Brian's Blog

…one man's contribution to the Weeeeerly Wild World

Vitamin C

I’ve written before about being anti-medication, and my desire to eat healthily and be active work with this. I’ve recognised the importance to get enough vitamins and minerals in our diets, and to achieve this we’re encouraged to eat five portions of fruit and vegetables a day. I must be doing something right since I’ve visited the doctors only once in the past 10 years, either that or I’m one of the lucky ones.

The five portions of fruit and vegetables should each be different, and ideally different colours. This figure has seemingly grown in recent years, but personally I find it tough to achieve this from what’s available to me. Five portions is typically my minimum, but I achieve little more than this.

I’ve watched vloggers talk about their vegan lifestyles or how they live off smoothies, but I never bought into that, mainly because they these people, or the ones I’ve seen, buy a lot of processed stuff that doesn’t seem natural to me.

In addition, I’ve also been somewhat against the idea of vitamin supplements, subscribing to the myth that if you go overboard on something like vitamin C, then, well, it just comes out the other end. I acknowledge that some people, particularly older people, might need the assistance, but everyone else should focus on their diet first and foremost.

I’d done this for long enough but I have always wondered if perhaps my body doesn’t work so efficiently in regards to absorbing all of the things it needs or if it is constantly fighting something off, like maybe it’s slightly lactose intolerant (I don’t think so but I did wonder such things) since I seem to be quite a sensitive being; certainly felt this at times of feeling down or depressed.

Then after watching videos about vaccinations and talks by Dr. Suzanne Humphries I was lead on to ones about Vitamin C. I learned a lot and shortly thereafter I purchased my first batch of Vitamin C tablets.

I had a pot of multivitamin tablets a number of years back but I noticed no effect in taking them; I figured I was in good enough health to not need them. The idea of taking one or more vitamin C tablets that are 500-1000mg seems excessive but the instructional video explained it in a way that made sense. How much vitamin C you require through supplementation will vary depending on a number of factors, including, obviously, how much you are getting from your food, but also your current state of health and what the world around you is inflicting on you. While it’s relatively easy to regulate your diet on a day-to-day basis (such as by eating an apple and an orange each day) the state of your health may be an unknown quantity; what if your immune system is currently fighting something off yet you feel fine?

To gauge your dosage you either start at the bottom and work your way up, or start higher and work your way down, until? Well, until you stomach tells you. Between 1000 and 3000mg is the guide to work up from or down from. I dived in at 3 x 1000mg tablets for a good few days. I did indeed notice the wind, but actually it seems I guessed well at 3000mg daily and I quickly adjusted my routine of taking less if my stomach said no thanks to more, cutting down to only one a day on some days.

Here are a couple of useful snapshots I took from the video for reference:

I’m not sure how a high-carb diet may play a part for me since I typically consume more when I cycle a lot. I’m thinking that more vitamin C will be required following a big ride to aid the recovery process.

Apparently taking Vitamin C before bed can lead to a restless night; this could be due to the excessive stomach gurglings.

An additional side effect I noticed that wasn’t mentioned in the videos I watched, but I can only think the vitamin tablets were the cause since I’d not experienced it before, was a kind of brief chill coming over my body shortly after taking a tablet. I would proceed with caution on a day when I experienced this, but nothing more adverse has resulted.

An additional benefit of taking vitamin C tablets is that it seems they provide me with a means of measuring my health, in particular the health of my immune system. This is because if your immune system is battling with anything then it will require/consume more vitamin C. So, I smile to myself on those days when my gut tells me to back off after only having taken one tablet, but listen to what my body is telling me should my intake suggest I could head above 3000mg for a few days running. In fact, a fascinating part of the videos I watched was how Vitamin C tablets can be used to fight cancer; this is somewhat counter to what something like radio or chemotherapy will do, since they knock out the immune system (which, by the way is how the body fights off anything).

It’s not just a physical problem with the body that might demand a higher Vitamin C intake, but emotional problems too. This is because what happens in the mind effects the body and in fact an emotion attack can lead to a physical response in the body and therefore quickly use up the Vitamin C we have taken in through food alone. To this end I think I feel better for having taken Vitamin C tablets; whether this is a placebo effect I don’t know, but I know of no problem if it is; I feel better, therefore I am. I feel more emotionally better, more “certain” on a strange level, and therefore more in control, like I have take control of an aspect of my health, and this can only be a good thing. I feel like I have more drive throughout the day; I’m just trying to put that to better use.

The only thing I’m left pondering is “Why doesn’t the food we eat contain all the nutrients we need?” Did it ever, or is there something up with our food these days? [perhaps the answer to this lies in my next lot of posts].

I want to iterate that there are things in our lives, like taking a vitamin supplement, that should come about after we have put other things into place; healthy diet and exercise. These things aren’t an alternative to eating well, and getting enough exercise, fresh air and sunlight.

Regarding my previous post on Sugar, it should be noted that sugar will inhibit Vitamin C, so first you need to cut that out or certainly not mix the two; a cup of tea will help with the absorption of Vitamin C, but you can’t then have sugar in that tea!

Here are the two the main videos I watched:

 

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4 comments on “Vitamin C

  1. taskerdunham
    19 March, 2017

    Some now say we should eat TEN items of fruit or veg per day, and I read somewhere that ten is the recommended amount in Canada. It seems physically impossible. When one portion is 80 mg, then ten items would be 800 mg, getting on for 1 kg or 2 pounds, in other words, around half your daily intake.

    • Brian
      19 March, 2017

      Indeed. Since I do my weekly grocery shop by bicycle, and at the same time trying to meet these 5-a-day+ targets, I too have become very aware of just how much fruit and veg this amounts to, weight and cost.

  2. oilyfarmgirl
    20 March, 2017

    Brian, we don’t get many vitamin and minerals in our diet the way we used to (even if we are doing our best to eat right) because of farming practices that have stripped the soil of nutrients and science that has changed our plants/food genetically (ship-ability in place of nutrition). This is why we’ve chosen to grow and raise what we can ourselves, so that we have more control over both (using heirloom seeds and carefully amended soil). It’s a sad thing 😦

    • Brian
      20 March, 2017

      A very sad and worrying thing indeed. Thanks for your input.

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This entry was posted on 18 March, 2017 by in Food & Drink, Health and Fitness and tagged .
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