Typically when we think about vitamin C we also think of scurvy. We may think of scurvy as a disease of past centuries; however, there are many cases of subclinical scurvy today. If you see someone’s gums become red around the edges, especially during an illness, it could be a first sign of scurvy. But beyond preventing scurvy, vitamin C has many many other critical benefits.
We have been told various myths about Vitamin C, causing us to not take enough of it to get the benefits we are looking for, therefore we think that vitamin C is simply a “vitamin” and cannot be used as a viable medicine. As Dr. Klenner said “Don’t expect control of a virus with 100 to 400 mg of C.” Suzanne Humphries shows us through her clinical experience and through peer-reviewed studies that when we take the plunge and administer vitamin C in large enough doses, amazing things happen!
Of course eating foods high in vitamin C should always be our first line of defense for health. Suzanne shows us that the US government’s recommended daily amount (RDA) of vitamin C is out of touch with reality (way too low), and that someone eating a diet rich in whole foods (vegetables and fruits) will have much higher amounts than the RDA. She also points out that animals make or eat way higher amounts of vitamin C than the RDA if we make a rudimentary comparison using milligrams of vitamins per kilogram of weight (most animals can manufacture their own vitamin C; apes, guinea pigs and humans don’t).
If we are eating fresh healthy food from the garden out back, and have low exposure to toxins/oxidative stress (air pollution–cars, recycling plants, everything!, chemicals and other toxins in our water, drinking more than 1 glass of alcohol per day, smoking cigarettes, taking drugs or pharmaceutical drugs, even sunburn and psychological or emotional stress), we don’t need to supplement with vitamin C. Be aware though, that if you are getting your vitamin C from your diet, it is important to eat fresh foods — once you slice that red pepper or kiwi loaded with vitamin C, the vitamin C begins to disappear! Eat fresh. Red peppers, parsley, kiwis and other foods have lots of vitamin C.
For the majority of us who do experience the oxidative-stress causes listed above, synthetic vitamin C can help. To learn what oxidative stress is and how it causes damage in the body, watch this video starting at minute 20:36.
I believe everyone should be familiar with how to effectively use vitamin C, especially those who have conditions like asthma and gut issues, where a cold/infection almost always turns into a sinus infection or respiratory infection and thus an asthma attack requiring an emergency room visit, as is the case with several of my family members. Knowing how to use vitamin C to prevent the escalation of an infection is key to avoiding repeated antibiotics. Also, vitamin C can be used as an antioxidant, as a support for any detox program (Suzanne says that vitamin c should ALWAYS be a part of a detox program!), and infection healing process – sore throat or flu – but also as an anti-histamine, as a treatment to help any serious health condition, including heart disease, kidney or liver disease — even sepsis. (There are so many more uses including headaches and sinus relief – scroll down!) Always hydrate before taking vitamin C! Studies show that giving high doses of Vitamin C to burn victims decreases the amount of fluids they need and decreases secondary infections. She even reviews a study from Bangladesh where vitamin C saved all of the children studied from death by tetanus! Suzanne believes that all of the adults (age 13-30) included in the data below could have been saved as well, if the doctors had increased the dosage of vitamin C in proportion to body size/weight and age (they gave the same amount to both the children and the adults).
In whooping cough, vitamin C plays many roles but also thins the mucus making it easier for one to expel it.
Vitamin C is necessary for a thriving body:
- strengthening in many ways, including: integrity of the body’s collagen intracellular bonds in blood vessels and capillaries, thus strengthening the integrity of the blood-brain barrier, and healthy lung tissue, which is important during whooping cough infections.
- building cellular and vascular collagen bonds
- detoxifying the body (powerful antioxidant) – without enough vitamin C in the body, neutrophils and liver struggle to deal with the free radicals and toxins generated by infectious bacteria. Neutralized toxins can then be removed quickly help any healing process, as the free radicals then don’t destroy tissue or disrupt normal fatty acids and cell function. When one is dealing with infection, parasites or bacteria often produce toxins, which the body deals using antioxidant reserves, until the body runs out of reserves (scurvy). We need to give our bodies a good supply! If toxins build up, toxins can enter the bloodstream.
