is an essential and critical vitamin for your body. Although
research studies seem to show conflicting results, one fact seems to be
consistent across practically all research studies: Deficiency
in this essential vitamin seems to cause many health problems
health benefits of this vitamin are confirmed with extensive clinical
studies. Citrus fruits and vegetables should be a "standard" part of
daily diet. If not, taking supplemental vitamin C is highly
suggest a minimum
of 250 mg daily for most adults. This will ensure you
won't be deficient in this essential vitamin.
It is our very strong opinion that the Recommended
(RDA) set by experts is far too low for practically everyone. The
importance of this vitamin is underestimated by many people.
This is a very "strange" vitamin from a research point of view. There
are massive amounts of well-designed research studies done but they
seem to yield contradictory results! One study would show benefit and
another study (equally in design quality) would show no benefit. Click here
to jump to section below for a possible explanation.
Prevention in General
It is well known through population studies that low levels of
vitamin C increases the risk of prostate,
stomach, colon, mouth and
However, it is less clear whether taking large (mega dose) of vitamin C
could prevent cancer.
is disagreement among experts on the use of this essential vitamin. In
lab studies, this vitamin is shown to be absorbed much more rapidly by
cancerous cells, causing them to stop growing and to be killed.
(Hardening of the Arteries)
Studies done to see if this vitamin can slow down atherosclerosis
produced mixed results. Some studies show that this vitamin can slow
down the atherosclerotic process.
believe the benefits of using this vitamin might depend on the gender
(man versus female), severity of the atherosclerosis, whether the
person is initially deficient in this vitamin and perhaps several other
||Gallstone, Gallbladder Disease and Gout Prevention
Clinical studies done in women show that taking this vitamin lowers the
risk of developing of gallstone and gallbladder disease by 34%.
Cold Treatment / Influenza
The use of Vitamin C for treating the common cold is highly
controversial, despite extensive clinical research in this area. In
several studies, taking high doses of this vitamin does seem to shorten
the duration of the cold by up to one and a half days.
research studies conducted still showed mixed results. Some studies
report benefits and other show it doesn't make a difference.
(Myocardial Infarction / MI)
Studies show that those who are low in this vitamin have a higher risk
of getting a heart attack.
One study showed that combining vitamin C with arginine helped
to reduce the symptoms of angina
The benefit only seems to apply when you are deficient in this vitamin.
have shown that vitamin C enhances the function of the immune system.
This vitamin boosts the white blood cell count to better fight off
infections. People with low levels of this vitamin seem to be more
likely to get infections.
||High Blood Pressure
This vitamin is shown to lower blood pressure by enhancing the
production of nitric oxide (which causes blood vessels to dilate).
Aging and Wrinkles
vitamin is essential for collagen production. Collagen is a type of
protein that is needed for skin, ligament, cartilage and cornea
production and health.
Using a cream formulation containing 3% to 10% of this vitamin reduces
the appearance of wrinkles in as little as 12 weeks.
healing (in burn patients)
A recent small (15 children) well-designed
clinical studies done in children shows that taking this vitamin along
with vitamin E and zinc helps wound heal
significantly faster. Other
studies also showed similar benefits for other types of skin problems.
Experts believed that a combination of antioxidant
vitamins and mineral offered protection against oxidative stress and
thus speed up the healing of the skin.
dosage used was (simply) double of the recommended daily intake for the
three ingredients. It did not require mega dose levels to show this
Experts believe that antioxidants
play a significant role in preventing cancers such as prostate cancer.
Antioxidants prevent damage to DNA in cells that leads to the
development of cancer.
As well, there are studies that show a diet low in vitamin C increases
the risk of death from cancer in men (but not women).
Low levels of this vitamin seem to be linked to an increased risk of
However, high doses of this vitamin seem to increase cataract risks in
Macular Degeneration (AMD)
Several studies show that taking 500
mg of this vitamin along with zinc (80 mg), beta-carotene (15 mg) and
vitamin E (400 IU) reduces the risk of
vision loss and appears to slow down the disease.
can result when our genetic material (DNA) is damaged by oxidation.
Thus, it is solid reason why taking this critical vitamin may be able
to treat and prevent cancer.
well designed clinical studies done with 40 patients show that the
antioxidant properties of this essential vitamin was able to prevent
DNA damage in a type of human white blood cells (lymphocytes)
responsible for attacking and destroying germs found in our body.
volunteers in this study drank grape juice amounting to 2.5 mL (1/2
teaspoon) for each pound of body weight each day. That's 250 mL or
about a cup for every 100 lbs of body weight daily. This study shows
that you don't need mega dose of this vitamin to see benefits.
||Infertility / Increase or Enhance Fertility|
vitamin can help in both men and women suffering from infertility
issues. One clinical study showed that it helped to increase fertility
in women suffering from luteal phase defect.
and Allergies (Hay
studies have shown that a low level of this vitamin is linked to asthma
and poor lung function. There are also studies to show that taking
vitamin C supplements reduced asthma symptoms.
