Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Vitamin C - take it after surgery

The problem with some vitamin research is that they don't feed high enough levels of the nutrient to see a difference. For example the current RDI for vitamin C in NZ is 30 - 40 mg / day. Therefore a scientist might design a study which uses 2 -3 times the RDI, being in the range from 60 to 120 mg. If the study shows that vitamin C has no effect, so a paper gets published that vitamin C doesn't have an effect on X. Where X was whatever they were studying. However this might not be true, likely low levels of vitamin C aren't going to show a benefit.

Fortunately this issue wasn't the case with a study looking at increasing vitamin C in parenteral nutrition in postoperative gastrointestinal surgery. Parenteral nutrition is when you are feed via a drip. They found at increasing the dose to 100 mg of vitamin C from the RDI didn't given "normal" values of vitamin C in the urine. However at 500 mg the urine levels were above "normal". Markers of oxidative stress were also reduced in the 500 mg group, but not in the 100 mg.

From this I would conclude that after surgery you need 500 mg of vitamin C to obtain your RDI levels. That is when you body is under significant stress, it needs > 10 times the level of vitamin C just to be normal. I also wonder about other nutrients post sugary.

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