“I listened with great interest to your recent episode about the role of vitamin C in reducing toxins in the bloodstream. Before I run out the door to get some vitamin C supplements, I have a question about the best way to take it. You said the recommended dose is 1000 mg daily. But could I increase absorption by splitting that into smaller amounts throughout the day?”
Leena raises an excellent point. There is, in fact, a limit to how much the vitamin C the body can absorb into its tissues at one time. If you take in 200 mg of vitamin C, virtually all of it will end up in your bloodstream. If you take 1000 mg at one time, a large portion of it will probably end up in your urine. In terms of keeping your blood levels consistently high, taking 500 mg twice a day, or 250 mg four times a day would probably be more effective than taking 1000 mg once a day.
However, the study that I described in my recent podcast on reducing toxins in the bloodstream used a single 1000 mg dose. It would take another study to establish whether breaking that dose into multiple smaller doses would make any difference in reducing PCB levels in your body. It might work better. It might not work as well! For all we know, it’s the absorption of excess vitamin C by the kidneys that leads to increased excretion of PCBs. (That’s why we test these things!)
Here’s how you might hedge your bets, though. You could take 1000 mg of vitamin C once a day, as they did in the study. In addition, you could choose more Vitamin C rich foods at all your meals throughout the day. That way, you’d have the best of both worlds: a single large dose (just in case that’s the secret sauce) and multiple smaller doses throughout the day. And you’d be eating more fruits and vegetables in the bargain. That sounds like a win-win-win.