Steady Dose Vitamin C Love

A fun one to put out there. Wholesome. Something to take your mind off perpetual global crisis and refocus on what it is you truly want in your one and only life.

…I arose yesterday morning, Friday, and did what I do the first thing every Friday morning (it’s ritual now and sometimes I even know what day it is here, solely because of it). I make coffee and enjoy Mike Eades’ latest issue of The Arrow. It arrives here 6.30-7.30am typically, which is Thursday afternoon for you States peeps. I think my time of arrival is better than yours neener neener.

In yesterday’s issue, #63, he included a section I didn’t expect to see from a renowned low-carb doc.

One of the things I was reminded of in reading the book is the value of vitamin C. I’ve always know this, of course, but I’ve never really taken vitamin C on a regular basis because it’s water soluble, which means the body uses what it needs when you take it and you pee away the rest. If you take a gram of it, you’ll get rid of most of it.

After getting re-motivated to take it after reading Dr. Johnson’s book, I set about figuring out a way to take it so I could take it here and there throughout the day a bit at a time. I got some pure vitamin D, ascorbic acid, powder. (It’s dirt cheap; you don’t have to get the more expensive natural kind.) I shook out a little into a tiny bowl–MD has bowls of every imaginable size–and whenever I thought about it, I licked my finger, stuck it in the vitamin C powder, and stuck it in my mouth. The vitamin C was absorbed by my oral mucosa without even having to be swallowed.

When we measured out–by approximating–what I got in each dip of my finger, doing it 10-12 times per day gave me about a gram. But it was a gram taken a tiny bit at a time spread over the entire day. It doesn’t take much. If you don’t have the massive bowl inventory MD has collected over a lifetime, you can use a twist-off bottle cap for the same thing. It is very sour, so don’t get too much at any one time or it will pucker you.

I thank Dr. Johnson for reminding me of the importance of vitamin C.

I read it and moved on since I’ve been on my own method of steady small-dose vitamin C throughout the day for some years. Yea, I have a big bottle of Kirkland Vit-C in the 1-grams you can get for cheap even here in Thailand, but I only pop one now and then because exactly what Mike says, “…the body uses what it needs when you take it and you pee away the rest. If you take a gram of it, you’ll get rid of most of it.”

What’s my own method?

Orange Juice Shots!

I guarantee you’ll like my method more than Mike’s sour-finger method! But, with all respect to the low-carb doc, I’m writing this in a way where I hope for a “sounds perfectly reasonable” from low-carbers.

So here we go, from this rainy Saturday morning in south Phuket…

The first thing to take cognizance of is that oranges are a whole food, that’s good. If you eat an orange, you don’t only get vitamin C, but other things like minerals and fiber. To get a substantial dose of C, you have to eat a lot of oranges and it’s not sustainable on a daily basis unless you’re a monkey with a small brain and inversely-proportional big gut (never forget Kleiber’s Law).

The obvious solution is juicing, but fruit juices have their own problems. Way back in the day, fruit was relatively expensive for many reasons…from seasonality, the requirement for ripeness, combined with supply chains, and the list goes on. That’s why you had the 4-oz juice glass at the breakfast table, and having it filled with orange juice for a special Sunday breakfast was a treat.

Fruit juice in itself was never a player in obesity or diabetes. It was many other things and only in the last decades have we seen farming methods and global supply chains deliver relatively cheap OJ almost anywhere, and you can Big Gulp a liter for less than the cost of a Starbucks because more is better!

(This is what happens, incidentally, when food becomes commodity…the real cause of obesity going way back. It’s bad enough to create so-called staple foods…rice, beans, wheat, corn. Staple foods lead to commoditization, leads to futures markets, leads to securing the most for the least, leads to obesity, leads to ill health and chronic comorbidities, leads to Covid deaths…)

…My first thinking way back about OJ began somewhere in my Daze of Paleo when I frequently encountered the name of Ray Peat, PhD. Honestly, I never truly got the gist of it—and he advocates drinking a lot of it—but what I did note is that there seemed to be plenty of people touting benefits for themselves which I always take note of when I see it consistently. I gather there’s a lot to it, and whatevers, but it was enough to get me to try steady low-dose OJ and I’ve been hooked ever since.

