VITAMIN C

 

"There are more than ten thousand published scientific papers that make it quite clear that there is not one bodily process (what goes on inside cells or tissues) and not one disease or syndrome                 (from the common cold to leprosy) that is not influenced

-- directly or indirectly -- by vitamin C."

The most important areas in which vitamin C plays a crucial role are in the building and maintaining of our tissues and fortifying our immune systems."

  • The plasma ascorbic acid concentration of a healthy person is 8-14 mg/L, 
  • Adrenal glands, pituitary, thymus, corpus luteum, and retina have concentrations more than 100 times higher.
  • The brain, spleen, lungs, testicles, lymph glands, liver, thyroid, small intestinal mucosa, leukocytes, pancreas, kidney, and salivary glands have concentrations 10-50 times that of plasma.  
  • The skeletal, smooth and cardiac muscle, and erythrocytes have concentrations about 10 times that of plasma.
  • Vitamin C supplementation would  have a particularly positive affect on these organs .

By inference, tissues that require higher concentrations of vitamin C would be most susceptible to chronic problems as a result of a chronic deficiency. 

 

Antioxidants

We hear a lot these days about the antioxidant vitamins, C, E and A.  

The more free-radical damage appears to contribute to chronic conditions... the more we realize that antioxidant nutrition supplementation is essential.

Oxygen is a highly reactive element.  We see the result of oxidation all around us.  Rust, brittle rubber, and food spoilage, these are all the result of oxidation.  

Oxidation is not always bad.  

The iron in your blood's hemoglobin oxidizes or "rusts" in order to carry oxygen to all the cells of the body.  

But much oxidation is damaging, accelerating aging and contributing to tissue and organ damage.  

Oxidation is also a contributor to heart disease (LDL oxidation has been linked to atherosclerosis) and cancer.  

 

                  Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) has been shown to be the most effective water-soluble antioxidant in human plasma."
 
"...that ascorbate is useful as part of the treatment of almost all diseases.  This almost universal benefit is because massive doses of ascorbate neutralize massive amounts of free radicals and free radicals mediate all inflammations.  Most acute infectious diseases can be cured if the free radicals are eliminated."

 

 

Homeodynamics

 

Homeodynamics is a fairly recent term that updates "homeostasis", defined in the Bantam Medical Dictionary as:

    "the physiological process by which the internal systems of the body (e.g. blood pressure, body temperature, acid-base balance) are maintained at equilibrium, despite variations in the external conditions."

Homeodynamics (the tendency of a regulated system to maintain itself close to some fixed point) attempts to add emphasis to the dynamic, ever-adjusting nature of these processes.

When our body's are exposed to stress (any influence which disturbs our calm balance, therefore all the physical and emotional pressures that we are exposed to make demands on our systems) our stores of Vitamin C are depleted, mostly by our adrenal gland (it takes a molecule of vitamin C to produce a molecule of adrenaline).  

It is an old wives tale that getting soaked in the rain causes us to catch cold.  But, like so many of these, there is a basis of truth.  Being wet and cold is stressful.  It puts an additional strain on us to keep our body temperature up.  This reduces our "resistance".  Since vitamin C is vital to both our immune system and our natural balance, the day after coming in from a cold rain, we find ourselves with a scratchy throat and its downhill from there.  

Any trauma we are exposed to utilizes vitamin C.  

It is best (highly advisable) to have as much vitamin C in our system as possible, all of the time.

 

Collagen

Collagen is a rigid, fibrous protein that is the principal constituent of connective tissue in animals, including bones, teeth, cartilage, tendons, skin, and blood vessels. Collagen's high tensile strength is due to the unique structure of its basic structural unit, tropocollagen, which consists of three left-handed helical polypeptide chains intertwined around each other in a right-handed triple helix (below).
 

