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If you have any questions or comments, we would love to hear from you.  While our focus is Vitamin C, I will be glad to discuss other nutritional questions in this section when I feel I have something worthwhile to share.  We will post all appropriate letters so that people can benefit from each others knowledge and experiences.  I have started off this section with a question I hear all the time.  Also, please visit our new blog, C: The Blog  Share your views, concerns and experiences with other Cforyourself visitors and respond to others.

The experiences pages included in the specific conditions sections include readers experiences that may be of interest.  Thank you for your interest and participation.

Please click on the letter icon above to send a message to our Letters Department.

 

Letters

 

To: Cforyourself

From: Almost everyone I talk to.

Question: Won't my body just eliminate most of the C I take if I take the quantity you recommend, or worse couldn't it do some harm?

Answer: There is some truth to this.  The good news is that vitamin C is so nontoxic that you can't do any real harm by taking too much.  There have been a number of scare stories about kidney stones and the like.  These are all theories.  Take a look at any ad or pamphlet for any prescription medication.  There will be paragraphs listing side effects and contraindications.  Vitamin C carries no such warnings.  On the contrary, the consequence of discontinued use is certain death!  I always tell people that taking mega-doses of Vitamin C does have one serious side-effect - chronic good health! 

It is also true that our bodies cannot use every single milligram we consume when we take a lot at one time.  But be sure of one thing, the more you take (up to the amount for optimum health) the more your body will absorb, even if it is at a smaller and smaller rate.  And a high level of C in the urine will help prevent bladder cancer.  Please also see the explanation on the How Much to Take area.

So this brings up the real question; How much should someone take?  The answer is as much as you can.  Too much vitamin C at one time will give you diarrhea-like symptoms (need I say more).  This level will change as your body's requirements fluctuate in response to stress.  Please refer to the following link for a detailed discussion of how much C can be taken under different circumstances - Vitamin C Dosage in Disease.  Also, please read the letter below concerning the reasons why supplementation is so important.

 


From: Tracy

Subject: Statins, Cholesterol and Heart Disease

Date: May 18, 2007

Hey Rusty-

I finally got to your web site. It’s great and very informative. I sent your link off to my girlfriend who has heart disease in her family and just got the bad news that she needs to take lipitor for high cholesterol. I’ve signed up for your newsletter and need to take some more time tonight to look over your site.

Response:

Thanks for the kind words. It is my belief that the foundation of heart disease, atherosclerosis, is chronic vitamin C deficiency which leads to a compromised arterial wall and its consequent "patching" with atherosclerotic plaque. Whether this is true or not, the cholesterol theory of heart disease has taken on a life of its own, quite apart from the data. This is a travesty of science. How are we to make any reasonable conclusions when the experts are not letting the data tell it's story without prejudice? I highly recommend "The Cholesterol Myths" by Uffe Ravnskov.

If this wild goose chase weren't bad enough in its fruitlessness, the insult that follows this injury is that statin drugs are dangerous. Their side effects can be serious. Take a look at this University of California page "Statin Adverse Effects" (no shills for the supplement industry).

I hope your girlfriend will investigate this issue fully before blindly listening to her doctor. By the way, in the new "Getting it Right" ads for the statin drug Crestor, the following statement is shown in the bottom left corner of the screen for a few seconds "Crestor has not been shown to prevent heart disease or heart attacks".


From: Marilyn

Subject: Post-Surgery Infection

Date: January 20, 2007

Nine weeks ago I had a total knee replacement, I'm now walking reasonably well, but I am showing signs of a low grade infection, in the form of red "hot spots" at the wound site. The concern is the infection going to the bone.

My surgeon has prescribed a three week course of the anti-biotic Erythromycin ( 500mg 3x a day), hopefully this will control the infection, otherwise I will be returning to hospital.

In the past I had taken 1,000mg Vit C daily, but ceased this prior to the surgery on the instruction of the surgeon.

What are your thoughts on resuming Vit C with this anti-biotic and what dosage would you recommend?

I appreciate your time and look forward to your reply

Kind regards

Marilyn

Answer:

When your surgeon instructed you to stop taking vitamin C did he tell you why? Vitamin C is a requirement for the development of immune system cells. Our immune systems can only work their best when their is sufficient vitamin C present. Further, vitamin C is a contributor to homeostasis, our bodies natural balance. More vitamin C is required whenever our systems are under stress. This is why I recommend increasing vitamin C supplementation before and after surgery. It would prevent a large percentage of post-surgery complications. Optimally, this would include substantial vitamin C in patients IV fluids.

It is not uncommon to hear of someone having a heart attack and surviving the event only to die of pneumonia weeks later. The stress of the heart attack and its aftermath puts the body in a state of induced scurvy. Without proper supplementation (just remember what they gave you to eat at the hospital) your system becomes very susceptible to infection.

Knowing only what you have told me, if I were in your position I would have never stopped my vitamin C supplementation and I would most certainly start taking it now, taking as much as my digestive system would allow. I would guess that you could take 10 grams a day at a minimum. I obviously cannot recommend that you not take the antibiotics and in your current situation they are probably called, but you can take the antibiotics and the C.

I would be most interested to hear the reason your surgeon has for telling you to stop taking vitamin C. Facing this infection, does he still think the vitamin C should be avoided?


From: Azlina

Subject: alopecia areata

Date: January 3, 2007

Hi Rusty,

One question; can taking mega-doses of vitamin C cause alopecia areata? I have developed this condition recently, and was told by a doctor friend that this is sometimes a result of mega-dosing with this vitamin. This shocked me at first, but I find it hard to believe, as I have been enjoying all the other benefits of C. I currently take about 10 grams per day, in 3-4 lots, spread throughout the day. I am being treated by a trichologist...she has advised me to take beta-carotene, natural Vitamin E and co-enzyme Q10 daily along with my C, to build up my anti-oxidant levels. She was naturally surprised (as most people are over here) at the amount of C I take, but felt it was ok as long as it benefited me.

I would really appreciate your view Rusty. As this is not a life-threatening disease, there seems to be hardly any available advise on how Vitamin C could be of help. Treatments recommended are mostly topical applications for the scalp.

Thanks for your time.

Best wishes,

Answer:

The allopathic medical community generally thinks in medicine terms. Specifically, what I mean by this is that if a substance (a drug) has some effect on the body's systems, more of this drug will produce more of the same result (among other things, but that's a different discussion). This is why drug dosage is so important. The drugs are foreign to the body and are toxic. Substances natural to the body, among them vitamins, are understood by the body and utilized within the machinery of the body systems. This is why nutrients show very little, or in the case of vitamin C, no toxicity.

This "medicine" mind-set is the reason high dose vitamin C is thought to possibly lead to iron overload. Let me explain. Vitamin C helps the body absorb and utilize iron from our diet. The thinking is that if vitamin C helps the body utilize iron, then a lot of vitamin C may lead to too much iron. The fallacy of this thinking is that vitamin C doesn't simply help our systems absorb iron, it helps our systems maintain the proper iron level. Therefore no amount of vitamin C intake will lead to iron overload. This is, I believe, the thinking behind high-dose C and autoimmune diseases. Vitamin C helps boost your immune system. The "medicine" mind-set would lead you to believe that boosting a improperly functioning immune system would be bad.

There has not been a lot of work done with vitamin C and autoimmune diseases, with the exception of rheumatoid arthritis, which has responded well. Dr. Robert Cathcart is one of the leading clinicians using high-dose vitamin C and a leading expert. I recommend you visit his page that discusses his experience and theory of vitamin C and autoimmune diseases.

He states "My experience with some autoimmune diseases, particularly lupus, is that ascorbate in massive doses is very helpful."

I don't know if high-dose vitamin C would alleviate your alopecia areata. I do believe that it is not a contributor to the condition based on the above. I hope this helps.

Azlina responds:

Thanks for your feedback and the link you recommended. It was interesting to note how my doctor friend came to his conclusions based on his medical knowledge, and how different the theories and conclusions of a Vitamin C expert like Dr. Cathcart can be, based on his experience of C usage with his patients.

I had my weekly visit to the trichologist yesterday, and she was surprised that the bald patches on my scalp were already showing signs of regrowth. It normally takes a few months before this happens. I attribute this to the C I am taking, and have decided to step up my intake gradually until this problem is resolved. I will keep you informed of my progress; it may be of interest should you have other enquiries regarding alopecia areata.

Thanks again and my best wishes,


From: Sherwin Berger

Subject: Fighting Heart Disease Newsletter

Date: September 16, 2006

Thanks Rusty

I enjoy receiving your occasional newsletter. However, sometimes I'm not certain that enjoy is really the operative verb to describe my response to your messages. I do get royally pissed off at the medical profession and all their lemming adherents. But as exasperated as I become, I also realize that through the efforts of people like you some lives will be saved and who knows, maybe someday the truth will be accepted. While the world waits for the truth to finally be known, perhaps what we are experiencing now is simply Mother Nature's attempt at controlling the population explosion.

Some years ago a series of articles entitled "The Cholesterol Myth" appeared in the Atlantic Magazine in which the author (I can't recall his name) criticized findings of the Framingham Study. One comment that I remember vividly was his statement that the evidence indicated that more people die of heart related illness who have low cholesterol than those who have high cholesterol. That should have sent up red signal flags in the medical community and in the public literate enough to read that publication. Needless to say all the signal flags were torn down. A few years later a book was published with the same name except that in the title the word myth was now made plural. I think that is actually more appropriate since the errors about cholesterol are many. The book is a great read and easy to understand. Your readers might like to learn about it. The author is Uffe Ravnskov, MD, PhD.

One last thought for the evening. How about trying to get Nutrition and
Physical Degeneration by Dr. Weston A. Price accepted as a necessary textbook for
all medical students?

Till next time,

(Check out my review of The Cholesterol Myths here. Sherwin, you are so right about the difficulty of hacking through the jungle of myths and misinformation to find what the truth is about health and diet. That's why I'm here. I hope, in my very small way I am helping. Rusty)


From: Michele F.

Subject: Peptic Ulcers & vitamin C ; also, Chemotherapy & vitamin C

Thank you for your E-mail referring to your wife's peptic ulcer.  It is absolutely amazing that ascorbic acid is such a successful cure all. 

I know you probably get millions of E-mails, so I hope you will read this.  I read (from a site you recommended) that to take Vit C during chemo treatment, the Vit C can strengthen the tumour.  I am currently on Herceptin and wondered if it was the right time to embark on the Vitamin C therapy? 

Also, back to your wife's ulcer, do you think that as well as strengthening the body at a cellular level, that the vitamin C may be altering the pH of the stomach (and perhaps whole body).  Thus making it inhabitable for the wrong type of bacteria? 

Thank you and carry on with the good health.

Answer:

The theory that vitamin C may be contra-indicated during chemotherapy is based on the assumption that, if vitamin C strengthens a healthy cells' ability to survive chemical attack, why wouldn't it help cancer cells the same way, thereby reducing the therapys’ ability to kill cancer cells? While this makes sense, the clinical evidence does not support this theory. Quite the contrary. Cancer treatment with vitamin C has shown some stunning results, especially with IV doses of 100 grams/day and greater. Specifically, Abram Hoffer has considerable experience treating cancer patients with vitamin C while they received radiation and/or chemotherapy. He states that, contrary to the theory that vitamin C would reduce the effectiveness of chemotherapy and radiation, the opposite is true. The vitamin C actually protects the body from the tremendous stress of these treatments and, as Hoffer states, is a "chemo-potentiator". It enhances the actions of the chemotherapy agent.

I quote from Hoffer's site:

  • "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."

