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Vitamin C & IV Nutrition

Our IV Nutrition Lounge has already proven to be a big hit. We are thrilled with all the activity and what I really didn't expect, is all the community we are building as everyone sits and awaits their #drip. We've had as many as five at one time, one afternoon, where great conversation was had, and a bit of laughter, but also many single clients and myself, enjoying great conversations. Some clients sit and read, while others take a nap while they are nourished through their IV.

There are a number of reasons IV Nutrition therapy may be right for you, but one huge reason is immune boosting. Vitamin C is a big part of most of our compounds for a number of reasons, but it is especially helpful receiving this intravenously because then you don't get the belly upset or even have to remember to take your supplements. Maybe you've heard of the #MyersCocktail?

Vitamin C is often used for surgery preparation and recovery, immune boost, chemotherapy and radiation support, and even in formulas for fatigue and autoimmune recipes. We also offer glutathione and a few other cool nutritional options, but I wanted to talk a bit about vitamin C and why it is so critical to your immune function. This recipe is great for boosting your health for #COVID prevention, supporting your health through COVID, and of course, to address post-COVID concerns.

The immune system is complex. It is one of the more challenging areas of study in healthcare. Our body's immune system is sophisticated network of specialized organs, tissues, cells, proteins, and chemicals, which has evolved in order to protect the individual from a range of pathogens. Bacteria, viruses, fungi, parasites, and even cancer cells can create significant harm, if not death.

We have a host of natural defenses from the cell wall to the immune response, either through cell memory (acquired immunity) or innate ability, but we have known for more than half a century that vitamin C is a huge player in strengthening the many facets of our defense systems. We can't make vitamin C ourselves though, it has to come from our diet. When we haven't sufficient amount of vitamin C, we suffer scurvy, skin issues, and suffer from fatal infections such as pneumonia.

Our need for vitamin C is one hundred-fold every other vitamin our body requires. The recommended daily amount to prevent scurvy is about 100 to 200 mg per day, which isn't overly difficult but so many eat only processed foods these days that they are starving their bodies of vital nutrients. Vitamin C is water-soluble too, so we don't store much of it and surprisingly, or maybe not so, studies have found that hypovitaminosis C (low vitamin C) is quite common in Western populations and vitamin C is the fourth leading vitamin deficiency in our country.

Not only do we eat poorly in the United States, even when healthy food is available to us, so we decrease our body's supply of vitamin C but we over utilize what we do take in because we aren't also making healthy lifestyle choices. Smokers for example, quickly eat up their available vitamin C which increases their risk of cancer. Same with those who drink alcohol or consume many recreational drugs. Various diseases, exposures to #pollutants and smoke, and acute illness can deplete our vitamin C. Excessive physical or psychological stress are also reasons many become depleted.

Highly Effective Antioxidant

Vitamin C can readily donate electrons, thus protecting important biomolecules from damage by oxidants generated during normal cell metabolism and through exposure to toxins and pollutants. Vitamin C is also a cofactor for a family of biosynthetic and gene regulatory monooxygenase and dioxygenase enzymes. The vitamin has long been known as a cofactor for the lysyl and prolyl hydroxylases required for stabilization of the tertiary structure of collagen, and is a cofactor for the two hydroxylases involved in carnitine biosynthesis, a molecule required for transport of fatty acids into mitochondria for generation of metabolic energy.

Vitamin C is also a cofactor for the hydroxylase enzymes involved in the synthesis of catecholamine hormones, which are central to the cardiovascular response to severe infection. Newer research over the past 15 years has found vitamin C play a role in the regulation of gene transcription and cell signaling pathways through regulation of transcription factor activity and epigenetic markers. I offer this for the more nerdy ones who have identified their genetic mutations (SNPs) and would find this information exceedingly valuable, but we have as well learned more recently that asparagyl and prolyl hydroxylases required for the down regulation of the pleiotropic transcription factor hypoxia-inducible factor-1x (HIF-1x) utilize vitamin C as a cofactor. Recent research also indicates that vitamin C works in regulation of DNA and histone methylation by actioning as a cofactor for enzymes which hydroxylate these #epigenetic markers. Mind blown, right?

Working in the Skin

We know that vitamin C is critical in maintaining the health of our skin, our primary defense against infection. We had a hint when we realized scurvy was one of the more prominent outcomes when deficiency exists, as are bleeding gums, bruising and impaired wound healing. Today we understand that vitamin C actively accumulates in the skin and increases our collagen gene expression in fibroblasts. It also acts as a cofactor for the prolyl and lysyl hydroxylase enzymes that stabilize the structure of the collagen.

Vitamin C is active in our epithelial barriers, phagocytes, B- and T-lymphocytes (enhancing antibody levels), and inflammatory mediators (modulates cytokine production and decreases histamine levels). Our skin or rather all our tissue is healthier and can then offer a stronger barrier, even in the lungs, to infection when our vitamin C levels are sufficient.

