Vitamin C for Immune Support
By Elizabeth Leppart, MS, LN
September 1, 2020
Keeping our immune systems strong has never been more top of mind. As much as we try to live a healthy lifestyle (opting for real foods instead of processed, getting enough sleep, and finding outlets for our stress), we realize outside factors that stress our immune systems are simply unavoidable.
Chances are, when you think of ways to boost immunity, vitamin C may come to mind. Vitamin C is a well-known first line of defense. When our immune systems need a little extra support, adding a vitamin C supplement may be helpful.
The highest levels of vitamin C in the body are found in our white blood cells, which are the cells of our immune system that help fight disease and infection. These cells use vitamin C to fight infection when our immunity is compromised, depleting the levels in our body. This is why it’s important to provide ourselves with a continuous supply (more on this below). Supplementing with a modest amount (100-200mg) of vitamin C can prevent infection, but a higher dose is needed to lessen the severity and duration of an infection. (1) Certain populations tend to need a higher amount of vitamin C intake to reach adequate levels. Those populations include smokers, lactating women, and people who exercise heavily or are under high amounts of stress. (2)
A word to the wise, all vitamin C supplements on the market are not equal. It’s critical that the vitamin is made of quality ingredients and is actually absorbable in your body.
Here are four important reasons NutriKey’s Complete C 1000, is a great choice:
- It’s highly absorbable, more so than the average vitamin C supplement.
- It’s easy on the stomach (buffered to prevent stomach upset).
- Clients have reported that they are able to take higher amounts of our vitamin C without the side effects commonly associated with plain ascorbic acid like above-mentioned stomach irritation and loose stools.
How Much Vitamin C To Take and When
The goal is to keep our immune systems going strong all day, so the amount and timing of a vitamin C supplement are very important. During normal times 1,000 milligrams of vitamin C daily might suffice to start, but because of the pandemic, taking a higher amount of 4,000 to 6,000 milligrams spread throughout the day may be helpful.
It’s important to spread vitamin C supplements throughout the day versus all at once to provide continuous support to our immune systems. Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin, meaning it is not stored in the body and any excess is excreted and not stored. But a continuous supply spread throughout the day alleviates this issue.
(1) Carr AC, Maggini S. Vitamin C and Immune Function. Nutrients. 2017;9(11):1211. Published 2017 Nov 3. doi:10.3390/nu9111211
(2) Institute of Medicine (US) Panel on Dietary Antioxidants and Related Compounds. Dietary Reference Intakes for Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Selenium, and Carotenoids. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2000. 5, Vitamin C. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK225480/