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Discover the top 14 things you’re doing that are damaging your bones.

An Easy Way To Get More Vitamin D

vitamin-c-and-d

The year 1990 was marked by turmoil and instability in the Soviet Union. But that did not deter three Soviet scientists from discovering for the first time ever a surprising, and until then unknown link between two of the most popular vitamins.

Led by Igor Sergeev, the study revealed that Vitamin C or ascorbic acid, plays a critical role in Vitamin D metabolism.1 As you know by now, both are Foundation Supplements that help build and nourish your bones, each in their own different ways.

And thereʼs more to this discovery, since the researchers also confirmed that…

Both Vitamins Work as a Team!

While Vitamin C deficiency “potentiated effects of Vitamin D deprivation and impaired a restorative action of Vitamin D”, much to the teamʼs surprise, “Vitamin D deficiency possibly affected Vitamin C metabolism.”1 Also, “a combined Vitamin C and D deficiency caused more pronounced reduction of bone mineralization… than did Vitamin D alone.”1

This study further confirms the importance of looking at nutrition and supplementation as a whole rather than in isolation of each nutrient. When was the last time your doctor recommended you take Vitamin C for your bones? I know the answer: “never”. Chances are, your doctor only mentions calcium, after the osteoporosis prescription drugs, of course.

Worse, if you ever complained of minor – or not so minor – aches and pains, your doctor may have suggested you take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Whether over-the-counter, such as ibuprofen and aspirin, or prescription medicines such as Celebrex, it turns out that…

NSAIDs Greatly Reduce the Absorption of Vitamin C

Several studies have conclusively shown that NSAIDs have a negative impact on Vitamin C. One such study, which dates back to 1982, revealed that while one single 500 mg dose of Vitamin C effectively elevated serum ascorbic acid levels, when combined with 900 mg of aspirin, the increases were not observed.2 In other words, just one dose of aspirin completely blocked the Vitamin C.

Granted, 900 mg is a pretty hefty aspirin dose, but logic dictates that even at smaller doses, there would be some degree of Vitamin C blockage. And we need all the Vitamin C we can get both for our bone health and for our overall health, and to help maintain desirable Vitamin D levels.

Protect Your Bones and Your Health: Avoid NSAIDs

Knowing this, you have very good reasons to:

  • Take adequate amounts of Vitamin C on a daily basis. Remember that 500 mg is the minimum, and you can build your way up to 2,000 mg per day. Thereʼs quite a lot of talk lately about Vitamin C mega-doses, and Iʼll write about this in the near future.
  • Make sure you spend time outdoors, to get and maintain Vitamin D levels. Weather permitting, try to sunbathe at least 20 minutes a day without any sunscreen on. There are other important guidelines to reap the most benefits from the sun, and Iʼll also write about that in the future. If you canʼt go out to the sun, then make sure you take at least 800 IU daily.
  • Never take NSAIDs, since they obviously deprive you from hugely important nutrients, not only for your bones, but also for you general health.

Till next time,

References

1 Segeev I N, Arkhapchev Y P, Spirichev V B. “Ascorbic Acid Effects on Vitamin D Hormone Metabolism and Binding in Guinea Pigs.” The Journal of Nutrition. 120:1185-1190, 1990.
2 Basu TK. “Vitamin C-aspirin interactions”. Int J Vitam Nutr Res. Suppl 1982;23:83-90.

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44 comments. Leave Yours Now →

  1. Nancy April 22, 2013, 10:49 am

    I bought the “Save Your Bones” program. My problem started 3 years ago during my daily 2 mile walk. About 3/4 of mile into it, began to get pain below the left knee. Much chiropractic since then, which has been unsuccessful for pain management.
    Recently went to a wellness doctor who ordered full back and hip exrays. It shows left hip with some spurs, and not much cushioning tissue between femur and hip joint. Looks like am a candidate for hip replacement. Doctor tells me I have osteopenia, and also that liver, pancreas, and gall bladder are underfunctioning..still in normal range tho running low. He started me on Paraplex, raw adrenals.
    Am smelling an ammonia smell. Thought it was the Paraplex, but in doing research, it may be from a diet high in protein. (have hypoglycemia so try to stay away from carbs) Am now trying to determine what I should be eating for meals that will help the bones, the endocrine system, and not adversely affect the hypoglemia.
    Any suggestions for food and/or supplements would be greatly appreciated. Thank you…

