by Dr Michael Joseph, DNM PhD AADP
Vitamin C is an important if not critical nutrient for human health. It is not made or stored by the human body so it must be found in abundance in your daily diet.
Vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, is the key nutrient required by the body to synthesize collagen, the “glue” that holds the body together. Collagen is what connective tissue like ligaments and tendons are made of. Cardiac tissue is largely comprised of collagen.
In addition to being the main ingredient in forming collagen, Ascorbic Acid is involved in the production of energy and is required in large amounts for proper immune function. The immune system uses Ascorbic Acid to fight infections and foreign invaders.
However, the function that Vitamin C is most known for is as an antioxidant. The human body is exposed to a variety of oxidative factors every second of every day. These factors, called free radicals, come from many sources, from environmental pollutants to drugs, and even include your own natural body processes. Oxidation is when a molecule is missing an electron and it has to “steal” an electron from another molecule to be “whole”. The rust on your car bumper is the result of Oxidation, and a process just like this is happening every day in your body. Excessive oxidative stress can accelerate the aging process and cause many health problems. Vitamin C provides that extra electron to these renegade free radical molecules and helps to preserve cells, tissue, vital organs, and even DNA. Vitamin C also recycles other critical antioxidants in the body, such as glutathione, the most abundant of all the human antioxidants.
Because of the high need and the multiple functions of Vitamin C, there must be a constant “flow” of the nutrient in the blood for the body to draw from. This is called Dynamic Flow, and is the reason why taking a large amount of Vitamin C once a day may not always be effective. To achieve Dynamic Flow of Vitamin C, a smaller but still sizeable amount should be taken in supplement form every few hours. A simple method that works for most busy people would be to take two 500mg capsules of Ascorbic Acid (or Ascorbate, the buffered version) in the morning with breakfast, then another 500mg capsule at lunch, and one more 500mg capsule for dinner. This method will allow for a constant source of the Vitamin for the body to draw from, and it keeps blood levels stable throughout the day.
Some people may experience some digestive unrest, loose stools, and possibly diarrhea from taking larger amounts of Vitamin C. This is a natural reaction and is called bowel tolerance. If one experiences a bowel tolerance reaction, the solution is to simply lower the amount of Vitamin C taken, but not to cut it off completely. It should also be noted that the more someone needs Vitamin C, the greater bowel tolerance that person will have; in other words, the sicker you are, the more Vitamin C you need. This is especially true with cancer patients, who could tolerate 60-100grams of vitamin C per day without any loose stools. This is a powerful revelation that showcases the essential nature of Vitamin C and how the need for it increases exponentially in times of illness.
These statements have not been evaluated by the food and drug administration. This consult is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure ore prevent any disease
For more great articles be sure to keep checking back on Drugless Functional Medicine on a regular basis!