Great posts so far and a good discussion!
I have been rereading the posts from vitamin C complex advocates, trying to better understand their arguments. One argument seems to be based on evolution. (If we needed so much, why are we here?) And the corollary seems to be that we who recommend high vitamin C intake are "silly" given the fact that man evolved to this point without the ability to make any vitamin C.
One can understand why many people would doubt that humans really require massive oral intakes or "megadose" vitamin C. (This is the essence of the old-fashioned " vitamin C is only a vitamin" theory.) This attitude is one many medical doctors take. And it has been addressed here to some extent, (but the posts on the diets of early humans were apparently old and no longer exist in toto
What follows is another attempt to explain why modern human's ascorbate requirements are much higher than primitive man's were.
Dr. Archie Kalokerinos experience in Australia can be considered an important experiment between civilizations. As related in his landmark book EVERY SECOND CHILD
, the health problems of modern humans is caused by their modern diets (and immuniza
tions!). The primitive aborigines lived well on their primitive diet, but succumbed to the ravages of Western civilization, including and especially scurvy, as soon as they adopted the high-sugar, highly processed food diet of modern Australians.
Thus the answer why humans were able to survive without the endogenous ability to produce ascorbate, an ability that virtually every other species requires for its survival, has everything to do with the diet of early man prior to agriculture.
EVERY SECOND CHILD
Anyone who believes in a vitamin C complex, or doubts that Vitamin C is really vitamin C, should read Dr. Kalokerinos’s book. In a nutshell, as a young doctor, Archie was sent by the Australian government to live with aborigines and find out what was killing every other baby soon after birth. Dr. Kalokerinos investigated for more than a year, feeling hopeless in the face of a heart-breaking epidemic. Finally, he got the idea to try vitamin C. The vitamin C shots worked immediately. It turned out that the babies were suffering frank scurvy, and one shot could revive them back to normal in no time, even just moments before what his experience had taught him would be their last. A miracle. The child mortality rate dropped from 50% to 0.
So, was Archie made a National hero? Hardly, the rest of the book describes the unbelievable resistance he met in the orthodox medical establishment. But politics aside, this experience can teach us many things.
First, on their primitive diet, the aborigines health was good and their children did not generally die young. It was only after they were encouraged to adopt the "modern" western, highly processed food diet, that their children began dying. So this "experiment" shows us that people with similar genetic characteristics who live well on a primitive diet, suffer frank scurvy, almost from birth, on a modern diet.
Second, the vitamin C isolate instantly saved these children’s lives, not a vitamin C complex.
(I would challenge any vitamin C complex advocate - at their own risk - to put the so-called C-complex in an IV and accept the complex intravenously themselves. Any takers? Of course not. They can’t even define what the C-complex is
Interesting tribute to Kalokerinos
Pauling agrees with Archie's conclusion that the high infant mortality rate among Aborigines is due to immunizations and a low body content of vitamin C and writes that "Dr Kalokerinos deserves much credit for making these discoveries." Dr Pauling, in another fine Foreword, this one to the forthcoming book by Dettman and Kalokerinos, "Vitamin C - Nature's Miraculous Healing Missile", writes of his disappointment after nearly 20 years since "Every Second Child" first appeared, and that "even today none of the many Crib Death organizations will even discuss vitamin C.
I would like the advocates to explain why the C-complex is not simply a diversionary tactic? If you can't explain what it really is, (Science has determined the nature of Ascorbic Acid), you can't explain why animals don't make it, or why primitive cultures can live without it, and your quotes to the great grand father of Vitamin C are wrong, or taken out of context, and finally with an explanation of how we could have evolved to require less vitamin C on a primitive diet, I don't understand the appeal of the Complex idea?
If I were in charge of a clandestine group charged with keeping knowledge of vitamin C from the public, I don't know if I would have been smart enough to come up with the "Natural C Complex" idea, but it is brilliant. It either makes well-meaning advocates (mostly Chiropractors who listen to Standard Process) look silly in the eyes of medical doctors and scientists, or, should the idea take hold (as it apparently has), it would help mask the value of high doses of the pure isolate! The C-complex movement is a Win-Win-Win for Big Pharma.
I conclude that the C-complex is a diversionary tactic designed by someone behind the scenes to hide the benefits of vitamin C from the public. (I am not trying to smear all the well meaning people who are supporting it - they are simply naive.)
Owen R. Fonorow, Orthomolecular Naturopath