- keeping mitochondria running properly – without adequate reserves of vitamin C in the body, carnitine won’t pull fatty acids into the mitochondria, and thus mitochondria produce less energy, resulting in one feeling exhausted
Suzanne Humphries offers several videos to teach us about the use and effectiveness of vitamin C. If you have the time, I highly recommend these:
- Vitamin C Basics
- Tips on how to take and brands recommended
Many argue that vitamin C should not be taken orally in large doses because our body cannot absorb a large amount, and thus, we simply eject it through the body via urine. This is somewhat true, as Suzanne Humphries shows in the slide below; however, even though the % absorbed decreases with ever larger doses of sodium ascorbate, one is still absorbing quite a bit more overall. Additionally, Suzanne says that when taken intravenously, 100% is bioavailable (absorbed).
Others argue that high doses of vitamin C taken via any route is unsafe. Suzanne Humphries debunks this completely, and has found the studies which prove it, and she also has clinical history to prove that it is safe, during her time as an internist/nephrologist M.D. Many cancer and lyme patients also take high dose vitamin C orally as well as intravenously with success.
“Vitamin C, of course, is exceptionally safe at high doses and has hundreds of proven health benefits (view our Vitamin C health benefit database), whereas conventional chemopreventive agents for cancer, e.g. Tamoxifen, and hormone replacement therapy using animal derived and/or synthetic hormone analogs, cause a wide range of adverse health effects, including at times increased mortality.” – GreenMedInfo.com
As I’ve learned from Suzanne, there is no condition that won’t be improved by high dose vitamin C, especially the most life-threatening conditions, like the ones listed in the following slides from her presentation:
The study listed at the bottom left (PMID 24484547) proves that intravenous ascorbic acid (vitamin C) administered to patients with severe sepsis is not only safe, but improves survival rates! The study worked with three groups – a control group who received no vitamin C, a group who received low-dose intravenous vitamin C (50mg/kg/24 hours), and a group who received a higher dose of intravenous vitamin C (200mg/kg/24 hours). In the medical field, a high SOFA (Sequential Organ Failure Assessment) score in the first 48 hours of critical illness/intensive care is a high indicator that the patient will have a mortality rate of 50%. In the study, patients who received lower and higher doses of intravenous vitamin C both experienced rapid, significant drops in their SOFA score, increasing their chances of survival. The control group had no significant decrease in their SOFA score! The study states that there were no adverse effects seen in the patients who received lower or higher doses of vitamin C. Suzanne believes this study should be proof enough to dissolve any doctor’s fear of offering this treatment, for fear they will be sued as it is not currently standard protocol. Suzanne also points us to a follow-up article written by the same researchers.
Suzanne suggests that we search for and find the study on the US National Library of Medicine, using the number 24484547, and that we print it and bring it to the doctor in order that they would administer high dose vitamin C to your loved one in need.
Suzanne also shows that Vitamin C is incredibly less dangerous from a pharmacology point of view than aspirin and even table salt! Suzanne says one would have to ingest nearly a kilogram all at once to cause any danger! I think it might be helpful to add that Suzanne says that “nobody has ever died of a vitamin C or synthetic ascorbate overdose.”
There are situations in which Suzanne cautions regarding the use of vitamin C:
- dehydration – always hydrate before you start taking vit. c. Never give if someone is dehydrated.
- kidney failure; however, even in this situation, she asks if it could still be viable option if the person is truly in danger of losing their life.
- prone to forming kidney stones – “theoretical possibility yet have never been shown to be a true risk in the use of vitamin C. This potential risk is minimized by hydrating with lemon water to alkalize the urine so that oxalate cannot drop out of solution and crystallize. Other means of alkalization and hydration are just as good.”
- very rare disorder called Glucose 6 phosphate dehydrogenase
deficiency (G6PDD) – “Hemolysis can occur in the rare disorder called glucose 6 phosphatase dehydrogenase deficiency (G6PD deficiency) if mega doses of vitamin C are given- yet there are cases of even those people tolerating vitamin C when they are deficient. Mind you, there are no drugs in the Physicians Desk Reference (PDR) without far more common risks and definitely more side effects than vitamin C” and “There are no reports of this hemolysis problem when oral intake by G6PD deficient persons is less than 6 grams per day in G6PD deficient adults or in healthy adults at any dose.” “there is a clear double standard regarding concern over G6PD when using vitamin C compared to many commonly used drugs, where use is never considered a risk, even though it is. As you can see from THIS ARTICLE many commonly used drugs today can pose a risk to the rare person with this disorder. I have yet to see a patient screened for G6PD disease prior to being given these commonly used drugs”
- or a history or family history of anemia (hemochromotosis). Suzanne says that those with this condition should not use high-dose vitamin C without specialist care; however they could take moderate doses when very ill, but again, she suggests consulting a doctor well informed in vitamin C immunobiology
Purchasing – Types & Brands (non-GMO)
Suzanne Humphries recommends having at minimum the following two types of vitamin C in the house at all times (she NEVER recommends Ester-C (calcium ascorbate)).
