How to Use Vitamin C

Using Vitamin C

Linus Pauling won the Nobel Peace Prize in chemistry in 1954, primarily for his research into vitamin C.  We can surmise from his work that vitamin C plays several major roles in the health of living creatures.

Humans are different: There are three animals which don’t manufacture their own vitamin C.   We humans are one of those three.  So we have to get ours from an outside source.

In the animal world, among those that so create their own vitamin C, animals create what would be the average equivalent of around 4,000 mg of vitamin C when they’re healthy.  That amount increases to and average equivalent of around 9,000 mg when they’re fighting an illness or are injured.

I’ve used that information as a guide for decades.  When I’m feeling well, I take 4,000 mg per day.  When I feel a cold or flu coming on, or if I’m healing from an incision or an injury, I boost it up to 9,000 mg.  Those aren’t hard and fast numbers, however.

Therapeutic dose of vitamin C: One can boost the dosage of vitamin C for its maximum benefit by finding your individual “therapeutic dose.”  To find this individual dosage, increase your daily vitamin C intake by 1,000 mg per day until you experience a little diarrhea.  Then back off by 1,000 mg.  That is your individual therapeutic dose.  It’s the dose that can benefit you the most, individually, in healing situations.

Once you’re well and feel like it’s time to reduce your intake, DON’T drop it down all at once.  It could give you some scurvy-like symptoms and bleeding gums.  Reduce it by 1,000 mg per day until you’re back down to your regular daily dose.  Again, for me, my regular daily dose is 4,000 mg per day.

Smokers and vitamin C: Smokers should use about 2,000 mg per day more than non-smokers.  Smoking destroys vitamin C much faster.  That’s why long-time smokers develop lots of deep facial wrinkles.  The smoke breaks down the collagen in the skin and uses up the vitamin C quickly in trying to keep up with the repairs.

Vitamin C and healing: Vitamin C is a key component in the immune system, boosting our resistance to disease.  It’s necessary in wound repair.  I always keep a separate bottle of vitamin C around in addition to any other multi-vitamins or supplements I use.

Natural vitamin C versus synthetic: There has been an argument for dozens of years regarding whether or not synthetic vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is just as good as a natural source of vitamin C.  Chemists and many MDs say there’s no difference.  People who are sensitive to their bodies strongly disagree, as do I.  Even though scientists may not have found the key, measureable difference, the difference nonetheless exists and is noticeable by many users.

I always prefer to use a natural vitamin C.  Why settle for even a POSSIBLE second best?  I also want to use a combination of vitamin C and bioflavonoids.

Vitamin C with bioflavonoids: Bioflavonoids are found in rich quantities in the white material between the outer rind of citrus and the inner fruit.  They play a big part in the strength and elasticity of your blood vessels.

Need for a constant supply: And finally, understand that we use our vitamin C quickly.  Our bodies don’t store it, so we need a daily supply.  In fact, the ideal way to use a vitamin C supplement is to break your daily dose into two parts … one in the morning and the rest in the evening. Your evening dose will contribute to better sleep as well.

Use vitamin C liberally.  It can only keep you healthier!


Dr. Rick Boatright, D.C.

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