MEGASCORBATE THERAPIES: Vitamin C in Medicine: Vol 1, 1


Copyright (c) 1997 "The Vitamin C Foundation "

ascorbic acid - a water soluble vitamin, C6H8O6, occurring in citrus fruits, green vegetables, etc., essential for normal metabolism: used in the prevention and treatment of scurvy: Also called vitamin C






By Patrick Holford

Most Animals Produce The Equivalent Of 3 to 15 Grams of Vitamin C Every Day

Vitamin C isn't a vitamin at all. It isn't a necessary component of diet, at least for all mammals with the exception of guinea pigs, fruit eating bats, the red vented bulbul bird and primates - which includes us. All other species make their own.

This they do by converting glucuronic acid derived from glucose into ascorbic acid (C6H8O6). Three enzymes are required to make this conversion. One of these enzymes, or part of the enzyme system, is missing in primates. Irwin Stone proposed, in 1965, that a negative mutation may have occurred in these species so as to lose the ability to produce vitamin C. In primates this is thought to have occurred in the region of 25 million years ago.

Mutations can and frequently do occur in nature. Only those that put a species at advantage at the time tend to become dominant. Unfortunately, reversing such mutations is highly unlikely to occur. Unlike other vitamins, vitamin C is required in large amounts which could only be supplied by a tropical diet high in fruit and other vegetation. if sufficient vitamin C could be obtained from such a diet the quantity of glucose normally used to synthesize vitamin C could be channeled towards energy production. This could conceivably have been an advantage for primates or other species.

This advantage may have come at a price. Dr. Jungblut, an early pioneer of vitamin C therapy in the 1930's, discovered that only us primates and guinea pigs were susceptible to scurvy as well as anaphylactic shock, pulmonary tuberculosis, diptheritic intoxication, a poliomyelitis-like viral infection and a viral form of leukemia. None of the vitamin C synthesizing laboratory animals had susceptibility to these diseases. This is perhaps one of the first observations that led to the idea that susceptibility to viral infections could be a consequence of vitamin C deficiency. Could humanity's history of disease - endemic infections, plagues and more recently cancer and heart disease - be the result of our inability to produce vitamin C and our inability to obtain it from the food we eat?

Vitamin C produced per day by different animal species
(equivalent for 70 Kg Man)

Goat 2,280 - 13,300 mg
Rat 2,737 - 13,902 mg
Rabbit 1,547 - 15,820 mg
Cow 1,099 - 1,281 mg
Mouse 2,352 - 19,250 mg
Sheep 1,736 mg
Cat 336 - 2,800 mg

More than 50% of People Require Over 2,500 mg to Reach Maximum Absorption

Vitamin C is One of the Least Toxic Substances Known to Man

The fact that almost all species continue to make vitamin C suggests that the amount of vitamin C generally available from diet is not enough for optimum nutrition except in exceptional circumstances such as a tropical environment. The chart above shows the average amount produced by each animal, adjusted to an equivalent body weight for Man. Under normal circumstances the daily amount produced, adjusted for comparison to a 70 kg man, is somewhere between 3,000 mg and 15,000 mg, with an average of 5,400 mg.

Species of monkeys, such as the squirrel monkey, require an equivalent of 2,000 mg a day to maintain health and up to 1000 mg a day to maintain blood levels found in the wild. Animals produce variable amounts depending on their circumstances. Under conditions of stress or infection synthesis can easily quadruple. Some primates appear to require up to 2,800 mg a day equivalent to survive the long-term stresses of captivity, while guinea pigs require 3,000 mg per day to recover from anesthesia.

What about us? While a mere 60 mg a day can prevent scurvy, the deficiency disease first identified by Dr. James Lind in 1753, it would be illogical to assume that this is the optimal dose. A survey of doctors in the US found that those who were healthiest consumed at least 250 mg of vitamin C per day. A recent survey has shown that a person's vitamin status is a good predictor of their mortality risk. High blood vitamin C levels indicate a low risk for cardiovascular disease and certain types of cancer and other immune based diseases. Optimal intakes to reduce risk of such conditions would appear to be at least 500 mg per day.

Expensive Urine?

But aren't you simply making expensive urine when you take large amounts of supplements? Dr. Michael Colgan investigated this often made rebuttal. He investigated how much vitamin C we use by giving increasing daily doses and measuring excretion. "Only a quarter of our subjects reached their vitamin C maximum at 1,500 mg a day. More than half required over 2,500 mg a day to reach a level where their bodies could use no more. Four subjects did not reach their maximum at 5,000 mg." Increasing vitamin C intake from 50 mg to 500 mg tends to double serum vitamin C levels. Increasing intake to 5,000 mg a day will double serum levels again. Expensive urine? Vitamin C protects the bowel, kidneys and bladder on the way out. As Dr. Michael Colgan points out the average victim of bowel or bladder cancer spends $26,000 for treatment - mostly to no avail.

While it is valid to infer from this brief history of evolution, a comparison with other species, and average excretion rates that optimal vitamin C levels are probably above 1,000 mg with plenty of room for individual variation,what about 'hard evidence'? What levels are required to ensure maximum function of enzymes and body systems dependent on vitamin C? A quick review of some of vitamin C's hundreds of biochemical roles will help us here. Vitamin C is required for the synthesis of collagen. Our intercellular glue that keeps skin, lungs, arteries, the digestive tract and all organs intact. It is a potent anti-oxidant protecting against free radicals, pollution, carcinogens, heavy metals, and other toxins. It is strongly anti-viral and mildly anti-bacterial. Energy cannot be made in any cell, brain or muscle without adequate vitamin C. The adrenal glands have a high concentration of vitamin C which is essential for stress hormone synthesis. Vitamin C is so central in so many chemical reactions in the body that,without it, life is simply not possible.

Are Western Killer Diseases Symptoms of a Vitamin C Deficiency?

The immune system depends on having healthy immune cells and associate molecules such as antibodies. Vitamin C is essential for both. Antibody production increases on supplementing 1 gram of vitamin C. It is also needed for interferon, complement, and prostaglandin production, and is essential for the proper function of immune cells such as lymphocytes and leukocytes. A recent study showed, in the test tube, that vitamin C can even inactivate the HIV virus.

Thanks to the work of Linus Pauling and coworkers we know that 10 grams of vitamin C doubles the life expectancy of cancer patients, and, in some cases effects a complete cure. Its role is even more pivotal in cardiovascular disease, which is now being postulated as the long-term consequence of vitamin C deficiency. Just about every marker of cardiovascular disease, arterial damage, high blood cholesterol levels, low HDL levels, high levels of oxidized cholesterol, thick blood are all improved by adequate vitamin C intake at levels up to 10 grams a day. Vitamin C increases resistance to stress, lessens allergic reactions, helps arthritic conditions, slows down the aging process and improves energy production. Beneficial effects of vitamin C in human trials tend to increase with the amount given up to, and above, 10 grams per day. On the basis of research into vitamin C's effect on disease states it would appear that an intake of somewhere between 1 and 10 grams may be optimal simply for maintaining optimal function of the immune, endocrine and cardiovascular system.

How Much Is Too Much?

Dr. Robert Cathcart believes the ideal intake for any individual is the highest level they can tolerate without loose bowels. On the basis of his experience with 11,000 patients over 14 years this bowel tolerance level may be 10 to 15 grams in a healthy person, 30 to 60 grams in a person with a cold, and over 199 grams per day in a person with a serious infectious illness. During an infectious illness the best clinical results have been achieved by maintaining high vitamin C levels in the blood through 3 or more grams every four hours.

Fortunately, vitamin C is one of the least toxic substances known to man. Four studies gave 10 grams of vitamin C to over 3000 patients without a single reported incidence of toxicity. Other than the bowels there has not been one single case of toxicity resulting from taking vitamin C supplements, despite unfounded reports of potential risk for kidney stones, raising blood uric acid levels, or 'rebound' scurvy. It is unlikely that any vitamin has been tested to such an extent for toxicity and it is safe to assume that supplemental levels of at least 10 grams a day, or up to bowel tolerance, are completely safe.


Whichever way you look at it the figures come out in the same ballpark. The optimum intake is likely to be in the region of 1,000 mg (1 gram) to 10,000 mg (10 grams) per day, If you are in the grips of cardiovascular disease, an infectious or immune system disease, or cancer the ideal level may be much higher. If you drink excessive amounts of alcohol, live in a polluted city, have a stressful lifestyle, take drugs including aspirin, or smoke, your optimal intake will again be raised. An intake of 200 to 300 mg of vitamin C per day is required to raise the average smoker's vitamin C level to that of a non-smoker. An intake of around 50 mg per cigarette probably affords maximum protection.

Albert Szent Gyorgi, who isolated vitamin C in 1928, recommends 1 gram daily. Dr. Michael Colgan takes 5 grams daily. Dr. Linus Pauling takes 10 to 18 grams daily. I take 5 grams daily on top of a diet rich in food sources of vitamin C. The choice is yours.


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MEGASCORBATE THERAPIES: Vitamin C in Medicine: Vol 1, 1


Copyright (c) 1997 "The Vitamin C Foundation "

Article Adapted From
The Healing Factor: Introduction


Against Disease



By Irwin Stone



Coming in the next issue: OUR ANCESTRAL PRIMATE

If we reset the dials in our Time Machine and travel to a point about 450 million years ago, we may be able to witness the start of another notable experiment by Nature. In the seas are the beginnings of the vertebrates, a long line of animals that will eventually evolve into the mammals and man. These are the animals with a more or less rigid backbone, containing the start of a well-organized and complex nervous and muscular system, and capable of reacting much more efficiently to their environment than the swarms of simpler, spineless invertebrates, which had apparently reached the end of their evolutionary rope. Nature was ready to embark on another revolutionary, and more complicated, experiment.

Because of the increased complexity of their nervous system and a fast-acting muscular system, these primitive vertebrate fishes were able to gather food better and avoid enemies and other perils, all of which had increased survival value. Before they could do this, however, they had to develop complex, specialized organ systems in which various biochemical processes were carried out. And their requirements for ascorbic acid were undoubtedly much higher because of their much increased activity. The simpler structures of the invertebrates no longer sufficed and required much modification to suit the needs of these more active and alert upstarts, the vertebrates.

