8 Vitamin C Benefits (and Some Common Side Effects)

Sore Throat

Posted by Lorenzo (Green River, Wyoming) on 01/17/2007
5 out of 5 stars

Quick success with Sore throat. One tablespoon of raw crushed garlic. One day flu cure: 20 grams of vitamin C. Was taking Vitamin C several times a day to keep a tooth from hurting until the Dentist appointment. Then in place of taking anti-biotics one hour before the appointment I took more vitamin C. The Dentist had to give me more novocaine than normal as it kept wearing off. I mentioned this on the Cavemanfood list and another writer said he had the swame experience. We had a teen age visitor with a toothache, she took Vitamin C and was happy again.


Posted by Granny Laura (Waco, Tx Usa) on 05/25/2011
1 out of 5 stars


I have to speak to the contributor that can't find a Vitamin C source that doesn't make him sick. All Vitamin C isn't from the same source.

I had to see a good allergist to find out that the Vitamin C I was taking was made from CORN! It left me shakey and unable to sleep for 3 days, and I had cut a 100 mg tablet in half so all I got was 50 mg!

Since finding that I am allergic to corn, I now take Vitamin C in the Palmitate form, as labeled on the bottle. And, I'm taking about 10 grams a day.

I take TwinLabs Allergy C, it is buffered w/calcium and magnesium. An aside, Vitamin C helps you to absorb the cal/mag for your bones. It's a win-win!

Replied by Wydo

Yes, I have been taking a Vitamin C powder that is corn free because I want to add my own buffer. All the different Vitamin Cs have on the label QuliC to let you know that it it corn free and China free. So this is a good thing to look for.

Spider Bites

Posted by WT (Spartanburg, SC) on 10/26/2008
5 out of 5 stars

Vitamin C is truly a medicine to take everywhere you go. I've used it for a spider bite I got while canoeing down a creek. My arm swelled and hurt and I didn't realize why at first. It finally dawned on me that I had brushed a limb at the start of the trip and spiders galore fell in the boat with me. Evidently one bit me!

I took 3-4G every 1.5 hours or so after getting home and continued the next day. Never got any signs of overdosing ie gas or diarrhea. I estimate I took 40G over 24 hours! It killed most of the swelling by nightfall the day of the trip!

Also had an employee get stung by a wasp. He told me the last time he got bit he had to go to the hospital. I gave him 5G and sent let him leave. He told me in an hour or so the pain and swelling had diminished greatly. He didn't have anymore vitamin C but he didn't need to visit the hospital!

Ted's Feedback on Vitamin C

Posted by Rahul (Mumbai, Maharashtra, India) on 11/04/2009

side effect of vitamin c on polio affected person

i sir/madam, my name is Rahul and i am handicapped (affected by polio) my age 20 years. And i have polio since i was 5years. i read an article on internet of Dr. klenner about vitamin C helps to cure polio but the amount of vitamin C is mentioned is very high (400mg) per kilogram of weight in every 2hours so i just want to if i take vitamin C in such massive amount then is ther a chances of any side effects and what are they? please help me.Thanking you

Replied by Ted
Bangkok, Thailand
384 posts
5 out of 5 stars

Re: Polio and Vitamin C Side Effects -

The side effects from a massive dose of vitamin C is diarrhea. At 400 mg per kilo taken every 2 hours, if we assume a person's weight is 60 kilos, the total dose amounts to 24,000 mg. I believe the dose is high. However, my own approach towards killing any virus, or bacteria lies in the frequency of dose rather than the amount of dose. The other is a combination of other supplements has synergy and hence the dose can be further reduced by 1/2.

