Vitamin C Overview

How much vitamin C should be taken daily
How much vitamin C should be taken daily

How could vitamin C be a secret? Everybody knows people need it to stay alive and healthy. However, here is the secret that drug companies hope the general populace never finds out. This vitamin can do far more than merely keeping humans from bruising easily and having bleeding gums, loose teeth, poor immune systems, or anemia.

Vitamin C is not just one of the least toxic substances in existence, but should actually be its very own food group, right up there with proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. It’s water soluble and is essential for life. Vitamin C is far less dangerous than common table salt and is about as necessary for health as water.

It’s all a matter of dosage. Some researchers have criticized dosages recommended by government agencies because they don’t take weight and age differences into account, and because they only represent the amount needed to prevent acute forms of vitamin deficiency disease. They also don’t address amounts needed for optimal health, as they are solely based on levels that are slightly above malnourishment. Because most people are content with the guidelines of the governmental agencies, the benefits of much higher doses are rarely considered.

Most animals make as much vitamin C right in their own bodies as they need in order to have immune systems and self-healing abilities. Why can’t humans do the same thing? Millions of years ago, the ancestors of modern homo-sapiens had an evolutionary hiccup. They lost the ability to manufacture vitamin C in their own bodies, so they started needing to get it from the food they eat.

This was fine until the ice age made it difficult to get vitamin C all year round. Evolution compensated by allowing humans to patch up fragile blood vessels (remember that vitamin C prevents bruising) with cholesterol. When summer came along, and vitamin C was plentiful, the cholesterol patches on the blood vessels dissolved. The hardening arteries softened again.

The modern diet makes the caveman’s diet look like the heights of good nutrition. Usually, people don’t get enough vitamin C to dissolve arterial plaque, also called arteriosclerosis. Nor do they get enough vitamin C for their bodies and immune systems to really engage in rebuilding themselves from the inside out. As a result, people get degenerative diseases and age before they really need to.

Why hasn’t this been in the news? It’s simple. Vitamin C is incredibly inexpensive. To put it simply, promoting it is not lucrative. For example, a heart attack is worth tens of thousands of dollars to the health care system, but heart attacks can often be avoided by a daily intake of vitamin C that adds up to mere tens of dollars. There’s just no money to be made by selling preventative over-the-counter vitamin C compared to selling expensive prescription heart medications.

This example focuses on heart disease, but vitamin C has far broader effects. It is a safe way to treat viral diseases and works effectively against poisoning. There is evidence that it is useful in preventing lead poisoning, and that it prevents the formation of cataracts. Most people are aware that it helps with colds and flu. And there is a growing body of evidence of its toxicity to cancer cells in high, intravenous doses.

It is almost impossible to get enough vitamin C for optimum health from diet alone. But how much vitamin C should be taken daily? Authorities vary widely in their recommendations, but a good benchmark is something called bowel tolerance. This simply means taking as much vitamin C as possible before starting to experience stool looseness.

Live long and prosper with the help of a generous amount of vitamin C.