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  Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)  
 
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Vitamin C use has been an alternative therapy for many years. Many doctors do not hesitate to recommend doses of 1 to 5gm or more per day.

Vitamin C is considered the most important water-soluble antioxidant in extracellular fluids. It is capable of neutralizing ROS in the aqueous phase before lipid peroxidation is initiated. Vitamin E, a major lipid-soluble antioxidant, is the most effective chain-breaking antioxidant within the cell membrane where it protects membrane fatty acids from lipid peroxidation.
Vitamin C has been cited as being capable of regenerating vitamin E.

Vitamin C is found naturally in foods such as broccoli, tomatoes, green peppers, cantaloupe, citrus fruits and alfalfa sprouts. In contrast with the findings from epidemiologic studies based on foods, observational studies of nutrients consumed in supplements and recent experimental trials provide little support for a strong protective role for vitamins C or E against cancer. If vitamins C or E are indeed protective against cancer, that protection may derive from their consumption in complex mixtures with other nutrients and with other bioactive compounds as found in the matrix provided by whole foods.
One of the main objections to mega-dose vitamin C use has been the possibility of developing kidney stones from elevated oxalic acid levels in the urine. This myth has been slow to die. It turns out that elevated levels of oxalic acid seen in some urine samples of people taking vitamin C were misleading. The particular testing method used could not distinguish between oxalic acid and vitamin C, thus giving a false positive reading for oxalic acid. Other, more accurate testing methods have shown there are no oxalic acid elevations in vitamin C users.

Urinary oxalate excretion generally does not increase significantly for both normal subjects and stone-formers with ascorbic acid supplementation unless doses exceed 6gm daily; however, oxalate excretion even at those high doses is still usually in the range achievable by dietary influences alone. The exceptions derive from anecdotal reports of a small number of cases and from one poorly controlled trial with unstated methodology and questionable assay techniques (Piesse JW. Nutritional factors in calcium containing kidney stones with particular emphasis on vitamin C.) [Int Clin Nutr Rev 5( 3): pp.110-29, 1985] A study did not find a correlation between a high daily intake of vitamin C or vitamin B6 and the risk of stone formation, even when consumed in large doses. [J Urol, 1996 Jun, 155:6, pp.1847-51]

High oral doses of vitamin C have been used safely for decades. If the amount you are using causes diarrhea, the dosage needs to be reduced. However, in some conditions, in order for vitamin C to be effective it has to be used in doses that come very close to causing diarrhea. Unless this "bowel tolerance" dose is found and maintained, the condition for which the vitamin C was recommended may not resolve. If you are consuming doses of vitamin C greater than perhaps 500mg per day, do not stop its use abruptly. It is best to taper your dose down over several days. A sudden reduction may result in a temporary deficit ("rebound scurvy") and a negative influence on your resistance to infection.

Caution must be advised regarding any use of vitamin C in cases of renal failure or dialysis.

A small study showed that a maximal antioxidant effect was produced with 500-1,000mg per day of vitamin C per day. [J Am Coll Nutr 2001;20(6); pp.623-627]

A recent study on 979 young Canadian non-smoking adults on a college campus found that 33% had sub-optimal levels of vitamin C and one in seven were "very deficient" which could place them at increased risk for chronic health problems. The actual quote is "Our research found that 47% of young Canadian adults have deficient or sub-optimal blood levels of vitamin C, which is associated with adverse health effects.". According to the study those who were vitamin C deficient were also more likely to have larger waists, greater body mass, and higher blood pressure. 1 in 4 participants did not consume the recommended dietary allowance of vitamin C.

The study's author, Dr. Ahmed El-Sohemy, suggested eating fruits and vegetables high in vitamin C, such as citrus fruits and peppers, or taking supplements. The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) in nonsmoking adults is 90 mg per day for men and 75 mg for women, though some experts say a minimum daily dose of 120 to 200 mg is more appropriate, and some routinely take much higher doses themselves. [Am J Epidemiol. 2009 Aug 15;170(4):464-71]

 

 
 

Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid) can help with the following:
 
 
Addictions  Alcoholism Recovery
  Alcohol-related Problems

Aging

  Parkinson's Disease / Risk
 Supplementation with vitamin C and E markedly slows the progression of the disease in its early stages.

