So yesterday, a regular customer of ours dropped by the pharmacy to say that she loves my weekly email. I was over the moon after hearing that! Not for the fact that my emails were opened and read, but most importantly, they had a positive impact on her and her health.
I have to be honest with you, writing a weekly email – even though it may not sound like a lot of work – does take time… well at least for me because I’m not a fast or a clever writer to start with! However, I persist because I consider you all like my inner circle of friends. It‘s my vision to share my knowledge and to inspire you to take action and start living a healthy life you deserve.
Anyway, back to my regular customer – I saw her from across the dispensary standing in front of the supplement section. She was holding her phone close to her face with one finger flicking the screen up and down. I was curious about what she was doing, so I came out of the dispensary and asked if I could be of any help. She then asked me… “Your last email mentioned how vitamin C could help prevent catching a cold during the winter, but you did not mention which one to get.”
I had to interrupt her… “Wait a minute…I don’t think I ever mentioned that vitamin C could prevent us from catching a cold”
She looked at me in a sense of disbelief
I said “Look, there are no supplements or vitamins that can prevent a cold. The flu vaccine could increase your chance of not getting influenza, but they too do not provide 100% protection. However, what vitamin C could do is boost our immunity and reduce the severity and duration of cold or flu if we were unfortunate enough to catch it.”
She then moved on asking, “Oh…I see…So how does vitamin C boost our immunity and ward off colds?”
I replied saying, “That is a very good question. Vitamin C is involved in many parts of the immune system. “
“Firstly, it helps encourage the production of white blood cells known as lymphocytes and phagocytes, which help protect the body against infections.
“Secondly, it helps these white blood cells function more effectively while protecting them from damage by free radicals.”
‘Lastly, it is an essential part of the skin’s defence system, it’s transported to the skin where it can act as an antioxidant and help strengthen the skin barrier.”
“When you have a cold and are not feeling well, the concentration of vitamin C in your immune cells quickly drops. Hence, increasing the intake of vitamin C during a cold could very well improve the function of immune cells and speed up the recovery process.”
She then asked me, “I noticed there are quite a few different brands here. So, which one shall I go for?”
I replied, “Rather than picking a particular brand of vitamin C, I think a better way to pick the right vitamin C is by looking at the formulation, dosage, other minerals incorporated and also consider what you’re trying to achieve.”
“If you intend to boost your immunity during the winter months. Any vitamin C supplements with a dose of between 250mg to 1000mg should do the trick.”
“However, if you are using it to get over a cold, I would tend to go for vitamin C (1000mg) supplement that also contains zinc for a short period. Zinc is an immune-support nutrient that could also give a boost to your immunity.”
The topic of vitamin C, reminds me of a common question I get from customers: how much vitamin C should I consume?
Before we answer the question, it is important to know how our body reacts to vitamin C.
Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin. In contrast to fat-soluble vitamins, vitamin C does not get produced or stored in our body. Any excess amounts of it will be excreted in urine within a few hours after you consume it. Hence, it is quite difficult to consume too much.
According to WHO, the recommended daily amount for vitamin C is 65mg to 90mg a day, and the upper limit is 2000mg a day. I generally wouldn’t recommend more than 1000mg per day. For maintenance during the winter months, 250mg to 500mg should be more than enough while 1000mg should be reserved for only when you have a cold or trying to get over a cold.
In terms of the formulation, there are the traditional chewable tablets and dispersable powder form. However, in recent years, there is a new member of the vitamin C family – the liposomal vitamin C formulation. Liposomal vitamin C is unique because it uses liposome technology to protect vitamin C from being destroyed in the digestive system during digestion. As a result, the absorption of vitamin C dramatically increased meaning that more is being absorbed by our body. There are currently two marketed liposomal vitamin C products in the New Zealand market (Lipo-spheric & Lipo-Sachets Vitamin C). Both products contain 1000mg of Vitamin C.
I’ve tried it myself; it has a distinctive taste to it compared to the traditional orange flavour vitamin C products. And it may not be a liking for some people. If the absorption is true, then the liposomal formulation will provide a slight advantage over the traditional chewable or powder formulations. I think that all the formulations will provide similar results if not the same. Hence, it ultimately comes down to what you want out of it.
If you have any questions about vitamin C please feel free to contact me or one of our team.
To your health,