Friday, August 05, 2011

Vitamin C, Niacin, Antibiotics, and Terrible Colds that Go Into the Lungs

I've been studying and writing about vitamins since 1994. I've been blogging since September, 2006. All these years, I've mostly avoided discussing why I spend so much time studying vitamins, and why I feel compelled to share my expertise on the internet.

I feel more compelled than ever to continue to share my expertise, but am running out of insights backed by scientific literature. I've been feeling recently like I'm just repeating myself. So - I'm going to change my approach and start telling personal stories.

The scientific literature supporting the safety of vitamin C and niacin is fantastic. Both vitamins cause terrible side effects in overdose, but rapid recovery results from stopping supplements. There is a consensus that vitamin C and niacin do not cause long term harm or reduce life expectancy. Both vitamins have earned the term "generally recognized as safe" and are sold without child-proof caps.

For me, these are more than just words. I'm living proof of the safety of vitamin C and niacin. For the past 15 years, I've contracted a horrible cold about once per year. For me, a horrible cold is one that spreads throughout my entire respiratory tract, and gets into my lungs. I get bronchitis, and end up with painful coughing that expels unmentionable fluids. My family and physicians will all readily attest to the serious of my illness. When I feel like this, and only when I feel like this, I take astonishing quantities of vitamin C and niacin, and I am able to function pretty well despite the severity of my illness. I've never missed more than 2 days of work in a row due to one of these colds. During the worst one or two days of these colds, I take at least 50,000 mg of vitamin C per day, and have taken as much as 150,000 mg of vitamin C in a single day. I get to these astonishing doses by taking at least 5000 mg of vitamin C every hour that I'm awake (16 hrs times 5000 mg/hr results in a 24 dose of 90,000 mg). I take 250 mg of time release niacin every couple of hours taking as much as 2500 mg of niacin in a 24 hour period.

I hope no one reading this blog ever feels compelled, like I have, to take these enormous doses of vitamin C and niacin. I only take these doses because I feel my life is threatened by these colds, and I believe the vitamin C and niacin help accelerate the wounds inflicted upon me by some brew of viruses and bacteria ravaging my respiratory tract. The reason I'm sharing the story today, is to let readers know why I care so much about the science of the safety of vitamin C and niacin, and why I'm confident that the science is correct. If the science wasn't correct, by this time I'd be in trouble due to my arguably reckless abuse of vitamin C and niacin. My doctors and my family can't understand why I risk taking these doses. I don't even understand why I take the risk. After all this blogging and studying, I believe that 500 mg of niacin and 10,000 mg of vitamin C will deliver at least 90% of any benefit available by increasing dosage. My behavior isn't rational. When I'm sick like that I just keep washing down the vitamin C and niacin. I'm afraid of the niacin, keep track of it, and have placed a limit of 3000 mg for a single day. I don't even keep track of the vitamin C. I just wash it down and don't pay any attention to the total dose.

I'm afraid of the niacin, because niacin overdose has caused me, on three occasions, to lose a day to intense nausea and severe vomiting that I wish to never experience again. Each time I believed I had learned the lesson and took precautions to never overdose again. My first two sets of precautions were insufficiently cautious. It's been almost 8 years since the last event, so I just may have devised sufficient precautions. But I'm not sure - and remain afraid.

Back to the big picture. At least once per year for the last 15 years I've taken these incredible doses of vitamin C and niacin. Despite being 15 years older, I'm in obviously better health today than I was 15 years ago. I have great numbers at my physicals, and I don't take any prescription drugs. There isn't any data to make any kind of case that my abuse of vitamin C and niacin is causing me any harm. That's why I feel compelled to be the one to advise people that it is safe to take 100 mg/day of niacin and 2000 to 4000 mg/day of vitamin C. If I don't advocate for the safety of vitamin C and niacin, who will? Not only do I have the science on my side, I'm living proof.

I believe I've made a strong scientific case that extra vitamin C and niacin accelerate wound healing. I'm not a casual theoretician. I aggressively practice what I believe. Despite my knowledge and experience, I'm still nervous when I tell people they have much to gain, and little to lose by giving vitamin C and niacin a try. But if I don't speak up, who will?

One final note. I've always taken antibiotics when I get these terrible illnesses. This was before my recent epiphany about the synergy between vitamins and antibiotics. It's highly likely that my fast recoveries from these horrible colds require both vitamins and antibiotics.


