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  • Writer's pictureNyssa

Vitamin C. Friend or Foe?

Updated: Oct 31, 2023

First, let's start off by acknowledging that vitamin C is vital for optimal functioning of the body. When we are sick, we tend to reach for vitamin C. We tend to think of it as harmless. In fact, I have a sister (who is an RN) and reasons that, "whatever my body doesn't need, it will just excrete out." In reality, this logic doesn't pan out as vitamin C can inhibit the uptake of vitamins A and B-12, and it can also increase the uptake of aluminum, making too much vitamin C dangerous for the body.

In looking at contraindications, it is not the best supplement for those who suffer from gallbladder issues or gallstones.

Most vitamin C supplements are, in fact, synthetic. This synthetic form of vitamin C is ascorbic acid. Vitamin C, in the form of ascorbic acid, usually derived from GMO corn, taken in large doses (really not that large, only 500mg) has been linked to atherosclerosis. In a June 2001 study published in Science, they showed that "synthetic vitamin C may contribute to the formation of genotoxins that can lead to cancer.” Additionally, a 2008 reveal of a study on athletes taking 1000mg of vitamin C per day showed reduced endurance capacity from interference with antioxidant enzymes.

So if vitamin C, ascorbic acid, can lead to cancer, inhibit uptake of other vital nutrients and diminish endurance capacity, what does vitamin C really do for us?

It is an antioxidant that helps protect cells from free radicals. It does aid in boosting the immune system (if you're suffering from autoimmune diseases you may not want to take it) and can help protect your memory while you age.

Ultimately, we do want it in our diet, but we really need the natural form... not the chewables, not the gummies, not the drink packets, but actual, from food, vitamin C.

So if the easy chews are not a good option, where can you get vitamin C? Glad you asked.

Best ways to get vitamin C:

  • drink the juice of one lemon or lime with warm water

  • grapefruit

  • eat a fresh kiwi

  • acai barries

  • broccoli

  • tomatoes

Bear in mind, natural vitamin C is sensitive to heat beyond that of the sun, meaning that it will get destroyed in hot water (or hot tea).

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