The vertebrate fishes were such a successful evolutionary experiment that for the next 100 million years or so they dominated the waters. Nature was now ready to carry out another experiment -- that of taking the animals out of the crowded seas and putting them on dry land. It had experience in this sort of operation since the plants had long ago left the seas and were well established on land. The land was no longer a place of barren fields, but was covered with dense vegetation. Two lines of modification were tried: in one, the fish was structurally modified so that it could clumsily exist out of the water; in the other, a more complete renovation job was done. Modifications of the fins and the swim bladder ended in the evolutionary blind alley of the lung fishes, but the more ambitious program -- involving a complete change in the biochemistry and life cycle -- produced a more successful line -- the amphibians. These creatures are born in the water and spend their early life there and then they metamorphose into land-living forms. Frogs and salamanders are present-day denizens of this group. The next step in evolution was to produce wholly land-living animals -- the reptiles. These were scaly animals that slithered, crawled, walked, or ran; and some grew to prodigious size. Some preferred swimming and reverted to the water and others took to the air. It was these airborne species that eventually evolved into the warm-blooded birds. The birds are of particular interest to us because they solved an ascorbic acid problem in the same fashion as the primitive mammals, which were appearing on the scene at about this time.

We have gone into this cursory sketch of this period of evolutionary history to trace the possible history of ascorbic acid in these ancient animals. If we assume that the present-day representatives of the amphibians, the reptiles, the birds, and the mammals have the same biochemical systems as their remote ancestors, then we can do some more detective work on our elusive molecule. These complex vertebrates all have well-defined organ systems that are assigned certain definite functions. Usually an organ has a main biological function and also many other accessory, but no less important, biochemical responsibilities. The kidney, whose main function is that of selective filtration and excretion, is also the repository of enzyme systems for the production of vitally important chemicals needed by the body. The liver, the largest organ of the body, functions mainly to neutralize poisons, produce bile, and act as a storage depot for carbohydrate reserves; but it also has many other duties to perform.

In examining present-day creatures we find that in the fishes, amphibians, and reptiles, the place where ascorbic acid is produced in the body is localized in the kidney. When we investigate the higher vertebrates, the mammals, we find that the liver is the production site and the kidneys are inactive. Apparently, during the course of evolution the production of enzymes for the synthesis of ascorbic acid was shifted from the small, biochemically crowded kidneys to the more ample space of the liver. This shift was the evolutionary response to the needs of the more highly developed species for greater supplies of this vital substance.

The birds are of particular interest because they illustrate this transition. In the older orders of the birds, such as the chickens, pigeons, and owls, the enzymes for synthesizing ascorbic acid are in the kidneys. In the more recently evolved species, such as the mynas and song birds, both the kidneys and the liver are sites of synthesis; and in other species only the liver is active and the kidneys are no longer involved in the manufacture of ascorbic acid. Thus we have a panoramic picture of this evolutionary change in the birds, where the process has been "frozen" in their physiology for millions of years.

This evolutionary shift from the kidneys to the liver took place at a time when temperature regulatory mechanisms were evolving and warm-blooded animals were developing from the previous cold-blooded vertebrates. In the cold-blooded amphibians and reptiles, the amounts of ascorbic acid that were produced in their small kidneys sufficed for their needs. However, as soon as temperature regulatory means were evolved -- producing the highly active, warm-blooded mammals -- the biochemically crowded kidneys could no longer supply ascorbic acid in ample quantities. Both the birds and the mammals, the two concurrently evolving lines of vertebrates, independently arrived at the same solution to their physiological problem: the shift to the liver.

Coming in the next issue: OUR ANCESTRAL PRIMATE


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MEGASCORBATE THERAPIES: Vitamin C in Medicine: Vol 1, 1


Copyright (c) 1997 "The Vitamin C Foundation "

Significance of High Daily Intake of Ascorbic Acid in Preventive Medicine

By Frederick Robert Klenner

Original version: Journal of Preventive Medicine. Spring, 1974.

The killing power of ascorbic acid on virus bodies has been demonstrated by me in hundreds of cases, many of which were treated in our hospital with nothing but vitamin C. We have published some 28 papers on this matter.


The American Medical Association in its introduction to Nostrums, Quackery and Pseudo-Medicine states: " In from 80 to 85 percent of all cases of human ailment, it is probable that the individual will get well whether he does something for his indisposition or does nothing for it. The healing power of nature, fortunately for biologic perpetuity, works that way." These percentages are relative. Increased population and greater concentration in terms of living patterns, as well as other types of insult to the body, will frequently change this index. As physicians we have a duty to get the patient well, irrespective of his chance for self-healing with diet or herbs. Hippocrates once declared. "Of several remedies physicians should choose the least sensational." Vitamin C would seem to meet this requirement.


The common cold has received renewed interest since publication of Pauling's book [I]. Brody, [2] in 1953, after studying vitamin C and its effect on colds in college students, advised that ascorbic acid be given early and often and in sufficient amounts. This confirmed what we had been experiencing and reporting over a period of several years. The response that we observed with massive and frequent doses of ascorbic acid in treating the common cold alerted us to the real significance of this treatment in preventive medicine. In February 1948, [3] I published my first paper on the use of massive doses of vitamin C in treating virus pathology. By February 1960, [4] some 25 scientific papers later, I realized that every head cold must be considered as a probable source of brain pathology. Many have died, especially children, following the sudden development of cerebral manifestations secondary to even a slight head and/or chest cold. These insidious cerebral happenings are responsible for the so-called crib deaths attributed to suffocation. They die by suffocation, but by way of a syndrome similar to that found in cephalic tetanus toxemia culminating in diaphragmatic spasm, with dyspnea and finally asphyxia. These infants and children who have been put to bed apparently well, except for an insignificant nasal congestion will demonstrate bilateral pneumonitis at autopsy. Adequate vitamin C, taken daily, will eliminate this syndrome. A similar pathology, dubbed Crib Syndrome, is less acute but unless recognized and treated heroically, the infant will also die. This condition is probably due to severe brain trauma received at time of delivery. Laryngismus stridulous will be present in this condition and the child will sound as if it has a cold. Calcium gluconate and massive, frequent injections of vitamin C will also reverse this pathology. The recognized treatment is daily oral dihydrotachysterol. Adequate ascorbic acid taken during the period of gestation will also prevent the occurrence of this syndrome.

The information relative to crib syndrome is backed by case histories at Annie Penn Memorial Hospital, Reidsville, N.C. I have seen children dead in less than two hours after hospital admission, having received no treatment, simply because the attending physicians were not impressed with their illness. A few grams of ascorbic acid, given by needle, while they waited for laboratory procedures or examination to fit their schedule, could have saved their lives. I know this to be a fact because I have been in similar situations and by routinely employing ascorbic acid have seen death take a holiday. In a paper titled "An Insidious Virus," [5] I reasoned that it should be a maxim of medicine for large doses of vitamin C to be given in all pathological conditions while the physician ponders his diagnosis. The wisdom of this dictum is backed by many hundreds of cases under our supervision. I have seen critically ill chest patients well enough to go home after intravenous injection of 1 or 2 liters of 5 percent dextrose in water, each carrying 50 gm ascorbic acid. This procedure resulted in a dramatic transition from sickness to health.

Virus encephalitis can also be associated with the common cold as a result of the presence of herpes simplex in cold sores. Lerner [6] and associates believe that thousands of cases exist yearly from this route. Of this number, they estimate that one third die: and of the survivors, eight out of nine have residual brain damage. Their work suggests that passive hemagluting antibodies in the cerebrospinal fluid are a better indicator of the presence of infectious virus than are circulating antibody titers in the serum. The simple herpes virus from the insignificant fever blister, but possessing the capability of producing encephalitis can remain hidden for years in the neuron according to Drs. Stephens and Cook [7]. This confirms the thinking of Goodpasture [8] given to us many years ago. Thus, a herpes simplex virus once present in a cold sore, although healed and leaving no evidence of lip pathology, could ignite later by simple exposure to ultraviolet light. How many mothers are endangering the lives of their children by sunbathing, laboring under the belief that they are improving their health". Roizman [9] believes that all children are infected by age 5, but that only 1 percent experience true clinical illness. For many years investigators thought that each recurrence of fever blisters represented a new infection. Evidence is accumulating that shows the herpes simplex virus is harbored in dormant form until a physiological or emotional event provokes the virus to produce the typical herpetic lesion. In one case with five repeats of herpes virus erupting at yearly intervals and at the same site, 7- 10 gm ascorbic acid by mouth, daily, was found to eliminate this pathology.

Effecting a cure when a virus is the offending agent, and many times bringing about this change in the short space of 24 hours, is a rewarding moment in medicine. Vitamin C treatment must be intensive to be successful. Use veins when practical, otherwise give vitamin C intramuscularly. Never give less than 350 mg/kg body weight. This must be repeated every hour for 6 to 12 times, depending upon clinical improvement, then every two to four hours until the patient has recovered. Ice cubes held to the gluteal muscle before and after injection will reduce or eliminate pain and induration. When treatment continues for several days, the child can be placed on an ice cap between injections. When employing vitamin C intravenously, it is best to use sodium ascorbate and the solution free of all additives except sodium bisulfite. The dose of vitamin C using a syringe should range between 350 mg and 400 mg/kg body weight. In older patients or when very high doses are required the vitamin can be added to 5 percent dextrose in water, in saline solution or in Ringer's solution. The concentration should be approximately 1 gm to 18 cc fluid. Bottle injections will need 1 gm calcium gluconate one to two times each day to replace calcium ions removed by the high intravenous schedule. One quart of milk daily will suffice when using the vitamin intramuscularly. In place of milk one can substitute calcium gluconate tablets. Supplemental vitamin C is always given by mouth. As a guide in determining the amount and frequency of injections we recommend our Silver Nitrate-Urine test [10]. This is done by placing ten drops of 5 percent silver nitrate in a Wasserman tube and adding ten drops urine. A color pattern will develop showing white, beige, smoke gray or one that looks like fine grain charcoal. Charcoal is the color needed and the test is performed at least every four hours. The test itself is read in one minute. These large doses of ascorbic acid will also bring all body tissue back to saturation which means that the white blood cells will now be capable of destroying other pathogens that might be clouding the picture. Unless the white blood cells are saturated with ascorbic acid, they are like soldiers without bullets. Research on this is now under way at the Bowman Gray School of Medicine by McCall and Cooper [11]. White cells ingest bacteria and in the process produce hydrogen peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide will combine with ascorbic acid to produce a substance which is lethal to bacteria. I have seen diphtheria, hemolytic streptococcus and staphylococcus infections clear with within hours following injections of ascorbic acid in a dose range of from 500 mg to 700 mg/kg body weight given intravenously and run in through a 20G needle as fast as the patients cardiovascular system will allow.