Parkinson's disease patients given large doses of oral vitamin C and synthetic vitamin E supplements (3000mg and 3200 IU daily respectively) delayed the progression of their disease to the point where they needed l-dopa 2.5 years later than a group of patients who were not taking supplements. Later research has shown that synthetic vitamin E in itself does not retard the progression of Parkinson's disease. Thus it is likely that it was vitamin C by itself or its combination with vitamin E that was the active component in Dr. Fahn's experiment. This fits with a later finding that vitamin E, a fat-soluble vitamin, does not readily cross the blood-brain barrier nor does it accumulate in the cerebrospinal fluid that bathes the brain. Vitamin C, on the other hand, while not crossing the blood-brain barrier does enter the cerebrospinal fluid and can be found there in concentrations proportional to dietary intake. Inasmuch as vitamin C is a highly effective antioxidant and is particularly adept in quenching hydroxyl radicals (the main culprits in the dopamine-cell destruction), it is becoming increasingly clear that this vitamin may be an excellent protector against Parkinson's disease and can materially help in slowing down the progression of the disease.

  Cataracts / Risk
 Several experimental and epidemiologic studies have shown that long-term consumption of vitamin C supplements may substantially reduce the development of age-related lens opacities. [Am J Clin Nutr, 1997 Oct, 66:4, pp.911-6]

Allergy

  Allergic Rhinitis / Hay Fever
  Allergy / Intolerance to Foods (Hidden)
 Please see the link between Food Allergy and Digestive Enzymes.

Autoimmune

  Multiple Sclerosis / Risk
 Please also see the article about the approach that Fred Klenner, MD used with MS.

  Ulcerative Colitis
 Vitamin C (unless it causes colon irritation) may be supportive.


Not recommended for:
  Scleroderma
 Since scleroderma is a disorder of too much collagen, and since vitamin C is required for the proper production of collagen, it would seem to make sense that you wouldn't want to take in more vitamin C than needed for normal health. There is no real evidence to support this idea, but it would be wise not to go overboard with high doses of vitamin C in this condition.

Circulation

  Anemia (Iron deficiency)
 It has been well established that better iron absorption occurs from both plant and animal sources when vitamin C is taken at the same time, whether from foods or as a supplement. 75mg of vitamin C in a meal will cause about a six-fold increase in the absorption of heme iron. It appears that vitamin C enhances non-heme iron absorption in individuals with low iron status, but does not increase iron status unnecessarily in iron-replete individuals. [Effect of ascorbic acid on iron absorption from different types of meals. Hum Nutr: Appl Nutr,1986 40A: pp.97-113]

  Hypertension
 A 1999 study found that in systolic and diastolic hypertension as well as elevated pulse rate, blood plasma vitamin C levels were reduced.

30 adults with adult onset diabetes experienced reduced blood pressure and improved arterial stiffness with 500mg of vitamin C per day. [Hypertension 2002;40(6): pp.804-9]

However, vitamin C at 50mg or 500mg had no effect on blood pressure in a controlled study of 439 Japanese patients. These patients had atrophic gastritis. [Hypertension 2002;40(6): pp.797-803]

  Atherosclerosis
  Varicose Veins
  Raynaud's Phenomenon
  Bruising Susceptibility
 Easy bruising is a symptom of low vitamin C levels, as seen in scurvy. While very few people actually have scurvy, even minor deficiencies of vitamin C can increase bruising.

Digestion

  Atrophic Gastritis
 There may be a localized deficiency of Vitamin C in atrophic gastritis. Recent evidence suggests that beta-carotene and/or vitamin C along with vitamin E may reverse or reduce the risk of atrophic gastritis and/or gastric cancer. Another study showed vitamin C levels to be low in atrophic gastritis and Helicobacter Pylori infection.

Environment / Toxicity

  Copper Toxicity
 See link between copper toxicity and manganese.

  Cigarette Smoke Damage
 Second-hand smoke study - 22 subjects exposed to environmental tobacco smoke received 515mg/day of vitamin C. 21subjects received the same amount of vitamin C plus 794mg of vitamin E as mixed tocopherols and 95mg of alpha-lipoic acid. 22 subjects received placebo. A very similar significant reduction was shown in FZ isoprostane levels in both those who took vitamin C alone and in those who took the antioxidant mixture. [Nutr Cancer. 2003;45(2). pp.176-184]

  Tendency to Sunburn Easily
 Vitamins C and E, both anti-oxidants, help reduce the damage due to free radicals produced through exposure to UV light. Taking a combination of vitamins C and E has been shown to reduce the sunburn reaction, which might in turn indicate a reduced risk for later consequences of UV-induced skin damage. [J Am Acad Dermatol, 38(1): pp.45-8 1998 January]

Genetic

  Ehlers Danlos Syndrome
 Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) may be effective in reducing the severity of symptoms for some people with EDS.

