Why Take Vitamin C?
Hopefully, you have read about Some Potential Risks of Vitamin C. If so,
you know that Vitamin C has definitely not turned out to be the rock star that
so many promised. In spite of that, Vitamin C, in some cases at megadose
levels, does merit very strong consideration.
Here are some of the nice benefits from Vitamin C, including some potentially
significant help in the bedroom:
1) Intercourse Frequency. Yes, you read that right. One study of
healthy young volunteers found that 3 grams/day signficantly increased their
frequency of sexual intercourse. Not a bad day's work for a cheap
supplement, eh?  The authors of the study noted that vitamin C
improves "catecholaminergic activity, decreases stress reactivity, approach anxiety and
prolactin release, improves vascular function, and increases oxytocin release".
Of course, all of these can improve your bedroom performance, desire and
2) Your Brain. So is there anywhere where megadoses of Vitamin C seem justified? One good
example is in the brain. As I frequently point out, the
brain is a huge energy and nutrient hog and Vitamin C is no exception. Several
studies have shown Vitamin C intake correlated with improved cognitive function
 and neuroprotection.  But it should be noted that there are other
studies that show no correlation between Vitamin C intake and cognitive
function. Researchers examining the Rotterdam Study, for example,
concluded that "there was no association between cognitive function and intake
of vitamins C and E".  Again, though, the majority of studies show
some advantage to Vitamin C supplementation.
3) Blood Flow, Nitric Oxide and Erections. There is good evidence that in
men struggling with endothelial and erectile dysfunction that Vitamin C can
significantly help their situation. I show all the latest evidence for
this in my link on
Vitamin C and Erectile Dysfunction.
4) Weight Loss. Researchers found that "Vitamin C status is inversely related
to body mass. Individuals with adequate vitamin C status oxidize 30% more fat
during a moderate exercise bout than individuals with low vitamin C status;
thus, vitamin C-depleted individuals may be more resistant to fat mass loss".
 But remember this is only for Vitamin C deficient individuals and does not
justify megadosing. You can get plenty of Vitamin C from food to overcome
these kind of deficits.
5) Cortisol and Stress Reduction. Vitamin C has been shown in a number studies to reduce cortisol
during times of stress. For example,
one study of ultramarathoners 
showed decreases in cortisol from those given megadoses of Vitamin C.
Another (almost humorous) study induced stress by forcing subjects into public
speaking and mathematical test-taking situations and found that 3000 mg reduced
cortisol levels significantly.  More recent research found that
1,000 mg of Vitamin C reduced cortisol levels in weight lifters for 24 hours
after lifting.  Animal studies have shown the same thing on animals
under stress. 
6) Skin. Vitamin C protects your collagen, a key component to any
anti-aging regimen for your Skin and Appearance.
Now I know of no study that shows that oral Vitamin C supplementation reduces
wrinkling and sagging. However, it is very likely that Vitamin C does
reduce or at least protect your skin from wrinkling on a small scale. In
fact, researchers just found that Vitamin C protects skin cell DNA through
fibroblast stimulation  and think it may help to
actually heal the skin. NOTE:
Vitamin C definitely can reduce wrinkling if applied topically. See this
Skin and Topical Vitamin C for more details.
7) Immunity. Vitamin C has many immune-boosting properties but hasn't done
quite as well in the studies as one might hope. However, one thing that most
experts agree upon, as I document in my link on Immunity, is that Vitamin C
often lowers the effects of colds and flus. The worst thing about colds
and flus is that they last for a week or two and make you miserable with
drainage, runny nose and similar symptoms. Vitamin C seems to help significantly with
these type of symptoms, thus putting it somewhat in the "pain reliever"
category, i.e. making your cold or flu more tolerable while you give your body's
own immune system time to recover.
8) Mood. The above study, and others as well, have found that Vitamin C
often improves mood and reduces depression. 
9) H. Pylori. A large percentage of people are infected with H. Pylori, which
leads often to gastritis, stomarch cancer and probably a few other problems that
we have not discovered yet. Vitamin C seems to make life miserable for the
little critters and one study of patients so infected found complete elimination
of the H. Pylori in almost a third of the patients.  NOTE: These
patients were given 5 grams daily.
10) Lead. Megadoses of Vitamin C have substantially reduced baseline lead
levels in several studies. For example, one study on smokers showed that a
gram daily of vitamin C reduced lead levels by a whopping 80%. 
11) Libido. One reader reported to me - this is anecdotal of course - that
Vitamin C helps significantly with his ADHD and lbido. I explain why this
may be the case for some men in this link on Vitamin C and Libido.
10) Inflammation. There is gathering evidence that Vitamin C may improve
inflammation, particularly in at risk men. One prominent example was a
2009 study showed that CRP (C-Reactive Protein) can be reduced by 25% in men
(and women) with at risk levles > 1.0 mg/L.  What is remarkable is that this
was achieved with a mere gram per day, which is a fairly low intake by "Linus Pauling" standards.
Vitamin C - My Current
Dosage and Strategy
My strategy is to take 3 500 mg doses of Ester-C or one of the equivalent supplements.
And I will take more if I feel as if I might be getting sick. And I always take
Vitamin C with no fat in my stomach. Of course, this is no problem for me
as I almost always consume a
Low Fat Diet anyway.
NOTE: Regular Vitamin C is acidic and can be hard on the stomach:
you may want to consider the
(500 mg) , which is neutralized, if you do decide
to take it.
1) J Am Col Nutr, 1999, 18:166-70, "The effect of ascorbic acid supplementation
on the blood lead levels of smokers"
2) EurJ Cancer Prev, 1998 Dec, 7(6):449-54, "Effects of high dose vitamin C
treatment on Helicobacter pylori infection and total vitamin C concentration in
3) Biological Psychiatry, 15 August 2002, 52(4)371-374, "High-dose ascorbic acid
increases intercourse frequency and improves mood: a randomized controlled
Eur J of Clin Nutr, 2003, 57(Suppl1):S54–S57
5) J. Amer Geriatr Soc, 2000, 48:1285–1291
6) Am J Epidemiol, 1996, 144:275–80
Int J Sports Med, 2001 Oct, 22(7):537-43, Peters EM, Anderson R, Nieman
DC, Fickl H, Jogessar V., "Vitamin C supplementation attenuates the increases in
circulating cortisol, adrenaline and anti-inflammatory polypeptides following
11) Psychopharmacology (Berl),Jan 2002,159(3):319-24
12) J Strength and Conditioning Res,1998,12(3):179-184
14) Free Radic Biol Med, 2009 Jan 1, 46(1):70-7, "Vitamin C treatment reduces
elevated C-reactive protein"