What happens to the pH of the blood when people take 10 grams or more of Vitamin C ?
S. B., MD
Dear Dr. B.,
Good question, and hopefully members of this forum will be able to improve on the following response. My understanding is as follows:
1) keep in mind that virtually all animal livers (or some kidneys in lower forms) produce ascorbic acid 24/7. I once estimated the average amount produced to be equivalent to 250 mg/hr (We humans would have to take 500 mg/hr by mouth to achieve roughly equivalent blood levels).
2), the greatest chemist of our time ingested 9,000 (almost 10,000 mg) at one time, and did this twice per day for a total of 18,000 mg daily (Source: HOW TO LIVE LONGER AND FEEL BETTER, 1986) It is true that Pauling buffered this amount with an unspecified amount of sodium bicarbonate.
3), ascorbic acid is a weak acid, and the kidneys regulate the maximum blood level of AA to around 15 mg/dl, where it begins to spill into the urine in most people. This is still about 1/10 the amount of glucose in the blood.
4) , ascorbate travels in both acid and alkaline form, e.g. it is combined with sodium in the liver and at least part of the vitamin C in the body travles through the blood as sodium ascorbate - an alkaline substance.
5), Pauling estimated (and Sherry Lewin concurs) that approximately one half of the vitamin taken by mouth is "lost" (reacts with something) before entering the blood stream.
We believe, based on Dr. Cathcart's writings, and his video lecture
http://www.vitamincfoundation.org/videos , that ascorbic acid is the most potent form of vitamin C for putting out free radical fires. In other words, AA is best for achieving maximum therapeutic effects. However, sodium ascorbate
is also vitamin C (though only about half as effective). Sodium ascorbate can be taken orally, and it is alkaline - not acidic at all.
Pauling's advice, in a discussion of kidney stones, seemed to be to monitor the pH of the urine. If the urine is too alkaline - then ascorbic acid can help PREVENT kidney stones. If the urine is too acidic, then he recommended the sodium ascorbate form of vitamin C.