What you may not know about Vitamin C

One of my favorite books about nutrition is How to Have a Healthier Dog by Wendell Belfield, DVM.  Dr. Belfield bucked the conventional veterinary system by using high doses of Vitamin C  (thousands of milligrams) to successfully  treat “incurable” diseases, or to help those animals for whom conventional approaches were not working.  I consider Dr. Belfield a hero, because he went outside the scope of his training to treat the true cause of disease – nutritional deficiency.  Vitamin C was one of the nutrients that he used often and with great success to treat difficult conditions such as distemper (for which the textbook still says there is no successful treatment) and musculoskeletal conditions that had been labeled as “genetic.”   He saved many dogs from death, unnecessary surgery, and a lifetime of pain by administering and prescribing vitamin C.  Dr. Belfield says of Vitamin C:

“In my opinion, Vitamin C is the star of the team.  Before I began using other vitamins and minerals, I found vitamin C by itself was a real do-it-all.  It protected the bitch during pregnancy and the offspring during puppyhood.  It cleared up skin problems you might normally associate with a deficiency of Vitamin A.  It improved spinal problems.  It prevented and cured so many conditions that indeed I began regarding it as a panacea even though all my medical training told me there is no such thing.”


“I believe that supplementation of vitamin C is perhaps the single most important thing you can do for the health of your pet.”

He himself developed a very painful case of tennis elbow from lifting heavy dogs in his examination room.  Dr. Belfield began taking as much as ten grams of vitamin C daily, and in two weeks the pain was gone and never returned.  His book is a treasure trove of helpful information.

Vitamin C is crucial for collagen production and joint repair.
It is antitoxin, antihistamine, antiviral and antidepressant.

 Another amazing book is Doctor Yourself by Andrew Saul, Ph.D.  It was Dr. Saul’s enthusiasm, research and experience regarding the use of Vitamin C that made me want to experience it for myself.  Here is an important observation by Dr. Saul:

“Due to the fact that all toxins, toxic effects, substantial allergic reactions, and induced immune compromise have the final common denominator of causing and/or resulting in the oxidation of vital biomolecules, the antioxidant vitamin C has proven to be the ultimate non-specific antidote to whatever toxin or excess oxidative stress might be present.”

Andrew Saul has written extensively about the specifics of using vitamin C to support immune function and resolve illness.  I have provided several of the most informative links in the bibliography below.  His entire book is available on line!

From Curing the Incurable, Vitamin C, Infectious Diseases, and Toxins by Thomas E. Levy, MD, JD:

“A greater amount of vitamin C in the body enhances the flow of electricity in the body, thereby optimizing the ability of the cells to maintain their health-sustaining communications.”

“It is long, long overdue that vitamin C is given its proper recognition and utilization in mainstream medicine.  Furthermore, vitamin C needs to be recognized not in the micro doses that have been typically researched for some 65 years, but in the much larger, optimal doses used by Frederick R. Klenner, M.D. and a few other noteworthy clinicians and researchers.  Optimal vitamin C dosing should drastically reduce the use of many antibiotics and other medicines.  Properly dosed vitamin C would prevent a large amount of needless disease and suffering.”

“Yes, vitamin C has been shown to cure, reverse and/or prevent many infectious diseases considered to be incurable and largely untreatable, except for some relief of associated symptoms.  Yes, many viral infectious diseases have been cured and can continue to be cured by the proper administration of vitamin C.  Yes, the vaccinations for these treatable infectious diseases are completely unnecessary when one has the access to proper treatment with vitamin C.  And, yes, all of the side effects of vaccinations, whether you consider them to be many or few, are also completely unnecessary since the vaccinations do not have to be given in the first place with the availability of properly dosed vitamin C.”

And, lastly, from Dead Doctors Don’t Lie by Joel Wallach, ND, DVM:

“Lynus Pauling, the gentlemen with 2 Nobel Prizes, says if you want to prevent and treat Cancer with vitamin C you have to use 10,000 mg a day. All the doctors who used to argue with him 35 years ago are all dead, and today Lynus Pauling, still 94, works 14 hours a day, 7 days a week, in his ranch in the Big Sur in California, and teaches at the University of California, San Francisco. So you have to make up your mind whether to listen to the dead doctors or Lynus Pauling.  Your choice.”

