Popular But Dangerous: The Truth About Emergen-C Packets
Written by: Kat Gal
As a traveler, I don’t own many things. But it doesn’t mean that I am not prepared. I always have a little emergency pack: bandaids, disinfectant, clippers, tissue, feminine products, lipbalm and the like.
I have to say though, my husband is always a bit more prepared than I am. He usually carries some vitamin C tablets, fuzzy drink powders and lozenges with him in case he gets sick.
Several years ago, trotting through Serbia and Bosnia in the middle of winter, he was taken down by a pretty bad cold. With the first sign of a scratchy throat, he began searching for his Emergen-C packets. For the next several days, he was overdosing on them, drinking countless glasses of Emergen-C. I am doubtful that it helped, because he still felt miserable for at least a week longer.
Now we both know better and get our vitamins – including our C’s – from whole foods instead. We haven’t been sick for over 3 years (knock on wood).
Emergen-C® is a popular vitamin-C drink powder. It claims to be healthy by providing people with better immunity response, more energy and improved health.
This sounds great, but the truth is far less magical.
To start with – it may contain GMO’s!
The Emergen-C website admits that they use GMO products in their facility, but are unclear whether it is used in the actual product or not. According to their website, they try to choose non-GMO materials, but cannot guarantee to do so at all times.
GMO or not, I prefer knowing EXACTLY what’s in my food and supplements and “cannot guarantee” just doesn’t cut it.
Secondly, Emergen-C’s facility, located in New Jersey, is owned by one of the world’s biggest manufacturers, Hoffman-LaRoche.
This fact alone gives you a hint that Emergen-C is most likely not a natural product. This facility produces 90% of ascorbic acid used in the U.S., mostly made from cornstarch and volatile acids.
What’s Wrong With Ascorbic Acid?
Despite popular belief, vitamin C and ascorbic acid are NOT the same thing.
Since it is nearly impossible to get 100-150 mg of vitamin C from food into a tiny tablet, most vitamin C supplements are synthetic. The vitamin C that you find in your supermarket or general drug store is not genuine vitamin C, but rather a chemical copy, a by-product of sulfuric acid and a GMO-sourced corn starch derivative.
This can be dangerous in mega-dose, as it can increase white blood cell count and cause toxicity. Gerard Mullin from John Hopkins Hospital claims that vitamin C in a dose larger than 500 mg can cause kidney stones. Emergen-C contains twice as much.
Potential Health Dangers Of Ascorbic Acid:
- It kills beneficial probiotic bacteria in your gut.
- It may impair your muscles’ mitochondrial function and ability to exercise.
- If you have diabetes, it can increase your risk of cardiovascular disease.
- It heightens your risk of kidney stones.
- It can react with iron in “enriched” foods, which may lead to neurological conditions.
Synthetic Vitamin C – Especially In High-Dose – May Lead To:
- Stomach cramps
- Gluten reactions
- Decreased progesterone
What About Therapeutic Uses Of High-Dose Vitamin C?
In holistic medicine, high-dose of vitamin C have been used to help various diseases, including cancers, polio, radiation-induced gene expression, lockjaw, diabetes, tetanus and more. Research and experience has shown that high-dose of vitamin C can actually be a very effective treatment method.
However, it is important to understand that these high-dose vitamin-C therapists are usually done at a holistic medical center supervised by a physician, or followed by a doctor’s prescription. The vitamin-C used is high quality – not fuzzy Emergen-C drinks.
If you are dealing with any of the conditions above or for any reason are interested in high-dose vitamin-C treatment, please, talk to a holistic doctor specialized in hits, rather than overdosing on Emergen-C or cheap tablets sold at your local pharmacy. As always, it is the best to turn to nutrition first before taking supplements.
Consider Vitamin C-Rich Real Foods
If you want to boost your immune system, are looking for extra energy, or want to recover quickly from a cold or other bug, it is the best to eat organic foods high in vitamin C.
Vitamin C-rich foods include:
- Lemon, oranges, mandarins, grapefruits and other citrus
- Strawberries, raspberries and blueberries
- Sweet and white potato
- Dark green leafy greens
- Winter squash
- Red pepper
To keep your body healthy, you naturally have to look beyond vitamin C. Your body needs all essential vitamins and minerals. You need to keep your gut flora healthy. You need daily exercise. And you need to take care of your mind and soul too.
Some tips to help keep your health intact:
- Eat an organic whole foods diet with plenty of vegetables and fruits. Make green juices and green smoothies. Use green juice powders (such as Organifi) or smoothie powders if you are on the go.
- Exercise 20 – 30 minutes minimum every day.
- Take probiotics and eat probiotic rich, fermented foods.
- Take anti-inflammatory herbs, including turmeric and ginger. You can supplement with these too – try our new Daily Turmeric Boost.
- Meditate. Do relaxation exercises. Think positively. Take time off.
- Get enough sleep: aim for at least 8 hours a night.
What are your tips for staying healthy throughout the year? How do you get your vitamin C? Share your comments below, we would love to hear from you!
Source Source Source Source
Childs A, Jacobs C, Kaminski T, Halliwell B, Leeuwenhurgh C. Supplementation with vitamin C and N-acetvl-cysteine increases oxidative stress in humans after an acute muscle injury induced by eccentric exercise. Free Radic Biol Med 2001;31:745-53.
Kat Gál is a multi-passionate writer, world traveler, nomad, runner, and cat-person. She is a lifelong learner who lives outside of her comfort zones stretching her boundaries and discovering beauty around the world. She is a Certified Holistic Health and Life Coach who encourages others to embrace their unique authentic selves, follow their heart and find their own version of freedom in life.
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