Vitamin C has antiviral properties and it's weakly antiviral and this is why the dose is so large. However, it's possible to reduce from 24,000 mg to just 12,000 mg hourly dose. My experience in killing viruses is that the frequency of dose is ideally between 30 minutes to 1 hour. Therefore it's also possible to reduce from 12,000 mg to just 6000 mg if this is taken every 30 minutes. That's an equivalent of 6 tablets/capsules every 30 minutes. There is an indian shilajit (humic acid) that can be applied on the skin when the powder is mixed with water, and taken internally, it's a very broad spectrum antiviral. If that's taken 4 or 5 times a day, I believe the hourly dose of vitamin C 12,000 mg can be reduced also to 6000 mg. If the aspirin were used, the vitamin C will be synergistic and you just need 3000 mg every hour when it's taken with aspirin 500 mg dissolved in a cup of water for only 6 doses per day, not exceeding 3 or 4 days. Most of the polio viruses should be gone in a matter of days (theoretically speaking), and 25 mg of zinc is taken once a day for a week.

The iodine lugol's solution is taken every 3 hours 4 drops for every 3 or 4 hours. These are combination of remedy that should reduce the vitamin C dose to just 3000 mg on a two hourly dose, should make the approach more easily to do in practice. Iodine is kept up for over a week or so. Hence the remedy is carried only for a short period, if done right (in combination or frequency) the viruses usually go away quickly. If they viruses do not die within 3 days to one week, I believe the remedy needs to be redo until which if done properly viruses get killed rather quickly within a matter of days.

For instance, I got the swine flu viruses correctly both dose and frequency and it's a one day cure. A few may last up to 2 days, before swine are completely dead, however, one day was more than enough for that case. As in polio if done right (not necessarily this remedy), it should be killed by a week or so.

Flip Novice
North of the Mason-Dixon Line

Has anyone tried these antiviral remedies from Ted on covid?

Replied by Ron
Emporia, Kansas

Hi Rahul,

If you are 20 and you've had polio since your were 5, then Dr. Klennar's approach might not help you. In the late 1940s when polio was out of control here in the U.S., Dr. Klennar had success with about 60 cases of Early Stage Polio using high doses of vitamin C. Vitamin C was given by injection and by mouth.

The name of the article where I got this information is: The Origin of the 42-Year Stonewall of Vitamin C by Robert Landwehr


I did a study a couple years ago for a local friend of mine who is in his 70s and was a polio victim at the age of 20. The only thing I found that might help was Co-enzyme C-10. It is based on this study.

12 patients...7-69 years...all with types of muscle dystrophies...100mg/day for 3 months...a 2nd trial of 15 patients was similar. "Definitely improved physical performance was recorded. In retrospect, a dosage of 100 mg was too low although effective and safe. Patients suffering from these muscle dystrophies and the like, should be treated with vitamin Q10 indefinitely."

(by K. Folkers, the Merck researcher who has done the most research on Q10)

The title of the article:

"Two successful double-blind trials with coenzyme Q10 (vitamin Q10) on muscular dystrophies and
neurogenic atrophies"... Folkers K., Simonsen R....from PubMed

You can type the title of the article into your search engine and the article will come up.

Vitamin C in Pine Needles

Posted by Esprit64 (Somewhere, Maine) on 03/14/2013
1 out of 5 stars


For months, my family and I have been drinking without problems--tea infused with our local white pine needles as we understood that the needles provided Vitamin C. Two days ago, I inadvertently left a pot of tea water with needles on the stove until all water steamed out, burning the needles, sending smoke into my kitchen. Since it's cold outside, all my kitchen windows were closed. I immediately turned on the kitchen vent and despite the cold, opened the door to fan the smoke outside. Less than one hour later, I developed a headache, which, became severe. I therefore went to bed early.

The next morning I awoke to a severely spinning room. I felt like I was riding a fast merry-go-round. I was seriously off-balance, needed assistance walking. I realized that yesterday's incident meant I breathed in toxic fumes. I immediately put myself on a juice/water fast (so my body could direct all resources to healing), drinking constantly throughout the day. Over an 8-hour period, I also took 1 Tbsp of Bentonite Clay (a detoxing agent) every two hours. I drank 8 drops or 50mg of Lugol's Iodine, again, in a full glass of water on an empty stomach—another detoxing agent. The profound dizziness led to dry retching. It must be true—what is written—about expelling toxins—that toxins stored in tissues are also stored with emotions attached. After the first four hours of utter misery, I suddenly became overwhelmed with feelings of dread, despair, fear, panic—a huge wave of feelings that just took me over, I simply couldn't stop them. My body started shaking. I deeply wailed and cried. After 5 minutes of dealing with these emotions, I got control of myself and calmed down. However, this emotional experience proved to be a turning point. From then on, I felt the worst was over. The worst dizziness stopped. I was no longer nauseous. If I did not bend over or turn suddenly, I was OK.

