In honor of detox month, let’s talk about a great supplement that aids in detox: Vitamin C. This particular vitamin is water soluble and cannot be created by the body. Therefore, it is vital that Vitamin C be incorporated into our everyday diets. But why is Vitamin C so important? It is a mega antioxidant that helps the immune system prevent and shorten illnesses like the common cold. It is also known to have antidepressant effects.
When it comes to high dosing Vitamin C, John Myers, MD (a physician from Baltimore, Maryland) pioneered the use of intravenous (IV) vitamins and minerals as part of the overall treatment of various medical problems called the Myers’ cocktail. It appeared that Myers used a 10-mL syringe and administered by slow IV push a combination of magnesium chloride, calcium gluconate, thiamine, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, calcium pantothenate, vitamin B complex, vitamin C, and dilute hydrochloric acid. However, over time the cocktail was changed and notably increased the Vitamin C to help increase the amount of blood plasma in the body. Since then, we have also learned that Vitamin C mimics an antihistamine effect in vivo, which can help to prevent acute asthma attacks, improve fibromyalgia symptoms, provide relief to acute muscle spasms, and more!
Vitamin C also aids in detoxing of heavy metals in the body. Heavy metals are naturally occurring elements on the Earth’s crust and can be found in everyday items such as cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, medicines, agricultural elements, etc. Unfortunately, it is also common for bodies of water to become contaminated with heavy metals. So for all my fish-loving people out there, you may be slowly accumulating unwanted heavy metals along with your beneficial omegas. Good news? Studies have shown that an increase in vitamin E and C can mitigate the effects of heavy metal toxicity.
Another fun fact: People who smoke are more likely to be Vitamin C deficient. That's because cigarette smoke causes oxidation...causing the body to use up antioxidants like Vitamin C to prevent tissue damage. According to the USDA via their recommended daily allowance, smokers need an additional 35 mg of Vitamin C daily to maintain an adequate level. This is also the case for anyone with excess oxidative stress. Examples: stressful lives, serious addictions, and pregnant women.
The recommended daily allowance is 100-200 mg. If you're looking for a food source outside of supplements, consider kiwi, citrus fruit, leafy greens, fortified cereals, cruciferous vegetables, juices, fruiting vegetables (ex: sweet peppers), and potatoes.
Until next time,
Haley Haberman B.S. HSMT
Medical Student Blogger
Gaby, A. R. (2002). Intravenous nutrient therapy: the" Myers' cocktail". Alternative Medicine Review, 7(5), 389-403.
Patel, K. (2022, January 21). Vitamin C Supplement - health benefits, dosage, side effects. Examine.com. Retrieved May 11, 2022, from https://examine.com/supplements/vitamin-c/
Sahiti, H., Bislimi, K., Rexhepi, A., & Dalo, E. (2019, September 9). Metal accumulation and effect of vitamin C and E in accumulated heavy metals in different tissues in common carp (cyprinus carpio) treated with heavy metals. Polish Journal of Environmental Studies. Retrieved May 11, 2022, from http://www.pjoes.com/Metal-Accumulation-and-Effect-of-Vitamin-C-and-E-nin-Accumulated-Heavy-Metals-in,103354,0,2.html
This information is generalized and intended for educational purposes only. Due to potential individual contraindications, please see your primary care provider before implementing any strategies in these posts.