With the new viral infections that are the focus each season and especially the current one, COVID-19, there is much talk once again about the effect of vitamin C therapy for both prevention and healing. But there are many forms of vitamin C and it’s important to know which one to choose, in what quantity and what other aspects should be considered?
The Role of Vitamin C In The Body.
A vitamin C deficiency can lead to low immunity, bleeding gums and capillary fragility. An adequate amount in the body can help prevent disease and infection, improve iron absorption, reduce the risk of gout, as well as fight pneumonia and viral infections. The body also uses vitamin C to synthesize important compounds such as collagen, L-carnitine and neurotransmitters.
Numerous studies have shown that getting enough vitamin C can help reduce symptoms and shorten the duration of respiratory tract infections, such as flu and colds.
Vitamin C is involved in improving several functions of the immune system. The cells of the immune system have one of the highest concentrations of vitamin C: white blood cells have a high concentration of vitamin C in their cytoplasm, allowing them to create a surplus of concentration at the site of infection. Vitamin C can also enhance the production of interferon, which helps prevent cell infection by a virus, stimulates the activity of antibodies and cytokines. In mega-doses it plays a role in mitochondrial energy production. It may enhance the ability of specialized immune cells to ingest bacteria.
Vitamin C In The Form of Ascorbate.
After more research and clinical evidence I have come to the conclusion that the ascorbate form of vitamin C is the best absorbed by the body and the safest to use. An amount of 1,000 mg / day can be a reference dose, with an increase of up to 10,000 mg – 20,000 in viral infections (including for COVID-19), illness and periods of severe stress. Note, however, that therapeutic doses of vitamin C may lower copper levels and alter calcium levels.
The ascorbate form of Vitamin C helps with proper function of cell membranes, cellular respiration, the peroxidase cleaning system, the restoration of vitamin E / selenomethionine and glutathione complexes, thus contributing to the detoxification of various drugs and toxic substances. Ascorbate is also involved in hormone biosynthesis and maintaining the integrity of connective tissue, cartilage, capillaries, bones and teeth.
Ascorbate has been shown to increase cellular resistance to many common viral infections (most likely due to its interferon-like action) and enhance immunity.
Many of us eat only small amounts of foods high in Vitamin C. Also, foods contain less and less Vitamin C due to premature harvesting of foods, artificial ripening of fruits and vegetables, and food processing.
In general, you can use an ascorbate form of vitamin C that contains an adequate balance of the main essential minerals: potassium, magnesium, calcium and zinc. Half a teaspoon of ascorbate powder, which has no additives, provides 1.5 grams of ascorbate containing 99 mg potassium, 40 mg calcium, 16 mg magnesium and 600 mcg zinc.
As health gets better, ascorbate is used more efficiently and is better preserved in the body. As the need for ascorbate decreases, soft stools may appear, indicating that the body consumes ascorbate more effectively and the need for a higher dose has decreased.
Other Forms of Vitamin C.
The ascorbic acid of the 1930s was isolated from red peppers. The first to conduct this experiment was Dr. Albert Szent-Gyorgyi, who won a Nobel Prize for his work. What he discovered, which was ignored especially recently, was that ascorbic acid was more biologically and actively available when contained in the red pepper!
Modern scientists have decided to replicate this extract. Extracting ascorbic acid from natural foods, such as red peppers, cabbage, blueberries, cassava or acerola beans is relatively expensive. Ascorbic acid can be created in the lab much less expensive (and of course much more profitable). Thus, it was found that mixing corn syrup with hydrochloric acid yields ascorbic acid! (By the way, corn is more likely to be genetically modified …) Years later, scientists have tried to establish what other factors may be in the whole food, which would make ascorbic acid work better. They discovered the importance of bioflavonoids, so they started to produce the synthetic form in the lab as well and added it to ascorbic acid.
An important factor that science has failed to replicate is the special type of energy that holds food together. Whether this energy is found in enzymes or in energy patterns of complete food structures, it is unlikely that science can replicate it in a laboratory. Studies have shown that the body will absorb almost 100% of the vitamin C that is consumed as part of a whole food, while only 10% of the ascorbic acid is absorbed.
For these reasons I recommend first and foremost natural forms of vitamin C (such as acerola, camu camu, aronia, berries and other combinations or extracts of fruits and vegetables with high vitamin C content). And when a therapeutic action is desired for a certain period, the ascorbate forms can be used.
