This year’s flu is hitting the country especially hard.
This season 85 adults and 20 children have already died across the US (source).
Alabama even declared a state of emergency due to the flu.
Europe is calling it an epidemic.
Personally I’ve been getting calls and messages every day asking for help.
So I think it’s time to start taking action to prevent and treat the virus.
Luckily for those of us who understand how amazing natural medicine can be, there are plenty of natural options to choose from.
For this post, I want to highlight one of the easiest and most budget-friendly ways to stay healthy and fight the notorious flu virus.
Today I’m going to talk about how to megadose vitamin C during the flu season.
Megadosing may sound intimidating but it’s actually a very well established and effective method for treating the flu.
WHY VITAMIN C?
The reason I love vitamin C is that it’s been proven to be antiviral and very effective against a number of different illnesses. It also happens to be available everywhere and is quite inexpensive.
It’s interesting to note that humans are one of the few animals that don’t create their own vitamin C.
It’s true. Most animals manufacture their own vitamin C, and in abundant quantities too. We’re talking 20,000+ milligrams and more during illness.
However, humans–as well as primates and guinea pigs–do not manufacture vitamin C and instead have to get it through food. Which is why supplementing is so important.
High dose vitamin C therapy is nothing new; it was championed by double Nobel Prize-winning chemist Linus Pauling.
There is also a lot of discussion about vitamin C being used as a component of successful anticancer protocols. Chris from Chris Beat Cancer writes about vitamin C and cancer here.
Some opponents of vitamin C therapy cite the fact that ascorbic acid isn’t actually natural, it’s man made.
For a long time I agreed, I was of the opinion that only food-based supplements and natural herbs should be used and I was pretty against any synthetic supplement (including high-quality vitamins).
However, as my research and studies deepened I realized that line of thinking was just plain wrong.
First, consider that we live in a toxic world of constant chemical assault. Toxins from our air, our food, our water, and our homes are crippling our health.
Furthermore, it’s virtually impossible to get the same level of nutrition from whole foods compared to a hundred years ago.
This lack of nutrition in the food is because the soil has become so depleted from mono-farming, pesticides, and unnatural mass farming that crops (even organic) simply don’t have the same level of nutrients they once did.
Finally, we live in a world where pharmaceuticals and modern living create breeding grounds for highly virulent strains of bacteria and viruses. Strains are becoming harder to handle, even among the healthiest of people.
As for vitamin C, including ascorbic acid, the results are pretty impressive…
Vitamin C has MANY uses.
Vitamin C is antiviral.
Vitamin C antibacterial.
Vitamin C has helped people heal from cancer (in conjunction with a complete protocol).
Vitamin C helps build collagen, strengthen joints, and keep you young.
Vitamin C has been used to treat HIV positive patients.
Vitamin C has been used as a treatment for heart disease.
So with all that in mind I’m advocating considering all available natural options to help us thrive during these seasons of illness. And yes that includes vitamin C therapy.
For those just trying to avoid illness, a common recommendation is usually 2000 mg-8000 mg per day, although some recommendations are MUCH higher. The bowel tolerance experiment listed below will show you where YOUR unique tolerance is.
I personally take about 6000 mg per day under normal circumstances, but that can be higher if I’m not feeling well or under extra stress.
For the record, this is substantially higher than the official recommended dose of 75 mg per day for a woman and 90 mg daily for a man.
However, during illness, you may consider a megadosing protocol of vitamin C.
Watch this video from Andrew Saul Ph.D. to understand the powerful benefits of high dose vitamin C and his recommendations for how to megadose vitamin c.
HOW TO MEGADOSE VITAMIN C DURING ILLNESS
Based on the recommendation from vitamin C proponents like Dr. Ronald Hunninghake and Andrew Saul Ph.D. as well as my own experiences with megadosing, I personally suggest 1000 mg of non-GMO vitamin C ascorbic acid, like this one, every hour until you hit “bowel tolerance.”
