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So Many Ailments are Helped with Proper C Intake

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As has become clear from the other areas of Cforyourself, there isn't a lot that enough vitamin C won't help.

Allergies, viruses and bacterial infections, auto-immune diseases, any malady that is tissue-related.  All can be significantly helped with proper amounts of vitamin C.

I will continue to add conditions to this section and additional disease and condition sections.  Please let me know of your interests.

Scroll to browse discussions of Other conditions, or select a subject from the drop-down list to go directly to that condition.  Listed in the drop-down are discussions found below, on the Message Board (marked -BBS), from readers experiences (marked -Exp.) and in Dr. Klenner's Paper (marked -DrK)
 

 

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Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)

Like Sick Building Syndrome, there are probably many causes for these sometimes debilitating problems.  Often, I believe these syndromes have a strong nutritional element, be it food sensitivities or nutritional deficits.  I also believe that chronic vitamin C deficiency may be a signifigent factor for many sufferers of these "syndromes".  I would like to share a readers letter that points to this link:

From: Alex Aitkin
E-mail: s9404086@student.anu.edu.au

Diagnosis date: 24 July 1992
First date using C: 1st April 2000
How much C do you take: 50,000 mg per day (really!)

Explanation:I have been experiencing chronic fatigue for the last eight years or so (as well as many food allergies and sensitivities).  Only a restrictive diet, and an amino acid called L-Glutamine had had any positive effect. 

I am now taking 2500 mg of vitamin C each half hour!  I can do this without any symptoms - over this level and I get diarrhea.

Although so far my fatigue has not shifted, I noticed immediately that my food sensitivities had improved significantly.  I get symptoms of an  irritable bowel when I eat problem foods.  These symptoms have all but disappeared. I have found a doctor that uses IV vitamin C, and am hoping for the best.  I am planning on staying on vitamin C supplementation permanently (and am also looking to improve my intake of foods that are good sources of it).

I found that I experienced much bloating and wind when I first started with large oral doses of vitamin C.  These problems have markedly declined during the six weeks since I began it.

I very much appreciate the existence of these pages and all the work that must go into supporting them.  There is no money to be made from promoting vitamin C, and this is assuredly why it is so obviously neglected and attacked by the mainstream medical community.  Pages such as this one represent a fight for social justice and well being, and against antisocial greed and profiteering. 

I offer my deepest thanks for your excellent and valuable work.

Alex Aitkin

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Date: Wed, 19 Apr 2000

Dear Rusty,

I mailed you a while ago about my use of vitamin C for CFS.  This is an update.

I have seen a G.P. at a clinic that specializes in alternative treatments.  I was pleasantly surprised by the lengthy questionnaire that I was sent by mail to complete before my appointment.  It asked many pertinent questions about diet, family medical history, and many detailed questions about my symptoms.  The G.P. herself was much like most of the G.P.s that I have seen - she asked questions but we were not working as a team - she was going to tell me what to do to get better.  Anyway, she said that I was already taking more vitamin C orally than they gave intravenously, so I might as well save myself the (apparently considerable) expense of the IVs. She sent for some blood tests (but did not tell me what they were for in any explicit way).

She 'prescribed' an amino acid supplement called 'aminocarb' which I discovered, when I went to buy it, was 30% sugar.  She was testing me for candida (I think) so this seemed an oversight to me - I looked around for something similar without the sugar.  Note that this aminocarb is one of those powders that are marketed at weightlifters, not so much a health supplement.  I bought something that seemed better. When I got home I checked carefully and found it had "SPLENDA" in it.  I don't know if you have run across this stuff before - I did some research and found that they make it by artificially inserting 3 chlorine atoms into a sucrose molecule - the result being a chemical not found in nature and thus not digestible ("It won't rot your teeth!!"). Alarm bells are ringing now as I know about the scandal of Aspartame (aka Nutra-Sweet).  Although the Splenda.com website assures me that Splenda has undergone 20yrs of safety testing and has been approved by the FDA, browsing the net reveals a number of pages discussing its problems - one mentions that in fact of all the 110 studies apparently undertaken to ensure safety, not a single one was independent, and some of them found things like a shrinkage of the thymus glands in rats.

Anyway, all of this is an aside.  I went and bought a variety of other supplements (B-Complex, Chromium, Calcium-Magnesium) which are apparently good for CFS, and after taking them I started feeling like I had just been plugged into the mains power - I felt hyperactive.  What I find interesting is how nutrients work together.  After a few weeks on the vitamin C I started noticing that the corners of my mouth were often sore and cracking - oftentimes a symptom of B deficiency.  This is just a hypothesis but I think it makes sense.

