Rev 0.13 last revised: 14-Oct-09
Imagine my chagrin when I sent someone to my Vitamin C page...AND IT WAS GONE! Apparently I managed to waste that page, so I'm doing my best to recover it as quickly as I can.
I first ran across this study while I was doing some research for a medical equipment vendor customer on another matter. Since I used to get either bronchitis and/or pneumonia every spring and fall, as well as getting felled by the flu pretty well each year, I paid sharp attention. You can read all about it yourself at this link: http://cforyourself.com./Conditions/Sinusitis/sinusitis.html
If you just want the 'Cliff Notes' version, here it is:
Contrary to what many of us were told growing up, vitamin C DOES NOT prevent or "cure" colds! What it does do is affect the body as a very powerful antihistamine! That means it will reduce or prevent the itching, weepy eyes, dripping noses, swollen sinuses, or sore-throats one so often gets from being in contact with most common allergens. It was because of that--and folks being unable to tell the difference between a real cold or flu and the affects of common allergens--that vitamin C was thought to have "cured" a cold. It does not and can not do that!
The real "problem" with getting those allergic reactions was that the warm, moist, nutrient-rich reaction created to flush those allergens out of the body, provided an OUTSTANDING and RICH culture medium for any bacteria or virus that happened to be passing by...
The study referenced above tested the effect of larger doses of vitamin C on that human histemic reaction. For a variety of reasons, primarily as a dietary supplement, I normally take 1 or 2 grams of vitamin C each day. But as soon as I feel those tell-tale signs (itchy-weepy eyes, drippy nose, swollen sinuses, or a sore-throat) I ramp up my vitamin C intake to 2-3 grams right away, and then add an additional 2-grams at mid-day, and in the evening before bed. Relief usually happens within the hour, most often in 15-20 minutes or so. I continue the 2-gram regimen every morning, noon, and night for at least 6-grams/day. For us, at least, we get on top of it right away and so far, at least, that's been enough.
From a medical standpoint, you can not take too much vitamin C; it's not toxic, and any excess is excreted. But from a practical standpoint, too much at one time, especially if you're not used to it, may make your stomach a bit queasy. So unless you're experienced with it, I suggest that you ramp up to what works for you. Start with a 1-gram (1,000 milligrams), taken 3-times/day, spaced across the day. If it agrees with you, up the amount to 2-grams, 3X/day. If you don't get any relief, go to 3 or even 4-grams/dose. You don't want to do this too slowly, since once the cold-bug or flu-virus gets a hold of you, you're pretty well doomed to "enjoy" it until it's run its course. My suggestion is that you start with the 2-grams/dose 3X/day while you're still healthy and "normal". That way you'll know if any queasiness is detected, it's from the vitamin C and not whatever it is your body is trying to fight off.
We use your standard, off-the-shelf vitamin C available most anywhere. Since we use a lot of it, we usually go to Costco for ours. But, if you're on the road, I can recommend a product called "Emergen-C", made by a company called, Alacer. It's a 1-gram, flavored, powdered dose in a tear-open, single-dose sachet. It's easy to find/buy, and all you need is to buy a bottle of water to dump it in and drink it.
Now, PLEASE NOTE: I am not a doctor nor am I giving out medical advice. This page reflects OUR experiences with vitamin C. As is always possible, YMMV! However, since we began this regimen, neither one of us has been down with bronchitis, pneumonia, or any flu or cold for some years now. Please let me know if you have any comments, corrections, embellishments or other considerations. I would also love to hear about any success stories...as well as any failures.
Note further; I DO NOT know how or what this simple home-remedy will do with H1N1 or any of the other flu's and things going around these days. I have another "treatment" for H1N1 that's proven itself--at least on 2 of us in its first trial--quite well. If you're suffering from something that's got you by the throat, drop me a note or call me and we'll see where my research goes...