Hormones

  Histapenia (Histamine Low)
 Zinc and manganese with vitamin C remove copper from the tissues. Copper destroys histamine and therefore as copper levels decrease, histamine levels should return towards normal.

  Histadelia (Histamine High)
  Low Adrenal Function / Adrenal Insufficiency
 Taking 1-3gm of mineral ascorbates up to 3 times daily is supportive of adrenal gland function.

Immunity

  Weakened Immune System

Infections

  Cystitis, Bacterial Bladder Infection
 The urine pH is often elevated in times of bacterial infection but can be lowered by some medications or unbuffered vitamin C. This produces a less favorable growth environment for some bacteria.

  Chronic / Hidden Infection
 Intravenous vitamin C, sometimes along with high oral doses, has been used to resolve both known and unknown infections. Pioneering work was done by Dr. Fred Klenner, MD which has been carried on by others. More doctors are becoming comfortable administering this therapy, though it is usually done in their office / clinic rather than a hospital.

  Helicobacter Pylori Infection
 A study showed vitamin C levels to be low in atrophic gastritis and Helicobacter Pylori infection.

  Colds and Influenza
 Some complementary doctors give patients with the flu or a bad colds 50gm of intravenous vitamin C every other day for 3 treatments. At this time, only clinical experience suggests that this is helpful.

  Yeast / Candida
 One Osteopath (DO) is known to use intravenous vitamin C followed by intravenous flagyl with good results for candidal overgrowth.

  Toxoplasmosis (Toxoplasma gondii)
 Mice were infected with Toxoplasma gondii, some of which received vitamin C starting 1 week prior to infection. The vitamin C treated mice had a significantly longer survival time . [Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg 1974; 68( 1): pp.76-7]

  Herpes I

Mental

  Stress

Metabolic

  Methylation, Insufficient
  Metabolic Diet Type
  Methylation, Excess
  Blood Type A
  Blood Type AB

Musculo-Skeletal

  Gout / Hyperuricemia
 Researchers found in the 1970's that high doses of vitamin C prompt the kidneys to excrete more uric acid into the urine.
For people suffering from gout, the use of vitamin C (1-2gm TID) can help bring the condition under control.

A study of 20 years involved about 47,000 men, 1,317 of whom developed gout. Those who took 1,000mg to 1,499mg of vitamin C per day had a 34% lower risk of developing gout, while those who took 1,500mg per day had a 45% lower risk. This was irrespective of other gout risk factors such as diet and alcohol use.

"Vitamin C may reduce the frequency of attacks and provide a degree of protection," said Rheumatologist Dr Michael Snaith of the UK Gout Society, adding as a warning, "But that does not mean to say that taking whacking great amounts of vitamin C is going to eliminate gout." [Arch Intern Med. 2009;169(5):502-507]

Nutrients

  Antioxidant Need/Oxidative Stress w/o Supplements
  Vitamin C Deficiency

Organ Health

  Gallbladder Disease
 Sixteen patients with gallstones who were scheduled for surgery received 500mg of Vitamin C four times per day for two weeks prior to surgery. Another sixteen patients who had their gallbladders removed did not receive Vitamin C (the control group). During surgery, bile was taken from the gallbladder of each patient. Vitamin C treatment resulted in a significant increase in the concentration of phospholipids in bile (phospholipids such as lecithin have been shown to prevent stone formation). More importantly, it took seven days for the bile from Vitamin C-treated patients to form cholesterol crystals (the first step in stone formation), compared with just two days in the control group. [Eur J Clin Invest 1997;27: pp.387-391]

Vitamin C also could help dissolve gallstones, although that probably would require several years of continuous treatment, combined with a strict diet. It is noteworthy that birth-control pills have been shown both to reduce blood levels of Vitamin C and to increase the risk of gallstones.