How can you can begin using Vitamin C to improve your health?

First, the form of Vitamin C is important.  If it’s not buffered with a mineral of some kind, it can irritate the digestive system.  I have tried Magnesium Ascorbate, Sodium Ascorbate, Calcium Ascorbate and a few others.  My favorite is Sodium Ascorbate – this is the form of Vitamin C that Dr. Belfield recommends for dogs and cats.   I use the NOW brand powder.  I find it dissolves very easily in water or other beverage with only a very mild, almost unnoticeable, salty flavor.  No stomach irritation whatsoever.  This form is super convenient to add to drinking water or smoothies.  Don’t add it to hot food, as that will damage the nutrient.

 My experience:  A few months back, I had a seriously bad cold with a lot of major aches and pains.  It was so painful, I couldn’t sleep and was actually considering taking an Ibuprofen.  For some reason, even in my groggy and irritable state, I decided I would give Vitamin C a try.   I stirred 1/2 tsp NOW sodium ascorbate (1600 mg Vitamin C) into an 8 oz glass of water and drank it down.   I also refilled my bedside bottle of water (1 quart), adding 1 tsp of NOW sodium ascorbate (3200 mg Vitamin C), and took a few swigs.   I hobbled back to bed, hoping I would be able to sleep.

Within 10 minutes of getting back into bed, I felt the achey, painful inflammation begin to steadily decrease, accompanied by a pleasant tingling sensation where the inflammation had once been.  Not kidding!  So simple and easy!!  I’ve used it since then for inflammation flare ups, headaches, and general malaise.  I find it’s very helpful for creating a deep, restful sleep.  My daily dose is around 3,000 mg mixed into a quart of water.  My little dog gets a sprinkle on most meals.

My mother in law has a lot of musculoskeletal pain.  A few weeks ago, I got her started on Sodium Ascorbate – she adds it to her water each day.  Last week, she ordered a 3 lb jar of sodium ascorbate from Amazon, as she feels so much better when she takes it!    Did I mention that vitamin C is fundamental for the production of collagen in the body?  And has anti-inflammatory properties?  It really works – you just need to take enough and you need to find the form of vitamin C that works for you.

My husband is a big fan of Vitamin C, as well.  If he happens to get sick, he puts about 6,000 mg of sodium ascorbate or calcium ascorbate in a quart bottle of water and drinks it pretty quickly (within 30 minutes) until he reaches bowel tolerance.  He finds that it acts like a bulldozer for the cold or flu, meaning it reduces symptoms significantly, as well as duration.  On a daily basis, he takes a maintenance dose of 3,000 mg in his afternoon/evening quart of water.  The benefit of this, he finds, is that he has eliminated that “dry throat” sensation and coughing at night.  If he feels like he might be getting a sore throat or cold, he adds an extra 2,000 mg vitamin C in his evening quart of water, drinks it all night, and symptoms are gone by morning.

What I recommend for all adults, especially if you have chronic inflammation, are prone to catch colds, or feel tired a lot of the time, is to increase your intake by adding 2,000 – 6,000 mg sodium ascorbate to your drinking water every day for two weeks.  Drink throughout the day – not all at once.  I think you will notice an improvement in the way you feel.  Divided doses throughout the day yield the most benefit.  This type of inflammation relief supports all the systems in the body, and addresses the fundamental cause of pain.  Unlike non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs that suppress the body’s inflammatory response and deplete many stored nutrients, including vitamin C, in the process.

To treat a cold, flu or other inflammatory imbalance, a saturation of Vitamin C can resolve the symptoms.  Follow up with high maintenance dosing to resolve the illness and protect from environmental exposure.  To achieve saturation, begin taking 4,000 mg in 4 – 8 oz of water every 10 minutes until bowel tolerance is reached (you feel like you are about to get diarrhea).  At this point, you can cut your dosage by half.  For some people, reaching bowel tolerance can require as much as 50,000 mg of vitamin C!  As you get well, you will find that the amount of Vitamin C your body can hold automatically decreases.

