Can Vitamin C Help with Allergies?
Millions of Americans suffer from seasonal allergies, and there are a wide range of pharmaceutical products that can soothe allergy symptoms. For those seeking a more natural means of allergy treatment, Vitamin C may be an ideal choice.
What Are Allergies?
Allergies occur because of overreaction of the immune system. Allergens are a type of irritant and, when these foreign substances enter the body, the immune system responds by releasing histamine into the bloodstream.
Histamines are a chemical made by your immune system, and their job is to help rid your body of foreign invaders like allergens. The way histamines accomplish this is by triggering our body’s natural processes to expel allergens—itching, watery eyes, and sneezing.
The dust, pollen, pet dander, or other irritants that are present during allergy season can trigger histamine production, leading to sneezing, itchy eyes, asthma, a runny nose, and overall misery.
Vitamin C and Allergies
Vitamin C is well known as an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and a protector against the free radicals that can damage cells and cause disease. It’s also what helps the body with iron absorption and storage, assists with fighting infections, and is also an immune system booster, but what’s this vitamin’s role in alleviating allergy symptoms?
Well, vitamin C also happens to be a natural antihistamine; it seeks out and destroys histamine molecules in the bloodstream. The resulting reduced amount means fewer tears, sniffles, and itches for allergy sufferers. Our bodies aren’t able to manufacture vitamin C, but, thankfully, there’s more than one way to get it.
What’s the Best Way to Get Vitamin C into Your Body?
By far, the consumption of foods that are rich in Vitamin C is the best way to get it. Citrus fruits, whether consumed in their natural form or poured into a glass of juice, can deliver a daily dose of allergy-busting C. There are also many other fruits and vegetables that contain high amounts, including:
- Chili peppers
- Sweet yellow peppers
One important thing to be aware of is the fact that Vitamin C is sensitive to air, light, and temperature. If overexposed to these factors, your body won’t be able to absorb the maximum amount from the food you eat. For this reason, it can make sense to take supplements.
How Much Vitamin C Should You Take?
When it comes to this vitamin, it’s all about what your body—or, more specifically, your intestines—can absorb. Studies have revealed that when a person takes 1000mg or more of Vitamin C at one time, their body’s ability to absorb it all will be reduced by more than half.
This is because of tissue saturation; once the tissues become saturated with the vitamin, the body is unable to absorb more. When this happens, any excess amount will be excreted via the urine.
Taking daily doses in excess of 3000 mg can cause side effects including diarrhea, gastrointestinal upset, and an increased production of kidney stones in those with a history of stones of kidney disease, among others.
Dosage and Frequency
So, how much should you take? The body is able to absorb approximately 200 to 500 mg at one time. Therefore, it can be a good idea to split a 1000-mg dose into either two daily doses of 500 mg or four daily doses of 250 mg. This will keep histamine-destroying C in your bloodstream and provide all of its other health benefits, too.
When taking a vitamin C supplement, consider doing so with food or with a healthy fat like avocado; this will help to ensure your body absorbs the maximum amount.
Natural Allergy and Sinus Relief
Forrest Health products contain high-quality and all-natural ingredients that we’ve combined using the latest technology. All of our allergy supplements can provide you with reduced symptoms of seasonal allergies without pharmaceutical ingredients. Look through our website to learn more, or call 408-354-4262.