  Diabetes Type II
 Dr. Fred Klenner, MD has used large amounts of Vitamin C for many ailments, and says that diabetics are so deficient they should be considered as having scurvy. Ten grams per day, according to Dr. Klenner, cures many diabetics and enhances their well being in other cases.

Vitamin C (1000mg per day) and vitamin E (400IU per day) reduced tear nitrite levels, and improved tear function measures in a study of 50 patients with non-insulin dependent diabetes. [ Br J Ophthalmol 2002;86(12): pp.1369-73]

  Hepatitis
 Vitamin C (1,000 to 1,500mg per day), beta-carotene (100,000 IU per day), vitamin E (400 to 800 IU per day), and zinc (30 to 50mg per day) strengthen your immune system.

  Glaucoma/Risk
 Supplementing with vitamin C can significantly reduce elevated intraocular pressure in individuals with glaucoma. Higher quantities of vitamin C appear to be more effective than smaller amounts and the benefit is lost if vitamin C is discontinued. The suggested minimum dose is 2gm per day. [J Holistic Med 1981;3: pp.167-72.]

Glaucoma patients who took at least 10gm vitamin C daily had a significant reduction in intraocular pressure, with an average decline of 5.6 mm of pressure. [J Orthomol Med 1995; 10: pp.165 - 8]

  Macular Degeneration
 Taking anti-oxidants such as vitamins C and E has beneficial protective effects against age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Since oxidative damage of the eye can cause macular degeneration, taking antioxidants may lower the diseaseís occurrence. People with high levels of vitamin C, vitamin E, and selenium appear to have a 70% lower risk of developing macular degeneration. [Arch Ophthalmol, December 1995:113(12, 15): pp.18-23, Arch Ophthalmol 1993:111: pp.104-9]

Long-term use of multiple antioxidants plus zinc and copper clearly reduced the risk of developing advanced AMD and the rate of visual acuity loss in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of 3,640 older adults (aged 55-80 years) with preexisting retinal abnormalities, advanced AMD or vision loss due to AMD who were followed for an average of 6.3 years. [AREDS Report No. 8. Arch Ophthalmol 2001;119(10): pp.1417-1436]

Vitamin E use (500IU per day) alone did not produce any benefit in a 4 year study regarding the development or progression of age related macular degeneration. [BMJ 2002;325(7354): pp.11-14]


Not recommended for:
  Kidney Failure
 The authors of the following study believe it shows that vitamin C supplementation leads to a significant increase in serum oxalate levels in dialysis patients. In renal insufficiency, vitamin C levels were elevated, but not oxalate levels. Caution is advised with regard to vitamin C and renal insufficiency.

"Relationship Between the Serum Concentration of Oxalic Acid and Ascorbic Acid in Chronic Renal Insufficiency", Gerold, M., et al, Nieren-Und Hochdruckkrankheiten, May 1992;21(Suppl. 1): pp.58-61. (Address: Dr. G. Stein, Erlanger Allee 101, O-6902 Jena-Lobeda, Germany)

Respiratory

  Asthma
 Supplementation with 1gm of vitamin C per day reduces the tendency of the bronchial passages to go into spasm [Lung 1976;154: pp.17-24], an action that has been confirmed in double-blind research. [Ann Allergy 1990;65: pp.311-4] This amount of vitamin C, while providing benefit, is not curative. Beneficial effects of short-term vitamin C supplementation (i.e., less than three days) have been observed. In one double-blind trial, 500mg of vitamin C per day for two days prevented attacks of exercise-induced asthma. [Ann Allergy 1982;49: pp.146-51]

Both treated and untreated asthmatic patients have been shown to have significantly lower levels of ascorbic acid in both serum and white blood cells. Ascorbic acid has a wide variety of pharmacological effects that appear important in asthmatic treatment.

Risks

  Increased Risk of Stomach Cancer
 Vitamin C supplementation may help reduce the risk to the development of gastric cancer by increasing ascorbate levels within the stomach and decreasing mucosal DNA damage.