  2. Betty January 21, 2013, 12:10 pm

    There are so many different forums to check to see if any response has come to a specific comment or question. I haven’t figured out a way for cataloguing all this stuff and really don’t have the time. How do others solve this problem? Thanks for any feedback…..

  3. Gemma Suzara November 28, 2012, 3:36 am

    Hello!
    I have osteopenia and ostepathy (bone spurs) ever since I joined the “save our bones” community have learned so many things! Taking control of one’s body is such a great achievement – with out fear of not having a doctor tell me what to do or not to do (have lost total faith in western medicine)I feel good. With a new diet: animal meat free, gluten free and sugar free am with unperceivable pain during the day. Thanks to green smoothies, buckwheat and different color rice – things are going well. Today I called my OB Gyne and asked for a prescription of V-D3 – she said no but yes for me to take Fosavance for the ostepenia – mama mia! Told her that is poison for my body and am doing it the natural way. Doctors are prescription triger-happy and do not know the ill effects of pharmaceutical drugs! Thank you Vivian and all of you our there with your informative questions and comments.

  4. KULWANT November 27, 2012, 9:09 am

    Thia is very informative message for me. You are right. I was asked by my doctor to keep taking pain killers but never told me about this; result I had to say Good by to my job, left without any earning.I have stopped taking pain killers because I am not going for work.Iam taking both these vitamins but i will check the dose after reading this article.Thanks for your article. Keep this good work going on Vivian. Regards.

  5. ann November 8, 2012, 1:32 pm

    How do you feel about a dr pushing prolia, I took reclast and ended up
    with the most severe upper chest pain, and no meds helped. i.e. previcid types. Doc didn’t put 2&2 together that reclast caused this suffering. Every night I had pain for 2 months.

  6. John Douglas October 22, 2012, 3:03 pm

    Most people making comments on this page are missing the point,They are tired and sleepy not from Forteo but from all the extra calcium they are taking.If you look up “side effects of calcium” number one out of 10 is excessive drowsiness.So its not thje forteo but thje increase in calcium that mekes you feel so tired

  7. Ruthie simmons October 9, 2012, 5:10 pm

    What are the thoughts on Meloxicam. An arthritis doctor prescribed it and it helps with pain some but it still scares me seeing the side effects on the printout. Thanks

  8. Darlene October 9, 2012, 12:02 pm

    Just make sure to read the label of the Aloe Vera and do your research. More is NOT better.

  9. bea October 9, 2012, 11:18 am

    hi vivian you said that vit.e and aloe vera are blood thinners does aloe vera come in pill form or is it a drink and about how much should you take & should you take both thank you bea

  10. Nancy Bennett October 8, 2012, 5:59 pm

    Hi Vivian,
    What would you recommend to replace Methotrexate. Nancy Bennett

  11. George McClelland October 8, 2012, 5:22 pm

    Hi Vivian,

    I am really surprised you keep calling vitamin C ascorbic acid. Ascorbic acid is the synthetic version of Vitaimn C and they are not the same and are not absorbed by the body in the same way. Vitamine C is a cure for scurvey. Ascorbic acid will not cure it.

    As far as calcium is concerned, you should check the internet for my article, The Truth About Coral Calcium. It is a number of years old, but still factual information about the body’s ability to absorb calcium. if you cannot locate it ask me to attach a copy to an email.

  12. Shula October 8, 2012, 4:42 pm

    Good to know about the D & C connections.

