The Truth About Vitamin C

The Truth About Vitamin C

You have an inbuilt metabolic disorder. We all do. We share this disorder with other primates (and guinea pigs). You cannot make your own vitamin C, but nearly all of the other 4,000 species of mammals on the planet can. (1)

Vitamin C is vital for life and evolution has helped us compensate for this “metabolic disorder” by using our red blood cells to transport and recycle vitamin C. Vitamin C is a precious and vital resource, and we are good at using it when we get it.

But do we get enough of it?

We are completely dependent on what we eat to get our vitamin C, and what we eat is looking increasingly like it is not good enough in terms of this vital nutrient. Not enough to experience the full benefits anyway. Vitamin C degenerates when food is stored, pre-cut, or exposed to heat. That plastic container of fruit salad may not give you the levels of vitamin C you expect! Much of our fruit and vegetables travel miles and is older than ideal before we eat it. A lot of the fruit we consume is in the form of juice, which may have been boiled to concentrate it, and our vitamin C levels may drag along the minimum levels at best (3).

Debate still exists as to what impact this may have on our bodies and the ageing process in the long run.

Is it really that bad to not get enough vitamin C?

Think of scurvy and you may think of Jack Sparrow, pirates, sailors – a disease belonging to the past. But shockingly, it is making a reappearance in an industrialised wealthy country like Australia. A thoughtful endocrinologist at Westmead hospital checked the vitamin C and zinc levels of some of her patients with slow-healing ulcers and discovered very low vitamin C levels – Yes, scurvy, in Australia, in our lifetime. Shockingly low vitamin levels are common in the modern population if you are relying on processed food and the “don’t cook, just eat” philosophy of modern lifestyles. This could be exacerbated if you are avoiding fruit – more common as people worry about fruit containing “too much sugar” and not replacing it with enough fresh vegetables.

Our basic ‘recommended’ requirements of 40mg of vitamin C per day is a public health level that was set to keep the general population from developing the symptoms of scurvy. However, there is much controversy and debate around the difference between adequate and ideal levels – something of interest to researchers, and to people pursuing optimum nutrition, health and longevity. We are able to store up to nearly 2000mg of vitamin C before we begin to lose it in the urine.

So is it useful to keep your body fully topped up with this extraordinary micronutrient?

Vitamin C is vital for the production of collagen and it is the reason why one of the symptoms of scurvy is bleeding gums. Higher levels of vitamin C may be protective in the skin and help preserve collagen production, (5) a vital part of anti-ageing protocols (preventing premature wrinkles). It is also a useful consideration for those with sports injuries or joint issues – anything that helps reduce inflammation and produce healthy connective tissue is useful for joint repair.

Rough bumpy skin (chicken skin) easily broken capillaries under the skin and generally, rough, dry, damaged skin and hair may all be signs of more subtle vitamin C deficiency. As a free radical scavenger, Vitamin C is also vital for repairing the damage done by UV rays to the skin. (2)

Vitamin C helps us absorb and use iron and copper in our cells – always spritz your spinach with some lemon! It also protects our cells from free radical damage throughout the body caused by pollution, smoking and sun exposure. But connective tissue runs deeper than reducing wrinkles, vitamin C also has a role in protecting arteries from damage that leads to atherosclerosis.

Low intakes of vitamin C are associated with low bone density. If you want to help protect against osteoporosis then keeping your stores of vitamin C topped up should be part of your strategy along with exercise and eating well. (4) Low vitamin C levels are also associated with fatigue.

Basically, this nutrient is manufactured by most animals in the world because it is so valuable.

Vitamin C is vital for life and acts as a protective agent throughout the body supporting healthy bones, healthy veins, healthy skin and reducing damage to cells and helping to protect us from chronic disease. Few of us walk through orchards and gardens eating freshly picked food daily and many of us are exposed to smoke, pollution and the general stresses that draw on our vitamin C reserves. 40mg a day may keep you free of scurvy but many of us want more for our bodies and health, and that means, amongst other things, more vitamin C.