Part of the white cells are lymphocytes. They, too, play an important role in survival from infection. We found in several cases of trichinosis [12] that the behavior of the lymphocytes was the real story of the changing blood picture and actually determined the course of the disease. Wintrobe [13] observed that the function of the lymphocytes was stimulation of antibody formation and that the lymphocytic response runs parallel with the recovery of the patient. This build-up of antibodies appears directly proportional to the concentration of ascorbic acid in all body tissue, and yet we give vaccines but pay no attention to the degree of tissue saturation of ascorbic acid. Dr. Nossal [14] of the Institute of Medical Research, Melbourne, Australia, wonders about the mechanism by which lymphocytes, on meeting antigens, decide to be turned on or off. He asks what physiological mechanism underlies the discrimination between immunization and the induction of immunological tolerance? We would suggest that it is controlled by vitamin C which in turn affects the negative charge which then influences the response of the lymphocyte. Ginter [15] of the Research Institute of Human Nutrition, Bratislava, offers some evidence to this effect in his statement: "that all reactions which are connected with vitamin C have oxidation-reduction features. It is therefore probable that the biological function of vitamin C can be located in the metabolic reactions which are connected with electron transfer."

The killing power of ascorbic acid is not limited to just herpes simplex and the adenovirus. When proper amounts are used it will destroy all virus organisms. We found measles to be a medical curiosity. Specifically we observe that vitamin C prophylactically, by mouth, was not protective unless 1 gram was given every two hours around the clock. One gram every four hours would modify the attack. One gram given every four hours intramuscularly was also protective. With our own children we kept the measle syndrome going off and on for 30 days by giving 1gm every two hours for two days, then off for two days. The disease was then stopped by continuing 1 gm every two hours, by mouth, for four days. By 1950 we learned that we could kill the measles virus in 24 hours by giving intramuscular injections in a dose range of 350 mg/kg body weight every 2 hours. We also found that we could dry up chicken pox in the same time, but more dramatic results were obtained by giving 400 mg/kg body weight intravenously. Two to three injections in 24 hours were all that was required. We published these results in 1951 [16]. Recently, we cured a man weighing 85 kg in four days taking 30 gm each day by mouth. In conclusion, the killing power of ascorbic acid on virus bodies has been demonstrated by me in hundreds of cases, many of which were treated in our hospital with nothing but vitamin C. We have published some 28 papers on this matter.

In certain individuals some virus conditions have a slower response. Herpes zoster and mumps belong to this group. We found that in these conditions equally rapid destruction of the virus could be effected through the use of adenosine-5-monophosphate. Adenosine was given according to age and weight, 25 mg in children and 50-100 mg intramuscularly in adults. This was given every 12 hours along with ascorbic acid. Adenosine will sometimes precipitate a mild reaction in that the patient will feel a fullness in his or her head with varying degrees of nausea. Inhalation of aromatic spirits of ammonia will quickly relieve and, if used before injection, will prevent this condition. Their response, when adenosine was administered, led us theorize that when a cell has been invaded by a foreign substance, like virus nucleic acid, enzymatic action fostered by ascorbic acid contributes to the breakdown of virus nucleic acid to adenosine dearminase which converts adenosine to inosine. Some individuals cannot manufacture sufficient adenosine to cope with this phase of purine metabolism under certain stress conditions associated with virus pathology. The net result from this chemical action is to catabolize purines rendering them unavailable for making additional virus nucleic acid. Ascorbic acid is further unique in that it possesses the capability of entering all cells. After entering a virus infected cell, ascorbic acid proceeds to take up the protein coats being manufactured by the virus nucleic acid, thus preventing the assembly of new virus units. These newly made macromolecules within the host cell soon create a situation where the tensile strength of the cell membrane is exceeded with resulting rupture and cell death. Ascorbic acid, when given in the massive amounts that accomplish full tissue saturation, will also enter those cells harboring the so-called dormant virus. Where the vitamin C removes the protective protein coat of the virus the macromolecule formed will act in the capacity of a repressor factor inhibiting further activity of the virus nucleic acid which is then destroyed by additional vitamin C. We offer as proof of this the instance of a patient having herpetic lesions for five years and being cured with continuous high daily intake of ascorbic acid. In acute virus infection, associated with a virusemia, ascorbic acid given intravenously will remove the protein protective coat from the virus body, leaving the denuded virus unit vulnerable to the leukocytes for destruction. Note that adrenal cortex extract and/or desoxycorticosterone acetate must also be considered for support of the adrenals in a debilitated patient.

In a paper titled "An Insidious Virus," [5] I reasoned that it should be a maxim of medicine for large doses of vitamin C to be given in all pathological conditions while the physician ponders his diagnosis. The wisdom of this dictum is backed by many hundreds of cases under our supervision.


Next in importance to the virus is the story of cholesterol. One must understand as noted by Ginter [17], that acute scurvy and chronic hypovitaminosis C are metabolically different conditions. On this point the Food and Life Yearbook, 1939, U.S. Department or Agriculture, had this to say: "Even when there is not a single outward symptom of trouble, a person may be in a state of vitamin C deficiency more dangerous than scurvy itself. When such a condition is not detected, and continues uncorrected, the teeth and bones will be damaged, and what may be even more serious, the blood stream is weakened to the point where it can no longer resist or fight infections not so easily cured as scurvy."

Working with guinea pigs many research groups have proved that acute avitaminosis C produces an increase in cholesterol concentration in the whole body. This increased concentration of whole body cholesterol in scorbutic guinea pigs can be caused by increased biosynthesis or by slowed down cholesterol metabolism. The main pathway of cholesterol catabolism is in conversion to bile salts. The stimulating effect of ascorbic acid on the oxidation of polyunsaturated fatty acids and decreased oxidation of linolenic acid in the tissues of scorbutic guinea pigs has been well documented. Mjasnikova [18] found that intravenous injections of high doses of ascorbic acid to patients with high level blood cholesterol is followed by a distinct decrease of cholesterolemia. It must be remembered that the referred high doses of vitamin C employed by other scientists do not approach the dose schedule that we recommend. For example, Tjapina [19] reported on the effect of intravenous doses of 500 mg ascorbic acid on cholesterolemia in patients suffering from atherosclerosis. The hypocholesterolemic effect from vitamin C was apparent within one hour. With continued daily injections of 500 mg there was continued drop in blood cholesterol. Spittle [20] showed that blood cholesterol levels in humans vary by the amount of vitamin C employed. In our own experience we lowered the blood cholesterol in one patient 42 points in 6 weeks by increasing the vitamin C intake by mouth from 10 gm to 20 gm each day. Spittle advanced the theory that atherosclerosis is a long-term deficiency or negative balance of vitamin C, which permits cholesterol levels to build up in the system and results in changes in other fractions of fats. Ginter [21] also demonstrated that with a high cholesterol diet, guinea pigs used up all their dietary vitamin C, while rats and rabbits that manufacture their own vitamin C showed a gain in ascorbic acid tissue levels. Ginter also showed that experimental animals given 50 mg vitamin C each day had cholesterol deposits 40 percent lower than animals fed the same diet but given only 5 mg of C daily. In a survey of 1000 school children Ginter et. al. showed that 97 percent suffered from vitamin C lack during winter months when C-rich fruits and vegetables were less abundant [22]. The children also showed corresponding rise in cholesterol. Czechoslovakian workers also reported that when guinea pigs are fed a diet deficient in vitamin C and rich in cholesterol, they frequently develop gall stones [23]. Small reported to the society of University Surgeons in New Orleans in 1973 that when gallstones are removed from patients they are 60-70 % cholesterol [24]. This suggests a causative factor in human gallstone formation. Reviewing the literature and summarizing his own studies, Ginter concluded that there is no doubt daily intake of ascorbic acid in the control of cholesterol will have a more pronounced effect in those persons already saturated with vitamin C. Tjapina and many others have reported that when amounts of ascorbic acid as low as 500 mg each day by needle, were continued for 60 days, the improved clinical picture in the majority of the patients was dramatic, especially concerning the manifestations of coronary artery disease. Willis [25] reported that in scorbutic guinea pigs fatty deposits on the aorta were formed very quickly, even without adding cholesterol to the diet. In 1957, Willis [26] found that when ascorbic acid was given to these scorbutic guinea pigs, the atherosclerotic lesions were quickly absorbed. Ascorbic acid is directly associated with the mechanism involved in the pathogenesis of human atherosclerosis. Duguid [27] found alterations in ground substance observed in atherosclerosis that were produced experimentally to be morphologically similar. Electrocardiographic tracing by Shater [28] on scorbutic animals showed that with prolonged vitamin C therapy, abnormalities disappeared entirely. Tramler [24], following the mortality rate for middle aged persons found a significant drop with improved nutrition with supplemental C.

We must protect our heart from stress. Adequate vitamin C is one answer. Asahina and Asano [30] of the Toho University school of Medicine in Tokyo found that the larger the dose of ascorbic acid given to experimental rats, the longer they survived in decompression chambers in which the air was made to approximate that found at elevations of 33,000 feet. When ascorbic acid was given in amounts representing 14 gm in a human, only half their animals expired. In humans we have observed that 30 gm in 24 hours is critical in any acute situation. Had the Japanese doubled their vitamin C dose they probably would have had no deaths.


