At our IV therapy Toronto lounge, vitamin C is continuously celebrated as a powerful antioxidant!
This is because it’s essential for several body functions, including immunity, cellular functioning, collagen synthesis, chronic disease prevention, cognition, and more. But there’s a problem: the body cannot create vitamin C on its own, so we have to outsource it from dietary means or supplementation.
Since it is already in our food consumption, a deficiency to this nutrient is rare. Though, “…[i]n countries with low rates of food insecurity, vitamin C deficiency can occur from a diet low in vitamin C, but severe deficiency (causing scurvy) is uncommon,” the Merck Manual explains.
Nevertheless, these individuals are at risk of this deficiency: pregnant/breastfeeding women; those with inflammatory health conditions; patients with long-lasting diarrhea; those suffering from thyroid conditions (i.e. hyperthyroidism); people who recently underwent a surgical procedure; and nicotine smokers.
Thus, replenishing essential vitamins in the body could play a role in optimal functioning (i.e. IV therapy with Leucine) . In this post, the Toronto Functional Medicine Centre highlights the advantages of this supplement for the human body.
- Could offer support for immune function: According to a Nutrients article, it has the potential to aid immunity, as it “… has a number of activities that could conceivably contribute to its immune-modulating effects. It is a highly effective antioxidant, due to its ability to readily donate electrons, thus protecting important biomolecules…from damage by oxidants generated during normal cell metabolism and through exposure to toxins and pollutants (e.g., cigarette smoke),” explains the article.
- Iron absorption from plant-based foods might be improved: Iron is a constituent of hemoglobin, so its intake is necessary for your blood cell production. Vitamin C has been shown to improve the absorption of non-heme iron (iron from plant-based foods and seeds), which is helpful to those on a plant-based diet. Iron from animal protein (known as heme iron) is absorbed efficiently by the human body, whereas non-heme iron isn’t. When non-heme iron-rich foods are consumed with this vitamin, the absorption rate could be enhanced.
3. Can contribute to optimizing skin health: There are multiple paybacks for your skin, which could help with instigating an anti-aging effect . According to Oregon State University, an oral combination of this vitamin and vitamin E might prevent UV damage. Vitamin C could also help promote collagen synthesis and cellular function, which could increase your chances for repairing damaged skin. In one study on women between the ages of 40-74, increasing this vitamin intake and linoleic acid were linked to improved skin appearance.
4. Might support blood pressure management: Wonky blood pressure levels could be risk factors for heart disease or strokes. But as per John Hopkins University School of Medicine, the nutrient could work as a diuretic in the body; in turn, this could assist with reducing the burden on your blood vessels. A study from the university revealed moderate improvements to blood pressure levels, and scientists confirm that further research is necessary to understand vitamin C’s direct role in cardiovascular health. “Although our review found only a moderate impact on blood pressure, if the entire U.S. population lowered blood pressure by 3 milliliters of mercury, there would be a lot fewer strokes,” leader of the study, Edgar R. Miller III, M.D., Ph.D., announced in a press statement.
Fact of the Day: According to the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, “Vitamin C can be destroyed by heat and light. High-heat cooking temperatures or prolonged cook times can break down the vitamin.” Our IV Lounge suggests using just a small amount of water when stir-frying vitamin-rich vegetables. Also, try eating fruits and vegetables raw; when they are ripe, they can contain additional amounts of nutrients.
5. Could have an impact on brain function: Vitamin C levels are actually concentrated in the brain and neuroendocrine tissues. Neurodegenerative health conditions, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, tend to be correlated with excessive oxidative stress. Additional studies are necessary, though vitamin C’s antioxidant effects might help with alleviating oxidative stress for improved brain function.
Functional Medicine Treatments to Consider
Do you want to increase your vitamin C intake for optimal function? Here’s how:
- Dietary changes: There’s no need to eat hundreds of oranges a day! A plethora of foods contain impressive amounts of this vitamin. Try adding these items to your salads: strawberries, kale, broccoli, mango, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, parsley, and red peppers.
