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Ascorbate And The Copper Hand-Off

Discussion in 'C' started by zmkd, Sep 16, 2018.

  1. zmkd

    zmkd Member

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    There appears to be a lot of ignorance surrounding vitamin C in the Ray Peat community. I wanted to talk about my experience with it and discuss one aspect of its metabolism. First, let's talk about why this ignorance exists. It exists because of fear. This quote of Ray Peat is found in several places on the forum here:

    So many people have benefited tremendously from vitamin C therapy that the scare-mongering from Ray Peat and Morley Robbins should be taken with a grain of salt. (Ascorbate salts, of course!)

    Yes, this is scare-mongering. Look at the language used and the conclusion. Ray Peat clearly has his fingers up in front of his face in the form of an X. It's actually quite disappointing to see this from someone who is typically very measured in his statements and who typically admonishes the authorities for ignoring context. Oh well. We all have our blind spots and Ray Peat is no exception. He has taught us so much before that this is no reason to ignore him in the future.

    Let's move on to Morley Robbins. I'm sure a handful of people here have read or heard about Morley Robbins. Perhaps they know that he is supremely against the "iron madness", that he is a huge proponent of magnesium supplementation, and that he advises against vitamin D and ascorbate supplementation. His protocols include great respect for liver and the retinol it contains, as well as an "Adrenal Cocktail" that includes OJ and cream of tartare, with no explicit disrespect for carbohydrates. So one could consider him to sit fairly close to Peat in the spectrum of health gurus. I have learned a lot from his focus on the metabolism of fat soluble vitamins and minerals.

    Morley's primary contention against ascorbate supplementation is that it dysregulates copper metabolism. He believes that you should only consume the Whole Food vitamin C Complex (WFC) or else you will create a copper deficiency[1]. He cites a review that discusses several studies showing lowered copper absorption due to ascorbate supplementation.

    Just a week ago, I was reading this entry of his in an effort to understand why I should be afraid of ascorbate. You see, I had come to realize that when I was supplementing with 4-5 grams of ascorbate salts a couple months ago, I was much happier. I was in much better spirits and much less irritable. Discovering more about this connection is very important to me, because this was a very significant quality of life improvement and I recently quit a good paying job in order to try a new career. So if ascorbate can lessen the anxiety of self-doubt, I am all for it.

    Most of the studies in the review came to the conclusion that ascorbate lowers copper absorption. However, when the review starts to discuss copper metabolism, particularly in humans, the conclusions are less definitive. Also, the review states this:
    My eyebrow shot up at that, and I began to wonder if the case against ascorbate was not so rock solid.

    In looking at Morley's piece, I didn't really find any suitable threads to explore. The tone of the review (written in 1998) made it quite clear that the understanding of the interactions between ascorbate and copper metabolism were still nascent and remained nebulous. Many of the studies that the review and Morley discuss are from the 1970's and 1980's. The absorption business about simultaneous ingestion of copper and ascorbate was quite settled, but there was a lot of postulating and suggesting when it came to enzyme activity. Which meant that the study findings didn't quite line up with anyone's hypothesis.

    I looked for some literature on anxiety and depression and vitamin C. There are a few studies on the anxiolytic effect of vitamin C. There are also some about depression. Most say good things about vitamin C.

    But then I realized something: what if the reason why ascorbate lowers anxiety and depression is because ascorbate depletes copper? In this case, Morley's still correct about copper depletion -- but it's actually a good thing for people with anxiety or depression.

    One of my driving forces when I do nutrition research is the desire to reconcile seemingly contradictory theories or evidence by discovering a new context. And here was a potential example of that. If people are suffering from depression or anxiety due to an excess of copper, taking ascorbate is probably a good idea to clear that copper out. It might be contra-indicated long-term, but at least you have a new tool to use when managing your own health.

    Then I searched for correlations between copper levels and depression. It wasn't hard to find studies showing that.

    Morley Robbins makes a big deal out of ceruloplasmin and how important that is for copper metabolism. One of the things I've learned from him is how pivotal proteins (and enzymes) are when trying to understand the metabolism of something. If your body is not producing enough transport proteins, or interfering with them in some other way, that might be why you have a deficiency or excess of something (usually a metal like copper or iron). And looking at transport proteins also explains why you could have both an excess and a deficiency at the same time: you have lots, it's just not in the right place! Metalo-proteins are very interesting; I suggest studying them at some point (metallothionein is another one).

    The next thing I looked at was if ascorbate had any effects on ceruloplasmin. This led me to a couple of papers by Edward D. Harris and Susan S. Percival.[2][3] Their studies showed that ascorbate enhanced the release of copper ions from ceruloplasmin into cells by reducing the copper ions. In a separate review[4], Harris makes this abundantly clear:
    This is the key to understanding ascorbate's role in copper metabolism.
    In all of the papers I just cited, the authors hypothesize that copper deficiency and scurvy are largely the same disease because they share incredibly similar symptom profiles. This makes sense in light of ascorbate's role, which is perfectly elucidated by one of the paper titles: Ascorbate Enhances Copper Transport from Ceruloplasmin into Human Cells! Ascorbate is helping ceruloplasmin in the final hand-off to the cells, so that copper can complete its job as a co-factor in a multitude of enzymatic processes.