Vitamin C in high enough doses is cytotoxic. That is, it is a chemotherapy agent itself!

It is always the right time to start taking vitamin C.

I don't think the success of the vitamin C treatment for intestinal infections is due to a pH change, making the environment less hospitable to the bacteria. I have two reasons for thinking this. First, my wife has been taking sodium ascorbate which is pH neutral. Even ascorbic acid is mild and would not significantly change the intestinal pH. Second, if this were true, the vitamin C would most likely have a negative impact on our digestive systems normal bacterial flora. This doesn't happen.

While we are on the subject of infections and intestinal flora, the normal allopathic treatment for H.Pylori, which I mentioned in my newsletter, is an aggressive antibiotic regimen. From Kenneth Todar's site, Textbook of Bacteriology, his page The Bacterial Flora of Humans states “…the use of antibiotics… greatly perturbs the composition of the intestinal flora.” As many of us know from personal experience, antibiotics interfere with digestion, making it unpleasant to eat. This at the very time that our nutritive requirements are highest.



From: J.J. Friend

Subject: Vitamin C dosage and sickness

I'm writing this e mail telling my experience with vitamin C. I take 19 grams daily in 3 doses. Even with this high dose I caught a cold or flu and I ended up with a cough that was not going away. I woke one morning and decided to see what the sodium ascorbate would do. I started taking 5 grams every hour by bed time I had taken 65 grams of C. The cough was history I had no diarrhea, no gas just total cure. The 19 grams is fine normally and 20 grams is to much and this shows just how much vitamin C is needed when sickness comes knocking.

Answer: Dose is everything. It is absolutely astounding just how much vitamin C our bodies need when under stress. This also explains why almost no one will really consider taking it in the doses required; it just seems too ridiculous. We know better.


From: Pat Miller

Subject: Lysine and Atherosclerosis

I read a long time ago that lysine when taken with vitamin C will unclog your arteries. Is this true and how much of each would you take?

thanks.

Answer: If you visit my Heart Disease page I have info regarding the work of Pauling and Rath on heart disease. The foundation of atherosclerosis is chronic vitamin C deficiency which leads to the body's generation of arterial plaque as a healing process to prevent blood seepage through a compromised arterial wall.

Please visit the How Much to Take for a discussion of how much vitamin C is needed. In short, you should take as much as your body is comfortable with, that is pushing your bowel tolerance limit.

L-Lysine is an amino acid that, if plasma levels are adequate, will bind with the special cholesterol, Lp(a) your body makes to attach to the artery wall and remove it from the body. Lysine is called a binding inhibitor since it inhibits the cholesterol from binding to the artery wall. Pauling and Rath suggested an adult daily dose of 1000 mg of lysine (That is what I take). More if you have heart disease. Visit the Pauling Therapy site for a great treatment of this subject.

I hope this helps.


From: Gary Manoogian

Subject: Irritable Bowel Syndrome

I've had problems with my bowel movements for the last four years. Ranging from salmonella to parasites. I've had an upper and lower GI, a colonoscopy all negative. However I am still having these attacks. Just recently my Gastrologist is trying a formula called Leahey #3 for Irritable Bowel Syndrome. However a week before, I had a major flu and took 2000 mg of vitamin C the night before. The next day I noticed I did not feel as bloated and actually felt pretty good. Since that day I continue to take at least that amount at night and 1000 mg in the morning. Just the other day I missed my dosage and guess what I had a major attack. I brought this up to my doctor. However he says vitamin C is OK to take but not going to help. Just reading your info, I think my Doc. is wrong. Is there a way to convince him to look at vitamin C and how its helping?

Would appreciate some direction.

Thanks.

Answer: Gary,

As I'm sure you knew already, I think your doctor is wrong too. Most of the medical community is not very open-minded, especially about nutrition. My suggestion is to ask your doctor to support whatever he says. For example, if he says that vitamin C won't help, ask him on what he bases his opinion. Most of the time the doctor will say something and we feel under the gun to support our view. Turn that around and make him support his. If he doesn't have a satisfactory answer, tell him that you have been doing some research and would like to share it with him. Would he be willing to look it over so that you two can discuss it? Give him some specific web pages, not just a site address. If you are lucky, he might be open-minded enough not to think that something he doesn't know isn't worth knowing!

Good luck. I'll be glad to help if I can.

From: George

Date: April 20, 2002

Subject: Heart Disease

Dear Dr. Sinatra,

I've been a fan and customer of yours now for about a year. I also use info from you and several other internet MD's to corroborate my own doctor's ideas.

I've noticed now that you have published a warning in at least two of your newsletters against taking too much vitamin C because of thickening of arteries. The only evidence that I can find to corroborate your thinking is a study which, according to the following link, was incomplete at best.

Dr. Cathcart's response is of particular interest.

http://www.lef.org/featured-articles/may2000_vitamin_c_03.html

Also, the Life Extension Foundation did a follow up with some of their members who had been "mega-dosing" VC for up to 20+ years. They found only healthy carotids, and good flow - something that the aforementioned study didn't even check (hmm). I would venture to guess that, if the LEF group were compared to the other test group, we would find lower blood pressure and fewer incidences of stroke, heart attack, etc. in the LEF group.

As a mechanical engineer, I can see the logic that a group of patients who have taken little or no VC for 50+ years would have worn, thinning plumbing. It is equally as logical that increasing VC, a key player in collagen production, would naturally result in thicker vessels all over the body, including the carotids.

I, myself, have been on bowel-tolerance VC, at my new doctor's orders, for almost a year. In that time I've been able to cut my BP medication in half. Prior to that, I had increased dosage. I found this doctor, a DO, after fighting daily drowsiness, having my family doctor declare that "you're just getting old" (I was 48 at the time and about to lose my job for falling asleep at work, fighting dementia, loss of concentration), and having a stent installed...

I had been taking 3g/day of VC with no apparent benefit when, feeling a cold coming on, I took 9g in one day. BAM! Next day I worked like a beaver all day and went home and did research on my computer until 10. I even had that "spring" in my step that I'd heard of but had never experienced. Since then I have only had a handful of short (5-10 minutes) drowsy spells. Up to that point my normal day was: drag out of bed after 9-10 hours, doze for about 2 of the 8 working hours, do about 2 hours actual work all day due to lack of concentration, drag myself home and fall asleep by 8-8:30 - take two naps on Saturday and Sunday after 12 hours sleep... This went on, steadily worsening, for about two years.

This revelation prompted me to find a doctor who knew something about vitamins! During the physical he surmised that, given the 19 mercury fillings in my mouth, the sudden recovery was possibly due to the large dose of VC removing some mercury from my brain. Testing revealed that my mercury level was off the chart. He also found a half dozen other things wrong with me, most of which are being treated by vitamins, minerals, and amino acids - doses hundreds of times higher than any supplement found at Wal-Mart or CVS, and thousands of times greater than the RDA's.

And I can honestly say that, on several occasions, I have felt better after the first dose, almost always by the third day. The other supplements are treating problems which have no overt symptoms. This doctor tests, then attacks with substances which should be in my body - my previous MD guessed and re-guessed, using prescription drugs only and scoffing vitamins - if there was no prescription solution, then his response was "you're just getting old", or just no response at all.

Another personal experience: last Christmas I caught the worst cold I've had in decades. After fighting a losing battle, on the 4th day I decided to try Dr. Pauling's "cure". I pumped 3g every 30-45 minutes all day (about 40-50 grams total) without getting diarrhea. About 3 AM next morning I awoke, wet from head to toe, with that feeling of relief you get when your fever "breaks". Arising at 7:00, I decided to continue the dosage, just to be sure. Before my second dose I was on the John. Battle over, strike the tents.

Given the massive evidence of other benefits of optimum VC intake (which is different person-to-person and even day-to-day based on a person's health status), I hope that a professional such as you are not basing your decision for this warning on this one study. If you have some other compelling info, would you share it with me and your other readers? I'm afraid that your statement may scare many away from the treatment they need the most for their short and long-term health, and your arbitrary 500mg may not be sufficient to keep a good many from getting heart disease and other problems - certainly not enough to repair 50+ years of nutritional inadequacy, or for therapeutic treatment.

As Dr. Saul of www.doctoryourself.com <http://www.doctoryourself.com> is fond of saying: "Vitamins can be used as drugs, but drugs can never be used as vitamins".

Have a good day,

George

From: Theo

Date: April 17, 2002

Question: Hello,

I've read that you need to keep C in your system to work and I don't understand that. I was also read that to prove that C is still in your system you must check your urine.

Will you please explain these to me?

Thank you,

Theo

Answer: Vitamin C is required in large quantities to promote optimum health. Please see What C Does at:

Your body does not have the ability to store much vitamin C, probably because this essential nutrient that is required in large quantities was synthesized in the bodies of man’s ancestors thereby making storage inefficient and unnecessary.

Vitamin C taken in more than minimum amounts will produce some spillover into the urine. Checking for vitamin C in the urine will only show that a minimum amount is available, not necessarily an optimum amount. Please see How Much to Take.

From: Annette Mason

Date: January 10, 2002

Question: Hi,

Is it best to buy vitamin C plain, or with the bioflavinoids? Is the cheapest kind okay to take?

Thanks

Answer:

I have no doubt that bioflavinoids are good for you. Also, there is reason to think that mineral ascorbates (sodium ascorbate, calcium ascorbate, etc.) may be better than ascorbic acid. To me those discussions are like asking a man dieing of thirst if he wants Perrier or Evian. The most important thing is the vitamin C and lots of it.

From: Paul

Date: December 31, 2001

Question: Hello,

I am genuinely interested in determining if it is worth taking vitamin c or not. I have reviewed a number of sites such as yours and have found both people for and people against it.

Both seeming to be quite respectable scientists. The url below has a number of studies that talk about how vitamin c is basically not helpful for stopping colds. Can you respond as to why you think otherwise? And if possible reference other case studies by respectable people in the community. Thank you.

Quackwatch - Colds and Vitamin C

Answer:

The answer to your question is dose. In his 1980 paper on determining the proper dose of vitamin C, Dr. Cathcart states (remember, this is 1980, more than twenty years ago!):

"It seems incredible to the growing number of physicians familiar with the proper doses of ascorbic acid that recent papers would describe studies utilizing only up to four grams per 24 hours". 

Of the studies on the quackwatch page, only a couple used doses of 4 grams or more. I would not expect 4 grams a day to be sufficient for many people to prevent a cold, much less to cure one. This leaves very few double-blind studies to look at. Which brings up another problem – double-blind studies do not work well when the substance being tested must be in large doses (i.e. many pills). People just don’t adhere to the study protocol. If this means that you, as many do, that since double-blind studies cannot realistically prove that vitamin C prevents colds then it must not actually prevent colds, then so be it.

I recommend to people that at the first sign of a cold that they start taking 1000 mg per hour, or more to bowel tolerance limit. Are their positive results due to placebo effect? I can’t prove otherwise, although it is a fact that vitamin C is utilized by the immune system to generate the specialized cells used to fight infections. How much is needed to facilitate a maximized immune response is really the only question.

I can tell you a few things from personal experience (ignore it if you like). I take, on average, 14,000 – 16,000 mg of vitamin C every day and have for the past decade. I have not had a cold in that time. When I have started to feel like I was starting to get something my bowel tolerance limit for vitamin C has increased to over 60 grams in 24 hours.

I have spoken to three separate people who’s very young children had chronic ear infections which did not respond to repeated courses of antibiotics, two had drainage tubes. All three had total resolution of the ear infections after a week or less of high-dose vitamin C. I don’t believe the placebo effect was present in these situations. The parents in every case had a high expectation of the doctor-prescribed antibiotics and, also in every case, were skeptical of the vitamin C.

