The Correct Vitamin C Dosage for Your Health

It has been decades since widespread public knowledge about the efficacy of vitamin C came. It all began with Dr. Linus Pauling, a two time Nobel Prize laureate. He himself started taking a high vitamin C dosage in 1965. He died in 1994 at the age of 93. He believes that his death was delayed for 20 years because of his vitamin C intake, that went as high as 18,000 milligrams per day in later years. In his work on vitamin C, Dr. Pauling makes it clear that he believes that people can have an extra 12-18 years of life if one takes 3,200 to 12,000 milligrams of vitamin C per day. Corroborating his assertions in a study of 11,000 Americans where he postulates that intake of 300 mg of vitamin C per day (equivalent to 5 servings of fruits and vegetables per day) adds up to 6 years to a man’s life and 2 years to a woman’s life. Likewise, cardiovascular disease in this group declined significantly.

Vitamin C is a water-soluble antioxidant. Human is one of the few animals that cannot produce this vitamin and therefore must get it from an external source. Fortunately, it is found abundantly in fruits and vegetables such as RED, papaya, tomato, and brussels sprouts. It is a supplement needed as insurance against the increased demands of aging.

Research on vitamin C dosage is so well known that many people probably know at least two or three effects of Vitamin C. The effects of optimal vitamin C dosage are wide-ranging. They have been postulated to immunize against cancer, saves arteries by driving up HDL, raises immunity by increasing production of lymphocytes; reverses biological clock by increasing white blood cell level in elderly; enhance adrenal function; improves sperm and restores male fertility; combats gum disease; suppresses high blood pressure; and regenerates Vitamin E and glutathione.

Vitamin C Dosage

Over the years, many research studies have concluded that Vitamin C is one of the safest and most non-toxic natural nutrients that can be taken. Both long-term and high oral intakes of up to 200,000 mg and intravenous doses of up to 300,000 mg of Vitamin C is safe and has no side effects. Likewise, studies show that there is no evidence of toxicity or side effects in giving late-stage cancer patients 50,000 mg of intravenous Vitamin C daily for up to 8 weeks. Moreover, AIDS patients were given anywhere between 25,000 to 125,000 mg of Vitamin C on a regular basis based on bowel tolerance without any side effects. Vitamin C is undeniably a safe supplement even when given in high doses over a long period of time.

Reports of heartburn from the use of over-the-counter Vitamin C occur in some cases ( primarily in those with a sensitive gastric lining) but they still remain virtually devoid of side effects. Diarrhea, a common occurrence when the intake of vitamin C exceeds the body’s tolerance level (BTL) is temporary and subside once vitamin C dosage is reduced. This is not considered a side effect but rather a sign of maximum saturation from oral ingestion.

Vitamin C dosage and heartburnThose with adrenal fatigue treatment, especially in the advanced stage, may experience increased anxiety and or fatigue with vitamin C. This is generally due to a clearance problem and not the vitamin C itself. Vitamin C is broken down into metabolites prior to its excretion from the body. If this breakdown process is dysfunctional or functionally sub-optimal ( as frequently seen in advanced adrenal weakness), the speed of clearance is reduced. As a result, metabolites accumulate and circulate in the body for a longer period of time. This excessive circulating metabolite can trigger a wide variety of “re-toxification” like symptoms including malaise, joint pain, anxiety, fatigue, heart palpitations, etc. These are not side effects of vitamin C.

Vitamin C and Iron

Vitamin C will enhance the absorption of iron many folds. However, for it to do so, it must be taken simultaneously with the iron. Both vitamin C and iron must be present together in the intestine for the positive effect to occur.

Vitamin C and Kidney Stones

Vitamin C intake is commonly confused for a build-up of kidney stones since studies have shown that it contributes to the increased production oxalates in the body. However, no evidence has surfaced to pinpoint Vitamin C as the sole culprit in the increase in kidney stones as there are other factors that contribute to the development of oxalates in the body.

When Vitamin C is taken, it is broken down into dehydroascorbic acid (DHAA). It is further metabolized and converted into diketogulonic acid. Finally, it is broken down and metabolized into exonic, xylose, threonic acid, or oxalic acid (oxalate).