Heavy metal poisoning is another morbid chapter in medicine. Lead poisoning comes from many sources: Auto exhaust, smelter -furnaces and storage battery factories lead the list. Mercury takes second place. It is estimated that at least 1 million children in the U.S. have some degrees of lead poisoning. In 1964 Mokranjac and Petrovic [31] studied the effect of mercury chloride in guinea pigs when ascorbic acid was administered in different ways. They first gave each animal 200 mg of vitamin C a day for one week (this roughly would represent 14 gm in a human) and then administered a dose of mercury proved before-hand to be 100% fatal. They continued to give 0.2 gm of vitamin C daily. After 20 days the animals were all alive proving that vitamin C had protected them from certain death. If they gave vitamin C before and none after poisoning, two died. If vitamin C wag given daily after poisoning, nine of 25 died; and if a single massive shot was given after poisoning, eight of 25 died. This again confirms that high daily intake of vitamin C will protect one from many of the ills seen today. The same can said for lead poisoning. One of the more common types of lead poisoning is seen in long-term workers in lead storage battery plants. All have sub clinical scurvy. Adequate ascorbic acid intake would eliminate the monthly blood examination for red cell stippling. The report by Dannenberg [32] that high doses of ascorbic acid were without effect in treating lead intoxication in a child must be ignored, since his extremely high dose was 25 mg mouth four times a day and one single daily injection of 250 mg of C. Had he administered 350 mg/kg body weight every two hours, he would have the other side of the coin.

Monoxide poisoning is another killer or crippler. Persons living in most American cities are frequently exposed to 100 ppm (that is, 155 mg/cu mm) of carbon monoxide in the ambient air for varying periods of time and may attain carboxyhemoglobin blood levels up to 10 percent [33]. Carboxyhemoglobin blood levels up to 7 percent have been reported in cigarette smokers. These levels of carbon monoxide are quite capable of causing considerable interference with tissue oxygenation in man by displacing oxygen from the hemoglobin molecule and shifting the oxyhemoglobin dissociation curve to the left. Anderson [34] reports a definite link between carbon monoxide, both in the atmosphere and in cigarette smoke, and cardiac function. Normal coronary arteries can readily dilate and supply an increased demand; while diseased coronary arteries (e.g.. angina pectoris) may not be able to meet this challenge. The hypoxic effect of carbon monoxide may act in a synergistic manner with other factors operative in ischemic heart disease, outstripping the limited coronary reserve and augmenting the production of stress induced myocardial ischemia. Interesting is the report by Pelletier [35] who has shown experimentally that once you stop smoking, your ascorbic acid level approaches that of the nonsmoker. Victims of house fires, especially children, succumb more often to monoxide poisoning, which is overlooked in the course of treating the burn. Mayers [36] warns physicians that symptoms of smoke poisoning might be delayed from 3 to 48 hours. In cases of this nature ascorbic acid serves a dual purpose. A dose of 500 mg/kg body weight of vitamin C given intravenously will immediately neutralize the carbon monoxide or smoke poisoning while at the same time it will prevent blood sludging which is a major factor in the development of third degree burns.

The potential [of vitamin C] is so great and the employment so elementary that only the illiterate will continue to deny its use.


Other therapeutic effects of vitamin C include the following. Vitamin C will also destroy pseudamonis locally as a 3 percent spray and system wide with massive frequent injections. This has been demonstrated in case histories on burns treated at Annie Penn Memorial Hospital, Reidsville, N.C. It is a demonstrated principle that the production of histamine and other end products from deaminized cell proteins, released by injury to cells, is a cause of shock. The clinical value of ascorbic acid in combating shock is explained when we realize that the deaminizing enzymes from the damaged cells are inhibited by vitamin C. Chambers and Pollock [37] have reported that mechanical damage to a cell results in pH changes which reverse the cell enzymes from constructive to destructive activity. The destructive activity releases histamine, a major shock-producing substance. Ascorbic acid, when present in sufficient amounts, inhibits this enzyme transition.

Ascorbic acid will reverse shock found in other areas of medicine. In one patient who had taken 2640 mg Lotusate (talbutal), the blood pressure was 60/0 when first seen in the emergency room. Twelve gm sodium ascorbate was administered with a 50 cc syringe. In ten minutes the blood pressure was recorded at 100/60. Over 100 additional grams were given intravenously over the following three hours, at which time the patient was awake. Shock from toxalbumin, neurotoxin, protcotoxin, muscarine and formic acid responds equally as well to high doses of vitamin C. Keeping the tissues saturated will prevent such experiences or make recovery by additional vitamin C a routine matter.

Blumberg, writing in Medical World News, noted that the discovery of the Australian antigen raises hopes for an effective hepatitis vaccine. Many controversial studies have been reported in the use of this antigen. Another controversial substance, vitamin C, will cure viral hepatitis in two to four days and allow the patient to immediately resume his usual activities. It should be given in a dose range of 500 to 700 mg/kg body weight every 8 to 12 hours. Our latest case was given 5 gm sodium ascorbate, as crystals dissolved in 200 cc water or fruit juice, every 4 hours i.e., 30 grams per 24-hour period. All symptoms and signs were removed in 96 hours. By contrast treating virus hepatitis with an immunizing agent would possibly require several vaccines in a single hepatic epidemic. If you want results, use adequate ascorbic acid.


The question of virus and cancer association is still academic. Herpes simplex causing cervical cancer appears to be positive. We have cured many fever blisters by applying a 3 percent ointment of vitamin C to the lip 10-15 times a day. This is put in a water soluble base. I think that it is time for those women with a family history of cervical cancer to douche with a 3 percent solution of ascorbic acid at the first report of cervical erosion. Tamponing with a 3 percent solution should also be done by the physician. Twenty grams of vitamin C daily by mouth along with local application of vitamin C could erase this form of malignancy. Virus and breast cancer, which in the mouse has been established, seems likely to be confirmed in women on the basis of a hereditary factor along with a virus role. Paul Broca (1866) pointed out that ten out of 24 women among his immediate forebears had died of cancer of the breast. J.A. Murray (1911) demonstrated that mice with familial history of breast cancer developed breast cancer at an incidence three times that of mice with no familial history of tumor. Feller and associates found particles resembling type B and C viruses in eight of 16 human milk specimens from women with breast cancer but in only one of 43 apparently cancer-free women. These are stepping stones which serve to give warning that women from cancer-prone families should not breast feed their children. What will daily high intake of vitamin C do in altering the breast cancer picture? The answer is waiting for experimental work to be done with mice from knowledge gained from Bittnier's classic cross-suckling experiment.

The role of ascorbic acid in treating virus cancer pathology can be seen with its action in mononucleosis. Large doses of vitamin C given intravenously, will eliminate this virus in just a few days, the actual time being directly proportional to the amount of the vitamin employed in relation to the severity of the infection. A research team at Yale, after studying hundreds of college students, believe they have evidence that associates the Epstein-Burr virus with Burkett lymphoma [38, 39]. This has also been confirmed by researchers at Children's Hospital, Philadelphia, Pa. Many investigators have been working with immunological procedures for the treatment of malignant disease. As we noted earlier, unless the patient's tissues are saturated with vitamin C the response in the area will be negated. Massive employment of vitamin C will make possible prolonged radiation therapy in late cases.

It will also prevent radiation burns. Who can say what 100 gm or 300 gm given intravenously, daily, for several months might accomplish in cancer. The potential is so great and the employment so elementary that only the illiterate will continue to deny its use. Schlegel [40] has demonstrated that the use of ascorbic acid as low as 1.5 gm each day will prevent recurrence of bladder cancer. This is the so-called wasted vitamin C.


Rous [41] has found that just 3 gm daily, by mouth, for four days will completely relieve all symptoms of urethritis. He believes that the urethral irritation is caused by phosphatic crystals formed in the urine because of insufficient acidity. Ascorbic acid, in this case, acidified the urine enough to force the crystals back into solution. The neglected chronic cystitis which is the rule with ammonical decomposition in the bladder, most always associated with marked alkalinity of the freshly voided urine, will cease to be a clinical entity once people take at least 10 gm vitamin C every day. This will also eliminate the backwash type pyelitis so debilitating, especially in women of childbearing age.

In over 300 consecutive obstetrical cases, we found that the simple stress of pregnancy increase the ascorbic acid demand up to 15 gm daily. This simple stress of pregnancy becomes meaningful when we review the work of Conney [42] on mammalian synthesis of vitamin C in the rat. Compared to a 70 kg individual the rat would make, under stress, 15.2 gm of C each day. Compare this to the 100 mg now recommended by the National Academy of Science and National Research Council and the disparity is shocking. Fred Stare's 40 mg/day is catastrophic. This must be changed. There are at least 16 categories, not including scurvy, that cry out against minimal daily requirements for vitamin C. There can never exist a situation where a set numerical unit of vitamin C will meet the needs of all men and women. This is true because people are different and people experience different situations differently. Roger J. Williams, speaking before the National Academy of Science in 1967, reported that among guinea pigs living in his laboratory some needed 20 times more vitamin C than others to maintain health. We must accept Ginter's conclusion that acute scurvy and chronic hypovitamosis C are metabolically different conditions. Antonowicz and Kodicek (1969), working with guinea pigs discovered an extremely complex chemical process existing in animals receiving ascorbic acid which did not occur in animals with scurvy. They found that glucosamine synthesis with the formation of galactosamine was normal in those animals receiving vitamin C but did not take place in those animals with scurvy.

Under a grant from the National Institute of Mental Health, Hepler and associates, according The Medical Tribune, reported that marijuana smoking caused a significant decrease in intraocular pressure. This decrease was found 30 minutes after smoking. In fine print they conceded that the drop was not significant after three hours. Thus, one would need to be a chain link smoker to maintain worthwhile levels [43, 44]. No mention was made of the many deleterious effects smoking marijuana has on the human body. Virno and associates [45] working in G. B. Bietti's eye clinic observed a pronounced reduction in intraocular pressure in the glaucomatous eyes by giving high daily doses of vitamin C. Bietti states that these high doses of vitamin C are an effective hypotonic agent for intraocular pressure and when an intravenous dose calculated at 1 gm/kg body weight is administered, the action is predominantly by osmotic dehydration of the eyeball. Virno employed 35 gm by mouth in divided doses each day. This gave marked reduction of pressure within four hours and this was maintained even in patients where Diamox and Philocarpone had failed. Linner in several symposiums using using 0.5 gm twice daily reported no significant change in eye pressure. Linner used 1 gm and Virno 35 gm each day with 5,000-10,000 units penicillin every four to six hours. The same type pathology is cured today in 24 to 48 hours using 1-3 million units. The size of the dose does make a difference, all the difference.