The most frustrating aspect of this to me is the risk/benefit aspect of taking lots of vitamin C. You may argue the benefits, but the risks are virtually non-existent. In fact, in all the studies mentioned on quackwatch not a single one mentioned any side-effects! There are no contraindications. The risks are associated with NOT taking vitamin C. The side-effects attributed to vitamin C via theory (e.g. Kidney stones) do not show up in clinical evidence. Please see my page Why Take C for more on this.

Vitamin C is required for life and is synthesized in almost all animals in quantities we would refer to as massive. And heart attacks are very rare except in the higher primates that have lost the ability to make vitamin C. Cardiovascular disease and stroke (both atherosclerosis-based problems) kill half of us. This is no mere coincidence.

Date: 12/03/01

From: Gary Manoogian

Subject: Irritable Bowel Syndrome

I've had problems with my bowel movements for the last four years. Ranging from salmonella to parasites. I've had an upper and lower GI, a colonoscopy all negative. However I am still having these attacks. Just recently my Gastrologist is trying a formula called Leahey #3 for Irritable Bowel Syndrome. However a week before, I had a major flu and took 2000 mg of vitamin C the night before. The next day I noticed I did not feel as bloated and actually felt pretty good. Since that day I continue to take at least that amount at night and 1000 mg in the morning. Just the other day I missed my dosage and guess what I had a major attack. I brought this up to my doctor. However he says vitamin C is OK to take but not going to help. Just reading your info, I think my Doc. is wrong. Is there a way to convince him to look at vitamin C and how its helping?

Would appreciate some direction.

Thanks.

Gary Manoogia

Answer:

As I'm sure you knew already, I think your Doctor is wrong too. Most of the medical community is not very open-minded, especially about nutrition. My suggestion is to ask your doctor to support whatever he says. For example, if he says that vitamin C won't help, ask him on what he bases his opinion. Most of the time the doctor will say something and we feel under the gun to support our view. Turn that around and make him support his. If he doesn't have a satisfactory answer, tell him that you have been doing some research and would like to share it with him. Would he be willing to look it over so that you two can discuss it? Give him some specific web pages, not just a site address. If you are lucky, he might be open-minded enough not to think that something he doesn't know isn't worth knowing!

Date: 7/1/01

From: Jenny Nover

Subject: Cancer Page

You must revise your C & Cancer page in the light of the new research that tumors feed on C, that C may interfere with Chemo, and that consisctent high dose C may be a cancer cause whilst regular dose C is a cancer inhibitor. Your page makes no reference and is very misleading in this regard. If you are running a health site you are obliged to keep it up to date.

Thanks

Answer:

Jenny,

I respectfully disagree. I refer you to Gary Null's page that summarizes 90+ vitamin C studies involving vitamin C and cancer. Also Abram Hoffer's page discussing his considerable clinical experience treating cancer patients with high-dose vitamin C. Both of these are linked from my cancer page.

Other than laboratory experiments, there is no evidence that vitamin C, at any dose, actually causes or promotes cancer, as far as I am aware. Please forward any links, etc. that you are aware of that disputes this. I am, of course, very interested.

The fact that cancer cells sometimes have a higher vitamin C concentration does not mean that the vitamin C is necessarily "protecting" the malignant cells. On the contrary, vitamin C has been shown to be an effective therapuetic against cancer. Hoffer's experiences have shown a synergistic effect between vitamin C therapy and conventional therapies, especially surgery, but also radiation and chemotherapy.

Compared to "regular dose C" almost all animals make massive quantities of vitamin C and do not show human cancer rates. Also, retrospective studies analyzing vitamin C supplementation and cancer have shown an inverse relationship between serum levels of vitamin C and the prevalence of cancer.

Date: June 3, 2001

Subject: Arthritis

Hello,

I am interested in getting info on using vitamin C to help heal my osteoarthritis in my left knee which resulted from an injury. I am hoping to come up with info that will give me hope that I can reverse the damage to my articular cartilage, probably using vitamins C and E, and glucosamine/chondroitin in combination with gentle exercise like walking. Do you have any info or know where I might be able to dig up some?

Also, could taking large quantities of vitamin C possibly result in leaching of Ca from bones? I ask this because ascorbic acid has industrial uses as a chelating agent, i.e., helps to solubilize certain metals.

I am a 45 yr old male and am very into ice and roller hockey - I do not want to give them up and am looking to preserve my knees. Thanks for any info you can supply me.

Answer:

Please visit my page on Arthritis

I think you are on the right track. MSM may also be of help. Vitamin C is required for the proper development of collagen, the ground substance between our cells. Chronic deficiency of this essential nutrient leads to a generalized deterioration of tissue integrity resulting in easy bruising, disc herniations and atherosclerosis, to name a few.

Yes, vitamin C is a chelating agent, but will only act on loosely bound calcium. No amount will have a deleterious effect on bone density, quite the opposite. Please see the Chelation section on my heart disease page at:

Let us know how things go.

From: Chris
Date: 5/1/01

Subject: Colds and C and general health

Rusty,

Just like to say I have been on 3-5 grams per day since early 98 and have not gotten a cold since. I was the typical "always getting sick" kind of person who had 3-4 colds each winter. I also take a super B, A, multi, 1000iu E daily. I feel better and am much healthier than when I was 18 (I am 30 now). I gave up soda's and excess sugar and now do not have the peaks and valleys of false energy. Not to mention that my wounds heal faster, nails grow faster, on and on and on.

I honestly think that the majority of illnesses of ALL kinds are due to lack of proper amounts of C, along with other diet deficiencies. I try to talk to people and reson why to take 3+ grams per day and they just let me finish talking and go back to their poor health regimen. I can only smile when they are constantly compaining about this ailment or that which could have been averted.Imagine the financial collapse of this country if everyone ingested the proper amounts of nutrients. We would need 1/10 of the current amount of doctors!!

From: Rob Lippert
Date: 4/3/01

Subject: Back and Joint Pain

Rusty,

A few years ago when you and I discussed the benefits of vitamin C, I didn't really believe that it could help me in so many ways. I confess, although I believed in what you were doing, I didn't believe in it enough to apply it to my own life. I want to tell you about something that has happened recently.

For quite a while, I have generally not felt well. I would come home after work and complain of exhaustion and fatigue. I would also complain of back pain and general pain in my joints. About a year ago, I noticed that my ankles were puffy and swollen and toward the end of the day, it was painful to walk. This went on for a while—no problem—I could live with it. However, as the months progressed, I noticed that it was getting worse and before long all my joints were hurting. Eventually, my ankles were swollen when I first woke up in the morning and it became fairly painful for me to walk especially after I got up from sitting down for a while. My back hurt and I could not bend over with out a great deal of struggle. I began to complain to my wife about always being so tired and worn out and just not feeling well. I went to the doctor who would tell me I'm fine and need to cut out fatty foods, and get enough rest. I was doing all of that but still felt generally run down.

Two weeks ago, I had finally decided to go to the doctor about it when I remembered the vitamin C powder I bought several years ago when I worked with you. I started taking 1 teaspoon of the Vitamin C powder in a glass of orange juice. The results are amazing! Within two days, I noticed the swelling in my ankles was greatly reduced. Within 2 weeks, I noticed that the pain is completely gone!!! I am feeling better than I've felt in years. I have less of a desire for fried foods, like I used to crave, therefore, less indigestion. I have more energy and feel great.

I'm not saying that vitamin C is the panacea for all ailments, but I am convinced that it is one of the things I lacked. I have not started with other vitamins or minerals, but I expect to start soon.

I want you to know that this is the only change I made to my diet. I'm still walking the same amount as before, my eating habits have not changed, and my normal activities have not changed. The only difference is that I take a teaspoon of Vitamin C powder every morning and evening with orange juice. (this is about 8-10 grams/day, Ed.)

Rusty, I thank you for your strong convictions on this subject. By finally listening to you, my life style has greatly improved.

Date: March 5, 2001

From: Clarence Moury

Subject: Cancer and Vitamins C and B12

I found this article in a book that was published by Rhodale press. At the bottom of the article I have added my comments on the conditions of myself and my wife. I fully believe the "formula" "recipe" or what you might call it, works as it says in the article.

Thanks for your willingness to make the public aware of the of the many remedies, good and bad, that are available. I fully believe God has given us a cure for everything, all we have to do is find it.

------------------------ (I have reprinted the article in the Cancer section)

My wife has been taking up to 10,000mg of vitamin C and up t0 5,000mg of vitamin B-12 a day since she found out that she had breast cancer. When they found it the Dr said it was about 3 centimeters. After about 8 months of taking the vitamins and 4 chemo treatments, the MRI showed that it was still there, but it hadn't shrunk at all. They then done a mastectomy. When they done the pathology on the tissue that they took off, they only found 5 milliliters of cancer. The surgeon said had he known that there was so little cancer that he would have at the most done a lumpectomy. I fully believe that the vitamin C and B-12 was working to destroy the cancer as stated in the article above. I was diagnosed with leukemia 5 years ago. Normal blood white count is 19,000 as I was told by my oncologist. When they found the leukemia mine was 23,000. It has gone as high as 87,000, at which point they were going to give me medication for it if it got any higher and wanted to see me in 3 months in stead of the usual 6 months. At three months it was down some and I believe it was around the time I started taking the vitamin C and B-12, only in 2000 and 1000 a day. The last two visits my white count has come down to 51,000. I believe that as I increase my
dosage of C's and B-12's it will eventually free my body of this leukemia.

From: Tony Castaldo

Subject: Lung Infection

I am glad you are producing this site; I am a C fanatic after reading Pauling.

I take 15 grams per day in three 5g doses (about a rounded teaspoon) in sodium ascorbate from Bronson pharm. I have been doing so for nearly five years. However, I think you need to point out that C causes a faster depletion of Folic acid (or enables the body's use of folic acid, I am not sure which). So I take 800 micrograms of folic acid per day.

This next part might be disgusting: I have had a lung condition for about 15 years, caused by a rare illness called Valley Fever that is only contracted by ingesting the dirt in a specific valley in Arizona.  Well, I lived in Phoenix for a year in my early twenties, and happened to play some pretty tough hard-spike volleyball in that valley on weekends... I guess I ate some dirt.

The result of this illness was scarring of some of my lung tissue; but in x-rays I have only two scars about the size of quarters, one on each lung. The disgusting part is that this scarred tissue has a tendency to trap infectious garbage, and the infections bleed. So I would cough up blood. This required a permanent prescription to antibiotics, which I self administered. If I started coughing up blood I would go on a two or three week course of antibiotics until the infection cleared up, and hope that it wasn't tuberculosis or lung cancer.

When I started on megadoses of C, the lung infections cleared up. I haven't had a single incident of coughing up blood in five years. No more antibiotics.

However, I did get a tooth infection about three years ago, and I started taking antibiotics to fight it (tetracycline). THEY DIDN'T WORK. The infection was in check, but refused to disappear. As an experiment I stopped the Vitamin C, toning it down by 3 grams per day for five days, while I continued to take the antibiotic. This worked. After 3 days off C completely the infection was gone. I started taking C again.

The point is, I believe it is possible that C revs up the immune system to a point that antibiotics are destroyed or sequestered before they can have their desired effect, and no matter how good one's immune system is there are occasions when antibiotics may prove useful.

I also have had a similar problem with pain killers and anaesthetic. To make them work I have to double or triple the dose; my dentist actually charged me extra for the extra shots. I don't need to tell you this can be dangerous for some pills (tylenol causes liver stress in high doses, for example). Ibuprofen (Advil) still seems to work the same with C.

