Of all the vitamins and supplements, vitamin C is probably THE most important vitamin when it comes to your adrenal health.
The adrenal cortex, the outer part of the adrenals, is said to hold the highest concentration of vitamin C (ascorbic acid) of all the body’s tissues. The medulla, the inner part, also contains high levels of Vitamin C. Your adrenals need ascorbic acid to produce adrenaline and noradrenaline. Vitamin C is secreted as part of your body’s stress response. This means that cortisol production relies on vitamin C.
Therefore, the more cortisol you produce the greater your need for vitamin C.
Best food sources of vitamin C
Firstly, humans need to obtain their vitamin C from outside sources like food or supplements. It is believed that the younger the plant, the greater the vitamin C content.
The best food sources include:
- Green leafy vegetables
- Sprouts (like alfalfa or clover sprouts)
Whilst I am a massive fan of food first, you might not be getting sufficient levels of vitamin C from your food if you are dealing with ongoing adrenal fatigue or thyroid dysfunction.
How much vitamin C is enough?
This is a question I hear often. The answer is simple, everyone has individual requirements. Remember there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to your health. You are beautiful and unique and you should make time to figure out the right food and supplements that’s going to bring your body to a place of wellbeing.
One way to find out how much vitamin C your body needs is to do a Vitamin C loading test.
Vitamin C Loading Test
This is an easy way to find out how much vitamin C your body requires. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think everyone should rush to do this test, but if you are reading this blog, there is a good chance you are looking for ways to optimise your health.
To do the test, you will need a vitamin C supplement, ideally 500mg vitamin C per capsule combined with bioflavonoids. Using a combined formulations makes the process a great deal easier.
On day one take 500mg of vitamin C that contains bioflavonoids (one capsule)
Every hour increase your vitamin C by 500mg and bioflavonoids.
Do this every hour until your bowel movements become runny or loose.
Once you have achieved the runny poo stage, reduce your dose by 500mg and voila, you should have reached your ideal daily dose. If you find that a single reduction is not sufficient, then reduce the dose one more time. Your optimal dose should not cause loose bowel movements.
It will vary from person to person, but on average, people with adrenal fatigue generally need around 2,000-4,000mg. Mine was considerably higher than this. I ended with a daily dose of 6,000mg for quite a number of months.
Whilst I love this simple test, I would like to add a point of caution. Don’t ever stay on high doses of any supplement, no matter how beneficial. Supplements are intended for short term intervention. Always seek the advice of your health care practitioner and work with someone who understands your health, rather than relying on Dr.Google.
The vitamin C you find in nature is combined with certain bioflavonoids. Your body needs the bioflavonoids to metabolise and utilise the vitamin C. When you look for a supplement, always use a supplement that contains bioflavonoids, such as rosehip.
How many doses a day?
Vitamin C is a water soluble nutrient, which means that your body will utilise it quickly and will excrete what it doesn’t need. As a result, the recommendation is to split your total daily dose (based on your calculations), over three doses over the course of the day. One other option is to use a time-release vitamin C supplement but be aware that it might not contain sufficient levels of bioflavonoids.
The good news is that Vitamin C is not just needed by the adrenal glands but serve a really important function in supporting your immune system. It’s primary role is to deal with oxidative stress, which is why it can be of significant benefit to anyone dealing with ongoing thyroid dysfunction or Hashimoto’s disease.
A last note of caution.
If you have done some work on your adrenals and thyroid and taken a high dose vitamin C but would like to reduce it, don’t do what I did and just stop it overnight. Trust me your body is NOT going to thank you for it. Your body adjusts to the amount of vitamin C it is getting and you can end up with vitamin C deficiency symptoms (bleeding or swollen gums, bruising easily). The best way to reduce your dose is to do it gradually. Slowly reduce your dose by 500mg every 5 days and give your body some time to adapt.
If you are ready to say goodbye to the ongoing fatigue, inability to deal with stress, unsupported thyroid or gut symptoms and want a different life, then book in for a 30-minute free assessment call with me today.