Vitamin C Effective Against Parasites

Vitamin C effective against parasites

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If you ever needed another reason to consume Vitamin C you can now add anti-parasitic to its long list of benefits.

Almost every person aiming to heal themselves from chronic disease, or simply wanting to remain healthy, should have heard of Vitamin C’s powerful benefits. However, there are still some of us that do not consume enough on a daily basis, or don’t realise how much we may need.

What is Vitamin C?

Vitamin C is a water soluble vitamin most commonly found in citrus fruits. Although Vitamin C can also be found abunduntly in lesser known foods such as Strawberry, Broccoli, Cayenne Pepper and even Potato.

Vitamin C is known as an essential nutrient directly involved in the formation of collagen as well as the repair of tissue. It was made most famous due to its discovery in preventing scurvy. Whilst the prevention of scurvy is obviously important it oftentimes overshadows just how many other benefits it has to the human body.

Benefits of Vitamin C

  • Strengthens immunity
  • Antioxidant
  • Fights cold and infections
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Directly involved in collagen production
  • Prevents asthma
  • Improves bone, teeth & gum health
  • Promotes eye health
  • Helps with weight loss
  • Combats lead toxicity
  • Improves skin health

Primarily Vitamin C provides health benefits due to its powerful antioxidant effect. When our body has a heightened immune response due to either bacterial or viral infection, exposure to toxins, increased stress, or pollutants, it will increase the amount of free radicals to combat theses problems. Whilst oxidants are integral to immune protection, non-specific targeting oxdiants have negative side-effects, they damage the host tissues, and can even obstruct their functioning.[]] This is referred to as oxidative stress and could be a result of reoccuring infection or consistent exposure to an enviromental toxin or pollutant.

Whilst almost all animals can synthethise their own Vitamin C, humans in a bizarre twist of fate, do not have this ability! The reason behind this genetic fault has been speculated at length, biochemist Irwin Jones eventually concluded the inability of humans to produce Vitamin C was due to a defective gene in the human gene pool. Lucky us, huh? Whether that’s the reason or not doesn’t necessarily matter, what does matter is humans need to consume Vitamin C either through diet or supplementation. 

To put this in perspective a 70 kg goat will produce around 13,000mg of Vitamin C each day, with an ability to produce more than twice that when ill. Some animals have the ability to produce 13 times more Vitamin C than normal when under stressful conditions. When you consider the recommended daily allowance for us humans is a meagre 90mg… it kind of puts things in perspective.

If you believe your health to be as important, or dare I say more important than that of a goat, then you may consider upping your Vitamin C intake.

Vitamin C as an Antiparasitic

Whilst there is an emormous depth of history with Vitamin C which includes its use in natural and allopathic medicine, the controvery over recommended amounts, and mesmorising claims by proponents such as double nobel prize winner, Linus Pauling, this isn’t the main focus of today’s article.

Here we are discussing the effectiveness of Vitamin C to combat parasites in the body.

Parasites by definition are taking from the host in a means that is almost always non-beneficial. As such parasites have a detrimental effect on the fitness and overall wellbeing of the host. [3]

Whilst the potential symptoms of a parasite burden could fill several books, parasites can cause all manner of ailments ranging from minor gastrointestinal discomfort to full blown pyschological disorders including depression and anxiety. [4] [5]

In addition parasites can be directly responsible for oxidant release through degredation products of their own metabolism. [6] Which means parasites contribute to the overall oxidant load within the body.

As Vitamin C is a powerful anti-oxidant it would make sense that it could have an effect in treating parasite burden either directly or indirectly.

Studies show Vitamin C inhibits the growth of Plasmodium falciparum, a unicellular protozoan parasite of humans, and the deadliest species of Plasmodium that causes malaria in humans. [7] Interestingly the study notes that Vitamin C uptake is drastically increased in infected red blood cells and a large proportion enters the parasites. Additional absorption of Vitamin C causes an accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), reduced ATP production, and elevated eryptosis (a type of programmed cell death due to oxidative stress, heavy metal toxicity or other stresses) in infected Red Blood Cells.

What does this mean exactly? Well, in this regard you can imagine Vitamin C as the diligent parent tidying the messy childs bedroom. Vitamin C not only targets the rubbish in the room, which in this case is the parasites, but it also bins the broken or unused toys of the bedroom, which in this case are infected or faulty red blood cells. In this way we’re removing the burden of both parasites and faulty cells from the body. Hooray for Vitamin C!

This is, in summary, how vitamin C has such a profound cornucopia of benefits. Being such a powerful antioxidant, Vitamin C reduces the oxidative stress of the body and in turn allows it a chance to recover. Any way we can help the body to prevent excess oxidative stress allows more energy to be used in maintaing our energy levels, digesting our food, or ridding the body of excess toxins.

Other studies show vitamin C’s method of action may be postulated as having a lethal pro-oxidant effect on the parasite when used alone, or an antioxidant effect when used in combination with anti-parasitic drugs such as benznidazole. Furthermore in parasite infect mice, the groups treated with vitamin C had a lower parasite count. [8]

Additional studies concluded vitamin C possesses potent antimicrobial properties reducing pathogenicity of bacteria, viruses, parasites, and fungi. Which may be in part due to the immunomodulatory properties of vitamin C.[9]

Can vitamin C be useful against Parasites?

In conclusion its clear vitamin C can play an important role in the fight against parasites. Whilst those of us who have never experienced a detrimental parasite load may dismiss the wide range of potential symptoms- those of us that have are likely interested in all and any means to rid their body of them. Plus in my opinion any natural antitode that not only helps to clear parasites but also improves overall immune-function is worth paying attention to in my opinion. Unfortunately all too many people plauged by parasite burden concentrate too acutely on anti-parasitic measures only, whereas adaquete attention paid to improving the bodys health and immune function as a whole would likely serve them better. Afterall the body has an inate ability to fight off almost any illness providing we give it a fighting chance.

Considering its price and wide range of benefits vitamin C should be a staple in everybodys diet. However, anybody recovering from any chronic disease including parasite infection should absolutely be including a vitamin C supplement in their regime. This effective vitamin can be used equally well via its chemical form ascorbic acid, or as whole food extract such as those derived from Camu-camu, the most potent natural source of vitamin C available.

Is your digestive health a constant source of concern? Do you have irregular bowel movements, bloating or food allergies? You may be suffering from excess parasite-burden. Read our Parasite Cleanse Daily Routine to find out where to start.


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