Let’s break down some numbers. 900 words so far. It’s time.

The RDA for C is about 90mg per day. Down that 1 gram pill, that’s probably what you’ll get, in one dose in 24 hours, for a water soluble vitamin. The rest goes to expensive orange pee.

So, 125mg, and especially over the course of 8 hours, I think that’s pretty damn good and don’t forget, you’re going to get more from other foods, more or less, depending on what they are. Assuming a 2000 kcal diet, this cup of OJ throughout the day is 5% or 1/20th of your whole intake. Also, getting the C in this way gives you integrated and perhaps hormonally synergistic calcium, potassium, and phosphorous, and in decent amounts for just 5% of your calories.

Keep in mind that this is an easy and enjoyable daily regimine. Every little bit counts ought to imply: regularly.

So let’s talk about sugar, because as I said, this is intended to have a reasonable low-carber go, “sounds good.”

…So, you’re going to get 26 grams of sugar in 8 doses over 8 hours. Ironically enough, it was Mike, years ago, who taught me via a blog post that the total volume of blood in our bodies contains a total of about 4 grams of sugar—about a teaspoon.

At a glance, you might want to add sugar to coffee via hourglass. Yet surely, this gives righteous pause to the notion of just heaping teaspoons on something or dipping bite after bite of a fried pastry in syrup, etc.

It’s a curious conundrum because sugar is life-or-death essential to physiological survival and this is why there’s a shit ton of metabolic pathways going both ways (to lower or increase) and they’re all complicated as all fuck.

To talk low-carb specifically, I need to point out that this is 26 grams in a day from OJ. For years I’ve had to remind low-carb folks that even Atkins held that upwards of 120 grams per day in steady-state LC is low carb. That was his defined upper limit. (I don’t know what Mike’s is and we’re talking metabolically healthy here…if there is such a thing anymore…plenty back in the 70s.)

Over many years I’ve seen commenters all over, and even on this blog, where a gram of sugar is poison and get out the silver crosses and garlic necklaces. On the Paleo side, there are those who say that the miniscule bit more of omega-6 fat in grain-fed beef makes it poison. There’s no accounting to be made. Wear your mask…

…The gig ought to be obvious by this point. You just take 8 shots of OJ at intervals throughout the day, whatever suits your fancy but it ought to seem obvious it’s not intended to be a flight of varietals like you’re in a craft brewery…

One at a time, an hour minimum in-between. Simple pimple. My own way is the swig and swallow. It’s like in the movies and rather than pour the whiskey into shot glass, you take a swig from the bottle and swallow. It’s about an ounce.

What led to what, the swig to the shot glass, or the shot glass to the swig?

I buy OJ a liter at a time. About every 4 days. A liter is close enough to a quart (4 cups) there’s no point in quibbling over it. If it happens that I get exuberant and take a gulp, or a chug, well, then it lasts less than 4 days and that’s my limiter. Often enough, the liter will last 5 or 6 days, though. I like to craft life like that. Flexibility, no off the rails.

…You might wonder what I notice from this. It’s nothing complicated or earth shattering and my apologies that this isn’t earth shattering. I don’t know, but reason that since C is water soluble and foundational, that we evolved to have it in our diets constantly.

What ought that afford us?

Normalcy.

I don’t care about an evening where I really don’t feel like going out or a morning wake-up where I’m not wired. What I prefer are evenings where at core, either option is doable and mornings are more of a blank canvass to make a day out of.

It seems more often than not that when those two things get fucked up, I note that I’ve not been seeing to my vitamin C norms.

Your mileage may vary.

UPDATE:

After posting this I had an exchange with Mike. Of course, he stated correctly that my method doesn’t deliver the C in a gram per day such as his, but only 125mg, which is at best an MDA (minimum daily allowance)…that which is known to stave off the perils of deficiency. But he also acknowledged that I’m sure to get quite a bit more via the foods of sunny Thailand. We don’t really know what the optimal amount is, point of diminishing returns, or harm (doubtful, since excess is pissed away). There’s also the issue of added minerals I get from the OJ Shots method.