    You know how vitamin C is important for collagen cross-linking? Guess what, so is copper.
    You know how vitamin C improves the endothelium/vasculature? Guess what, so does copper.

    This also provides a way to understand some of the effects that vitamin C is purported to have -- primarily via Copper Zinc Oxide Dismutase (CuZnSOD). Anything from immune system improvements to diabetes.

    I posit that ascorbate (when taken appropriately) will actually improve anemia. Copper supplementation has been shown to solve anemia in some cases.

    I have a second part planned where I will look into another dynamic between copper and ascorbate, with a brief bit about iron. But since most people will want a recommendation after reading this, I will leave one here.

    Unfortunately, we do not have very much data about the most optimal time to take ascorbate. There is just the one study looking at 75 minutes pre-food and 75 minutes post-food. Most studies have not looked at the timing of events and this is why the understanding of the copper hand-off has gone under the radar. As you can see, it actually flips Morley's hypothesis on its head! Ascorbate improves copper metabolism, regardless of whether it comes from food!

    Recommendation:
    The ascorbate dose 75 minutes post-food is where the increased enzyme activity took place. So perhaps an hour after a meal, when copper is freshly circulating, but before it heads to the liver for storage?


    [1] Ascorbic Acid Causes Copper Deficiency?… Huh?!?…
    [2] Ascorbate Enhances Copper Transport from Ceruloplasmin into Human K562 Cells
    [3] A role for ascorbic acid in copper transport
    [4] Copper Transport: An Overview
     
  2. OP
    zmkd

    zmkd Member

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    [RESERVED FOR PART II]
     
  3. Spokey

    Spokey Member

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    Nice job though Ray wasn't protesting Vitamin C, but the contaminated variety he was exposed to at the time he wrote that article. He's clearly for a clean source of vitamin C from your quote:

    "In 1953, my first experience with it (which was still sold as "cevitamic acid")involved 50 mg per day, and over a period of just 2 or 3 days, my chronic awful poison oak allergy disappeared."

    If the problems in manufacturing have disappeared since then all the better.
     
  4. OP
    zmkd

    zmkd Member

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    Correct, but it's clear he does not advocate supplementation. The purpose of my "essay" here is to remove the stigma from supplementation, because it's far cheaper and more convenient than food sources AND it's the only way to achieve truly therapeutic dosages.
     
  5. Frankdee20

    Frankdee20 Member

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    Yeah but he’s not just against contaminated sources, he stated Vitamin C oxidizes minerals
     
  6. Janelle525

    Janelle525 Member

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    I love vitamin C. I take 4 grams everyday and have for over a year. It definitely helps my mood as I struggled with anxiety.
     
  7. burtlancast

    burtlancast Member

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    Plenty of people get allergic headaches after vit C supplementation.

    Read the comments on Amazon.
     
  8. yerrag

    yerrag Member

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    I've used l-ascorbic acid 7 grams per day. I'm now taking magnesium ascorbate, with some potassium ascorbate. And it's easy to make them from l-ascorbic acid. I just mix l-ascorbic acid with magnesium carbonate, and potassium bicarbonate. I could probably make calcium and sodium ascorbate just as easily. I would double the amount of l-ascorbic acid used when I convert it into ascorbates, to get the same effectivenss as l-ascorbic acid.

    For so long I've taken vitamin C in form other than these. I never know what excipients they put in there. If I'm not taking excipient-free forms, I can't really blame vitamin C for allergies. Isn't this what Ray Peat has said about excipients? Many people are allergic to aspirin, but I suspect they're really allergic to the excipients. If you take the time to look at what stuff they roll together with aspirin and sell them as aspirin, it would make you doubt how much of the allergenic nature of the pill is coming from aspirin.

    The form of vitamin C I loathe is the liposomal form. It's supposed to make vitamin C easily absorbed into the cell. That would have been a positive thing, but the negative is that you're also introducing soy or sunflower-based PUFAs that come along with the phospholipids that come with lecithin. It's a tradeoff I don't want. When I used a liposomal vitamin C, I couldn't sleep the whole night as I was hungry from the PUFAs. It just wrecked my blood sugar balance. It was the first time I couldn't sleep the whole night. The people who promote vitamin C generally have no idea how bad PUFAs are, and so they sing praises about liposomal C.

    I agree with taking vitamin C in between meals. Vitamin C uses the GLUT1 (as well as SVCT1) transport channel. Glucose from meals will compete with Vitamin C absorption, so taking vitamin C away from meals is better.

    Just this week, I've finalized on using magnesium ascorbate as my lead chelating protocol to remove lead from my kidneys, after trying different forms of magnesium. It was just under my nose all this time. It has been a year of testing all combinations of magnesium and ascorbic acid. Magnesium ascortbate is so affordable. Magnesium carbonate - very affordable. So is l-ascorbic acid powder.

