Lifestyle & Supplements

Ascorbic Acid: More Than A Vitamin

Written by Dr. Andrew Neville

Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is more than the vitamin in citrus fruits needed to prevent scurvy. Adequate levels are essential to a good quality of life. Among its many incredibly important functions, vitamin C is mainly essential for our adrenal function and our body’s ability to adequately handle stress of all kinds. Adequate intake of vitamin C is crucial to heal Adrenal Dysfunction.

It’s so much more than a vitamin!

Humans are one of the only mammals that cannot produce vitamin C on their own. When mammals are under stress—any stress—they increase production of ascorbic acid, exponentially. The sicker we are, the more ascorbic acid we need. Ascorbic acid protects the body, the brain, and all the body’s cells from the ravages of stress.

Vitamin C is not a nutrient that we were made to source from food; it was, and is, a vital molecule that our bodies were supposed to manufacture on demand. Somewhere back in time, humans lost the ability to produce vitamin C within our bodies, and we have been dependent on consuming enough from food ever since. However, given our modern, fast-paced, toxic, stressful world, we are chronically deficient.

What does vitamin C do?

  • It is the primary antioxidant in the body, the true King of Antioxidants.
  • It protects from stress, maintaining physiologic homeostasis.
  • It acts as a catalyst to hundreds of biochemical reactions, greasing the wheels of our biochemical machinery.
  • It decreases toxicity by counteracting and neutralizing reactions to toxins and poisons.
  • It acts as an antibacterial and antiviral.
  • It acts as our primary histamine scavenger (allergy control).
  • It supports production of adrenal (stress) hormones.
  • It is essential to the production and maintenance of collagen (your entire body structure is made of collagen—every cell. Without adequate vitamin C, your collagen breaks down and doesn’t repair).
  • It improves cardiovascular strength and integrity.
  • It improves mental and neurotransmitter status.

How much?

Researchers have only studied rats for optimal levels of vitamin C. From this data, we can extrapolate an average intake of 2000-4000 mg of vitamin C for the average 150 lb person. This “optimal” dose, however, would assume a life-long intake that is adequate, which is not the case.

Humans can only absorb about 500 mg of vitamin C at any one time, depending on our needs. However, we may be able to absorb this amount of vitamin C every 15 minutes. The unused vitamin C is excreted through the bowel. There is a limit to this; at a certain level of intake, the excess vitamin C in the bowel will attract too much water and cause loosened stools.

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