Submitted by: Nick Workman
I have been an asthmatic for 24 years. Initially my asthma was mild and was controlled simply with Ventolin inhalers as required to relieve attacks. About 4 years ago a routine asthma review with my doctor revealed that my lung function had declined and my Peak Flow readings had fallen. At this time, I started taking Becotide regularly and then switched to Flixotide. For the past 8 years or so I have also used Beconase nasal spray on and off to relieve perennial allergic rhinitis. Ventolin is the only one of these drugs that has not given me unpleasant side effects. Although not linked to asthma, I was also regularly taking antacid drugs to combat persistent heartburn, which had been going on for several years.
In September 2005, I read a couple of Linus Paulings books about vitamin C and began taking it on a regular basis gradually increasing from 500mg per day to 6 grams per day (his lower recommended amount). The regular attacks of heartburn cleared up within the first two weeks and have not returned since. The allergic rhinitis symptoms resolved gradually over a period of about 3 months and have not returned since.
The asthma itself was more stubborn and also it was difficult to gauge the effectiveness of the vitamin C when the Flixotide was masking the asthma symptoms. Initial attempts to come off the Flixotide on a dose of 6 grams vitamin C per day and later at 10 grams of vitamin C per day were unsuccessful although I was able to reduce my dose of Flixotide from 250ug per day to 50ug per day. Eventually, on a dose of 14.5 grams of vitamin C per day, I was able to come off the Flixotide completely. 14.5 grams a day may seem like a lot, but its actually in line with Robert Cathcart's suggested maintenance doses for people who suffer from allergic conditions.
I have now been free of asthma drugs for 6 weeks. With Dr Steve Hickey's theory of dynamic flow in mind, (see the excellent book Ascorbate-the science of vitamin C, Lulu publishing) I have been controlling it with 6 doses of vitamin C per day spaced at 2 to 4 hourly intervals. If I am >90 minutes late with a dose, sometimes I can feel my chest beginning to tighten up slightly. When I take the dose, it takes about an hour to return to normal. My Peak Flow readings on vitamin C are comparable with what they were on Flixotide. Also, I would say that vitamin C is as effective at preventing exercise-induced asthma as Flixotide was. When I go out running, I still carry a Ventolin inhaler but I haven’t had to use it yet.
I use sodium ascorbate powder in water in the morning because it is neutral and pleasant to drink first thing, then ascorbic acid powder and tablets during the day, calcium ascorbate in the evening, and timed-release tablets before bed. Vitamin C works out more expensive than the asthma drugs at this dosage (the NHS doesn’t help out with the cost of vitamin C), but then, vitamin C won’t give me the unpleasant side effects and I know it’s been controversial since Pauling wrote his book on the subject but I have had had fewer colds since taking vitamin C. My doctor has just called me back for an asthma review. I’m looking forward to that this year!