Monday, June 20, 2011

Take vitamin C supplements post stomach surgery > 500mg a day

One of the bitter ironies is that hospital food, by its nature being bulk produced under a tight budget is totally in adequate for sustaining the optimal healing process. I would love to do a trial where one hospital gave out good quality multi vitamin/mineral supplement. I would bet that hospital would have faster healing times, reduction in secondary infections, less relapses etc etc.

Since I am currently unable to fund such a study, I will continue to post studies that show supplementation is helpful in the hospital situation. Today is it about vitamin C. Parenteral nutrition is feeding via a drip, rather than via stomach processing. This enables people to recover from stomach surgery still being able to have "food". The problem is of course is that the hospital purchasing most likely takes cost into consideration when ordering such products. Therefore the nutrition will have nutrients focused on RDI intakes, not optimal or maximal intakes.

In this randomized study people with gastrointestinal surgery  were either given no extra vitamin C, 100 mg or 500 mg a day. At the 0 and 100 mg of extra vitamin C, there wasn't any, above normal, vitamin C loss via urine. This indicates that the body wasn't getting enough to have left over vitamin C lost via urine. At 500 mg a day there was enough vitamin C to have extra vitamin C showing up in the urine.

Also a marker of oxidative stress (8-isoprostane) was significantly lower in the 500 mg group compared to the 100 or 0 group.

So if you are recovering post surgery and are being feed via a drip, I would get some vitamin C powder (pure stuff, no extra bits) and see if you are allowed to put this into your "food". Give me an email if you can and see what the reaction was from the medical personal.

Obviously if you are able to eat, this is better, I would still take the extra vitamin C though, cause you sure ain't getting much via the food as vitamin C is one of the most easily destroyed nutrients.

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