Dietary supplements play a very important role in adrenal fatigue recovery. They not only speed it up but are also often necessary for complete recovery to take place. There are specific nutritional supplements that have significant restorative effects on the adrenal glands, which is why Dr. Wilson recommends them as part of the adrenal fatigue rehabilitation program and the emphasizes the absolute necessity of taking them regularly.
Of all the vitamins and minerals involved in adrenal metabolism, vitamin C is probably the most important. In fact, the more cortisol made, the more vitamin C used. Vitamin C is so essential to the adrenal hormone cascade and the manufacture of adrenal steroid hormones that before the measurement of adrenal steroid hormones became available, the blood level of vitamin C was used as the best indicator of adrenal function level in animal research studies. Vitamin C is used all along the adrenal cascade and acts as an antioxidant within the adrenal cortex itself.
Humans do not have the ability that most animals have to convert blood glucose into vitamin C. Therefore, we must obtain our vitamin C from an outside source. Food sources of vitamin C and bioflavonoids include highly colored vegetables and fruits such as green leafy vegetables, tomatoes, peppers and oranges – with the highest amounts of edible vitamin C found in sprouts (sunflower sprouts, alfalfa or clover sprouts, and all the sprouts of any seed or grain). Extracts from certain sour fruits such as the Kakadu plum, Camu Camu, rosehips, acerola and Indian gooseberry have also been used for their extremely high vitamin C content. In most plants, the younger the plant, the more vitamin C it contains per milligram of plant material. However, the amount of vitamin C in commercially available in foods is not sufficient to support the adrenals during stress or during the recovery phase. So if you are experiencing adrenal fatigue, it is essential that you take a supplement containing sufficient vitamin C complex during the whole recovery period and extra vitamin C when you start to become fatigued or ill.
Vitamin C, as it occurs in nature, always appears as a composite of ascorbic acid and certain bioflavonoids. It is this vitamin C complex that is so beneficial, not just ascorbic acid by itself. Bioflavonoids are essential if ascorbic acid is to be fully metabolized and utilized by your body. The ratio of bioflavonoids to ascorbic acid should be approximately 1:2; that is, 1 mg. of bioflavonoids for every 2 mg. of ascorbic acid. Bioflavonoids basically double the effectiveness of ascorbic acid in your body and allow its action to be more complete. The kind of vitamin C you use makes a difference. Vitamin C is much more than ascorbic acid.
Most ascorbic acid in supplements is synthesized from corn syrup, and some from cane sugar or beet sugar. This does not mean that corn syrup and sugar contain any vitamin C, they do not. It simply means that these are the raw materials most commonly used to commercially manufacture vitamin C. Some people are sensitive to the source from which the vitamin C is derived. If you are sensitive to corn, try taking a vitamin C supplement derived from sago palm or beets instead. Sago palm and beet sources of vitamin C seem to be tolerated well by most people.
Because vitamin C and bioflavonoids are water soluble and quickly used up or excreted from your body, they are best taken in an integrated, sustained-release form that allows your body to gradually absorb these nutrients over several hours. This minimizes the amount that is lost in your urine and maximizes the supply to the cells where they are needed. During stress your body burns up many times the daily requirement of vitamin C. The quantity of vitamin C required varies by person and by stress level. As stressful events increase, the need for many nutrients, but especially vitamin C, also increases.
To find out how much vitamin C your body requires, try a very simple test called the Vitamin C Loading Test. On day one, take 500 mg. of ascorbic acid plus an additional 250 mg. every hour until your bowel movements become somewhat loose and runny. Once you have achieved this level, reduce your ascorbic acid by 500 mg. and add approximately half the amount of bioflavonoids so you have a 2:1 ratio of ascorbic acid to bioflavonoids. This is usually the amount of vitamin C your body needs at this time. The most common point for this to occur is about 2,000 to 4,000 mg (2-4 grams) of ascorbic acid for people with adrenal fatigue, but I have known people that required 15,000 to 20,000 mg. (15-20 grams) a day in order to reach this point. Typically, the more chronic and severe your illness, the more vitamin C is necessary.
This is why Dr. Wilson designed a special vitamin C supplement for people experiencing stress and adrenal fatigue. It contains an optimal amount of vitamin C in a 2:1 ratio with bioflavonoids plus important trace minerals that are necessary to healthy adrenal function and also balance the pH of vitamin C’s acidity so it’s easier on your stomach. All of these nutrients are delivered at a steady rate through an advanced integrated sustained release that optimizes their availability.