  Increased Risk of Alzheimer's / Dementia
 Both vitamin E and vitamin C supplements reduced the incidence of Alzheimerís disease in a 1998 study. This study followed 655 individuals over 65 years of age for an average of over 4 years. The anticipated rate of Alzheimer's did not occur in those individuals taking larger amounts of either vitamin. The lower levels of vitamin C and E found in some supplements did not provide this protection in this study. A reasonable protective benefit could be expected with 400 IU of vitamin E or 500mg or more of vitamin C. [Alzheimer Dis. Assoc. Disord.1998:12(3): pp.121-126] This was confirmed by a later study. [JAMA 2002;287(24): pp.3223-3229]

However, there is a conflicting study of Japanese men living in Hawaii that did not show any protective benefit from supplemental vitamin C or E over a period of 5.2 years. [JAMA 2002;288(18): pp.2266-8]

  Increased Risk of Coronary Disease / Heart Attack
 Supplemental vitamin C can help heal injured arteries when used with L-lysine and proline for plaque prevention and possibly removal. A typical prescription would be 3-6gm vitamin C, 3-6gm lysine and 0.5-2gm proline. Furthermore, vitamin C deficiency (as indicated by low plasma ascorbate concentration) is a known risk factor for coronary heart disease.

One year of supplementation with vitamin C (500mg bid) and vitamin E (400 IU bid) retarded the early progression of
transplant-associated coronary arteriosclerosis in a study of 40 patients up to 2 years after cardiac transplantation. [Lancet 2002;359(9312): pp.1108-13]

Vitamin C treatment has a possible role in benefiting patients with coronary heart disease by countering the adverse effects of a high-fat meal. Researchers found that postprandial serum triglyceride concentration increased significantly at 2-5 hours after a high-fat meal in all groups. The postprandial flow-mediated dilatation was significantly aggravated in people not taking vitamin C (both with and without heart disease), but this parameter in patients and subjects taking vitamin C showed no significant change. [Clin Cardiol 2002;25: pp.219-224]

Also see the link between Heart Attack and Vitamin E regarding a study which showed no benefit.

  Increased Risk of Breast Cancer
 In a 1991 review of 46 studies of the protective effect of vitamin C against cancer, 33 of those studies showed that vitamin C helped safeguard against the development of many cancers. This included non-hormone-dependent breast cancer. Vitamin C did not appear to confer any protection against hormone-dependent (including estrogen-dependent) breast cancers.

  Increased Risk of Lung Cancer
  Increased Risk of Lymphoma
 The diets of 358 white men and women with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and 1,432 controls living in Nebraska were compared. When dietary vitamin C levels were low, the risk of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in men increased. This correlation was not found in women. [Ward MH, Hoar ZS, Weisenburger DD, et al. Dietary factors and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma]

  Cancer / Risk - General Measures
 The conventional wisdom of how antioxidants such as vitamin C help prevent cancer growth is that they grab up volatile oxygen free radical molecules and prevent the damage they are known to do to our delicate DNA. The Hopkins study, led by Chi Dang, M.D., Ph.D., professor of medicine and oncology and Johns Hopkins Family Professor in Oncology Research, unexpectedly found that the antioxidants' actual role may be to destabilize a tumor's ability to grow under oxygen-starved conditions. Their work is detailed this week in Cancer Cell (12 Sept 2007).

"The potential anticancer benefits of antioxidants have been the driving force for many clinical and preclinical studies," says Dang. "By uncovering the mechanism behind antioxidants, we are now better suited to maximize their therapeutic use."

"Once again, this work demonstrates the irreplaceable value of letting researchers follow their scientific noses wherever it leads them," Dang adds.

The authors do caution that while vitamin C is still essential for good health, this study is preliminary and people should not rush out and buy bulk supplies of antioxidants as a means of cancer prevention.

A 2008 study concluded that:

"Supplementation with vitamin C, vitamin E, or beta carotene offers no overall benefits in the primary prevention of total cancer incidence or cancer mortality." They wrote that the trial showed: "Neither duration of treatment nor combination of the three antioxidant supplements had effects on overall fatal or nonfatal cancer events."

"Thus, our results are in agreement with a recent review of randomized trials indicating that total mortality was not affected by duration of supplementation and single or combined antioxidant regimens," added the researchers. [30 December 2008, Advance Access online issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute]


Not recommended for:
  Increased Risk of Bladder Cancer
 In a very large study, the regular supplementation with vitamin C was not associated with the risk of bladder cancer mortality.


Am J Epidemiol 2002;156(11): pp.1002-10

Skin-Hair-Nails

  Hives
 High doses of vitamin C, such as mineral ascorbates, can help those with hives by lowering histamine levels. Taking 2gm every hour in water may bring relief.

