Ever seen a sick goat? Usually when they do get sick, it’s so bad that that they die. Goats are known to eat almost anything. That is not true but they definitely have multiple stomachs. Goats are not the only animals to seldom get sick. Dogs and cats are seldom sick, at least they don’t seem to have colds and allergies like humans do. What do these animals have in common? They produce their own vitamin c. Yes, unlike humans, most animals and especially goats have the ability to ge
nerate their own vitamin c supplies in their liver. Humans along with primates and guinea pigs, have a genetic mutation that does not allow the liver to produce this essential vitamin. Goats can produce up to 100,000 mg per day in their own livers when under stress.
Why is this important? You see, vitamin c is such a powerful and underrated nutrient that serves functions in most of the body. Without it you die, become deficient in it and you are more susceptible to common illnesses, become further deficient and you develop scurvy. Get plenty and you can thrive. Although it is not known why humans can’t produce their own vitamin c, we do know for a fact that it is essential to our bodies and there is a lot more to it than what is commonly known. Interestingly, even though humans don’t produce vitamin c, we have the ability to recycle the vitamin c that has already been used by the body.
Are you getting enough? SInce vitamin c is found in a broad range of foods, one would think that deficiencies would be rare in modern times. Due to the combination of depleted nutrients in foods, the low recommended daily allowance and the environmental toxins, we are actually very deficient in this critical vitamin.
Illness, disease and stress cause our bodies to consume large amounts of vitamin c.
This should not be the case, and it is so easily preventable. Vitamin c is readily available and inexpensive. That is not to say that we are getting enough.
Vitamin c is more than just a vitamin
Acts as a detoxifier from environmental poisons
Acts as an antihistamine (lowers histamine) to protect from pollen and allergies
Protects bones, skin and neurotransmitters.
Protects fat and aids in fat absorption
Key part of the basic energy production process
Helps with all glycemic control and is especially helpful for Diabetics
Improves Glucose handling, insulin sensitivity and production
Lowers oxidative stress
Improves blood vessel health
Required for collagen, bone and tissue repair and synthesis of certain neurotransmitters
Lessons vaccine reactions
Every risk factor for heart disease is decreased with vitamin c
Improves cholesterol metabolism
Lowers blood pressure
Concentrated in the amniotic fluid during pregnancy
Lowers stress in newborns
On oxidative stress
Oxidative stress is a naturally occurring process that can be partially controlled by lifestyle management. Oxidative stress produces free radicals which are basically unpaired electrons that can cause damage and wear and tear at the cellular level.
There are many contributing factors which can be increased or decreased by what we do.
Where does oxidative stress come from? Digestion of food, breathing oxygen, environmental toxins, poor sleep, defending against viruses and bacteria, psychological stress, smoking, junk food, alcohol and pharmaceutical drugs are but some examples.
What does vitamin c have to do with oxidative stress? Plenty. Vitamin c is a non-enzymatic antioxidant. It is an electron donor, meaning it gives the free radicals electrons, rendering them benevolent.
Where to get it- Sprouted seeds of legumes and some grains. Refer to common foods chart below.
Vitamin c is very sensitive to heat, light and air so care must be taken in food prep. Boiling foods in water will remove most of the vitamin c. High heat destroys it.
Can be found in smaller amounts in the liver of some animals and can be obtained from flesh that is raw or lightly cooked.
How much and megadosing
Vitamin c requirements– The RDA for vitamin c is now set at 90 mg/day for an adult male and 75 mg/day for an adult female. Since everyone is different, vitamin c requirements vary based on the level of stress, toxic load and health status. Some texts on Paleo diet support the notion that vitamin c need only come from a healthy diet. This may have been true in ancient times but our environment is not what it once was and has become extremely toxic in many ways. It is a fact that vitamin c requirements drastically increase during times of stress and the average modern human is under a great deal of stress and environmental toxins in day to day living. It is probably safe to say that the bare minimum requirement of vitamin c will certainly prevent scurvy but won’t do much to overcome routine and modern environmentally related illnesses. Preventing scurvy is not the same as promoting optimal health. This is where megadosing could be helpful.