Liposomal Vitamin C is a recent discovery that contains the same active ingredient as regular vitamin C supplements, but with a specially designed release system. Liposomes are small spherical particles with an outer layer made up of fats similar to those of our cell membrane. According to the proponents of the product, this may allow liposomal vitamin C to fuse directly with the cells in the gut, thus allowing vitamin C to be absorbed faster and more effectively. But there are still skeptical opinions regarding the amount of vitamin C really absorbed by the body in this form. I believe that more clinical evidence and studies are needed. However, if we talk about a quality liposomal supplement, it can be tried in certain therapies.
The Influence of Vitamin C In Different Metabolic Types.
When potassium, magnesium, calcium, and zinc ascorbate are used in the same product, no significant adverse effects on different metabolic types will occur. On the other hand, potassium ascorbate and magnesium ascorbate will have a decisive impact on the parasympathetic system. Potassium stimulates the parasympathetic system, and magnesium inhibits or slows down the sympathetic system. Both increase the rate of oxidation in the body (ie, the conversion of nutrients into energy), so they are suitable for carbohydrate types, Slow Oxidizers, according to Metabolic Typing.
Zinc and calcium ascorbate will be more suitable for protein types (Parasympathetic / Fast Oxidizer).
Given that vitamin C will tend to lower calcium, therapeutic doses should be considered, as different people have different calcium levels – and different metabolic types. It all depends on the metabolic and biochemical individuality of the person and the amount of vitamin C consumed.
Vitamin C In the Therapy of Viral Infections.
The reality is that mega-dose vitamin C injections have been successfully used to treat polio, diphtheria, shingles, herpes simplex, varicella, influenza, measles, mumps, and viral pneumonia in the mid-20th century. Dr. Fred Klenner was one of the pioneers who successfully treated serious viral diseases through injectable vitamin C therapy.
Dr. Klenner also treated many cases of influenza with vitamin C. The dose size and the number of injections required were directly related to the fever cycle and the duration of the disease. Six cases of encephalitis were treated and cured with vitamin C injections. Two cases were associated with pneumonia virus; followed by chicken pox, mumps, measles and a combined case of measles and mumps. The therapy was followed by many other researchers and medical experts who successfully adopted this therapy, including the well-known Linus Pauling
Viral infections cause severe oxidative stress, contributing to cell damage and disease progression.
People with viral infections have low serum levels of vitamin C, which may be due to increased use of vitamin C for detoxifying reactive oxygen species (ROS) during inflammation caused by infection. In addition, many people in modern society have a certain vitamin C deficiency, especially when the diet is not adequate.
In recent years, vitamin C has been investigated for its role as an antiviral agent, either by itself or as an adjuvant therapy. It has been shown that vitamin C in sufficiently high doses can prevent viral disease and can greatly accelerate recovery from acute viral infection.
In a 2012 study, in vitro experiments showed ascorbate’s ability to kill isolated influenza viruses, as well as viruses from normal human bronchial epithelial cells. There was a proven effect – a concentration of 2.5 mM was able to eliminate 90% of the virus present and a 20 mM solution completely stopped the replication of the virus. The antiviral effect of ascorbate is higher when introduced in the early stages of infection.
The researchers used 3 different types of viruses and measured the relative yields of the virus and the fraction of dead cells after adding ascorbic acid or dehydroascorbic acid solutions. The yield of the virus decreased as the reagent concentration increased.
These results show that vitamin C inhibits the proliferation of viruses with widely different structures and regardless of whether viral genome replication and transcription occur in the nucleus or cytoplasm of infected cells. To characterize the mode of action of vitamin C, the authors suggest that either the formation of free radicals, or direct binding to the virus, or both, are responsible for the antiviral activity of vitamin C.
The study “Vitamin C Infusion for the Treatment of Severe 2019-nCoV Infected Pneumonia“ was posted on ClinicalTrials.gov on February 11, 2020 and according to this:
Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, has antioxidant properties. When sepsis happens, the cytokine surge caused by sepsis is activated, and neutrophils in the lungs accumulate in the lungs, destroying alveolar capillaries. Early clinical studies have shown that vitamin C can effectively prevent this process.
In addition, vitamin C can help to eliminate alveolar fluid by preventing the activation and accumulation of neutrophils, and reducing alveolar epithelial water channel damage. At the same time, vitamin C can prevent the formation of neutrophil extracellular traps, which is a biological event of vascular injury caused by neutrophil activation.”
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