The temperature is rising, it’s hot and muggy and you don’t have the energy to walk across the room much less think about enjoying a trip to the lake. You’re zapped from the summer heat. What you enjoyed in early summer has soon vanished by the time the heat is in full force. Could Vitamin C help keep you cool? Studies suggest it could. It may not make you feel like an ice berg in the staggering heat, but it will help your body adapt and deal with the effects of the heat. Heat, like cold, causes stress on the body and we all know that Vitamin C is one of the best nutrients to help the body deal with stress in any form.
Back in the 1970’s, in South Africa, they conducted tests in climate chambers on people who were going to work in the mines. These climate chambers were designed to help the men adjust to the type of heat and environmental conditions they’d be subjected to once they began work inside the mines.
The researchers found that many of the miners still lost their levels of Vitamin C at a rapid rate even though they were getting adequate amounts of the vitamin. This was happening in their first three months of employment even though they had gone through the climate chambers to prepare them for the conditions underground in the mines.
The researchers decided to do a controlled study and used 60 miners who had not been in the mines for at least 6 months. The miners were broken up into groups of 20. One group was given 250 milligrams of C, one group received 500 milligrams of C and the third group received a placebo. The miners who were taking Vitamin C supplements showed lower body temperatures throughout the testing in the climate chambers and were more acclimated to the climate after only 4 days. The placebo group showed no improvement in body temperature regulation or adjusting to the conditions.
The book, “The Healing Factor: Vitamin C Against Disease” published in 1972 reported a study done on workers in a factory who suffered heat prostration due to the working conditions of the plant. After starting the workers on a daily dose of Vitamin C, heat prostration was practically eliminated and 9 years after the study the workers continued to take daily supplements of Vitamin C and still had not suffered the heat associated problems. The workers who did not supplement with daily doses of Vitamin C did, however, have problems with heat prostration.
Taking Vitamin C in the summer months to prevent heat related problems is just as important as taking it during the winter months for colds and flu. Vitamin C should be taken year round, because stress doesn’t know or care what season it is. The studies mentioned above should indicate that taking extra Vitamin C supplements is the key to helping your body cope in these situations.