Another thing I point out to people that say excess C is peed out is that the C travels through the blood system first, which makes it available to every cell in the body that might be able to use it. It is a matter of insuring that enough exists in the blood stream at any point in time to permit use. Just because the body eliminates the unused portion doesn't mean that quantity is uniform, it is entirely possible the unused amount varies from one elimination to the next.

Also, reasonable people realize that the human body is full of design imperfections, including our inability to do what so many animals do and manufacture our own Vitamin C. Perhaps this inability to retain a useful and valuable substance is actually a flaw in our biological system. In other words, we are the leaking bucket. It would be better if the body did hang on to the C but like a holed bucket it can't, so the next best thing we can do is continually fill the bucket to insure an adequate supply.

Thanks for the site,

Tony Castaldo

From: Michael Heller, mch56@columbia.edu

Date: November 1, 2000

Question: I have a friend who recently attended an extended workshop on herbal medicines over the past summer. In conversations with this friend, she related that a large part of what she learned at the workshops dealt with the value of whole foods over nutritional supplements. For example, one of the things taught at her workshop was that taking a supplement like vitamin C is worthless. The argument here is that the synthesized version of the vitamin loses a large part of the nutrition found in natural forms of vitamin C (i.e. oranges etc.) The workshop drew similar comparisons to all vitamin supplements, claiming that the synthesizing process removed much of the natural value of the vitamins.  Upon hearing these assertions by my friend, I doubted the validity of the 'facts' presented to her at this workshop. Nevertheless as a mere college student without any significant science base, I really don't have the tools to argue with her or disprove her. Can you recommend any studies or articles on the effectiveness of supplement use (vitamin C, or just supplements in general.) I feel like I need some hard evidence (the more scientific the better) to combat the propaganda she heard at her nutritional workshop. Please note that while I don't doubt the value of whole foods as a source for nutrients, I also feel like her refusal to acknowledge supplements is largely unfounded. 

Any information that you can point me towards would be greatly appreciated.
Sincerely,

Answer: Basically, I agree with your friend.  In the real world, though, I think supplements are essential.  Let me explain.

There is no question that getting your nutrition from healthy foods is the first choice.  The foods we should eat should contain all the nutrients we need and certainly when you eat an orange you are getting other good stuff besides vitamin C.  The problem is no one in a modern society can eat a proper diet.  If you shop at a grocery store (even a "natural" foods store), the foods you buy are old and have lost much of their nutritive value.  As far as vitamin C in particular is concerned, this problem is even worse. Our genetic make-up changed so that we could no longer synthesize C in our livers, a time when we ate a relatively high vitamin C diet (otherwise the genetic mutation could not have taken hold).  This C was derived in large measure from raw fresh meat, something most folks no longer eat.  So in my mind supplementing is essential, especially for vitamin C.

No how about the argument that synthesized vitamins are not utilized by your body?  Well, in the case of vitamin C, Linus Pauling said that synthesized ascorbic acid is molecularly identical to natural.  Some people have difficulties with some varieties, but that's a story for another day.

Most synthetic vitamins bought from a name brand will be fine.  Natural vitamin E (d-alpha tocpherol) is utilized much better than synthesized varieties.  And taking a little too much of any vitamin is non-toxic.  Even the vitamins that get a bad rap because too much can be harmful require hundreds of times the mega-doses people usually take.  Vitamin C is totally non-toxic.  I like to say that there is one major side-effect of taking high doses of vitamin C - chronic good health!

Herbs are quite another story.  This are complex substances and dose must be handled with much more care.  I hope that your friends enthusiasm does not lead her to taking multiple herbs at high doses.  That can be dangerous.

From: L. Glickman

Date: March 28, 2000

Question: I have taken vitamin C for about 20 years, everyday.  In the last month I stopped taking it because they said on TV it could cause hardening of the arteries.  Because of that information I stopped taking vitamin C about three weeks ago.  Now I have an extremely bad chest cold, my lungs are very congested, I cannot seem to get the phlegm up. The doctor gave me a cough expectorant with codeine. I have taken the medicine for about 3 days with no results. I am now going to start taking Vitamin C again. Since I was on vitamin C I had no colds whatsoever. I am sorry I listened to that report on TV about the danger of vitamin C.  I don't think they know what they are talking about. Thank you for your concern.

Answer: Of course, the conventional wisdom is that vitamin C does not prevent colds at all.  While we should always get all the information we can, it is a shame that the media, led by the allopathic medical community, never show any balance in their reporting.  They seem to think that saying "eat a balanced diet" is the answer to any question regarding nutrition.  As you know, it isn't that simple.  The positive effects of nutritional supplementation are rarely if ever given their due.

People crave the truth, even when it is hard to find.  In this, I hope to be one source of information among many for you to consider.

 

From: David Fern

Date: February 16,2000

Question: Could you please explain what sub-clinical scurvy is? You mention it in your web-site but it is really not explained.

Thankx!

Answer: Scurvy is the vitamin C deficiency disease.  It results from a lack of vitamin C in the diet, since we, unlike most animals, are unable to produce vitamin C from glucose.  The only prognosis is death and the only cure is exogenous (from outside the body) vitamin C intake.  A very little intake of vitamin C will prevent death, but this is not the end of the story.  Rather than being a black and white situation where you either have scurvy or you don't, vitamin C intake in quantities greater than is required to prevent overt symptoms of scurvy will contribute to a higher state of health and wellness.  The gray area between clincal scurvy and optimum health is referred to as sub-clinical scurvy, or as Irwin Stone dubbed it, hypoascorbemia.  This is the state where almost everybody is, where they are not presenting clinical symptoms of scurvy, but they are not free of symptoms altogether.

It is my belief and that of others that vitamin C in adequate quantities will very significantly contribute to a high state of health and resistance to disease.  This is particularly true for the "chronic" conditions (e.g. heart disease, arthritis, etc.) that the allopathic (conventional) community has had so little success.   Easy bruising is an acute symptom of scurvy due to the loss of tissue integrity supported by vitamin C (see "Why Take C").  The similar chronic conditions concerning tissue integrity associated with inadequate vitamin C intake over long periods of time include spinal disc herniations (see "Back Health") and atherosclerosis (see "Heart Disease").

I was captivated by this situation when I read Dr. Linus Pauling's book How to Live Longer and Feel Better.  This state of health we find ourselves in in our modern societies is very disheartening.  Vitamin C supplementation is so very important and so very simple, inexpensive and safe.  This is the reason I have continued so much reading on this subject for the past nine years and also the reason I publish this website.

 

From: Gail Northgrave - Ontario Canada

Date: January 18,2000

Subject: Hayfever

Question: Could you please tell me if Vit. C also helps people with hayfever problems as well as with colds.  My Vit. C comes in 500 mg.  I am a female weigh 110 lbs.  how many tablets should I take to make 5 grams and how often should I take a 500 mg.  I've been suffering from a cold off and on since November.  I work in a doctor's office and am constantly exposed to illnesses - colds and flues.  I'd appreciate your help and comments.

Thank you.

Answer: Vitamin C can be very beneficial for allergies as well as colds, since it is a basic raw material of your immune system, as discuss in my Asthma section.  Two 500 mg tablets make 1000 mg, which is one gram.  As long as you have no trouble taking the pills, I recommend that you take one in the morning and one every hour while you are sick.  Or even more, if this doesn't cause you any gastrointestinal distress.  Please visit How Much to Take:

Dose is all-important.  Please don't think "sure I'm willing to try vitamin C, but the doses Rusty says are ridiculous".  We have been conditioned to think that the extremely small amounts recommended by the government to prevent scurvy are all we need.  Nothing could be further from the truth.

 

From: Marilou Stanley

Date: January 16, 2000

Question: My 65 year old husband was diagnosed with esopageal cancer in Oct.  He underwent 2 rounds of chemo - Cisplatin & 5 FU - plus 5 weeks of radiology -4,500 rads.

He was scheduled for surgery last Tues - but his serum potassium was 6.2 and they postponed surgery.  He is on sodium polystrene sulphate and will get another blood test Mon & if the potassium is ok will be operated on next Fri.

I asked his surgeon to give him 20 grams of vitamin C intravenously every 24 hours during and after surgery.  She doesn't want to do this because she is not familiar with the procedure.  She wants documentation from medical journals that this has been done and works.

I don't know where to begin to document this and time is running out.  I asked for this because I read about it on page 57 in Dr. Andrew Weil's book "8 Weeks to Optimum Health."

I truly believe it is vital but I don't know where to turn.  If you can help, or know someone who can, please let me know.

Thank you for your time.

Answer: I have researched this fairly well and I include this in a response to a letter I got some time ago.

I discuss strategy there too, because whenever a medical procedure is considered, there is a risk/benefit analysis that goes along with it, whether a conscious process or not.  I quote that portion of my site here:

In addition to the information above, I would like to share some of my thoughts.  Unfortunately, most doctors know pitifully little about nutrition.  The odds would suggest that your surgeon will be skeptical about mega-doses of vitamin C because of a lack of knowledge.  I know you want to approach him/her armed with the most data you can get and I hope I've helped, but let's talk strategy.  I think we need to consider the scenario that your information convinces your doctor that vitamin C would probably be OK, but that the dosage you are talking about is ill-considered at best.  Besides the direct approach of presenting the evidence to support the high doses (don't back down here, dosage is everything!), I think a tangential strategy may work better.  Here it is.

    When discussing surgery, risk assessment is always considered (i.e. are the risks of the surgery outweighed by the potential benefit to the patient.)  Let's take this approach to the vitamin C dosage.  You have substantial reason to believe that these high doses are important and that lower dosages will be decreasingly beneficial.  Given this, I think it is not enough for your doctor to demand a smaller dosage without substantial justification.  Saying that it's "a lot" doesn't cut it!  Since the toxicity of vitamin C is practically zero, I think it falls on your doctor to justify why a smaller dosage than the experts recommend is advised.

Here is a website that discusses the procedure for IV vitamin C

The IV should be just the beginning of your husband's high-dose C intake (yours too).  Please start taking C to bowel tolerance limit and push this dose.  Please visit How Much to Take.

I assume you have already visited my Cancer page.

My thoughts are with you.  Please keep in touch.

 

From: Laura B, Ortonville, MI

Date: November 12, 1999

Subject: Vitamin C and heel pain

I am a runner and have bad heel pain.  I've been to 3 different doctors and have received really no relief.  I was working at a race because I can't run-heel hurts too much!  Another runner told me to take 10,000 mg of C a day for 2-3 weeks faithfully and heel pain should get better so I can get back to running.  By the way I've been out running now for 9 months!!  I'm not at the end of 2 weeks yet...but, I think my heel feels the best it's felt in months.  Can you tell me why this therapy could be working?  Please write back.  I want to get back on the road!!

Answer: On my page What C Does, you will read that vitamin C is a requirement for the proper development of collagen and fibrils, components of the ground substance between our cells. These components give our tissues their structural integrity.  This is why chronic vitamin C deficiency leads to the formation of arterial plaque, which is the body's healing process for a compromised circulatory system (see Heart Disease page).

This tissue integrity is especially important for tissues exposed to heavy mechanical stress.  Without proper levels of vitamin C these tissues do not regenerate well and are consequently subject to problems.  If vitamin C supplementation is helping you, this could be why.  But be sure to stick with it, because this repair takes time.  Incidentally, this is the reason so many people get
herniated discs.  These tissues are under constant stress and when not repaired properly, deteriorate.