We will need to see well-designed studies to verify this benefit as
there also studies that show that taking this vitamin did not help.
study lasting 10 weeks showed that children taking 1 gram of vitamin C
per 20 pounds of body weight has less autistic symptoms compared to
Animal studies seem to show that this essential vitamin can lower levels of stress hormones in the blood.
small clinical studies done at the University of Antioquia (2009)
showed that men with high levels of DNA damage or excessive oxidative
stress benefited from taking antioxidants like vitamin C.
researchers concluded that men taking foods rich in antioxidants could
help with decreasing miscarriage incidences by maintaining the quality
of the DNA in the sperm.
This vitamin is shown to prevent or at least slow down the
degeneration of the cartilage for those suffering from osteoarthritis.
This vitamin is required for proper health of the cartilage and its
benefit also protects against damage caused by
(High Blood Pressure During Pregnancy)
(400 IU daily) combined with vitamin C (1,000 mg daily) seems to help
pre-eclampsia in certain groups of pregnant women.
review of research data from the Cochrane Database System shows that
taking vitamin supplements did not reduce the risk of miscarriage
although it did bring down the risk of pre-eclampsia and increased the
likelihood of having multiple births.
Infection During Pregnancy
Taking this vitamin seems to reduce the risk of getting bladder
infection in pregnant females.
(UV) skin / Sunburn
It seems that taking this vitamin along with vitamin E can help prevent
sunburns and act as a sunscreen. Applying a cream formulation
containing this vitamin, vitamin
E and melatonin
seems to offer a small amount of UV protection.
However, without additional sunscreen ingredients, these
formulations do not
offer much protection as a typical sunscreen.
Cold Sores (Herpes Labialis)
In lab studies, vitamin C was able to inactivate the cold sores virus. In one study, volunteers taking vitamin C with flavonoids cut the length of the symptoms by 57%.
/ Alzheimer's Disease|
Taking this vitamin doesn't seem to prevent getting dementia or
Alzheimer's disease. However, some population studies do seem to show
that it may help prevent these two conditions if this vitamin is taken
for longer period of time at higher doses.
Vitamin C may be helpful in people with heart disease in many ways even
though it doesn't lower
cholesterol. Being an antioxidant, it may play a role in
preventing heart disease.
A recent study showed that this vitamin thickens the blood vessel wall
which may reduce blood flow. This study seem to
suggest not taking too
much of this vitamin for those suffering from heart disease. More
studies will be needed to verify this initial finding.
The benefits of taking this vitamin do apply if you are deficient.
Because a study showed that vitamin C appears to thicken blood vessel,
avoid "mega doses" of this vitamin if you suffer from heart disease.
2 Diabetes (Non-Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus)
Although taking this vitamin doesn't lower blood sugar levels, it does
help to stabilize blood sugar levels and metabolism.
- Probably not effective
Extensive clinical studies have shown that taking vitamin C on a daily
basis didn't reduce the risk of getting the common cold.
However, taking high dose of this vitamin seems to shorten the duration
of the cold
Prevention - Probably not effective
There are conflicting results on proving
whether taking higher
doses of this essential vitamin could prevent stroke. Indeed,
population studies do show that if you are low in vitamin C, taking
supplements may reduce the risk of stroke.
However, taking this vitamin when you are not deficient doesn't offer
any additional protection.
deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) -
Probably not effective
essential vitamin is needed to help build neurotransmitters (such as
serotonin, adrenaline and dopamine) for the brain to work properly. It
is speculated that too little vitamin C could be responsible for
However, clinical studies show that taking high doses of this vitamin
did not help treat ADHD.
Benefits and Traditional Uses
and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
is vitamin C?
Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is a vitamin that
is water-soluble. What this means is that if you take too much and your
body doesn't need the excess amount, it will be removed by the kidney.
The human body cannot make vitamin C (unlike many other mammals) and
thus relies on getting it from the foods we eat.
Severely low levels of this vitamin will cause a
condition called scurvy, a common disease back in the 18th century when
sailors don't get to eat any fruits or vegetables during their long
sea. Today, this is
a very rare disease.
this essential vitamin daily is important as your body doesn't really
store very much of this (unlike, for example, calcium).
How do I know if I have a deficiency in vitamin C?
