Vitamin C Health Benefits and Side Effects

Side Effects  

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Posted by Heather (Pompano Beach, FL) on 01/28/2007
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Whenever I take Ester-C pills or use a Vitamin C facial cream, I get a really bad breakout on my face. It is almost like a rash. When I stop taking the pills or stop using the cream, the rash goes away in a couple of days. I have tried different types of these products, so I know it isn't just one manufacturer -- it's the Vitamin C.

Replied by David
Elkton, MD
11/18/2008

It might be the calcium, as well as bioflavanoids. Ester C is C buffered with calcium and it also contains bioflavanids, and some people are more sensitive to calcium supplements than others and bioflavanoids are a problem for many people. Most creams with Vitamin C buffer it with calcium and throw rose hips and other junk in there to make it sound even more beneficial even though it's they're far more likely to give you an adverse reaction.

Skin especially needs vitamin C. It's a primary ingredient in the process of creating collagen which gives skin elasticity and keeps it from getting saggy.

I would suggest pure ascorbic acid for consumption. Most studies indicate pure Vit C is just as viable as buffered solutions and complexes including bioflavanoids.

With adequate C intake local application of the C to your skin should not be necessary. You could however put super concentrated vit C fluid + baking soda (to make sodium ascorbate, a non-acidic version of Vitamin C) in a dropper and rub it in to your face each night before you go to bed. Powdered pure vit C and baking soda is cheap and easily obtainable and I guarantee it will not give you a rash if mixed to become neutral.


Posted by Pat (Lamper, MO) on 01/28/2007
0 out of 5 stars

Recently had bladder infection, solved with soda and ACV. Nobody ever discusses Vit C problem. If I take Vit C or even a health bar with citric acid, I develop kidney or bladder problem. Would love to cleanse with your 1/4 tsp lemon, soda and pinch of Magnesium and potassium.

Replied by Ted
Bangkok
386 posts

Dear Pat: If I have a bladder infection or even a kidney problems, yes, vitamin C and citric acid is not helpful. But it is NOT the vitamin C or the citric acid being the problem. It is the pH of the things you are consuming. In event of this problem (uti), the pH should be over 8.

Vitamin C are of two types and people tend to lump them all together. One is the ascorbic acid which is acid and tends to promote bacteria growth by acidity. A sodium ascorbate vitamin C has a pH of about 8 and it prevents bacterial growth. A vitamin C can be both a pro-oxidant and an anti-oxidant depending on the pH. Vitamin C is a two edge sword. If the vitamin C is acid, it is a pro-oxidant. If the vitamin C is alkalline it is an anti-oxidant.

Citric acid and sodium citrate are very different, but chemically they are the similar in most ways, but at different pH.

When a baking soda is reacted with citric acid, it becomes sodium citrate and its pH is over 8. So in event of a kidney and bladder infection whatever you eat, its pH should be 8, or at least 7.

How do I know this is the issue. You mentioned you were helped with baking soda and ACV. The pH is about 7, but if reacted long enough it is between 7.5 to 8.0

It is the same with the other ones. It helps therefore to get a good pH paper and measure it and make sure it is alkaline and pH is about 8 in event of an infection.

Sea salt -- 1 teaspoon one dose only in one glass of water usually will kill the bladder infection. But for tough cases take this along with cranberry juice and some baking soda to increase the alkalinity of cranberry juice to about pH of 8. Sea salt pH is quite often pH is between 7.5 to 8.5. A good quality sea salt will have a pH of 8, a very bad one I have seen (overprocessed overpurified) can be as low as 6. A good sea salt is light brown and never bleached white.


Posted by John (Oakland, CA) on 01/10/2007
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re: Large doses of Vitamin C. I took 3 grams/day for periodontal disease. I'm cutting back because I would sneeze so hard I became congested and would turn to inhalers. My lungs constricted.


