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High Dose Vitamin C: Controversy Over Effectiveness of Megadosage

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High dose vitamin C infusion. (Teka77/Dreamstime.com)

By    |   Monday, 15 Dec 2014 08:54 PM

Many doctors and healers recommend high doses of vitamin C to their patients to alleviate health concerns. However, the effectiveness of any dose over the recommended daily allowance has generated debate and controversy in medical, research, and alternative medicine fields.

As vitamin C is water-soluble and cannot be stored in the body, high doses are not necessarily considered dangerous although people's tolerance levels differ. Common side effects from too much vitamin C include diarrhea, headache, nausea, vomiting, heartburn, and stomach cramps.

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High doses of vitamin C are often recommended to combat the common cold. However, the effectiveness of this application is controversial. For example, Vitamin C Foundation suggests, "At first sign of cold or flu, begin taking at least 8 g (8000 mg) of vitamin C as ascorbic acid every twenty minutes for 3 to 4 hours." This recommendation is based on the book by Dr. Steve Hickey and Dr. Hilary Roberts, "Ascorbate: The Science of Vitamin C."

However, a clinical study, "Mega-dose vitamin C in treatment of the common cold" concluded, "Doses of vitamin C in excess of 1g daily taken shortly after onset of a cold did not reduce the duration or severity of cold symptoms in healthy adult volunteers when compared with a vitamin C dose less than the minimum recommended daily intake."

The American Association of Naturopath Physicians claims that high doses of vitamin C are a natural remedy for seasonal allergies. In addition to dietary changes, they recommend supplementing with up to 10 grams a day of vitamin C for a "natural anti-histamine" effect. However, NYU Langone Medical Center reports, "Vitamin C is often suggested as a treatment for allergies, but the research results are preliminary and somewhat contradictory."

Clinical studies on the effectiveness of high doses of vitamin C have been conducted for decades on a wide range of health issues including cardiac health, cancer, immune functions, AIDs, life-span, infections, and diabetes. Despite the attention vitamin C has garnered, its effectiveness in both small and large doses still remains controversial.

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A comprehensive report in Nutrition Journal titled "Vitamin C in human health and disease is still a mystery?" delved into extensive research data on every aspect of the vitamin and its applications. Despite the plethora of studies, the report concluded, "though ascorbic acid was discovered in 17th century, the role of this important vitamin in human health and disease still remains a mystery in view of many beneficial claims and contradictions."

This article is for information only and is not intended as medical advice. Talk with your doctor about your specific health and medical needs.

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Many doctors and healers recommend high doses of vitamin C to their patients to alleviate health concerns. However, the effectiveness of any dose over the recommended daily allowance has generated debate and controversy in medical, research, and alternative medicine fields.
high, dose, vitamin c, effectiveness
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2014-54-15
Monday, 15 Dec 2014 08:54 PM
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