As some of you may know from my page about laxatives, I’m big believer that any kind of marketed laxative promotes a vicious cycle of reoccurring constipation. However I also understand that people need a little extra help sometimes, but there is a more gentle approach to speeding up your digestive tract and one way to combat it is through nutrition and vitamins C.
People usually associate Vitamin C with oranges and are mostly taken when they have a cold or flu, but truth be told, vitamin C has many other overlooked benefits (which I’ll go into in another post). Other than building collagen in the body or being one of the most mighty antioxidants known in nature, today I want to talk about the effects of Vitamin C and it’s treatment for constipation.
What is the Recommended Daily Intake (RDI)?
It is one of the most widely taken vitamin product anywhere in the world, yet many people are deficient in vitamin C today, the RDI for vitmanin C:
Keep in mind these RDI’s are the minimum a human should have and is enough to keep the common cold at bay, but like I always say, different people call for different needs and some people require more of something than others. Vitamin C is a water soluble vitamin, which means that if your body has excess of the vitamin you will pee it out. Taking vitamin C in high doses results in a laxative effect, it also has no toxicity rating, which means it safe to take in high doses at any one time (you may experience nausea, stomach cramps or diarrhoea) and should be taken at various times in the day for slow release and optimum absorption.
How much should I take to treat Constipation?
For myself I take a minimum of 500mg per day after breakfast, to keep up with my natural rhythm and if I need a little extra help I take anywhere from 1000mg to 2000mg over a period of 3 hours (mild constipation). For severe constipation you can take up to 4000mg as follows:
2000mg before bed
2000mg in the morning
2000mg noon (this puts you at 6000mg)
*Remember to drink lots of water throughout too.
**For women who suffer with constipation around their menstruation they can adjust their intake accordingly.
How does it work?
Your body is pretty smart, it knows what it wants and if it doesn’t need any more you can just pee it out. Vitamin C is not stored in the body so the excess will sit in the gut unabsorbed resulting in a laxative effect. This is a much more gentle approach to treat constipation short term as opposed to stimulant laxatives which force the body into action (mostly like a bully at school, who wants you out of his side of the playground) ;)
Remember this is not a long term solution, and if you continue to suffer with chronic constipation consult your Doctor to find the cause of your constipation.
‘Solve It With Supplemements’ by Robert A. Schulam, MD.