(1) Cell Press. “How Humans Make Up For An ‘Inborn’ Vitamin C Deficiency.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 March 2008. <>.

(2).Rhie G, Shin MH, Seo JY, et al. Aging- and photoaging-dependent changes of enzymic and nonenzymic antioxidants in the epidermis and dermis of human skin in vivo. J Invest Dermatol 2001;117:1212-1217.

(3).Effects of heat and storage on vitamin C content in fruit juice.

(4) Morton Barret et al  Vitamin C supplement use and bone mineral density in post menopausal women. J Bone Miner Res. 2001 Jan;16(1):135-40.

(5) Peterkofsky B. Ascorbate requirement for hydroxylation and secretion of procollagen: relationship to inhibition of collagen synthesis in scurvy. Am J Clin Nutr 1991;54:1135S-1140S.

Davinia Taylor Visits Get A Drip

Davinia Taylor Visits Get A Drip

Hi Davinia thank you for chatting to us about health and biohacking today!

You’ve had a DNA test previously, what made you do it and have you changed anything about your lifestyle since getting the results?

I’m now aware of my methylation cycle and am trying to support it with the correct B12 and lithium levels! All a balancing act which is super interesting!

You’re into biohacking – how did you become interested in it?

Initially it was via the bulletproof diet when I was trying to drop excess baby weight after my fourth son… I then signed up to my first Spartan race and realised I needed all the support I could get in the least amount of time! Time is always against me with having so many kids to ferry about!

What elements of biohacking have you adopted into your everyday life?

I’m a fan of IF (intermittent fasting), bulletproof coffee, infrared saunas (using niacin supplements), ice baths, cold water swimming, IV Vitamin Drips, light therapy, cryogenic therapy, breath work, transcendental meditation, organic foods and supplements. To name a few!

How has bio-hacking and optimum nutrition affected your life?

I feel a sense of control which gives me comfort in the sense that I’m not at the mercy of chance when it comes to my health… I am in tune with my symptoms and now feel I can get to the root of any problem as opposed to masking them. I also feel I am setting a great example to my children who are now learning to look past the marketing of food products and read the labels thus taking control of their bodies and minds.

Is there anything in the world of bio-hacking or optimum nutrition that you want to try but haven’t yet?

Absolutely ….NAD+IV!!!! I want to repair my DNA due to the abuse I put my body through during my years of active addiction and alcoholism.

And finally, can you let us into the secret of some of your favourite wellness places in London (e.g. studios/gyms, cafes/restaurants, salons etc)?

  • Barry’s Bootcamp for the endorphins and the quick cardio fix if I’m feeling unmotivated! At least once a month to keep an eye on my fitness levels!
  • Leon and Ceviche in soho for take away delivery.
  • Natalie in Mayfair for a great fast food pit stop which is still glamorous yet quick.
  • Planet Organic for grocery shopping.
  • Farmdrop for online shopping (includes bones for bone broth).
  • London Cryo for a quick recovery after a workout.
  • Get A Drip for well priced and drop-in IV Vitamin Drips – super convenient!!
  • Hyde Park to do a beautiful 7k run!
  • The Serpentine in Hyde Park or Hampstead lido for a winter swim (also a sauna in Hampstead).
  • My gym is White City soho house (my second home and the best infrared sauna in London).
  • Exhale Pilates in Camden for classic Pilates to help me stay supple and keep me injury free.
  • @gokombucha (green sencha) for a monthly crate of delicious kombucha delivered to my door! The best on the market at the moment. Great wine alternative.

How To Live A More Balanced Life

How To Live A More Balanced Life – Interview With Balance Festival Founder Ludovic Rossignol-Isanovic

If you’re a fan of everything wellness related, chances are you would have heard of Balance Festival. Founded in 2017 by Ludovic Rossignol-Isanovic, Balance brings the trailblazers in the health, fitness and wellness industries together for one fun-filled weekend in London. 2019 was Get A Drip’s first time at Balance and after experiencing the buzz of the festival first hand, we wanted to talk to Ludovic about the impact the festival has had on the wellness industry, the best business advice he’s ever received and how we can all live a more balanced life.