Keep track of how much you take to reach that threshold.  The NOW brand Sodium Ascorbate label shows that 1/2 teaspoon of the powder equals 1,600 mg of Vitamin C.  So I know that adding 1 teaspoon to my drinking water = 3200 mg of Vitamin C.

This approach is also effective for children who get chicken pox, measles or mumps.  The dosage would be lower (based on body weight), and the important part is to give it in divided doses every 15-30 minutes until symptoms begin to resolve.  For babies, 100 mg per day per month of age in divided doses, for toddlers, 1,000 mg per day in divided doses for the 1 year old, 2,000 mg/day for a 2 year old, and so on up to 5,000 mg per day for the five year old, which is a good dose to take on a daily basis for everyone. (From Doctor Yourself by Andrew Saul, Ph.D.)

There are many other therapeutic applications of vitamin C, and there is a lot of information available – you just have to look for it (see bibliography below).   I’ve had so much less inflammation, so much more comfort since increasing my daily intake of Vitamin C.  I hope you will have the same benefit. 

A delicious anti-inflammatory dessert-like drink that I enjoy almost daily –

I like to call it My Magic Cherry Soda

In a 16 oz glass, pour 1 oz of Knudsen Tart Cherry Juice
Stir in 1/2 – 1 tsp sodium ascorbate and 5 drops vanilla stevia
Fill the glass 3/4 full with bubbly water
Top off with coconut milk


Recommended Reading List 

Belfield, Wendell O., and Martin Zucker. How to Have a Healthier Dog: The Benefits of Vitamins and Minerals for Your Dog’s Life Cycles. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1981. Print.

“DoctorYourself.com – Colds& Flu.” DoctorYourself.com – Colds& Flu. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Jan. 2014.

“DoctorYourself.com – Dosage Table for Vitamin C.” DoctorYourself.com – Dosage Table for Vitamin C. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Jan. 2014.

“DoctorYourself.com – Megavitamins for Kids: Lendon H. Smith, M.D.” DoctorYourself.com – Megavitamins for Kids: Lendon H. Smith, M.D. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Jan. 2014.

Klenner, Frederick R., Lendon H. Smith, and Frederick R. Klenner. Clinical Guide to the Use of Vitamin C: The Clinical Experiences of Frederick R. Klenner, M.D. Tacoma, Wash.?: Life Sciences, 1991. Print.

Levy, Thomas E. Curing the Incurable: Vitamin C, Infectious Diseases, and Toxins. Henderson, NV: Livon, 2002. Print.

Pauling, Linus. How to Live Longer and Feel Better. New York: W.H. Freeman, 1986. Print.

Saul, Andrew W. Doctor Yourself: Natural Healing That Works. North Bergen, NJ: Basic Health Publications, 2003. Print.

Wallach, Joel D., and Ma Lan. Dead Doctors Don’t Lie. Franklin, TN: Legacy Communications Group, 1999. Print.

Wallach, Joel D., and Ma Lan. God Bless America!: Dr. Wallach’s Nutritional, Health and Survival Epiphany! Bonita, CA: Wellness Publication, 2002. Print.

“Wallach Wisdom®:   The “WellnessWithWallach®”  Encyclopedia® By   “SYMPTOM or ILLNESS”” Wallach Wisdom Encyclopedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 Jan. 2014. 

About Sarah Wadleigh

I am a Clinical Herbalist, Organic Gardener and Nutritional Consultant for people and companion animals. I live in Madrid, New Mexico with my wonderful husband, two little dogs and a big cat. My practice revolves around helping people create health through whole-food nutrition, nutritive herbs, lifestyle and self-awareness. With more than 20 years of experience as an animal nutritional counselor, I offer consultations to improve the health and well-being of our four-legged friends, as well as their humans. We can work together via Skype, in person,or over the phone. Let's create health for ourselves and our animal companions! Contact: sarah@summersunherbals.com
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.