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Complementary Medicine

Will the Flu Shot Be Effective if its Taken With 10,000 g of Vitamin C?

12/19/2003

Question:

My husband who works in a prison takes 10,000 grams of vitamin C a day. He also gets a flu shot. While taking that much vitamin C, will the vaccine still work? I think I read once that a lot of vitamin C makes the cells so strong that even chemo would not work. Seven years ago, before he began taking vitamins, he had streptococcus pneumonia. He also recommended the pneumonia vaccine. Any suggestions? thank you.

Answer:

That`s quite a lot of vitamin C! Unfortunately, research doesn't show a benefit of taking more than 1-2 grams (1,000-2,000 milligrams) of vitamin C per day. Our body can only absorb about 500 mg at a time. I recommend taking 250-500 mg twice a day, and double the dose if you feel a cold or the flu coming on. There is also no evidence that it interferes with the flu vaccine. 

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Response by:

Tanya I Edwards, MD, MEd Tanya I Edwards, MD, MEd
Formerly, Associate Professor of Medicine
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University