    Thank you Vivian

    Shula

  13. MELINDA October 8, 2012, 4:30 pm

    I take between 5000 and 7000 mcg of vit c and 5oooiu of vitd d.and yet my bloods came back as neutrophils (part of white blood cells) at 1.3, very low! what else can I eat to naturally increase my level

  14. paula fuschillo October 8, 2012, 4:05 pm

    did i understand that if you are on prednisone as i am 4mg daily.. i sholuld be takig folic acid besisdes vit c and d 3 which i currently take the two..vitamin 2 2000 per day and d 3 2500 daily

  15. Nancy Bennett October 8, 2012, 3:57 pm

    Dear Vivian,
    How do I get away from Methotrexate. What can I replace it with. I am weening off the Prednisone little but little. Thanks, Nancy

  16. Nancy Bennett October 8, 2012, 3:46 pm

    Is NSAIDS the same as Prdnisone and Methotrexate. I take both of these
    prescription drugs for Rheumatoid Arthritis, and PolyMyalgia Rheumatica.
    I had Osteo Arthritis in 1991, and I’ve gone down hill since then. My
    CRP level was 154 and is now 2. I am not in pain being on these 2 drugs,
    but am lowering the Prednisone every 3 weeks.
    I’ve taken vitamins the past 20 yr. but did not have relief from pain.
    I still take vitamins, B12, B50, C, D, E 500mg, 3 Ortho Mind, 2Ortho Bone, Calmag liquid, Omega 3, Folic Acid (with the Prednisone). My memory has suffered from several head injuries plus the brain pain is present on occation. I hate taking prescription drugs, and before 2008 used natural products for all my ailments.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA October 8, 2012, 5:19 pm

      Nancy, prednisone and methotrexate are not NSAIDs. That being said, prednisone greatly accelerates bone loss (among other things), so it’s really good you’re weaning yourself off it…

  17. Katrina October 8, 2012, 3:44 pm

    I was taking 1000 mg Vitamin C daily but read the latest reports warning against taking Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E and a multivitamin daily. I am now at a loss and considering stopping all daily supplements. Is that what we should do?

  18. Michele October 8, 2012, 2:30 pm

    My mother is 79 years old, has severe scoliosis (triple S-curve) and celiac disease, and was put on Reclast approx 4 years ago. She is usually very cautious about taking any drugs, but was talked into this by a very convincing, young doctor. She recently needed some dental work, and found out (with horror) about the possible bone necrosis connected to Reclast. Is it okay to stop the annual Reclast infusions? I just ordered your book for her, but would be pleased to have this addressed directly, if possible. Thank you.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA October 8, 2012, 3:21 pm

      Michele, I’m so sorry that your mother found out after she had the infusion… Actually, it’s not only okay to stop Reclast… it’s a great idea! You can read more about Reclast here:

      http://saveourbones.com/?s=reclast

  19. kathy stinsman October 8, 2012, 1:09 pm

    yes I take aspirin Vitaminc 1000mg and vitamin D 2000
    every morning.
    are you saying not to take them at the same time as i am taking aspirin?

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA October 8, 2012, 3:18 pm

      Kathy, I’m saying that there are natural blood thinners that can safely replace aspirin. To name a few, aloe vera or Vitamin E are very effective blood thinners.

      • LynnCS October 8, 2012, 7:07 pm

        Did not know about Aloe Vera. Thank you. I am more worried about too much blood thinning. How would you know?

      • Catherine Girvan October 8, 2012, 4:14 pm

        I think drink beetroot juice (freshly prepared) is very good for thinning the blood.

        • LynnCS October 8, 2012, 7:09 pm

          Did not know about Aloe Vera. Thank you. I am more worried about too much blood thinning. How would you know? Also didn’t know about beet root. I have heard of beet being “good” for the heart, but didn’t know that meant it was a blood thinner. Live and learn. Could be dangerous to take these together.

  20. Lep October 8, 2012, 12:51 pm

    hi i would like to know what is good for neck pain,i have had it recently but i dont know whether its through computer use or not i have osteoarthritis if its through the arthiritis does it go to the neck ?