Oxalate is the metabolic end product when the human body breaks down Vitamin C. The body cannot break oxalates down into smaller compounds. The confusion arises due to the presence of calcium oxalate, the primary component of kidney stones. Moreover, some suggest that the intake of Vitamin C promotes the development of these kidney stones due to the oxalates that are produced when Vitamin C is broken down by the human body. However, over the years a large body of studies has been compiled from credible research facilities and has shown that these assumptions are not true. In addition, many research studies have proven that Vitamin C actually decreases the chance of kidney stone formation. Furthermore, Jester’s statistical study in 1977 revealed that individuals with high Vitamin C intake had a lower risk of kidney stones as compared to individuals consuming the least amount of Vitamin C.

Build up of calcium oxalate stones in the kidney are caused by a number of factors. High Vitamin C intake when certain medical conditions are present is just one of many. Kidney stones are linked to the presence of heavy metal killing agents such as DMPS, DMS and EDTA, increased urinary calcium, reduced urinary magnesium, increased urinary cystine, increased urinary phosphorous, ageing, dehydration, over supplementation of calcium, pre-existing kidney insufficiency or failure, history of intestinal bypass or resection surgery, urinary tract infections, hyperparathyroidism, cirrhosis, diabetes, congestive heart failure, antibiotic therapy, prolonged bed rest, hypertension, increased alcohol intake, and ketogenic diet.

Vitamin C dosage and oxalatesTaking Vitamin C may increase the oxalate level in the urine. This is the reason why many think that prolonged administration of Vitamin C will increase calcium oxalates in the human body. However, there are certain researches that have shown a leveling of oxalate production even though Vitamin C dosing was continued. Furthermore, the human body excretes significant amounts of oral Vitamin C without being metabolized. In addition, Vitamin C does not have to be broken down to oxalates to be utilized by the human body. As much as 89% Vitamin C administered is eliminated as DHAA. The unoxidized form of this vitamin is readily restored from oxidized counterpart than from the metabolic breakdown product. In short, Vitamin C does not have to be broken down to oxalate before it is utilized by the body. No significant increase in oxalates was noticed in healthy men when given a dose of 4000 mg or less of Vitamin C.

Spinach, rhubarb, parsley, citrus fruits and especially tea are good sources of oxalates. Likewise, swiss chard, cocoa, chocolate, pepper, wheat germs, peanuts, refried beans, lime peel have high oxalate content. Just like the others mentioned, various soy-based food has high oxalate levels. In addition, a high protein food such as sartenes and herring roe also increase oxalate secretion in the body.

Researchers have shown the therapeutic role of Vitamin C. The studies have shown that Vitamin C is responsible for inhibiting the formation of calcium oxalate in individuals with a history of stone formation.

In spite of the numerous researches and studies, many women especially the elderly still take regular doses of calcium supplement. The excess calcium due to the supplements finds its way to other compounds in the system. The calcium is combined with oxalates that are already in high concentration in the human body. However, studies have shown that Vitamin C given with calcium carbonate and other oxalate sources can facilitate stone formation. Patients who develop kidney stones should take sodium ascorbate as Vitamin C supplement and must avoid calcium ascorbate with calcium supplements.

Proper monitoring of Vitamin C therapy, as well as other oxalate sources, must be done for patients with renal and kidney problems. Likewise, patients suffering from G6PD Deficiency and those with high levels of metal in their system must have professional assistance in monitoring their medication. Totally avoiding vitamin C is not a sound recommendation since the human body still needs this vitamin. No conclusive evidence has pinpointed Vitamin C as the sole cause of renal and kidney failure due to excess calcium oxalate crystal formation in normal people. However, proper dosage and monitoring must be observed. The decline in kidney function after Vitamin C therapy is due to dehydration and pre-existing kidney disease. In fact, these two are the major causes of the decline in kidney function. A careful study of the patient’s medical history must be done before putting the blame on Vitamin C. Proper hydration when medicating is always necessary. This will help prevent crystallization as well as a concentration of precipitates in the human body, which includes kidney stone crystals.