Suppose that maintaining a body is like building a house - you need a series of raw materials, which are to be combined in certain proportions.  If one of these runs out, nothing can be done with the others (if you run out of timber, what are you going to do with nails or paint?).  So, suppose that vitamin C has been the major limiting factor for a long time and my usage of everything else has slowed right down into line with my small intake of vitamin C (hereafter C).  Now, when C ceases to be a limiting factor, usage of all of these other raw materials increases rapidly, and now some new material has become the limiting factor.  I was deficient in B vitamins before, but not AS deficient, because my consumption rate was limited by my C intake.  What this theory suggests to me is that ideally we would all, (apart from maintaining as healthy a diet as possible), also invest some money in supplements as a lifetime policy - as a way of life.  This would ensure that there would be no limiting factors.  This seems like a sensible policy to me because:

a)In this crazy world of apparent overabundance (I'm talking about the first-world here!), its actually difficult to get good quality food,

    b)I have noticed that when I drink lots of fresh vegetable juice, I don't feel very hungry - suggesting that a great deal of eating occurs, not because people need fat or sugar, but because they are attempting to extract the very small amounts of limiting factor nutrients from their Big Macs - If they were no longer in need of these nutrients they would not be so hungry, and so would save money,

    c)Supplements are cheap and safe (if taken thoughtfully) compared to the problems and loss of income associated with ill health.

Getting close to the end of this lengthy opinion-spouting session.

Vitamin C seems to be a limiting factor for almost everyone, and more so than other nutrients (hence the large amount of interest in it, and success with it).  While obtaining a satisfactory intake of B vitamins is very easy (a couple of tablets a day will do) it is actually a major effort to max out on C  - It is both physically and technically difficult to do.

Although I believe in the importance of all of the various vitamins and minerals for good health (and clearly you feel this way yourself, given the links your page supports and your editorials), I believe that a page focussing solely on C is very sensible.  This is because people want a magic bullet.  If you tell them "you are going to need to improve your nutritional intake in a general way" then they will throw up their hands and say "too hard, too expensive".  But if they just try C alone, they will see significant benefits (assuming they take it in sufficient quantities) and this will encourage them that improvements to diet can be beneficial.  And C is clearly the nutrient to be promoted first (for the reasons discussed above).

I think it would be fair to say that if we allow a magic bullet to exist, then C would be it.

Regards,

Alex

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I, of course, take other supplements besides the C.  I discuss other vitamin a little, but I do believe vitamin C is the foundation.  I do struggle with discussing just C and state so on the site that it is somewhat of a disservice to discuss one nutrient due to the complexities of nutrition, I think the sites focus on C is overall positive.  You might be interested in my new page on Basic Nutrition .

I make the analogy on the site that nutrition is like a construction project (sound similar?) and that the nutrients are the materials.  I extend this analogy to say that, to a degree, it is obvious that we can deal with an excess of materials better than a shortage.  Another analogy I use is in rebuttal to the analogy that food is like gas for a car.  While this is OK as far as it goes, I say that nutrition is more analogous to everything taken on a cruise ship - except the passengers.  I think this better explains the complexity and variety of nutritional requirements.

 

Hepatitis C

The hepatitis C virus causes inflammation of the liver, is "incurable" and often becomes very serious, even causing death. Dr. Robert Cathcart states on his website:

"Chronic hepatitis C is more of a problem, however with massive doses of ascorbic acid orally, a no sugar diet, vitamin E, selenium, silymarin, and alpha lipoic acid among other nutrients, I have never seen a case to go onto acute hepatic necrosis or cancer of the liver."

In addition to Dr. Cathcart's experience, I would like to share an e-mail I received:

I discovered that I had HCV in 1997. After a 2 month treatment with interferon and ribiviron (?) I was dropped from the program because of my poor response. When I asked my Dr. what were my options he told me to keep him informed about any swelling and any mental fuzziness. Not a confidence building response. I pulled out my trusty Pauling tome, "How to live longer......" and bought my Mac. To make long story short, I now take 40-50 grams of C, 1200 units of E, milk thistle, selinium , Multiple B, Ca-Mg& Zn, ALA, and NAC each day. My AST and ALT had been in the 200 to 400 range now reads about 40-60. I still have HCV but apparently am controlling it with these mega vitamins.