The vitamin c that is used or excess, is either reversibly oxidized to dehydroascorbic acid or excreted in the urine. Bowel tolerance is an indicator of when the system is saturated with vitamin c.
Tolerance can be improved by taking in vitamin c regularly.
Intravenous vitamin c is the most rapidly absorbed and the most effective for major illnesses and disease.
Vitamin c competes with sugar. The presence of large quantities of sugar either in the intestines or in the blood can slow absorption (this is a very good reason to abstain from sugar).
Bowel obstructions, severe dehydration.
Ascorbic acid- The most common type. Very sour to the taste. The acidity can be upsetting to the stomach in some individuals. Although a synthetic, the bioavailability of this is almost identical to the natural forms of v.c..
Sodium Ascorbate- This is the preferred form of vitamin c. It is buffered and easily transported into the system.
Calcium Ascorbate (Ester C)-not easily absorbed and causes a calcium buildup in soft tissues.
Liposomal c (expensive)- This type of vitamin c is both water soluble and fat soluble. It is easily absorbed into multiple systems at the same time. This can be taken along with sodium ascorbate during times of illness.
Although whole foods are the preferred source, a normal healthy diet doesn’t contain enough vitamin c to overcome most daily stressful conditions and illnesses which is why it is necessary to supplement.
If you have zero stress and are in perfect health, then maybe you could get by taking the standard RDA amounts, but let’s be realistic. A vitamin c regimen should be at least daily and probably twice daily depending on the activity. Since exercise is a form of tremendous stress, I like to take 1,000-2,000 mg either before or after workouts. If you feel a cold coming on it would be safe to take 1,000-2,000 mg at intervals throughout the day at the very least. While traveling is also a good time to megadose on vitamin c.
Create a paste from water and sodium ascorbate or any powdered form of vitamin c, you can even break open a capsule and use the powder inside. Rub this paste on cuts, scrapes, bruises, etc. for rapid healing.
Vitamin c is truly the most powerful antioxidant known. So much has been studied and written about it in the last 100+ years, yet it is still not used to its potential. How could such an inexpensive and available nutrient not be utilized in medicine and everyday nutrition? This short article is only scratching the surface of the benefits of vitamin c. Hopefully just by reading this one can make improvements in their health. For more detailed discussions with a nutrition consultant and figuring out the right foods to eat, contact steven@NutritionAsRx.com.
“Vitamin C Basics” Suzanne Humphries- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JFT5rdwrNV0&t=2671s
“Vitamin C Basics-Practical Use” Suzanne Humphries- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gw0Qz6H5xTo
“The Healing Factor” Irwin Stone, 1972, Perigee books, ISBN 0-399-50764-7
“Stop America’s #1 Killer” J.D. Levy
Lind J (1753). A Treatise of the Scurvy. London: A. Millar. In the 1757 edition of his work, Lind discusses his experiment starting on page 149
Stone, I (February 22, 2003). “Eight Decades of Scurvy. The Case History of a Misleading Dietary Hypothesis.”
Yamada H, Yamada K, Waki M, Umegaki K (2004). “Lymphocyte and Plasma Vitamin C Levels in Type 2 Diabetic Patients With and Without Diabetes Complications” (PDF). Diabetes Care. 27 (10): 2491–2.
Wilson, Michelle K.; Baguley, Bruce C.; Wall, Clare; Jameson, Michael B.; Findlay, Michael P. (2014-03-01). “Review of high-dose intravenous vitamin C as an anticancer agent”. Asia-Pacific Journal of Clinical Oncology. 10 (1): 22–37.
“Office of Dietary Supplements – Vitamin C”. ods.od.nih.gov. 11 January 2017.
Photo credits: Suzanne Humphries