA to be almost 4 times higher, yet, this never materialized [you have to wonder why, 15 years later]. This only reflects what might happen with healthy young individuals, in stress this rises many fold.
I contacted most of the prominent vitamin C authors during my research. For instance, Harri Hemil?? MD PhD, very conservative when C supplementation is in question wrote me:
In the case of a disease the good doses can be much higher. The highest dose in a controlled trial was 6 g/day during a cold, but I think that the best dose can be much higher still - but that is during the disease.
Many (I dare to say most) people older then 25 are now chronically sick and for them AA is most important:
In theory, dose concentration relationships can be affected by changes in utilization rates. Healthy participants had different utilization rates, although this did not affect steady-state concentrations for different doses (10, 18, 21, 38, 39). It is possible that ascorbate utilization increases in disease by acceleration of ascorbate-dependent enzymatic reaction rates, by decrease in reduction of ascorbate radical dehydroascorbic acid, or by accelerated nonenzymatic degradation due to disease-associated oxidants. Ascorbate concentrations are lower in smokers, probably because of smoking-associated oxidants (40). Ascorbate concentrations are lower in patients with pancreatitis, sepsis, crucial illness, acute myocardial infarction, and diabetes
The other thing is that Mayo clinic flawed studies are responsible for the denial we have today:
The Mayo Clinic investigators administered only oral ascorbate, but Cameron administered both i.v. and oral ascorbate. This difference was not recognized previously by any investigators, because no one provided plasma measurements so that the pharmacology explanation remained obscured. Given its potential promise, a call was issued for oncologists to investigate ascorbate anew (57). But there was no response, perhaps due to skepticism and even bitterness engendered by the earlier battles among Pauling, Moertel, oncologists, and complementary and alternative medicine (integrative medicine) practitioners (53).
Very high IV doses - from 50 to 250g per day - are without any adverse effects. If we compare this to absorption of oral doses, you would have to take 10x that amount, i.e. 0.5kg - 2.5kg. However, you wouldn't achieve IV levels which are with oral doses always <250 microM/L, far bellow pro oxidant effects of C which are often touted by various people as reason why not to take C oral megadoses which is obviously wrong.
It is apparent both from in vitro and clinical studies that adverse effects of pharmacologic ascorbate are few. It is possible that as clinical studies increase and/or as dose frequency increases, more adverse effects will emerge. Nevertheless, the absence of toxicities is striking compared with many chemotherapeutic agents. Why are normal cells and tissues unaffected? Normal cells have redundant mechanisms for H2O2 disposal and/or repair of H2O2 damage. In contrast, susceptible cancer cells may have a series of mutations that signal cell death in the context of H2O2 formed by pharmacologic ascorbate; the specific pathways affected likely vary between cancer cells.
This graph from vitamin c pharmacokinetics study is telling:
From it, it seems like 4x3g (level teaspoon = 3g) is around maximal oral dose in healthy state. This is true only for powder form. Liposhperic vitamin C is absorbed 100% and can give higher values. This physiological uptake and determination is similar to that of D (D3 megadose) or Iodine (orthoiodine supplementation) yet nobody reacts to it for some reason. Its probably because its just vitamin C, its so well known that people fail to see its importance. Its typical for humans, the importance every day stuff is hard to see.
I take between 8-12g per day when I am healthy, as 4x3g of powder either in carbonated water with Mg or as custom made sodium ascorbate when I don't feel like acid. My entire family does this for more then 2 years, including babies/kids which are on 1g/year-of-age/day protocol [and are never sick]. Its very important for kids because their immune system is overactive judged by their high lymphocyte count and lymphocytes are one of the biggest users of ascorbate. Check out also about vitamin c babies.
When I think I catched something, I rise it up to 30, 60, 100 g or more. This happens maybe once per year. If I guessed wrong, it shows because I get diarrhea after 15g. On severe stress I don't have any GI problems with 100+ grams which is a sign that body pumps ascorbate like mad.
The most important thing you can do for yourself is taking some form of ascorbate multiple times per day. Its primal thing. Furthermore, if you have hard time believing me, Pauling is the only person who got 2 Nobel prizes, he invented the medicine as it is today and is one of the greatest scientist that ever existed. He was taking 18g per day.
You can check around how non-toxic and important for every condition it is. There are thousdands of researches conducted each year. This guy did such experiment searching just-like-that for research from only year 2009. Check out his 4 part article:
http://healthjournalclub.blogspot.com/2010/10/vitamin-c-past-year-part-i.html http://healthjournalclub.blogspot.com/2010/10/vitamin-c-past-years-research-part-ii.html http://healthjournalclub.blogspot.com/2010/11/vitamin-c-past-years-research-part-iii.html http://healthjournalclub.blogspot.com/2010/11/vitamin-c-past-years-research-part-iv.html
The fact is, I collected bunch of those papers, I have read fully hundreds of them and even more to some extent. I still didn't find any negative effect. Those that are frequently mentioned are either wrong, inconclusive or related to very small subset of individuals, like those with heavy kidney disease.