    I agree with you @zmkd @Janelle525 on how useful and underappreciated vitamin C is in this forum. But I'm glad we're adding to success stories here on vitamin C.
     
  9. Glassy

    Glassy Member

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    Spring is fully upon us here in Sunny Queensland, Australia. The only time I’ve experienced any hay fever this year has been when I’ve forgotten to take my C-salts for a couple of days (strarts with the roof of my mouth becoming itchy as well as my eyes). A teaspoon (approx 5g) will get rid of my symptoms within the hour.

    I tried cypro last year and it helped but didn’t remove it completely. I don’t like nasal sprays or anti histamines so the C-salts are worth it just for that. I barely even had a sniffle last winter.

    I’m about 9 months peating so it could be entirely related to that but I don’t think so.

    Did you ever fix your allergies @ecstatichamster? I seem to recall you tried Vit C with no success.
     
  10. yerrag

    yerrag Member

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    What are C-salts?
     
  11. Glassy

    Glassy Member

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    It’s just a brand of vit C.

    C-salts

    I don’t think there’s anything super special about them but they seem better than most of the vit C you find in Australia. The only controversy I could find over vit C (other than the vit C complex stuff) is the difference between L-ascorbate and D-ascorbate. I couldn’t find an affordable Australian brand that contained just L-Ascorbate or L-Ascorbic acid.
     
  12. Rosie

    Rosie Member

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    Thank you for this!!! What about using ascorbic acid powder in skin creams?
     
  13. Dave Clark

    Dave Clark Member

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    Interesting, since vitamin C is known to reduce histamine. After a severe sinus infection years ago my doctor recommended megadosing vitamin C to bowel tolerance until my symptoms subsided, it worked when nothing else did.
     
  14. Dave Clark

    Dave Clark Member

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    What does anyone here think of sodium copper chlorophylin as a way to supplement copper? Would this be considered a copper 1 form since it is plant based? Maybe it would be a good alternative to MitoSynergy for those that can't/won't afford it.
     
  15. ecstatichamster

    ecstatichamster Member

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    Yes. Adding 200mg of pregnenolone. Subtracting enzyme-laden cheap “industrial” cheese and all forms of honey made the allergies go away over about two weeks and remain gone.
     
  16. yerrag

    yerrag Member

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    I had thought all along that taking local honey, locally sourced not more than 75 miles away (as i recall), helps relieve allergies as far as pollen-based allergies since the honey is made from the sugar from the flower the pollen came from. Were you referring to honey other than the local honey?
     
  17. ecstatichamster

    ecstatichamster Member

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    I don’t know if it was honey. I would have to challenge myself with honey and for now I am not willing to do that. I was using honey that was heavily processed, and also raw honeys from close or far away. I was a real honey aficionado.

    It could be the honey was causing the problem or it could be the industrial cheese. The pregnenolone really helped too. I was miserable for months and now it’s all fine.
     
  18. yerrag

    yerrag Member

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    It's very hard, or almost impossible to find the d-ascorbate form. I don't know how it is in Australia, but l-ascorbic acid powder is easily found in Amazon US, and even in the Philippines I can buy it from a chemical distributor.

    Looking at C-salts information, it appears it's mostly l-ascorbic acid. And then some magnesium carbonate, potassium carbonate (or bicarbonate), calcium carbonate, and then some zinc salt. Since it's made by the charlatan Andrew Weil, it makes a big deal of it being sodium-free. Big deal. It just didn't put sodium bicarbonate in there.

    If you can get hold of USP grades of magnesium carbonate, potassium carbonate (or bicarbonate), and calcium carbonate, you can just mix with an aqueous solution of l-ascorbic acid, and get magnesium, potassium, and calcium ascorbate. I make a mix everyday.

    Magnesium Ascorbate: Balance Chemical Equation - Online Balancer

    Potassium Ascorbate: Balance Chemical Equation - Online Balancer

    Calcium Ascorbate: Balance Chemical Equation - Online Balancer

    The effervescence you see in C-Salt is cool. Even more cool is that you get to see it when you make your own.

    C-Salt.jpg
     
  19. yerrag

    yerrag Member

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    Yeah, there's so much fake honey going around. I read some time ago most of the honey sold in the US is sourced from China, and most of it is fake. Just like olive oil. Makes you so unsure of yourself with using these things. I don't blame you.
     
  20. Birdie

    Birdie Member

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    Okay, so Ray was talking about the contamination in modern production of vitamin C. Was it lead? I can't remember but did everybody come to a conclusion about which vitamin C is safe? I'd bought that powdered one from Quali-C. Then, people here were saying it's not a good one. No proof of not being contaminated so they said.

    Long ago I used ascorbic acid a la Linus Pauling, but apparently, a different process was used for the synthesis back then. And by the way, Ray isn't against using supplements, just ones with bad additives or safety problems in production.
     
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