Collagen.gif 

 

Symptoms of scurvy include bleeding gums, easy bruising and a tendency toward bone fractures.  All these symptoms are a result of the requirement for Vitamin C in the development of the ground substance between our cells.  This ground substance, primarily collagen, is the cement that gives our tissues form and substance.  Collagens are principal components of tendons, ligaments, skin, bone, teeth, cartilage, heart valves, intervertebral discs, cornea, and eye lenses, in addition to the ground substance between cells.

Some collagen forms in the absence of ascorbic acid, but the fibers are abnormal, resulting in skin lesions and blood vessel fragility, characteristics of scurvy.

Any tissue-related malady will have some basis in Vitamin C.  There is a long continuum between scurvy and optimum tissue integrity.  As most all of us suffer from sub-clinical scurvy, how is this evident from a tissue-integrity standpoint?  Let's look at the conditions that are tissue related.  Gum problems are an obvious first choice since they relate directly to scurvy, but there are many others.

A Japanese study concluded that most disc herniations are the result of Vitamin C deficiency.  This makes sense.  The discs in our spinal column are like donuts, with a tough, gristle-like exterior and a soft interior to provide cushioning.  Lack of proper amounts of Vitamin C will produce a disc with compromised integrity.  The tough exterior won't be so tough.  Over time and much wear and tear, this compromised exterior will wear down and a pinhole will result.  Moving just the right way (or should I say wrong way) will push some of the soft interior material out this pinhole. That is a disc herniation.  If this squished-out material touches a nerve in your spinal column, it causes pain.  

Adequate Vitamin C will toughen up the outside portion of the disc and a herniation is much less likely.  

Laser surgery is the common method used to remove this balloon of squished-out disc material.   

Tissues under stress will suffer the most from vitamin C deficiency. 

Vitamin C is needed for maintaining the strength of tendons and ligaments but also it is essential for the adrenaline synthesis (the hormone crucial for intense training).

Normal, healthy cells are arranged in a definite, organized structure to form tissues.  

They only divide to make a new cell when the need arises.  Sometimes, a cell will mutate and disobey the rules.  This is most often caused by free-radical damage to the cell, which is why we hear so much these days about antioxidants such as Vitamins A, C and E and Beta Carotene.  These Vitamins neutralize the free radicals and slow their progress.  This mutation of individual cells probably happens to all of us every day. 

  • "Each one of us produces several hundred thousand cancer cells every day of our lives. 
  • Whether we develop clinical cancer or not depends upon the ability of our immune systems to destroy these cancer cells. 
  • That's because cancer thrives in the presence of a deficient immune system."

 

                               Why Cancer Progresses

When a mutated cell has the ability to replicate itself with disregard to the tissue structure - This is a tumor.  

Our bodies have two basic lines of defense against tumor growth - both involving Vitamin C.

The first is our immune system.  

Even after the most successful surgery, radiation- or chemotherapy, some cancer cells are bound to remain.  

It is our immune system that will hunt down these cells and destroy them.  

Vitamin C is required for our immune systems to generate and mobilize the specialized cells that fight cancer and infections.  The more stress your immune system is under, the more Vitamin C is used, if it is available.  

If it isn't available, the disease will not be stopped and will progress.

Secondly, there is a cement, or ground substance, that holds our cells together properly to form the integrity of our tissues.  

Dr. Ewan Cameron theorized that cancer cells excrete a substance, hyaluronidase, that breaks down the collagen and fibers that make up the structure of this ground substance which creates the space needed for tumor growth.  

Vitamin C is required for the development of collagen and this fibrous material.  This is why it is so important to all tissue related problems, including disc injuries, gum problems, vascular diseases and even skeletal problems.  

It is a reasonable leap of logic that chronic Vitamin C deficiency is a major contributor to osteoporosis, and that juvenile osteoporosis could probably be eliminated or at least minimized through proper nutrition.


"Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds     cannot change anything."

- George Bernard Shaw


Atherosclerosis is a Vitamin C Deficiency Disease

 

  • Every year half a million people die from coronary heart disease.  