William Stevens, Capt. USN (Ret.) Age 70

Peptic Ulcer

I refer you to an article at Medical News Today “Vitamin C may protect against ulcer-causing bacteria” that discusses a study that was published in the August 1, 2003 issue of the Journal of the American College of Nutrition. The study looked at data and blood samples from 7,000 adults and found that “the lower the level of vitamin C in the blood the more likely a person will become infected by Helicobacter pylori”.

From this information the researchers could make no conclusions of whether the infection lowers the level of vitamin C or if those with the higher levels were protected against the infection. From my research into vitamin C, my opinion would be that high levels would often prevent the infection, that if infected, vitamin C levels would be lowered as your body tried to mount a cure and, if adequate quantities are available, vitamin C will help your body cure this infection as it will most all others.

 

Sick Building Syndrome or Multiple Chemical Sensitivity

Sick Building Syndrome, Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, or environmental disease, is not a disease at all.  It is not a virus or bacteria.  It is not infectious.  You don't catch it at all.  It seems that once some number of people display the same symptoms, a new disease is uncovered.  Please don't misunderstand-the effects on good health are just as devastating whether something is better described as a condition than a disease.  Heart disease is probably the best example of a condition that has had the most serious consequences for many, many people.

All of us have differing sensitivities to various substances.  When a sensitivity produces symptoms, it is called an allergy.  Allergies are handled by our immune systems.  When our immune system has difficulty, we get sick or worse.  Vitamin C is a requirement for a healthy immune system.  I read an account of a man who entered a doctor's office having difficulty breathing due to a snake bite.  If nothing was done to help this man he would surely have died within minutes.  The doctor administered a shot consisting of 10 grams of vitamin C.  The patient began breathing more easily even before the shot was finished!

I bring up Sick Building Syndrome for a couple reasons; because it is so exemplifies the widespread vitamin C deficiency and the public's acceptance of these problems simply because they seem part of life since so many people have one or another of these conditions and because I got a wonderful letter from Brenda Hanson of Saskatchewan, Canada describing her experience.  Click this sentence to read her letter in the experiences section.

 

 

Skin Aging


A recent study at Duke University has shown that skin aging can be positively influenced by topical C application.  Please see the article by Barbara Lantin.  Also, please read the letter about topical C.

Another reader's experience with skin problems is also of interest. Here is her letter and my response:

Subject: Cracked skin

From: Mary Jane Scholz

Date: 1/10/02

I have looked up Vitamin C on the internet because I have suffered from terrible razor type cuts around my fingernails for many years. I have tried every ointment available and wore gloves to bed plus used a humidifier. Nothing helped. Someone sent us grapefruit and oranges for Christmas and I ate a large amount of citrus which I never do. I do not much care for citrus. Almost immediatedly( within 2 days?) I noticed the skin around my fingers was smooth and healing! I attribute it soley to the increase of Vitamin C and am wondering what other part of my body that is not visible may be suffering from this lack of Vitamin C . My daughter suffers from the same condition and I have e-mailed her to get some citrus!

I have been suffering from headaches on one side of my head and am curious if these will go away with Vitamin C and will experiment with a heavier dose. I was getting them every other day and went 8 days without one after the citrus revelation.

Is there any info out there about headaches and Vitamin C?? They are more like the sensation of a pinched nerve in the back of my head. I call it sciatica of the head! I have had an MRI and have a very fine physician so there is nothing seriously wrong. The medication Zomig is the only medication that works.

Thank you for any help,

Reply:

Mary Jane,

I am very pleased to hear of your positive results with vitamin C. Vitamin C is a requirement for the proper production of collagen, the ground substance between our cells that gives our tissues their integrity. This is why symptoms of scurvy, the vitamin C deficiency disease, include easy bruising and bleeding gums. Perhaps you have found you bruise fairly easily? Since collagen is the most ubiquitous substance in the body, it is not hard to understand that your body would benefit from a large supply of vitamin C. Much more than the "RDA". Please visit What C Does. Also visit how much to take. please visit:

As far as your migraines are concerned, I don't know. Migraines are thought to be caused by dilation of the blood vessels in the brain. This is why you may get relief with zolmitriptan (Zomig). It constricts those blood vessels.

My recommendation is to take the vitamin C in large doses. See the Resources page. This will only be good for you. Then let's see if it continues to help with your migraines.

Please let us know.

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