Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that our bodies require to function properly. Unfortunately, the human body doesn’t produce Vitamin C naturally like most mammals and other animals do, so we must continually replenish it through our diet and supplementation. Without Vitamin C you would have many negative side effects, which include a condition called scurvy that involves bleeding, hair and tooth loss, joint pain and swelling, and eventually death. Vitamin C is also required by several critical enzymes in the synthesis of collagen from proline and lysine. This means it is also required for the maintenance of normal connective tissue, as well as for healing wounds because the synthesis of connective tissue is the first event in wound tissue remodeling. It is also important to replete your Vitamin C levels during times of high stress because Vitamin C is present in the adrenal gland cortex, and is depleted with the synthesis of the stress hormone, Cortisol.
While small amounts of Vitamin C in our diet from foods like oranges and lemons prevent things like scurvy, food and oral supplementation are usually insufficient to achieve optimal health with Vitamin C. Only about 18% of the Vitamin C we consume is actually absorbed by our bodies, and when Vitamin C is taken orally in large amounts it causes distress to the digestive system. When Vitamin C is delivered by IV, it bypasses the digestive system and is 100% bioavailable. This enables you to support your adrenal glands, maintain energy levels, improve and protect your skin, strengthen tendons and bones, boost your immune system, assist with cancer treatments and fight chemotherapy / radiation side effects with the power of high dose Vitamin C – all without the negative side effects of taking it orally at high levels.
Taking Vitamin C at high doses is especially useful for when you are under greater than usual amounts of stress, feeling excessive fatigue, needing a boost to your immune system to fight acute or chronic viral and bacterial infections, when your skin needs to be restored to glowing conditions, such as after sun damage or surgery, and to help assist with cancer treatments and improve the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation therapy (fatigue, nausea and vomiting).
Modern science is now eagerly embracing vitamin C’s enormous potential as an antioxidant capable of preventing and, in some cases, reversing a host of human ills. Helping to maximize the beneficial effects of exercise while minimizing the impact of destructive toxins like tobacco smoke, vitamin C also acts at the most fundamental levels to prevent endothelial changes that lead to atherosclerosis, while also blocking harmful DNA degradation that triggers malignant change and sets the stage for cancer. And as scientists learn still more about the vital role of oxidative damage in diseases ranging from asthma to stomach ailments, vitamin C’s importance is growing literally by the day. There is no doubt that future research will uncover even more astonishing findings on the health benefits of vitamin C.
Vitamin C is typically recommended to be taken orally at a dose of 65 to 90 milligrams (mg) a day, and the upper limit is 2,000 mg (2g) a day. While taking large doses of Vitamin C is unlikely to be harmful, oral supplements taken at higher levels may cause:
Because of these side effects associated with ingesting higher amounts of Vitamin C orally, high doses are delivered intravenously. Clinical trials have shown there to be very few side effects associated with high-dose intravenous Vitamin C, and when taken by IV infusion, vitamin C can reach much higher levels in the blood than when it is taken by mouth.
Below are just some of the reasons people seek High Dose Vitamin C Therapy, as well as to improve overall health and quality of life.
High dose Vitamin C can also be used in treatments for improving physical endurance and slowing aging, as well as counteracting the side effects of cortisone and related drugs, and aiding drug withdrawal in addiction. Recently High, or Megadose, Vitamin C IV Therapy treatments have been used in conjunction to assist with other cancer treatments and reduce some of the side effects of radiation and chemo therapy.
Vitamin C was first suggested as a tool for cancer treatment in the 1950s, and high dose Vitamin C has been used to treat cancer patients since the 1970s. It has been found that high dose IV Vitamin C can be used safely in conjunction with chemotherapy (except methotrexate) and radiation in certain cases where the patient’s oncological team is aware of and has agreed to incorporate it as a treatment modality.
Some studies have shown that patients with cancer who receive treatments of high-dose IV Vitamin have shown improved quality of life, including improvements in physical, mental, and emotional functions, symptoms of fatigue, nausea and vomiting, pain, and appetite loss.
There is also evidence to support that Vitamin C can be effective in helping to fight cancer. Vitamin C is structurally similar to glucose, so it is rapidly absorbed by fast-growing cancer cells. These cells uptake the Vitamin C, lysing and killing the cell, and therefore reducing the tumor burden. For these treatments many patients receive 50 – 100g of Vitamin C in an IV infusion. While it may have some side effects and toxicity at these levels, there has been no accepted level of Vitamin C found to be too much, as long as the patient can tolerate it. The highest recorded dose of Vitamin C ever delivered was 7,455g.
Please keep in mind that High Dose Vitamin C is still viewed as an alternative supporting treatment of cancer, and it should not replace the multi-disciplinary approach to oncologic care.