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After decades of being grossly underrated, vitamin C is beginning to move back into the spotlight. Research demonstrates that this humble nutrient offers benefits far beyond the prevention of scurvy, thus vindicating the writings of early pioneers like Linus Pauling.

In past articles, we’ve detailed how vitamin C fights cancer and improves survival rates, fights heartburn and stomach ulcers, keeps skin radiant and wrinkle-free, provides immediate stress relief, allows for recovery from advanced sepsis, and improves cardiovascular health.

In the 1940s, Dr. Fredrick Klenner followed in Linus Pauling’s footsteps by using vitamin C as a therapeutic agent in his medical clinics—with mega-doses of vitamin C, he claims to have cured his patients of pneumonia, encephalitis, Herpes zoster (shingles), Herpes simplex, mononucleosis, pancreatitis, hepatitis, bladder infections, alcoholism, arthritis, cancer, leukemia, atherosclerosis, ruptured intervertebral discs, high cholesterol, corneal ulcers, diabetes, glaucoma, schizoprenia, burns, infections, heat stroke, radiation burns, heavy metal poisoning, venomous bites, multiple sclerosis, chronic fatigue, and more.

The work of both Linus Pauling and Dr. Klenner is quite controversial. They have routinely been referred to as quacks, and are only just beginning to regain favor. As you can see from the article links above, though, there’s more than enough conclusive research to support vitamin C’s healing and health-supporting potential, regardless of your stance on these original vitamin C enthusiasts.

One important area that has vitamin C researchers especially interested is endocrine support.

Vitamin C can regenerate hormones, study finds

As we’ve discussed in past articles, hormone and endocrine dysfunction is a serious and prevalent health issue. Hormones are fundamentally involved in the regulation of the body’s cells, neurotransmitters, and organs. Thus, endocrine imbalance can lead to a staggering array of health problems, including fertility issues, chronic fatigue, cardiovascular issues, depression, anxiety, and other neuropsychiatric disorders, diabetes, cancer, and many others.

Luckily, research suggests that vitamin C can offer powerful endocrine support. In one prominent study, researchers set out to explore the mechanisms through which vitamin C may prevent the breakdown of hormones into toxic metabolites. The results were even more impressive than they expected: vitamin C was shown not only to prevent hormone degradation, but also to regenerate estrone, progesterone, and testosterone.[1]

These findings have remarkable implications. They expand our understanding of vitamin C as an antioxidant, insofar as they demonstrate that ascorbic acid not only neutralizes free radicals, but also prevents the analogous production of “hormone transients.”

This mechanism is especially important because it highlights vitamin C’s potential use as a safe alternative to hormone replacement therapy (which is inconsistently effective, and tends to make the problem worse by making the body dependent upon an external source of hormones).

Lastly, this study strengthens the case for vitamin C as a potent protector against the toxins of modern living. The endocrine system is centrally involved in the body’s detoxification functions; thus, by supplying the body with vitamin C, you’re exerting a direct antioxidant influence and optimizing the body’s inherent detox system.

How to supercharge hormone healing

There’s just one catch when it comes to reaping the benefits of vitamin C: high blood serum levels are required, so it can be difficult to get enough vitamin C from food sources alone, or even through conventional supplementation.

Until fairly recently, the only way to achieve therapeutic blood serum levels of vitamin C was by receiving it via intravenous injection. This is still a worthwhile route of administration, but it’s expensive and time-consuming—not to mention ill-advised for those who don’t have the stomach for needles.

The development of a nanoencapsulation method called liposomal delivery, however, has made it safe, easy, and affordable to supplement with vitamin C optimally, without needles or doctor appointments.

Liposomalization sounds complicated, but it’s simple in concept: this formulation process uses phospholipids (fats) to form a sort of protective bubble around vitamin C molecules. The lipid layer protects vitamin C against breakdown and allows it to be utilized directly by the cells in your body.

There are a handful of companies offering liposomal vitamin C products, but we exclusively recommend this one by PuraTHRIVE.

They’ve raised the bar even higher by using a patented “double-encapsulation” method called micelle liposomal formulation. Micelles further increase absorption, ensure that your cells can utilize vitamin C optimally, and even improve the antioxidant capacity of vitamin C.

It should go without saying that you should still eat lots of healthy foods rich in vitamin C, even in the midst of your supplementation regimen. Optimal nutrition should always be the foundation of a healing lifestyle or specific therapeutic protocol—after all, “supplements” are referred to as such because they’re meant to supplement, not replace, food sources of nutrients.

Combined with a healthy diet, though, micelle-liposomal vitamin C is the fastest and easiest way to enhance the incredible hormone-healing benefits offered by vitamin C.

