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C Is For…Almost Everything

One of the biggest frustrations I have is seeing how the medical/pharmaceutical industry manipulates healthcare in this country. I’m always encouraged when I see other nations take a stand for the truth – like many European nations have in the case of genetically-modified foods – but it just digs the knife in a little deeper when I look at our own nation and how we have been misled.

Take Vitamin C (ascorbic acid), for example.

The Supersonic Jet In Your Garage

The fact that we include it as just one of a long list of Vitamins is like listing an Air Force fighter jet as just one of your cars. Its importance to your health is similar to that of protein…or even water.

Consider just a couple of the scientifically-proven benefits of Vitamin C:

Cellular Building Block

Collagen is the cement that holds your body together, forming the structure of muscle tissues, organ cells, arteries and veins, even your bones. Without collagen, you are simply a pile of wet dust. Collagen gives your tissues their flexibility and their toughness. Lack of collagen results in dry, itchy skin, brittle bones and veins, wounds that never heal, internal bleeding, and more. Here’s the reason I mention this: collagen is formed and maintained by Vitamin C.

Arterial Wall Building Materials

Your arteries around your heart are under constant stress and pressure, opening and closing thousands of times a day. Without adequate collagen produced by Vitamin C, those arteries begin to crease and crack and gradually become inflamed. This is the foundation of heart disease. For years, the medical community has pointed its finger at saturated fat, but that has been shown to be a distortion. The real culprit may be weak arteries due to inadequate collagen.

Immune System Weapon

Vitamin C is a key weapon of your immune system. This has been a source of immense controversy for 70 years. If you Google “taking Vitamin C for a cold,” the first several articles are from the pharma/medical industry, explaining why it doesn’t work. But to a chemist, it makes perfect sense. One of the most important causes of disease and inflammation is free radicals.

Quick Chemistry 101: Atoms are made up of protons, neutrons, and electrons. The goal of any atom is to have a complete set of electrons. Atoms that have a complete set tend to keep to themselves (we call them “inert,” which means they don’t interact with other atoms). Most atoms, however, are missing electrons, so they need to connect with other atoms to complete their own set. Electrons orbit around the nucleus, looking to make connections with other atoms. When they find a cell that has a free electron to share, they partner up. Sodium Chloride (table salt) is a good example of this.

Over time, some atoms deteriorate or break free of their bonds, leaving both parties incomplete. These incomplete atoms are called “free radicals,” and they ravage around through your body, looking for available cells to bond to. The damage they do to your body is commonly known as “inflammation” or “disease.”

The reason Vitamin C supplementation is so effective at containing inflammation, colds, asthma, and other diseases is that in large enough doses, it swarms in with an army of free electrons, handcuffing all the free radicals and dragging them out through your urinary system every few hours.

Digestive Healer

Vitamin C loosens and softens constipation. In fact, many lower-GI issues can be traced to Vitamin C deficiency. Vitamin C deficiency was a leading killer of humans right up to the 20th century, in the form of scurvy.

Mental Health

Some research has shown that Vitamin C supplementation may be effective in treating depression. Understanding the biochemistry of ascorbic acid and the endocrine system (where neurotransmitters like dopamine, oxytocin and other endorphins are generated) helps us to see how that could work.

Inhibits Cancer Growth

In the 1970s, Dr. Linus Pauling demonstrated that Vitamin C supplementation was effective at inhibiting tumor growth in cancer patients, as well as prolonging and improving the quality of their life. That research has been contested by the Mayo Clinic and buried by the pharmaceutical industry.

Vitamin C is one of the most powerful macronutrients you can put into your body. It is free with every serving of most fruits and vegetables. It is water soluble and whatever amount your body doesn’t use it flushes out within a few hours. There has never been a Vitamin C overdose fatality EVER, and the worst side effect of taking too much too fast is diarrhea (and maybe an upset stomach).

So, what’s the problem?

Getting the Right Balance

Everyone’s body has a slightly different chemical balance, but most of us could use between 5,000 – 8,000 milligrams per day. Some biochemists recommend a consistent daily dose of 10,000 mg per day. But then, also consider:

  • If you’re sick or under unusual amounts of stress, you need much more than that because your body is in a toxic state.
  • If you eat a lot of sugar (which is the anti-C), you might need to double it to get any effect. it’s also worth noticing that a single can of Coke has at least 15,000 milligrams of sugar, so 10,000 milligrams of Vitamin C becomes almost laughable at that point.
  • If you smoke or live or work in a polluted environment, you also need more Vitamin C.

So, why on earth would the U.S. daily recommended intake (DRI) for Vitamin C still sit at 65-90 mg per day? That’s like drinking a drop of water a day and saying that’s enough. Crazy!

The conspiratorially-minded among you might suggest that the government and the pharmaceutical industry are actively promoting genocide through disease. I personally think that’s a little extreme, but it’s hard to deny whole divisions of the pharmaceutical industry would suddenly cease to exist and trillions of dollars would be lost if people started getting adequate Vitamin C every day. Just think of the industries that would go bankrupt: skin care, mental health, heart disease, cold and flu, digestive disorders, cancer, and many others.

I’m just saying.

Vitamin C In Food

It’s true that Vitamin C is readily available in most fruits and vegetables. You learned that in grade school. The problem is, if you wanted to get that amount from your food alone, you would need to eat about 100 cups of broccoli, 50 oranges, or 10 pounds of berries every day. Your blood sugar would be off the charts, as would your water bill – because you would spend all day long on the toilet.

I recommend you find a good Vitamin C supplement, and not necessarily the kind you find for three bucks at the grocery store. Look for a buffered supplement with high bioavailability. A multivitamin is a good start, but it will only up your dosage incrementally. You can find some more detailed recommendations at www.mercola.com. Astaxanthin is a powerful supplement to help your body process additional Vitamin C. If you like Chia or Cacao, you might also try Camu Camu, which is a Pacific berry loaded with Vitamin C. You can usually find it at Whole Foods.

Caveats

Here’s a quick caveat if you’re thinking about super-charging your Vitamin C intake right away. Realize that your body needs time to adjust to the increased dosage, and your bowel will let you know exactly how much it can handle. A good rule of thumb is you can increase the dosage until you stop feeling better and start feeling worse. Back it off slightly and stay at that level for a week or two.

I suggest you start with 250 mg per day for a week. Then increase it to 500 mg, then 1,000 mg, and so on. Like I said earlier, most people can handle between 5,000 and 8,000 milligrams a day, and the more healing your body needs to do, the more you need.

If you’re fighting the flu, take 100 mg with water every 20 minutes until you have diarrhea (it usually takes 2-4 hours). You will experience some bloating as your bowel absorbs all the extra ascorbic acid, but hang in there until you have the release.

Also, ALWAYS take powdered Vitamin C with plenty of water or it will eat away the enamel on your teeth. This is especially true with children. I can’t tell you how many families I’ve seen where the children have bad teeth because their parents thought fruit juice was a better choice than cola. In one regard, they are right, but the acids and sugars in fruit juice are just as dangerous for young children as soft drinks.

Your Turn

If you’ve been supplementing Vitamin C, or have questions about it, please take a moment to share in the comments on Facebook. Let’s talk about it. I’d love to hear what kind of results you’ve had.

“At the end of your feelings is NOTHING. At the end of your principles is a PROMISE.”  — Eric Thomas

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