  • Heart attacks were virtually unknown before the turn of the 20th century (1900).  

  • Our diets, especially in "developed" countries have gone through dramatic changes in this period.  

  • There is a very real connection between this new disease and our new diets.

  • Vitamin C is required for tissue integrity.  
  • Tissues that are under constant stress are particularly vulnerable to degradation from C deficiency.  
  • This is certainly true of our arteries. 

Shortly before his death at 93, Linus Pauling and Matthias Rath had completed work on the link between atherosclerosis and Vitamin C.  They had concluded that chronic Vitamin C deficiency lead to a serious compromising of our arterial system.  

Our bodies respond to dynamic vitamin C supplementation with an equal healing process. 

 Let me explain.

Imagine your arterial wall to be like a stone dam.  

This is a reasonable analogy since our cells are like the stones and the water being held by the dam is similar to the blood under pressure in our arteries.  Now, if the cement between the rocks is inferior, leaks could occur.  Likewise in our arteries, if the ground substance  between our cells is inferior due to lack of the proper development of collagen and fibrils as a result of inadequate Vitamin C, the arterial wall may be susceptible to seepage.

When arteries are compromised, our systems produce a specialized, sticky form of low-density lipoprotein (cholesterol 1) called Lp(a) which attaches itself to the arterial wall to prevent blood seepage.  

This is consistent with where arterial plaque is found - where there are lesions and where there is particular stress (i.e. at branches in arteries (not veins) due to the pressure and in coronary arteries due to the stress of the constant motion).

Both cancer and heart disease  have a strong tissue-integrity component, our blood vessels are adversely susceptible to a lack of Vitamin C.  

The Immune System

Vitamin C is a requirement for the proper functioning of our immune systems.  

It is involved in white blood cell production, T-cells and macrophages.  

Without Vitamin C in adequate quantities, our own body's best defense against disease is left without ammunition. 

  • A sickness such as a cold or virus is analogous to a brush fire.  
  • Destruction in its path, just as an infection wrecks havoc to our own internal ecology.  
  • If the sickness is the fire, then our immune systems are the fire department and Vitamin C is the water.  
  • If I may take this analogy a little further, the fire department may use chemical fire retardants, which are loosely analogous to medicine.  
  • Now we would all agree that these chemicals are sometimes warranted, but surely we also know that they will have some consequences to the environment or ecology.  
  • This is similar to nutrition and medicine.  
  • Nutrition is the natural bolstering of our own systems.  
  • Medicine, on the contrary, is foreign and needs to be used with corresponding care.

Due to the strong relationship between C and our immune systems, it is not surprising that viral and bacterial infections can be dealt with by our own systems when adequate C is present.  

Ascorbic acid is toxic to viruses, bacteria, and many types of cultured cells, because of its pro-oxidant activity.  

It is particularly toxic to malignant tumor cells but much less toxic to nonmalignant normal cells, thus its therapeutic use in cancer.

  • Can Vitamin C... Cure Cancer?
     
Dr. Abram Hoffer has been treating cancer patients with a nutritional program for many years. The foundation of his nutritional protocol is vitamin C. 

Below is a chart summerizing Hoffer's results treating over 1000 cancer with vitamin C (documented in the updated publishing of Cancer and Vitamin C). 

 

 

 

The point to see in the chart above is the relative survival. For example, at the end of 1994, about 70% (green line) of the 500+ (purple bar) patients on Hoffer's nutritional plan were alive. In contrast, less than 15% (blue line) of the 100+ patients not on the plan were alive at years end. 

There has been some theory concerning vitamin C's potential role in protecting not only healthy cells, but cancer cells as well, thereby interfering with chemotherapy and radiation treatments.  

                                                            Hoffer's view on this is (quoted from his website):

    "This [vitamin treatment] would enhance the therapeutic effect of the chemotherapy and decrease its toxicity." Also, "If they [cancer patients] needed chemotherapy the program [vitamin therapy] would make it more tolerable and less painful and if they needed radiation the program would decrease the intensity of the side-effects of the radiation and increase its efficacy."