He added that one of his reasons for using the higher-dose C is skin health, as he has long-term damage from youthful ways. I thought that odd. Of all the things a doc is going to tell me…skin!? But it was poignant because I have a bit of a skin issue I call Oma’s arm. My german grandmother was never without bruises and various abrasions on her forearms. I have those arms, worse on my left. The upper skin of my hands and forearms are crazy lean and the skin is thin. I can just bump something the wrong way and end up with an oozing raspberry.

…Back right after arriving in Thailand over 2 years ago, I got a wild hair to go get a few Navy-themed tattoos, one of them being the surface-warfare insignia on my left forearm.

The guy told me that working that section was like tattooing toilet tissue. It looked great by the time he finished, but that was short-lived. It scabbed over big and thick for weeks.

…I looked down at my think-skinned, dry, and crinkled forearms, took note, and went over to chop up a bunch of my Kirkland 1g Vitamin C pills into 4-each, so 250mg. Luckily, they’re rather soft, so I made quick work of it. Every few hours I downed one with my swig of OJ.

It wasn’t 12 hours and the changes were so remarkable in my forearms—and really, all over—that I knew I’m into a priori cause & effect territory—like if you take a proper antibiotic whilst suffering mightily and you quickly get relief.

So seriously, my skin is the stuff of babies’ butts, now.

9 Comments

  1. Peter Collins on March 20, 2022 at 06:05

    Hi Richard
    I’ve seen a lot of information that ascorbic acid is a toxic form on VitC that competes with the glucose metabolism & pure VitC can only be obtained from food
    I know you have extensive knowledge, I’m curious what you get from that?
    Thanks

    • Richard Nikoley on March 20, 2022 at 14:40

      Perhaps first explain to me how a naturally occurring organic compound in this context can be “toxic.” I’m well aware that there are toxic and deadly organic compounds—snake venom comes to mind—but we seem to have evolved to account for those.

      • Peter Collins on March 21, 2022 at 07:35

        Your response clears that one up for me, thanks
        I’ve seen it on a few places, the ascorbic acid toxic theory,
        Not proven.
        Interestingly I drifted from the Dr Eades stuff awhile ago, thanks to your mentions, I’ll dig back in



      • Richard Nikoley on March 21, 2022 at 08:35

        Just now posted an Udate to the post that might interest you.



  2. Ed Dudley on March 21, 2022 at 23:44

    It seems like I remember reading something to the effect that vitamin C, as it presents itself in nature’s food, is really a complex, much like vitamin B. They said that if you could put that whole complex in to pill form and have a one gram dose, the pill would be the size of a softball! I believe that ascorbic acid is just the antioxidant portion of the C complex. Toxic?No, that’s BS…..but I bet eating some fruit, taters, and veggies in your daily diet, is way better than depending on a processed supplement.

    • Richard Nikoley on March 22, 2022 at 06:06

      I agree and that’s why I like my OJ shots method. The bit of fiber from pulp, calcium, potassium, and phosphorous. But also since it’s so benign, I think I’m liking doing the high-dose as well. The changes for the better in skin is unmistakable and it makes you wonder what’s also going on beneath the skin.

      • Ed Dudley on March 22, 2022 at 20:32

        It makes me wonder about the people that are eating the carnivore diet. An all meat diet, where is the vitamin C (and fiber) coming from?



  3. MIne Derien on March 23, 2022 at 17:46

    I buy 500 mg vit C and cut the pills in 2. Only take 250mg a shot, which I believe is around the upper limit for a one shot dose, to not pee most of it. I take only one on most days but never more than 2 or 3 as a routine(and spread). The exception would be when being sick when I want more and in which case I go the liposomal route. Best next thing to an IV I was told. Dipping your finger in a bowl of crystal or powered vit C and letting in dissolve in your month several time a day is a VERY bad idea if you care about your teeth, just like sucking on a lemon. Remember it’s pure acid…

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