See bellow Hickey's mails about criminal RDA level.
on October 16, 2011
at 03:11 PM
I take 4x1gram a day, it helps with a lot of little things, but I mostly take it because I'm doing ZC. Some benefits I got from it :
- Less problems with sickness (I remember not being able to sleep when I was little because of a runny, painful nose)
- The day I started the vitamin C the skin on my hands became very nice (which is important to me, when I was vegan my hands were filled with wounds from the cold, they looked like the hands of a 90yo)
on October 17, 2011
at 12:07 AM
Do you take vitamin C supplements? yes I do. About 12-15 grams daily of lyposhperic
If so why? See "Linus Pauling and Orthomolecular medicine" What dose to you take and recommend? See above.
What are your reasons? Vascular health When do you take your vitamin C? Throughout the day
Such as with or apart from meals? 20 minutes before meals;on an empty stomach
With other supplements? I have a list. I can provide that if you like.
Single or multiple doses? Single doses generally.
What type of vitamin C supplement do you take? Granulated, pure ascorbic
Pills, powder etc. Finally:
On what evidence do you base your answers to these questions? Linis Pauling was a 2 time Nobel Prize winner.
Any interesting links are appreciated. Start here: www.vitamincfoundation.org
on October 16, 2011
at 11:34 PM
RDA is 90 mg.
In the U.S., 17% are deficient, and up to 23% are 'depleted' 167).
70 mg/day vitamin C supplement in free living people: -46% decrease in plasma TBARS (a measure of lipid peroxidation)168).
Vitamin C supplementation is associated with 10%-35% decrease in total mortality 169).
Vitamin C saturation in healthy young people occurs at 400 mg daily 170). No toxicity up to 2 g daily, diarrhea is worst possible symptom. http://perfecthealthdiet.com/?p=636 . Sources @ http://flare8.net/health/doku.php/nutrients#vitamin_c
I avoid taking vitamin C with iron-rich meals, since C increases iron absorption and I'd like to avoid excess iron.
on October 16, 2011
at 02:52 PM
I don't normally take C as a supplement, maybe occasionally with my magnesium at night if I've been fasting or had an off-plan meal. But I find the link between C, cortisol and stress compelling, so I keep some of LivOn Labs' Lypo-Spheric C on hand to take when stressed.
on October 16, 2011
at 02:28 PM
I take about 2 grams, usually split up in two doses with my morning and dinner meal. I use the absorbic acid powder from trader joes.
I find that it helps me tolerate dairy a lot better, it might have other benefits but that is the one I notice the most.
on January 16, 2012
at 07:53 PM
i take a gram a day. if i stop taking it i get clinical scurvey within 2-3 months. of course a clinician will not see a shin rash as scurvey naturally. but it matches pictures of scurvey posted on the internet, and we all know that gums weekend to bleed is scurvey and renamed gingivitis.
on October 19, 2011
at 08:35 AM
This is VERY Interesting.
Vitamin C 200 mg/kg Vitamin D 2,500 IU/kg Vitamin E 100 mg/kg Vitamin K 0.5 mg/kg Choline 750 mg/kg Zinc 100 mg/kg Iodine 0.35 mg/kg
This really makes you wonder. Primates, as humans, can't synthesize vitamin C, they have the same GULO gene mutated. Yet they require 200mg/kg. This is 16g/day for 80kg human.
In non-human, furry primates, vitamin D is synthesized in the skin and then secreted into the fur. It is then digested orally through the process of grooming themselves and others. I guess amount made is not that high as with humans as Sun exposure and IV radiation is also used to create it. Thats why they require such large amounts. For 80 kg human that would be 200 000 IU, which is also sometimes used with humans in treatment of various disease states. However, since humans are probably more efficient it is probably safe to assume that we would need much more reduced levels. That primates need much more D3 could be find around, for instance:
The level of vitamin D supplementation (2000 to 4000 IU/day) used in this study population are insuficient to maintain chimpanzee vitamin D levels, suggesting that a dietary or absorption problem exists in chimpanzees; or (c) chimpanzees may require more sun exposure than do humans to produce the same amount of vitamin D3 (possibly due to the fact that chimpanzees have more hair covering the skin).
Iodine translated to 80kg gives 28mg which is only double of recommended orhoiodine supplementation of ~14mg.
Why are primates, are closest relatives so different from us when optimal amounts of nutrients are in question? I bet we are not, and if we are better or more optimized at some things it couldn't be that we are so much better.
At the end, those requirements had not been directly tested and there are probably some mistakes, however, it strikes me that for humans values are 1000 times or more less and animal values are probably non-directly tested in various zoos and any serious adverse effects from those vitamins would be easily seen.
on October 16, 2011
at 04:21 PM
I don't. I also eat pounds of vegetables in a day and get 5 times my recommended daily value of the thing; I don't feel like I need a supplement. It seems that mega-dosing with vitamins and minerals causes short term absorbtion problems of other nutrients (vitamin C specifically interferes with glucose uptake; everyone's favorite, vitamin D, can cause B deficiencies if megadosed in pill form). In general, 'tis best to get vitamins and minerals from food sources. Vitamin C is really easy to get from whole foods, and if you want to increase the amount of that vitamin in your system (cold season, etc.), eat more cruciferous veggies and citrus fruits instead of eating something in isolated pill form.
on October 16, 2011
at 03:14 PM
I take it erratically but perhaps should take it more regularly for my bruising issues (had all my life, no abnormalities in platelets, etc.). VitC falls in my "why not" category. It's cheap, and you'll pee out any excess if you take too much.