Vitamin C and Gut Microbiome

The Gut Microbiome and Vitamin C

Growing up, it was not uncommon to hear about the dangers of all the bacteria and germs that were surrounding us. Perhaps our parents and teachers would often tell us to make sure to wash our hands, to not touch things too much in public spaces, not eat things off the floor or hold hands with the kid that kept sneezing everywhere. Anyways…you get the picture. We grew up being told that micororganisms were scary and should be avoided at all costs.

This learned piece of information was perhaps one of those essentialities that became ingrained into our thought processes and survival instincts.

Now, what if someone told you, after years of childhood spent learning that germs are dirty rotten, no good, enemies, that many bacteria can actually be beneficial to human beings? Especially when it comes to the gut.

Whoa…Mind. Blown. Am I right? Let’s analyze that further.

It’s not uncommon that the progress of science and evolution of related studies and technologies allows us to deeper and more accurately understand these types of topics and to refine this type of knowledge. That, I’m sure we can all agree on.

Well, bacteria are no different. When we talk about bacteria, in this particular situation, we are talking about the microbiome of the human body. The microbiome, in the simplest terms can be thought of as a web of connected bacteria, viruses, and protozoa (basically all of those tiny microbial communities that live in our bodies that we can never know quite enough about, yet help us out tremendously in our daily processes). These webs and communities, in other words, are made of…you guessed it – bacteria. The bacteria that your mom and many others were trying to protect you from are actually responsible for keeping your body healthy and adaptable in an ever changing environment.

A healthy gut is filled with working, functioning, useful strains of bacteria (or germs) that can aid in the daily processes that are so incredibly essential for the general and specific health and well being of our bodies. These germs that we were encouraged to grow afraid of are actually incorporated into our body and creating a healthy microbial system, or healthy gut.

Now that we have established the absolute importance of your gut microbiome, how does this relate to Vitamin C? Again, common belief in the scientific world of human biology has been that humans do not/can not produce their own Vitamin C. We need to get it from our diet. But is this true?

New research is showing that a healthy gut is able to produce it’s own Vitamin C (ascorbate)! According to a study sited on, a number of different vitamins were discovered to be produced in the gut, including Vitamin C. Other vitamins mentioned in the study were certain B vitamins, Vitamin K, and more. While the gut microbiome may not be able to produce physicological relevant levels of Vitamin C, it does show us that we have much to learn about this highly complex system and it’s highly beneficial contributions to our quality of life.

The presence of “germs” in the body does so much more than one could possibly fathom in regards to a healthy and happy body. Take care of your gut and it will take care of you!

If you have any more questions on your gut microbiome please do not hesitate to attend one of our events or call my office for an appointment. We will also be a launching a weightloss program designed to keep the weight off. If you want more information on the program or anything else, simply add your email to our mailing list.

Dr. Shah, MD