Posted by Robert (Orlando, FL) on 12/24/2006
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Whenever I get a toothache I think back to see if I took large amounts of vitamins, especially C, and then suddenly stopped. Toothaches can be the result of sudden withdrawal from vitamin C. If so, it's best to return to using it and gradually withdraw from its use rather than do it all at once. Sudden withdrawal from C can cause joint pains as well. Such pains are normally temporary, but they can be quite disconcerting if one doesn't know their source.

Replied by David
Elkton, MD
11/18/2008

Congratulations: You're one of the first people I've ever encountered to correctly assess what is happening in this scenario. Most people blame it on the vitamin C, when in reality it's a reaction to going cold-turkey from the most beneficial nutrient known to mankind.

What you are experiencing when you go cold-turkey on Vit C is nothing less than acute scurvy. The phenomenon is technically known as "rebound scurvy" in orthomolecular circles. The condition is temporary and can be dangerous if a patient's health is already extremely weak, and it is avoided precisely as you have indicated.

Rebound scurvy is also used as a natural means to cause miscarriages, and perhaps the most dependable and safest ways to do so. In involves taking massive doses for a few days (like 10-30 grams per day) then going completely cold turkey. Some have wrongly concluded that the Vitamin C causes the miscarriage, but it is in fact the rebound scurvy brought on by starving a body of this essential molecule after it has grown accustomed to use it up quickly and not conserve it.


Posted by Sarah on 12/20/2006
0 out of 5 stars

I take high doses of Vitamin C whenever I get a cold. I always get a rash on my abdomen, breasts and underarms afterward. I don't know if the vitamin C causes it, but I wonder now if the two are linked.

Replied by Bret
Phoenix, Arizona
09/18/2008

I thought I had an allergy to vitamin c growing up. My pediatrician said no, it was an allergy to contaminants and biproducts. Some experts feel you cannot be allergic to a vitamin, but that plant biproducts, bioflavenoid, rhutin can induce allergic reactions. I know because I used to break out in pinpoint rash on my abdomen from vitamin c and had to take liquid drops which were pure. While I was growing up, I had to take this liquid form. If I was truly allergic to c, I would still have broken out, which I did not in the purest form.

Stay away from rose hips and extras. Buy the powder without the extra's. Buffered is good so don't mistake potassium, magnesium, calcium as extras. Just straight c, buffered or not.

Your liver used to make vitamin c as does every mammal. Somewhere along the line, primates lost their ability to manufacture their own c. This is why some people feel you can't be allergic to the vitamin, but can be allergic to the stuff that comes along with it. It's like being allergic to a hormone that your body already makes. If you take synthroid and have a reaction, chances are it's not the synthroid as your body manufactured this hormone naturally, it is something in the synthroid which causes reactions.

So seek out powder form, no flavenoids and such. No rose hips.

Good luck. This is a very important vitamin. Bret Peirce


Posted by John (Cebu City, Philippines) on 12/14/2006
0 out of 5 stars

I've been taking vitamin C crystals and vitamin C powder alternately for quite some time now. i take it everyday together with vit.E. So far i haven't noticed any significant improvement as to my susceptibility to upper respiratory illnesses is concerned. My concern right now is my gaining of weight. which is very visible due to my increased body weight and size. i am not sure if it is really the pure vit.C (2-4 500mg capsules a day) that has caused the weigh increase but the time i started gaining weigh and taking pure vit.C came at the same time.

Replied by Ted
Bangkok
386 posts

The vitamin C depends on the TYPE OF VITAMIN C you are taking. There is the acid form and there is an alkaline form. The acid form of ascorbic acid will cause weight gain, while the alkaline form of vitamin C sodium ascorbate will cause a weight loss. An easy way to check is to add baking soda to the powdered vitamin C in to the glass of water. If there is a fizz, then it is an acid form. It appears you took an acid form of vitamin C. The biggest secret to weight loss is whether the food you are taking causes your urine to be acid or alkaline. This is the most effective method I have seen yet towards weight loss (plus the borax), but this remedy will never be as a well known weight loss as Dr. Atkins, but in practice, the acid/alkaline issue appears to be the foundation towards weight loss

Replied by David
Elkton, MD
11/18/2008

Also, 2-4 500mg capsules a day is not enough to affect your respiratory health. Vitamin C will not significantly affect your respiratory heath until you take 10 to 20 times more per day. You have to reach your therapeutic threshold for it to have any effect, otherwise you are mostly wasting vitamin C. You receive all the nutritional benefits at the concentrations you're using, but that will be useless for therapeutic effect.

