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Vitamin C's Role In Fighting Viruses

In my opinion (which is based on tons of research over decades from leading scientists around the world), vitamin C is one of the most important and misunderstood vitamins ever discovered.  Important because it is a vitamin that has anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-cancer properties.  It should be included in every person’s “medicine” cabinet.  Misunderstood because many so called studies funded by entities that have financial interests in drugs and medicines dispute sound, solid, scientific research touting  vitamin C benefits.  It is also misunderstood because the general public has no idea how to use vitamin C for their benefit. The United States recommended daily allowance (RDA) for vitamin C is 65-95mg a day. This amount of vitamin C will prevent vitamin C deficiency which can cause a disease called scurvy.  In addition, 65-95mg a day will help many body functions, including formation of collagen, absorption of iron, the immune system, wound healing, and the maintenance of cartilage, bones, and teeth.  Vitamin C is needed in the body daily to support these functions.  No argument there at all. 


The arguments begin to stir when immune system function is discussed concerning vitamin C’s anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties.  Research shows that vitamin C, if taken in high enough doses will have a major effect in combating germs and viruses.  The trick is knowing that you have to take a considerable higher dose than the RDA.  Research disputing the effectiveness of vitamin C and say the common cold says that vitamin C has little to no effect fighting off a cold.  In the research, the patients are given the RDA of 65mg-95mg of C.  In some studies, 200mg of C is the amount given. In the studies that show the beneficial effects of vitamin C the patients are given thousands of units of vitamin C a day, and in most cases on an hourly or every three to four hour basis.


 Vitamin C is a water soluble vitamin.  This means that C is not stored in the body for any significant amount of time and it is excreted as waste (urination). So for vitamin C to be effective fighting a “cold” or other viruses, the C must be given on regular intervals through out the day.  In cases of severe viruses like CoVid-19, vitamin C can be given in a mega dose intravenously.  What does this mean to you and how do you apply this research to your life?  Well, for one, every person should take a daily one time dose of vitamin C to maintain and support body functions.  For instance, 500mg to 1000mg is an ideal dose of C for daily consumption.  When you start to not feel well with the first signs of sickness like a scratchy throat, slight cough, nausea and elevated temperature this is the time to go on a defensive attack.  I know those two words together are an oxymoron, but you have to defend your health by attacking the germs before they get a foothold in your body. With Vitamin C, this means that it is time to go “Big.” 


Instead of our small daily dose, now it is time to take between 3000 and 4000 mg of C every 3-4 hours.  This would be done three to four times a day for a total of 12 to 16 thousand units a day.  The only major side effect of too much C is gastrointestinal upset, but this does not really occur until dosage is way high in the twenty thousands.  To counteract any gastro upset, the vitamin C that you purchase should be liposomal vitamin C.  This vitamin C bypasses certain digestive areas and you can take much higher doses of C without any problems. Back to the illness fighting. In my experience, if I follow this protocol when I start to not feel well, usually one day of high, frequent dose vitamin C is all I need.  The next day I will feel normal again.  If the symptoms persist, I keep on with the high dosage program. Usually, 3-4 days will do the trick.  Some doctors say that those who suffer from kidney stones, should not do high doses of vitamin C for more than 3-4 days as it may create more stones. But drinking a lot of water will also help the kidneys during the 3-4 days of high C dosage and can prevent stones from forming.  In severe cases of virus, say that you missed the warning signs and got hit hard, if you have liposomal vitamin C, you can take 5-6 thousand units every 60-90 minutes for a 3-4 hour period.  Studies show that a jolt of vitamin C in that time frame can combat a lot of the viral cells in your body and give your immune system a major boost.


In summary, take a small daily dose of vitamin C, 500-1000mg.  If you are not into taking daily vitamins, make sure to eat citrus fruit each day which is high in vitamin C.  On that note, red bell peppers (which is actually a fruit) has the highest amount of vitamin C of all fruit, including oranges!!  Lastly, purchase liposomal vitamin C, 1000mg capsules.  Keep this in your fridge for your emergencies, when you are not feeling well and then follow the high dosage recommendation for fighting viruses.  You can also use the liposomal vitamin C 1000mg as your daily dose for health benefits.  If you take it the 1000mg of C daily, you wont have to keep it in your fridge as you will be using it all in a timely manner.  The fridge is for your C if you only take it when ill, to lengthen the C shelf life.


Pregnancy and Chiropractic:  When is the best time to see the chiropractor when you are pregnant?  Rather then wait for symptoms such as the aches and discomforts of pregnancy, the round ligament tightening, the pelvic imbalances, the ideal time to start chiropractic care in pregnancy is when you find out your are pregnant. Typically around the 8 week mark.  Pregnancy care recommendations would be one wellness visit every two weeks during pregnancy. in the last two months, wellness visits would be weekly and in the few weeks, 2-3 times a week for an optimal pregnancy birth experience.  Naturally if the pregnancy presents with symptoms, the pregnancy care plan would be revised.  But that is how we do it in my Galloway chiropractic office.

Dr J. Zimmerman, Chiropractor Dr. Zimmerman is a practicing chiropractor from Galloway, NJ with 30 years of chiropractic practice.

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