3 Benefits of Intravenous Vitamin C
Vitamin C is a nutrient found in multiple foods and dietary supplements. It is an antioxidant as well as a cofactor in many chemical reactions. It is essential for your body:
Vitamin C stimulates collagen production which is used in healthy skin growth
Vitamin C helps blunt the body response to stress
Vitamin C stimulates white blood cells
Vitamin C protects cells from oxidative stress
Intravenous Vitamin C achieves much higher levels in the blood than when taken orally. It has been studied extensively in the treatment of cancer since the 1970’s when Linus Pauling and Ewan Cameron began studying it in clinical trials. Vitamin C infusions are utilized nationwide to help with infections, fatigue, and cancers.
Vitamin C can be synthesized by most animals, but humans do not have the ability to synthesize their own Vitamin C. It must be eaten in the diet which is why sailers would get Scurvy and lose their teeth.
Benefit #1 – Kill cancer cells.
Intravenous Vitamin C at high concentrations may kill cancer / tumor cells of certain types. The current hypothesis is that when Vitamin C is given intravenously, it reaches extremely high levels in the body. It then interacts with iron and other metals to create hydrogen peroxide which is toxic to cells. However, our own body has an enzyme called catalase which breaks hydrogen peroxide down immediately into water and oxygen.
H2O2 + Catalase —> H2O and O2
Note: This creation of oxygen is why hydrogen peroxide bubbles when you pour it on a cut. Have you ever tried to pour hydrogen peroxide on normal skin that’s not injured? Notice that it doesn’t bubble? It’s because catalase is present INSIDE of live cells and your outer layer of skin is dead cells. Because our body has catalase, hydrogen peroxide kills bacteria but not our own tissue which is why its an excellent antiseptic.
Since cancer cells are dividing at a much faster rate than normal cells, they do not make as many protective enzymes and their energy storage is lower. They cannot defend against oxidative stress as easily as normal cells. Thus, when hydrogen peroxide gets created inside the cell, it causes immense damage to nearby structures (proteins, DNA, cell wall), and it self-destructs.
Benefit #2 – Boosts Immune Function
Vitamin C levels drop during an infection or stress. Supplementing with Vitamin C has been found to improve components of the immune system such as antibacterial white blood cell activity and natural killer cells (the white blood cell assassins). It has also been proven to improve lymphocyte cell growth and white blood cell tracking (think about a cell smelling the scent of an infection and hunting it down). When a white blood cell attacks, it often creates dangerous oxygen species that damage cell walls and DNA. It can damage itself in the process (pus is a collection of dead white blood cells). Vitamin C helps protect the white blood cell from its own destructive force.
Adequate intake of Vitamin C has been shown to decrease duration of pneumonia, malaria, diarrhea, and respiratory tract infections, including the common cold. Recommended dose is typically 1 gram per day. An IV infusion of Vitamin C contains 2,500mg although higher dosages can be prepared.
Benefit #3 – Balances Cortisol Production and the Stress Response
Vitamin C has been found to limit the body’s response to stressful reactions. When the body gets stressed, it releases excess cortisol to help the body fight off the stressor. However, today’s stressors come in forms of social interactions, finances, etc instead of lions jumping out of the bushes. Therefore, we get much more stressful releases of cortisol than our ancestors. This stressful response has been shown to be blunted with appropriate levels of Vitamin C or supplementation with Vitamin C.
Vitamin C does not necessarily lower cortisol if you already have depleted levels of cortisol from adrenal dysfunction because Vitamin C can help build cortisol when its depleted.
Recommended supplemental dose of Vitamin C is 500mg-1000mg twice daily. Or, try a Vitamin C infusion with or without the rest of the Myers Cocktail.