Dr. Linus Pauling has written that "Biochemical and genetic arguments support the idea that orthomolecular therapy may be the preferred treatment for many ill patients." It is difficult to understand why megavitamin therapy remains so controversial when massive doses of vitamin B12 are universally used in pernicious anemia and niacinamide to correct the pathology of pellagra. I have used 150,000 -- 200,000 units of vitamin A in a case of ichthyosis. The patient has been taking this dose for ten years. His skin is clear with no signs or symptoms of vitamin A toxicity. During the same time he has taken 10 gm of vitamin C each day. Is vitamin C the answer?

Hoffer [46] and Osmond were probably the first to realize the value of ascorbic acid as an adjuvant with niacin in treating schizophrenics. They employed from 6 to 8 gm daily. One acute case was given 1 gm every hour for 48 hours at which time the patient was completely recovered and remained so for six months without further treatment. Hawkins [47] found that by adding megavitamin treatment he doubled the recovery rate, halved the rehospitalization rate and virtually eliminated self-destruction in dealings with schizophrenics who have a suicide rate 22 times that of the general population. Dr. Pauling enabled his clinic to treat seriously ill schizophrenics for $200 per patient per year and to reduce the number of patient visits from 150 per year to 15. Hawkins' method gives schizophrenic patients four gm ascorbic acid and four gm niacin or the equivalent in niancinamide, in divided doses, each day. Vanderkamp (1966) demonstrated that schizophrenics burn up ascorbic acid ten times faster than normal people. On an intake of four gm vitamin C each day, almost 100 percent of normal people will spill some degree of ascorbic acid into the urine. In schizophrenics one can often go as high as 40 grams/day before spilling occurs. I have observed this same picture in severe virus infections where the patient did not spill over into the urine until the second or third day, when a clinical response was evident. Milmer in Great Britain and Lucksch in Germany have reported significant improvement in schizophrenics given vitamin C alone. Both investigators used the double blind approach.

Ascorbic acid has value as an adjuvant in other medical syndromes. With para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA), which is a fraction of the B vitamins, it will cure trichinosis in nine days [48]. Used with intravenous mephenesin or methocarbamol, it will cure tetanus in 96 hours.

Arthritis is not only a crippler but also a nagger. Aspirin is the favorite medication of many physicians because it will ease the arthritic pain. This makes aspirin a good guy and a bad guy. The bad side is that those who take high aspirin therapy will also have low platelet and plasma levels for vitamin C. With low plasma levels there will also be depletion in the white blood cells. We know what this will do. As to platelets, their main business is to keep people from bleeding to death. When a blood vessel ruptures, collagen tissue, which makes up the basement membrane of blood vessels, is exposed. The collagen affects the platelets so that they release a mineral substance called adenosine diphosphate. This substance makes the platelets very sticky so that they cling together. Aspirin can destroy this substance, but adequate vitamin C will prevent this action. As the platelets act to seal off the wound, a second mechanism for clot formation comes into play. This is a liquid protein called fibrinogen. In a recent case in which the platelet count was abnormally low and bleeding was a serious problem, 25 gm of ascorbic acid daily by mouth raised the platelet count back to normal with cessation of bleeding. Vitamin C is also the number one agent in collagen formation. A person who will take 10-20 gm of ascorbic acid a day along with the other nutrients might very well never develop arthritis.

Abrams and Sandson [49] have pointed out that synovial fluid becomes thinner, thus allowing easier movement, when serum levels of ascorbic acid are high. Drugs such as ACTH and cortisone are noted for their ability to drain ascorbic acid in prolonged usage. In our experience we found that the patient who took vitamin C to tolerance made more rapid progress in reversing arthritic joints.

The importance of daily high intake of ascorbic acid in preventive medicine has no limits. Crest and Colgate might limit tooth decay to one cavity every checkup, a relatively high index. Ten or more gm of ascorbic acid from age 10 up and at least 1 gm for each year of life, each day, through age 9 will record no cavities. Our son who is 20 has never had a tooth cavity. The same schedule could eliminate disc pathology. McCormick believes the problem is avitaminosis C [50]. Greenwood [51] believes that adequate amounts of ascorbic acid seem necessary to disc metabolism and maintenance. In surgery we found that plasma determinations taken before starting anesthesia at the conclusion of surgery, and six hours later, were constant. At 12 hours postoperative, there was a significant drop in vitamin C levels and at 24 hours there was a dramatic loss of the vitamin. We have always required the surgeon to give 10 gm before surgery, 10 gm in each postoperative bottle of fluids and 10 gm by mouth after discontinuing fluids. Crandon et. al. state that postoperative disruption of abdominal wounds occurs eight times more often in patients with vitamin C deficiency. Not only surgery, but any type of wound or fracture will heal slowly or not heal at all without the benefits of adequate vitamin C. Powdered vitamin C mixed with water to form a paste and applied to poison ivy or oak will usually effect a cure in 24 hours where adequate vitamin C is also taken by mouth. Ascorbic acid does have a definite influence on the rheumatic heart, especially in the acute stage [52]. I have seen children with the heart impulse so great that it raised the bed covers with each contraction recover so completely that later in life they were inducted into the services. Massive daily doses will also cure tuberculosis by removal of the organisms' polysaccharide coat. It does the same with pneumococci. I am convinced that ten or more grams a day prevent cancer of the lung in tobacco smokers. It will remove prickly heat and prevent heat stroke. Vitamin C will immediately reverse heat collapse, cramps or exhaustion if 12 to 40 gm are given intravenously. It will bring recovery to electric shock victims if sufficient amounts are administered soon after accident. Lightning victims can also be saved. I have done it. Chronic myelocytic leukemia responds dramatically to 30 or more grams daily by mouth. Pancreatitis can be cured in less three hours with 50 gm intravenously, and ten gm daily by mouth is positive insurance that it will never return. Virus pancarditis as a sequela of an adenovirus infection can be relieved in 36 hours giving 400 mg/kg body weight, intravenously, every 4 to 6 hours. I have never seen a patient that vitamin C would not benefit. And too, never send a boy to do a man's job, meaning the dose level is very important.

In closing, I would like to quote Herbert Spencer, who summed up rather well a caution I would like all of us to take to heart: "There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all argument, and which cannot fail to keep man in everlasting ignorance. That principle is condemnation without investigation."

I would like to quote Herbert Spencer, who summed up rather well a caution I would like all of us to take to heart: "There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all argument, and which cannot fail to keep man in everlasting ignorance. That principle is condemnation without investigation."


The drug evaluation book of the American Medical Association (1971) gives information on the value of ascorbic acid which is at least 30 years behind present day knowledge. The 200-500 mg of ascorbic acid which is recommended as the 24-hour dose in burn cases is a typical example. From clinical experience we know that ascorbic acid must be given to burn victims in massive, frequent intravenous injections. Thirty to one hundred grams daily is the proper amount to employ and this is given until healing takes place - 7-30 days depending upon the degree of burn. We have found and reported that this massive vitamin C therapy will eliminate skin grafting by keeping the tissues oxygenated. Ample supply of oxygen to the tissues will prevent blood sludging and in place of the third degree burns that develop on the fourth or fifth day, the eschars will drop off leaving normal tissue. These high doses of ascorbic acid will also remove the smoke poisoning found in many fire victims and save many lives, especially children who expire from the effects of monoxide gas. The statement found in the AMA book mentioned above that controlled studies have shown no benefit from large doses of ascorbic acid in human subjects - must be ignored. The large doses referred to never exceeded 5 gm and in most cases not more than that found in a quart of orange juice, for a 24-hour period. It is unfortunate that the editorial staff of the AMA failed to check out the world literature. An example of their high doses was an article by Dannenberg [32] which was published in the JAMA in which the author found no value in lead poisoning by giving extremely high doses of ascorbic acid to a child. Dannenberg's extremely high dose was 25 mg four times a day, by mouth, and one single intramuscular injection of 250 mg. Had Dannenberg employed 350 mg/kg body weight and given it, intramuscularly, every two to four hours he would have had a recovered patient in less than 72 hours. The amount of ascorbic acid employed in any given case is the all important factor. In 28 years of research we have observed that 30 gm each day is critical in terms of response. This seems to be true regardless of age and weight. In certain pathological conditions like barbiturate intoxication, snake bite or virus encephalitis, higher doses are required in some individuals. We have observed from experience and from review of the literature that 15 percent - 20 percent of humans require much more ascorbic acid than do others. Approximately 15 percent is in evidence when giving vaccines, since they make no antibodies. Roughly 15 percent of pregnant humans were scheduled, in the past, to become paralyzed if hit with the polio virus. Fifteen percent of over 3000 cases in our files required more ascorbic acid to prevent colds or to relieve the cold once injected. This percentage difference is the reason why one patient would die with pneumonia while another lived, when all other factors were apparently equal. This dosage factor alone has misled many scientists to disregard the value of ascorbic acid in virus because they would see dogs die with distemper when knew that the dog could make his own vitamin C. What they did not appreciate was that even the animal could not make enough vitamin C under certain situations. I have cured many dogs suffering with distemper by giving several grams ascorbic acid, by needle, every two hours. We also found in over 300 obstetrical cases that roughly 15 percent require as much as 15 gm supplemental vitamin C each day just to remain within normal limits. Ten grams each day was the highest requirement of the 85 percent.

Herpes simplex virus and the adenovirus can be destroyed with high doses of ascorbic acid. Many infections can be prevented by taking adequate vitamin C, daily, by mouth - 1 gm for each year of life up to age 10 and after 10 years of age at least 10 gm vitamin C daily. With these amounts the patient will spill varying amounts into the urine. The kidneys have a threshold for vitamin C: much like the spillway, of a dam. Spilling is necessary to assure adequate amounts for various body tissues. For example, white blood cells are useless unless they are full of ascorbic acid since it is the ascorbic acid which makes their phagocytosis and/or destruction of pathogens possible. Although herpes simplex usually shows itself as a small lip sore and the adenoviruses as a mild but lingering cold, both can become killers through passage of the virus to the brain. Either one can cause crib deaths, which is truly the real cause. Again, we point out high daily intake of vitamin C can prevent this tragic incident. For this reason, if for no other, the National Research Council and the National Academy of Science must remove the minimal daily requirement for this substance. Williams has shown and reported to the National Academy that even guinea pigs living in his laboratory differ in their requirements for vitamin C and that they differ each day, sometimes 20 times a given unit. Guinea pigs, like man, cannot manufacture ascorbic acid due to genetic fault. Scurvy which accounts for the thinking on the amount of vitamin C needed is actually of no consequence in avitaminosis C, which can determine one's future existence. Ginter, after ten years of research with vitamin C, concluded that acute scurvy and chronic hypovitaminosis C are metabolically different conditions. Antonowicz and Kodick confirmed this by finding that glucosamine synthesis in the guinea pig with the formation of galactosamine was normal in those animals receiving vitamin C but did not take place in the presence of acute scurvy.

