Product Reviews from a Scientific Perspective

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Curing Allergies with Vitamin C

Note: By using the information presented in this blog, you agree to the terms described in the post entitled "Mission Statement and Disclaimer." Basically, you can't sue.

Or, how to cure your allergies


This product claims that it's "delicious" and "chewable," and has rose hips. Rose hips are primarily there for flavor; although it contains Vitamin C, it's not going to account for 500 mg in a small tablet. Vitamins C is fairly easy to absorb, so you don't have to worry about choosing a product with the right supplements (unlike Vitamin D or E). So pay big attention to price. Speaking of which, you can order this particular product online if you click the picture above.


My own Personal Experience


My college had an outdoor arboretum, with exotic trees from all over the world. Combined with the fact that my school was entirely composed of nerds (who already have a naturally tendency to have allergies), this meant that every single person on campus had allergies during the springtime, whether or not they had allergies before they went to college.

Sadly, having had severe allergies
BEFORE I had ever stepped onto the campus, I was dying every spring.

Until one life-changing semester when one of my biology professors introduced me to the awesome power of Vitamin C. You see, she had actually attended the school when she was an undergrad, and had allergies worse than mine. Her throat could actually close up from all the pollen. But, she told me, when she had taken massive doses of vitamin C, she had actually cured herself of allergies!

 Well, at this point, I was desperate for anything. And, to be honest, it was just Vitamin C. You can't really overdose in this vitamin (though you CAN OVERDOSE on other vitamins, see below), and if you manage to, you'll have diarrhea way before anything bad happens.

After taking in more than 5,000 milligrams of Vitamin C a day, within three weeks, my allergies were gone. And it was at the height of the allergy pandemic (ie spring)!


If you're going to take Vitamin C, do it like a man! Don't go below 500 mg per chew. 500 mg or 1,000 mg tablets are best for the average person. If you're willing to carry around a bottle of the 250 mg tablets and eat them all day, that's fine too. You can order this particular product online if you click the picture above.

The Science

Allergies aren't actually entirely bad in the long term. There are studies that show evidence that people with strong allergies or asthma tend to have lower cancer rates. Why?

Because
allergies result from a hyperactive immune system.

Normally,
your immune system will identify anything that is foreign to your system and attack it. Bacteria floating around in your bloodstream? Viruses inside of cells? Parasites inside your body? The way your immune system takes these bad boys down is through antibodies, which stick to the outsides of these guys. Then your white cells come by and swallow them up, puncture holes into them, or otherwise destroy the invaders.

Allergies is a reaction that occurs when your immune system goes nuts (that was not a pun for you pitiable people who are allergic to one of the world's greatest foods - peanuts). Instead of specifically targeting what's a real threat to you, it choosing something that can't really hurt you and goes ballistic. It's like a paranoid soldier firing a bazooka at anything that moves in sight, regardless of whether it's military personnel or a civilian.

So when the body inhales pollen, the immune system not only recognizes it as an enemy, but goes crazy in attacking it. If you think about it, you allergic reaction is exactly the same as your reaction to when you have a cold. You sneeze, get runny noses, etc. After too much, you can actually get fever (hence the name "hay fever").

And people with allergies can end up avoiding cancer, because their immune systems are very, very active. Your immune system is what destroys cancer cells, because cancer cells can actually look a little different from normal cells. That's why researchers are trying to develop treatments for cancer that involve strengthening the immune system, allowing them to attack those cancer cells in particular. (By the way, I totally take credit for independently coming up with this idea back in college. Not that I mind that I won't be recognized - I'll eventually directly benefit from this research myself one day. Have you seen my cartoons, by the way? ).

Vitamin C is known for strengthening your immune system, which is why it's recommended that you take massive doses when you're down with the cold or the flu. In everyday talk, it "strengthens the immune system."

But then you get into a problem. If allergies comes from a hyperactive immune system, then wouldn't taking Vitamin C, which would make it even stronger, make allergies worse?

Well, people aren't entirely accurate when they say that Vitamin C makes the immune system "stronger."
Vitamin C makes the immune system more efficient. It makes its targeting system more effective, so it's not wasting its ammunition on targets that have nothing to do with your health or bodily defense. And it's not blowing up the battlefield, which is your body. So when you take Vitamin C, your immune system goes only for what it needs to, and you have less false alarms and unnecessary explosions that are the sneezing and runny noses of allergies.

See Part II for how to best take Vitamin C


This product claims timed release, which means that you can absorb more Vitamin C overall. See the next post for details. You can order this particular product online if you click the picture above.

1 comment:

  1. really nice to read of your experience and enthusiasm about vitamin C. I take about 4 grams a day and when I studied Nutrition noticed that the more people know about Vitamin C the higher the dose they took!

    Do you have any preference for any particular form of vitamin C? I used to take various clever forms like sodium ascorbate but now take the cheapo ascorbic acid and I seem to do pretty well on it

    ReplyDelete

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