Nutrition By Adrian Oaks / January 16, 2016 Share0 Pin0 The term “vitamin C” is actually a bit misleading in today’s media and marketing drenched world. Vitamin C is actually the name of a group of nutrient vitamers that includes compounds such as calcium ascorbate, sodium ascorbate, and absorbic acid. When you hear the term “vitamin C” then there is a high likelihood that that person is referring to ascorbic acid. Ascorbic acid is simply an isolated compound found in vitamin C. For this article will we mostly be looking at the full vitamin C compound and not the isolate. Vitamin C is a vital nutrient that is found mostly in fruits, vegetables, and certain animal livers. It primarily supports the immune system and the synthesis of collagen in the human body. A lack of Vitamin C can result in a disease known as scurvy, a disease that causes jaundice, gum disease, neuropathy, and eventually death. Scurvy was actually discovered by early sailors who were deprived of fruits and other perishable foods for long sea voyages. These sailors learned the hard way that vitamin C is something you simply cannot live without. Quick Navigation Immune support A new way to use an old supplement What to look for Overdose Best Sources Of Vitamin C Immune support A commonly held belief is that vitamin C can cure or reduce the duration of the common cold. There is some scientific evidence to support this, as vitamin C is known for its immune boosting properties. Vitamin C levels in the white blood cells deplete when the immune system is fighting an infection or virus. Vitamin C also helps to reduce histamine levels. Histamine levels are highly elevated in people who suffer from allergies. A recent study found that taking 2 grams of vitamin C a day reduced histamine production by 38 percent, which is quite a massive gain for such a small intake. This would explain why consuming vitamin C rich foods when experiencing an allergic reaction can help to relieve your symptoms. Vitamin C has also been used to treat more life threatening ailments. Studies by the Center for Improvement of Human Functioning found that introducing 15mg of vitamin C intravenously significantly improved the lifespan and reduced the pain of cancer patients. They also found that increasing the dose to 30mg or more shrunk tumors in lung cancer patients. Their findings suggest that vitamin C can kill tumor cells. A new way to use an old supplement This unusual method of vitamin C administration was pioneered by a Nobel Laureate named Linus Pauling. Pauling was a biochemist who was diagnosed with Bright’s disease at age 40. He began a long study into the effects of dietary supplementation with British cancer surgeon Ewan Cameron in 1971. Cameron and Linus conducted many studies on terminally ill cancer patients. In one such study they tested intravenous vitamin C on over 100 cancer patients. They found that vitamin C increased the survival rate by up to 4 times when compared to more traditional cancer treatments. Pauling and Cameron later released a book on their findings called How to Live Longer and Feel Better. What to look for If you are going to supplement with vitamin C, it is important to find a source that has the full compound and not just the extract ascorbic acid. Most supplements on the market today are simply isolates of ascorbic acid. To ensure you are getting the real thing, let’s take a look at a traditional “vitamin C” supplement: You will notice that although this product claims to be a full vitamin C compound, it is actually an isolate. A quick look at the nutrition information reads “vitamin C as ascorbic acid” which is essentially telling you that all that this product contains is a single heavily processed compound found in vitamin C. If you want to ensure you are getting the full, unaltered vitamin C compound than it is best to get it from a food based source such as camu camu berries. Camu Camu berries contain one of the highest concentrations of vitamin C of any food on the planet. Take a look at the nutrition information for this product: Notice a difference? This is obviously a full spectrum vitamin C product and not just an isolate. Since it is simply powdered berries you don’t have to worry about any heavy processing either. This will be a much better choice for the long run especially if you are looking to strengthen your immune system. Overdose You should be careful with how much vitamin C you consume on a daily basis. It is very easy for the body to become over saturated with oral based vitamin C and this can result in some mild undesirable side effects such as diarrhea or indigestion. Lowering your intake should produce a prompt (usually 1-2 days) reduction of these symptoms. Overall vitamin C is very safe and minimally toxic. Best Sources Of Vitamin C Although supplementing with Vitamin C is always beneficial, the best sources of Vitamin C are from foods. Kale and other super foods are high in Vitamin C. Some fish oils can have Vitamin C in them as well, such as cod liver oil. The fermented variety is considered a super food and has a decent vitamin C content.Click here to go back to our homepage.