A recent meta-analysis showed Vitamin C was beneficial to individuals whose immune system was weakened due to stress -- a condition which is very common in our society," says Moyad. He adds, "because Vitamin C is one of the nutrients sensitive to stress, and [is] the first nutrient to be depleted in alcoholics, smokers, and obese individuals, it makes it an ideal marker for overall health."
When it comes to the common cold studies show that it can help prevent more serious complications. "There is good evidence taking Vitamin C for colds and flu can reduce the risk of developing further complications, such as pneumonia and lung infections," says Moyad.
A recent study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that those with the highest concentrations of Vitamin C in their blood were associated with 42% lower stroke risk than those with the lowest concentrations.
Vitamin C affects cells on the inside and outside of the body. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition examined links between nutrient intakes and skin aging in 4,025 women aged 40-74. It found that higher vitamin C intakes were associated with a lower likelihood of a wrinkled appearance, dryness of the skin, and a better skin-aging appearance.
Other studies have suggested that vitamin C may also:
- Improve macular degeneration.
- Reduce inflammation.
- Reduce the risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease.
So how much should you take?
For a cold: 3,000-5000mg a day.
For the flu: Although it's more serious, the viral load is similar, according to research, and taking up to 20,000mg a day could be beneficial.
For shingles: Research has shown that this painful post-viral condition can be helped by taking four 1,000mg tablets orally for three days.
To maintain your health: A 1,000mg-2000mg daily dose is regarded as safe by the Food Standards Agency, and adequate to keep sufficient vitamin C in the plasma and tissues.
The Vitamin C I personally use and recommend is called CTX by Systemic Formulas. Its 1,500mg per serving and is buffered with minerals and plant flavanoids and is available in our clinic.