  Concern Over Wrinkled Skin
 Ascorbic acid reserves are often depleted in older people, who tend to need more vitamin C in their diet. Ascorbic acid increases the synthesis of collagen more than five-fold in cultures of human skin. By replenishing ascorbic acid in the skin, collagen synthesis may be stimulated, and the loss of dermal substance associated with aging might be delayed or even reversed.

The skin's natural defenses against the free radicals produced by UV light are vitamin C and vitamin E. These two antioxidants intercept free radicals before they can damage your skin. Vitamin C protects significantly better against UVA phototoxicity than vitamin E; vitamin E, on the other hand, is more efficient against UVB.

Twenty healthy female volunteers (average age of 55 years) with skin damage due to chronic sun exposure were randomly and blindly assigned to apply, in double-blind fashion, a 5% vitamin C cream on one side of their lower neck and arms, and a placebo on the other side, once each day for 6 months. Clinical examination by a dermatologist, as well as self-assessment by the volunteers, revealed a significant improvement on the vitamin C-treated side compared with the control side. Application of vitamin C resulted in a significant improvement in both fine and coarse wrinkles.[Exp Dermatol 2003;12: pp.237-244]

  Warts
 Vit C 4-10gms per day for an antiviral action.

Tumors, Malignant

  Kaposi's Sarcoma
 Some doctors recommend large amounts of vitamin C for people with AIDS. Reported benefits in preliminary research using 40 to 185gm per day include greater resistance against infection and an improvement in overall well-being. Use of such high doses should be monitoered by a doctor. This same researcher also reports some success in using a topical vitamin C paste to treat herpes simplex outbreaks and Kaposiís sarcoma in people with AIDS. [Med Hypotheses 1984;14: pp.423-33]

Uro-Genital

  Possible Pregnancy-Related Issues
 Several studies imply that harmful free radicals called lipid peroxides contribute to preeclampsia [Khan KS, Chien Pl. Brit J of Obst & Gyn 1997;104(10): pp.1173≠9], and that women with this condition are low in the antioxidants that combat them. [Ziari SA, et al. Am Jl of Perinat 1996;13(5): pp.287≠91]

In one study of over 300 consecutive births, the mothers were given 5gm of vitamin C in the first trimester, 10gm in the second and 15gm in the third. Their babies were all born very healthy and the nurses often commented that the vitamin C babies and mothers were generally healthier than the non-vitamin C participants.

The U.S. RDA is 70mg. NOTE: Be very careful to avoid high doses.

  Cervical Dysplasia
 Recent evidence suggests that beta-carotene and/or vitamin C may reverse or reduce the risk of cervical dysplasia. Inadequate vitamin C intake is an independent risk factor for the development of premalignant cervical disease and carcinoma in situ.

  Menorrhagia (Heavy Periods)
  Eclampsia / Preeclampsia
 Several studies imply that harmful free radicals called lipid peroxides contribute to preeclampsia [Khan KS, Chien Pl. Brit J of Obst & Gyn 1997;104(10): pp.1173≠9], and that women with this condition are low in the antioxidants that combat them. [Ziari SA, et al. Am Jl of Perinat 1996;13(5): pp.287≠91]

Supplementation with vitamin C (1gm per day) and vitamin E (400IU per day) reduced the incidence of preeclampsia by 76% in women at high risk, but for those already experiencing this condition, supplementation had little if any effect. [Lancet 1999;354: pp.810-6, Br J Obstet Gynaecol 1997;104: pp.689-96]

  Premenstrual Syndrome / PMDD
  Urinary Stress/Overactive Bladder
 Vitamin C at 500mg, 2-3 times daily with meals may provide some anti-inflammatory support.
 
 


KEY
May do some good
Likely to help
Highly recommended
May have adverse consequences
Reasonably likely to cause problems







GLOSSARY

Antioxidant:  A chemical compound that slows or prevents oxygen from reacting with other compounds. Some antioxidants have been shown to have cancer-protecting potential because they neutralize free radicals. Examples include vitamins C and E, alpha lipoic acid, beta carotene, the minerals selenium, zinc, and germanium, superoxide dismutase (SOD), coenzyme Q10, catalase, and some amino acids, like cystiene. Other nutrient sources include grape seed extract, curcumin, gingko, green tea, olive leaf, policosanol and pycnogenol.