    • LS October 10, 2012, 8:08 am

      I was recently told my my Chiropractor/Acupuncturist to quit drinking coffee both caffeinated and decaff as some people have a physical reaction to coffee and it can cause neck pain. I had been suffering from neck pain for over a year and it was getting worse. To make a long story short, I quit the coffee which wasn’t easy as I love it and within 24 hours my pain was gone. To test the theory I had a cup of coffee 3 wks later and guess what? My neck pain was back with a vengeance! Tea does not seem to have
      the same affect on my neck although I drink it sparingly as the caffeine is hard on your adrenals.

    • corinne October 9, 2012, 9:58 am

      Hi Lep,
      I suffered neck and shoulder pain resulting in headaches lasting 3-4 days. I was told I had osteoarthritis and to take pain killers which I was doing every four hours, eventually they had no effect on the pain whatever. I searched the net and discovered the “Healthy Back Institute” and bought their exercise program for neck and back pain. I also take their “Heal n soothe” supplements every day and have not had a headache for months. It took a while for me to see some improvement but now I don’t get headaches and am sleeping better. I also don’t need the pain killers anymore just the Heal n Soothe. You can get their 7 day back cure book free online. I recommend it.

  21. Cheryl Jensen October 8, 2012, 11:38 am

    Hi Vivian,

    I had a doctor visit last week for a yearly exam and my doctor encouraged me to get a shingles vaccine which also contains a vaccine for the whooping cough. According to her, anyone over 60 should get the vaccine. I am sceptical about getting the shot as well as the annual flu shot. I did not get a flu shot last year. Do you have any comments about getting this vaccine?

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA October 8, 2012, 12:18 pm

      Cheryl, I don’t recommend the shingles vaccine, but I do encourage everyone to maintain a strong immune system. Vitamin C has a potent immune-boosting effect, so here’s one more reason to make sure you’re taking adequate levels. You can read about 10 effective ways to build your immunity here:
      http://saveourbones.com/flu-shot/

      • LynnCS October 8, 2012, 7:19 pm

        I was so afraid of getting the shingles that I went for the vaccine as soon as it was available. Now that you said you don’t recommend it, I would like to read about it. Do you have a source?

  22. Sherrine October 8, 2012, 9:31 am

    I have fibromyalgia and an extremely painful spine disease called ankylosing spondylitis. Without ibuprofen, I barely can walk so stopping ibuprofen isnt possible. Many with chronic pain need these NSAIDs so what can we do to counteract the effects of NSAIDs when we have to take them for quality of life?

    Sherrine

    • LynnCS October 8, 2012, 7:24 pm

      I have fibromyalgia too, but since improving my diet to mostly raw fruits and vegetables, some nuts and seeds. I have much, much less pain. When I was diagnosed, I was prescribed high doses of Ibuprofen. The side effects eventually led to a bleeding ulcer and anemia along with a lot of other problems. Eating healthy is so wonderful for my body and my peace of mind. You can do it!!

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA October 8, 2012, 9:46 am

      Sherrine, I understand; it’s not easy, but try to set yourself free from thinking that your only solution is to take NSAIDs. There are natural replacements without the side-effects, and Jesse Canone’s book is a great way for you to get started on a natural path to get rid of your pain. By the way, Vitamin C depletion is just one (and sadly seldom-mentioned) of the many side effects of NSAIDs.So stay positive and believe that you can heel your body without taking harmful drugs :)

  23. vaidyanathan October 8, 2012, 9:28 am

    Sun’s rays contain vitamin D in plenty–but this can be absorbed by our
    body only when the rays are mild -and they fall on our skin directly
    (uncovered area) Therefore exposure of our body to su’s rays in the evenings , when the rays are mild –for a minimum period of 15 minutes
    is enough for a day’s dose of this precious vitamin which is necessary
    for absorption of calcium–necessary for strengthening of bones

  24. Judy October 8, 2012, 9:16 am

    I read with interest your article about taking Vitamin C AND Vitamin D together for bone preservation. Please make readers aware of TWO things:
    One = Vitamin D must be Vitamin D3
    Two = Vitamin C MUST be Vitamin “C” NOT Ascorbic Acid! Doctors continue to tell the American public that they are the same. They are not. I have been informed that Ascorbic Acid is nothing more than corn syrup and hydrochloric acid! Am I correct or have I been mis-informed? I have also been told that Ascorbic Acid will cause major circulatory problems and no one will connect the dots and trace it to ascorbic acid usage.
    Please comment —- Thank you…..

