There is one thing I have observed during the beginning of every winter season. The year that we ate well meaning we consumed fruits high in vitamin C such as oranges, kiwi fruit, and strawberries it seemed that winter we were able to beat the winter colds. You probably thinking eat well stay healthy no surprise there, read on to learn about what I have found in regards to the miracle that is ascorbic acid also known as Vitamin C.
The Electron Donor
All viruses (including the common cold) and bacteria cause harm to the body by destabilising the electrons of atoms, the building blocks of matter. These Atoms then become what is known as free radicals; free radicals will generally attack the nearest stable molecule, “stealing” its electron. When the “attacked” molecule loses its electron, it becomes a free radical itself, beginning a chain reaction. Once the process starts, it can cascade, finally resulting in the disruption of a living cell.(5) Free radicals can cause damage to the cells of proteins, nerves, outside of the cell or to the DNA of cells. Free radicals are produced either from normal cell metabolisms (Such as the chemical reaction that takes place during digestion) or from external sources (pollution, cigarette smoke, radiation, medication). Vitamin C stops the chain reaction by acting as an electron donor without itself becoming a scavenger.
When an overload of free radicals cannot gradually be destroyed, their accumulation in the body generates a phenomenon called oxidative stress. This process plays a major part in the development of chronic and degenerative illness such as cancer, autoimmune disorders, cataract, rheumatoid arthritis, cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases. The human body has several mechanisms to counteract oxidative stress by producing antioxidants, which are either naturally produced in situ, or externally supplied through foods or supplements. Actions of vitamin C include Antioxidant which acts as a electron donor detoxifies and prevents damage. It can Acts as an antihistamine.
According to Dr. Suzanne Humphries these Some myths about Vitamin C
- Doses over 1000mg are dangerous, wasteful
- Body is saturated at 150 mg/ day
- Kidney stones occur with high doses
- No science behind high dose ascorbate use
- Diarrhoea from ascorbate is dangerous.
- Natural whole Vitamin C is always best (food or made from whole food vitamins are always best but not when you’re very sick, you need it high doses, and fast, therefore, supplementation is the best) (3)
Humans Cannot make Vitamin C It must come from Diet Alone
Scientists through the study of the human genome have identified that humans lack the gene to synthesise Ascorbic Acid also known as Vitamin C. Some animals such as cows and goats are fortunate enough to make their own but some others such as guinea pigs, apes, monkeys, and Humans cannot.
Irwin Stone in The Healing Factor, which was a fantastic book written in the 70s about vitamin C, he points out that every creature, when they are sick, significantly increase their liver’s or their kidney’s production of vitamin C. But humans, primates, and guinea pigs have lost that ability (9)
Kidney stones are a theoretical possibility yet have never been shown to be a genuine risk in the use of vitamin C. This potential risk can be minimized by hydrating with lemon water to alkalize the urine so that oxalate cannot drop out of solution and crystallise. (3)
Recommended Dietary intake
The Australian recommended dietary intake for women between the ages of 19 and to 50 are 45mg a day. More if you’re pregnant or a smoker.It is important to remember that the recommended doses designed to prevent deficiency diseases such as scurvy with little nutrients to spare. It does not guarantee optimal or good health.(6)
Intake of Vitamin C Before the Western diet.
Current agricultural practices in which food are grown, stored and transported diminishes the vitamin content of food. There are very few studies comparing Vitamin C content of food before Western dietary influences. One study looked at Fijians, untouched by Western dietary influences, it was noted that they ingested 1,000 to 8,000 mg of vitamin C a day (2) Note that this is far more than today’s recommended daily intakes.
Vitamin C can Treat
The improvement in iron status and correction of anaemia can be achieved by giving only ascorbic acid. When iron deficient; the role of ascorbic acid in iron metabolism is manyfold. It reduces ferric iron to ferrous form which is then absorbed, lowers the pH which is conducive to iron absorption. (1)
Dr. Kalokerinos was an Australian doctor who treated Sudden infant deaths (SIDs) among his Aboriginal and white patients in “outback” New South Wales. He virtually eliminated SIDs among his patients in the year he started experimenting with ascorbic acid among the got the idea of using ascorbate earlier in his career when he saw a child, dying of scurvy, dramatically recover after an ascorbate injection. He urged 100 milligrams of ascorbic acid daily per month of age to 10 months, always in divided quantities: 100 mg/ day the first month, 200/day the second month and so on. Then 1 gram daily for each year of age to 10 years and 10 grams daily for the rest of life. A sick child was given sodium ascorbate by intravenous injection, the quantity adjusted according to the severity of illness. Some sick children were given oral (2)
As far back as 1936 they have been experimenting with treating whooping cough with vitamin C. Many physicians such as Suzanne Humphries have reported successfully treating whooping cough with intravenous Vitamin C.
A study conducted by Vermillion and Stafford, Kansas Medical Society Journal, November 1938 document many successful for example a baby of 6 weeks, Coughing for two weeks which was whooping and vomiting once Vitamin C intravenously was administered Symptoms subsided rapidly, disappearing in ten days. (7) They conclude in their article
“In this small series of twenty-six cases of whooping cough, cevitamic acid [ascorbic acid] seemed to be strikingly effective in relieving and checking the symptoms in all but two of the cases …. It is our opinion that it should be given further trial in all cases of whooping cough regardless of the age of the patient, or the length of time already elapsed since the original symptoms.”
Some of the other general conditions ascorbic acid improve include but are not limited to Polio/Poliomyelitis, mumps, measles, Herpes, and Shingles. It aids in the recovery from heavy metal poisoning. What we must remember is the amount of C needed not only depends on the severity of the disease but also on the efficiency of the individual’s immune system (8)
Symptoms of Vitamin C Deficiency
- Tiredness and weakness.
- Muscle and joint pains.
- Easy bruising.
- Spots that look like tiny, red-blue bruises on your skin.(10)
Other symptoms can include:
- Dry skin.
- Splitting hair.
- Swelling and discoloration of your gums.
- Sudden and unexpected bleeding from your gums.
- Poor healing of wounds.
- Problems fighting infections.
- Bleeding into joints, causing severe joint pains.
- Changes in your bones.
- Tooth loss.
- Weight loss. (10)
Add More Vitamin C to your diet.
The best way to add more of this vitamin into your diet is to consume fresh fruit and vegetables that are locally grown. Remember that the more colorful your food is the (with fruit and vegetables) the more nutrient dense it will be. Cooking fruits and vegetables reduce their vitamin C content by around 30-40% so, when you can eat raw.
We all know that oranges have a good amount of Vitamin C some fruits that have equal or higher content include. Kiwi fruit, strawberries, and of course the pomegranate.