Monday, October 5, 2009

vitamin C for immunity?

Sorry for going MIA blogworld. Life’s been a little interesting lately, and I’m still trying to catch my breath. Anyway, we’re about to dive into fall and cold and flu season (unfortunately), and if you’re like me, chronic stress levels aren’t doing great things to your immune system right now.


You may have heard about vitamin C for immune health. My mom used to have us take it daily [sneakity mcsneakerson into our juice], especially when we were under a lot of stress.

But what does evidence-based research say about vitamin C for immunity?

Scientists have been debating vitamin C’s effectiveness in treating colds for over 60 years. It is commonly known for its role as an antioxidant (ascorbic acid form) and historically for its ability to prevent or treat scurvy.

Vitamin C protects host cells from oxidative damage caused by infections and is involved in other immune-related processes such as proliferation of T-lymphocytes, decreased replication of viruses, and production of interfuron (viral infection fighting proteins).


Scientific literature suggests that most people [most Americans do not get the recommended 5 servings of  fruits and vegetables]may benefit from supplementing with 500-1000 mg/day of ascorbic acid, preferably calcium ascorbate with metabolites (VCM). VCM has been shown to be better absorbed and retained by the body and better tolerated than ascorbic acid (Wright, 1990).

The American Academy of Family Physicians suggests taking vitamin C to decrease the severity and duration of cold symptoms when taken preventatively, but they do not recommend it as a treatment for colds.

*as reviewed in Moyad, M.M., & Kondracki, N.L. (2009, Winter). The efficacy of vitamin C supplementation for the common cold. Nutrition in Complementary Care, 11, 44-46.

upping my dietary vitamin C….

Green beans [18 mg/cup]


sweet potato [23.3 mg/medium potato], tomato [~55 mg/cup], yellow bell pepper [51.4 mg/oz]


While I prefer to get my vitamin C from fruits and veggies, I also don’t think there’s anything wrong with taking supplements when I’m not getting enough vitamin C  from dietary sources or need extra due to increased stress. I’ll be sure to look for the VCM form from now on, though!

A couple of photos from the past few days…I went to the STL City Museum for the first time this weekend {yes, those are people in that hamster-looking maze below}. It was really fun…except for the fact that I lost my ID while climbing somewhere outside.


Right before my ID plummeted 25 + feet down to the unknown.


Probably one of the most interactive museums I’ve ever been to…definitely want to go back sometime!


Today, the SLU interns spent more time gardening outside. It was pretty much a perfect fall day. We picked these marigolds for display in the cafeteria.


Hope everyone had a good weekend and a fabulous Monday. I’m working on a special blog exchange with a nutritionist well-known for her alternative nutrition viewpoint that I’m excited to share with you!



  1. Great info on Vitamin C! The pics are great...would love to visit STL City museum.

  2. I didn't know that yellow bell peppers were so high in Vitamin C...good thing I cooked with them today!

  3. great info! I also tell Chris to make sure he gets enough Vit C since athletes need at least 100mg and 500mg or less for ultra-endurance. I love all your citrus eats, pretty :)
    Wow, I didn't realize there were actually people crawling in there until you pointed that out, how cool!

  4. My parents took me to the City Museum when I was 13 and I had a blast with my lil sister! I miss StL!

  5. Thanks for the info! I don't love taking supplements, I want to get all my nutrients from fresh good food, but now I'm taking spirulina. My nails are so fragile and they won't seem to get better, so I thought that extra b-vitamin can't hurt

  6. I'm sorry to hear about you ID. That is always a bummer. I hope you found/find it/get another one soon!

    I definitely get enough Vit. C from fruits and veggies, but I have been known to down a glass of Emergen-C from time to time.

  7. Vitamin C has tons of benefits... I'm sure that I get enough because I never get a flu or cold!hahaha..... horay for good immune system! :)

    that museum sounds fun! I like it, but more than the just watch and read ones! I get bored easily there!

  8. Great info on Vitamin C!

    Ha, that museum looks like tons of fun ... it's like play place for bigger people ; )

  9. Hm, maybe I should up my take, just in case. Colleges are so full of sickness, blech.

    I love marigolds! They're one of my favorite flowers.

  10. Oh I can see your ID in your back pocket!! I can just imagine it falling..ugh, what a bummer.
    Great info on Vitamin C. I get so sick of people saying, "I don't get sick, I take a vitamin C supplement!" haha, no...not quite.

    The museum sounds like a good time. I like interactive museums, rather than just walking around and looking at things.
    Have a great week Emily!

  11. thanks for the info on vitamin c! you are so smart and you are my personal teacher :) love all your pics! u look too cuteeeeee

  12. Nice food choices to get your vitamin C. Mostly taking it after the fact (like so many nutrients) doesn't really help. The key is to get enough every day (ahead of illness) since supplementation doesn't help much unless you are actually deficient in whatever nutrient may be (therefore good lit review since you did mention info along these lines). We discussed this in my class last night when one of my students asked about zinc in throat lozenges.

  13. Thanks for the great info! I really love that you cited credible sources. That's one thing they're drilling into us in kinesiology, so now I'm always watching for it!

    Your C-rich foods look yummy, and what a fun mueseum! It's like a McDonald's play place that doesn't discriminate against people over 3'0. Haha!

  14. You are so pretty, Miss Emily!

    Must be all that Vitamin C... :)

  15. The picture of you in the spiral is FANTASTIC!

  16. The museum looks exciting! I'd love to check it out sometime!

    Thanks for the information on vitamin C!

  17. oooh I get my vitamin C from all of those and I've been taking a vitamin c emergen-c everyday to help kick it up a notch!

    you always look like you're having SUCH fun with your intern friends! glad to see it :)

  18. I love the amount of black pepper you put on your green beans, yummmsters! Did you guys go on the roof at the museum? I want to get up there soon.

  19. Whenever I feel like I am getting sick I start chugging the OJ, it works so well! My road bike is a Trek 2.3 women's specific bike but I also have an old school Peguet road bike for riding around town and getting to class.

  20. yay for vitamin c! i love your green shirt!

  21. Thanks for the info on vitamin C. I never really get sick, so I don't really wory about it. Maybe I don't get sick because I intake a lot of viatmin C? ;)

  22. 1. LOVE that flower mug!
    2. Thanks for all of the vitamin c info!! Tis the season for colds/illnesses so this is very handy.
    3. That museum looks like a lot of fun! Sorry about the ID though :(
    4. Have a great Wednesday!!

  23. thanks for visiting my blog, girl! your is just fabulous!!

    that museam looks awesome!!


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