Following on from my previous article “What is the Best Multivitamin and Mineral Supplement?“ I wanted to take a closer look at Vitamin C. To make this easy, I’m going to break this down into some key questions.

What is Vitamin C?

Vitamin C is ascorbic acid, and is found in many fruits and vegetables. It is an antioxidant, which means it gets rid of free radicals which are our body’s internal pollution. It is also a powerful immune system booster, and has antiviral and antibacterial properties.

Does Vitamin C Fight Colds?

Yes, but only if you take enough of it. The RDA of Vitamin C is 60mg. This is really just to stop you getting the severe deficiency disease scurvy. According to nutritionist Patrick Holford, Vitamin C does little to prevent colds when taken at doses lower than 1,000mg per day. Vitamin C really starts to show its benefits once you take 1,000mg or more.

How Much Vitamin C Should I Take?

As a preventative measure, a daily dose of 2,000mg will help prevent the common cold virus. The website of the Vitamin C Foundation advises 3,000mg. This is very easy to do, as high strength Vitamin C supplements are very easy to get and are not too expensive.

However, the amount you should take when you are actually fighting an infection is higher. Patrick Holford says that it is essential to get in early, and suggests taking 3,000 mg of Vitamin C at the very first sign that you may be infected, and then taking another 3,000 mg every four hours, reaching a daily total of 10,000-15,000 mg. Again, the Vitamin C Foundation goes a step further and suggests a daily dose of 20,000-30,000 mg during periods of disease.

Can Too Much Vitamin C Be Toxic?

No. Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin, which means that any of it that is not put to use is simply excreted in your urine. The only possible side effects of high doses of Vitamin C are loose bowels or indigestion, but these tend to happen at doses of 5,000mg or more, and symptoms quickly disappear once the dose is lowered. You should not get any problems from taking 1,000mg two or three times per day with food.

Vitamin C is one of the least toxic substances you can put into your body, yet one of the most beneficial for your health.

Where Can I Buy High Strength Vitamin C Supplements?

Amazon is one of the cheapest places to buy high strength Vitamin C supplements. Click here to visit Amazon, then search for “Vitamin C 1000mg” and see what comes up. I live in the UK, so a quick check on shows that Natures Aid is good value at only £11.99 for 240 tablets. If you take 2 tablets per day, that’s only £3 per month. It comes with Rosehips and Citrus Bioflavanoids, which are also extremely beneficial to the immune system and work alongside Vitamin C

What Else Does Vitamin C Do Besides Fighting Infections?

As well as boosting the immune system and fighting infections, Vitamin C has a range of other important functions in the body, such as:

  • Making collagen: keeping your skin, bones and joints in good condition.
  • Natural anti-histamine.
  • Protects against cancer.
  • Protects against heart disease.
  • Helps to make anti-stress hormones.
  • Helps stabilise mood, helps balance neurotransmitters in the brain – Vitamin C deficiency is common in people with mental illness. Lack of vitamin C can make you crazy, but so can lack of other nutrients too.
  • Helps turn the food you eat into energy.

What Are the Signs of Vitamin C Deficiency?

If you find yourself getting a lot of colds or infections, or have a low level of energy, it could indicate that you are deficient in this vital nutrient. Other signs include easy bruising, bleeding or tender gums, slow wound healing, nosebleeds, or red pimples on your skin.

But why wait until symptoms like that show up? Take 2,000mg per day anyway.

Which Foods Are High in Vitamin C?

You won’t be able get anywhere near 2,000mg of Vitamin C from food alone, even if your diet is extremely healthy. Don’t let that put you off eating foods rich in Vitamin C though. The best food sources are peppers, watercress, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, strawberries, lemons, kiwi fruit, peas, melons, oranges, grapefruit, limes and tomatoes.

Which Other Substances Fight Infections?

Other nutrients, herbs and plants can help your body fight infection, such as:

  • Vitamin A
  • Aloe Vera
  • Artemisia
  • Astragalus
  • Betacarotene
  • Bee Pollen
  • Caprylic Acid
  • Cat’s Claw
  • Cysteine
  • Vitamin E
  • Echinacea
  • Elderberry Extract
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Glutathione
  • Goldenseal
  • Grapefruit Seed Extract
  • Lysine
  • Mushrooms
  • Probiotics
  • St John’s Wort
  • Selenium
  • Tea Tree Oil
  • Zinc

However, the simplest approach is to take the high strength vitamin C along with a good all-round high strength multivitamin and mineral supplement. To find out which one is best, take a look at my article “What is the Best Multivitamin and Mineral Supplement?“





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