Vitamin C & Chronic Fatigue
Vitamin C Is Essential for Human Health. Period.
A severe deficiency of Vitamin C leads to scurvy, which is a fatal disease, and once we don’t hear about it much these days. Historically, scurvy was the disease of sailors and sea travel. Back in the day, many sailors on long voyages would die of this mysterious illness because of the lack of nutrients and fresh rations. It was a Scottish physician, James Lind, who carried out the famous experiments while in the British Naval Service, that showed by giving men citrus fruits — mainly lemons and limes — (which is why the Brits were called “Limeys”) that scurvy could be reversed and prevented.
Humans Are the Only Animals That Can’t Make Vitamin C From Our Own Body
Strange? Smaller animals such as goats, cows, squirrels, even cats, and dogs all make their own Vitamin C. They all produce about 10,000 mg a day. Only our closest ancestors, the monkeys, and gorillas similar to us need to forage for the intake of Vitamin C. From fresh vegetation, it is estimated that these primates consume about 4500 mg of Vitamin C per day.
This Is All Very Interesting but What Does It Have to Do With Us?
Well, the debate goes through cycles when medical researchers try to determine the optimal daily dose of Vitamin C.
Dr. Linus Pauling, the Nobel Prize-winning biochemist, has written books advocating 6,000 to 18,000 mg of Vitamin C for optimum health. He was a pretty smart scientist, and this is what he consumed himself, and he lived to age 93! Not to mention that he was also extremely vital up until his death. As a biochemist, Dr. Pauling understood how vital Vitamin C is to many metabolic systems in the body.
For example, Vitamin C promotes the synthesis of collagen (yes, the same type that women pay thousands of dollars for to get injected and look younger) which is critical for the strength of bones, muscles, and tendons.
Another example: the conversion of lysine, an amino acid, to carnitine, a key fuel for muscles, requires Vitamin C in 2 specific steps. This is why fatigue or muscle pain can be relieved with Vitamin C.
And finally, the adrenal glands (which can be under-functioning in individuals suffering from Chronic Fatigue) need Vitamin C to help synthesize the amino acid tyrosine to dopamine and ultimately adrenalin, which is our body’s “fight or flight” hormone. This is why Vitamin C is considered a mood-enhancing vitamin.
We Can Obtain Vitamin C From a Variety of Foods:
- Peppers (red, green, hot or sweet) are a terrific source with 9.4 grams
- Black currants are the richest source with 15 grams
- Citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, grapefruits are surprisingly a lower source of Vitamin C–around 25milligrams (thousands LESS than peppers)
- Green vegetables such as kale, spinach, and broccoli also give Vitamin C, but if you cook them you lose about 50% of the Vitamin C.
An ordinary diet probably supplies you with 100mg of Vitamin C a day–definitely on the low side.
Vitamin C can be taken as a supplement in a pill or powder form. Dr. Pauling recommended taking it in the powder form and dissolving it in a glass of orange juice.
American Health makes a product called Ester-C which is a non-acidic formulation that can provide 500mg in a small teaspoon. If you decide to take higher doses it is best to do with meals and divided throughout the day. If you are taking iron supplements, you must not take Vitamin C at the same time.
The Myers Cocktail
Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum, the author of From Fatigued to Fantastic, mentions the use of intravenous Vitamin C for his patients that suffer from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Dr.Teitelbaum recommends the Myers Cocktail that combines high dose Vitamin C, along with B vitamins, Magnesium, and Calcium to help these patients boost their metabolic system.
The Mitchell Medical Group has been using the Myers Cocktail for 15 years to help patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome to heal and recover. To learn more about this treatment.
Dr. Dean Mitchell
Mitchell Medical Group, NYC & Long Island