They can also be purchased on Amazon:
- Sodium Ascorbate (brand: Nutribiotic) – 453 gram size
- Liposomal/Lypo-Spheric Vitamin C (brand: LivOn Laboratories) – 1gram per packet, 30 packets, 60 packets, 90 packets
Suzanne also suggests having a third form of vitamin C on hand:
- Ascorbic Acid (brand: Sufficient-C) – 120 gram size.
Why three types of vitamin C?
Different types of vitamin C are appropriate for different situations:
- Oral. Orally, one can ingest natural or synthetic vitamin C, or vitamin C in whole form through food. If using synthetic forms, one can use sodium ascorbate, liposomal, or ascorbic acid.
- Topical. For skin application, sodium ascorbate must be used only. If there are any breaks in the skin, ascorbic acid could burn badly.
- Inter-nasal. Sodium ascorbate must be used only.
- Intravenous. When using vitamin C intravenously, it must be buffered with bicarbonate and diluted into a larger saline and infused into sclerosal vein. Suzanne says that we must take vitamin C orally alongside intravenous, as the intravenous provides highly absorbable amounts, but doesn’t last long in the body.
Three Types of Vitamin C, How to Use, and in What Situations
Sodium Ascorbate (SA) – sodium ascorbate is buffered. You can get about 5 grams of vitamin C in about 1 tsp. Sometimes ascorbic acid by itself doesn’t sit well in some people’s stomachs – making sodium ascorbate a better option. Works well for children or babies beyond breastfeeding.
Caution #1: keep the cap on tight – if it turns yellow or orange it has gone bad.
Caution #2: sodium ascorbate can be bad if one tends to have swelling, significant liver disease, heart failure, or alcoholism or veinous insufficiency/vascular insufficiency, and they’re taking 6-10 grams orally. Switch to just acid or a 50/50 mix is better.
How to Use: mix into a glass of water or fresh juice
- Headaches/Migraine/Sinus/Mucus Issues – try snorting the powdered sodium ascorbate (NOT ascorbic acid); this is safe to do 1 or 2 times a day for a couple days….not indefinitely. Don’t use this route if you have a nasal erosion. Pinch a little bit between your fingers, lie down, and sniff into the nose. After a minute the thinned mucus will begin to run. Try to hold as long as possible, and then blow your nose. You will experience a gentle burning sensation, especially if your mucus membranes are inflamed. People say that it works better than a Netti Pot. I’m happy to have an alternative to Sudafed!
- Sore Throat – you can take it orally, or gargle with it – hold it as long as you can and then swallow.
- Wounds – make a paste with the powdered sodium ascorbate (NOT ascorbic acid) and use topically for wounds.
- Traveling – we all know that traveling stresses the body. Personally, I almost always get a sinus infection after flying – hopefully that will change now that I have vitamin C in y back pocket! Suzanne says that she has taken up to 30 grams of sodium ascorbate when traveling with no diarrhea or ill effect.
- Oxidative Stress – (too much sun, air pollution, chemical exposures, alcohol, smoking, drugs or pharmaceutical drugs, psychological or emotional stress)
- Topical Injury after scabs have formed – apply topically by making a paste with water.
- Staph infection – apply topically by making a paste with water.
- Acne or Other Skin Problems – mix 1 tsp into 100mL of water (make fresh every day). Make a paste and put it on before you go to sleep. Use a pillowcase that is not white as it can turn the white fabric orange.
Liposomal/Lypo-Spheric Vitamin C (LSA) – get into the body really easily without the body having to expend any energy, so it works well with babies and anyone who is really ill. No side effect except the occasional greasy stool when the body becomes saturated.
Caution #1: don’t put this in the blender – blender will destroy the liposomes.
Caution #2: it won’t necessarily get into the colon, where you may want vitamin C levels
How to Use: can use this in newborn babies using your fingers to swab into their cheek. For adults, simply down the packet. If that is too unpleasant for adults or kids, empty the packet into a glass, mix with a fresh juiced or blended orange or some other fresh juice, and drink.
