Essential role in human nutrition, controversy as to how much we need, but definitely needed, works as an antioxidant. Manufactures collagen, improves immune function, absorption and utilisation of other nutrients. Better absorbed if take with bioflavonoids. (Murray 2001)
Deficiency Signs and Symptoms
Scurvy – bleeding gums, poor wound healing, bruising, increased susceptibility to infection, hysteria and depression.
Naturopathic Dosage Range
500 mg maintenance.
1000 mg every three or four hours up to ‘bowel tolerance’ (usually about 5000mg) during infection or disease.
Asthma and allergies – generally low in asthma and allergy, improvement in symptoms, protective against oxidative damage, lowers histamine levels.
Cardiovascular disease – reduces risk of death from heart attack and stroke, strengthens arteries, raises HDL, inhibits platelet aggregation, prevents LDL from being oxidised (especially in smokers).
Immune system – infection rapidly depletes the normal high levels of vitamin C in white blood cells (especially lymphocytes). Enhances white blood cell function and activity, antibody responses and levels, secretion of thymic hormones. (Braun and Cohen 2005)
During stress vitamin C is excreted at an increased rate.
Cancer prevention and treatment – against most forms including lung, colon, breast, cervix, oesophagus, oral cavity and pancreas. Antioxidant, protects DNA from damage, enhanced immune function, able to deal with environmental pollution better.
Common cold – reduced severity of symptoms and duration.
Diabetes – insulin facilitates transport of vitamin C into cells so many diabetics have low level.
Fertility – increased sperm count.
Skin ulcers and wound healing – reduced incidence and increased healing time.
Pregnancy related conditions – reduced pre-eclampsia and premature rupture of membranes, capillary fragility.
Very safe in most people. If taking high dose then reduce gradually.