In short, it is not advisable to megadose Vitamin C to prevent respiratory problems as the required concentrations are just too much for many people. Continue taking them at your current levels for general nutrition, but if respiratory problems get back start megadosing (15 to 100 grams / day), using bowel titration as your guide. Do a search for ascorbate bowel titration for more info. When your condition has alleviated go back to the low doses of 1-2 grams/day.

Replied by Sue
Jamestown, Ny, Usa
03/10/2012

Hi, I am really confused... What type of vitamin C should I be taking? I have been taking Ascorbic Acid form of vitamin C, 3000 mg a day for hairloss as well as juicing 3 lemons with baking soda a day. I have noticed that I have gained weight and did not understand why. Could the vitamin C as well as the Lemons be causing this? I have been trying to treat my hairloss with this regimine. How do I tell when purchasing vitamin C if it is acidic or alkaline? Thanks Sue

Replied by Linda
New Haven, Ct
03/11/2012

Sue, are you sodium sensitive? I experienced weight gain as well when I was adding baking soda to the ACV. I would gain several pounds overnight. I determined it was from the baking soda - it was water weight from the sodium portion of the baking soda.

My mother's side of the family had always reacted this way to sodium and I am the same. My only choice has been to reduce the baking soda, and use it with the ACV just some of the time. I probably only add it 2 or 3 times a week now. The rest of the time I take the ACV with just water.

I've noticed that although Ted suggests adding baking soda to ACV, EarthClinic does not recommend it as many report issues from the baking soda. Hope this helps you.

Linda :-)


Posted by KB (Bridgeport, CT) on 12/13/2006
0 out of 5 stars

I ran across your request for vitamin C allergies. I experience bloating and weight when I take it and I don't know why. I've tried chewable forms, ascorbic acid, and calcium ascorbate. I also have similar reactions with other vitamins I've tried. I thought it might be a hidden filler or preservative. I have Graves Disease and am trying natural remedies. Any information you might have would be helpful

Replied by Ted
Bangkok
386 posts

Ascorbic is acid forming and calcium ascorbate while alkaline tends to cause bloating also. The preferred form is ascorbic acid, powdered, then add baking soda until the fizz stops then add a pinch of potassium bicarbonate then add some water. This is alkaline forming and free of calcium. Calcium is often use for weight gain and is not recommended if you have bloating problems. Bloating problems is acid forming and ascorbic acid is never really recommended and this is why baking soda is always added. I found alkaline supplements of boron (in form of borax pH= 8) or baking soda (with pinch of potassium bicarbonate), quite often lead to weight loss since the food spends less time in digesting and therefore weight loss and bloating is reversed. Usually at least 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda to 1/2 glass of water taken twice a day on an empty stomach will often quite slowly cause the body to be more alkaline and reduce bloating, however it is best to monitor the urinary pH and vary the dosage accordingly within the 6.5- 7.35 pH range. Most people who are constipated and bloating are quite often the urinary pH is often below 5.5 if they do have problems.


Posted by Leah (NH) on 12/05/2006
0 out of 5 stars

I started taking pure vitamin C as suggested by a doctor to try and get rid of my cold faster. Within a couple of days I broke out with a blistery rash on the palms on my hands. It itched somewhat and was very annoying. Once i stopped taking it the rash disappeared. I also developed the rash after drinking large amounts of V8 Splash juice which also contains large amounts of vitamin C.