 

From: Paul Cady, pacdy@webtv.net

Date: October 5, 1999

Subject: Importance of Vitamin C

I, too, share a passion for alerting as many people as I can to the overwhelming value of Vitamin C in the treatment and prevention of degenerative diseases.  The Capitalist driven(I am a capitalist, too)medical establishment has a vested interest in maintaining their slice of the misery pie.  I am a member of the Board of Ed in Canterbury, CT and I just recently convinced our Superintendent of Schools that he should be taking much larger doses of Vitamin C. He was easier to convince, given he was recuperating from pneumonia.  I have a friend I work with who is a recovered alcoholic and he is controlling his I.O.P. with 18 grams of ascorbic acid powder daily.  He has taken up to 40 grams of powder orally in a 24 hour period to knock the stuffing out of the flu.

This April I had my first full physical since 1977 and my doctor ordered a blood test for iron and vitamin B-12 after I noted to her that I was taking about 6 grams of vitamin C per day. Both tests came back well within the normal range. I also take 1200 i.u.'s of A.C.GRACE UNESTERIFIED Vitamin E and (3) Rainbow Light Complete Nutritional System Multis daily. I smoked 2 packs a day from 22 to 42 years of age and am now 53 and quit for 11 years and have normal blood pressure without any zombie blood pressure medication.

It dawned on me about 8 years ago that if the only human being to ever walk the face of the earth and win two unshared Nobel Prizes tells me that Vitamin C is the way and the light, he probably knows what he's talking about and the rest of us are just unworthy dummies.

From: Robyn

Date: August 16,1999

Subject: Why Should We Need to Supplement?

(Robyn posted this thoughtful question on the Cforyourself message board.  I have copied it here with my responses in a diaglog format, Ed.)

Robyn: I have been taking high doses of ascorbic acid believing it to be beneficial, however today I read an article that stated that repeated high doses of vitamin C can cause DNA damaging chemicals in the blood. The article said these conclusion were gathered from a study of people who took 500mg of vitamin C for six weeks. What are we to believe!

Rusty: This study was flawed and there is no danger in high-dose C.  Please visit my editorial entitled "Vitamin C Study". Follow the link to the Vitamin C Foundation page for a very detailed response to this study.

Robyn: With a little bit of logical thought it almost makes sense that we really shouldn't need to pump our bodies with high doses of any one particular vitamin over others, or even at all.

Rusty: As I state on my overview page, it is somewhat of a disservice to discuss one nutrient, thereby possibly leading one to think that that is all that is important.  Indeed, our systems are complex and require a host of nutrients to perform optimally.  People make the analogy that food for us is similar to gas for a car.  This only holds up in turns of energy.  The analogy I like to use is that our bodies are analogous to a cruise ship and our food is similar to EVERYTHING that comes on board ship for a cruise other than the passengers.  This would include the fuel, of course, but also the food, the towels, sheets and bath amenities, all the cleaning products, all the spare parts and paint, etc.  This, I think, better describes the role that nutrition plays in life and the maintenance of the body.

Robyn: If we were still living off the land we would be getting our requirements from a variety of sources provided by nature. As a species we wouldn't be put here if we weren't able to be self sufficient with what nature provides. Therefore relying on our instincts for survival would have been our instruction manual. So unless this planet was covered with a higher ratio of citrus trees and other rich sources of vitamin C plants there's no reason to believe that we need to overdose on this vitamin.

Rusty: Most animals on the planet synthesize (manufacture) vitamin C in their bodies.  Man lost that ability due to a genetic mutation perhaps 50,000 – 75,000 years ago.  This raises two questions:

- How much would we make if we still made our own C?  Studying other animals and adjusting for body weight, we would probably synthesize anywhere from 4,000 to 20,000 mg of vitamin C per day.  We are now dependent on our diet for our vitamin C and it would be logical that we should be ingesting something like this much for optimum health.

- For the mutation to take hold in the species, our diet at the time must have been providing a sufficient amount of C for a reasonable state of health.  Pauling studied this question and based on the temperate climate of the areas where our ancestors lived and the lack of food storage and transport, he concluded that the average diet probably contained 7,000 to 8,000 mg of C daily.  This is not to say that this level would necessarily provide enough for everyone's optimum health.  The modern American diet doesn't even reliably supply the RDA of 60 mg.  Supplementation is obviously indicated.

Robyn: Having said all of that, the fact that man became more intelligent over time bringing with him modern diseases such as cancer, maybe there is a place for high doses of vitamin C in treating illnesses.

Rusty: Maybe, indeed.

Robyn: But as the old saying goes, everything in moderation.

Rusty: The difficulty here is what is a moderate amount?  If you mean by this an amount that would provide for optimum health, but not so much as to pose any real danger, then I recommend you take a look at my How Much to Take section of the Why Take C page.

This is the biggest obstacle for me when I am trying to convince someone to try taking vitamin C.  Perhaps they are familiar with the RDA of 60 mg and logically think the government has ascertained that this is enough (whatever that means), when in reality this level was set to make sure no one died from scurvy!  Dose is everything.  I make this analogy regarding vitamin C and infections; if an infection is like a brush fire in your body, then your immune system is the fire department and vitamin C is the water!  Vitamin C is so key to good health, we can't make it anymore, animals that can make a lot and it is totally non-toxic.  Reasons enough for me to take a lot.  And I mean a LOT.

 

From: Edward J. Ayers

Date: August 2, 1999

Subject: Vitamin C experiences

I've had many experiences in the use of C (ascorbic acid.)  Over several years, I read nearly all of the research papers on C, including those of Dr. Fred Klenner's that were in print.  I accepted what I read and began taking 4 g of C daily.

Having formerly gotten an average of three (3) colds yearly, I figured out how to avoid coming down with any cold, period.  I would usually get a cold by awakening with a sore throat, which would get progressively worse, ending with a full lung, then sinus infection.  So, at the first awareness of throat soreness, I would jump up and take at least two grams of C.  If the symptoms didn't reverse, I would continue to take an extra gram every half hour until they did.  That was in 1977.  Since that time, I have increased my daily dose of C to 6 or 7 grams (timed release) and have not had a cold infection longer than one day.  I am 67 years old.

In addition, I have overcome flu infections all three times that I had a high fever during those 22 years.  Once, when I was finishing a backpack trip in the high Sierra Nevada Mountains., and had to hike out nine (9) miles next day, I felt that I had a high fever and was feeling worse by the minute.  My two buddies agreed that I felt hot.  I crawled into my sleeping bag and took 5 g of C.  Every time I awakened I took another 5 g of C.  By about 3 AM I felt sure that my T-cells had overcome and took 2 g of C. Awakening at about 7 AM, I was fine, and returned to my normal dose of 4 g a day (at that time) and packed out the nine miles with energy to spare.

Also, my mother was dying of cancer in 1977.  That's when I dug into research files, trying to learn of something I might do to help her, as the chemotherapy wasn't working, and she was suffering the usual side effects. I then learned of Linus Pauling's studies and experiments with the Scottish doctor (Cameron?) and talked my mom into quitting the chemo and taking 30 g of C daily.  At that time, she was having severe pains in her liver, and x-ray films showed that many liver ducts were blocked with inflammation. The C, an anti-inflammatory agent, cleared those ducts and the pain vanished.  Mom continued on the C, and gained some weight.  And her hair began growing again.  She died three months later, but she had a fantastic memory -- better than I had ever witnessed from her before -- attesting to what I believe is the need of C to prevent the decomposition of the myelin sheaths that cover nerve and brain cells, the reverse of which causes Alzheimer's disease.

From my readings and experience, decomposition in the human body is always primarily a C problem.  I doesn't matter where it is.  I have a sister who had decomposing spinal disks.  I told her to try taking up to 20 g of C daily.  She had been a "guinea pig" for doctors for two years and her condition just continued to worsen.  She started on C and eventually got up to 18 g daily.  Her disks grew back and she was fine.  That is, until she drifted down to 4 g daily, when the decomposition returned.  Believe it or not, but she allowed this to happen 3 times. Each time, after correcting the condition by increasing the dosage, she carelessly let it drop and the decomp returned!  Finally, I scolded her and she has maintained a healthy spine on about 10 g daily, which is what I originally told her might be a lifetime maintenance dosage.

I believe that bone loss, so much heralded as a lack of sufficient calcium, is not that at all or only secondarily so.  Why?  Because calcium does not leave bone by itself, but is carried out by collagen.  And, loss of collagen indicates a lack of C!  Increase the C and the calcium loss stops -- as long as there is a sufficient amount of calcium in the person's diet and the person gets some resistant exercise.

 Hope this adds to your repertoire.

 Best wishes,

Re: Drug Deaths

EDITOR;

If these figures of 106,000 deaths due to prescribed drugs are even remotely correct, which most doctors in the United States know to be the truth, and even Dr. Bates agrees there is a problem, then I would have to say our modern day medicine is little more than an economic game played at the risk of other poeple's lives. This figure amounts to 5 major air disasters a week, 52 weeks a year.  If 5 planes crashed a week for even one month aircraft would be grounded world wide and the media would hound the FAA and the aircraft industry for answers and wouldn't let up till this was resovled. Do you realize that 106,000 deaths a year ranks as the fourth leading killer in our country behind heart attacts, cancer and strokes and yet you remain with muzzled ears?  As a leading newspaper I would like to know why you are not following through with this story.  This story should be front page news until the AMA, hospitals and the drug industry are held accountable.


Richard L. Parenti
CEO
Stress Management Technologies
3507 Tully Road, Building F, Suite E-1
Modesto, CA 95356

From: Patrick King

Date: August 18, 1998

Subject: Nutritional Way-of-Life

Hello. I'm a newcomer to this web site. It has just come to my attention that nutrition is extremely important in life.  When I just randomly picked a web site about nutrition to visit I read exactly that here. I took 1000 mg vitamin C tablets about 2 times a day.  Then I stopped basically because I thought that all this nutrition would be better for you coming from REAL food rather than supplementation. Anyhow, I read that you take more than 15,000 mg/day of Vitamin C??? Whoa.  Do you take that all in your diet or do you take a whole lotta supplements.  I am lead to believe that it is both but I don't know.  I just got into this phase.  I am 18 years old going into college.  I figured it was a good time to start taking good care of myself rather than eating sugar, candy, and fats all day.  Thank you for reading.

Response: It is wonderful that you are starting to take an active approach to your diet and your health.  Most everyone, especially younger people who are more generally healthy, take their good health for granted and that illness is some to be dealt with when annoying symptoms appear.  Believe me, being a little careful about what you eat and supplementing your diet (especially with vitamin C) will pay enormous long-term dividends.

I take vitamin supplements for two reasons.  I think it is almost impossible to get the nutrition our bodies need for optimum health in a modern society where food is processed and distributed.  I also do not want to make my diet as strict as it would need to be to eat the quantities of the proper foods necessary for optimum nutrition.

Consider your interest in nutrition for the long run.  Don't restrict your diet so much that you will drop the whole thing after a little while.  I don't recommend a strict diet.  I do recommend that you try to stay away from sugar and that you do try to eat whole foods rather than processed foods.

From: Richard

Subject: Lung Cancer

Question: I am 63 yrs. old and have lung cancer and I am also on chemotherapy every 3 weeks.  I was told that since I already have the cancer vitamin C was not necessary and It would not help.  Can you please advise what if any benefit this C vitamin would have .  Any suggestions or help  would be appreciated.

Thanks.

Answer: The information you received stating that vitamin C is of no value after contracting cancer could not be further from the truth!  The work done by Linus Pauling and Ewan Cameron summarized in "Cancer and Vitamin C" showed that vitamin C can be therapeutic for cancer victims.  As a matter of fact, the 100+ patients that these researchers used to test their theory of vitamin C where started on 10 grams per day only after the hospital had told them that conventional therapies had been exhausted.