Calcium:  The body's most abundant mineral. Its primary function is to help build and maintain bones and teeth. Calcium is also important to heart health, nerves, muscles and skin. Calcium helps control blood acid-alkaline balance, plays a role in cell division, muscle growth and iron utilization, activates certain enzymes, and helps transport nutrients through cell membranes. Calcium also forms a cellular cement called ground substance that helps hold cells and tissues together.

Cancer:  Refers to the various types of malignant neoplasms that contain cells growing out of control and invading adjacent tissues, which may metastasize to distant tissues.

Chronic:  Usually Chronic illness: Illness extending over a long period of time.

Dialysis:  The artificial process of cleaning wastes from the blood when kidneys fail.

Diarrhea:  Excessive discharge of contents of bowel.

Fatty Acids:  Chemical chains of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen atoms that are part of a fat (lipid) and are the major component of triglycerides. Depending on the number and arrangement of these atoms, fatty acids are classified as either saturated, polyunsaturated, or monounsaturated. They are nutritional substances found in nature which include cholesterol, prostaglandins, and stearic, palmitic, linoleic, linolenic, eicosapentanoic (EPA), and decohexanoic acids. Important nutritional lipids include lecithin, choline, gamma-linoleic acid, and inositol.

Gram:  (gm): A metric unit of weight, there being approximately 28 grams in one ounce.

Kidney Stone:  A stone (concretion) in the kidney. If the stone is large enough to block the tube (ureter) and stop the flow of urine from the kidney, it must be removed by surgery or other methods. Also called Renal Calculus. Symptoms usually begin with intense waves of pain as a stone moves in the urinary tract. Typically, a person feels a sharp, cramping pain in the back and side in the area of the kidney or in the lower abdomen. Sometimes nausea and vomiting occur. Later, pain may spread to the groin. The pain may continue if the stone is too large to pass; blood may appear in the urine and there may be the need to urinate more often or a burning sensation during urination. If fever and chills accompany any of these symptoms, an infection may be present and a doctor should be seen immediately.

Lipid:  Fat-soluble substances derived from animal or vegetable cells by nonpolar solvents (e.g. ether); the term can include the following types of materials: fatty acids, glycerides, phospholipids, alcohols and waxes.

Milligram:  (mg): 1/1,000 of a gram by weight.

Oxalic Acid:  A substance that when joined with calcium in the body forms insoluble salts and hinders iron absorption from food. It is found in such vegetables as spinach, chard and rhubarb.

Peroxidation:  A type of oxidation that results in the formation of peroxides in body tissues which contain high proportions of oxygen.

RDA:  Recommended Daily Allowance of vitamins or other nutrients as determined by the FDA. U.S. RDAs are more widely used than RDAs, and focus on 3 age groups: Infants of 0-12 months; Children of 1-4 years; Adults and children of more than 4 years.

ROS:  Reactive Oxygen Species. Molecules including free radicals and other oxygen species.

Scurvy:  A disease that is caused by a lack of vitamin C in the diet. It is marked by weakness, anemia, edema, spongy gums, often with open sores in the mouth and loosening of the teeth, bleeding in the mucous membranes, and hard bumps of the muscles of the legs.

Vitamin B6:  Influences many body functions including regulating blood glucose levels, manufacturing hemoglobin and aiding the utilization of protein, carbohydrates and fats. It also aids in the function of the nervous system.

Vitamin C:  Also known as ascorbic acid, Vitamin C is a water-soluble antioxidant vitamin essential to the body's health. When bound to other nutrients, for example calcium, it would be referred to as "calcium ascorbate". As an antioxidant, it inhibits the formation of nitrosamines (a suspected carcinogen). Vitamin C is important for maintenance of bones, teeth, collagen and blood vessels (capillaries), enhances iron absorption and red blood cell formation, helps in the utilization of carbohydrates and synthesis of fats and proteins, aids in fighting bacterial infections, and interacts with other nutrients. It is present in citrus fruits, tomatoes, berries, potatoes and fresh, green leafy vegetables.

Vitamin E:  An essential fat-soluble vitamin. As an antioxidant, helps protect cell membranes, lipoproteins, fats and vitamin A from destructive oxidation. It helps protect red blood cells and is important for the proper function of nerves and muscles. For Vitamin E only, 1mg translates to 1 IU.