Vitamin C Therapy
This is a an excerpt from my book, Fuck Portion Control, which contains references to other chapters. For other health issues my book provides a great deal of helpful information..
Something pretty great has been going on in my health life. Every morning when I wake up my fingertips are nice and rosy-colored, my feet are warm and I don't want to get out of bed. It didn't used to be like this. For about the last four years when I woke in the morning my fingers and toes were white and pale, void of meaningful circulation. My body felt stiff and achy and took many hours to get it revved up again, requiring lots of assistance from aspirin, coffee, and sugar.
But this isn't an aesthetic issue. The color of fingertips directly corresponds with metabolic rate (see How To Perform Self Therapy). I would shiver even in eighty-degree weather until I got into a hot, hot shower. You may think by this description that I am someone advanced in years but this all began when I was in my early thirties (I'm now 36). As we get older, or suffer disease, our fingers and toes turn white as the circulation to our extremities is dampened by stress hormones directing blood flow to more important organs, and our ability to maintain constant body temperature becomes compromised and difficult. It is a sign that things are not going well for your internal machinery. In older people doctors call the whitening of fingers and toes Raynaud's disease, but in younger people they just call it being a baby. This is because doctors are taught that what is likely is probably fact. It used to be likely that a 34 year old walking into their office did not have cancer. Now it is not so unlikely for young people to develop cancer. It turns out if you don't feel well, there probably is something amiss. Though it is probably not cancer, most people can tell when their health takes a downturn and it can be upsetting, not only because you know something is wrong but also because you lack the vitality you once had, and it seems as though no one can help you.
VITAMIN C AND METABOLIC HEALTH
Discovering how to cure thyroid disease was the serious turning point I had been searching for the last few years. Until now all my efforts seemed merely to keep a plug in the leak of my health, merely managing symptoms day to day without any permanent healing and any lapses causing major setbacks. I put quotations around the word discovery because none of the science, other than experimenting on my own body, is any of my work. I have read countless medical studies and articles and papers on biology from a wide range of authors, piecing together disparate biological information that fit within my understanding of human physiology. One article done years ago might suggest how certain types of cholesterol influences adipose tissue and then another study done recently talks about how vitamin C influences the composition of cholesterol and suddenly I understand how steroidogenesis, interrupted by a deficiency of vitamin C results in hypothyroid disease. A few years ago when I was first struggling with cancer I excitedly told my ex how the amino acid lysine could restrain the progression of my illness and that I could possibly overcome it. The anger on his face as I explained the mechanisms of why I was sick and how I was fixing it made me realize that not many people possessed the ability to understand science the way I did, I find it not only simple but entertaining.
I am also struck by how easy it is to find solutions when you are looking in the right place. A lot of notable scientists like Linus Pauling, Otto Warburg, and Ray Peat have understood that the majority of medical philosophy is not actually in line with real physiology. You're probably not going to find grandma's house if you're lost in the woods. This is why so many diseases have gone so long uncured, and seem to not have any real hope of a cure. The people currently leading the efforts have been pointed in the wrong direction by previous work, and aren't even looking in the right place. My elucidations on human health have been easy to come by, from of all the available research and work, because I got pointed in the right direction by reading the work of those biologists. It's funny how looking in the right place makes it easy to find what you're looking for.
Linus Pauling, a giant of biology, rightly recognized the importance of vitamin C as the cornerstone of human health. Though most of the public is only familiar with a reductionist version of his establishing that vitamin C could lessen and even prevent the common cold (something you don't know—that it doesn't work if you take vitamin C at the outset of the cold, you must already have adequate saturation of vitamin C). This was a valuable insight but the reason it works is not because vitamin C fights cold bugs. It works because vitamin C, when properly saturated throughout the human body helps the body function at its best. It is for this reason too that vitamin C saturation helps to heal thyroid disease, diabetes, cancer, and improve overall human health including the reduction of unwanted adipose tissue and improving the youthfulness of skin, hair, and libido. But vitamin C is merely the cornerstone of human health. It cannot, on its own, cure everything, and must be supported by a good diet composed of generous carbohydrates, protein, and good fats like butter. But when supported appropriately vitamin C is able to restore all the missing functions that occur in most degenerative diseases. Specifically, vitamin C's most important mode of action is its opposition to the oxidative burden of iron. Without adequate levels of vitamin C, it is impossible for the body to restrain the oxidative burden of iron, which in turn oxidizes other sensitive vitamins, fats, and enzymes, preventing necessary systems from working as they are required and thus causing metabolic degeneration.