Chemotherapy is very hard on the patient, as you, unfortunately, know much better than I.  In order to kill the cancer cells and as few healthy cells as possible, chemo goes after cells that have the characteristic of dividing quickly.  Cancer cells divide quickly, but so do the cells in your digestive track making it difficult to eat. Immune system cells divide quickly so that our immune response can be fast and substantial. This is also the reason many chemo patients loose their hair.

Vitamin C will bolster your immune system, which is weakened by the chemo just when you need it most.  Vitamin C can also improve the tissue integrity surrounding cancerous tumors and produce an inhibitor to a substance that cancer cells produce, hyaluronidase, that works like an acid to allow space for cancer to expand.

I strongly recommend you read one of Lawrence LeShan's books (You Can Fight For Your Life or Cancer as a Turning Point) that go to the psychological and emotional side of cancer.  I also recommend Norman Cousins book Anatomy of an Illness.

If you decide to try vitamin C, please take lots (as much as you can, a number of times a day.)  If the chemo is disturbing your eating so much that you can't take C orally, try to insist that your doctor give you an IV.  I would recommend 20-30 grams a day.  If your doctor is not too keen on this (probably not), insist that it can't hurt and might just help.

Please keep in touch on your progress.  I look forward to adding you to my cancer experience page!

Let me know if I can be of any further assistance.

From: Daniel Seah
Date: 5/27/98

Subject: Gastritis

I read your web-page with interest.

I have started taking vitamin C daily (500 mg) and I am thinking of upping it to a 1000mg.

But I have gastritis and read somewhere one way to prevent another attack is to reduce the intake.  Exactly how much is too much?  I tried a 1000mg for a week, and the stomach did seem to react unfavorably.  I
think this is distinct from the bowel tolerance in your articles.

Answer: Gastritis is an inflammation of the stomach.  As such I am sure your stomach is very sensitive to what you eat.  Viral gastritis can be treated by boosting the immune system.  The best way to do this is with vitamin C to bowel tolerance limit.  Dr. Donovan states in Alternative Medicine " [t]he advantage of vitamin A, zinc, and beta-carotene is that they help the lining of the gastrointestinal tract repair and regenerate itself very well."  So the best advise would be to add those three items to your vitamin C. 

But I haven't forgotten about the distress it causes you.  This could be because of the pills or my guess is the acidity of the ascorbic acid.  Please try taking your is in calcium ascorbate form.  This should be available in many vitamin stores or from a mail-order firm on the 'net.  This will relieve the troubles that I think may be due to the acidity.

From:  A.K.
Date:  5/28/98

Subject: Calcium and Vitamin C

Thank you for your WEBsite.  My brother, who is Down syndrome, broke his ankle about 10 weeks ago.  He is 27 years old.  Two Dr.s recently told my mother that the reason his break is not healing is due to the
incredible amount of Vitamin C he takes in from drinking so much orange juice.  Orange juice is practically the only thing he drinks, aside from a few chocolate shakes.  I'd say he drinks about 4 to 5 quarts of orange juice a day.

Anyway, these Dr.s told my mother that vitamin C inhibits the body from utilizing calcium, or is even harmful to bone structure in large doses.

The body doesn't store vitamin C, so how can it be harmful?  And if this is true that it can inhibit the bodies ability to utilize calcium, then why would OJ companies market OJ with calcium?  We are a little confused.  Please respond if you can.

Answer: I have read in one place that high doses of vitamin C may inhibit calcium absorption, maybe one reason that OJ makers supplement calcium to make up for the reduced utilization.  Also, the same source stated that C may combine with calcium, pulling it from bone and then removing it in the urine.  I find all this somewhat tenuous, although I do take a calcium supplement, which I would advise for your brother.  By the way, vitamin C is a requirement for the development of collagen, the fibrous protein that gives strength to tissues, including our bones and teeth!  Researchers at Harvard suggest that vitamin C "plays a heretofore unrecognized but prominent role in the regulation of bone resorption as well as bone formation", meaning that vitamin C is important to PREVENT bone loss.

Five quarts of orange juice may include 2500mg of vitamin C (if not fresh squeezed by you, you could determine the approximate amount from the nutritional information).  This is not a lot.  Thousands of people take several grams per day.  I have been taking 18,000mg every day for seven years and the only side-effect I have noticed is chronic good health!

One last comment.  Did your doctors run any tests to check vitamin C or calcium status.  I assume not.

From: Alan Thomsen Budde
Date: 3/16/98

I would like to congratulate you on a wonderful site.  I too am very interested in Vitamin C.  I have heard that high doses of Vitamin C might help cure Mononucleosis.  I am interested to know if you have any
knowledge of this or related treatments

Answer: In the Primer section of Cforyourself, under Why Take C ,how much to take, I discuss how much vitamin C to take.  There is a link on that page titled Vitamin C Dosage in Disease, a page by Dr. Cathcart, a leading C expert.

On this page Cathcart has a table to show how much vitamin C a person might need under stress conditions.  Using the 'bowel tolerance limit' as a guide (how much you can take without gastrointestinal distress, the table lists mononucleosis as requiring 150 - 200+ grams per 24 hours, taken in 12 - 25 doses!  This is admittedly a lot, but the 'bowel tolerance limit' is your best judge and fighting infection uses a huge amount of vitamin C.

Cathcart discussed mononucleosis with Linus Pauling.  From Dr. Pauling's book, Dr. Cathcart is quoted:

"Acute mononucleosis is a good example because there is such an obvious difference between the course of the disease, with and without ascorbate.  Also, it is possible to obtain laboratory diagnosis to verify that it is mononucleosis being treated.  Many cases do not require maintenance doses for more than 2 to 3 weeks.  The duration of need can be sensed by the patient.  I had ski patrol patients back skiing on the slopes in a week.  They were instructed to carry their boda bags full of ascorbic acid solution as they skied.  The ascorbate kept the disease symptoms almost completely suppressed even if the basic infection had not completely resolved.  The lymph nodes and spleen returned to normal rapidly and the profound malaise was relieved in a few days.  It is emphasized that tolerance doses must be maintained until the patient senses he is completely well, or the symptoms will recur."

Someone with mono will need to take this much vitamin C in powder form, as 150 pills or more is sure to be a problem in itself.

Date: 3/17/98

From: Dr. David J. Madeira

Let me thank you for and congratulate you on your excellent web site.  I have long recommended that people take Vit. C in "Pauling" size doses.  I was responding to an e-mail question from a friend today and was writing an explanation of it's safety, benefits, history, etc. when, on a lark, I decided to see what was on the web.

Imagine my delight when I discovered your page!  You put everything I want to tell my patients in one place in an extremely user-friendly format. You data is excellent and very accurate!  Thanks for saving me
weeks of work putting together an excellent explanation of this tremendous substance, and about an hour a day explaining Vitamin C to my patients.

With your permission, I would like to point all my patients' browsers to your site for the whole story on "Substance P".  Furthermore, I would like your permission to print your pages for distribution to my patients without Internet access.

Your page represents the incredible promise that the Internet offers for the dissemination of information to empower individuals to activate the healing power that God has put in each of us.  Thanks again for your
"labor of love".

For Better Health,

Dr. David J. Madeira
The Better Health Center
245 N. Mem. Hwy.
Shavertown, PA 18708
(717) 675-4775

 

I also received the following letter from a doctor in Texas whose name I am withholding since he did not give me specific permission to reprint:

Date: 7/28/98

Dear Rusty,

Keep up the good work.  I am a physician that has been converted to the alternative field of healing.  I am a surgeon, but have spent the greater part of the last 10 years getting operated on for 2 major cancers.  I came to the supplements because traditional surgery and medicine did not offer me a cure.  I have been on 3-5 Gms of C (Ester-C lately) for 2 years and I believe it and other supplements have helped decrease the growth of a lieomyoasarcoma in my abdomen.  Been operated 5 times for this one.

But why I write is that someone I trust said she read that mega-doses of C can damage the genetic structure.  She did not know where the study came out of, but I was wondering if you had heard anything of this sort.  Since Dr. Pauling was on 18 GMs or more the last several years of his life I doubt this.

As a now enlightened physician who preached against vitamin supplements for may years (35), I now believe that if traditional doctors utilized Vit C to it's max ability we could make a big dent in the over-use of
antibiotics that is extant in today's health care environment.  I take about 17 supplements daily, but I consider C as the backbone of my whole regimen

Sincerely
Dr. L. G., M.D., F.A.C.S

Date: 3/2/98

From: Deborah Rago

Question: I have read much about putting C on the skin.  The cosmetic companies are selling it at ridiculous prices.  I decided to purchase liquid C at a health food store (no sugar no preservatives) I also purchased Selenium combined the two and tried it on my face.  I was blown away with the results! it took about 2 weeks to notice the change. I don't understand what is happening, but what ever it is, there is not another thing (over the counter)  that can touch it!   QUESTION.... If this can make such a big difference on the skin, what  effect would it have on a woman's cervix.. I ask this, for all who are constantly plagued with dysplasia? A condition many Dr.'s will op for a Hysterectomy (playing it safe).  I guarantee you, if I asked this question of my Dr. his remarks would be Oh please....   I am already aware of Folic Acid helping considerably in RX doses to exfoliate tissue, but, I really believe it's possible to keep these cells
healthy by applying C directly to the cervix.  Has this ever been done? What are your views.  Thank you.

Answer: I have not heard of topical vitamin C used to ameliorate dysplasia.  There are two main reasons why I think vitamin C would be very effective in lessening cervical dysplasia and preventing cervical cancer, whether applied topically or taken orally. 

Firstly, proper nutrition is required for optimum health.  This can be reduced to the cellular level.  It would appear that cervical cells become dysplastic, at least in part, due to the relatively harsh environment of the cervix.  This explains the correlation between dysplasia and sexually transmitted diseases, among other things.  Vitamin C will boost the immune system which will protect these cells, and every other normal cell for that matter, from disease.  In this way, normal cells should be less likely to be abnormal.

Secondly, chemotherapy for cancer is as much an art as a science and positive results from chemotherapy is iffy at best.  This is because there is precious little difference between a healthy cell and a malignant one.  It only stands to reason that our own immune systems would have the best chance of identifying these pseudo-"non-self" cells.  If ones immune system is at its peak (here is another plug for vitamin C), then we have the best chance of defending ourselves against cancer ever getting a foothold.  I refer you to my cancer page for more info on this.

My recommendation would be for everyone to take as much vitamin C as they can (see "How much to take".)  Also, I would be very interested in (and would like to publish) any experiences of women that would try topical vitamin C that have been diagnosed with cervical dysplasia.

Date: 3/2/98

From: Robin Vogel

Question: Hello, my name is Robin Vogel and I am doing research paper on health and laughter, and I was wondering if you could answer some of my questions.

1.Could you please tell me what Norman Cousins says about positive and negative emotions on the body?

2.What would the future benefits to yourself if you keep a positive attitude with laughter in it?

Thank You,

Answer:

I heartily recommend Norman Cousins books "Anatomy of an illness" and "Head First-the biology of Hope."  The connection between attitude and illness is well known.  Doctors talk about "will to live."  Cousins theorized that if a negative attitude would promote a further decline in a patients status, then why wouldn't a positive attitude enhance recovery.  He used this theory in his own case with fabulous results.  I discuss Cousins experience on my site because I think he gives short shrift to the contribution of mega-doses of vitamin C in his recovery.  I am not slamming him here, I just think the C played a larger role than he portrays in his book.

