Vitamin C. Essential for Winter Wellness

KITCHEN WITCHEN   The Magic of Food as Medicine Book BY Ms Dom Finney

The Magic of Food as Medicine Book BY Dominique  Finney


My good friends at Nature and health Magazine have reprinted one of my articles on Vitamin C on their web site

Here it is for you to enjoy.

Love Dom xoxo

Vitamin C article

by Dominique Finney, ND 01 Jul 2013

So you thought vitamin C was just for colds? Take a fresh look at what this super-nutrient can do for you.

As early as 1742, lemon juice was known to prevent scurvy, a debilitating disease that plagued sailors. Its antiscurvy – or antiscorbutic – effect is the root of its scientific name, ascorbic acid. Today, interest in vitamin C is based more on its potential to protect cells. As the body’s main water-soluble antioxidant, vitamin C fights damage caused by unstable oxygen molecules called free radicals.

Powerful protection

Vitamin C protects against cancer and heart disease; low levels are linked to heart attacks because it reduces arterial damage caused by oxidised cholesterol. An Archives of Neurology study has shown that vitamin C also reduces your risk of Alzheimer’s disease by more than 60 per cent, by protecting the brain’s fat content from free radicals.

Vitamin C helps to prevent arterial reblockage after angioplasty (an alternative to bypass surgery). It produces haemoglobin in red blood cells and helps the body to absorb iron from foods. For people with type 1 diabetes, which interferes with cellular uptake of vitamin C, supplementation may prevent complications, like eye disease.

It plays a role in protecting DNA and RNA genetic transcription from oxidative damage. It also protects against cataracts and age-related macular degeneration, and is an excellent cleanser. In my clinic, I prescribe 5,000 mg per 50 kg of body weight to patients undergoing detoxification.

While several reviews have failed to show cold-fighting benefits, the majority of studies definitely indicate that taking 1,000-6,000 mg of vitamin C a day at the onset significantly reduces symptoms and duration – in one study, by 21 per cent. I recommend 2,000 mg, taken at 2-hour intervals. It’s especially beneficial to elderly people, who are at risk of severe respiratory infections. It is a natural antihistamine, and can block the inflammatory substances produced by the body in response to allergens, as well as prevent or improve asthma symptoms.

Beauty booster

Vitamin C helps turn back the clock, according to a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Researchers monitored 4,025 women and found that those with high dietary levels of vitamin C had fewer wrinkles, less age-related dry skin and better resistance to sun damage than those with low levels. It strengthens capillaries and cell walls and is crucial for the formation of collagen (a protein found in connective tissue), which prevents bruising and promotes healing.

What to take

The daily RDI (Recommended Daily Intake) for vitamin C is a mere 40 mg for men and 30 mg for women. However, even conservative experts think that an optimal intake is at least 500 mg a day, and doses of 6,000 mg or more, which may be administered intravenously, are recommended for specific diseases, including Staphylococcus and Streptococcus infections, herpes, mononucleosis, viral hepatitis and addiction withdrawal treatments.

Stress increases vitamin C requirements; I prescribe dosages of up to 5,000 mg daily for patients who are under extreme pressure. My preference is for pure, non-acidic calcium ascorbate powder, which is well tolerated in the digestive tract. Bioflavonoids, such as hesperidin, improve absorption. Note: Large doses of vitamin C can cause diarrhoea and flatulence and are contraindicated if you have kidney disease.

Dominique Finney is a Sunshine Coast-based naturopath and herbalist, and the author of The Wellness Zone