Vitamin C

Vitamin C is part of The Iodine Protocol. Dr. Brownstein recommends 2,000mg – 5,000mg per day if we’re actively taking 50mg of iodine. I started with small amounts of iodine and worked up slowly, so I did not need this much vitamin C at first.

Vitamin C can help improve a defective cellular transport mechanism for iodine. This means some of us may not be able to absorb and utilize iodine as well without adequate vitamin C. 1

Vitamin C is an antioxidant connected to many health benefits. As we start utilizing iodine, or make progress with detox and healing, we may need more or less vitamin C. 2

Mixing vitamin C with iodine

Lugols should not be mixed with beverages that contain vitamin C as this would convert the iodine into iodide, essentially reducing Lugols into just potassium iodide. The reason we use Lugols is due to it containing 2 forms of iodine our body uses, so reducing it back to one form would negate some of it’s benefits.

There is a lot of debate over whether the iodine converts to iodide when inside our body as we consume them at the same time. Our body is capable or absorbing substances like iodine and vitamin c very rapidly. Within several minutes of consuming one of these, our cells will most likely have absorbed the majority of it, drastically reducing its ability to interact with the next one that we consume. Although I personally do not consume iodine and vitamin C powder on a daily basis, I only wait several minutes between the two if I happen to take them on the same day. Some people wait 2 hours between each, others assume much more time is needed.

I think a good way to imagine the rate at which our body can absorb and begin metabolizing substances is by thinking of how quickly a few shots of alcohol can influence a person. Even with a stomach full of food, if someone were to take several shots of alcohol, most of us will feel it within several minutes, and possibly even sooner.

But wait, there might be more to this

Vitamin C can be recycled a few times. Ascorbic acid is oxidized into dehydroascorbic acid, which can carry out different functions that convert it back into ascorbic acid at the same time. This is a neat view of how biochemistry works sometimes. We might assume oxidized vitamin c is bad.

The reason I am sharing this is because:

We demonstrated in intestinal epithelial cells that dehydroascorbic acid (the oxidized form of ascorbic acid), when generated from ascorbic acid in the presence of copper, can be efficiently transported into the cells and reduced back to ascorbic acid 3

This paper says the oxidized form of vitamin C goes into intestinal cells. This paper just happened to study copper. I doubt there is a difference in copper or iodine oxidizing vitamin C, its still just oxidized vitamin C.

The issue here is that we ruin a bit of the iodine in the process if we mix these two. But I wanted to share this to point out the oxidized vitamin C situation. I share these tidbits to help point out that these nutrients all work with each other and we should avoid hyper-focusing on only one or a few nutrients.

What if I have issues taking Vitamin C?

Vitamin C is a powerful compound, which is great for our healing efforts. But, depending on how our body is currently operating, vitamin C can be irritating in several ways.

Not all vitamin C is created equal. So the quality of the powder itself could potentially irritate just about anything it makes it’s way past as we consume it. Some of the lower quality vitamin C will be stripped down to pure ascorbic acid, which is the active component of vitamin C, but is also an acid. The fact that we are consuming moderate to large quantities of an acid, could be a cause for discomfort. I use Sodium Ascorbate to help buffer the acid, but there are other versions that can help this situation.

Other possibilities include a detox reaction. Our skin, organs, tissues, stomach lining etc can become a breeding ground for various types of life forms, whether foreign invaders, or residents that have evolved with us and usually help keep our health in check when things are running smoothly. If the vitamin C is able to assist our body in attacking these, or just the acidic nature of the vitamin C, we may notice discomfort as the bad guys leave and clean up begins.

Improper stomach acid may allow the acidity of vitamin C to cause discomfort. Our stomach acid is one of our first lines of defense from foreign invaders, it’s important that it is running at the correct pH. There are various resources on the internet that may help someone determine their stomach acid levels, or a natural based doctor may be able to help. I have pulled together a bit of info on my other site at

Taking too much too quickly can overload our body’s ability to utilize vitamin C. If this happens, our body has to figure out how to eject the extra, which technically means it’s toxic at that point. Most people will notice this in the form of having to rush to the bathroom, but some people are affected differently. I had very minor digestive discomfort when I started taking larger doses of vitamin C. I just reduced the dose for a while and eventually increased slowly.

Which vitamin C or ascorbic acid is best?

I started with Camu Camu powder which is known for its vitamin C content. Every few days or about once a week I would try small amounts of Sodium Ascorbate(a common type of vit C) and keep an eye out for digestive changes. If I noticed anything, I would keep up with that form till those changes leveled out. Another option is Rose Hip powder.

If I were to start over, I would use Seeking Health’s Liposomal Vitamin C to help get vit C to inhibited cells. I’ve read that apparently liposomal vitamin C does not function well at small doses. Apparently functioning cells will get to the liposomal before it makes it to the less healthy cells, so we need to flood the system a little more than I originally assumed. There “plus” version has some handy extras including Rose Hip extract, Phosphatidylcholine and others nutrients that can help our body utilize vit C.

Other options include blending whole organic lemons. It is best to start slow with whole food vitamin C.

The Douglas Labs Natural C is recommended by a lot of people due to it’s Bioflavonoid Complex

Rainbow Light Super C has some natural extracts added that might assist the ascorbic acid

Dr. Brownstein recommends about 2,000-5,000mg per day while taking iodine. But this amount is considering that we’re taking 50mg of Lugols iodine per day, which is not a common starting dose. I started with a single drop of 2% Lugols per day, which is only 2.5mg, and only added 1 drop to that amount each week.

I try to get most of my vitamin C from food, and then I supplement If I feel any detox reactions and want to make sure I’m getting enough. And when I do start taking powder vitamin C, I tend to start slow to avoid possible digestive discomfort. Anytime I do notice benefits or digestive changes when I take vitamin C supplements, I continue taking it till I do not feel those benefits or changes anymore. I do this with all of my supplements and slowly figure out how much my body wants of each, and how often. Sometimes the amount changes as I make healing progress and find other nutrients I need.

Vitamin C is one of many antioxidants that our body uses. Some of these antioxidants/nutrients allow others to be recycled, or used for more cycles. So instead of just loading up on one, we might be able to use that one more efficiently by replenishing other nutrients. I explain a bit more about this on the selenium page

  1. Evidence that the administration of Vitamin C improves a defective cellular transport mechanism for iodine: A Case Report – Guy E. Abraham, M.D. (1)and David Brownstein, M.D.(2)
  2. Vitamin C in Disease Prevention and Cure: An Overview – Indian J Clin Biochem. 2013 Oct; 28(4): 314–328. –
  3. Cellular vitamin C accumulation in the presence of copper –
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June 9, 2024

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