Studies have shown that positive chemical reactions accompany laughter.  We all know that when we are in pain of most any kind, we "forget it" for a moment while laughing.  I would also recommend books by Lawrence LeShan "Cancer as a turning point" and "You can fight for your life."  LeShan talks about the power of purpose in life and how he has helped people overcome cancer.  He believes that if your life does not have a fulfillment for you, you are more likely to get and succumb to cancer.

Date: 1/6/98

From: Conrad Marotta

Question:  What is "bowel tolerance limit" and how does one know when it is reached?

Vitamin C supplementation can cause flatulence or a loose bowel.  This is inconvenient at best.  This is caused when an individual dose or multiple doses close together cause you to have more C than your system can handle at one time. Bowel tolerance limit is the amount just less than the amount that causes trouble.  The reason that this level is of so much interest is that it will in direct proportion to your requirement (see the letter below concerning sick building syndrome.)

If your body is under stress, your bowel tolerance level will go up.  Also, if you are just beginning to supplement you diet with additional vitamin C, this level will slowly go up as your system better utilizes its newfound wealth of this vital nutrient.  Please also see the letter concerning taking too much C.

Date:       Friday, December 19, 1997

From:       Walters, David

Subject:    Vitamin C and colds

I was just perusing through your web site and felt compelled to thank you for your advice and educational information in the topic of Vitamin C and its conditional effectiveness. As most of us this time of the year,  I have felt the symptoms of a cold and the flu coming and going. In the past I have been reactionary to fighting a cold, combating the symptoms after having received a running nose and heated discomfort. This winter I have been less prone to any winter sickness and I am convinced it is through continuing the steady intake of Vitamin C into my diet, a remedy which you have advocated since I have known you. I haven't been sick.

I enjoy you web site and its many articles and references. I especially enjoy the "Letters" section where you respond to those on the Internet who may have questions and issues regarding Vitamin C and its many
attributes. I have a question...Why is a steady intake of Vitamin C important to fending off holiday viruses such as the flu and the cold? How can it help others prepare themselves for anticipated times when
these symptoms are more apt to arise?

Thank you very much.

Answer:   Vitamin C is a requirement for our immune systems.  It is necessary for the development of the specialized cells we manufacture to fight disease.  Our bodies use vitamin C for many functions.  If we are exposed to an infection, our immune systems are mobilized by making the specialized disease-fighting cells.  If we don't have an adequate supply of vitamin C, our bodies ability to fight disease is compromised.  Additionally, we are not able to store much vitamin C, so we can use up what we have very quickly.  This is why it is so important to take large amounts often, especially when our bodies are under stress as they are when exposed to infection.  As a little additional information, the reason we are more susceptible to disease in the winter is due to the additional load on our bodies to keep warm and the stresses of the changing temperatures from inside and outside.   This is why you may have been told that it is healthier to keep the difference in temperature between outside and inside as small as you can while still being comfortable.

Date: 12/16/97

From: Philip Tan

Question: Dangers of stopping supplementation?

What would happen if after taking 1,000 to 2,000 mg of Vit. C a day and then suddenly none ? I have been taking 1000 mg consistently and on a business trip did not take any for a couple of days. I caught a very bad flu when I returned. Did Vit. C or my body's dependence on Vit. C increase my susceptibility when I went without it for several days ? I am continuing my 1,000 mg a day for now and am still hesitant with the 1g an hour recommendation until I can better understand the potential side effects.

Answer: You bring up a controversial subject.  Our bodies are dependent on vitamin C for many, many enzymatic reactions.  If we are not getting an adequate supply of C for optimum health, as hardly anybody does, our bodies will use the C we do get for those reactions required for survival, while allowing others to languish.  If we start supplementing our diets with increased C, our systems will respond by increasing the activity of these C-dependent reactions.  Once we are running at this higher level of increased health, the removal of the supplementation is a shock to our systems, known as "rebound scurvy."  This could explain why you would be more susceptible to illness following a stressful period, your business trip.  Let me make an analogy.

As an individual progresses in their moneymaking ability, their requirements for an ever-greater flow of money increases.  This is why it is an obviously harder adjustment to survive on unemployment if you are used to making many times more than if you were making minimum wage.  I remember when Donald Trump filed bankruptcy, he couldn't scrap by on less than $300,000 per month!  This analogy, while I hope a little humorous, is valid except that our bodies, when given adequate amounts of vitamin C, are not using this nutrient extravagantly, quite the contrary.

Once last point about rebound scurvy.  Some in the medical profession have made the parallel of rebound scurvy to drug dependence and as such that supplementation is dangerous!  This is completely ludicrous!  Vitamin C is essential for good health and drug dependence is anything but health-enhancing.  You may one day find yourself stranded in the desert dying of thirst.  Even so, I would not recommend you trying to wean yourself from your current high dependence on water!

In summary, take your vitamin C and don't stop!

Date: 11/20/97

From: brenda hanson, bhanson@net.big-river.sk.ca

Subject: Vitamin C and Sick Building Syndrome

I was diagnosed with sick building syndrome in 1991.  I was told that there was no treatment and that I would eventually get so sick that I would be unable to leave my home.  My husband and I spent over $30,000 redoing our home and I just got progressively sicker.  I read everything about health that I could get.  The inks made me sick so I would read outside or by a draft that could blow the odour away from me.  I was very ill.  One day I was in a health food store trying to buy organic foods and barely able to tolerate the odours in the store, when the Linus Pauling
book, How To Live Longer and Feel Better, was right in my face on a revolving book display.  I bought it and it saved my life.  Following his formula, page 8, I began to take the vitamins that would cure me of sick building syndrome - and a long-standing egg allergy.  In addition to the regular vitamins he recommends for sick people, I added 40,000 mgs. of vitamin C.  I stayed on that level for about six and a half months before I got better enough to get the loose stool associated with too much vitamin C!  Then, in a week, I had to reduce the amount to 10,000 mgs. I have kept taking this amount, down to 6,000 when I am leading an orderly life and up to 10,000 when really busy or under stress such as fighting a cold or too much work.

There is a cure for sick building syndrome, environmental disease, and chemical sensitivity.  I had it really badly and am now healthier than many others who were not diagnosed with this condition.  This summer, a van full of kids and two moms went off to a sporting event, drove through chemical spray blowing across the road from the farmer's field as it was being treated.  I was driving and was the only one that did not get sick from the experience.  I did not get a headache, stomachache, nausea or a wave of weakness that I had previously had to endure from chemical
sprays or even perfume!  All the others in the van ended up with one of the symptoms at least.  I am cured. Anyone who wishes to contact me to ask questions, please contact me. If you are a doctor, I would be willing to put you in touch with my doctor so that you could help any of your patients.

Contact me by writing to:  B Hanson, Box 667, Big River, Saskatchewan, Canada   S0J 0E0

OR email-  bhanson@net.big-river.sk.ca

Date: 11/10/97

From: Tom Falone

Subject: Vitamin C makes me sick

Question: I have a friend whom believes that vitamin C makes her sick.  I have printed the information on your site for her to read but I'm wondering if you have aver heard of this type of reaction.  She intakes vitamin c in her diet and she drinks orange juice.  I think it's just a phobia but I'm not a doctor or someone who has studied it as you have.  I appreciate any feedback you can give me.  She has also had ovarian cancer but it is now in  remission.

Answer: I have heard of people having side-effects to vitamin C.  Separate from the bowel tolerance limit discussed on the web site, people react differently to the different forms of vitamin C that are available for oral use.  I assume the supplementation your friend takes is in the form of tablets, probably 500 or 1000mg each.

The vitamin C in these tablets is usually in the form of ascorbic acid.  This ascorbic acid is combined with God knows what to allow it to be formed into a pill.  Your friend's reaction could be to the acidity of the ascorbic acid itself or, more likely, to something else in the pills.  My recommendation would be for her to try a different brand of C tablet.  She could try a non-acidic form (calcium ascorbate or sodium ascorbate tablets) or try a powder like I use.  Try Wholesale Nutrition.

Please encourage her to experiment until she finds a method that doesn't bother her.  A high intake of vitamin C is especially important for her to help maintain her cancer remission.

Date: 10/30/97

From: R.Stone @...

Subject: Vitamin C and platelet count

Question: I have just read a letter on the Internet from a women who spoke on the benefits of taking large doses of vitamin c to increase platelet count. She said NORD gave her information on treating people with vit c who have low platelet count.  According to her, her platelet count did in fact go up to a safe level. She was taking 2,000 mg. a day. I also have a low platelet count and would like to know if you have heard of this theory. Thank you.

Answer: The only reference I can find to low platelet count is in a letter from Dr. Cathcart referencing work with AIDS patients.  He sites one patient taking massive amounts of C.  This patient's platelet count went from 13,000 to 64,000 in 1 1/2 weeks. This is amazing.

If I can broaden your question to: Will vitamin C supplementation help me be in a better state of health?, the answer is an unquestionable yes.  Given this, I would recommend that you start taking vitamin C to bowel tolerance limit, increasing the dosage gradually as bowel tolerance limit increases and continue taking at least several grams a day from now on!

If you do, I would appreciate you letting me know if it helps your low platelet situation.

Date: 10/18/98

From: SN@aol.com

Subject: Question about Vitamin C for children

Question: I would like to start giving my boys ages 12 and 9 extra vitamin C daily.  The problem is that I don't know what dosage to give them without poisoning them.  Would you have any suggestion as to how much Vitamin C a child should take and while I'm asking how much should I, a 28 year old mother take.

Thank you Sincerely,

Answer: I have just updated the web site section on how much C to take @

How Much To Take

I have included a discussion about the safety of vitamin C.  Under no circumstances and at no dosage level is vitamin C poisonous!  I have read a rule of thumb for children that recommends a dosage of 1000mg/year old.  This might be a good start.  The real answer for your kids and yourself is that you should take as much as you can without gastrointestinal distress.  This level will go up gradually as your body slowly recovers from sub-clinical scurvy.  Also, the level will increase if your body experiences increased stress (e.g. exposure to infection.)  I have taken as much as 60 grams in a 24 hour period when I felt sickness coming on.  The effects were that I didn't get sick!

I would recommend 1000mg tablets if you are going to take a couple grams a day.  I don't recommend that your kids take lots of the sugary chewables, although this is preferable to not taking the C.  I get powder (I recommend bronsonline.com, product #50 sodium ascorbate), then stir some of this in a little water twice a day.

I hope this helps, let me know if my answer was incomplete and thanks for visiting Cforyourself.

Date: 10/15/98

From: R.T., @classic.msn.com

Subject: How Do We "Catch" a Cold?

Question: Please tell me how does the virus that causes us to catch cold travel?  Does weather play a part in our getting colds?  Remember when you couldn't sit in a draft - couldn't go out to play because it was too cold outside?  Or the many other 'old wives' tales' that we heard.  Are any of them true?

Answer: A cold is a virus that is transmitted from person to person.  You cannot catch a cold except if exposed to someone carrying a "cold" virus.

From Linus Pauling's book Vitamin C and the Common Cold:

"Development of a cold after exposure to the virus is determined to some extent by the state of health of the person and by environmental factors.  Fatigue, chilling of the body, wearing of wet clothing and wet shoes, and the presence of irritating substances in the air make it more likely that the cold will develop.  Experimental studies indicate, however, that these factors, fatigue, chilling, wearing of wet clothing, and presence of irritating substances in the air, are not so important as is generally believed (Andrewes, 1965; DebrÈ and Celers,1970)."