 


References

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21814301

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Vitamin C is making a serious comeback. As we’ve discussed in past articles, researchers of the early to mid 20th century became obsessed with the seemingly miraculous healing capacities of high-dose ascorbic acid (the technical name for vitamin C). The work of these pioneers was largely shunned by the mainstream medical community, however, and vitamin C returned to its status as “just another vitamin.”

More recent research has begun to restore vitamin C to its former glory, though, with many experts wondering whether the vitamin-C-optimists of the 1940s were right all along.

One prominent study demonstrated that intravenous vitamin C dramatically outshines even the strongest antibiotics for treating sepsis—one doctor found that it reduced the mortality rate of his sepsis patients from as high as 50% to a mere 1%.[1]

Other studies have found that vitamin C is an invaluable tool for fighting cancer. It works through a wide variety of healing mechanisms (none of which carry the horrendous side effects of chemotherapy and radiation treatments), and has been shown to be effective against cancers of the ovaries,[2] pancreas,[3] prostate, bladder, skin, breast, lung, thyroid, and more.[4]

And that’s just a few impressive examples of what modern researchers have been discovering about vitamin C. It’s becoming increasingly clear that vitamin C is highly underestimated, and that it deserves a prominent place in mainstream medicine. It doesn’t just prevent scurvy, but also can act as a powerful tool for treating serious illness and reclaiming the health of the whole body.

And now another, somewhat unexpected benefit has been added to the list of vitamin C’s marvels: natural stress relief.

How vitamin C lowers cortisol levels and manages stress naturally

For some time, researchers have been fascinated by the connection between vitamin C and physical performance optimization. They’ve observed that vitamin C perfectly supports the body before, during, and after physical exertion—and even that supplementing daily with vitamin C can confer the same cardiovascular benefits as exercise.[5]

Over the course of these studies, researchers something very interesting: high-dose vitamin C supplementation consistently reduces levels of cortisol, adrenaline, and other markers for heat-induced stress[6] during high-intensity exercise.[7] Since these chemicals are linked with the body’s overall stress response (physiological or otherwise), could vitamin C also attenuate psychological stress response?

The answer is a resounding yes. German researchers carried out a randomized controlled trial and published their results in the journal Psychopharmacology. They subjected study 120 study participants to acute psychological stress using what’s called the Trier Social Stress Test (which consists of on-the-spot mental arithmetic and public speaking). Half of the group was given 1,000 milligrams of ascorbic acid (vitamin C) before the test, and half was given a placebo.

The vitamin C group displayed improved markers of psychological stress across the board: lower systolic blood pressure, lower diastolic blood pressure, lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol, faster cortisol salivary recovery (meaning that cortisol spikes associated with acute psychological stress recovered to baseline more quickly), and more favorable subjective stress response to the test.

Those who were given vitamin C even reported that they felt “less stressed” right after taking it. This stands to reason, as previous research discovered that administration of high-dose vitamin C literally halts the secretion of cortisol in animals.

And because cortisol is one of the primary hormones through which your body modulates stress response, controlling it with vitamin C represents a promising step forward in the treatment of stress and anxiety.

How to begin your own vitamin C regimen

As you can probably see by now, everyone can benefit from vitamin C supplementation. This incredible nutrient played a prominent role in the evolution of our immune systems—our bodies used to manufacture its own supply of ascorbic acid to fight pathogens, inflammation, and oxidative stress (many mammals still have this built-in mechanism).

Due to what researchers call an “inborn error of carbohydrate metabolism,” our livers now contain an enzyme that blocks the synthesis of vitamin C. One fascinating study does claim, however, that human adrenal glands secrete small amounts of vitamin C as part of the body’s natural stress response,[8] but it’s nowhere near the level that our livers used to produce.

Regardless, you can still tap into this natural state of healing through supplementation.

Not all vitamin C supplements are created equal, though. To experience results like those discussed above, you’ll need to take a high-quality, high-bioavailability product. Otherwise, most of the ascorbic acid will simply pass through your body without being absorbed (this is the case with the vast majority of vitamin C products, and is the reason why the mainstream media is so pessimistic about the benefits of vitamins).

For this reason, liposomal vitamin C is the way to go: it’s the only route of administration that’s nearly as absorbable as intravenous injections, and it’s much cheaper, more convenient, and less invasive. We recommend PuraTHRIVE’s product, which is nanoencapsulated using two cutting-edge formulation techniques, liposomal and micellar delivery. It’s the highest-potency vitamin C available on the market, and unlike other products, it’s delicious! 

 


References

[1] https://emcrit.org/pulmcrit/metabolic-sepsis-resuscitation/

[2] http://stm.sciencemag.org/content/6/222/222ra18

[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23381814

[4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3480897/

[5] http://www.the-aps.org/mm/hp/Audiences/Public-Press/2015/44.html

[6] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19223675

[7] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11590482

[8] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17616774

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Of all the nutrient deficiencies discussed, vitamin C is certainly not the most common. It’s almost invariably associated with scurvy, a condition characterized by mood imbalance, connective tissue defects, rashes, impaired wound healing, and even internal bleeding.

