How To Get The Most Out Of Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a building block to our everyday health.

Did you know that most people are deficient in Vitamin C?

Vitamin C can help not only boost your immune system, but it helps strengthen your cardiovascular system, helps your skin, slows the growth of cancer, heals wounds, is a great antioxidant, increases iron absorption, and can even act as an antihistamine.

Then you have Vitamin C therapy. So what is Vitamin C therapy?

Vitamin C therapy is a high-dosage of Vitamin C either taken orally or intravenously (through an IV).

How We Came About Vitamin C Therapy

So before I get into Vitamin C too much, I want to tell you a little about how I really learned about what Vitamin C could do for me and my family…

Right before the Christmas of 2017, all four of my children came down with Pertussis, also known as whooping cough. At first, they were diagnosed by their pediatrician as only having allergies, but when my daughter started having a hard time breathing as she was coughing, I knew something else was going on.

After the third doctors visit in two weeks, they were all tested and confirmed positive. This diagnosis scared Michael and I. They were past the five-day window that antibiotics would really do any good, so the next step was just treating the symptoms until the bacteria completely passed, which could take up to 100 days!

Then we received a call from the State Health Department. This was routine for any individual that test positive for any illness that the CDC tracks. The lady I spoke to on the phone told me that as long as I am consistent with treating the symptoms and that my children do not begin to run a fever, then all should be well in time. While her statements were helpful, they did not bring much comfort.

So, being a mom that won’t quit when it comes to my children, I did some internet research. YES, I became a Google doctor!

I came across this article from a doctor who experienced Pertussis first-hand with two girls that were very close to her. You can read her article here.

In her article, she made a very compelling argument that Vitamin C, when given in higher dosages, can help combat the Pertussis bacteria. I did some other research on Vitamin C and Vitamin C therapy as well. I looked up if it was okay to raise Vitamin C in children without any adverse reactions. I found warning signs to look for if the Vitamin C dosage was too high and different ways that I could give my children Vitamin C to help the digestion and absorption better.

Thus our journey began. My two sons, one only being 6 months at the time, recovered very quickly with the Vitamin C therapy. My daughter took a little longer recovering. We were even concerned at one point that she may end up with Asthma because of the Pertussis damage. She made a full recovery though.

It was not fun going through that in the least, but on the plus side, my children how have built a natural immunity to the Pertussis bacteria.

Using Vitamin C to Boost Your Immune System

Upon my research, I learned how Vitamin C can boost your immune system on a daily basis. I also learned how Vitamin C therapy can improve your immunity during illnesses.

The average daily intake to maintain a healthy immune system varies from person to person. Males are different than females. Children are different than adults.

(Please remember, I am not a doctor. I am only sharing what I have learned. Please consult your health care professional for your personal health. I am not here to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any illness or disease.)

Here are the recommended daily allowances (RDA):

  • Infants: 40 to 50 milligrams (mg) daily (Adequate Intake)
  • Children:
    • Ages 1-3: 15 milligrams (mg) daily
    • Ages 4-8: 25 milligrams (mg) daily
    • Ages 9-13: 45 milligrams (mg) daily
  • Adult Women:
    • Ages 14-18:
      • Not pregnant: 65 milligrams (mg) daily
      • Pregnant: 80 milligrams (mg) daily
      • Lactating: 115 milligrams (mg) daily
      • Smoker: add 35 milligrams (mg) a day
    • Ages 19 and older:
      • Not pregnant: 75 milligrams (mg) daily
      • Pregnant: 85 milligrams (mg) daily
      • Lactating: 120 milligrams (mg) daily
      • Smoker: add 35 milligrams (mg) a day
  • Adult Men:
    • Ages 14-18:
      • 75 milligrams (mg) daily
      • Smoker: add 35 milligrams (mg) a day
    • Ages 19 and older:
      • 90 milligrams (mg) daily
      • Smoker: add 35 milligrams (mg) a day

This doesn’t seem like a lot of Vitamin C in a day and really it is not. Our unhealthy culture of eating processed foods and lots of sugar hinders our daily Vitamin C intake. 5% to 17% of individuals are Vitamin C deficient. 13% to 23% are Vitamin C depleted. Vitamin C deficiency can cause issues such as anemia, easy bruising, gum disease, mood changes, and other ailments. This is just from not getting the recommended daily intake.

When one is sick you can increase the dosage depending on your age. This increased amount of Vitamin C will fight with your immune system to help you feel better.

