One of the best methods to increase our immune system is to take care of hygiene. Equally important is to make sure we eat and drink healthy stuff, like organic produce and clean water.
Sometimes our body demands extra, so the question is: does Vitamin C boost your immune system?
Linus Pauling is the only scientist so far that received 2 Nobel prizes in 2 different areas (Chemistry and Peace) not shared with somebody else. In 1970 he wrote Vitamin C, the Common Cold and the Flu. In this book he emphasizes the importance of Vitamin C. Grams of it.
Table of contents
- 1 Recommended versus Exceptional
- 2 Why should we take so much vitamin C?
- 3 Will Vitamin C boost your Immune System?
- 4 Can’t I get enough Vitamin C by eating oranges?
- 5 Supplements complement food, they don’t replace it
- 6 15+, at times unexpected, Benefits of Vitamin C
- 7 Can Vitamin C have negative effects?
- 8 The Key to a Healthy Immune System
- 9 Environmental awareness
Recommended versus Exceptional
Every country has a food agency that hands out lots of recommendations. The recommendations are based on averages. Averages of quantities they know will be sufficient. But also averages of quantities they suspect will be most followed.
In the USA for instance the recommended daily quantity for adults is 65 to 90 milligrams. The Dutch food agency recommends 70 mg. In the UK the recommended daily amount is 40 mg.
An orange contains about 50 mg. to give you some kind of comparison.
Pauling recommends 3 gr a day, that is 3000 mg!
Why should we take so much vitamin C?
Pauling substantiates his recommendation by looking at the world of flora and fauna. Humans are about the only living creature whose body can’t produce Vitamin C. Most animals and all plants can. We have lost that ability in ancient times.
Yet Vitamin C protects us against harmful influences like stress, air pollution and several infections.
Robert Cathcart, an orthomolecular doctor, prescribed his patients as much Vitamin C as their body could handle. He called that the principle of intestinal tolerance. You’ll get diarrhea from too much Vitamin C intake.
By prescribing grams of the vitamin to swallow every hour, he would quickly find out how much that patient could handle. As soon as they would get diarrhea, he would know what the right dose at that moment was.
Will Vitamin C boost your Immune System?
According to Pauling and Cathcart Vitamin C will boost your immune system substantially. They have tested that on their patients with ample results.
Nobody knows at this moment whether Vitamin C will help in the present pandemic*. But as long as you listen carefully to your body it won’t harm you to take any. We each respond to big amounts differently. But we also respond differently during time. When we are healthy and not stressed, we need less than when we are ill or worrying.
So increase the dose when you don’t feel too well up to the point your bowels begin to protest and maintain that dose until you feel better.
Can’t I get enough Vitamin C by eating oranges?
Calculating the numbers I mentioned above, you would have to eat 60 oranges a day. Wouldn’t that be boring? And time-consuming as well.
For a long time I wasn’t too keen on supplements. I considered them a scam and thought I was OK by eating organic, healthy food. Which is not bad at all, of course.
But my yearly medical tests and orthomolecular specialists have convinced me that at times a body needs something extra. I am a huge advocate of the adage ‘food as medicine’, but I also know by now that at times food isn’t enough.
Supplements complement food, they don’t replace it
The advantage of supplements is you can pinpoint one specific substance. The advantage of healthy food is you get a lot of different vitamins and minerals inside your body.
Along with my vitamin capsules I still eat oranges as well. Orange food has beta-carotene and potassium, which are a blessing for the way our skin looks. For my website AGE with CARE I wrote an article about the benefits of orange food.
15+, at times unexpected, Benefits of Vitamin C
Doing the research for this article I discovered a lot of advantages of Vitamin C. Most are backed by research and testing, not all. As I have stated before, it is best to keep listening to your body. And to consult trusted sources.
In random order the benefits I found are:
- Supports the immune system
- Helps to increase dietary iron absorption
- Increases energy level
- Lowers the risk of developing a urinary tract infection
- May help reduce blood pressure
- Lowers the risk of Alzheimer’s
- Combats oxidative damage by free radicals (Free radicals are highly reactive molecules which, when produced in large quantities, are harmful to our body cells.)
- Protects skin from the sun
- Helps the body to repair damaged tissue
- Lowers the chance of developing cataracts
- Increases bone density
- Prevents muscle pain and contributes to muscle recovery after intensive sporting
- Improves mood and libido
- Improves blood circulation
- Reduces wrinkles and prevents skin aging
- Supports shiny and strong hair
- Improves the strength of the nails
Can Vitamin C have negative effects?
As said an excess of Vitamin C can cause diarrhea. Some people get nauseous or have an upset stomach.
It seems that Vitamin C supplements can have a negative effect in people with hemochromatosis, an excessive intestinal absorption of dietary iron. Vitamin C increases the absorption of iron, resulting in more stacking.
A shortage may cause scurvy. Which rarely occurs in the Western world, but there are still areas in the world where people have a vitamin C deficiency. Someone with scurvy feels tired and has several physical signs like red spots and poor wound healing. But depression can also be a sign.
And vitamin C supplements can disturb the effect of medicines or treatments. That’s why it is essential to tell your doctor you are taking supplements when he or she is going to prescribe medication.
The Key to a Healthy Immune System
The present pandemic made me aware of a couple of things.
- Given the fact that most of the people that died were overweight, it is clear that a healthy lifestyle is really important;
- One of the things you can do is to increase your daily dose of Vitamin C;
- Other helpful supplements are Omega 3 fatty acids, vitamin D3, vitamin K2, magnesium, iodine and selenium;
- All things are connected;
- To heal is important as soon as you get ill, but prevention has considerably more value;
- It’s important to take every measure possible to prevent getting ill, but sometimes one just has bad luck. You can construct your own life only to a certain extent.
In my view part of the cause of the present crisis is the way we handle our health and our environment.
My contribution is that I only want to buy quality supplements and that I try as much as possible to avoid single-use plastic.
I only use Solgar supplements myself. Read my reason why in my review.
* Later addition: at present, more and more scientists value large amounts of Vitamin D.
How do you boost your immune system? Please let me know in the content box down below.
This article is not medical advice. If you are ill and / or take medication, go to your GP or consult with a doctor who specializes in nutrition and lifestyle, such as an orthomolecular doctor.
I wrote this for inspirational and educational purposes and to increase your knowledge.