In numerous studies, vitamin C has been shown to protect against infection, the common cold, and support a healthy cardiovascular system, when taken correctly.

It’s important to know how much to take and how often to take it to get the full benefits of Vitamin C

How much Vitamin C should you take in a day?

The following excerpts are from studies done using ascorbic acid or ascorbate, two common forms of “vitamin C”.

“Higher levels of vitamin C can be protective against damage to blood vessels, and greatly reduce death rates in the elderly.”

“Blood levels [of vitamin C] increase substantially with a larger dose and these higher amounts are excreted more quickly.”

“A 1,250 mg dose raises blood levels more than a 200 mg dose for the first six hours. Larger doses provide an even bigger increase in blood levels in the first six hour period.”

“For the second six hour period, these and even higher doses give similar blood levels.”

How can this be? How can you take a 1,250 mg dose (or even two, three or four times this amount) or as little as a 200 mg dose and have virtually no vitamin C in the blood after six hours? There is a reason:

Vitamin C has a short half-life in the blood.

A “half-life” is the amount of time it takes for half of the vitamin C to be depleted from the blood stream. The half-life of vitamin C in the blood is 30 minutes.

This means that every 30 minutes there is only one-half of the vitamin C left!

As an example, say you start with 1,250 mg of vitamin C in your blood stream. In 30 minutes you have only 625 mg left. After 30 more minutes you have only 312 mgs. In another 30 minutes you’re down to 156 mg (that’s after only 1 hour and 30 minutes).

If you continue reducing by half every 30 minutes, six hours after you took the initial amount of 1,250 mg of vitamin C, the amount left in your blood stream is less than 0.5 mg. Basically there is nothing left.

“Taking an oral dose will raise blood levels for only a few hours.”

“The benefit of a single dose is short lived. If high levels of vitamin C provide protection against the common cold, then a single multi-gram dose of vitamin C would have little more effectiveness than a 500 mg dose.”

“In the prevention of colds and other diseases, if a single dose of vitamin C raises blood levels for about six hours or one quarter of the day, the person is unprotected for the other three quarters of the time.”

“Five 100 mg doses taken at intervals through the day would raise average blood levels more than a single one-gram dose.”

excerpted from Ascorbate, The Science of Vitamin C
by Dr. Steve Hickey & Dr. Hilary Roberts


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