Why You Need More Vitamin C in Annapolis

Why You Need More Vitamin C

Chronic Pain Annapolis MD Why You Need More Vitamin C

Did you know that low vitamin C levels are not uncommon? Though not clinically deficient, most of our patients are functionally low in this vital nutrient. “Functionally low” means that levels are not optimal for overall wellness. By contrast, high vitamin C status is associated with lower risk of stroke, coronary heart disease, and hypertension.

Vitamin C is needed for the growth and repair of all tissues in the body, to form blood vessels, cartilage, muscle, and collagen, and is vital for your body's healing process. Although it performs many key functions, vitamin C is best known for its critical role in immune function.

What Is Vitamin C?

Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that functions as an antioxidant, meaning it provides protection against cell damage caused by free radicals. This crucial vitamin plays a key role in protein metabolism for the synthesis of neurotransmitters (for brain/cognition and mood), carnitine (for energy metabolism), and collagen (for bone, blood vessels, tendons, skin, and joints). Vitamin C is also involved in adrenal support, cholesterol metabolism, and regeneration of other antioxidants, such as vitamin E. Vitamin C enhances the absorption of non-heme iron, the type of iron found in plant-based foods, which is not as easily absorbed as heme iron found in animal protein. In supplement form, vitamin C is often in the form of ascorbic acid but is also available in other forms such as sodium ascorbate, calcium ascorbate, and other mineral ascorbates.

How Does Vitamin C Work?

As an antioxidant, vitamin C neutralizes free radicals by donating an electron to these unstable molecules. What exactly does that mean? Electrons are negatively charged particles that orbit the nucleus of an atom. When atoms have unpaired electrons (free radicals) in their outermost shells, they become unstable and reactive, causing damage to cells, proteins, and DNA. Vitamin C has the ability to donate an electron, a process that stabilizes the free radical, preventing its reactivity and the damage it causes.

During infections, vitamin C stimulates production of white blood cells which work to defend the body against infections and foreign invaders. This powerful nutrient has been shown to influence the production of cytokines, responsible for conducting immune responses in the body. Although high dose vitamin C has not been proven to prevent the common cold, regular intake of up to 1,000 mg daily has been shown to reduce the duration of cold symptoms.

For more information on Vitamin C, check out our Podcast, Optimize Your Health with Vitamin C featuring Dr. Thomas Levy M.D.

What Depletes Vitamin C In Annapolis?

Unlike most mammals, humans cannot produce vitamin C but must instead obtain it from diet or supplementation. Therefore, one of the most common causes of low vitamin C is low dietary intake. However, another major cause of low levels is malabsorption, which can happen from gut infections, celiac disease, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and pancreatic disorders. Other common risk factors include stress, aging, illness, heavy alcohol intake, cigarette smoking, kidney disease, certain medications (such as antacids), heavy metal exposure, and radiation.

Low levels of vitamin C prior to deficiency include the same symptoms as one would have with scurvy: fatigue, joint pain, weakness, gum disease (such as gingivitis, or bleeding gums), skin problems, and poor wound healing, in addition to mood changes/depression, joint and muscle aches, dry and brittle hair, dry skin, easy bruising, weakened immune response, and frequent nosebleeds. Basically, despite all the benefits vitamin C provides, the opposite is true when levels are low.

What Supplements To Take?

Chronic Pain Annapolis MD Bio-C

At Living Health Integrative Medicine, we offer a superior form of this versatile nutrient, Bio-C. Bio-C includes a full-spectrum bioflavonoid complex as is found in nature with vitamin C. Also known as flavonoids, these compounds are neuroprotective and cardioprotective, and contain anticancer, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antiviral properties. Unlike many other brands of vitamin C, Bio-C does not cause gastric distress due to this combination, even in high doses which we often recommend for our patients when they have a cold or virus, or for those with high C-reactive protein markers (markers of inflammation).

Each capsule contains 500 mg of vitamin C and 500 mg of bioflavonoids, which makes this an especially potent supplement.

Chronic Pain Annapolis MD C-Plex

C-Plex is the liquid form of vitamin C which may be more suitable for those with malabsorption or for those who prefer liquids to capsules. Vitamin C - normally water-soluble - is fat-soluble in C-Plex. Like Glutathione-PL which we discussed in last month’s blog, C-Plex is a liposomal nanoparticle, meaning that each molecule contains a fatty membrane for easier delivery into the cells, which are composed of lipids (fat).

Is High Dose Vitamin C Safe?

Research shows that no adverse effects were seen with up to 10 grams per day of vitamin C. With oral vitamin C, individuals may experience loose bowels, which is why we offer intravenous vitamin C therapy. With IV therapy, our patients may take anywhere from 25 grams up to 100+ grams for support for chronic health conditions, cancer support, and those who have compromised digestive systems.

Due to its ability to increase the absorption of iron, high doses of vitamin C may be unsafe (causing iron toxicity) for people with disorders involving iron metabolism, including hemochromatosis, thalassemia, and sideroblastic anemia.

Click Here To Schedule Your High Dose Vit. C IV Consultation

What Dosage To Take?

For our patients, we generally recommend 1,000 mg a day for the first month of their program; however, dosage requirements depend on various factors, including the person’s lab work and health status. We offer IV nutrition therapy for those who require higher doses.

The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) of vitamin C, is 75 mg per day for women and 90 mg per day for men, and an extra 35 mg per day for smokers. Our recommendations are much higher because the RDA is based on the prevention of scurvy, while our recommendations are focused on bringing our patients to optimal levels in order to achieve the maximum benefits that this diverse nutrient provides.

Be sure to consult with your practitioner to determine what dosage of vitamin C is right for your unique needs.

How Soon Will You See Improvements?

It can take anywhere from a few hours to months before someone feels improvement after taking vitamin C, but the length of time varies based on the individual’s health status. The effects on immune function can be subtle, therefore benefits from vitamin C supplementation may not be immediately noticeable. Some patients report a boost in energy within hours of taking high-dose vitamin C. For those who are recovering from an illness or suffering from a chronic condition, it may take weeks or months before experiencing benefits.

In summary, vitamin C offers tremendous benefits far beyond the prevention of scurvy. This powerful vitamin modulates inflammation which is especially important in those who are at risk for infections, including people who are overweight/obese, the elderly, and those who have diabetes.

This blog is intended for educational purposes. Be sure to consult with your healthcare practitioner before taking supplements.


  • Gropper, S. A. S., & Smith, J. L. (2013). Advanced nutrition and human metabolism. Sixth edition. Belmont, CA, Wadsworth/Cengage Learning.
  • Higdon, J., & Drake, V. (2012). An evidence-based approach to vitamins and minerals (2nd ed., pp. 70-79). Thieme.
  • [Living Health Integrative Medicine]. (2023, March 1). Optimize your health with vitamin C [Video]. Living Health Integrative Medicine. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=77rxk4tLhIc&t=1186s
  • National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements (2021). Vitamin C Fact sheet for health professionals. Retrieved July 22, 2023, from https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminC-HealthProfessional/.
  • Oregon State University (2023). Vitamin C. Linus Pauling Institute Micronutrient Information Center. Retrieved July 22, 2023, from https://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/vitamins/vitamin-C. This link leads to a website provided by the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University. Living Health Integrative Medicine is not affiliated or endorsed by the Linus Pauling Institute or Oregon State University.