This morning, I've awakened to a low-grade tension headache over my entire head and worse behind my eyes and forehead. I am stronger, walking OK, but, don't feel sure of myself. I believe after another day of partial fasting, taking 1 dose of Bentonite Clay and my usual 50mg of Lugol's Iodine, I should be on the mend. We'll see what tomorrow brings.

I'm writing this to alert everyone that recent studies confirm that burning pine needles are toxic. Studies continue. My own experience using these pine needles in an enclosed kitchen is proof of their toxicity. Hence, regardless of what is written about Vitamin C in pine needles, I doubt that I'll be using them again for tea. I certainly won't be burning them in any outdoor fires.

By the way, this pine tree toxicity is another concern for forestry. As the burning of woods was considered a necessary recycling of life in nature (suggesting planned burnings by forestry officials to avoid uncontrolled forest fires), it's now understood that burning also sends toxic fumes into the air. Hence, be warned, if you are in an area when any burning takes place, I strongly suggest that you leave the area and not come back until smoldering stops and fumes are gone.

Vitamin C Iv

Posted by Joyce (Joelton, Tn) on 06/17/2008 512 posts

The first use of Vitamin C IV that I remember reading about was Norman Cousins, "Anatomy of An Illness" I think was the title. He became very ill, with an undiagnosed illness (he thought it was caused by the chemicals exposed to when he was caught in the jet stream of the plane he was trying to board) since that was the only difference that he could come up with that his wife wasn't exposed to and she accompanied him on this trip. Cousin's was bedfast and decided that his best chance of recovery was Pauling's Vitamin C IV and watching all the old cartoons that they could round up. He, wonder of wonders, found a doctor who would let him check into a hotel room and do therapy his way (after he signed a release for the doctor's not being responsible for any adverse outcome), also do lab work to check to how it was progressing. His therapy worked and the labs did show that after good belly laughter, his labs showed improvement.

Vitamin C Side Effects

Posted by Moshi (Fremantle, Western Australia, Australia) on 07/16/2011
0 out of 5 stars

I found that taking 4000mg of buffered VitC powder robbed my body of magnesium. Maybe because of the calcium in the buffered form. High dosage of VitC has also been reported to cause cystitus, contribute to kidney stones & to kill off intestinal flora (acidophillus). I have tried taking ascorbic acid with some added bicarb but still find it irritates my system over 1000mg a day. I am now switching to fulvic acid, a strong anitoxidant, recommended by Ted, I'll keep you posted.

Vitamin C Wonders

Posted by Bill Thompson (San Fernando, Luzon, Philippines) on 06/22/2011
5 out of 5 stars

The below article was originally published in Earth Clinic's June, 2011 e-newsletter.

Vitamin C - More than Just an Anti-Oxidant

By Bill Thompson, Contributing Writer
Published: June 22, 2011

Vitamin C History

As far back in history as 1747, a Scottish physician called James Lind discovered through a simple experiment that, by taking lime or lemon juice every day, British sailors avoided contracting scurvy. He didn't know why this was, but from that point on, all the British Navy started issuing daily rations of lime juice, which is probably how the nickname "Limey" originated for Brits in the old days.

Two hundred years later, a Hungarian called Albert Szent-Gyorgyi actually discovered Vitamin C and got a Nobel Prize for his efforts in 1937. An interesting and active man, during WW 2 Szent-Gyorgyi was a key member of the Hungarian resistance. Adolf Hitler himself issued a direct order for his arrest. After the war Szent-Gyorgyi's research interests moved towards studying the effects of free-radical damage as a reason for cancer onset. Another interesting fact about Szent-Gyorgi was that he always supplemented at least 1 gram of Potassium Iodide every day - that's 1000 mgs of KI (which is about 8000 times higher than the current RDA for iodine). He lived to the age of 93. In those days, people had no fear of iodine supplementation. A well-know protg and supporter of Szent-Gyorgi's work, Ralph Moss, has since carried on his wonderful research work.