Many studies describe the protective role of vitamin C (ascorbic acid) against cancer development and in treatment of established cancer. The present study investigated whether ascorbic acid demonstrates a therapeutic benefit for prostate cancer.

Work involving cancer and Vitamin C points very strongly to the need to take as much Vitamin C as your system is comfortable with.  The constant requirement for it and our inability for any long-term storage (a stressful situation can deplete our supplies of C in seconds!) means we all need to take C every single day.  If you take more C than your system can handle you will get the runs.  This is referred to as the "bowel tolerance limit".  If you are just starting to take C supplementation, this level will be relatively low, but increase over time.  This is because certain enzyme systems will be enabled by the increased C and this takes some time.  It is interesting to note that your limit will go up dramatically when you get sick.  

 
                                How Vitamin C is Therapeutic against Cancer
 

Vitamin C plays an important role in our daily fight against cancer. Due to its importance to the development of immune system cells, it is crucial as a first line of defense against mutated cells from ever multiplying into overt cancer. If cancer does get a foot-hold, high-dose vitamin C still plays at least three important roles.

Immune System Enhancement

The first is as a raw material for the immune system. Even after the most successful surgery, radiation- or chemo-therapy, some cancer cells are bound to remain. It is our immune system that will hunt down these cells and destroy them. Vitamin C is required for our immune systems to generate and mobilize the specialized cells that fight cancer and infections, too. The more stress your immune system is under, the more vitamin C is used, if it is available. If it isn't available, the disease will not be stopped.

Inhibition of Tumor Growth

Secondly, there is a cement, or ground substance, that holds our cells together properly to form the integrity of our tissues. Dr. Ewan Cameron theorized that cancer cells excrete a substance, hyaluronidase, that breaks down the collagen and fibers that make up the structure of this ground substance creating the space needed for tumor growth. Vitamin C is required for the proper development of collagen and this fibrous material. This is why vitamin C is so important to all tissue related problems, including wound healing, spinal disc injuries, gum problems and especially cardiovascular disease. Specifically in cancer, proper tissue integrity will help encase a tumor and make it much harder for it to grow.

Cytotoxic Properties

J.P. Casciari, N.H. Riordan, T.L. Schmidt, XL Meng, J.A. Jackson and H.D. Riordan have demonstrated in the laboratory that vitamin C in combination with other natural substances can actually be cytotoxic to cancer cells. What this means is that these safe, non-toxic natural substances can kill cancer cells in a way similar to chemotherapy. These tests were done with concentrations of vitamin C that can be duplicated in vivo. One of the authors and researchers of this paper describing this function of vitamin C is Dr. Hugh Riordan. 

           

No matter what medicine or other treatment you and your doctor may choose to treat your illness, Vitamin C should be part of the therapy.  

 

Why We Need to Supplement Our Vitamin C Intake
 

With very few exceptions, all animal species synthesize vitamin C in their bodies.  Man does not.  The generally accepted theory is that a mutation occurred some tens of millions of years ago to the ancestors of modern man that disabled this synthesis process.  

Natural selection dictates that there was adequate C from dietary sources to allow a reasonable level of health, otherwise the mutation could not have taken hold.  Indeed, natural selection favors those organisms with only the absolutely necessary machinery.  

    Scurvy is actually a species-wide enzyme deficiency disorder, exactly like Tay-Sachs, gauchers, or Niemann-Pick Type C. There are 4 enzymes which convert glucose into ascorbic acid--but we can only make the first 3. The gene for the 4th--gulonolactone oxidase--is massively damaged and totally useless. Thus we cannot make the last enzyme, and hence cannot turn gulonolactone, which is almost useless against reactive oxygen species, into ascorbic acid, which is the centerpiece of antioxidant, antiradical defense of essentially all air-exposed life on Earth. Without it, the biosphere would collapse and Earth would be a dead world within a century.