Blood test can
measure the levels of
this vitamin in your bloodstream. Healthy adults typically have blood
of at least 0.3 mg/dL. Levels lower than 0.2 mg/dL
would put a person in a state of deficiency.
What are some foods sources high in vitamin C?
Which is the best?
rich in this vitamin
include citrus fruits and vegetables. Vitamin C is sensitive to heat so
cooking and storage can reduce the amount that your body can absorb.
possible, eat citrus fruits instead of drinking ready-to-drink juices
(such as orange juice).
Apparently, ready-to-drink orange juice contains more oxidized vitamin
C than frozen orange juice. Oxidized vitamin C doesn't get absorbed
Stick with ready-to-drink juice that are freshly
squeezed when possible rather than those packaged to sit on the grocery
shelves for long periods of time.
What drugs could lower the levels of vitamin C in
drugs may cause your body to use up more of this vitamin
- Aspirin (ASA)
- Diuretics ("Water Pills" such as Lasix)
- Female Hormones (Birth Control Pills and
- Proton Pump Inhibitors (Aciphex, Losec,
Prilosec, Prevacid, Pantoloc, Protonix and Nexium)
believe that this might apply only to those people who have low levels
of this vitamin to start with. People with enough of this vitamin may
not be affected.
are research studies showing conflicting results?
are many reasons why it is so difficult to get clear conclusive answers
essential vitamin despite exhaustive research
Perhaps it is because this vitamin does so much in our body in combination with
other vitamins and minerals?
This further provides evidence to show how complex and delicate our
It is next to impossible to just look at one
vitamin's benefit to one disease (which is what every well-designed
research study tries to do). We must treat our body as a whole and
hence, we need to take a holistic approach to looking after our health.
Experts can't agree on the exact amount of health benefits from taking
this vitamin but they do agree that a deficiency can
problems in the long-term.
What are some side effects of taking vitamin C?
The higher the
dose of this vitamin,
the higher the side effects you will experience. They may include
nausea and vomiting, the most commonly reported side effects.
And at higher doses, it can cause heartburn, flushing, cramps,
headache, diarrhea and upset stomach.
What are some toxicity if I take too much or
on vitamin C?
Mega dose of
this vitamin has been
linked to increased risk of kidney
, deep vein thrombosis,
increased risk of heart
in women after menopause, thickening of
the blood vessel walls and possibly increase the production of reactive
oxygen species that can damage DNA. More long-term studies need to be
done to verify this fact.
Consult a properly trained healthcare professional in this area if you
plan to go on mega dose vitamin therapy.
if I have kidney stones or suffer from kidney disease?
If you have
kidney problems or suffer from kidney
this vitamin increases the risk further. Discuss this with your
healthcare professional before taking this vitamin, especially if you
are taking doses higher than 1 gram daily.
What are some known risk of taking too much of
new study (Nov 2009) that took 8.2 years involving 24,593
aged 49 to 83 showed that taking over 1,000 mg of this vitamin
increased cataract risk by 38%. The experts suggest that high-dose of
this vitamin may be associated with a higher risk of age-related
cataracts in women.
to Take It
The Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) is listed below.
||RDA (mg daily)
||Add another 35 mg
National Academy of Sciences has set the upper limit (UL) at 2,000 mg
(2 grams) daily. There is disagreement among experts as some believe
that the RDA is set far too low.
As this vitamin is
water-soluble, the amount absorbed by the body that it doesn't need can
easily be removed by the kidney. As you can see, the RDA is
very conservative compared to what you can buy at your local
health food stores and pharmacies. This vitamin is commonly available
in dosage up to 1,000 mg (1 gram) per pill.
Commonly Used Dosages from Research Studies
- Typical dose is 1,000 to 3,000 mg daily (divided into two doses)
- 125 mg of this vitamin along with selenium,
zinc and vitamin E daily
have been used.
- Dose of 250 to 1000 mg taken two or three times daily have been
Enhancing Fertility in Women - Take 750 mg daily.
Mega Doses Commonly Used
strongly advise seeking the guidance of competent healthcare
professionals specialized in this area when taking mega doses of any
vitamins or supplements.
Make sure you are aware of the common side effects and toxicity of
amounts of this vitamin so that you can watch out for them.
these mega doses, we suggest you use pure ascorbic acid powder or
crystals instead. These can be purchased from any pharmacy or
health food stores. (You probably don't want to be taking 10
pills four times daily.)
||Mega Dose Amounts (daily)
(Split dose into four to eight times
||30 to 60 g
|Allergies (hay fever)
||5 to 20 g
||100 to 150 g
1 g (gram) is equal to 1,000 mg (milligrams).
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