Feature image from TARTELETTE
Vitamin C & Your Immune system
Vitamin C, also referred to as ascorbic acid, is found in high concentrations in immune cells, and is consumed quickly during infections.
It is not certain how Vitamin C interacts with the immune system but it has been hypothesised to modulate the activities of particular white blood cells, involved in defending the body against both infectious disease and foreign materials.
These white blood cells and the Vitamin C that modulates them are found throughout the body, including the blood and the lymphatic system. Vitamin C is also a natural antihistamine. It both prevents histamine release and increases the detoxification of histamine.
As general rule, it is believed that Vitamin C is good for you, no matter who you are, and that you probably aren’t getting enough of it through your diet, especially if your whole diet is cooked, as cooking disturbs Vitamin C (Read below).
Vitamin C as a Treatment for ITP
From the information I can find online about Vitamin C as a treatment for ITP, the results are fairly inconclusive. On the subject of Vitamin C and ITP, there appears to be just as much evidence for ascorbic acid as there is against it working.
In a SURVEY CONDUCTED by the PSDA, about 30% of patients who tried Vitamin C as a non-traditional treatment for ITP felt it helps their platelets and they felt a sustained effect.
Both of these quotes where taken from the SUCCESSFUL TREATMENT OF IMMUNE THROMBOCYTOPENIA with Ascorbic Acid.
On the one hand, there is this statement- ‘All patients have maintained their platelet count while on ascorbate. Ascobiac acid appears to be benefit in ITP. Although its exact role in treatment awaits definition, its safety and cost make it an attractive alternative.’
And on the other hand, there is this – ‘Our data, analysed together with those of the literature, allow us to conclude that ascorbic acid may not be considered a drug of interest in the treatment of chronic refractory ITP.’
Vitamin C, Chance of Overdose?
Vitamin C is a water soluble vitamin, with any excesses in the blood rapidly excreted in urine. This makes Vitamin C a low risk, low toxicity Vitamin. Meaning that you could probably unofficially test your own response to Vitamin C as a treatment for itp at home. It does seem to be working for some patients.
However, Vitamin C is chemical. It is an active compound and does react and engage with your body. When you are taking Vitamin C do it slowly. Stop, listen and be aware of your bodies responses to the Vitamin.
Loss of Vitamin C in Cooking
The preparation of Vitamin C rich foods is important. Vitamin C diminishes when cooked, depending on the food and may be lost all together after long cooking. Also, as it is water soluble, it leaches’s out into any cooking water that may be discarded before eating. You’ll get the most Vitamin C if you eat fruits and vegetables raw or lightly cooked, which is why I have selected a list of fresh fruits as the easiest, hassle free option to getting enough Vitamin C.
Natural Sources of Vitamin C
- Black Currants
- Rosehip or rosehip tea
- Goose Berry
This article is not recommending that high doses of Vitamin C will cure you of ITP. Merely that the importance of Vitamin C should not be overlooked. There are many things we quickly take for granted and one of those might just be to assume you are already getting enough.
I feel it is my duty to also include this article from THE RETURN OF THE REVENGE OF HIGH DOSE VITAMIN C FOR CANCER.