Everyone knows about Vitamin C. If you don’t get enough fruit and vegetables in your diet, you could get a Vitamin C deficiency and get Scurvy. Captain Cook didn’t know about Vitamin C at the time, but he discovered that giving his sailors cabbage and limes prevented the disease – that’s why they called Englishmen “Limeys”.
Well, Scurvy exists today in our community. You may be surprised, but there are many people who can’t afford fresh fruit and vegetables, so they fill up on bread and potatoes and inexpensive foods. As a result, they may find themselves getting symptoms like bleeding gums, red dots on the skin that don’t go away (doctors call them petechiae), wounds that don’t heal or break down.
In addition to not getting enough from food, humans, gorillas, fruit bats and guinea pigs can’t make their own Vitamin C in response to stress like other animals can – I bet you didn’t know that!
These days we are all more stressed. There is probably a case to be made for a regular dose of vitamin C, especially during times of stress like overwork, illness, surgery etc. You see, animals like chimpanzees make up to 9000mg Vitamin C in response to stress and a dog can make up to 12,000mg!
I think a normal dose for an adult with a busy life may be around 1000mg. If you are quite stressed, perhaps up to 3000mg. But if you are really sick, you might need 6000mg. Watch out because too much will give you runny bowels.
Below is a list of all the things vitamin C is important for.
The dose of vitamin C found in research to prevent the common cold and reduce its severity is 200-2000mg taken daily.
Braun, L., & Cohen, M. Herbs & Natural Supplements. An evidence based guide, 3rd Edition. Churchhill Livingstone: Australia.
Douglas, R. M., Hemila, H., D'Souza, R., Chalker, E. B., Treacy, B. (2004). Vitamin C for preventing and treating the common cold. The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 4, Art. No.: CD000980.pub2. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD000980.pub2.
Hromek, K. (2010). Injectable nutrients, 1st Edition. KAM Publishing: Australia.
Van Straten, M., Josling, P. (2002). Preventing the Common Coldwith a Vitamin C Supplement: A double-blind, placebo-controlled survey. Advances in Therapy, 19(3), 151-159.
The Importance of Vitamin C - Ascorbic Acid PDF (422KB)
All PDF articles on this site can be opened with Adobe Reader.
Are you looking for a professional speaker for your next conference or workshop? Book Dr Frances.
This section has a complete list of useful medical and general sites.