Vitamin C ingestion must be monitored to include patients with a G6PD deficiency as well as those with a high level of metals in their system.

Vitamin C and Pro-oxidation

Vitamin C dosage and antioxidantsVitamin C’s oxidant properties are found in low dosages (60 mg up to 2,000 mg). For its pro-oxidant properties to manifest, it requires high circulated or tissue level of one or more catalytic metals such as mercury or lead. Asides from Vitamin C, other antioxidants like glutathione and NAD have pro-oxidant capabilities. The primary factor needed for Vitamin C and other anti-oxidants to demonstrate pro-oxidant activity is the presence of catalytic metals like mercury and lead.

Only moderate levels of Vitamin C must be administered to people with Hemochromatosis and high iron disorder. Likewise, caution must be maintained for patients with Glucose – 6 – phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency when giving patients Vitamin C. The iron level in G6PD deficient cells detrimentally interacts with the Vitamin C. G6PD deficient cells rupture due to the presence of Vitamin C. It has also been shown that Vitamin C can promote a hemolytic crisis in individual with G6PD condition. However, it is difficult to predict its occurrence. To avoid complications, medical professionals should closely monitor the administration of Vitamin C in the presence of G6PD as well as chronic kidney insufficiency. Read More

How to Slow Aging: Periodic Fasting, Estrogen, and Autophagy – Part 1

Periodic fasting is going without food, drinking only water, for a period of time that may last from 12 to 16 hours. Most people undergo this kind of fasting in an effort to try to lose weight. However, there is mounting evidence that periodic fasting leads to an increase in estrogen production, which then leads to a process called autophagy. These three factors in combination appear to slow the aging process, as well.

When considering aging, most often the piece left out of the discussion is the effects of hormones. Research indicates hormones play a significant role in aging and are affected a great deal by periodic fasting. The interaction between periodic fasting and hormones helps metabolic pathways deliver optimum health and increase longevity.

In spite of this promising research, there are drawbacks to periodic fasting, as well. Especially if you have adrenal fatigue treatment, periodic fasting may lead to an exacerbation of your symptoms.

What Is Periodic Fasting?

Many people engage in this kind of fasting almost daily. Consider this, if you eat your last meal at seven p.m. and don’t have any more food until breakfast at seven a.m., you have effectively fasted for 12 hours. And even relatively short fasts such as this appear to have some health benefits.

Research has shown periodic fasting to have the following health benefits:

  • Increased energy
  • Improved memory and clearer thinking
  • Lowered insulin resistance and increased sensitivity to insulin
  • Improved immune function
  • Less risk of diabetes
  • Less risk of neurodegenerative conditions

Periodic Fasting Schedules

Periodic fasting is an overall term that describes several schedules of fasting. In general, you are reducing the number of calories you consume either daily, on alternate days, or for a couple of days every week.

The 5:2 Plan

The “5:2” fasting plan is one of the most frequently recommended. This involves eating normally for five days of the week and fasting for two. When fasting following this plan, the idea is to cut your caloric intake on fasting days to one-fourth of your typical intake. Be sure to drink plenty of water and tea on those days.

Alternate Day Fast

Alternate Day Fast is a form of periodic fastingAnother fasting plan that is used frequently is the alternate day fast. This way of periodic fasting can be difficult for some people because it is one-day fasting followed by one day of eating regularly. This means the fasting period may be as long as 32 to 36 hours if sleep time is included. It also means going to bed on an empty stomach every other day.

Some research conducted with this alternate day fasting plan showed compliance to be higher than with some other plans. The idea in this fasting plan is to consume 500 calories on fasting days and to eat normally on non-fasting days. Consuming these 500 calories in one meal seems to work best, at least so far as cutting down on cheating is concerned. This research also showed this kind of periodic fasting to be as effective for losing weight as total fasting.

Restricted Eating Times

A third fasting plan is one in which you restrict your eating to a specific time period. For example, you allow yourself to eat only during a specific eight-hour window of time. Adherents of this fasting plan say it becomes easier to stay with once your body begins burning fat for fuel instead of sugar.

