How To Detox With a Vitamin C Flush

by Sukhsatej Batra, Ph. D August 20, 2020

While vitamin C is well known for boosting the immune system and helping fight off colds and the flu, it is also effective as a detox that flushes out toxins from the body and helps cleanse out the body from within. A vitamin C flush, however, does more than that because it also helps determine how much vitamin C you need to be in optimal health. But what is vitamin C flush and how do you do a vitamin C flush? To understand what a vitamin C flush is and how vitamin C works as a cleansing agent, it is important to first look at the role that vitamin C plays in the body.

Why we need Vitamin C

Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin that carries out several functions in the body that include increased absorption of dietary iron and making collagen, an essential part of connective tissue. Vitamin C also helps in healing wounds, maintaining healthy gums, and bone formation. (1)

Another important role that vitamin C plays in the body is that of a strong antioxidant, protecting healthy cells from being damaged by free radicals. Free radicals are highly reactive, unstable molecules that are either formed naturally in the body during metabolism or produced in the body after exposure to environmental toxins such as pollution, ultraviolet light, pesticides, cigarette smoke, and toxic chemicals. Free radicals contain an unpaired electron and constantly try to stabilize themselves by binding to another electron from other cells, damaging the donor cells, and making them unstable in the process. When there are many free radicals in the body they can damage normal body cells by this action and may cause many diseases such as heart disease, autoimmune disorders, and cancer. (2) One way of preventing damage by free radicals is to eat antioxidant-rich foods that can neutralize these unstable free radicals.

As a strong and potent antioxidant, vitamin C can protect the body from damage by free radicals. However, unlike most plants and animals that have the ability to synthesize vitamin C, humans cannot make this vitamin in the body. Furthermore, vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that cannot be stored in the body, thus making it an essential nutrient. Therefore, daily consumption of vitamin C rich foods or vitamin C from dietary supplements is required to meet body needs for overall well-being.

Although vitamin C deficiency is rare, low intakes for long periods of time can lead to scurvy, a condition that causes bruising, fatigue, anemia, capillary hemorrhage, poor wound healing, bleeding gums and loss of teeth. (3) You may consider taking vitamin C supplements although body needs for vitamin C can easily be met by eating fresh fruits and vegetables such as lemons, oranges, grapefruit, kiwifruit, strawberries, broccoli, tomatoes, red and green peppers.

Recommended Vitamin C Intakes

As mentioned above, you need sufficient amounts of vitamin C daily to be healthy. According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for vitamin C is 90 mg for adult men and 75 mg for adult women.(4) However, a paper published in the June 2020 of the journal "Nutrients" found that 46% of the US population has inadequate intakes of vitamin C. (5)

While making sure you are taking sufficient amounts of vitamin C is important, it is important to remember that individual needs differ. This is where vitamin C flush can help.

What are the Benefits of a Vitamin C Flush?

Vitamin C flush, also called as Ascorbate flush, Ascorbate cleanse and the C-Cleanse, is a method developed by Dr. Russell Jaffe, a physician and scientist, that helps identify your specific requirements for vitamin C. At the same time, the potent anti-oxidative vitamin C used as a flushing agent works to combat the effects of oxidative stress by removing toxins and extra fluids from the body, leaving you feeling rejuvenated and refreshed as with any detoxification process.(6)

The vitamin C flush is a simple and quick detoxification method that involves taking buffered ascorbate at regular intervals over several hours.

As you take vitamin C, it pumps toxins and water into your intestines until your body reaches its saturation point when your body cannot absorb any more vitamin C. You will know you have reached the saturation point or beyond bowel tolerance when you experience a sudden release of watery stool that completely evacuates the contents of your gastrointestinal tract. While the saturation point indicates the maximum amount of vitamin C your bowels can tolerate, the watery stool eliminates toxins from your body.

What Should I Expect From a Vitamin C Flush?

The first step to doing a vitamin C flush is to do it on a day when you are planning on being home for at least a couple of hours because, as the name indicates, you will need to be near a toilet! Once you have decided on the day, the process simply involves taking high doses of vitamin C regularly over a period of time.

For the ascorbate flush, select buffered ascorbate powder that contains fully reduced L-ascorbate and minerals such as calcium, magnesium, potassium and zinc. Buffered ascorbate form of vitamin C is less acidic due to the presence of these alkalizing agents and is gentler on the gut, even when taken in high doses as required for the ascorbate flush.

The dose of vitamin C you need for an ascorbate flush varies on personal vitamin C requirements and is different for everyone. It may take 2 to 4 hours or even longer for some to reach their point of saturation. You do not need to change your diet or restrict your food intake when you are doing a vitamin C flush, although drinking water and staying hydrated is important.

Instructions for Doing a Vitamin C Flush

It is best to start the vitamin C flush on an empty stomach in the morning.

1.) Dissolve 1,000 to 2,000 mg (that is 1 to 2 grams) of the buffered vitamin C in a glass of water. Note the amount and the time you take the vitamin C solution.

2.) After 20 to 30 minutes, dissolve and take another 1,000 to 2,000 mg of the buffered vitamin C in a glass of water, making sure you record both the time and amount of vitamin C you have taken.

3.) Repeat this process after the same time interval to track the total amount of ascorbic acid you have taken until your bowel tolerance is reached and you experience evacuation of loose watery stool, just as if you have taken enema.

4.) Once you pass watery stool, stop drinking vitamin C. Although you may experience loose stool the next couple of times you go to the bathroom, you should return to normal pretty soon.

You are now ready to find your bowel tolerance for vitamin C and calculate how much vitamin C you need on a daily basis to be healthy.

Calculating your Vitamin C Requirements

Now that you have emptied your bowels, you can rest and go on to the easier part of the vitamin C flush. Grab your paper where you noted the amount of buffered vitamin C powder you took to reach bowel tolerance. Add the total amount of vitamin C flush dosage you ingested during the flush. For example, if you drank 2 gram solutions of vitamin C six times during the flush, that comes to a total of 12 g of vitamin C for you to reach your saturation point. Your optimal requirement for vitamin C is 75% of this amount. Just multiply 12 g by 0.75, which comes to 9 grams of vitamin C that you need on a daily basis. You can split this amount into two or three doses spread throughout the day.

Final Notes

The benefit of doing a vitamin C flush is twofold because it does not only help determine the amount of vitamin C you need to be healthy but also detoxifies your body. Apart from flushing and getting rid of toxins accumulated from environmental pollutants, a vitamin C flush may be helpful for those who are fighting off an infection, suffer from cold frequently, have generally been on a poor diet, are injured, or just under a lot of stress.

While large doses of vitamin C don't cause side effects in most people, the vitamin C flush may not be suitable for those with digestive health problems, irritable bowel syndrome, or inflammatory bowel diseases. If you are unsure, it is best to consult your healthcare professional to determine if a vitamin C flush is appropriate for you.


Sukhsatej Batra, Ph. D
Sukhsatej Batra, Ph. D

Sukhsatej Batra has a Ph. D in Foods and Nutrition with a passion for motivating people to improve their well-being and achieve results through healthy lifestyle changes. Previously, Sukhsatej has worked as a Senior Research and Development Scientist and college professor.