Dietary Supplements & Adrenal Fatigue: Vitamin C
Posted Nov 12, 2018
Of all the vitamins and minerals involved in adrenal metabolism, vitamin C is perhaps the most important. This vitamin is used all along the adrenal hormone cascade and acts as an antioxidant within the adrenal cortex itself. Vitamin C is so essential to the adrenal glands and the body’s ability to cope with stress that adrenal hormone production cannot begin or continue if adequate vitamin C is not provided through diet or supplementation.
When the adrenal glands are unable to make the additional adrenal hormones required during stressful times, the person will feel worse and take longer to recover from stress. Because there are so many other tissues in the body that also need increased vitamin C during any kind of stress, an adequate supply of it is vital to the body’s ability to respond properly.
Humans do not have the ability that most animals have to convert blood glucose into vitamin C and so require vitamin C from an outside source. Food sources of vitamin C and bioflavonoids include highly colored vegetables and fruits such as green leafy vegetables, tomatoes, peppers and oranges – with the highest amounts of edible vitamin C found in sprouts (sunflower sprouts, alfalfa or clover sprouts, and the sprouts of any seed or grain).
However, the amount of vitamin C in commercially available foods that have spent days or weeks from time of picking to consumption is not sufficient to support the adrenals during stress or during the recovery phase. For those experiencing adrenal fatigue, it is essential to take a supplement containing sufficient vitamin C and bioflavonoids during the whole recovery period, plus additional vitamin C if they become fatigued or ill.
Vitamin C, as it occurs in nature, always appears as a composite of ascorbic acid and certain bioflavonoids. It is this vitamin C complex that is so beneficial, not just the ascorbic acid by itself. Bioflavonoids are essential to full metabolization and utilization of ascorbic acid in the body. The ratio of bioflavonoids to ascorbic acid should be approximately 1:2; that is, 1 mg. of bioflavonoids for every 2 mg. of ascorbic acid. Bioflavonoids can almost double the effectiveness of ascorbic acid in the body.
Because vitamin C and bioflavonoids are water soluble and quickly used up or excreted from the body, they are best taken in an integrated, sustained-release form that allows the body to gradually absorb these nutrients over several hours. This minimizes the amount that is lost in the urine and maximizes the supply to the cells where they are needed. During stress, the body burns up many times the daily requirement of vitamin C. The quantity of vitamin C required varies by person and by stress level. As stressful events increase, the need for many nutrients, but especially vitamin C, also increases.
To find out how much vitamin C your patient requires, try a simple test called the Vitamin C Loading Test. On day one, have them take 500 mg. of ascorbic acid plus an additional 250 mg. every hour until their bowel movements become somewhat loose and runny. Once you have established this maximum dose level, reduce the ascorbic acid by 500 mg. and add approximately half that amount of bioflavonoids so you have a 2:1 ratio of ascorbic acid to bioflavonoids. This is usually the amount of vitamin C the patient needs at this time. The most common point for this to occur is about 2,000 to 4,000 mg (2-4 grams) of ascorbic acid for people with adrenal fatigue. Typically, the more chronic and severe the illness, the more vitamin C is necessary.
This is why Dr. Wilson designed a special vitamin C supplement, Adrenal C Formula, for people experiencing stress and adrenal fatigue. It contains an optimal amount of vitamin C in a 2:1 ratio with bioflavonoids plus important trace minerals that are necessary to healthy adrenal function. The vitamin C is in mineral ascorbate form, providing a pH-balanced supplement that is easier on the stomach. All of these nutrients are delivered at a steady rate through an advanced integrated sustained release that optimizes their availability.