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Vitamin C is often undervalued and overlooked. Big Pharma would like you to overlook Vitamin C so that you will keep buying their expensive drugs, that are often less effective than Vit C.
Does Vitamin C Treat Allergies?
Yes, and it is quite effective. Antihistamine drugs don't decrease histamine. Rather they attempt to block the effects of histamine. Vitamin C on the other hand actually decreases the amount of histamine. A recent study showed that oral Vit C caused a 38% decrease in histamine levels. (J Am Coll Nutr.1992 Apr;11(2):172-6). A 38% reduction is pretty good, and patients report much improved symptom scores. The goal isn't to get rid of all histamine, because you do need some histamine.
Another study showed a 50% histamine reduction with IV Vit C. (Naunyn Schmiedebergs Arch Pharmacol. 2013 Sep;386(9):789-93).
Is Vitamin C Strong Enough to Replace Allergy Meds?
Maybe. A study in 2018 tested people with confirmed allergic respiratory disease (hay fever and rhinitis) or allergic cutaneous disease (hives and pruritis). In total, 71 patients were treated with IV Vit C. Over 93% of cutaneous patients improved and over 96% of rhinitis patients improved. Over 54% of these people previously had not tolerated standard allergy meds, but only 1 had a side effect from IV Vit C. Based on the benefits the patient was receiving and the mildness of the side effect that patient elected to continue with the IV Vit C. (J Int Med Res. 2018 Sep; 46(9): 3640–3655.)
Vitamin C Nasal Spray is Comparable to
Steroid and Antihistamine Nasal Spray
A high quality study also tested a Vitamin C Nasal Spray in 60 people with allergy symptoms, including sneezing and runny nose. (Ear Nose Throat J. 1991 Jan;70(1):54-5.) The study found the Vitamin C Nasal Spray improved symptoms by 74%. A similar study published a couple of years later tested a steroid nasal spray (budesonide) and an antihistamine nasal spray (azelstine) and found 73% and 79% improvement respectively. (Arzneimittelforschung. 1993 Apr;43(4):475-9.) Comparing these 2 studies suggests Vitamin C Nasal Spray works every bit as well as the popular drug alternatives. I have not used Vit C as a nasal spray but you can order it online without a prescription.
Does Vitamin C Fight Infections?
The short answer is yes. A study of oral supplementation found neutrophil chemotaxis rose by 19% after Vit C supplementation. Neutrophils are white blood cells and are your first line of defense against bacterial infections. Chemotaxis refers to how fast the neutrophils can get to the infection. Getting the neutrophils to the site of the infection faster, helps your body eliminate the infection before it becomes serious. (J Am Coll Nutr.1992 Apr;11(2):172-6).
A paper published in 2017 found that:
Supplementation with Vitamin C prevents and treats respiratory and systemic infections.
They stated that prevention of infection requires dietary vitamin C intakes that provide at least adequate, if not saturating plasma levels (i.e., 100–200 mg/day), which optimize cell and tissue levels.
They found that treatment of established infections requires significantly higher (gram) doses of the vitamin to compensate for the increased inflammatory response and metabolic demand." (Nutrients. 2017 Nov; 9(11): 1211).
Another paper published in 2017 stated that Vitamin C administration halved the number of colds in physically active people and routinely shortened the duration of colds. They found a statistically significant dose–response, showing that up to 6–8 g/day of oral Vitamin C was needed to shorten the duration of common cold symptoms. Their paper reviewed three controlled trials showing that Vitamin C supplementation prevented pneumonia and two controlled trials showing Vitamin C supplementation speeded the recovery of pneumonia patients. (Nutrients. 2017 Apr; 9(4): 339).
Does Vitamin C Help Arthritis?
IV Vit C in doses of 7.5 g to 50 g were given to patients with inflammatory, rheumatoid arthritis (RA). RA is potentially crippling and is harder to treat than the more common osteoarthritis. When RA is active the blood level of C-reactive protein is elevated. C-reactive protein decreased by an average of 44% in the patients given the IV Vit C. Decreases of C-reactive protein of this magnitude may be enough to help put the arthritis in remission. (Modern Research in Inflammation, 1, 26-32. 2012).