The reason for this is that fat is a slow-burning fuel for your body as compared to the fast-burning sugars that you normally consume. You’re able to keep going longer because you don’t have the energy crashes associated with sugar consumption.

With this periodic fasting schedule, as well as any other, staying with it is the major issue. Those who use this third plan the most say it is easiest to comply with because of the lack of energy crashes. They also report the food cravings so many people fall prey to when fasting will go away once your body begins burning fat for fuel. The amount of food you consume will also decrease when this begins.

Periodic Fasting Works Differently in Women and Men

There is a synergy between periodic fasting and hormones. This interaction serves to optimize metabolic functioning to increase health benefits. The relationship between this kind of fasting and hormones brings some significant benefits and poses some potential problems. It is a relationship that works differently in men and women.

Particularly for women, periodic fasting can bring possible health problems. Women’s bodies are very sensitive to indications of starvation. The hunger hormones ghrelin and leptin will be increased if the woman’s body senses starvation.

Fasting can bring on feelings of hunger in women that seem to be insatiable. This is the way a woman’s body prompts her to protect a fetus, even if she isn’t pregnant.

A woman cheating during periodic fasting danger of this is that when women ignore these indications of hunger, they may become worse. Given enough time suffering from these hunger symptoms, they become almost impossible to fight against. You may give in and binge eats, leading to guilt. Then, you go through fasting again, bringing on the feelings of starvation, and on and on.

This kind of vicious cycle can lead to significant hormone imbalance and even stop ovulation. In fact, animal studies showed female rats in these conditions stopped having menstrual cycles and even experienced shrunken ovaries. They also had more problems with insomnia than male rats in the study. The males also experienced lowered testosterone.

Even with the few studies involving human subjects and the different responses of men and women to periodic fasting, it appears clear that this kind of fasting can lead to serious problems in women. Because of hormonal imbalance, women are more likely to experience fertility problems and eating disorders such as anorexia and/or bulimia, as well as binge eating issues.

Fasting’s Effect on Insulin

Reducing insulin levels has been shown to be one of the fasting’s health benefits. It is easy to see why. All foods consumed increase insulin levels in your body, so if you stop consuming food, your insulin levels fall. With periodic fasting, even for time periods as short as 24 hours, once your body begins burning fat, your blood glucose level will remain constant even as your insulin levels fall.

When fasting, your insulin resistance will decrease and your sensitivity to insulin will increase. This allows your body to utilize insulin more effectively and efficiently. This insulin issue is the missing part of most diets.

Lowering insulin also will lead to lower levels of salt and water in your body. This can then bring on lower blood pressure, another health benefit of periodic fasting.

Fasting Increases Growth Hormone

Many people use periodic fasting to increase the burning of fat for fuel for your body. If this fat can be made more available, it will be burned more effectively. Growth hormone has been shown to make fats more available for burning while it preserves muscle mass and bone density. One of the best ways to increase the production of growth hormone is through fasting. Fasting for five days has been shown to more than double the secretion of growth hormone.

Noradrenaline and Adrenaline Ramp Up to Burn Fat

Noradrenaline and adrenaline work together to keep energy levels high and to optimize metabolism functioning. One of the ways they do this is to burn fat for fuel. These two catecholamines bind to the beta one and two receptors in your body, increasing the cAMP levels and the breakdown of fat.

In order for body fat to be burned for fuel, it has to be removed from fat cells. An enzyme called Hormone Sensitive Lipase (HSL) is needed for this to happen.

Insulin decreases HSL. Noradrenaline and adrenaline, the catecholamines, increase HSL by increasing cAMP levels. Thus, periodic fasting aids in burning fat by decreasing insulin levels and increasing noradrenaline and adrenaline levels.

This increase in noradrenaline is seen in the increased metabolic rate during periodic fasting. During fasting, the body revs up metabolism rather than shutting it down.

Periodic fasting and no-sugar dietWith this revved-up metabolism, the body begins burning fat instead of sugar for fuel. Fat is stored food, after all. Thus, the body uses this stored food for fuel when consumption of sugar is limited through fasting.