Replied by David
Elkton, MD
11/18/2008

It isn't the vitamin C. If Tomato juice causes it it's likely bioflavanoids that often come with vitamin C. You need C to survive, and your body doesn't produce it. You need to ingest it. Vitamin C is without doubt the most misunderstood nutrient and wrongfully disparaged therapeutic substance in modern medicine.


Posted by Denise (Temecula, CA) on 06/04/2006
0 out of 5 stars

I have never been able to take Vit C. Within four days of ingesting it I would break out in massive cold sores. This also occurs when I eat large amounts of citrus or organic home grown tomatoes.

Replied by Kt
Irvine, Ca
11/11/2009
0 out of 5 stars

I agree with people linking Vitamin-C to cold sores. So, I am not alone! When taken in a dose as high as 500mg I start to get cold sores or ones already present get worse, talking about lip-condition here. I wonder what the explanation is! Reacta-C is one I took and it gives me cold sore symptoms. If I buy a formula where Vitamin-C is a part, I make sure it's not more than 50mg or else I don't buy the formula at all. B-Complex for eg. comes with Vitamin-C as part of it, some with 50mg some with 500 mg. So yea, may be taking Vitamin-C in small doses is okay or make your own like suggested here by grinding dry citrus fruit peels.


Posted by Don (Perth Western Australia) on 05/22/2006
0 out of 5 stars

High dose vitamin C caused my magnesium level to fall drastically. After taking high vit C for two months, I finished up in the emergency ward having defibrillation to correct severe atrial fibrillation brought on by low magnesium. Please add this warning to your advice pages, thanks.

Replied by jacqueline
el segundo, california
09/10/2007

One of your writers stated that while on mega doses of vitamin C he landed himself in the hospital for an imbalance of other minerals. However, he does not say what he considered a mega dose. NOR does he mention how long he had been taking this 'mega dose'. Some people think that anything over the RDA is a mega dose. I read about a doctor/researcher who would give up to 200 milligrams per day. I, myself just finished taking 3 teaspoons/12,000 milligrams AND yet another guy, that just posted here, stated that a mere 5,000-10,000 milligrams a day are helping a woman who has (what doctors had told her was) terminal lung cancer. He thinks these are mega doses. So again, what is 'considered' a mega dose?

Replied by DarenM
Trenton, MI
02/02/2009
0 out of 5 stars

I too experienced something like the above post in my case it was very odd and scary palpitations. After going to the doctor several times and being in the emergency room more than once I lowered the C and things started to get better. I had EKG's performed and wore a halter monitor but of course over the 24 hours period I wore the monitor nothing happened. I found more information on the internet about this before but I can't remember where. At the time of problem I was taking 5-15 grams a day of chewable sodium ascorbate with 1 gram of sugar in it (unfortunately). I now take 2-6 grams a day of pure powder ascorbic acid and I always try to take it with a meal and a cookie. :) In addition I supplement with 250mg-600mg of magnesium.

Jacqueline do you mean 200 grams? 200 milligrams is not that much.
"read about a doctor/researcher who would give up to 200 milligrams per day"


Sinusitis, Acid Reflux and Arrhythmia  

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Posted by John (Wilmington, CA) on 07/08/2006
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I take 10,000 mg to 15,000 mg of Vitamin C everyday and it keeps a number of symptoms at bay. You have to build up a tolerance for Vitamin C. It may create a lot of bowel distress at first. See the internet site http://www.orthomed.com/titrate.htm for more complete instructions on finding your personal level of Vitamin C.


Skin  

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Posted by Sue (Usa) on 06/06/2010
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vitamin C solution for complexion

I have sensitive skin that reacts badly to most products, even herbal/organic ones. I have had success with making vitamin C solution using the powdered L-ascorbic acid that is often recommended here on Earthclinic.