Osteoarthritis pain of the hip and knee was significantly reduced, compared to placebo, for patients given 1,000 mg orally of Vit C daily. (Ugeskr Laeger. 2003 Jun 16;165(25):2563-6)
Vitamin C helps prevent gouty arthritis by lowering uric acid levels. A large study found 1,500 mg of Vitamin C per day, reduced gout risk by half. (Arthritis Foundation, Atlanta, GA 30309).
Is Vitamin C Helpful for Pain?
Multiple recent clinical studies have shown that Vitamin C administration is beneficial for several different types of pain. People with low levels of Vitamin C are much more likely to have neck and low back pain. (Pain. 2016 Nov;157(11):2527-2535)
Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) is notoriously hard to treat and has driven patients to have legs and arms amputated in the past to try to escape the pain. Unfortunately, published reports have shown only minimal improvement even with amputation because so many CRPS patients end up with Phantom limb Pain after amputation (J Bone Joint Surg [Br]1995;77-B:270–273.).
Vitamin C is good news for CRPS patients. For those at high risk of developing CRPS, 500 mg a day of Vit C, for 50 days reduced the incidence of CRPS by 82%, compared to the control group that was given placebo. (J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2007 Jul;89(7):1424-31). Vit C has also been shown to not only decrease pain for patients that already have CRPS, but to also decrease need for opioid pain medication. (J Transl Med. 2017; 15: 77).
Vitamin C and Blood Pressure
Research has shown that supplementing at least 500 mg of Vitamin C daily can lower blood pressure three to five points. That is enough to lower the risk of stroke according to experts. (Arthritis Foundation, Atlanta, GA 30309).
Other clinical trials have shown Vit C supplementation reduced systolic and diastolic blood pressure by 5 and 2 points respectively, making it about as effective as some drugs used to treat hypertension. (Am J Clin Nutr. 2012 May; 95(5): 1079–1088).
And the List Goes On and On!
Vitamin C Also Helps Asthma, COPD, Surgical Recovery, Migraines and Headaches, Bursitis, Fibromyalgia, Sinusitis, Diabetes, Insomnia,
Eczema, Psoriasis, etc, etc.
It might be easier to list things Vit C doesn't help, but I really can't think of anything that Vit C doesn't help.
I consider Vitamin C supplementation as essential for everybody! I can't imagine anybody that wouldn't benefit from Vit C. Even though everybody benefits from Vit C, some people need it even more than everybody else. These include:
pregnant or nursing women,
those with allergies, asthma or COPD,
people with migraines or headaches,
people with arthritis, neck or back pain,
most chronic illnesses
recovering from surgery
fighting or recovering from infections.
I like to take equal amounts of bioflavonoids with my Vitamin C, so I take a product called CBR. As great as Vit C is, bioflavonoids make Vit C even more effective! CBR stands for Vitamin C, Bioflavonoids and Rutin.
CBR by Source Naturals has 500 mg of vitamin C and 500 mg of bioflavonoids per tablet. It is an excellent source of Vit. C and bioflavonoids.
Nature's Life, has their C-500 CBR Complex and it is an identical product.
Bronson Labs has their Vitamin C with Citrus Bioflavonoids which is a comparable product.
Solaray has a Vit C and Bioflavonoids with equal amounts of both and it looks good.
There are several other suppliers for CBR products and they're all good. Just make sure it has equal amounts of Vit C and Bioflavonoids. I will do a future Newsletter on bioflavonoids. Whatever brand you get the back of the label should look like the top two ingredients on the label to the right. The bioflavonoids might be called "lemon bioflavonoid complex" or "citrus bioflavonoid complex" or simply "bioflavonoids". Just make sure the Vit C and bioflavonoids are equal amounts.
Dose depends on a lot of individual factors including your health, quality of your diet and lifestyle, etc. Most adults would probably do well to take 4,000 to 8,000 mg per day of Vit C with equal amounts of bioflavonoids. You can take half in the morning and half at night. And of course if you are fighting a cold or some other stress, you can take quite a bit more. Having said that, a lot of patients just don't want to take such high doses and I know a lot of people that report a lot of benefit from just taking 1-2 tablets twice a day. You should really experiment with it and see what dose works the best for you and your health.
Vitamin C is Too Valuable to Not Be
in Your Personal Armamentarium!
Take care and BE HEALTHY!
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