Vitamin C is probably one of the most popular vitamins and yet many people still suffer from deficiencies or incorrect supplementation. As with all vitamins, you need expert advice on how to take Vitamin C safely. Here’s a guide to suiting your vitamin C intake to your body’s needs.
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How much vitamin C are you eating? Vitamin C is essential for your immune system and for the overall health of your body. Unfortunately, if you're eating a normal modern day diet, you're probably not getting enough of this essential vitamin, because our bodies cannot make vitamin C. And if you have adrenal fatigue, this could seriously impact your health even more. Hi, everybody, this is the Dr. Lam Show. And we're here to empower you to take control of your health. I'm Dr. Carrie Lam.Dr. Jeremy Lam, MD:
I'm Dr. Jeremy Lam.Dr. Carrie Lam, MD:
We're here to talk about vitamin C and we'll be going through what vitamin C actually is, how it works in the body, the different types of delivery systems and its history.Dr. Jeremy Lam, MD:
Everyone knows that vitamin C is the key to adrenals, but why, and why is it so popular?Today, we're going to be talking about vitamin C, which is a very special type of vitamin and it is water soluble. There are two main groups of vitamins. One is fat soluble, such as vitamin A, D, E and K. Then there are water solubles such as vitamin B, and C's. Vitamin C is very important in adrenal fatigue because vitamin C has a unique ability to donate electrons. Now, what does that mean? In our body, we stay young because we have a lot of electrons floating around. Babies have the most electrons and electrons mean energy. So when your cells have low electron load, then that means you have low energy, because electrons are equal to ATP, which is kind of the gas that your body runs on. So the reality is, if you want to have more electrons in your body, then you want to take compounds naturally or otherwise, that donate electrons. Vitamin C is one of them that donate electrons. Dr. Carrie, is there another example of an electron donator?Dr. Carrie Lam, MD:
Yes, glutathione is a great one. These are both good compounds and they're also called antioxidants. A lot of time, these antioxidants are able to prevent oxidation by their nature of actually being able to donate that electron that you're talking about. Now, vitamin C also has particular properties in the sense that it is very abundant in what we call the extracellular space, is not able to cross into the cell wall into the cell, but a lot of the spaces between the cells where communication happens. That's where the extracellular matrix, the interstitium is, and that's why vitamin C can help reduce this oxidation process. By reducing oxidative stress, by donating electrons, a person starts to feel better, their body feels that vitality and that's what vitamin C does. If you think about it, then you go a little step further and say,"Well, where is vitamin C found the most in the body?" Dr. Jeremy?Dr. Jeremy Lam, MD:
The most prominent place in our body where vitamin C is needed, is in the adrenal glands. Remember that our body does not make vitamin C, compared to some of the animals out there that have the proper enzymes to be able to make vitamin C. So it has to be supplemented. This is well proven throughout the centuries where sailors, when they were on a boat for long trips without oranges or vitamin C, then they would get scurvy, which would be their bones would kind of fall apart and their collagen also falls apart. Then they end up bleeding and dying. So that's what happens when you don't have enough vitamin C in the body. But that is completely different from just having enough vitamin C to make sure that your body's optimal versus really preventing the disease such as scurvy.Optimal function in your body requires that you have enough vitamin C to make sure that you can kind of fight off the stressful environment and make sure that your body's in a good place to be able to help fight off the stress.Dr. Carrie Lam, MD:
When you said what is recommended, the recommended daily amount for vitamin C to prevent scurvy is very tiny amounts like 65 to 90 milligrams a day and you can go up to 2000 milligrams. The R.D.A doesn't recommend that you take more than that because they just want to prevent scurvy. But if you wanted to help your adrenals a little more and the collagen and building and things like that you need higher doses. In fact, if you put animals like sheep on a treadmill, and you put them on a running treadmill to mimic a stressful environment and measure vitamin C output, you can see that their output actually goes up many, many times. From there, we can deduce that the human equivalent when the person is under stress is so supposed to have more vitamin C, but unfortunately, we are unable to make the vitamin C. Therefore, we have to supplement a little more in order to deal with the chronic stress that we have. This is very complex and has a long history of research and there's no compound that has been studied even more than vitamin C. But over the past 90 years, there's thousands, and thousands of studies on vitamin C, and yet, people are still skeptical about the importance of it. A lot of the reason why is because pharmaceutical companies cannot get money from making vitamin C because it's a compound that is readily available. So when there's no pharmeceutical companies backing these vitamins or nutrients or supplements, it is very hard to get into mainstream medicine because it doesn't make any money from it, even though it's just so vital and so easy for health. You can tell from this brief history that vitamin C is just so essential, and especially more important if you have adrenal fatigue.Dr. Jeremy Lam, MD:
If you have any questions with adrenal fatigue and the vitamin C approach, you can give our office a call at 714-709-8000. You can make an appointment and we can discuss further how vitamin C can help you in your recovery process and your journey of adrenal fatigue. And so Dr. Carrie, what really is the safe dosing of vitamin C, or what is high dosing of vitamin C?Dr. Carrie Lam, MD:
Like we talked about, the recommended daily allowance, an orange is around the recommended recommended daily allowance- around 75 milligrams to 80 milligrams. You can have one orange a day and be able to meet your minimal requirement of vitamin C. However, we talked about when a body is under stress, it might need even more- 2000 to 3000 milligrams a day. If you have more functional disparity going on- diseases, cancers, or chronic diseases that are depleting your body of electrons, or really oxidating your body and you need more antioxidants, you might need more. Especially in adrenal fatigue, or aging, everything works to reduce electrons in your body. The more ways you're able to supplement, it would be better to get the gasoline to get your body moving. The adrenals use vitamin C as a cofactor, as a key cofactor in making all the hormones cortisol, aldosterone hormone, estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, pregnenolone, and DHEA needs vitamin C and vitamin B5 in order to make all those hormones. That's why it's so important for the adrenals. You asked the question of what is considered too much or what are the safety contents? So maybe you can go into that, Dr. Jeremy?Dr. Jeremy Lam, MD:
Yes, before we go into that, we have to talk about the delivery method of vitamin C, because you have to take into accoun two parts. One is that it has to be delivered across the cell walls to give up the electrons. The remaining part also has to leave the body because if the remaining part does not leave the body fast enough, or promptly, then you can get into trouble as well. Now for most people, again, 1000-3000 milligrams is considered quite normal and you can hardly even find a vitamin C tablet that's under 500 milligrams. They come in many, many forms, and different delivery methods as well. You simply cannot just take supplemental vitamin C that's 500 milligrams to 1000 milligrams, because it depends on how sensitive your body is, how damaged your body is, and really how much you can tolerate because everyone is different. Some people can tolerate only up to 500 milligrams, some people can tolerate up to a few 1000. Some people can tolerate up to 100,000 and by that they do it by IV. So, whether it's by oral or through IV, it's really taking that personalized approach to make sure that your body is able to handle whatever nutrients it is taking.Dr. Carrie Lam, MD:
Even the one tablet of the 500 milligrams is basically 30 oranges. No person can really try to eat 30 oranges a day in order to get that amount of vitamin C. When someone asks us the question,"How much vitamin C can a person take?" It's just not a straightforward answer. That's why we're really going into this because it depends on how the body can assimilate it. There are water soluble versions of vitamin C, there's fat soluble versions of vitamin C. It also depends on how the body can get rid of the metabolites. If it's water soluble, it goes through kidneys, if that's all well, maybe it goes through the liver or stays in your system a little longer. Then we talk about the side effects of vitamin C, if you're unable to absorb vitamin C enough. Some people have a bowel tolerance issue where they start getting diarrhea, or they can have a hyper exaggerated response, where they actually get jittery and anxious and difficulty sleeping if they take vitamin C too late. If you have a paradoxical behavior from taking vitamin C, you have to really see if there's a receptor issue, or if there's a detox pathway, or liver congestion, or an extracellular matrix issues going on underlying. Because of that, we can't just give a generalization of, "Hey, everybody should take this amount of milligrams", because it's personalized to each person, on how much they can tolerate and how they can deliver it, when they should take it and how they can eliminate it.Dr. Jeremy Lam, MD:
You were talking about the specific types of vitamin C and how it's used. For example, there is calcium ascorbate or magnesium ascorbate, which is attached to a mineral. If you have gastric problems, or if you have gi upset or things like that, or have problems with absorbing nutrients, then taking this type of ascorbic acid and vitamin C is going to make it easier for your gastric system. Now, if you find that your body is much more sensitive, then you might need to be using a more fat soluble, such as ascorbyl palmitate, because they attach the ascorbic acid to the fat. So it makes it less water soluble. In that way then it has a slower rise in effectiveness and it has a slower downfall. You notice then with the ascorbyl palmitate that you have a more gentle delivery curve instead of just spiking up and spiking down. Some people with just a normal ascorbic acid will feel very anxious and jittery. Then they feel a lot of energy, and then they'll drop real quick. Then you find that you might need the ascorbyl palmitate, which gives more of a slow, gentle release. These are also delivered through the oral system, primarily through the gut. So, you have to make sure that you also have a healthy gut that can also absorb well, and will help assimilate through with the nutrients. Dr. Carrie, why don't you tell us about the new technology with liposomes and how that relates to ascorbic acid.Dr. Carrie Lam, MD:
In the last 30 to 40 years, we've been able to formulate a new type of technology using liposomal form but in very nano particular forms that is able to encapsulate the ascorbic acid. Because usually ascorbic acid is water soluble, most of the time you would pee out whatever you don't absorb. However, when you are able to actually encapsulate it in liposome- 'lipo' like lipid- meaning fat, then you will make it more fat absorption. So it doesn't just get broken down in the gut, it's able to go through the stomach. It doesn't just get broken down in the stomach, it's able to go through the gut and actually have it absorbed through the small intestines passively through fat absorption, and you can actually absorb so much more through your small intestine versus your gastric system, because you don't have to expend more energy. If you go through the small intestines is through passive diffusion, so it's less taxing on the body and you can actually absorb much higher amounts without it being broken down by the stomach acid. So, the vitamin C that gets encapsulated in liposomes are much better in delivery form and you can absorb the liposome as a whole, then the fat will go away, and then you actually absorb the vitamins itself. Even though it's a really great delivery form, what we like to do usually is make sure every person has a balance in all these delivery forms because some people might tolerate the liposomal better. Some people will tolerate the fat soluble, some people tolerate the water soluble, and they have different functions. If you want energy now, and you want kind of like a boost, then sure, take the powdered water soluble form because you can absorb it so much faster. Versus if you want kind of a slower ascent and throughout the day, to kind of give you enough energy for your adrenals, then that's where the fat soluble and the liposomal forms come about. There's the ability to use the delivery systems to talk to your type of symptoms, and it's just how you can blend them together for your body. So, Dr. Jeremy, what other side effects of vitamin C have you seen in people?Dr. Jeremy Lam, MD:
The most common side effect probably when you take too much vitamin C's is that you're going to get diarrhea or loose stools. That's when you know that you have to cut back on the vitamin C. Other times it can make you much more anxious, it can make you jittery. You can also notice that you might maybe have more joint aches or if your detoxification pathways are not accurate- I mean, not'accurate', but not congested. Also you might find that you might be having more heart palpitations as well. So the key way to really start with the vitamin C is to start slow, and also start low and go slow. Make sure that you're able to tolerate a low amount of vitamin C first, and then you can always build up as well. We've taken a deep dive into vitamin C, and we hope that you found this helpful and that you can use this information that we've given you to improve your health and your experience with stress. If you would like some more information on how to use vitamin C to help you with your adrenal fatigue, as well as just your overall stress response, then you can make an appointment by giving us a call at 714-709-8000 and we'll help you with your recovery journey.Dr. Carrie Lam, MD:
Just remember that every body is unique. So if you have any questions at all, make sure you ask your doctor or talk to someone who is more experienced with adrenal fatigue or even the use of vitamin C so that you're not self navigating. Thank you for listening today. We hope that anyone could benefit from this information, so please share it with them, subscribe to our podcast, our channel, in order to have access to future episodes. See you next time. We thank you for listening to the Dr. Lam Show and we're here to empower you to take control of your health.Unknown:
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