How much Vitamin-C do we really need?

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Let us introduce our new series: The Health Compass.

Every Sunday at 5pm (IST time) we do a Facebook live video to cover a topic on one of the following areas:
(You can watch the video at the end of this blog post).

– Diet
– Exercise
– Sleep
– Supplements
– Stress handling

We believe these are the five major parts that add up to what we call ‘Five Star Health’.

We call it The Health Compass, as we try to share useful information and some practical tips on the subject of health, what worked and what didn’t work for us, which just like a real compass, can show you the direction to healthy living.

In this episode, we are visiting the supplements topic, more precisely Vitamin C.

The reason why most shops are out of stock now is that many people learned lately that vitamin C is indeed great for the body, it is great to support the immune system.

Did you know that in the middle ages, sailors actually died because of vitamin C deficiency?

They went on long journeys and had no access to fresh fruit and vegetables. It wasn’t until the 18th-century that they were testing different food, and realised when they had access to citrus fruit on their journey, they survived.

Back then, they didn’t know that what they were lacking was vitamin C.The name of the disease was scurvy. It is a disease where due to the lack of vitamin C, the body cannot produce collagen. The person first experiences severe tiredness, then bleeding gums, loosen teeth, and then bleeding occurs in the body – due to blood vessels practically dissolving because of the lack of collagen – which was caused by the lack of
vitamin C. Scary stuff…

It was only in the 1930s when a Hungarian scientist, dr Albert Szentgyörgyi was able to extract Vitamin C from peppers. He later received a Nobel Prize for all his work.

Nowadays, almost nobody gets scurvy, because fresh fruit and vegetables are easily accessible.
Vitamin C can be found in: citrus fruits like orange, lemon, lime, kiwi, grapefruit, then peppers, tomato, strawberries, and believe it or not, even potatoes have vitamin C in them.

The short answer: No.
The detailed answer: It depends what your goal is. If you only want to avoid scurvy, then eating a great variety of fresh fruit and vegetables should be enough.
But there are higher levels of health than simply not getting scurvy.
When you check the RDA – Recommended Daily Allowance – they would establish an amount that’s minimum needed to avoid a serious disease – Which, in the case of vitamin C, is scurvy.
But again, are we striving for optimal health, where we feel great and full of energy all the time? Or are we okay with simply avoiding scurvy?

Do you know how much vitamin C Dr Albert Szentgyörgyi took?
He personally took 5-6000 mg every day, which he increased to 8-10000 when he felt that a cold tries to catch him.
He said that people should keep vitamin C in their household in kilogram packages, similar to table sugar and salt.

We take lots of vitamin C. It would be similar to what Dr Szentgyörgyi took.
We take 1000 mg doses in one go, and then we take a tablet every 2-3 hours or so.
We increase the frequency when we feel like something comes on.
And for the past years, we stopped being sick.

Sometimes we get a bit of a runny nose or a tiny soreness in the throat, but that’s when we increase the dose, and then we avoid getting a full-blown cold.
We can’t say vitamin C is the answer for everything, but it certainly helps to boost health.
Start with a basic multivitamin + mineral supplement, and take extra vitamin C.

The brand – not so much. The ingredients – yes, they matter a lot.

Vitamin C is called Ascorbic Acid – so that’s what you will see as the first ingredient on the label.
And then there is a lot of other stuff, that makes the tablet or capsule. Choose a brand that has a shorter list of the added stuff.

Try to avoid supplements that are so-called ‘Timed release” vitamin C – they would contain even more of the bulky stuff, trying to make the table dissolving very slowly in your stomach – and as a result, causing stomach upset.
So the fewer filler ingredients – the better.

Vitamin C – is almost like a miracle supplement