Later research by Dr Denham Harman enabled more understanding on the dangerous effects of free-radicals on the body to further enhance the work of Albert Szent-Gyorgyi. Harman's essential discovery and proof was that anti-oxidants like Vitamin A, C & D actually help to extend human life by eliminating free-radical damage. But something that was always ignored by peer reviewed writings on Dr Harman's research was the fact that he regarded BHT(Butylated Hydroxytoluene) as a super anti-oxidant. He also discovered other conclusive facts from his anti-oxidant research along the way that have been completely and conveniently ignored for years by organizations such as the FDA and WHO:

"In 1961, Harman published a study showing that the degree of polyunsaturation in fats had a dramatic effect on cancer rates in mice. The most highly polyunsaturated dietary fats [vegetable oils] were found to be the most carcinogenic.

In 1968 Harman published a dietary antioxidant study showing that the food preservative BHT fed over a lifetime to mice produced a 45% increase in life span. Harman became concerned that although many of his studies showed an increase in average lifespan by antioxidants, none showed an increase in maximum life span."

-- Source -- Wikipedia

Then came Mathias Rath's and Linus Pauling's research on the usage and correct dosages of Vitamin C which broke so much new ground - this research consequently gave birth to the well-known Orthomolecular Medicine movement, whose approach was to use natural nutritive methods at correct dosages discovered through intensive research in order to alleviate and cure disease. They both went on to discover the usefulness of high dose Vitamin C (as Ascorbate) and high dose Lysine - a simple amino acid protein pre-cursor -- as a very simple cure and preventative for heart disease, arteriosclerosis, high blood pressure etc. It was found that Vitamin C simply acted to remove the actual arterial plaque blockages while the Lysine removed the Lipoprotein(a) or Lp(a) from the blood in order to stop the plaque reforming again. In talking about arteriosclerosis, Pauling always liked to refer to this problem simply as "arterial scurvy" in order to drive his point home about the importance of correct dosages of Vitamin C in the human diet.

And, when natural epigallocatechins (green tea tannins) were added to the vitamin C and Lysine protocol, this treatment would stop cancer tumor growth, prevent angiogenesis, and also help to prevent metastasis. Few people know about the Pauling-Rath research because the drug industry has done its utmost to suppress or spoil this vital research information for years.

Ted from Bangkok has also recommended the use of larger dose Vitamin C with larger dose Lysine (sometimes combined with aspirin), which can help to cure some strains of ordinary flu as well as H1N1. He also recommends this as part of his cure protocol for cancer and as a cure for chlamydia, herpes, pneumonia and dengue fever.

The simple point I am making here is that Vitamin C is far more than just an anti-oxidant. What comes out from all the independent research is that Vitamin C is also a vital ingredient for building or repairing collagen or body tissue; Vit C supports and greatly aids and boosts the immune system; Vit C can chelate and remove dangerous heavy metals from the body; it also greatly helps in accelerating cross cell-wall nutrient transport and absorption of nutrients. This is why, for instance, Vitamin C should always be taken with iodine supplementation - Vitamin C simply accelerates the absorption of iodine, overcoming any iodine transport problems - which is not only useful for thyroid problems but is also used in every other iodine cell receptor in the human body as well.

Correct Vitamin C Dosages

The current recommended daily RDA for Vitamin C is about 75 mgs.

In his own research on Vitamin C, Pauling mentions that humans, apes, bats and guinea pigs cannot produce their own Vitamin C internally because they lack one vital liver enzyme - so they have to get their Vitamin C from an external food source. However, cows, horses, goats, dogs and cats and many other mammals all produce their Vitamin C internally simply by metabolizing glucose into Vitamin C in their livers. Pauling further goes on to say that just a small goat automatically and internally produces 12 grams of vitamin C on average per day and in times of stress can up that amount to 18 grams a day.

Cows, horses and goats rarely, if ever, get heart disease or cancer.

