Enhance Your Health

Health Tip of the Week: Vitamin C

Vitamin C holds a special place in my heart as well as my medicine cabinet. As a young teen, my interest in health was initiated by learning the ins and outs of exercise. Once I started lifting weights, I realized (from reading muscle magazines) that nutrition was very important for fitness. More reading taught me that nutrition is important for overall health.

The first vitamin I ever studied and learned all I could about was vitamin C. Vitamin C research was very fascinating during that time period. The leader in vitamin C research was a charismatic scientist named Linus Pauling.

Dr. Pauling was a two time Nobel Prize winner. His first award was for chemistry in 1954 and his second was the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1962. His research on Vitamin C was astounding. He found that vitamin C demonstrated anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties, making vitamin C a warrior in the fight against colds, flus and infections.

Dr. Pauling wrote the following books: Vitamin C and the Common Cold in 1970, followed by Vitamin C, the Common Cold and the Flu (1976), Vitamin C and Cancer (1979), and How to Feel Better and Live Longer (1986).

Dr. Pauling not only found the connection between vitamin C and the common cold, but he also found that vitamin C could be used as a treatment for cancer. Despite being a well-respected scientist, his views on vitamin C were received as very controversial. Dr. Pauling recommended daily high doses of vitamin C (1000-6000 mg a day) compared to the USRDA of 60 mg a day. In the treatment of severe illness and cancer he recommended 12-20 thousand mg a day.

Even though he performed research and published studies on his findings, the medical community never fully accepted his groundbreaking research and he was considered a heretic. It’s a shame he died (at 93) in 1994. Because a lot of his work is now being given a second look and verified to be accurate.

For instance, new studies show that people who take 800 mg a day have less heart disease and live up to six years longer than people who only take the USRDA of 60 mg.

New research shows that vitamin C is selectively toxic to cancer cells if given by IV at high enough doses. Vitamin C helps to regulate blood pressure and may be a factor in preventing stroke. Vitamin C supplements should be taken daily for overall health.

More importantly it should be in your “medicine cabinet” for when you are not feeling good. I take 3000 mg of vitamin C every morning, my young daughters take 500 mg a day. When I or one of my family starts to notice a sniffle or a scratchy throat, we increase our vitamin C intake and spread it out through the day.

Vitamin C is water soluble, so the C you take in the morning is eliminated by your kidneys and bladder by mid-day. That is why when you are ill, vitamin C is taken multiple times a day.

I personally will take 3000-4000 mg 3-4 times a day when a germ is present. If you follow this procedure when you are starting to get sick, the odds are you won’t get sick. If you are in a full blow illness, increased vitamin C consumption will dramatically cut down the duration of your cold or flu symptoms.

Here’s to Linus Pauling!!


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