What this boils down to is that we are susceptible to catching a cold when exposed to it from another person who is carrying the virus.  Whether or not a cold develops in us depends on how strong is our "resistance."  If you are suffering from a vitamin C deficiency (most everyone is), then you are much more likely to catch cold and to be sick longer.  Additionally, if your body is exposed to other stress, such as mentioned above, which requires your body to expend additional energy to maintain body temperature, then that adds to the likelihood of illness.

So I guess that makes the answer to your question "yes".

Date: 10/6/98

From: R.W., Chattaroy, W

Subject: IV Vitamin C During Surgery for Faster Healing

Question: In Dr. Andrew Weil's "Self-Healing" Newsletter for September, an article entitled "Ten Steps to Successful Surgery" addressed the subject of my letter. I am scheduled for surgery on Oct 16 to replace two heart valves and consequently will speak to my surgeon on October 8 about authorizing an IV of Vitamin C @ 20 gms/24 hour period during surgery.

It would certainly be helpful to have in hand studies that support the subject of my letter when I speak with him on October 8. Any assistance you can give me in locating materials would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you.


Answer: From "The Vitamin C Connection", page 59:

     "Harold G. Kuehner of Mercy Hospital in Pittsburgh started using 2000mg of intravenously administered vitamin C before and after surgery in 50 seriously ill patients subjected to major abdominal operations: gastric resections, complex gallbladder and liver surgery, rectal and bowel resections.  He reported..."a more vital convalescence with less serious complications or sequellae than 50 such cases which were operated on without the aid of vitamin C."

Even more relevant to you, from "Vitamin C, Nature's Miraculous Healing Missile", page 218-219:

     "Three University of Texas physicians recommended that vitamin C should be given to all patients undergoing surgery.  Drs. Fujino, Dawson and McGanty said they reached that conclusion after measuring blood levels of the vitamin in 95 female patients throughout abdominal and vaginal surgery.  Although vitamin C levels increased during actual surgery, sharp decreases were noted during the first postoperative day.  Of course one only has to read Sebrell/Harris to know that an increase utilization occurs in any form of shock and particularly surgical shock.  If the patient is not supplemented he may suffer postoperative thrombosis or succumb to infection..."

From "The Clinical Guide to the Use of Vitamin C", page 38,

     "Dr. Klenner (ed. one of the most clinically-experienced doctor using vitamin C) used 10 grams preoperatively intravenously and 10 grams in each postoperative bottle and then 10 grams orally when eating resumed.  Surgical wounds rarely separated with this method.  Fractures healed faster.  (Some surgeons will give 10 grams of vitamin C at the end of the operation and the patient is awake and alert in 60 seconds.  No need for the nausea and vomiting in the recovery room.)"

In addition to the information above, I would like to share some of my thoughts.  Unfortunately, most doctors know pitifully little about nutrition.  The odds would suggest that your surgeon will be skeptical about mega-doses of vitamin C because of a lack of knowledge.

I know you want to approach him/her armed with the most data you can get and I hope I've helped, but let's talk strategy.  I think we need to consider the scenario that your information convinces your doctor that vitamin C would probably be OK, but that the dosage you are talking about is ill-considered at best.  Besides the direct approach of presenting the evidence to support the high doses (don't back down here, dosage is everything!), I think a tangential strategy may work better.  Here it is.

When discussing surgery, risk assessment is always considered (i.e. are the risks of the surgery outweighed by the potential benefit to the patient.)  Let's take this approach to the vitamin C dosage.  You have substantial reason to believe that these high doses are important and that lower dosages will be decreasingly beneficial.  Given this, I think it is not enough for your doctor to demand a smaller dosage without substantial justification.  Saying that it's "a lot" doesn't cut it!  Since the toxicity of vitamin C is practically zero, I think it falls on your doctor to justify why a smaller dosage than the experts recommend is advised.

I have received another letter regarding surgery that I would like to share as I have some additional information and I applaud the doctors involved for their openness.  Here it is:


Question: HELP!

My husband is scheduled for surgery to remove an acoustic neuroma on Tuesday, March 3, 1998 at Duke University.  The surgery will be performed by Debara L. Tucci, MD (Otolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery)
and Robert Wilkins, MD (Neurosurgery).  I have requested that Dr. Tucci consider the vitamin C therapy described below (From Dr. Weil's archived website) but she has requested supporting information before she will consider it. 

Can you provide supporting information to me?

Thank you.

Kathy Guest

Vitamin C Aids Recovery from Surgery?

Have you heard about the intravenous use of vitamin C both before and after  surgery to promote faster healing? -- Anonymous

[This is from Dr. Weil-ed.] Yes. I usually recommend taking 20 grams of vitamin C a day mixed with intravenous fluids, beginning with the IV drip in the operating room and continuing for five days, or until the drip is removed. The problem? Many patients are turned down, either by their doctor or the hospital pharmacy, who are likely to say it's not part of their protocol. Persist. Have your family and friends persist. Then you should be able to get it done. Recently, a friend's brother had surgery for esophageal cancer, and his physician - one of the top gastric surgeons in New York - at  first resisted his request for vitamin C, but eventually complied. Not surprising to me, the surgeon was so impressed with the speed of healing that he now plans to use vitamin C therapy with other patients.

Answer: I got a similar question some time ago (see above.)  Since then I have found some additional information from Klenner, one of the most highly regarded authorities on vitamin C.  From his paper, -----------"Observations On the Dose and Administration of Ascorbic Acid When Employed Beyond the Range Of A Vitamin In Human Pathology" published in the Journal of Applied Nutrition Vol. 23, No's 3 & 4, Winter 1971:

Observations following post-surgery cases on blood plasma levels of ascorbic acid. Deduction is evident of the need for substantial amounts of ascorbic acid prior to surgery.

In 1960 and again in 1966, in papers delivered before the Tri-State Medical Society, I called attention to the "scurvy" levels of ascorbic acid found in postoperative patients. Plasma levels recorded before starting anesthesia and after cessation of such inhalants and completion of surgery remained unchanged. This has lead many to believe that surgery created little or no demand for supplemental "C". We found, however, that samples of blood taken six hours after surgery showed drops of approximately 1/4 the starting amount and at 12 hours the levels were down to one-half. Samples taken 24 hours later, without added ascorbic acid to fluids, showed levels 3/4 lower than the original samples. Baylor University research team reported similar findings in 1965. Bartlett, Jones[48] and others reported that in spite of low levels of plasma ascorbic acid at time of surgery, normal wound healing may be produced by adequate vitamin C therapy during the postoperative period. Lanman and Ingalls[47] showed that the tensile strength of healing wounds is lowered in the presence of "scurvy plasma levels". Schumacher[48] reported that the preoperative use of as little as 500 mg of vitamin C given orally "was remarkably successful in preventing shock and weakness" following dental extractions. Many other investigators have shown in both laboratory and clinical studies, that optimal primary wound healing is dependent to a large extent upon the vitamin C content of the tissues.

In 1949, it was my privilege to assist at an abdominal exploratory laparotomy. A mass of small viscera was found "glued together". The area was so friable that every attempt at separation produced a torn intestine. After repairing some 20 tears the surgeon closed the cavity as a hopeless situation. Two grams ascorbic acid was given by syringe every two hours for 48 hours and then 4 times each day. In 36 hours the patient was walking the halls and in seven days was discharged with normal elimination and no pain. She has outlived her surgeon by many years. We recommend that all patients take 10 grams ascorbic acid each day. Where this is not done and the surgery is elective, then 10 grams by mouth should be given for several weeks prior to surgery. At least 30 grams should be given, daily, in solutions, post-operatively, until oral medication is allowed and tolerated.

And:

In Surgery.

In surgery the use of ascorbic acid resolves itself into a "must" situation. The 24 hour frank scurvy levels should be sufficient evidence to encourage all surgeons to use vitamin C freely in their fluids. Proper employment of vitamin C by the surgeons will all but eliminate the post-surgery deaths. ----------------

I highly recommend high-dose vitamin C at all times.  This is especially true when the body is under stress or trauma, as is the case of surgery.  Please have your husband supplement now orally (you too, for that matter)  and continue until and after surgery.  Please let me know if you convince your doctor to administer vitamin C in the IV during surgery and during the post-op stage.

I'd appreciate you letting me know how things work out.

Date: 5/5/98

From: Michelle McNulty

Subject: Vitamin C and Allergies

Question:  I am suffering from Allergies.  Or so I think.  I am told by one doctor to take 1,000 mg of Vitamin C a day, but he also told me that if it is truly allergies and not some sort of infection the Vitamin C will make it worse.  How does Vitamin C affect allergies?

Answer:  Our bodies have different levels of sensitivity to different substances.  Some things don't agree with us.  From my Asthma page:

According to Irwin Stone in "The Healing Factor",

ìan allergy is an abnormal, excessive biochemical response by the body to the introduction of a foreign substance (allergen). It is a bodily defense mechanism which has gotten out of hand...If the allergen enters through the skin, it may cause rashes or other skin disorders, the so-called contact allergies. If the allergen is a drug or a certain food it may cause digestive upsets and other systemic symptoms of drug or food allergies.  Bronchial allergies are termed "asthma".

Also from the Asthma page, "it appears that vitamin C plays two important roles in lessening the symptoms of asthma.  The first and foremost is the role C plays in with our immune system.  The bodies production of immune system cells is dependent on vitamin C. The higher the ìchallengeî, the more our C is used up.  It is important to remember that when exposed to a stress, the vitamin C in our bodies can be used up in a matter of seconds!  This is why it is especially important to take vitamin C in multiple doses throughout the day when we are under stress.

The second role of C is as an antioxidant.  Asthma attacks often occur when the lungs are under stress from allergens.  These allergens often produce oxidants that weaken the smooth muscle wall of the bronchi.  Vitamin C is the primary antioxidant in the lungs.  This may help squelch the oxidants, prevent them from weakening the lungs and avoid an attack."

As you can see, vitamin C plays an important role in boosting the body's defenses.  Indeed, you should take 1000mg of vitamin C every day, probably much more!  Without knowing the particular reasons for stating it, the statement that vitamin C will make your "allergies" worse seems like nonsense to me.

Date: 7/25/98

Subject: Human Growth Hormone

From: Janice

Question: Have you heard of this company that offers a brand new spray delivery system for GH (growth hormone)? Evidently it just hit the market as an homeopathic dietary supplement, much cheaper than the injectable.

I've heard GH is the Master Hormone, clinically proven for losing fat, gaining muscle, higher energy level, superior immune function, enhanced sexual performance, lowered blood pressure, improved cholesterol profile, younger, tighter skin, wrinkle removal, eliminate cellulite, regrowth of vital organs that shrink with age, increased athletic performance, hair regrowth, sharper vision, mood elevation and awareness, increased memory retention, improved quality of sleep, stronger bones, faster wound healing, etc.

Thank you in advance!

Health & Happiness,

Answer: I visited the site.  Human growth hormone holds tremendous promise.  Durk Pearson and Sandy Shaw, the scientists that wrote the now-classic "Life Extension" talk extensively about L-arginine and L-ornithine, both growth hormone releasers.  Growth hormone is created and released into our systems as a response to exercise.  Once we turn about 30, exercise no longer generates this release of growth hormone anywhere near the way it does earlier.  This is why teenagers can eat practically anything at any quantity and seemingly be the picture of health and vitality.

Human growth hormone is very exciting.  I, personally am turned off by the marketing approach pushed by this web site.  I would recommend you read the book referred to and maybe try the product, or the amino acids I mentioned above and see.  Taking L-ornithine and L-arginine is safe, even in the multiple-gram doses that Pearson and Shaw discuss.

 

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