Some protocols recommend even more per hour, 1000 mg every half hour or even every 10 minutes during severe illness. Basically the more sick you are, the more you need.
Do make sure you are buying non-GMO vitamin C as most types are derived from GMO sources.
If you have a sensitive stomach, you can take buffered non-GMO ascorbic acid instead. I have found that most people do fine as long as they stay under 2000 mg for a single dose.
Bowel tolerance is the point at which your body can no longer uptake any more vitamin C, and this results in loose stool (or as we say in my house, a case of mud butt). Gas is a sign that you’re nearing bowel tolerance.
This limit, reached by noting bowel tolerance, is YOUR personal upper limit.
Once you hit bowel tolerance stop for the rest of the day.
Do make sure to drink plenty of liquids to avoid dehydration.
That said, many people report never hitting bowel tolerance even around 20,000 mg. That would mean your body’s need for vitamin C was much higher.
During severe illness, I would keep taking the amount just BEFORE you hit bowel tolerance (subtract 2000 mg) for several days until symptoms start to subside.
You may find the amount needed continues to get rolled back, as indicated by bowel tolerance (that’s a good thing).
Continue at this steadily reducing pace for at least three days thereafter.
Then continue tapering the dosage down slowly back to a more normal dosage (see below for what “normal” is for you).Vitamin C can kill viruses, including the flu virus. Now can we all stop saying there is no cure for the flu?Click To Tweet
For example, if you hit bowel tolerance at 18,000 mg, you would take around 16,000 mg for several days during the illness and then when you start to feel better begin taking 14,000 mg daily, then 12,000 mg, and so on, until you get down to your usual dose.
Remember, this is all in DIVIDED doses (1000 mg-2000 mg), not all at once.
The reason you want to taper down is there are rare reports of folks who can become vitamin C resistant following extended megadosing. While most report no problems, and medically trained proponents don’t seem concerned about this, I think it’s smart to taper off back to your unique “normal” dose.
Additionally, there are also some holistic medical practices that do administer intravenous vitamin C therapy for serious illness. If you are truly suffering or battling a severe illness, I would recommend seeking out a medical facility qualified in IV vitamin C therapy.
Some folks prefer taking liposomal vitamin C which reportedly results in better absorption.
Unfortunately, liposomal vitamin C is MUCH more expensive, and at this dosing quantity would be extremely expensive.
In most cases IV therapy would be less expensive compared to megadosing liposomal vitamin C. But if it’s in the budget you may consider liposomal C as an alternative to non-GMO ascorbic acid.
However, do consider that there is some debate about the safety of liposomal supplements. Given their tiny size and unique structure I think it’s prudent to stick with the tried and true options.
As for results, most people begin to feel better within the same day, but consistency and proper dosing are key, listen to your body and remember this is not a substitute for appropriate medical care.
Now is probably a good time to remind everyone…None of the health topics presented on Filtered Family have been evaluated or approved by the FDA. Nothing on this website is intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Always consult your doctor first.
Proponents of high dose C therapy indicate that Vitamin C is extremely safe and indeed many have used it successfully to treat various illnesses with great success.
There are many studies supporting high dose vitamin C therapy and you can search through the 558 abstracts at Green Med Info for the scientific data backing up vitamin C.
That said there are a few things to consider.
Mega doses vitamin C therapy can cause headaches in some people, so do be aware of this and proceed accordingly.
Some natural headache remedies that might help eliminate a headache include:
- Ginger juice – Taking a tablespoon of fresh ginger juice in a glass of water.
- Peppermint oil – Using diluted peppermint essential oil on your temples, back of neck, and soles of your feet.
- Herbs – The herbs feverfew, white willow, and butterbur can ease headaches naturally.
If you afraid or intolerant of headaches and unwilling to risk one, then I would also avoid the megadose therapy. Not everyone gets a headache, but enough people do to mention it here.
