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Immune Booster Series: Vitamin C

Immune Booster Series: Vitamin C

We’ve all heard before that vitamin C is essential for boosting the immune system, especially during cold and flu season. But why exactly?

Vitamin C is proven to decrease the severity and duration of common cold symptoms. However, it has been shown that it only does this for those who were taking vitamin C prophylactically. That means you need to have been taking Vitamin C before actually catching the virus. Consuming fruits and vegetables that are high in vitamin C or investing in a quality supplement is beneficial to keep vitamin C levels where they should be!

Spread Out Your Intake!

Unfortunately, our bodies can only absorb around 500 mg of vitamin C at once when taken orally. Most supplements are 1,000 mg or more. Once our bodies reach that threshold, we excrete out the rest. Therefore, it is better to spread out our intake of vitamin C throughout the day in order to maximize absorption. Higher concentrations of vitamin C can be achieved through IV administration rather than supplementation due to the bypass of the gut.

Eat a Rainbow

Natural foods that are great sources of vitamin C include guava, red peppers, green peppers, grapefruit, cantaloupe, papaya, oranges, blueberries, and strawberries. Studies have shown that just 200 mg of vitamin C per day consecutively maximizes blood and tissue concentrations. This is why it is so important to have a diet rich in a variety of fruits and vegetables every single day!

Who should have a higher vitamin C intake?

There are certain populations that should aim for a higher vitamin C intake. This includes the elderly, type 2 diabetics and smokers due to increased utilization of the nutrient. If you are prone to kidney stones, it is even more important for you to spread out the dosage of vitamin C throughout the day because high doses (1,000 mg or more) of vitamin C can result in the formation of kidney stones.

Resources:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15495002

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4769668/

https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminC-HealthProfessional/

About the Author:

Julia Roller

Hello! I am a current student studying chiropractic care at National University of Health Sciences. I graduated from the University of Nebraska with a Bachelor’s in Nutrition and Dietetics. I had the privilege to swim for the university, which further inspired me to continue my education toward manual therapy. The majority of my education has been focused on how to treat chronic disease or chronic problems. I started to get frustrated with the fact that so many people struggle with chronic back problems and chronic health problems. This inspired me to further my education with acupuncture and a functional medicine program, which I am currently enrolled in. The health world can be hard to navigate with many opinions or biased research on the Internet. My goal is to empower individuals with evidence-based research so that we all can start preventing and healing disease and chronic pain.