Because sugar is easily accessed and simpler to use, your body burns it first. Unfortunately, only so much sugar in the form of glucose can be stored. Therefore, it must be resupplied frequently. Fat, on the other hand, is in long-term storage, so to speak. It is more difficult to place fat in storage and to remove it for use. Fasting becomes the mechanism for burning all of the stored sugar so that the fat then becomes available. The idea is that, rather than continually replenishing your supply of sugar, you stop consuming it to make the stored fat available.

Fasting Reduces Estrogen Dominance

One of the difficulties that can arise under conditions of Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome (AFS) is that of estrogen dominance. Periodic fasting helps decrease estrogen dominance by lowering body fat. This is important because every fat cell secretes estrogen to maintain itself.

This secretion of estrogen by fat cells leads to an imbalance in the estrogen/testosterone hormones in both men and women. In men, it causes an overabundance of estrogen; in women, an overabundance of testosterone. This brings on estrogen dominance.

Estrogen dominance leads to fat deposits in both men and women. In men, it also can lead to low testosterone, prostate problems, and erectile dysfunction, as well as cancer.

While estrogen can be a problem in some cases, in others, it is a necessity. For example, estrogen is necessary for autophagy to occur.

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Is Social Media Negatively Affecting Your Health?

Technology, science, and research have taken us into a brave new world. We are now living lives that were once only visible in the “Jetsons” Saturday morning cartoons and futuristic Hollywood movies. As a kid, I remember riding Epcot’s “Spaceship Earth” that zoomed us through the ages, and into the future, where people used to talk to each other through their TV’s and computers. I’m not sure whether scientists back then even envisioned we would have what is now social media, or that we’d be accessing it through tiny devices that act as a phone, calendar, and computer, all in one. Technology and cell phones have no doubt changed the way we live and interact, keeping us connected with friends and relatives we may have otherwise lost touch with.

But there is also a dark side. Research has emphasized some of the serious side effects that technology and social media may have. But the convenience of having everyone accessible at your fingertips does come with a price. Adults and children are starting to see the effects, and more connections are being made between technological advances and significant health problems. One of the biggest concerns surrounding social media is that it is changing the way we communicate and interact, and more importantly, how we feel about ourselves, both mentally and physically.

The Dark Side of Social Media

According to new research, the more time children, teens, and adults spend on social media, the greater the risk of developing mental issues. Disturbingly, there is a direct correlation between online social networking and psychiatric disorders including low self-esteem, anxiety, depression, ADD, and ADHD.

Addiction

The most pronounced concern lies in addiction. The phenomenon is so new that research is only just starting to come out about this issue, but there is sufficient evidence to suggest the internet and social media addiction is real and extremely intrusive. In fact, there is a diagnosis being called “Facebook Addiction Disorder” and it meets all the criteria: neglect of personal life, mental preoccupation, escapism, mood modifying experiences, and the tolerance and concealing of addictive behavior.

Connected, but not Connected

You may be connected to hundreds of “friends” on social media, but studies are showing that these connections are actually linked to greater feelings of social isolation. As it turns out, the more time you spend on social media sites, the more you perceive yourself to be socially isolated. These negative feelings are one of the worst things for our bodies and can have tremendous side effects.

Is Social Media Negatively Impacting Our Mental Health?

Healthcare professionals have been taken aback by the huge inflow of patients affected by social media. Psychologists and psychiatrists are seeing depressed and anxious teenagers at alarming rates. Why is this? Subconsciously, social media scrollers are taking note of all the contrasts they find between their own lives and those of the perfectly presented lives they glance over. Although common sense tells us what we’re looking at is probably a fake portrayal of reality that has been photoshopped and edited, the comparison still takes place in our minds and tends to lead to low self-esteem, anxiety, and other depressive symptoms. Body type, family composition, lifestyles, and social preferences have become so idealized that it’s easy to feel inadequate about our own lives, appearance, intelligence, and success. The outcome? Moral integrity gets lost.

