Vitamin C ’til You Poop
I got in a fight with a nasty cold this week. I survived it and want to share what I’ve learned.
Everyone knows that the best medicine for a cold is lots and lots of orange juice. You need to keep fluids moving through you to help flush things out and orange juice gives you the vitamin C you need to fight the cold. But does it really help?
Well, you have to factor in the fructose content of orange juice. Eating straight oranges includes fiber that slows the release of fructose into your body, but fruit juice doesn’t slow the sugar dump so your body gets overwhelmed with fructose. When that happens, your body has to waste energy processing and cleaning up the fructose, and furthermore, fructose itself reduces your immune system’s ability to eat invaders by over 41 percent. It takes more than five hours for your immune system to return to normal.
One of the more damaging food components to our immune system is sugar. In one study, the ingestion of 100 gram (roughly 3-1/2 ounces) portions of carbohydrate as glucose, fructose, sucrose, honey, and pasteurized orange juice all significantly reduced the ability of white blood cells (neutrophils) to engulf and destroy bacteria.
And if you’re eating carbs high in glucose, like toast, then you’re also inhibiting the vitamin C from entering your cells.
In the 1970’s, Dr. John Ely discovered the Glucose-Ascorbate-Antagonism (GAA) theory. Glucose and vitamin C (ascorbate) have a very similar chemical makeup. This theory proposes that elevated glucose levels compete and effectively restrict vitamin C from entering cells. Both glucose and vitamin C depend upon the pancreatic hormone insulin and its signaling effects in order to get into cells.
There is an important receptor called the Glut-1 receptor that activates in response to insulin to allow both glucose and vitamin C to enter the cell. However, glucose has a greater affinity for the insulin receptor. This means that the greater the content of circulating blood sugar the less vitamin C will enter the cell.
Even worse, the amount of vitamin C in orange juice is greatly reduced through processing. Julia Ross notes
Orange juice – even without added sugar, this, like all fruit juices, is so concentrated in fruit sugar and devoid of the vitamins, minerals, and fiber that should dilute the sugar content that it qualifies as a junk carb. (Most vitamins can’t survive any processing, and most fruit juice is highly processed)
The Mood Cure, 124
But let’s put that aside and just go with the USDA Nutrient Database stats: 12oz of orange juice contains 30g of sugar and about 150mg of vitamin C. 150mg of vitamin C isn’t going to do anything to a cold. Most people recommend, at the bare minimum, 1,000mg every 3 hours while you have your cold. So that would be around 6 glasses of orange juice every 3 hours, so maybe 24 glasses of orange juice a day. That would result in 720g, nearly 2 lbs of sugar a day, which would significantly suppress your immune system and cause significant inflammatory stress throughout your body.
So orange juice is really not helpful when you’re fighting a cold, but vitamin C is, so what’s the solution?
Enter titrating vitamin C to bowel tolerance. Basically, your body’s tolerance level for vitamin C fluctuates depending on how much you need to fight an infection. You can’t overdose on vitamin C, meaning it’s not toxic. The only effect you will get is diarrhea if you have too much. But that will only happen when your body can’t absorb any more of it. Watch the video below to learn how clinical doctors have documented patients’ tolerance levels fluctuating depending on the severity of their illness.
Alan Smith, a farmer in New Zealand, came back from the dead through the use of Vitamin C megadosing, much to the protest of his doctors, who left him for dead and were about to pull his life support plug. Watch the story on 60 Minutes.
and a follow up
So I took my cold last week as a chance to experiment. I thought I was taking high doses at 10g/day, but I never reached bowel intolerance until yesterday when I used a powder and hit it at 60g. If I had started that high, my cold would have been over much faster, though the dosage I was using did certainly help.
The method & directions for how to do it can be found here: http://www.doctoryourself.com/titration.html
I made the mistake of starting with capsules (that’s all I had). You should start with a powder in order to find your tolerance, and then you can continue with pills if you prefer. So here’s what you should do if you want to try it:
- Buy Sodium Ascorbate. Take 5-10g/hr until you reach bowel tolerance (note: the higher dose you do, the more you could overshoot)
- Supplement at that level every 24 hours until your infection is gone. You can switch to taking 1g capsules if you want (don’t use tablets)
Note also the suggestions for maintenance level (daily) supplementation when you don’t have a cold. (found at the bottom of here http://www.doctoryourself.com/titration.html )
Vitamin C megadosing is absolutely amazing and you need to be very aware of it. It’s not just for colds. It destroys every virus, if you take enough of it. Many doctors offer vitamin C through an IV, which I will probably try next time. IVC is used to treat a vast number of ailments, including cancer.
I strongly recommend watching Dr. Thomas Levy’s lectures
To a broader audience (haven’t watched it yet):