  • Children ages 1-3: Up to 400 mg daily
  • Children ages 4-8: Up to 650 mg daily
  • Children ages 9-13: Up to 1200 mg daily
  • Men and women ages 14-18: Up to 1800 mg daily
  • Men and women ages 19 and older: Up to 2000 mg daily

This is much more Vitamin C intake than our daily recommendations, but I can tell you first hand that it works.

There is an art to administering Vitamin C therapy. When you increase your daily dosage, you do not want to do it all at once. It is best to break it out throughout the day, especially for younger children.

Vitamin C is water soluble, which means it does not store in the body. If you take an amount that your body cannot absorb then it flushes out in your waste. When individuals increase their Vitamin C, they may notice looser stools or even diarrhea. If diarrhea occurs, then you will need to lower the dosage some.

My middle child,  who was two at the time of the Pertussis outbreak in our house, could not handle the maximum dosage of Vitamin C of 400 mg. He did get diarrhea. So I backed off on the dosage some and it cleared up almost immediately.

In cancer patients, there are studies that show that intravenous Vitamin C injections can help slow and even stop cancerous tumor growths in the body. There are even some celebrities using IV Vitamin C as a pick me up after long days of film making and concerts.

Now there are some side effects to Vitamin C therapy for some that may need to be addressed. Again, I am not a doctor. You will need to speak to your personal health care provider to get a better understanding of Vitamin C and your body. Some side effects can include the build-up of Vitamin C in your kidneys causing kidney stones. People who are prone to kidney stones may have issues if they increase their Vitamin C. A prolong usage of high dosages of Vitamin C can also cause problems. Vitamin C therapy is only meant to be used in short time frames, not an everyday-all day.

All in all, though, most healthy people can use Vitamin C therapy when they become sick. I know that it has helped our family tremendously. Now even when the sniffles start, I will increase our Vitamin C some.

Getting More Vitamin C in Your Diet

Everyone should look at their diet to see if they are getting the recommended daily intake of Vitamin C in my opinion. If you are not, you should increase your daily intake of healthy, non-GMO foods that are rich in Vitamin C. You should increase these foods in your diet before you start taking supplements.

When most people think of food and Vitamin C they think of oranges. Oranges are great for Vitamin c intake, but they only give you 50 mg of Vitamin C. If you are trying to up your intake, one orange is not enough. Black currants and bell peppers have about 200 mg of Vitamin C in a serving. That is more like it, right?

Kale, spinach, parsley, broccoli, kiwi, strawberries, red cabbage, radishes, tomatoes, and even green peas have Vitamin C. You can really expand your diet in a good way to make sure you are getting your daily Vitamin C intake.

Now that I have said that, I want to tell you that when you cook foods, you are cooking some of the vitamins out of them. Lightly wilting is better than boiling and eating them raw is the best if you can do that. I just wanted to let you know that when you cook that kale or cabbage you can lose up to half of the Vitamin C.

Vitamin C Supplements

When we get sick, getting enough Vitamin C in a day to help us fight the illness is hard. This is where supplements can come in handy. My favorite is homemade Elderberry syrup. They are a great source of Vitamin C and elderberries are also an antioxidant, which helps build your immune system too.

Vitamin C supplements in the form of powder, pills, gummies, and liquids are out there too. We use a Vitamin C gummy for the kids because it is easier to get them to take it. I personally prefer a liquid Vitamin C supplement for myself because it can absorb into my body faster where powders and especially pills have to be digested completely before full absorption.

Also, if you are going to do a Vitamin C supplement, please read your labels. A good Vitamin C supplement made from non-GMO enriched plants is better than a chemically made Vitamin C. Do some research on the best brands that are available to you.

There are Vitamin C serums, creams, gels, and lotions also for skin care. Since Vitamin C can help the collagen and making your skin look healthier, these type of products would be great to have.

Final Word

Vitamin C is very important to everyone on this planet. It can help so much in our daily lives if we are just more aware of the benefits and what we need to do to ensure that we are all getting enough Vitamin C. Adding other vitamins that help boost immunity is helpful too, like Vitamin D.

Doctor Suzanna Humphries has a lot to say about Vitamin C, how it helps, how to take it, in what forms to take it, and so much more. I highly recommend reading her article.

Talk to your health care professional as well. If they are a good provider, they should help you get on a better track with your diet and supplements to make sure you are getting enough Vitamin C, especially when you are sick.

So, now it is your turn. Tell us your thoughts on Vitamin C and Vitamin C therapy. We would love to hear from you. Plus I encourage you to do your own research in any matter that pertains to your personal health. We all want to live healthier lives.

Until next time…

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About Jessica Repenning

Jessica is learning how to live a healthier and wholesome lifestyle. Come and learn with her on this journey that she has embarked on.

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