    The correct vitamin C level for a human being--a mammal--is c. 2000-3000 mg/kg, and the correct production rate, typical for mammals, is 60 mg-kg/day. But we lack LO, and so our level is c. 25 mg/kg and our synthesis rate is 0. By the way, we are very poor absorbers of C, and thus find it almost impossible to get past 30 mg/kg. (see chart below, Rusty)

    Thus the correct path is obvious: reinstall the *gene* for GLO and be done with it, thus curing the universal scurvy. Mammals with the enzyme--which is almost all of them--can live 8-10 times their maturity age. Mammals without it have a hard time reaching 3-4 Ma. Thus this shows that reinstallation of the GLO gene would extend the human life span to c. 300 years.

    One mistake, one missing enzyme, one blocked pathway--and you are dead. Ask any hemophiliac.

Our diets have changed dramatically since then.  We live in much less hospitable climates.  We don't pick fresh fruits from trees or eat fresh, raw meat, both excellent sources of vitamin C, like our primate ancestors. Our diets are almost universally lacking in nutritional value.  

Vitamin C is also not stored well in our bodies.  We use it constantly and yet our intake is meager.  Only with regular supplementation in quantities that fill our body's every need will we approach optimum health and the elimination of disease.

 

 
How Much to Take?

The amount of C an individual requires is not determined by the absence of scurvy but by the level that promotes optimum health. 

Simply put we need to take as much Vitamin C as our systems need to promote optimum health.  We have discussed the bowel tolerance limit, the amount you can take without diarrhea-like symptoms.  Dr. Cathcart discusses this at Vitamin C Dosage in Disease.  Since most animals synthesize vitamin C, how much they produce should provide a clue to how much we need.  An excellent article, VITAMIN C: How much is enough? about this is available on the Vitamin C Foundation page.  Animals vary widely, and they may not always produce enough for optimum health when under stress.  The chart below shows this large variance. 

Daily Production of Ascorbate in Animals

Animal

Milligrams/Kg Body Weight/per Day

Man's Equiv.
per Day
Snake
Tortoise
Mouse
Rabbit
Goat
Rat
Dog
Cat

10
7
275
226
190
150
40
40

700
490
19,250
15,820
13,300
10,500
2800
2800

 

Notice that dogs and cats are low producers (relatively) and that they are more susceptible to vitamin C deficiency related problems.  The column headed man's equivalent shows how much a 150 pound person would produce at the rate of that animal.  As you can see it is not totally out of the question that 20,000 mg per day may be required for optimum health, especially when exposed to significant stress (an 8 ounce glass of orange juice contains about 100 mg of vitamin C).

 

"The medical profession itself took a very narrow and very wrong view. Lack of ascorbic acid caused scurvy, so if there was no scurvy there was no lack of ascorbic acid. Nothing could be clearer than this. The only trouble was that scurvy is not a first symptom of a lack but a final collapse, a premortal syndrome and there is a very wide gap between scurvy and full health. "
- Albert Szent-Gyorgyi
Nobel-prize winner for his discovery of vitamin C

 

Looking at it based on our enzyme system deficiency as described, a 150 pound adult would need about 4000 mg assuming 100% absorption.  If absorption is closer to 50% (still optimistic) then the basic nutritional requirement doubles to 8000mg.

The amount of C that you need will vary according to your body's need at any particular time.  You will become sensitive to how much you can take.  I also advise that if you start to feel sick, you start taking one or more 1000 mg tablets every hour.  Again, you will need to judge for yourself.  

Generally, I tell people to try to take as much as they can, several times a day.  I get a powdered sodium ascorbate.  This is non-acidic, has almost no taste, and is easy tolerate.  I take it in a little water in the morning and at night. 

