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It turns out there are actually proven vitamins that have been found to help alleviate pain associated with endometriosis. I know I’m always looking for new ways to incorporate nutrients into my diet that are known to help endometriosis pain stay away. When I first started making drastic dietary changes I read a lot about different vitamins, including vitamin c. The use of high dose or consistent vitamin c has been known to help combat free radicals and oxidative stress which can cause inflammation. But the combination of vitamin c plus vitamin e can really help eliminate period pain.
I found that Chris Wark’s website chrisbeatcancer.com has a lot of great information on vitamin c. Here is his article about the high dose vitamin c protocol which as part of his lifestyle change helped put his cancer in remission.
Why follow a diet that cured someone from cancer? Because it turns out endometriosis can have similar characteristics to cancer so I figured if Chris was taking vitamin c then I would investigate it too. What did I find in my research? That vitamin C can reduce endometriotic cyst weight and volume! Also, liposomal vitamin c, a form of fat soluble vitamins are easier to absorb than any old vitamin c supplement. Ladies, get your vitamin c! I also recommend a lot of other things Chris did for women with endometriosis. Read my full review of his diet protocol here.
When vitamin c is combined with vitamin e, GREAT things can happen for your body. A study published in May 2021 found that in a triple blind study women who were given vitamin c (1000mg per day via two 500 mg tablets) and e (800iu/day via two 400iu tablets) had a statistically significant reduction in pelvic pain, dysmenorrhea and dyspareunia after 8 weeks of supplementation.
The study mentioned that endometriosis may in part be due to oxidative stress and that supplementation of antioxidants seems to help improve symptoms involving pain. Other studies have noted that vitamin c and e are important for a healthy functioning immune system. Endometriosis is a complex condition that involves a misfunctioning immune system, so again it makes sense to make sure you are getting enough vitamin e and c.
My favorite food sources
The best way to get your fill of vitamin c and e-vitamins are through a natural whole foods based diet. It’s really the best to get your vitamins from food in general as it is easier for your body to process. If you can’t get all of these fruits and vegetables into your daily diet, and many of us cannot, then just do a morning endometriosis smoothie! Here are some of my favorite sources for getting enough of both vitamins:
For whole food sources of vitamin c, think in terms of berries and cruciferous vegetables. You really would have a difficult time overdosing on vitamin c. If you do take too much, you may find your intolerance point and have some GI tract distress. For most people, taking 1000mg daily won’t cause any additional symptoms if you already have a healthy diet. While there are many good sources, these are my favorites.
Goji berries (lycium) have become a household name in recent years and for good reason. The red fruit is high in antioxidants and is considered a superfood for health AND it provides a high portion of vitamin c per ounce. In traditional Chinese medicine, goji berries are commonly known as lycium fruit. They are known for supporting the kidneys, liver and lungs as well as supporting the immune system. Goji berries can be elusive in some grocery stores, so it’s worth it to shop around.
I really like the Navitas brand of goji berries because it is affordable, organic, non-gmo and sulfite free.
Blueberries make my list for a host of reasons. They top about every list you can think of for being a powerhouse store of antioxidants for your body and brain. In fact, a recent study found that regular consumption of blueberries lowers your risk of cognitive decline by 20%. They are relatively low in sugar which won’t cause an insulin spike as much as sweeter citrus fruits (which can be important for those of you seeking to improve your egg health, balance your hormones and balance your blood sugars). I love them in my morning smoothie!
I love to stock up on fresh hand-picked blueberries in the summer and freeze them for use all year round. If you have trouble finding fresh or frozen organic blueberries, it is really easy to incorporate blueberry powder into your morning smoothie! This is a great powdered blueberry product that is also made in the USA, organic, non-gmo, and include JUST blueberries. None of the maltodextrin or other stuff.
Most cruciferous vegetables rank pretty high for natural sources of vitamin c and broccoli is such a healing vegetable with the vitamins. The family of cruciferous vegetables also plays a role in the metabolism of estrogen and liver detoxification, which are important to consider when dealing with endometriosis. Add some avocado oil or ghee if you can tolerate it and it makes a wonderful side dish.
In case you can’t regularly get broccoli into your diet, again, it is so easy to just add a scoop of organic broccoli powder to your daily smoothie ensuring you get enough of the good vitamins each day.
For foods high in e-vitamins, think dark leafy greens and nuts.
Almonds contain 37% of your recommended daily value of vitamin e, which lands this delicious nut at the top of any food based vitamin e. Almonds are versatile and there are just so many ways to incorporate them into your diet. Need a few ideas if you are getting bored with your usual? Aside from the actual almond, almond flour, almond butter and almond milk are great ways to incorporate more vitamin e into your diet.
Almond butter is amazing in your morning endometriosis smoothie. If you are looking for a quality product, this organic, non-gmo brand contains only almonds and comes in a glass jar.
Other great sources include avocados, salmon, albacore tuna, and broccoli!
My favorite supplements
In addition to sourcing your vitamins from whole foods, should you take multi-vitamins? What about vitamins and supplements? I will give you my honest opinion! While you may reach your recommended daily limits via food, us endo gals have SO MUCH inflammation and additional stress on our bodies. The recommended levels often won’t touch our tissue and cellular damage and our need for antioxidants. Depending how sick our body is, you would be able to tolerate 10-20 times more than the recommended limit.
I linked Chis Wark’s high dose vitamin c protocol in a link above and recommend you check it out. You will need to determine what best fits your needs.
I personally have been using Vimergy’s Micro-C for years now. When I was having pain, I would take two caps pretty religiously. I would also do occasional vitamin c IVs, similar to what Chris recommended, through my functional medicine physician’s office. These days, I take it mostly during the second half of my cycle, which is when I find my immune system most benefits from a boost.
For vitamin e, I have this supplement on the ready as a back up for when I can’t get enough vitamin e into my daily diet. It’s a moderate amount of 100IUs of mixed tocopherols. Why do I keep such a low dose when there are apparent benefits to vitamin e? Well, the research is mixed whether high doses of vitamin e are that great for you. Here is a study that found that high doses of vitamin e may cause an increase in mortality! Be prudent. Err on the side of caution and moderation.
You may be asking what else should I take in addition to vitamin c and e? What about the often hailed b complex vitamins or fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamin d known to help reduce pms symptoms? Yes, you can check my post about additional vitamins for endometriosis. There are many to discuss
The Best (Pain-Free) Endometriosis Smoothie Recipe
A great way to ensure you are getting high nutrients from whole foods is to make a daily endometriosis smoothie! I love to make a batch big enough for several days and then freeze the rest. I follow some traditional Chinese medicine principals for endometriosis, and one of those being to not consume cold foods or beverages. So, let your smoothie thaw out overnight so it reaches room temperature before you drink it.
- 1/2 – 1 cup of blueberries
- 1/2 cup almond butter or 1 cup almond milk
- 1/4 cup goji berries
- 1 scoop broccoli powder
- 1 cup water or water kefir as needed (if not using almond milk)
- 2 Tbsp coconut butter (optional, but delicious)
- extra vitamin c powder (I put the powder from the micro-c capsules into my smoothie)
- 1 scoop of green powders (I use barley grass juice and 1 tsp spirulina; I used to use cilantro or dandelions leaves, you could use dandelion powder)
If you have anemia, from a diagnosed ferritin blood test, or suspect subclinical iron deficiency, check out my post here about how to improve your blood iron levels naturally. Make sure to include thawed frozen spinach into your smoothie which is high in iron and will be better absorbed with vitamin c.
Post your experience with the pain-free endometriosis smoothie and vitamin c and e in the comments below!