I’ve been a little dismissive of those trying to persuade us that Vitamin C helps to prevent the worst effects of the coronavirus. This is because I know that while we are not confronting the real, foundational dietary problems caused by the Standard Western Diet, which is impacting negatively on the correct functioning of our immune systems, merely taking mega-doses of Vitamin C could just send a confusing signal to our highly intelligent bodies and we know that in Nature, confusion usually leads to statis or freezing.
It’s a bit like closing the stable door after the horse has bolted.
However, now I’ve explained how to support that part of our immune systems in this article: What to Eat to Beat the Coronavirus, we can build on that understanding and go on to discuss the role of Vitamin C in helping us to manage the effects of the coronavirus once it has entered our bodies.
You will probably know that in 1970, a groundbreaking book was published on the subject, “Vitamin C and the Common Cold” by Linus Pauling, in which he encouraged people to consume 3,000 mg of Vitamin C daily, to ward off diseases.
Since then, functional medicine practitioners have been experimenting with Pauling’s theory, and they have found that he was right.
In one study (see link below) ‘flu and cold symptoms in a test group decreased by 85 per cent after the administration of megadoses of Vitamin C, compared with the control group,
So how does Vitamin C beat viruses?
Well, it turns out that Vitamin C is a vital tool in the production of some vital components our immune armoury:
- Neutrophils, as explained in What to Eat to Beat the Coronavirus
- Macrophages that clear the virus from the body system
- Natural killer cell generation and proliferation
- B-lymphocyte cell proliferation, responsible for generating antibodies to specific antigens
- T-lymphocyte cell profileration, which will be the focus of this article.
What are T-lymphocytes?
As you can see from the above diagram, T-lymphocytes are antigen-specific, cytotoxic cells that are an essential part of our armoury of search-and-destroy virus killers and despatchers. (References below).
So vitamin C is not just an important antioxidant that protects the body from free radicals, pollutants and toxic damage.
On top of that, Vitamin C also has the ability to contain the virus by surrounding it, and block it from entering the cells. This gives time for the T-cell troops to muster and then march the scene.
Stress and the psychoneuroimmune response
Interestingly, a lack of T-cells is the reason that psychoneuroimmunologists give for the previously un-explained phenomena of widows, who were otherwise healthy, following their husbands to the grave so soon after their passing. And so this may be a factor – albeit one of several – for why the elderly are more vulnerable to dying of the coronavirus.
The T-cells are mainly produced in the thymus organ. As shown in red below, it is situated just above the heart. Thus when the heart is constricted with unprocessed grief, so is the thymus, and it soon begins to malfunction and not be able to produce these vital killer T-cells.
That is the reason why stress has such a negative impact on the functioning our immune systems. So at this difficult time, we need to tear ourselves away from anything other than major government public health announcements on the mainstream media, and just relax as much as possible and follow pleasurable pursuits.
Again, this is why I believe that just taking megadoses of Vitamin C alone won’t be so useful; it needs to be taken as a part of a multi-pronged approach.
How can you get more Vitamin C?
First of all, please do sort out the bioavailability issue. The better the state of your gut biome, the better it will be able to absorb all vitamins and minerals and pass it on to the rest of your body. Bioavailabily and gut biome is a whole huge subject in itself. But a quick hack is to take probiotics and sauerkraut which will help to restore all the healthy bacteria you need.
I always prefer to take my vitamins and minerals in their natural, food form, because then they come with our own delivery system of vital trace elements. The foods that that are high in Vitamin C are all citrus fruits, green peppers, red peppers, strawberries, tomatoes, broccoli, brussels sprouts, turnip, leafy vegetables.
However, there are two drawbacks to using food for these purposes. Firstly, it’s difficult to get enough of a megadose this way. Secondly, if you are following a low or zero carb diet, most of those fruits and vegetables would increase your glycaemic load, leading to other problems that I describe in What to Eat to Beat the Coronavirus.
So I receive high doses of Vitamin C from apple cider vinegar, rosehips and star anise in a drink that I’ve devised myself. It has the added benefit of increasing the oxygen going into my bloodstream, since I know that scientists are looking at ways of weaponing oxygen to prevent certain virulent diseases.
I also make my own homemade sauerkraut, one cup of which gives you all your normal Vitamin C requirements for a week and all the friendly bacteria you need for your gut biome.
So admittedly, I’m not getting mega megadoses … which is really only possible by swallowing large amounts of ascorbic acid, which I don’t want to do. But as part of a holistic approach that I’ve been using for many years, it has so far prevented me from getting any viruses, so I’m hoping this will be enough.
Here are links to the recipes for both of those:
And finally, it is also important to eat food in its most natural form. Highly processed foods, often containing GMO-ingredients, work against the good functioning of our immune systems and our gut biomes.
We are the first to produce an app, which is FREE TO DOWNLOAD HERE, that will give you that specific information on thousands of foods in UK supermarkets. Shop GMO-Free in the UK also contains a directory of local suppliers of organic foods and meat and dairy from grass-fed animals and you can find your nearest one by just putting in your postcode.
- Vitamin C in disease prevention and cure: An overview
- The effectiveness of Vitamin C in preventing and relieving the symptoms of virus-induced respiratory infections
- Vitamin C and the immune system
- Weaponizing oxygen to kill infections and disease
- Glycolytic control of vacuolar-type ATPase activity: a mechanism to regulate influenza viral infection
- Diabetes mellitus and infectious diseases: Controlling chronic hyperglycaemia
- Host nutritional status and its effect on a viral pathogen
- Neutrophil function and metabolism in those with diabetes mellitus
- The effect of short term hyperglycaemia on the innate immune system
- Immune dysfunction in patients with diabetes mellitus
- The effect of short-term hyperglycaemia on the innate immune system