Vitamin C has a long history as an immune boosting supplement dating back to the 1970s. Research has continued to prove the connection over the years. Adding it to your diet at levels above the RDA can help shorten healing times during colds and flus.
This is especially true for children, who use up their Vitamin C levels rapidly. Because it is water soluble and cannot be made by the body, we must ingest Vitamin C every day to receive it’s immune boosting properties. It also helps skin health, iron absorption, hormone synthesis, detoxification, and acts as an antioxidant.
It is best to supplement your Vitamin C levels by eating fruits and veggies like pineapple, cantaloupe, mangos, tomatoes, banana peppers, chives and red cabbage. If you cook your foods by boiling and draining, you will lose the Vitamin C because of its water soluble nature. For optimal absorption, simply wash and cut the produce right before eating. If you are supplementing Vitamin C, the optimal intake is between 1 – 9 grams per day. However, start at lower doses and work up. Taking Vitamin C at too high a level can cause loose stools.
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Marz, R. (1999). Medical Nutrition. 2nd Edition. Omni-Press. Portland, OR: 235-241.