This year’s flu has mayors and governors declaring public health emergencies, a call for a national “sick pay” law or requirement and loads of experts dismantling the research around vitamin C and flu prevention/relief.
So, we thought it was time for a little flu update and some truth on how vitamin C helps can help you combat “Flu 2013.”
You’ll find lots of claims that vitamin C doesn’t help with reducing the severity of the flu and that taking a vitamin C supplement doesn’t give you a chance at prevention. But we can point you to a couple of sources that prove otherwise.
Linus Pauling, a two-time winner of the Nobel Prize and vitamin C researcher, made headlines and has been challenged on his belief that “mega-doses” of vitamin C can help prevent and reverse a number of illnesses. However, many scientists, physicians and holistic medicine practitioners embrace healing benefits of vitamin C.
Here are two studies that look at the effects of vitamin C on the flu:
- R.F. Cathcart, III found that vitamin C given to the point of bowel intolerance (just before diarrhea sets in) could reduce the severity and recovery time associated with the cold. Interestingly, the amount of vitamin C “tolerance” went up as the severity of the illness went up. He treated more than 9,000 patients over 10 years with high doses of vitamin C.
- H.C. Gorton and K. Jarvis found in a study of 252 students aged 18-32 that when given 1,000 mg of vitamin C every hour during the first six hours of their symptoms. Then, they were treated with three additional doses daily (1,000 mg). The control group was treated with decongestants and pain relievers. The researchers found that symptoms decreased 85% after patients received the megadoses of vitamin C.
Conclusions About Vitamin C and the Flu
While vitamin C is not considered a “cure” for the flu or a cold, it’s use is effective in relieving symptoms and reducing the severity.
A common belief about vitamin C is that it will cure the cold or flu if you start taking it as soon as you start to feel ill. As the studies above show, it depends on the dosage. The dosages must be high and given in 1,000 mg doses for the first six hours to be considered effective.
We recommend reading Pauling’s How to Live Longer and Feel Better for the best advice on how to take vitamin C for illness prevention. His simple formula for maintaining your health is found in Chapter 2.
Not All Vitamin C Is Created Equal
Since Pauling’s death in 1994 much research has been done in the area of nanotechnology and delivering vitamin C directly to the blood stream. With the discovery of liposomal delivery of medication and nutrients (like vitamin C), it’s much easier to tolerate the higher doses of vitamin C. This delivery mechanism allows the vitamin C to bypass the digestive barrier and helps you avoid the stomach-upset pills and powders can cause.
In addition, liposomal vitamin C (manufactured in a controlled, oxygen-free environment) gives you a much better absorption than pill or powder forms of the antioxidant because the liposomal “shell” protects the nutrient from breaking down and exiting the body. It’s delivered directly to your bloodstream and cells for maximum effectiveness.
Well-Wise.org, a nonprofit foundation that aims to provide unbiased, accurate and authoritative information on health and nutrition, has a simple method to help you determine whether your liposomal vitamin C is “stable and well-formed”:
Drop a bit of the liposomal C into a glass of water. If the water turns milky and white, your liposomes are good quality and well formed. If the water does not turn “milky,” chances are the liposomes were “either poorly formed or formed over time.” This can interfere with vitamin C delivery.
To see the liposomal vitamin C we recommend, check out Nutrient Tree’s alcohol-free, non-soy, gluten free Advanced Lipo Life C at this link.