Ascorbic acid when taken in sufficient quantities will relieve the intraocular pressure in the glaucomatous eyes, will relieve such things as prickly heat, and is a positive reversal for pemphigus. Vitamin C when given by needle will destroy all viruses and many can be destroyed by taking --25-30 gm each day by mouth. Lesser amounts will protect against these pathogens. I have cured diptheria, hemolytic streptococcus and staphylococcus infections by employing vitamin C intravenously in a dose range of 500 to 700 mg/kg body weight. Doses under 400 mg/kg body weight can be given with a syringe using the sodium salt. This will always produce thirst. Fluids taken just before or immediately after will eliminate this annoyance. Doses above 400 mg/kg body weight must be diluted to at least 1 gm to 18 cc solution, using 5 percent dextrose in water, saline in water, or ringer's solution. One gram calcium gluconate must be added to these bottle infections to replace Ca ions pulled from the calcium-pro thrombin complex. There is no limit to the amount that can be administered by vein when honoring these precautions. The use of vitamin C in cancer will prove to be a very beneficial agent. We recommend bottle doses containing 60 gm vitamin C and such fractions of the B complex as 500 mg thiamin HCL, pyridoxine 300 mg calcium pantothenate 400 mg, riboflavin 100 mg and niacinamide 300 mg. This is to be given daily or even twice daily. Vitamin C is a positive neutralizing agent in snake bite [53] , spider bite [54] and insect stings. Our use of ascorbic in snake bite was limited to the Highland moccasin, a member of the copperhead family. Other poisonous snakes are more deadly but we can easily calculate from our experience what dose to employ. In a 4 year old receiving a full strike from a mature Highland moccasin, 12 gm was required. Unlike a virus that will continue production until completely destroyed, the venom of the snake is constant in that there is no later increase in amount. I would suggest 40-60 gm, as a starter, in a large diamondback or cottonmouth. Additional vitamin C can be given if needed since the patient will be well on the road to recovery with the first injection.

Adenosine monophosphate given with ascorbic acid will increase the potential of the vitamin. This can be given in doses from 25 mg in children to as much as 200 mg in adults. Our use of this agent has been limited to mumps and herpes zoster but we are now of sufficient knowledge to believe that its use should be routine. The aqueous solution is more efficacious than the gel. Some patients experience a fullness in the head, a sickish feeling in the chest and a slowed pulse rate. Aromatic spirits of ammonia as a smelling agent relieves or prevents this syndrome. At present we are using 50 mg doses more frequently, until we can establish a reason for this type response.

Ascorbic acid can be lifesaving in shock. Twelve grains of the sodium salt given with a 50 cc syringe will reverse shock in minutes. In barbiturate poisoning and monoxide poisoning the results are so dramatic that it borders on malpractice to deny this therapy. Surgeons must learn to employ ascorbic acid more liberally. Ten to twenty grams in the preoperative solutions and 10 gm in each postoperative bottle will all but eliminate surgical deaths and will reduce hospital stay by 50 percent. The same can be said for obstetrical cases. We found that obstetrical cases needed 4 gm each day the first trimester, 6 gm the second trimester and 8-10 gm the third trimester. Fifteen percent of the patients required 15 gm each day just to stay within normal limits.

Ascorbic acid is the safest and the most valuable substance available to the physician. Many headaches and many heartaches will be avoided with its proper use.


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48. Klenner,F. R., Recent discoveries in the treatment of lockjaw with vitamin C and Tolserol. Tri-State Med J. July 1954.

49. Abrams, E. and Sandson, J.: .Ann. Rheum. Dis. 27. 1964

50. McCormick, W.J.: Intervertable Disc Pathology: A new etiologic concept, Arch. Pre., 71: 29, 1954.

51. Grccnwood, J.: Optimum vitamin C intake as a factor in the preservation of disk integrity. Med. Ann. D.C.. 33:6. June 1964.

52. Massell, B. E. Warren, J. E, Patterson, P. R. et. al., Antitheumatic activity of ascorbic acid in large doses. New Eng. J. Med., 1950.

53. Klenner, F. R., Case history cure of a 4 year old child bitten by a mature Hiland moccasin with vitamin C. Tri-State Med J. July, 1954.

54. Klenner, F. R., Case history: the black widow spider. Tri-State Med J., Dec 19@1.


Related Articles on the Web



MEGASCORBATE THERAPIES: Vitamin C in Medicine: Vol 1, 1


Copyright (c) 1997 "The Vitamin C Foundation "

Vitamin C and the Treatment of Cancer

Abstracts and Commentary from the

Scientific Literature

by Gary Null, PhD; Howard Robins, DPM; Mark Tanenbaum, DPM; and Patrick Jennings, Editor
Reprinted with permission by The Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients (Apr/May 1997)
Reprinted with Permission from The Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients

Why Review the Scientific Literature?

Proper basic nutrition is an essential foundation for health, but there's a growing awareness that it's not enough. One has only to consider the high disease rates in our society - infectious diseases are now the third largest killer in the US as well as the first in the world, and our rates of cancer, arthritis, and mental illness are not abating - to realize that we have to go beyond basic nutrition in combating disease. It's time to look at supplemental nutrients in a serious light, in order to better understand their role in helping our natural immune defenses prevent disease, and in altering the course of disease as well.

People talk about orthodox medicine and alternative medicine as if there's a great divide between the two, but there's really no need for such a dichotomy. The bottom line in healing and in maintaining health is really the question, What works? and we should feel free to ask it in evaluating the offerings of both realms, and to combine the best of both. After all, the evidence that something works - not the label you give it - is the important factor in evaluating whether a given treatment, or mode of prevention, is of value.

Following is a review of the scientific literature as it pertains to the impact of vitamin C on cancer. The questions, What works? and How might it be applied? were the motivational ones behind this review. As this one does, each review will include only well-designed studies from peer-reviewed journals. Original journal citations are given, along with capsule descriptions of the original scientific abstracts.

In other words, what follows is not anecdotal evidence; it is scientific evidence. We can now move beyond the stage of allowing quackbusters, apologists for special interest groups, and other adherents of the flat-earth school of intellectual inquiry to maintain that there's no evidence of the disease-fighting value of nutrients. Because, quite simply, there is, and here it is.

  1. This review article notes that approximately 90 studies have been done on the role of vitamin C in cancer prevention, with most finding statistically significant effects. Protective effects have been shown for cancers of the pancreas, oral cavity, stomach, esophagus, cervix, rectum, breast, and lung.

    - G. Block, et al., Epidemiological Evidence Regarding Vitamin C and Cancer, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 54 (6 Suppl), December 1991, p. 1310S-1314S.

  2. Daily supplementation of 1g of vitamin C decreased the amount of chromosome damage induced in lymphocytes by an exposure to bleomycin during the last 5 h of cell culture. The authors suggest a similar assay for genetic instability might be helpful in detecting heterozygotes for chromosome-breakage syndromes and recommend considering dietary and lifestyle factors when interpreting results from this bleomycin assay and related assays for genetic instability.

    - H. Pohl and J.A. Reidy, Vitamin C Intake Influences the Bleomycin-induced Chromosome Damage Assay: Implications for Detection of Cancer Susceptibility and Chromosome Breakage Syndromes, Mutat Research, 224(2), October 1989, p. 247-252.

  3. A ternary antioxidant vitamin mix consisting of ascorbic acid, alpha-tocopherol and lecithin as well as a rosemary extract with carnosic acid and carnosol as the two major active ingredients were shown to exhibit strong antimutagenic effects in Ames tester strain TA102. Ascorbic acid was held responsible for this inhibitory property in the vitamin mix, while carnosic acid was identified as the antimutagenic agent in the rosemary extract. The authors conclude that these antioxidants might exhibit anticarcinogenic properties.

    - M. Minnunni, et al., Natural Antioxidants as Inhibitors of Oxygen Species Induced Mutagenicity, Mutat Research, 269(2), October 1992, p. 193-200.

  4. A mixture of ascorbic acid and cupric sulfate significantly inhibited human mammary tumor growth in mice when administered orally, while the administration of either alone did not. The activity of D-isoascorbic acid was similar to that of ascorbic acid. The authors suggest ascorbic acid's antitumor activity was due to its chemical properties rather than the metabolism of ascorbic acid as a vitamin.

    - C.S. Tsao, Inhibiting Effect of Ascorbic Acid on the Growth of Human Mammary Tumor Xenografts, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 54 (6 Suppl), December 1991, p. 1274S-1280S.

  5. This study found that ascorbic administered in drinking water (0.3%) inhibited the promoting effect of estradiol dipropionate on the 1,2-dimethylhydrazine-induced uterine sarcogenesis in CBA mice.

    - L.S. Trukhanova, [Modifying Effect of Ascorbic Acid and Sodium Ascorbate on Uterine Carcomogenesis Induced by 1,2-dimethylhydrazine in CBA Mice], Eksp Onkol, 10(5), 1988, p. 65-66.

  6. This study found that ascorbic acid intake affects in vivo N-ethyl-N-nitrosourea (ENU) mutagenicity in rats. The authors suggest that previously reported antioxidant inhibitory effects on carcinogenesis could be partially mediated by its effects on mutagenesis.

    - A. Aidoo, et al., Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C) Modulates the Mutagenic Effects Produced by an Alkylating Agent in Vivo, Environ Mol Mutagen, 24(3), 1994, p. 220-228.

  7. This case-control, population-based study found Vitamin C intake, attenuated by age, level of education, and lifetime cigarette use, offers protective effects against developing cervical cancer.