How has Balance festival grown and changed since the first festival back in 2017?

Balance Festival was born out of a dream to create an all-encompassing health and wellness festival focused on four pillars: food, fitness, wellness and travel. These elements, when balanced, represent our optimal version of achieving health and wellness. However, it’s only now that we’re truly starting to accomplish our vision. Year 1 was very much focused around fitness and food; now we’ve doubled exhibitor numbers, we’ve got a much more inclusive wellness programme and some really strong collaborations with travel brands.

It’s also become much more than just an event. Thanks to our Balance Journal, the Balance Edit and Balance TV, Balance Festival has become an authoritative voice in wellness industry with a highly engaged, organically grown audience.

What challenges did you experience when first trying to get exhibitors and brands on board?

It’s always a “chicken and egg” problem when you create a new event – you must build people’s trust, and while people tend to be willing to support great ideas, they don’t necessarily want to commit in the first year. It’s probably why so many small businesses fail in their first 12 months of trading. You’ve got to create a snowball effect first.

What impact do you think Balance Festival has on the wellness industry?

I believe we’ve made a positive impact on our community. We’ve been inspiring consumers to live healthily. Balance has been a catalyst for growth for the industry as a whole.

What sets Balance apart from other wellness festivals?

The fact that it’s built from a genuine commitment and desire to inspire people to live more healthily, and that this purpose statement continues to underpin the festival and everything we do as a team. I went through my own wellness revolution in 2012 after a sports injury and got hooked on fitness and wellness from there, so I designed an event that I would have wanted to attend myself.

The fact that Balance came in response a genuine problem is something you can feel when you attend the festival and when you talk to the people who come; afterwards, they tell us how much confidence the event gave them and how much it inspired them to embrace change.  We get to see the positive impact that it has on people’s lives here in London, in the South East and nationwide.

What are the next steps for Balance? Where do you see the brand going within the next 5 years?

We’re always aiming to expand, to have more to offer and we’ve got big plans to take Balance Festival to new locations – I can’t say too much about that right now, but it’s a really exciting prospect.

In the meantime, we know that a big part of living a more fulfilling life comes from within, so we’ll be producing more content aimed at providing people with the right tools and knowledge to assist in their self-development – this covers everything from sleep to relationships, careers, mental health, fitness, wellness and travel.

We’re also really excited to launch our B2B arm, Futureminded. Our first event in October celebrates next generation brands pioneering a revolution within their own categories – wellness, food, fitness, travel, beauty and tech – like many of the brands that we have at Balance Festival. We’ll be holding masterclasses with some amazing individuals, including Ibrahim Ibrahim of Portland Design, Megan van Someren of Canteen Consulting and Communications Trainer Amy Tez.

We’ll also be releasing our latest research project, produced in partnership with Allegra Strategies, which looks at the megatrends shaping the future of the UK wellness industry.

Any major learning curves? What would you have done differently when you first started? 

To be honest, everything we’ve done has been part of the process and any mistakes we’ve made have been part of that. We wouldn’t be where we are without them, but we’re still making baby steps and this is just the beginning of our journey.

However, I would say that Balance Festival was designed to help anyone start their wellness revolution, but in reality it’s attracted an already converted crowd and so we created a niche without intending to. Wellness is everywhere and definitely a megatrend, but as a whole the industry can still be quite exclusive and price sensitivity can be a barrier to entry.

As an industry, we need to make wellness more mainstream to be able to grow, without losing our authenticity and aspirational brand positioning. It’s a big challenge!

Best business advice you’ve ever received?

Dedicate your life to something you love and you’ll never work again in your life.

How can we all live a more Balanced life?

By remembering that we’re all individual and there’s no one size fits all, so your wellness journey needs to be about you. It might take a bit of trial and error to find out what works for you, but it all starts with stepping outside your comfort zone and overcoming that initial fear. This could be trying a new workout, picking a challenge to train for or attending a workshop about something you know nothing about. Ironically, you might need to unbalance your current routine to find your own balance!