What level of vitamin C saturation is appropriate for you is relative to your own tissue iron content. If you have a lot of stored iron you will need a lot of vitamin C. Young people are unlikely to have large stores of iron, so normal levels of vitamin C obtained from foods high in it will suffice. For people in diseases states or advanced age, the degree of illness is reflective of the saturation of tissues by iron. To be clear, blood and plasma levels of iron, as measured by a doctor in typical medical labs, is not reflective of tissue levels of iron. In most disease states iron does not circulate in adequate levels, being sequestered to deeper tissue like the liver and kidneys by deficiencies of certain vitamins which are required for the healthful mobilization of stored iron. The stored iron continues to exert an oxidative burden, however, and it is here where vitamin C plays it protective effect, by complexing with iron and preventing the oxidation of other vitamins, enzymes, and fats. Studies show that vitamin C deficiency causes an increase in the oxidative burden of the body, and that sufficiency decreases it. In other animals which do not create their own vitamin C, like the guinea pig, a deficiency of vitamin C causes excess weight gain and derangement of steroidogenesis. In animals which can synthesize their own vitamin C, like rats, a diet high in fat correspondingly causes the animal's own synthesis of the vitamin to increase. vitamin C plays a vital role in the management of fat and directly influences the composition profile of cholesterol. A deficiency causes cholesterol to be composed of less helpful fatty acids, sufficiency does the opposite, making cholesterol fatty acid composition the type to improve health.
In order to determine how much vitamin C is appropriate for each individual effort should first be made to alter the diet to include as many natural sources of vitamin C as possible. If your attitude about vitamin C is to eat whatever you damn well please and take vitamin C only as a supplement, your health absolutely will not improve. Supplemental vitamin C is not a panacea. It cannot make up for poor dietary choices. But after the diet is improved and includes generous amounts of natural vitamin C, if still experiencing undesirable symptoms, then a person can take vitamin C to therapeutically relieve disease conditions. The benefit of vitamin C comes from consistency, not potency, so it is better to use the same amount two or three times a day rather than large doses occasionally (which would probably have no effect anyway). Saturation of the vitamin throughout the body is needed in order to effect its benefit, and saturation cannot occur without consistency. Some people believe that synthetic vitamin C, known as ascorbic acid, is not the same as natural vitamin C. They are correct, but that does not mean that synthetic ascorbic acid is without therapeutic potential. I have found, however, that natural works much better and does not have the potential allergenic side effects. Most vitamin C is also made from corn starch, and I believe that the allergic reactions many people have from synthetic vitamin C is a problem with the corn, and have found great results using non-corn vitamin C (they are literally labeled “non-corn”). It is not the same as the natural form but does help in a very similar manner, and there are plenty of natural vitamin C supplements available that taking a synthetic isn’t even necessary.
As with all supplements, do not use brands which contain any form of silica, which is irritating to sensitive tissues and can inflame nervous and skin conditions and cause agitation. Most brands of vitamin C contain allergenic substances like silica or estrogenic herbs. Rutin is a common co-ingredient but in my experience Rutin is estrogenic and can cause problems. Some forms are sourced from natural foods but then contain unhelpful probiotics or estrogenic herbs and would work against your interests. It's best to use a brand with as few ingredients as possible. Buffered ascorbic acid prevents stomach irritation, which can occur with unbuffered ascorbic acid. If using unbuffered ascorbic acid it's great to have it with a fat like butter, which in the stomach will partially create liposomal vitamin C and directly influence the beneficial composition of cholesterol as it moves into the body from the digestive system. Ascorbyl Palmitate is a preformed liposomal vitamin C that does the same, and is a good option though a bit more expensive. Again, make sure it does not contain allergenic or toxic additives and excipients. In my opinion the acceptable ingredients are cellulose, gelatin, glycinates, and stearates. Anything ingredients that look exotic, or are made of metals besides calcium and magnesium, or gums is not going to be a good product and you should give your money to a more thoughtful manufacturer.