Let’s be honest. How do you feel after your sessions on social media platforms? Do you feel distracted, jealous, or unnerving? Take a few minutes to examine the list below:

  • Do you find yourself comparing your life to others based on social media content?
  • Do you feel a level of distress while viewing your feed?
  • Are you frequently envious of others while engaging in posts?
  • Is social media your primary leisure activity?
  • Are you connecting with friends and family more often on social media than in person?
  • Has your ability to concentrate decreased?
  • Have you noticed an unusual social anxiety when you interact with people offline?
  • Do you feel the need to share everything you do on social media?
  • Do you experience FOMO—fear of missing out—when you view other people’s activity?
  • Do you turn to social media as a distraction or to suppress unpleasant emotions you may be experiencing?
  • Have you developed sleep disorders along with increased fatigue?

If you notice any of these symptoms, you may want to reevaluate your stance on social media. Take some time away from it and focus on healthier alternatives. Many therapists and healthcare practitioners are readily available and equipped to discuss social media issues with you.

Addiction Is Real

Addiction in any form is real and very dangerous. Although the study of social media addiction is fairly new, without a doubt, it stimulates pleasure centers and dopamine in the brain, just like drugs and other addictive substances and practices. When your posts are given a “like” you receive positive reinforcement, so you continue posting and checking for more “likes”, which then becomes a need. The habit is hard to break since most humans are wired towards good feelings. However, the line between healthy fun and addictive behavior can quickly be crossed. So much so that the Journal of Psychological Science has declared that social media platforms may be as addictive as alcohol and cigarettes.

Here are a few addictive behaviors to watch out for:

  • Is your social media usage compulsive? Do you feel like you “have to” use it?
  • Are you having a hard time not engaging in social media, even when you don’t want to?
  • Is your use of social media growing and taking up more and more of your time?
  • Do you feel a sense of negative emotions arise when you aren’t engaging in an online platform?
  • Do you become preoccupied with social media and lose track of reality? Have you lost track of what’s going on in the here and now?
  • Have you neglected your “real” relationships with family and friends and find engaging in social media more appealing?

If you answered yes to quite a few of these, chances are you may have a social media addiction. It should be treated just like any other addiction. There are a few methods, listed below, you could try on your own. However, if you’re feeling overwhelmed and have lost control, consult a professional so you can get back to a healthier lifestyle as quickly as possible.

How To Cut The Addiction

Hanging out with friends can help to cut back your social media usageRecognizing the need to cut back on your social media usage is the first step in any addiction program. Next? Get offline. Here are some tips on how to break the habit:

  • Reach out to friends and family offline. Use the phone to speak to them, or even better, meet face-to-face.
  • Put down your phone. Turn it over, or even off, when you’re with company.
  • Turn to physical activities that don’t allow you to look at your phone even if you want to. Join a gym, take a jog, or start a dance class.
  • Meditate. Everyone should learn the art of controlling their thoughts.
  • Find a new healthy hobby, learn a new skill, or take up a foreign language. No time is better than the present to be proactive.
  • Get some sleep. If you have an addiction, chances are you’ve been waking up often to check your status updates. If sleep eludes you, look into healthy sleep aids like melatonin.
  • Uninstall apps on your phone and remove shortcuts. This has been proven to work miracles by removing the need for a quick fix.
  • Set yourself some guidelines that include when and for how long you are allowed to engage in social media. If you need to, set a timer!

What Does This Mean For Adrenal Fatigue?

Adrenal fatigue and Social media

As much as possible, sufferers of Adrenal Fatigue Treatment must create a stress-free environment for themselves. With stress being the root cause of this debilitating ailment, avoiding stress-inducing activities is the key to healing. With new evidence surfacing daily on the negative effects of social media, it may be a good idea for AFS patients to limit their online interactions even more than the average person. Especially due to the fact that social media has now been linked to anxiety, an issue that can handicap even the healthiest body.

Although there is no direct connection between AFS and anxiety, they are definitely intertwined. Stress affects the entire NeuroEndoMetabolic (NEM) stress response system. When something affects all six of the major systems in the body, it needs to be addressed. If social media is causing you anxiety and you suffer from AFS, speak to your healthcare practitioner about creating an action that will work best for you.

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