At 4:38 AM, Blogger majkinetor said...

I wouldn't pop up antibiotics like you do on colds. Its viral disease, ABs are of no use and you kill good flora which means you have new problems: Vitamin K deficiency, fungus proliferation etc...

I suggest you try this protocol for virus and then see if it works better or worse then AB+vitamins:

- Bowel Tollerance C (50-100g)
- Acetyl L Cystein, to help liver, ~ 1.2g / day
- Magnesium, chelated form 500-1000mg.
- 5000-10000 IU D3/day
- No food, promote autophagy.
- CoQ10, 100 mg LET tech - to support extended energy utilisation
- Good multivitamin with 50mg of B vitamins 2x
- Lots of water.

At 10:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am new to using vitamin c for colds and sinus infections. I am up to 30,000 mg a day for a sinus/ear infection. My problem is it gives me very foul smelling flatulence. Is this normal? Is there anyway to prevent it?

At 8:29 PM, Blogger Steve said...

Dear Anonymous,

The flatulence is normal - the foul smell is normal when you get started, and may get better with time provided you get healthier.

The flatulence is proportional to the vitamin C dose. If you take 15,000 mg/day instead of 30, you'll have less flatulence.

If you read through my blog, you'll see my recommendation for your situation - full body sunshine every day this is possible; one 50 mg TTFD (thiamine) tablet per day, 250 mg of niacin 2 or 3 times per week (250 mg/day when sick with a cold), 10,000 IU vitamin A per week, and 4000 to 10,000 mg/day of vitamin C . If you a chronically ill, take a tetracycline class antibiotic for 30 days in case the problem is bacterial.

Good luck with your health,


At 8:32 PM, Blogger Steve said...


Thanks for your advice.

10,000 IU/day of vitamin D from sunshine, magnesium, water, and B-vitamins are already a regular practice of mine. I'm glad there is a consensus emerging.

I'll check out the acetyl L cystein, the CoQ10, and the fasting. The fasting will be tough for me!

Thanks again for the advice,


At 1:22 PM, Anonymous Jennifer said...

Hi Steve. I recently found your blog quite by accident and am very grateful that I did. I only hope that you will see and respond to this comment considering this post is quite old now. My 8 yr old son was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes on 9/12/11. I know you will offer sympathy based on reading some of your other posts :) To make a long story short, I am very confused as to whether I should be giving him Niacin or Niacinamide. He is currently taking 300mg of Niacin per day but I have read on other sites that Niacinamide is good for Type 1. Do you have any thoughts as to the difference or which one may be the better choice?

At 6:24 PM, Blogger Steve said...


I hope it hasn't taken me too long to respond to your comment. I missed this one. If you want a response, it's best to leave the comment in the most recent post.

Faced with the same question, I chose niacin for my kids because it has even more data proving it's safety than the piles of data proving that niacinamide is safe.

I hope you'll consider extra sunshine, vitamin C, and vitamin B1 for your son as well as the extra niacin.

I'll keep you son in my prayers.

Don't hesitate to write again with more questions.


At 7:59 PM, Anonymous Jennifer said...

I actually just posted on Jan 26th so you were quite prompt. Thank You :) I chose to post on this thread because I was trying to stay on topic but in the future I will go with the more recent posts. I decided to start him on 2000mg Vit C per day as well as 250mg of Niacin based on what I read on your blog plus my own research. specifically says to use Niacinamide so I appreciate your input. Keep up the great work!

At 4:47 AM, Blogger Catherine said...

Many said coq10 is good to boost energy. I think it is one of the most important supplement we need everyday.

At 10:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

These tips and advices are really very much effective, Taking antibiotics for the full duration prescribed is the best way to assure that harmful bacteria causing the infection are completely eradicated.
antibiotics to buy online

At 6:09 AM, Blogger Jonathan Steele of said...

I am new to the use of niacin. The time released has some research that says it could be bad for the liver. AS to the water, it is also good to take the electrolyte with the water. The best source, unprocessed salt. It is called the Water Cures Protocol ( As to the C, for me, the lozenges that dissolve in the mouth worked better than the capsules or pills. The problem with them is they only come in 500 mg. So to make it possible to take more, I put them in a coffee grinder and then mix the powder in water and drink.

As a public speaker, if I get a cold when I have a gig, it could be a disaster. This works much faster than anything else I have tried (decongestants) and does not have the side effect of memory loss.


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