A vitamin C flush involves taking as much vitamin C as the body can tolerate. When the body is saturated with vitamin C, diarrhea occurs- hence the term “flush”. The flush is not the purpose of the procedure, rather it marks the endpoint. The amount of vitamin C it will take to make the flush occur depends on the body’s deficit of vitamin C. The deficit, in turn, will depend on the magnitude of oxidation- reduction (redox) reactions occurring in the body at a given time. The deficit could be 1000 mg one day and 5000 the next. The first time a vitamin C flush is done the deficit will be quite large- sometimes over 100,000 mg in humans. After balance is restored, smaller amounts of vitamin C are required to maintain equilibrium- usually about 75 % of the amount needed to produce the flush.
Restoring vitamin C levels will make any sick animal feel better. Vitamin C is the major antioxidant in the body. It also has antihistamine activity, antibiotic and antiviral actions, and is the universal antidote. Healing is difficult to obtain in the face of significant vitamin C deficiency. In conditions characterized by major inflammation, e.g. leaky gut, massive amounts of vitamin C are necessary to achieve healing.
Vitamin C flush recommendations for humans involve taking a dose of vitamon C every hour until diarrhea occurs. This is not practical in dogs. The same result can be achieved by increasing the dose of vitamin C each day until diarrhea occurs. It is not necessary to get to the point of frank diarrhea. If the dog becomes gassy and a lot of intestinal noises are heard, saturation has been reached. So, if, for example, one starts with a dose of 1000 mg the first day, the second day dose would be 2000 mg, and so on until the flush occurs.
Once the flush occurs, the maintenance dose would be 75% of the dose causing the flush. Dose adjustment may be necessary on a daily basis until healing occurs. If the animal becomes ill again, repeat the flush procedure as necessary. Dogs with leaky gut benefit from a weekly flush for 6 months, and then twice a week for a year.
A vitamin C flush can be done with any form of vitamin C. Ascorbic acid is the least expensive, but has a bitter taste and can be irritating to a sensitive stomach. Sodium ascorbate ( or a mixed ascorbate) is recommended for these animals. It is better to mix the vitamin C in food rather than in water as it oxidizes rapidly in water.