Vitamin C or not Vitamin C


Just wondering what people’s thoughts are on taking Vitamin C or anything that boosts the immune system. Some sites say you should and some say you shouldn’t. Anybody got a compelling argument?



Hi Adrian I saw your post and thought that I would comment. I personally wouldn’t take vitamin c tablets as they can affect the absorption of vitamin b12 and there’s more significant evidence that says vitamin b12 is important especially in ms sufferers. There’s also statistics to show that something like 10-15% of people diagnosed with ms were diagnosed with a severe b12 deficiency. Vitamin b12 affects the nervous system and also the myelin sheath so if anything I would suggest looking at the option of taking a supplement of vitamin b12. K x

Hi Adrian,

I tend to avoid any supplement touted as an “immune booster”. If, as the leading theory suggests (and there’s plenty of evidence to back it now) MS is linked to an over-zealous/misdirected immune system, the last thing I want to do is give my crazy immune system a boost! I want it to calm down, not get stronger.

Having said that, I strongly suspect most supplements available over-the-counter are not very potent, and it’s questionable whether they do everything claimed anyway, so the odd vitamin C tablet might not, in reality, be any more risky than taking a Smartie.

But unless you know you have a vitamin C deficiency, why do you need them? Unlike D3 and B12, for example, I’ve never seen them recommended to MSers as beneficial.

I reckon you could save yourself the money, and the worry they might not be good for MS, by giving them a miss.


Hi Tina, Karina,

Thanks for getting back to me. I have been getting UTIs. I didn’t even realise I had one until someone on this forum suggested I had. I don’t get the pain but I was getting pain in the lower back. These are not great for MS as it gets the immune system into action which we really don’t want. Various, quite reputable sites that deal with MS have suggested taking VitC to combat UTIs by decreasing the PH value in the gut and boosting the immune system. I’m still confused.

Karina, I didn’t realise it decreased absorption of B12. If it does, I won’t take as I am great believer in B12. I’ll continue to take a probiotic which is the other thing that is recommended and drinking cranberry.

Thanks for getting back to me. Very much appreciated.

Adrian :wink:

No probs Adrian hopefully lots of cranberry juice will do the trick! I’ve been doing lots of research on vitamin b12 deficiency and there’s lots of articles about how vitamin c affects the absorption of vitamin b12 and also vitamin b6. There’s lots of research they are doing on vitamin b12 at the moment including the damage that a deficiency of it does to the myelin sheath and the nerve damage it does and how there is such a strong link between ms and vitamin b12. Very interesting studies that they have going on. I’m seeing my neurologist on Thursday and going to try and get on vitamin b12 injections and see what difference it makes so will update on here

Cool. I take B12 daily and it definitely has an impact on my general health. Good luck with that. :slight_smile:

Karina - I spent some time yesterday researching B12 and MS via my Uni database, but couldn’t find much experimental research at all. Do you have links to the studies that you have mentioned here? I’d like to read them if I can.

Adrian - you can buy cranberry supplements. I don’t know how effective they are, but cranberry juice is pretty rubbish - the amount on cranberries in it is very low (I got a hell of a shock when I read the label of the one I was using!). If you have a UTI, you really need to get antibiotics though. Cranberry and things like that might help prevent UTIs, but they won’t get rid of them I don’t think.

Also, if I get the chance I will have a look for anything on vit C and MS. I doubt there is anything of substance, but I could be wrong!

Karen x

Hi Karen,

Thanks. I’m seeing my Doctor on Wednesday. I know 35% sugar. Went to get some dried cranberries from Holland & Barrett and they were 75% sugar. Mmm, £5 for a bag of sugar. Great.

Some sites recommend taking vitc for UTIs but then some sites say don’t take anything that will aggravate your immune system. So, a bit confusing.