- Bowel toxins, endotoxins or exotoxins as is the case with whooping cough or other infections whose provoking microbes creates these toxins – use this WITH sodium
- After Surgery – can apply after surgery in the mouth
- Can use on the skin or gums directly without dilution or mixing with water for any issue.
Ascorbic Acid (AA) – it is stronger than sodium ascorbate, and the Sufficient-C brand tastes amazing, so it works well when mixed with sodium ascorbate. It is more expensive than the previous two types.
How to Use: mix into a glass of water or fresh juice
- To mask the taste of sodium ascorbate or liposomal vitamin C – use it for older children and older toddlers who are weaned from breast milk IF you have to give very high doses of sodium ascorbate or liposomal vitamin C. You can mix this and sodium ascorbate 1:1, or add just enough in water to mask the taste of liposomal vitamin C.
- Acne or other Skin Problems without skin perforations – mix 1 tsp into 100mL of water (make fresh every day), but not if there are any perforations in skin! Spray on skin, or you can make a paste and put it on before you go to sleep. Use a pillowcase that is not white as it can turn the white fabric orange.
Dosage for a Healthy Person
Eating foods high in vitamin C should always be our first line of defense for health. Again, if we live a life free of oxidative stress, and we are eating food picked fresh and from healthy soil, we probably don’t need to supplement with vitamin C.
However, almost none of us live in that idyllic setting. So, it might make sense to supplement, especially if your health is not optimal.
- 2-4 grams per day for an adult, less for children, or one can calculate 70 mg/kg/day per person.
- 20-30 grams per day if traveling for an adult.
***A high carbohydrate diet and having unhealthy bowel bacteria may cause the appearance that you need less vitamin C than you actually do (you will achieve a loose stool faster).
Dosage during Pregnancy
5 to 6 grams, taken in divided doses throughout day.
Dosage during Illness
If you want to get as much vitamin C into your body as possible, don’t eat sugar or grains that will turn into sugar quickly in the body. The sugar thwarts the vitamin C.
Take 1/4 tsp to a 1 tsp of sodium ascorbate, or 1-4 grams of vitamin C – every 1 to 4 hours, for anyone over 60 pounds. For kids less than 60 pounds, you need to give lesser amounts, every 15 to 30 minutes. If the stomach is gurgling, that is a good sign. 2 loose bowel movements per day is totally fine when one is sick.
If your baby is sick with whooping cough or another infection or flu, use Suzanne Humphries Whooping Cough (Pertussis) protocol. – And check out the success stories if you need encouragement. Suzanne points out that whooping cough occurs whether one is vaccinated or not. 86% of whooping cough cases occur in fully vaccinated children. Suzanne also points out that antibiotics make the cough worse as it impairs the immune system. Suzanne has treated whooping cough successfully in those of all ages – from infants as young as 2 weeks of age, to the elderly, with no secondary infections occurring.
It is really best to find out what your own dose is, as everyone is an individual. Follow the dosage above, until your stomach starts rumbling. If you have diarrhea after that, back the dosage down 50-90%.
Use this guide from www.DoctorYourself.net as a starting point to understand and find your bowel tolerance.
You can also use this guide, which says we should have 158mg/pound/per day when we are ill, but one still needs to continue increasing the dosage until bowel toleance (diarrhea) is seen, and then the dosage can be scaled back. Suzanne Humphries consider 2 loose stools acceptable during illness, but obviously daily diarrhea is not considered acceptable.
If the illness is severe, intravenous vitamin C may be needed in addition to hourly oral dosing. That link shows intravenous and oral dosages Dr. Klenner used for polio and measles – he used up to 30 grams per day for adults. There is also a mention of pnuemonia. Just remember from above, there is almost no severe illness that won’t be improved by vitamin C! In the sepsis SOFA score study mentioned earlier in thist post — the low dose group received 23 mg/pound/day intravenously, and the higher dose group received 91mg/pound/day intravenously.
Ascorbate-dependent vasopressor synthesis: a rationale for vitamin C administration in severe sepsis and septic shock? published in Critical Care 2015: https://ccforum.biomedcentral.com/track/pdf/10.1186/s13054-015-1131-2
Phase I safety trial of intravenous ascorbic acid in patients with severe sepsis, Journal of Translational Medicine, 2014: https://translational-medicine.biomedcentral.com/track/pdf/10.1186/1479-5876-12-32