Ok, no one likes headaches but this comes down to whether you have protocols to naturally deal with a headache. I suggest you stock up on some of the natural headache remedies listed above and you should be fine.
Personally, I don’t mind risking a headache to recover from illness, especially I’m already miserable and sick.
That said I’ve noticed that for me, if I back off the C right when the headache starts to come on I don’t actually get the headache. So if you feel it coming on and really don’t want to deal with it, consider stopping the vitamin C at that point.
If you have hemorrhoids or ulcers, I would caution against mega dosing vitamin C as it can exacerbate the problem. Working with a naturopath can help you determine if high dose C makes sense for you. Side note, fresh ginger juice is also helpful for hemorrhoids.
Second, if you are already severely dehydrated, I suggest avoiding mega dosing as the protocol will bring you to bowel tolerance meaning you’ll be inducing diarrhea, and increasing dehydration.
That said, vitamin C can get rid of the very thing causing the diarrhea, so I’d consider getting adequately rehydrated and THEN doing the protocol.
If you are sick but not dehydrated, you can avoid dehydration by simply drinking plenty of fluids. Raw coconut water is one of my favorite dehydrators. Remember raw, not the dead pasteurized sugar water that most coconut waters consist of.
I also recommend avoiding taking anything too acidic with your vitamin C, and especially do NOT combine vitamin C with oral oregano oil because the combination can result in a very acidic and painful stomach. (Yep, I learned this from personal experience.)
As for the prevalent idea that vitamin C causes kidney stones, Andrew Saul confronts this myth head on calling it the “loch ness monster” of the supplement world. He clearly states vitamin C does NOT cause kidney stones.
REGULAR DOSING VERSUS MEGADOSING
So now that I’ve established why I use vitamin C therapy for health and during illness and when to avoid it, the next question is whether high dosing is sufficient or megadosing is actually needed.
It’s a good question, and one that I think depends on several factors.
First, if you have any of the contraindications listed above I recommend avoiding mega dosing and sticking to your normal daily dose. Again, “normal” is unique to you.
I will say that you don’t HAVE to megadose to get the benefits of vitamin C.
The megadosing protocol is recommended to determine your personal limit and as a targeted protocol during illness.
Moderate dosing is also beneficial. But “moderate” dosing varies from person to person.
A moderate dose for one person may be 4000 mg daily and for another it could be 16,000 mg and for another it may be 50,000 mg. I highly recommend the video above to understand the dosing used for various ailments.
Dr. Saul suggests adults take around 18,000 mg daily in divided doses on a regular basis. He suggests children take 1000 mg per year-old, always in divided doses. Other high dose proponents recommend similar numbers.
I personally take about 6000 mg of non-GMO ascorbic acid daily in divided doses.
I also want to point out that there are MANY other natural options including dozens of herbs, vitamins, foods, and essential oils that can help kill viruses, reduce viral replications, and deal with symptoms.
In general, I recommend a protocol that includes all these options.
However, I find that the average person doesn’t have exotic herbs just sitting around and many of these herbs are hard to get even from health food stores. For others they don’t have the budget for several remedies. When illness strikes, vitamin C is cheap, effective, and easily acquired.
So, it’s for this reason that I often suggest high dose vitamin C therapy during illness.
However if you can do a little planning, my FIRST recommendation is to prepare your natural medicine cabinet BEFORE you need it.
I also recommend taking moderate doses of vitamin C year round. That way you’ll be ready to go when the flu (or any other illness) hits your household.
And of course NOTHING is a substitute for a healthy toxin free lifestyle. If you want to avoid getting sick you should start eating organic whole foods, avoiding toxins in your beauty and body products, and detoxing your environment.
These posts will help you get started:
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IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: None of the health topics presented on Filtered Family have been evaluated or approved by the FDA. They should not replace personal judgment nor medical treatment when indicated, nor are they intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Always talk to your naturopathic physician or M.D. about the use of these or any other complimentary modalities. Reading this website denotes your understanding and agreement to our full disclaimer.