So now how do 12 grams of Vitamin C produced automatically and naturally everyday in a small goat stack up against the RDA Vitamin C dose of 75 mgs recommended for humans?

I personally take 1000 - 3000 mgs of Vitamin C every day (much more if I'm ill). I also make sure that I eat plenty of fruit - mangoes, melons, apples, oranges etc - on a daily basis. Thus I get the benefit of Vitamin C as ascorbate but I also benefit from the fruit, which contains the added benefit of bio-available Vitamin C co-factors such as bio-flavonoids, ascorbinogens, rutin and tyrosinase as well as many mineral co-factors that also work as associated enzymes to further enhance Vitamin C's positive effects on the body.

Linus Pauling regularly took about 8 - 10 grams of Vitamin C (sometimes twice as much as this) per day for years and years and he died at the ripe old age of 93.

When Should I Take Vitamin C?

Lastly, you can take Vitamin C, which is a water soluble vitamin, either during mealtimes or outside mealtimes. But, as Linus Pauling proved from his own research, if you take Vitamin C at mealtimes then you will automatically lose 1/3 of your dose through normal intestinal excretion. So if you take Vitamin C - it's always best to take the ascorbate or alkaline form outside mealtimes - your body will simply absorb more of the Vitamin C dosage and you will thus get a much greater benefit.

The other oily vitamins such as Vitamins A, D, E and K should all be taken at mealtimes for proper digestion and emulsification by the pancreatic lipase enzymes and bile respectively.

What Supplement Form is the Best?

This section applies to all vitamins, minerals and amino acid supplement forms that you can buy - not just to Vitamin C. Let's go through these one by one:

Tablet Forms

I would avoid this supplement form for the following reasons:

  • This form contains many caking additives (to form the tablet) such as Calcium Diphosphate, Magnesium Stearate, Stearic Acid, plant cellulose etc. Some people are even allergic to some of these caking substances.
  • The waxy, hard tablet forms will not be easy to break down and digest in the body. To test this - just drop the tablet into a glass of water with a little vinegar. If it doesn't dissolve into solution in about 20 minutes. - the tablet is useless.
  • Caking agents are waxy, sticky substances that help form the tablet. This wax will also tend to embed and trap the nutrient supplement in the wax, which will then not be absorbed by the intestine.
  • The best way to take tablets is to first crush them up using a mortar and pestle and then to dissolve the powder in a glass of water. Note that the water will look opaque and unclear due to the heavy presence of these waxy and insoluble caking residues.


In my opinion, this is the worst possible supplement form of all to take. All the disadvantages that apply to the tablet form also apply to the multivitamin form. But I would also add these disadvantages as well:

Multivitamin forms always contain lesser amounts of vitamins, minerals and amino acids than even the RDA. This is because it would be physically impossible to put all the correct RDA dosages for vitamins, minerals and amino acids into one multivitamin pill. If you did, the pill would probably be bigger than a ping pong ball!! That's why I think the multivitamin concept - all beneficial daily nutrients in one pill - is so utterly ridiculous.
Minerals such as Iron, Zinc, Magnesium, Manganese and Calcium, for example, are all combined into one multivit pill. All these minerals, when taken in the wrong form, are mutually antagonistic and will compete for absorption pathways in the intestines. No use at all.
Many multivitamin forms contain various synthetic (patented) minerals, vitamins and amino acids etc. These forms are not handled in the body as well as the natural more bio-available food forms. Such multivit forms are usually also more expensive because they contain these synthetic, patented nutrient forms.

I read an interesting article awhile ago written in an alternative health magazine. The journalist went to a sewage works to interview the sewage manager. During the interview the manager happened to mention that every day, whenever he went out to inspect the human sewage - he would see hundreds and hundreds of multi-coloured pills in the sludge - multivitamin pills - all undissolved.

Liquid Tonics, Dissolvable (fizzy) and Chewable Forms

I wouldn't trust these forms because, generally, they will include additives such as aspartame, flavourings, high fructose corn syrup or sugar and other additives to make them taste better. Also, the liquid tonic form will have a greater tendency to oxidize in the sunlight. Avoid.