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA October 8, 2012, 9:40 am

      Thanks, Judy! Actually, ascorbic acid is another name for Vitamin C. In this blog post I’ve linked to previous blog posts I wrote, with more details about Vitamins C and D supplementation :)

      • Joan Carnegie October 8, 2012, 11:42 am

        I believe you have partnered on some things with Shane Elliott (The People’s Chemist), and he thoroughly disagrees with taking Vit. D-3 suppliements, but rather getting it from eggs, Pemmican, natural Cod Liver Oil and the sun, most importantly. Also he recommends getting Vit. C from Acerola rather than Ascorbic Acid. Your thoughts on this?

  25. Greg October 8, 2012, 8:01 am

    Please make sure all people who have wheat gluten sensitivity are checked for Vit.D3 levels. I have had it most likely since birth, since it is genetic. Went to over 20 specialists in the years of my life, which I am now a 60 year old male due to bone ache, back ache, neck ache, flu symptoms, upset stomach, headache, weight loss, could not gain weight, mental confusion; I think you get the picture. Bottom line, doctors were mostly in agreement, I was not mentally stable. Sad thing is, bones continued to get worse, and finally when I decided to ask a doctor to check my bones, my T scores came back as equal to that of a 90 year old man. Why????????????? Please take control of your health. No doctor, no person, will ever have the interest or hope that you have. I have since recovered from severe Osteoporosis. My T scores are within reasonable levels. All due to simple avoidance of wheat, 50,000 I.E. units Vit D3 once every week, and testosterone shots. Moderate exercise also helps as bones adapt to what you stress them to do. Please do not end up with major femur/hip surgery which was finally the outcome after 20 visits to the best doctors in my regional area. Vit. D3 is without a doubt one of the best nutrients you can take bar none. It has dramatically changed my life 180 degrees. You have to judge yourself at what levels you can take as all absorb differently. Take control, as I was told this was not reversible, but in my case which doctors now consider to be a “Medical Miracle,” it was reversed on what I just mentioned. Medicine has to be adjusted to the individual as every individual will react differently to protocols established. It is your job to see to that.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA October 8, 2012, 9:44 am

      Great advice, Greg. First congratulations on taking control of your health. I am a strong advocate of doing just that, and wrote the Save Our Bones Program so that everyone can do the same with their bone health. And gluten sensitivity and intolerance can have terrible consequences…I’m glad you’re doing well!

      • LynnCS October 8, 2012, 7:47 pm

        Vivian. I would like to hear your take on the 50,000 units of D3 mentioned in Greg’s post. I was prescribed it at one time and that doctor moved away, so I let the prescription lapse. It was not supported by subsequent doctors. Should I consider it again?

  26. Nu Ly October 8, 2012, 7:16 am

    I don’t think I get enough Vietamine C. I have to take supplyment C.
    Every three months, the doctor ask me to take a blood test, because I take
    the new high blood presure drug, he wants to make sure whether or not I get everything enough? such as leg cramp, dizyness, etc… this coming
    November, I ask him to check my vitamine C, then, I get a peace of mind.
    Thank you.

  27. Marc October 8, 2012, 4:01 am

    I have half a red ruby grapefruit with my breakfast. They contain 47 milligrams of vitamin C. They are delicious.

  28. Vivian Goldschmidt, MA October 8, 2012, 9:39 am

    Bea, there are several 100% natural blood thinners, such as Vitamin E and aloe vera, that don’t have the risks of aspirin (which is used as a blood thinner).

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