In a small container, mix 1/4 teaspoon of the powder in 1 teaspoon of water -- watch out, it will fizz! -- and then add 1 teaspoon of vegetable glycerin (available at any health food store.) Keep this in a small brown glass bottle, or at least make sure it is away from light and heat. The smaller the bottle, the better, since air in the bottle will destroy its potency. Once it turns yellowish, it is no longer effective, so you'll need to remake it (a few days or even over a week later, depending on storage conditions). Just smooth it onto your face. It has reduced wrinkles and pore size, and seems to have helped the rosacea as well.


Posted by Patti (Ewing , NJ) on 03/26/2009
5 out of 5 stars

Vitamin C and youthful skin: I knew someone who used to take Vitamin C crystals several times a day. He looked so young and his skin was always glowing and healthy. He was 40 at the time and played sports so he was in the sun a lot. He told me the he took the vitamin C for a lot of reasons but a bonus was that it worked on the collegan in the skin. He explained it this way. If your skin is the bricks, the collagen would be the morter between the bricks. As you age the mortar (Collagen) breaks down and things start to sag. But the vitamin C works to keep that collagen firm. Naturally I started taking the Vitamin C right away. This was over 12 years ago. I take Ester C, and have gradually increased my dosage up to 5000 mgs a day. I will take 2 500 mg capsules upon waking, then with all three meals, then at bedtime. This amount works for me and I learned a lot about it from reading the works of Linus Pauling. I found that I was the one who didn't get all of the virus's and colds going around. I used to get sore throats all the time, no matter what the season, which sometimes led to wicked strept throat. No more. I'm sure this is because of the Ester C. I'm almost 51, and no one has guessed my age to be in my 40s yet. I keep my age to myself but not the benefits of vitamin C!


Skin Disorders  

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Posted by Sarah (Troy, MI) on 11/26/2008
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Hello Everyone. I love Earthclinic, thanks to all for this great source of information. I have been struggling with skin related conditions, on my face and especially on my hands for over 3 years. Last night I tried the vitamin C and aloe vera mix, and I am happy to report that it has helped me greatly. Here is a little background of my problem, for which I have been to several doctors and have used a number of medications and remedies. Every time I think I have figured out what it is and start using a remedy with some level of success, the condition changes, for example, I identify something as ringworm and start treating it, soon, I see warts and then, as I treat the warts, something similar to ringworm starts spreading all over my hands, but know it does not not have the characteristic round pattern of ringworm. I am convinced that it is immune system related, it itches like crazy and the little blisters/wounds ooze some clear liquid. I have noticed that it worsens during winter. Last night it got to a point in which I could not stand the itching and discomfort, so I searched here and decided to try mixing aloe vera (leaf) and vitamin C powder (sodium ascorbate) and rub it on my hands really well, in addition, I took 1 tablespoon of turmeric powder, and 1 tablespoon of cayenne pepper. I am happy to report that the itching stopped almost instantly and the blisters seem to be starting to heal.


Posted by Ken (Gold Coast, QLD) on 11/25/2008
5 out of 5 stars

I found that 3% H202 helped me with my pneumonia and airway track infections which I have had twice this year: My breathing is so much better. Also found it to move on sore throats and blocked noses from flu..gone instantly: I use it daily as spray inhaler: And I will find it does so much more:

Change:
Vitamin C Powder: IT WORKS and simple

It worked for me: Skin cancers gone
Now another that is wonderful is Vitamin C powder....great to move on skin cancers, boils, warts and many many other things....Method to use the powder is to wet infection by either sorbaline or olive oil....then taken a large pinch of Vit C dust and rub into the infected area keep rubbing until it turns into paste then keep rubbing until it disapates......do each day until skin cancer moves away: It worked for me: Skin cancer is just a virus...I also have heard that it also helps with cancers within...

NOTE: Now it must not be used on Kemo people to use it.....as it will not work..it will crystalize inside ones body: The powder can be taken orally with water or juice it can be purchased from either a chemist or health food stores for around $10 Aus

And it does much more: Injections of high dosage Vit C into infected area's also helps for ones who R ill...I also wonder about aids plus other viruses and infections? Much more

Ken



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