At the back of the throat there are two oval-shaped lumps of tissue, one on each side, called tonsils. The primary function of this tissue is to be the first line of defense against foreign microorganisms or viruses that enter our body via the air we inhale, or the foods and drinks we ingest. Through specialized cells that are strategically placed on the surface of the tonsils, the immune system recognizes various pathogens and a response is triggered.
What are the common causes and symptoms of tonsillitis?
Tonsillitis, a form of throat infection, is the inflammation of the tonsils, which is caused when they are infected with a pathogen. The most common cause of tonsillitis is viral infection, which usually resolves on its own. However, it is possible that the tonsils can become infected with a bacterium; when the offending pathogen belongs to the group A streptococcus, the condition is commonly referred to as strep throat.
Regardless of its causing pathogen, the symptoms of tonsillitis are more or less the same. Swollen, red tonsils, covered with yellow or white patches; sore throat; difficulty in swallowing; voice hoarseness; fever; foul breath; headache; swollen, tender lymph nodes in the neck, tickly cough.
Similarly, there are some common things to do with the self-care of tonsillitis. These include getting enough rest, keep adequately hydrated, and consume foods and beverages that have soothing properties on a sore throat, e.g., broth, warm tea with honey etc. Moreover, gargles with saltwater can help ease inflammation, via osmosis (exudate is drawn out of the tissue due to the concentration gradient). Fever can be treated with paracetamol or ibuprofen.
If the offending pathogen is identified as a bacterium, then a course of antibiotics is necessary to prevent the risk of serious complications. Oral penicillin V or amoxicillin are the antibiotic agents of choice, with clarithromycin or azithromycin posing a reliable alternative in case there is a penicillin allergy.
However, there is another, more natural approach to treat tonsillitis, which can work synergistically to the above. It has been known for a long time that Vitamin C is an important co-factor that regulates the function of the immune system. Research has shown that when we are deficient in vitamin C, our body is more prone to infections . This is because immune cells have high concentrations of ascorbic acid in their cytoplasm and their membranes are equipped with specialized transporting proteins that act as vitamin C pumps, facilitating the influx of this nutrient into the cell when needed [1,2]. Although the recommended daily dose of vitamin C is a mere 90mg, consensus seems to shift towards 1,000 mg daily .
However, the levels of vitamin C following oral administration are tightly regulated. So far, the only way to bypass this regulation has been via intravenous infusion, but this method of administration is neither cheap nor practical. There would be a complementary solution: true liposomal encapsulation. Liposomes encapsulation are drug delivery systems of nanoscopic dimensions, which allow for complete absorption from the gut. Their lipophilic nature enables them to bypass the tight plasma regulation of vitamin C concentration and achieve very high levels, becoming readily available to the immune cells that fight the infection. Moreover, they have an added advantage over intravenous vitamin C: they have improved pharmacokinetic properties, which allow them to remain in circulation much longer, up to 8 hours after ingestion.
Goldman Laboratories are a leading researcher and designer of liposomal encapsulation products, among which a highly bioavailable form of vitamin C, LIPOSOMAL VITAMIN C 500MG. By using a high-quality, true liposomal vitamin C supplement, it is possible to achieve proper vitamin C doses.
 : Pavlovic VSarac M. A short overview of vitamin C and selected cells of the immune system. Open Medicine. 2011;6(1):1-10.
 : Strohle A, Wolters M, Hahn A. Micronutrients at the Interface Between Inflammation and Infection Ascorbic Acid and Calciferol. Part 1: General Overview with a Focus on Ascorbic Acid. Inflammation & Allergy - Drug Targets. 2011;10(1):54-63.
 : Deruelle FBaron B. Vitamin C: Is Supplementation Necessary for Optimal Health?. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. 2008;14(10):1291-1298.