Capsule Form

These should contain just the powdered herb, mineral or vitamin and nothing else - no additives or caking agents etc. This powder should be contained in an enteric-coated capsule. This form is OK - my number 2 choice.

Powdered Form

My top choice. This is the best form if you can get it - no additives or preservatives or caking agents. When I first bought my powdered Vitamin C (as ascorbic acid) and dissolved the dose in a glass of water with some baking soda powder to convert it to ascorbate - after the fizz - it was crystal clear, just like a simple glass of water.

© 2011 Earth Clinic. All Rights Reserved.

Replied by Eileen
Camarillo, Ca / Usa

Regarding the story about the sewage treatment plant. While I agree about taking vitamin powder (I use vit C powder exclusively)- that story stinks of pharma-propaganda. I know there are dissolve-rate tests that are done on various supplements and some are much better than others.

However!!! 'multi-colored pills'??? I suggest that he was seeing pharmaceuticals. Those are the most 'colored' pills. Most of my vitamins are white or tannish. People often flush pills (Rx meds) down the toilet!

Just my thoughts. Great thread!!

Replied by Caessence
Eureka, Ca, Usa

Bill, I loved your advice - only one thing, you failed to mention that Genetically Modified Organisms are used to make ascorbate acid. It is made during a fermentation process using corn or a derivative and ascorbate acid is also made synthetically. 85% of corn is GMO. And the only way to find out the beginning sources of ingredients is to call and ask the companies. Most will say they TRY to buy non-GMO corn derived ascorbate acid and only say that their suppliers certify that it is non-GMO. For this reason I prefer dried sour cherry powder or rose hips powder, that I can add to water and consume. The dried citrus peel sounds good too. Only buy ascorbate acid from companies that at least get a certificate from the supplier that says it comes from a non-GMO source more likely from China. Although, China does not have a good tract record for honesty and integrity when it comes to what they are actually selling you.

Remember to buy non-GMO foods and especially supplements, you will be very surprised that there are a great deal of GMOs in nutritional supplements. The suppliers have no shame, it is up to you to call and put pressure on these companies. If it means you won't buy from them because of GMOs then they will quickly get the message. I call all my supplement and food companies and let them know and guess what, they are listening to little old me. Why because it means dollars, we having buying power.

Support the Right To Know labeling going on in California and soon in other states too.

Replied by Karen

The irony is that Linus Pauling died from cancer.

Replied by Robert Henry
Ten Mile , Tn

HI U YOUNG KAREN , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I say young because Dr. Pauling was age 93 when he went out with prostate cancer. All men will get prostate cancer if they live long enough.

I seriously doubt that you will live to be age 93 let alone make the contributions this man has made to society. I will not tell you what I think of your post but suggest that you read more and post less.


Replied by Wydo

Hi Karen from Texas. I think Linus Pauling did real well making it to age 93 with prostate cancer as this kind cancer is very unique. It developed in a unique way and is driven by sex hormones. What I think this means is that, when it come to prostate cancer Vitamin C is not enough. Maybe niacin should be added as well as certain minerals. The last and maybe most important item is omega-3 in the form of very fresh flax seed oil. Johanna Budwig said that humans have the greatest need for daily omega-3 over any other animal on the planet and that we need several times as much as any other animal. I think the problem here is that when we have a medical community that likes to do it the way they do it and doesn't want change we will see no change. My PSA has been high and my Urologist is sure he is going to find cancer. I have been through every kind of test he has to offer without showing anything. I have a very large but healthy prostate. I recently found an essential oil when applied to my perineum helps to reduces the size of it a little at a time.

Weight Loss, Chronic Allergies

Posted by Richard (Dayton, Ohio) on 08/18/2007
5 out of 5 stars

I started taking Vitamin C because I heard that mega-dosing on it helped with remyelination of nerve cells. Two other side effects resulted. First I lost about 20 pounds in two months. I didn't really change my diet or exercise any more than usual. Also, I noticed that I was not suffering from my seasonal allergies. Normally I get seasonal allergies in May and late summer. This past may I only took one over the counter pill. So far this summer I haven't had to take any.