    - M.L. Slattery, et al., Dietary Vitamins A, C, and E and Selenium as Risk Factors for Cervical Cancer, Epidemiology, 1(1), January 1990, p. 8-15.

  8. This paper reports the discovery of a new malignant human T-cell line Ð labeled PFI-285 in a boy with malignant lymphoma. One of the striking characteristics of this new T-cell line was its sensitivity to ascorbic acid, evidenced by the fact that concentrations as low as 50 mumuol/l resulted in cell death within hours.

    - J. Helgestad, et al., Characterization of a New Malignant Human T-cell Line (PFI-285) Sensitive to Ascorbic Acid, European Journal of Haematology, 44(1), January 1990, p. 9-17.

  9. This study found that oral administration of vitamin C can retard the onset of N-nitrosodiethylamine-induced liver cancer in rats.

    - H. Kessler, et al., Potential Protective Effect of Vitamin C on Carcinogenesis Caused by Nitrosamine in Drinking Water: An Experimental Study on Wistar Rats, European Journal of Surgery and Oncology, 18(3), June 1992, p. 275-281.

  10. The survival rate of mice bearing P388 leukemia and Ehrlich carcinoma was increased after treatment with a mixture of vitamins C and B12. All the mice receiving the vitamins outlived the control group. At the termination of the experiment 30 days later, 50% of the treated mice appeared normal and healthy, whereas the remainder showed signs of tumor distention.

    - M.E. Poydock, et al., Influence of Vitamins C and B12 on the Survival Rate of Mice Bearing Ascites Tumor, Exp Cell Biol, 50(2), 1982, p. 88-91.

  11. This study found that a daily dose of 50 mg/kg of vitamin C in combination with methylcholanthrene (MCA) over 9 months significantly reduced MCA-induced squamous cell carcinomas in mice and basal cell carcinomas in rats over a period of nine months. The authors conclude that vitamin C˜s antineoplastic effects are the result of increasing autophagic and cytolytic activity, increased collagen synthesis, and cell membrane disruption.

    - A. Lupulescu, Ultrastructure and Cell Surface Studies of Cancer Cells Following Vitamin C Administration, Exp Toxicol Pathol, 44(1), March 1992, p. 3-9.

  12. This study found that vitamin C reduced the incidence of DMBA-induced epithelial tumor in the hamster cheek pouch.

    - P.D. Potdar, et al., Modulation by Vitamin C of Tumor Incidence and Inhibition in Oral Carcinogenesis, Funct Dev Morphol, 2(3), 1992, p. 167-172.

  13. Previous studies have found that nitrosation can be decreased by the administration of ascorbic acid in vivo and that vitamin C-rich foods are inversely related to gastric cancer. This study treated 62 high risk patients for gastric cancer with 1g of ascorbic acid taken 4 times a day for four weeks. Results found that ascorbic acid given in high doses can reduce the intragastric formation of nitrite and N-nitroso compounds.

    - P.I. Reed, et al., Effect of Ascorbic Acid on the Intragastric Environment in Patients at Increased Risk of Developing Gastric Cancer, IARC Sci Publ,(105), 1991, p. 139-142.

  14. 1000 mg/kg of ascorbic acid in combination with mitomycin and 5-fluorouracil significantly inhibited tumor growth in mice implanted with Lewis lung carcinoma cells relative to mice treated with mitomycin and 5-fluorouracil in the absence of ascorbic acid or animal that received only ascorbic acid alone.

    - K. Nakano, et al., Antitumor Activity of Ascorbic Acid in Combination with Antitumor Agents Against Lewis Lung Carcinoma, In Vivo, 2(3-4), May-August 1988, p. 247-252.

  15. This study found that 1 or 5g/liter of ascorbic acid in the drinking water significantly inhibited the growth of human mammary tumor fragments implanted beneath the renal capsule of immunocompetent mice. Mice fed a diet including 50g/kg ascorbic acid and 18 or 90 mg/liter of cupric sulfate in the drinking water also experienced inhibited tumor growth. The authors conclude ascorbic acid contains specific oxidation and degradation products that serve as antineoplastic agents for human mammary carcinoma.

    - C.S. Tsao, et al., In Vivo Antineoplastic Activity of Ascorbic Acid for Human Mammary Tumor, In Vivo, 2(2), March-April 1988, p. 147-150.

  16. This study found that administration of 500 mg/kg of L-ascorbic acid to athymic nude mice bearing human mammary carcinoma inhibited tumor cell growth. Treatment with L-ascorbic acid was also found to induce cellular DNA strand breaks and DNA crosslinks. When L-ascorbic acid was removed from cell cultures, researchers witnessed an immediate onset of spontaneous repair of single or double stranded DNA breaks. Reintroduction of L-ascorbic acid reversed this process.

    - K. Pavelic, et al., Antimetabolic Activity of L-ascorbic Acid in Human and Animal tumors International Journal of Biochemistry, 21(8), 1989, p. 931-935.

  17. This population-based dietary study found inverse relationship between vitamin C consumption in women and the risk of developing cancer in the lower urinary tract.

    - A.M. Nomura, et al., Dietary Factors in Cancer of the Lower Urinary Tract, International Journal of Cancer, 48(2), May 10, 1991, p. 199-205.

  18. An inverse relationship was found in this population-based case-control study between the intake of vitamin C and invasive cervical cancer.

    - R. Verreault, et al., A Case-Control Study of Diet and Invasive Cervical Cancer, International Journal of Cancer, 43(6), June 15, 1989, p. 1050-1054.

  19. This study found that guinea pigs fed high vitamin C diets experienced a significantly less mutagenic effect after being injected with K2Cr207 than those fed a vitamin C-deficient diet. Vitamin C-deficient animals also suffered greater mutagenic and toxic effects from hexavalent chromium. High vitamin C-guinea pigs experienced no mutagenic effects in the bone marrow or changes in microsomal enzymes in the liver following exposure to bichromate. In interpreting their results, the authors suggest that vitamin C˜s protective effects likely consist in the enhanced extracellular and intracellular reduction of hexavalent chromium in the less toxic and less mutagenic trivalent chromium.

    - E. Ginter, et al., Vitamin C Lowers Mutagenic and Toxic Effect of Hexavalent Chromium in Guinea Pigs, International Journal of Vitamin and Nutritional Research, 59(2), 1989, p. 161-166.

  20. In this study, ascorbic acid deficiencies in guinea pig were found to change leukocyte morphology and significantly interfere with the bactericidal effectiveness of circulating leukocytes against ingested, cell-associated, and extracellular bacterial cells of Actinomyces viscosus. Adding vitamin C can reverse this activity.

    - M.C. Goldschmidt, et al., The Effect of Ascorbic Acid Deficiency on Leukocyte Phagocytosis and Killing of Actinomyces Viscosus, International Journal of Vitamin and Nutrition Research, 58(3), 1988, p. 326-334.

  21. This review article points out the importance of vitamin C, as well as vitamins A and E, as regulators of cancer cell differentiation, cell regression, membrane biogenesis, DNA, RNA, protein, and collagen synthesis, as well as transformation of precancer cells into cancer cells. Vitamins C, A, and E can reverse the cancer cell to the normal phenotype and possess cytotoxic and cytostatic effects.

    - A. Lupulescu, The Role of Vitamins A, Beta-carotene, E and C in Cancer Cell Biology, International Journal of Vitamin and Nutrition Research, 64((1), 1994, p. 3-14.

  22. This study found that mice consuming distilled water suffered from tumor growth after being injected with Ehrlich ascites tumor cells at a rate significantly faster than those consuming 0.1% ascorbic acid in distilled water.

    - F.A. Tewfik, et al., The Influence of Ascorbic Acid on the Growth of Solid Tumors in Mice and on Tumor Control by X-Irradiation, International Journal of Vitamin and Nutrition Research Suppl.,23, 1982, p. 257-263.

  23. This comprehensive review article cites numerous studies supporting ascorbic acid as having protective effects against cancer and recommends that it be used in treatment. Clinical trials over the last ten years are summarized, with the majority of them supporting this view. The authors predict that supplemental ascorbate will soon secure an established place in all full-scale therapeutic programs for cancer.

    - E. Cameron, Vitamin C and Cancer: An Overview, International Journal of Vitamin and Nutrition Research Suppl., 23, 1982, p. 115-127.

  24. This study reported on two sets of Japanese clinical trials involving the use of supplemental ascorbate to treat terminal cancer patients. The first trial found average survival time of high ascorbate patients was 246 compared to 43 days for low ascorbate patients. Results of the second trial were similar, with high ascorbate patients surviving an average of 115 days compared to 48 days for those in the low ascorbate group.

    - A. Murata, et al., Prolongation of Survival Times of Terminal Cancer Patients by Administration of Large Doses of Ascorbate, International Journal of Vitamin and Nutrition Research Suppl., 23, 1982, p. 103-113.

  25. This study demonstrated the effectiveness of ascorbic acid as a blocking agent in vivo and in vitro to N-Nitroso compounds, which can lead to cancer of the stomach.

    - S.R. Tannenbaum, Preventive Action of Vitamin C on Nitrosamine Formation, International Journal of Vitamin and Nutrition Research Suppl., 30, 1989, p. 109-113.

  26. Ascorbic acid and dehydroascorbic acid have both been shown to favor ATP C+ cell multiplication in vitro at low doses and inhibit it at high doses. Ascorbic acid was found to be more effective in determining both sets of effects than dehydroascorbic acid. Fractioned rather than single administration of both substances proved to the most efficient method for inhibiting cell multiplication.

    - F.S. Liotti, et al., Effects of Ascorbic and Dehydroascorbic Acid on the Multiplication of Tumor Ascites Cells in Vitro, Journal of Cancer Research and Clinical Oncology, 108(2), 1984, p. 230-232.

  27. In this study, the oral administration of 525 mg/day of vitamin C greatly inhibited benzo(a)pyrene-induced local malignant tumors in rats relative to controls.

    - G. Kallistratos and E. Fasske, Inhibition of Benzo(a)pyrene Carcinogenesis in Rats with Vitamin C, Journal of Cancer Research and Clinical Oncology, 97(1), 1980, p. 91-96.