I very often hear people say that any excess C that one ingests is at best wasted or at worst dangerous.  First, let me assure you that vitamin C is completely nontoxic.  Except for some gastrointestinal distress, NO amount has ever been shown to be harmful (see the discussion of side effects below).  So what about the stories that taking over 250 mg (or some other relatively low level) is a waste?  

Tom Matthews of The LIFE EXTENSION FOUNDATION recently explained it this way:

    Taking large doses of vitamin C is a bit like attempting to fill a pail to the brim where there are no holes in the sides at all below a certain level, but the density of holes grows as we get closer to the top. If you keep pouring it in fast enough, you will still be able to make the level rise. From this viewpoint, it looks very much like you are simply wasting a lot of water which flows out of the holes in the pail to no purpose. However, to carry the analogy a bit further, suppose that the ability of vitamin C to fight a disease, prevent free radical damage, etc. is analogous to the water pressure at the bottom of the pail. When some injury or disease strikes, it may be analogous to the pail springing a leak below the healthy level of holes - even right at the bottom, and again the pressure of the water may be analogous to the power of vitamin C to fight the injury or disease (and if such is the case it may be important to pour the water in even faster - take higher daily doses of vitamin C - under those circumstances). After the disease or injury is fixed/cured (low hole in the pail plugged), then it is reasonable to reduce the inflow back to maintaining a high level ready to fight off another attack.

 

So, the best advice is to take as much as you can short of any discomfort.  This would be like keeping the pail as full as is practical.  When a stress is added (pail springs a leak) much more C will be needed, so much more can be taken before discomfort starts.  Under severe circumstances, a knowledgeable physician will administer vitamin C intravenously.  This may be especially helpful for cancer patients. 

  • Side Effects of Vitamin C

It would appear that the theory of increased risk of kidney stones from high-dose vitamin C is not substantiated in the real world.  It seems from the studies done that high-dose Vitamin C may actually help prevent kidney stones! This subject of kidney stones and vitamin C is a little more complicated than a simple yes/no, even though the above evidence is pretty convincing. 

Linus Pauling discusses this in his book How to Live Longer and Feel Better. I quote from that:

"It is well known that there are two classes of kidney stones, and that a tendency to form them should be controlled in two quite different ways. The stones of one class, comprising nearly one half of all urinary calculi, are composed of calcium phosphate, magnesium ammonium phosphate, calcium carbonate, or mixtures of these substances. They tend to form in alkaline urine, and persons with a tendency to form them are advised to keep their urine acidic. A good way, probably the best way, to acidify the urine is to take 1 g or more of ascorbic acid each day. Ascorbic acid is used by many physicians for this purpose and for preventing infections of the urinary tract, especially infection by organisms that hydrolyze urea to form ammonia and in this way alkalize the urine and promote the formation of kidney stones of this class.

The kidney stones of the other class, which tend to form in acidic urine, are composed of calcium oxalate, uric acid, or cystine. Persons with a tendency to form these stones are advised to keep their urine alkaline. This can be achieved by taking vitamin C as sodium ascorbate or by taking ascorbic acid with just enough sodium hydrogen carbonate (ordinary baking soda) or other alkalizer to neutralize it."

I have several comments to add to this.  The most important is that vitamin C is inestimably safer than ANY drug.  C does seem to play a role in absorbing iron.  Perhaps there is a link between chronic vitamin C deficiency and anemia.  It seems to me that the first thing someone with low iron levels should do is increase their vitamin C supplementation.  And as far as "systemic conditioning" is concerned, this one really irks me!  Chronic vitamin C deficiency leads to a low state of health, no question.  To consider that taking supplementation should be avoided because it may make things worse if you stop is ridiculous. The important thing is to get adequate supplementation.  And not to stop!  The dangers aren't from taking C.  Indeed, the real dangers are all associated with inadequate dosages!

The most important thing to keep in mind regarding dosages of vitamin C is that the RDA levels of less than 100 mg will barely keep you healthy.  While this will prevent scurvy, the vitamin C deficiency disease, and keep you alive in the short term, it won't get you close to optimum health.

