Vitamin C is an antioxidant. Along with Vitamin E, A, Beta-Carotene, and Lypocene, these substances help prevent oxidation. Oxidation is the primary action responsible for creating havoc in the body. What occurs is that an unpaired electron looks to pair itself. This unpaired electron is called a Free Radical. Yes, that's the famous free radical. The one you hear on the news and read about. This little molecule is the primary reason that most cancer occurs in the body. The most common molecule to become a free radical is Oxygen. At this point it is unstable. When this happens it looks to stabilize itself in the body.
Free radicals alter the DNA. By stealing an electron from other molecules they are creating more free radicals. This in turn is an endless cycle of cellular destructing. The way that antioxidants stop free radicals is that they have a unique ability to give off an electron and still maintain their ability to remain stable. Thereby ending the cycle.
What are the sources of Vitamin C?
The obvious such as lemons, oranges, grapefruit. But also, Red Peppers, Brussels sprouts. The question is whether this is enough. To maintain health? Most likely if you eat an abundance of fruit and vegetables which are not cooked, and are not canned, then yes. But to be proactive, and especially if one is concerned about the increasing amount of toxins in the air and food, then no. One would be well advised to supplement.
Vitamin C is of particular interest because there is very little danger in using high dosages. Unlike fat soluble vitamins, which are stored in the body, Vitamin C is water soluble and does not stay and build up to toxic levels like fat soluble vitamins such as Vitamin E and Beta Carotene. Another reason is that there is ample evidence that unlike other antioxidants, vitamin C has shown a marked improvement in patients who use mega doses.
There are two ways of using Mega-dose Vitamin C therapy. The first, is intravenous. This requires the assistance of a health professional who will have the skill and instruments availability. Typically this is undertaken by those who are currently suffering from a disease and not those who are simply looking to increase their preventive efforts.
The alternative method, and the most common, is to purchase Vitamin C supplements. Again, there are two choices when taking vitamin capsules. Vitamin C in high doses, such as several thousand milligrams, can upset some people’s stomach. So they have the option of finding a buffered alternative. This method entails a binding of the vitamin C to, in most instances, Calcium.
When beginning supplementing with vitamin C one should always do several things. Consult a physician. And also, go slowly. Simply because one can take 20 thousand milligrams of vitamin C without negative results does not mean everyone will be able to handle this on first try.
Many individuals have diarrhea after taking mega does and there is something called the Ascorbic Acid flush test which people use as both a cleansing method, and a barometer to see how much of the nutrient they can handle. It is always advisable to start slowly and work up gradually and consult material.