- Supplements: Tablets or capsules are available, which are convenient to consume during the day. But keep in mind that the absorption rate is less than half when you consume dosages over 1000mg. Once your tissues are already inundated with the vitamin, absorption tends to lessen; then the rest of the unabsorbed amount is urinated. Please speak to a functional medicine provider for a recommended dosage and how to use it daily.
- IV therapy/Intravenous therapy: This is suitable for patients with malabsorption issues, dysphagia or for those who want to avoid unwanted side effects (i.e. diarrhea). A saline-based solution with vitamin C and minerals is administered through your vein and directly enters the bloodstream. Because it avoids the digestive tract, the solution is promptly soaked into the body with a complete absorption rate.
Whether you want to improve immune function or heighten energy levels, we’re here to assist Torontonians like yourself. Our functional medicine programs can cater to various health issues, including cellular damage, tissue repair, adrenal function, brain health, athletic recovery, infertility, premature aging, chronic fatigue syndrome, skin health, and more. High-dose vitamin C IV therapy is currently offered at our clinic* and requires a complete diagnostic consult.
*If your G6PD (glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase) is deficient, we can only administer up to 15g/day.
About Our Clinic’s IV Lounge
At the Toronto Functional Medicine Centre, we want to ensure that patients are comfortable with their process of recovery. Our integrative and optimum patient care allows you to draw from different modalities for your treatment plan. Treatments may include allopathic medicine, acupuncture, herbal medicine, bio-identical hormone replacement therapy, naturopathic medicine, among others.
Our multidisciplinary team is also available to help patients with IV nutrient therapy. We carry a plethora of beneficial ingredients for vitamin drips, such as glutamic acid, mistletoe, Myers Cocktail, a medley of amino acids, major minerals, major antioxidants, and other safe ingredients.
Keep in mind we practice functional medicine, so you’ll be attended to as an individual patient; this means we’re aware that your health condition may manifest differently from another person. During your initial consultation, you’ll learn how we consider genetics, lifestyle, environment, and your medical history to encourage optimal health.
Do you think nutritional deficiencies are hindering your health goals? Our lab testing could help establish what your body is lacking. Call (416) 968-6961 or click here to send us a message regarding IV therapy from our Toronto lounge.
Disclaimer: The information in this article is designed for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. This information should not be used to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting a doctor. Consult with a health care practitioner before relying on any information in this article or on this website.
“15 Foods With More Vitamin C Than an Orange to Maximize Your Benefits” from Prevention magazine, by Stephanie Eckelkamp and Madeleine Haase, updated: Sep 29, 2022, viewed on November 13, 2022.
“Big Doses of Vitamin C May Lower Blood Pressure”, press release from John Hopkins Medicine, posted on April 18, 2012, viewed on November 15, 2022.
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“How to Reduce Your High Blood Pressure and Take Down Hypertension” from Healthline, Medically reviewed by Judith Marcin, M.D. — By Christine Cristiano — Updated on February 27, 2018, viewed on November 15, 2022.
James D Cook, Manju B Reddy, Effect of ascorbic acid intake on nonheme-iron absorption from a complete diet, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Volume 73, Issue 1, January 2001, Pages 93–98, https://doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/73.1.93
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“Vitamin C” from The Nutrition Source, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, updated March 2020, viewed on November 14, 2022.
“Vitamin C and Skin Health”, Linus Pauling Institute, Oregon State University, Reviewed in September 2011 by: Zoe Diana Draelos, M.D., Consulting Professor, Department of Dermatology, Duke University School of Medicine Durham, NC, viewed on November 15, 2022.
“Vitamin C Deficiency (Scurvy)”, the Merck Manual Consumer Version website, By Larry E. Johnson , MD, PhD, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, last full review/revision Nov 2022, viewed on November 14, 2022.