DOSING VITAMIN C
To saturate my system with vitamin C I take a reasonable dose (500mg-1g) with food every few hours until my fingers, toes, and/or tongue increases in color from pale to pink/red. Sometimes this can take a whole day to accomplish (but will not happen with single large doses—again, consistency is key), as the body can only absorb about 200-500mg of vitamin C at a time, less once saturated, which is another reason why large doses at once don't help and consistency does. After a few doses I can usually tell how much is needed to accomplish this (right now for me it's about 4 grams of ascorbic acid divided throughout a day, in addition to all the orange juice and fruit I eat), and then I maintain this effect every day, after saturation is attained (which takes about 3 or 4 days) it requires less than this to maintain (about 2 grams divided a day for myself). Other indicators I experience at saturation is a feeling of relaxation and warmth throughout my body, especially heat radiating from my ears. I also noticed a slight reduction in appetite, as less calories are being expended as vitamin C reduces the oxidative burden. As this is maintained and along with a good diet improving health the amount of vitamin C needed will reduce. Because vitamin C is not a cure-all it is important to support its benefit through other dietary improvements, and improvements in health will not occur if the diet lacks other important pillars of nutrition.
SUPPORTING THE ACTION OF VITAMIN C WITH DIET
As Linus Pauling advanced in age he continued to advocate higher and higher amounts of vitamin C. This is because we continue to accumulate iron in tissues as we age, or as disease advances, and more vitamin C is required for the same benefit. He experienced this in practice but not knowing iron's direct relation in his personal situation merely saw that more vitamin C was required for the same effect. This is why vitamin C alone is not sufficient to reduce the severity of disease, but must also be supported by the general diet and other iron-reduction strategies. Generally a diet low in fortified iron is best way to reduce excess iron. Iron fortification in wheat, cereals, and other food products is the biggest contributor to iron excess. There is some caution about taking vitamin C with iron containing foods, as ascorbic acid has been shown to increase the absorption of dietary iron, and I think this is good advice, but there are studies which show that ascorbic acid does not increase iron absorption in iron-replete or iron-overloaded subjects, so there's no need to be overly worried about it. Having coffee or non-homogenized milk (as homogenization destroys lactoferrin), or supplementing lactoferrin with iron-containing foods can help restrain the absorption of excess iron.
GOOD FATS like butter, coconut oil, cocoa butter, grass-fed tallow and other dairy can directly contribute to the improved fatty acid profile of cholesterol in the presence of vitamin C and can more rapidly improve symptoms.
Vitamin C also needs SODIUM in order to be properly transported throughout cells, so having enough salt with your food is important for proper vitamin C function.
More than just an aid for the common cold, vitamin C is imperative for the general health of human beings, being primates who cannot synthesize our own vitamin C. Any person who wishes to have optimal health, to restore youthfulness or retard the aging process, must have an excess of vitamin C in the diet, otherwise our metabolic processes can never function at their optimal states. For more on how to cure hypothyroidism, SIBO, and other gut and metabolic problems you can read my book Fuck Portion Control.
VITAMIN C THERAPY LIST
PLENTIFUL SOURCES OF NATURAL VITAMIN C
SUPPLEMENTAL NON-CORN ASCORBIC ACID
GOOD FATS/PROTEIN/CARBS (read A List of Good and Bad Foods)
AVOID SODIUM DEFICIENCY
REDUCE EXCESS TISSUE IRON