Free-Radical Scavenger

Numerous environmental and health conditions can have an impact on vitamin C status. Exposure to air pollution containing oxidants, such as ozone and nitrogen dioxide, can upset the oxidant-antioxidant balance within the body and cause oxidative stress. This also occurs if antioxidant defenses are impaired, which may be the case when vitamin C levels are insufficient. Air pollution can damage respiratory tract lining fluid and increase the risk of respiratory disease, particularly in children and the elderly who are at risk of both impaired immunity and vitamin C insufficiency. Vitamin C is a free-radical scavenger that can scavenge superoxide and peroxyl radicals, hydrogen peroxide, hypochlorous acid, and oxidant air pollutants. The antioxidant properties of vitamin C enable it to protect lung cells exposed to oxidants and oxidant-mediated damage caused by various pollutants, heavy metals, pesticides, and xenobiotics.

Tobacco Smoke

We underestimate the risk here. Both smokers and passive smokers have lower plasma and leukocyte vitamin C levels than non-smokers partly due to increased oxidative stress and to both a lower intake and a higher metabolic turnover of vitamin C compared to non-smokers. Those who smoke have one-third the vitamin C as non-smokers and it has been recommended that smokers consume an additional 35 mg/day of vitamin C to ensure there is sufficient ascorbic acid to repair oxidant damage. They are even lower in children and adolescents exposed to environmental tobacco smoke.

Tobacco increases susceptibility to infections, both bacterial and viral. Vitamin C plays a huge role here. Those with lower levels of vitamin C have higher levels of obstructive airway disease which is dose dependent.

Diabetes & Vitamin C

Those with blood sugar dysregulation have more infections, including the flu, pneumonia, and foot infections. These infections kill more people with diabetes and is a major factor in low-grade inflammation of adipose tissue in obese individuals, which plays a role in the progression to insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. The adipose tissue is infiltrated by pro-inflammatory macrophages and T-cells, leading to the accumulation of pro-inflammatory cytokines such as interleukins and TNF-x. A decrease in plasma vitamin C has been found in those with type two diabetes, and a major cause of increased need for vitamin C is thought to be the high level of oxidative stress caused by hyperglycemia. Supplementation with vitamin C has been found to improve glycemic control.

Elderly & Vitamin C

Elderly people are particularly susceptible to infections as their immune system ages and their cell function declines. Common viral infections become more complex, resulting in increased morbidity and mortality in elderly people. A lower mean vitamin C status has been observed in free-living or institutionalized elderly people, indicating no matter their environment, a lower vitamin C level is indicative of all-cause mortality. Those with the lowest levels are certainly those who are institutionalized. Those hospitalized and given vitamin C demonstrate better outcomes. The higher incidence of disease in this age group increases the demand for vitamin C as well, reducing reserves.

This lower level of vitamin C increases rates of cancer, and worsens outcomes in those with cancer who receive treatments as they have compromised immune systems and suffer more sepsis. Hospitalized patients, in general, have lower vitamin C status than the general population.

Respiratory Infections

Those with acute respiratory infections such as pneumonia have decreased levels of vitamin C over healthy individuals and the administration of vitamin C to those with acute respiratory infections demonstrates not only a return to normal levels but also ameeliorates the severity of the respiratory symptoms. Cases of acute lung infections have shown rapid clearance of chest X-rays following administration of intravenous vitamin C.

Large studies have indicated that vitamin C supplementation with doses of 200 mg or more daily is effective in ameliorating the severity and duration of the common cold, and the incidence of the common cold if also exposed to physical stress. Supplementation decreases the incidence of the common cold as well. A gram of vitamin C during the common cold ameliorated the decline of leukocyte vitamin C levels, suggesting that administration of vitamin C may be beneficial for the recovery process.

Vitamin C can reduce the hospital stay for those admitted with pneumonia, particularly in the elderly. Labs improve, temperatures, and chest x-rays so this is a clear winner with regards to treatment for immunity concerns Overall vitamin C appears to exert a plethora of benefits on cellular function and is a potent antioxidant protecting the body against endogenous and exogenous oxidative challenges.

Vitamin C in the IV Nutrition Lounge

While we do not offer the exceedingly high levels of vitamin C therapies some opt for instead of chemotherapy and radiation, we do offer what is otherwise coined as "high dose vitamin C cocktails" in our IV Nutrition Lounge. Vitamin C is a component in most all of our recipes as there are so many reasons including this vitamin is important for optimizing health. Certainly our immunity boosters are specific to higher levels of vitamin C and we would be happy to help you move quicker through an acute illness or combat chronic disease with one of our treatment regimens.

While we do not reserve these for members of Eden, those who are do receive a ten percent discount and may be eligible for in home treatment. We do not offer in home treatment for non-Eden members or those with active COVID unless a member as this would only be offered in your home as we can accomodate.

If you smoke or drink alcohol and aren't ready to give this up, schedule weekly intravenous therapies with our Lounge. We'd be happy to help you mitigate the damage, and can add glutathione treatment as well, the mother of all antioxidants. Besides, we play amazing music in our lounge. Join us!

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