Scurvy occurs in circumstances of dire malnutrition—such conditions are still endured in developing countries, and sailors historically struggled with it (because vitamin-C-rich fruits and vegetables couldn’t be preserved onboard during long voyages). But surely it’s no longer a concern in the developed world?

Is vitamin C deficiency more common than we think?

Scurvy is admittedly a state of extreme deficiency, and one which is very uncommon, especially in the United States. Less than 20,000 cases of scurvy are reported annually in the United States, and it’s estimated that only around 6% of the population has ever suffered from the condition (probably from a combination of nutrient-poor diet and preexisting medical issues that interrupt the process of nutrient absorption).

As recently as 2016, though, major media outlets like the BBC reported that scurvy may be making a comeback in the developed world—hospital admissions related to scurvy increased 27% between 2009 and 2014.[1] This may not seem like much, but it’s an important reminder that vitamin C deficiency is still worthy of our concern.

If you don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables, routinely fast or engage in restrictive dieting, have a medical condition like Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis that inhibits nutrient absorption, use drugs or alcohol frequently, or smoke, you should be especially careful. These factors place you at high risk for vitamin C deficiency, so consider supplementing with a high-bioavailability vitamin C product (and altering your lifestyle habits whenever possible).

Here’s a quick checklist of vitamin C deficiency symptoms to watch out for:

  1. Frequent illness and other signs of poor immune function.

  2. Fatigue

  3. Depression and other mood imbalances.

  4. Joint pain and inflammation

  5. Rashes, dryness, and other skin issues

  6. Dry and brittle hair and nails

  7. Periodontal issues such as swollen or bleeding gums

  8. Easy bruising and slow wound healing

  9. Frequent nosebleeds

Even if you’re not currently experiencing any of these symptoms, though, don’t write off vitamin C just yet. Research into the mechanisms of this amazing nutrient are beginning to redefine the terms of deficiency. Due to the complex and multi-faceted role that vitamin C plays in the body, individuals can suffer the effects of insufficient vitamin C long before any symptoms begin to present (and certainly before they progress to full-blown scurvy).

And because of its seemingly miraculous healing capacities, having anything less than optimal levels of vitamin C (and thus missing out on its incredible benefits) is its own brand of deficiency.

We’ve certainly encountered this issue with other nutrients, such as vitamin D. Our government-approved RDAs (recommended daily allowances) are often woefully low, because they target only the level necessary to prevent severe deficiency.

Fortunately, a growing number of health experts are starting to speak out about the power of optimizing our nutrient levels, rather than simply meeting our body’s barebones requirements. Dr. Mark Moyad, M.D. speaks particularly highly of vitamin C, claiming that “vitamin C may be the ideal nutrition marker for overall health. The more we study vitamin C, the better our understanding of how diverse it is in protecting our health, from cardiovascular, cancer, stroke, eye health [and] immunity to living longer.”[2]

There’s lots to love about vitamin C

Dr. Moyad is the latest in a long line of vitamin C enthusiasts. In a past article, we covered the research of Dr. Fredrick Klenner, who in the 1940s used high-dose vitamin C to cure a staggering number of serious diseases, such as leukemia, cancer, Herpes simplex infection, schizophrenia, multiple sclerosis, and even physical ailments like ruptured intervertebral discs.

Dr. Klenner’s work remains controversial to this day, but modern research is nevertheless revealing that vitamin C can be profoundly healing for a wide variety of health conditions, from sepsis to cancer to heart disease. This is because of its profound antioxidant capacity—fighting the free radicals generated by oxidative stress is centrally important for maintaining overall health and preventing disease.[3]

And here’s the best part: you can enjoy the many benefits of vitamin C easily and inexpensively. Always start with food, and don’t overthink it. While there’s some foods that are especially rich in vitamin C—like guavas, black currants, red and green peppers, kiwis, oranges, strawberries, papayas, broccoli, kale, parsley, and Brussel sprouts—you’ll do just fine as long as you eat a varied, colorful diet with lots of fruits and vegetables.

Once your body has a good foundation of food-sourced vitamin C, you can unlock the more acutely therapeutic benefits of this nutrient through supplementation.

==> Also seek out liposomal vitamin C, which is dramatically more absorbable (and thus more effective) than any other type of formulation. Studies have even shown that oral supplementation with liposomal vitamin C approaches the absorption capacity of intravenous administration.[4]

 


References

[1] http://www.bbc.com/news/health-35380716

[2] https://www.webmd.com/diet/features/the-benefits-of-vitamin-c

[3] http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S8755966886800217

[4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4915787/

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