If you are convinced that vitamin C supplementation is a good idea, there are some things you should be aware of before you start taking 10 grams a day.

Taking too much C at one time will cause diarrhea ( it's not really diarrhea, but that point will be lost as you run to the bathroom.)  This level is refereed to as the bowel tolerance limit.  Cathcart  talks about this level at Vitamin C Dosage in Disease.   Since you've been suffering from sub-clinical scurvy since conception, your body is not performing all the enzyme reactions it would if it could.  As a result, your bowel tolerance limit will increase over time.  I recommend you take 1000 mg tablets once or twice a day to start and increase your dosage every few days, backing off a little if you have the above mentioned symptom.

Also, the stuff the manufacturers add to the C to make it a pill may disagree with you.  Try different types if this is the case.  Some people are very sensitive to the acidity.  Calcium ascorbate tablets are available for you if the ascorbic acid is troubling.  Vitamin C powder is what I take because I take a lot (big surprise) and it is very easy to take 8-10 grams at one time this way.

I do not recommend that anyone take lots of the chewable tablets.  These are full of sugar and the acidity of the C is hard on the tooth enamel if the exposure level is high.  I use the chewables for canker sores, but otherwise I rarely use them.

What about "natural" vitamin C vs. synthesized.  

Pauling points out that the chemical make-up is identical.  If you made a 1000mg tablet entirely from rose hips, the tablet would be as big as a football!  Even these tablets are mostly synthesized vitamin C.  That is not to say that the natural sources don't provide nutritional elements not found in the non-natural tablets.  The most important thing is the C.  Get inexpensive C that agrees with your system and take a lot of it.

Inadequate synthesis is part of the definition of "vitamin", so while vitamin C is outside this definition for almost all plants and animals, it is still defined as a vitamin because man cannot synthesize vitamin C at all.  Might vitamin C indeed be a special case and not a "vitamin" at all?

If vitamin C is a necessary enzyme for almost all plants and animals and almost all plants and animals synthesize their required vitamin C, then it is truly not a vitamin because the definition of a vitamin requires that, if synthesis takes place at all, it must be "insufficient to meet body needs".  So what we have is two classes of organisms, one that makes C in sufficient quantities (most all) and those that have no ability, or have lost the ability, to make this essential nutrient.

Vitamin C has been necessary for life before the evolutionary tree separated into the plant and animal kingdoms more than 600 million years ago. Since the inability to synthesize vitamin C is only present in a very few species and man possesses most of the mechanisms to synthesize vitamin C, it makes perfectly good sense that this could have developed from a genetic mutation. See another discussion of this genetic mutation on the Why Take C page.

If vitamin C requirements were viewed in the context of this genetic mutation rather than as a nutrient required in trace amounts (i.e. a "vitamin"), dosage takes on a whole new meaning.  Type I diabetics learn to utilize insulin to produce the best state of health.  Likewise, those of us suffering from the genetic mutation concerning vitamin C synthesis (i.e. everybody), should use vitamin C dosage in terms of its contribution to a higher state of health and homeostasis.  

The sound barrier was broken in 1947. The Korean War began in 1950. 

In between was the polio epidemic of 1948-9, during which Dr. Frederick Robert Klenner cured every polio case he saw by using vitamin C.

The cure of polio was published by Fred Klenner, M.D. in a peer reviewed medical journal in 1949. (click here for paper).  There has never been an article describing the use of massive doses of vitamin C in the doses prescribed by Klenner which has denied this cure.  I suppose it was such a part of the medical religion that polio could not be cured that many ignored this cure.  But I am also sure that there were some familiar with these treatments that knew that massive doses of ascorbate worked that figured that ignoring this cure would just paralyze a few children but that if this cure was widely know it would  be a tremendous loss to the drug industry and most importantly, the loss of their jobs.

 

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