The first question from most of my patients over Zoom online consultations this week has been about COVID 19.

Aside from the social distancing, washing your hands and disinfecting surfaces, which vital, what else can you do?

I personally love vitamin C.  It’s a great antioxidant, beneficial for both egg and sperm health, it’s also excellent for your immune system.

But before you go stocking up on high doses of vitamin C there’s a few things you should know.

Vitamin C is a water soluble nutrient meaning that’s it’s not stored in the body and requires continual replenishment.

As a water soluble nutrient any excess vitamin C, the body will just get rid of.  So, to help support your immune function I recommend around 250 – 500mg 2 – 3 times a day.

 

However, if you do start to feel symptoms like sore throat or runny nose, your body will need more vitamin C to help fight the infection, so you could take that dose every couple of hours and your body would soak it up.  So you want to be increasing your dose significantly during infection.  You will soon know when you’ve taken too much it will likely may you run to the bathroom!  But definitely give your body plenty of vitamin C during acute infection to help your body fight and recover.

 

In regards to supplements, vitamin C comes in the form of ascorbic acid, sodium ascorbate and calcium ascorbate.

Ascorbic acid is the strongest vitamin C, however it can be harsh on the stomach, so a vitamin C supplements with a combination of all three forms can be easier to tolerate.

You will find that some supplements will provide vitamin C with bioflavonoids.  This is because vitamin C and bioflavonoids work well together, this is how they are found in nature.  For example foods like oranges have bioflavonoids in the pith.

So I personally do like a combination of all three vitamin C’s plus bioflavonoids in a supplement (note you will sometimes see bioflavonoids written as hesperidin, quercetin or rutin which are types of bioflavonoids).  In saying this, a plain old ascorbic acid is effective too!

Food sources are always important as well.  Nature knows how to provide a great combo of essential nutrients so enjoy foods like

  • citrus fruits – oranges, limes and lemons.
  • blackcurrants
  • berries
  • tomatoes
  • broccoli
  • sprouts
  • red, yellow and green capsicum.

Vitamin C is quite an unstable nutrient meaning much is lost during heating or processing evening freezing, so ideally consume these foods as fresh to maximise the vitamin C content.

 

Look after yourself.  Stay calm, stay safe and for more information on COVID 19 go to the health.gov.au website.

And for some simple swaps you can make to support your fertility wellbeing, download my free Your Fertile Pantry checklist.