Adrian :wink:

Copy from the other vitamins thread:

Well, looking into vitamin C and MS didn’t take very long after all! Putting “vitamin C AND multiple sclerosis” into the search engine on Web of Knowledge returned a (not so!) massive 32 articles and the only one that was purely about vitamin C and MS was dated 1947!

There’s nothing remotely convincing in those 32 articles about vitamin C being good or bad for MS. To be fair, there hasn’t been a trial to test it, but there’s usually a good reason for that, i.e. nothing to suppose that it would produce an interesting result.


Hi Karen do you want me to email you over the information? I don’t have the links but have it all on an email as I combined it all and printed it out to take to the numerologist with me on Thursday. They are apparently also carrying out trials of vitamin b12 at the hospitals in London for ms patients which was mentioned in a link on the everyday living page. The statistics of how many people are misdiagnosed with ms when they had a vitamin b12 deficiency is startling and with vitamin b12 deficiency it’s important to have treatment within 6 months of severe symptoms (‘an attack’) to prevent from long term nerve damage

I’ll have a look on the EL thread for the link then - thanks.

Vit B12 deficiency and MS can look almost identical - SO important to have it ruled it.


Yeah that’s why I’m taking all the info to the neurologist with me - my reading came up as only 212 and that’s with taking a supplement of 2000iu of vitamin b12 per day plus having a lot of dairy each day which includes a large bowl of cereal fortified in vitamin b12, 3 glasses of milk, cheese at lunch time and chicken or meat at dinner with lots of vegetables including lots of broccoli. My blood test also showed up an abnormality in my liver with high bilirubin and high alt levels which the gp couldn’t explain. Repeat liver function blood tests show still high bilirubin but lower alt levels but I had started taking folic acid tablets since last blood test so who knows if thats something to do with it!?! A reading of only 212 seemed way to low considering all of that but the gp just dismissed it all so next step is neurologist and hopefully he will spread some light on things. I’m not thinking that it’s not ms I’m thinking that I probably have 2 things going on so want to take the vitamin b12 out of the equation. I think i read that you said your daughter had vitamin b12 deficiency - was that found in blood test?

Re my daughter: yes, blood test. She’s been on supplements for a year now and she’s only made it to low normal. It’s looking like it might be related to a gastro condition, but that’s still being investigated. Hopefully we’ll get on top of it all soon.


Hopefully they will get to the bottom of it for your daughter fingers crossed for you both

I don’t have MS but I have many of the symptoms of it and need daily B12 injections. I also take VitC but not within two hours of the injection. Neither should it be taken at the same time as any of the other B vitamins.

VitC is not intended to help MS but it is an anti-oxidant and is often given for those with mercury toxicity (usually from dental amalgam). This is my problem and it has connections to MS (do a search for ‘MS’ and ‘mercury’). B12 deficiency is also a demyelinating condition and it is often confused with MS. As already mentioned, there is a high incidence of B12 def in those with MS. However, there is suspicion that some cases of MS are misdiagnoses and that the patient actually has sub-acute combined degeneration due to B12 def. It takes a very experienced neurologist to differentiate between the type of nerve damage as seen on MRI scans. It apparently has something to do with the pattern of the plaques (SACD being symmetrical and MS random, I think).

I, too, suffer from constant UTIs as a result of the nerve damage affecting my sacral nerve. I have to permanently self-catheterise and have been on a prophylactic antibiotic for the last 3 years. Not ideal, and I am now resistant to them all, altohugh two of them are still managing it.

I have had all 16 of my amalgam fillings removed and another 10 months spent on detoxifying supplements. I feel great now, although the nerve damage is done and I haven’t yet seen any imporvement to the nerve damage. However, to be able to enjoy such an improved quality of life is amazing. There is a lot of controversy over whether or not dental amalgam causes the sort of damage seen in MS and other conditions. I also have scoliosis and it too may have a link to exposure to mercury. It would be interesting to know how many people have both scoliosis and MS. I personally know of one person and she has 5 amalgam fillings