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Rhonda Patrick: Vitamin C, Immune Effects, Cancer and Exercise Adaptation

Release Date: 05/13/2020 Podcast Length: 01:19:12

3 Key Takeaways

  1. 200mg of Vitamin C daily can improve health and boost immunity

  2. Need 5-9 servings of fruits and veggies daily to get adequate vitamin C

  3. Taking Vitamin C every few hours when sick can decrease sickness intensity and duration

In this episode, Dr. Rhonda Patrick discusses everything related to Vitamin C. The topics covered include the oral bioavailability of Vitamin C, its intravenous bioavailability, the impact on immune cell function, its role in treating common cold and other viral infections, its effects on lung function, sepsis, pneumonia, inflammation, its role in treating cancer when administered intravenously, its role in exercise, safety concerns, and much more.

Introducing Vitamin C

  1. Vitamin C is a nutrient that has been proven to help boost immunity

  2. Vitamin C is an essential nutrient that provides antioxidants and supports chemical reactions in our bodies to help protect us from getting sick

  3. Vitamin C can be found in fruits and vegetables like oranges, lemons, bell peppers, kiwis, and guavas

  4. Benefits of high doses of Vitamin C (via intravenous administration) for cancer treatment have been discussed, but further research is needed to confirm its effectiveness and usefulness for other health concerns

  5. Eating 5-9 servings of fruits and vegetables daily provides the required amount of Vitamin C for good health

  6. Vitamin C is an essential nutrient that helps maintain good health by protecting the body from sickness, fighting viruses, and aiding in weight loss

  7. Regular consumption of Vitamin C in the form of pills or drinks may shorten the duration of colds

Background on Vitamin C, an Antioxidant and immune Booster

  1. Vitamin C is an essential nutrient that helps protect the body from sickness by providing antioxidants and supporting chemical reactions

  2. Most animals can make their own vitamin C but humans need to eat it or take supplements as they cannot make the nutrient themselves

  3. The recommended daily intake of Vitamin C depends on age, sex, life stage (such as pregnancy), lifestyle factors (such as smoking or alcohol consumption), and medical conditions (such as kidney failure or inflammatory bowel diseases)

  4. It is recommended that adult men have 90 milligrams per day and women should have 75 milligrams per day, with an upper limit of 2000 milligrams to avoid negative side effects in the stomach

  5. Vitamin C helps with wound healing and keeping bones strong, and is important for overall health

  6. To ensure adequate Vitamin C intake, aim for 100-200 milligrams per day, depending on age and health conditions, according to the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA)

  7. Lack of Vitamin C can cause scurvy, with symptoms such as bleeding gums, poor wound healing, joint pain, and bruising

  8. If left untreated, it can lead to shortness of breath, dry eyes, weakness, fatigue, depression, etc.

  9. Eating foods high in Vitamin C such as fruits, vegetables, peppers, broccoli, kale, spinach, sweet potatoes, cauliflower, tomatoes, papaya, oranges, lemons, limes, and grapefruits, can ensure a good daily intake

  10. Vitamin C is found in different amounts in our tissues, with the brain and adrenal glands having higher concentrations

  11. The body sends it to where it is needed most during times of shortage, and the liver can break down Vitamin C into parts

Bioavailability of Vitamin C and Dose Frequency

  1. Amount depends on intake from food or supplements

  2. Single dose of 200 milligrams has maximum bioavailability

  3. Higher doses can increase plasma levels if taken multiple times per day

  4. Liposomal vitamin C can increase absorption

  5. Intravenous injections can bypass intestinal absorption and provide high blood concentrations

  6. Plays a role in increasing the body's immune response

  7. Helps neutrophils (immune cells) fight bacteria and viruses

  8. Increases T cell (immune cell) production protects against illness

  9. Vitamin C can help T cells stay healthy and function more efficiently

  10. Controls cytokines that fight infection in the body

Vitamin C and the Common Cold

  1. Meta-analysis found that 2 grams per day during a cold can help protect against getting sicker

  2. Vitamin C can reduce the length and symptoms of colds if taken as soon as you start feeling sick

  3. It's more effective to take it every few hours when your nose starts running or your throat gets sore, instead of taking one large dose daily

  4. Kids under 16 may get more benefits from vitamin C than adults do

  5. Vitamin C can help fight lung infections by preventing bacteria from activating the body's immune response in the lungs, which can weaken an infection and prevent it from getting worse

  6. This could save lives as respiratory diseases are one of the leading causes of death in America

  7. Vitamin C may also lower the risk of lung cancer in men and women

Vitamin C and Exercise

  1. Opens up airways in the lungs, making it easier to breathe

  2. Studies have found that taking Vitamin C before exercise may help those with chest tightness or breathing problems

  3. May affect the body's adaptation to exercise by blocking some of the beneficial changes caused by intense physical activity

  4. May lead to better performance in aerobic exercises like running long distances, especially for those with low baseline levels of Vitamin C

  5. Taking Vitamin C with other antioxidants may reduce the positive effects of exercise on insulin sensitivity, but more research is needed to understand the effects of dose, duration, and timing

  6. Vitamin C, when taken with Vitamins E and Beta Carotene, may help improve immune function among those who frequently participate in high-endurance activities

Vitamin C and Disease

  1. Helps the body use fat as energy, leading to weight management and prevention of obesity

  2. Linked to better memory consolidation, learning, and executive function skills throughout development and aging

  3. May reduce the risk of developing neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's by protecting against oxidative damage in the brain

  4. Increases the body's absorption of iron, preventing anemia and related problems like fatigue

  5. May help to treat infertility in males

  6. High levels of vitamin C can keep us safe from cancer too

  7. It blocks glucose uptake into cancer cells and prevents bad cells from multiplying

Intravenous Vitamin C and Health Health/ Inflammation

  1. May help protect against high blood pressure, but the effects are still being studied

  2. Eating or taking Vitamin C pills can lower blood pressure, but large doses may not have a lasting effect

  3. Helps the body fight infection and inflammation by helping neutrophils move around easily and get rid of harmful substances

  4. Has a powerful antioxidant effect that stops damage from harmful substances

  5. Studies have shown that it can work as well as medicine for certain illnesses like rheumatoid arthritis

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