  28. This study found that catecholamine-positive neuroblastoma cell line SK-N-SH was inhibited by high doses of ascorbic acid as were LS cells and catecholamine-negative SK-N-LO, albeit to a smaller extent.

    - S.L. Baader, et al., Ascorbic-acid-mediated Iron Release from Cellular Ferritin and its Relation to the Formation of DNA Strand Breaks in Neuroblastoma Cells, Journal of Cancer Research and Clinical Oncology, 120(7), 1994, p. 415-421.

  29. This study examined the effects of vitamin C on the efficacy and adverse effects of drug 864T in Ehrlich ascites carcinoma (EAC) cells in vivo. Results demonstrated that vitamin C both potentiates the anticancer effect of 864T as well as helps to counteract the drug's adverse effects.

    - M.M. el-Merzabani MM, et al., Potentiation of therapeutic Effect of Methanesulphonate and Protection Against its Organ Cytotoxicity by Vitamin C in Ehrlich Ascites Carcinoma Bearing Mice, Journal of Pharm Belg, 44(2), March-April 1989, p. 109-116.

  30. This study documents the case of one patient given large doses of ascorbic acid with indomethacin who consequently experienced a slow tumor resolution that has continued for 14 months. Similar effects were seen in a second patient receiving the same treatment.

    - W.R. Waddell and R.E. Gerner, Indomethacin and Ascorbate Inhibit Desmoid Tumors, Journal of Surg Oncol, 15(1), 1980, p. 85-90.

  31. This comparative study of normal and malignant conditions in humans and in mice found that serum levels of vitamin C were lower in all human malignant cases relative to controls. With respect to mice, results showed that vitamin C and vitamin A supplementation administered at the start of tumor development reduced both tumor take and rate of growth and prolonged host survival relative to controls.

    - J. Ghosh and S. Das, Evaluation of Vitamin A and C Status in Normal and Malignant Conditions and Their Possible Role in Cancer Prevention, Japanese Journal of Cancer Research, 76(12), December 1995, p. 1174-1178.

  32. This study compared 294 incurable patients treated with supplemental ascorbate with 1,532 untreated patients who served as controls over a 4.5 year period. The median survival time of the ascorbate group was 343 days compared to 180 days for the controls.

    - E. Cameron and A. Campbell, Innovation vs. Quality Control: An Unpublished Clinical Trial on Supplemental Ascorbate in Incurable Cancer, Medical Hypotheses, 36(3), November 1991, p. 185-189.

  33. Noting that previous studies have found ascorbic acid and its salts to be toxic to tumor cells in vitro and in vivo, this study presents data showing that ascorbic acid plasma levels can be sustained above levels toxic to tumor cells in vitro. The authors argue that ascorbic acid's cytotoxic properties should qualify it for consideration as a chemotherapeutic agent.

    - N.H. Riordan, et al., Intravenous Ascorbate as a Tumor Cytotoxic Chemotherapeutic Agent, Medical Hypotheses, 44(3), March 1995, p. 207-213.

  34. This article examined the results and methodology of a controversial case-control study involving the treatment of 100 incurable patients with 10g a day of vitamin C. The study has received criticism for not being conducted on a randomized, double-blind basis (out of ethical considerations). Instead, test cases were studied against historical controls. Results found that patients receiving vitamin C outlived controls by an average of 255 days (671%). This author considers the various criticisms the study has received, yet concludes that vitamin C is likely to have increased survival time an average of 100% in cancer patients who had failed to respond to previous treatments.

    - M. Jaffey, Vitamin C and Cancer: Examination of the Value of Leven Trial Results Using Broad Inductive Reasoning, Medical Hypotheses, 8(1), 1982, p. 49-84.

  35. This paper reports on the case of a 42 year-old man suffering from reticulum cell sarcoma who experienced two complete spontaneous regressions following the intravenous administration of high doses of ascorbate in 1975.

    - A. Campbell, et al., Reticulum Cell Sarcoma:

  36. Two Complete Spontaneous Regressions, in Response to High-Dose Ascorbic Acid Therapy. A Report on Subsequent Progress,

    - Oncology (1991) 48(6), 1991, p. 495-497.

  37. This study looked at vitamin C's effects on methylcholanthrene-induced local malignant sarcomas in mice. Results found that doses of 6, 25 and 35 mg/day of vitamin C five times weekly for 20 weeks offered significant prevention against the induction of sarcomas relative to controls.

    - M. Abdel-Galil, Preventive Effect of Vitamin C (L-ascorbic acid) on Methylcholanthrene-induced Soft Tissue Sarcomas in Mice, Oncology, 43(5), 1986, p. 335-337.

  38. This 12-year mortality follow-up study reports that vitamin C is inversely associated with overall mortality from cancer and cardiovascular disease.

    - M. Eichholzer, et al., Inverse Correlation Between Essential Antioxidants in Plasma and Subsequent Risk to Develop Cancer, Ischemic Heart Disease and Stroke Respectively: 12-Year Follow-up of the Prospective Basel Study, EXS, 62, 1992, p. 398-410.

  39. This double-blind, randomized, crossover study found that ascorbic acid significantly reduced muscle soreness in subjects following strenuous use of posterior calf muscles relative to subjects taking a lactose placebo.

    - M. Kaminski and R. Boal, An Effect of Ascorbic Acid on Delayed-onset Muscle Soreness, Pain, 50(3), September 1992, p. 317-321.

  40. This review article cites immunological studies documenting ascorbic acid's ability to induce immunity in mice against certain types of cancer. The authors argue that ascorbate works as an effective thiolprive in oxygenated cancer tissues which is primarily responsible for its immunological effects.

    - F.E. Knock, et al., Ascorbic Acid as a Thiolprive: Ability to Induce Immunity Against Some Cancers in Mice,

  41. Physiol Chem Phys, 13(4), 1981, p. 325-333.

  42. This study found that combinations of vitamin C and cisplatin lead to the regression of Dalton's lymphoma tumor activity in mice, which resulted in significantly increased host survival.

    - S.B. Prasad, et al., Use of Subtherapeutical Dose of Cisplatin and Vitamin C Against Murine Dalton's Lymphoma, Pol J Pharmacol Pharm, 44(4), July-August 1992, p. 383-391.

  43. This study found that the administration of 8g/day over 8-10 days before starting chemotherapy with cytostatics decreased p-hydroxyphenyl lactic acid (pHPLA) excretion in leukemia patients. Mice given 5 mg, 2x/wk, sc, 5wk of pHPLA with 250 mg/100 ml of ascorbic acid were also found to experience a reduction in the incidences of hepatoma, leukemia and bladder cancer. Based on these results, the authors argue that pHPLA carcinogenesis is inhibited by ascorbic acid.

    - M.O. Raushenbakh, et al., [Effect of Ascorbic Acid on Formation and Leukemogenic Activity of P-Hydroxyphenyllactic Acid], Probl Gematol Pereliv Krovi, 27(7), 1982, p.3-6.

  44. This study showed that treatment with vitamin C and chlorophyllin significantly reduced cytotoxicity and the rate of 6-sulfooxymethyl benzo[a]pyrene (SMBP) induced mutagenicity in animal and bacterial cell cultures.

    - A.S. Chung and Y.S. Cho, Antimutagenicity of Vitamin C and Chlorophyllin on 6-sulfooxymethyl benzo[a]pyrene in Salmonella Typhimurium and V79 Cell Line, Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the American Association of Cancer Researchers, 36, 1995, A755.

  45. Rat liver carcinogenesis was found to be inhibited by vitamin C and vitamin E derivatives in this study when administered at concentrations of 0.01, 0.05 or 0.10% for 12 weeks. Among the four vitamin derivatives administered, 2-O-octadecylascorbic acid (CV3611) proved to be the most effective.

    - D. Nakae, et al., Inhibitory Effects of Vitamin C and E Derivatives on Rat Liver Carcinogenesis Induced by a Choline-Deficient L-Amino Acid (CDAA)-Defined Diet, Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the American Association of Cancer Researchers, 34, 1993, A729.

  46. In this study, Metha tumor cell proliferation was found to be inhibited in vitro after simultaneous exposure to diethyldithiocarbamate (DDC) (1 to approx 2x10(-7) and ascorbic acid (1 to approx 5x10(-5)M). The two substances were able to inhibit tumor proliferation at slightly lower doses when cells were pretreated at 37¡C for one hour. In a mouse injected with 2 million tumor cells, 25 mg or 50 mg of ascorbic acid and 10 mg of DDC was also observed to inhibit tumor growth.

    - H. Mashiba and K. Matsunaga, Inhibition of Metha Tumor Cell Proliferation in Vitro and Tumor Inhibiton of Metha Tumor Cell Proliferation in Vitro and Tumor Growth in Combined Use of Diethyldithiocarbamate with Ascorbic Acid, Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the American Association of Cancer Researchers, 33, 1992, A2649.

  47. This study of ultraviolet light-induced malignant skin tumors and other lesions in hairless mice found that animals fed a standard diet including L-ascorbic acid experienced significantly less malignant lesions as well as significant delays in those that did develop relevant to controls.

    - W.B. Dunham, et al., Effects of Intake of L-ascorbic Acid on the Incidence of Dermal Neoplasms Induced in Mice by Ultraviolet Light, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 79(23), December 1982, p. 7532-7536.

  48. This study found that vitamin C prevented cigarette smoke-induced leukocyte adhesion to micro and macrovascular endothelium and leukocyte-platelet aggregate formation in mice.

    - H.A. Lehr, et al., Vitamin C Prevents Cigarette Smoke-Induced Leukocyte Aggregation and Adhesion to Endothelium in Vivo, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 91(16), August 2, 1994, p. 7688-7692.

  49. Percentages of L-ascorbic acid contained in food ranging from 0.076% to 8.3% were studied for their effects on spontaneous mammary tumors in mice. Results showed that as ascorbic acid dosages were increased, significant decreases occurred in the first-order appearance tumors after lag time detection by palpation when compared to controls.

    - L. Pauling, et al., Effect of Dietary Ascorbic Acid on the Incidence of Spontaneous Mammary Tumors in RIII Mice, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 82(15), August 1985, p. 5185-5189.

  50. In this study, 6-deoxy-6-bromo-ascorbic acid (6-Br-AA) in concentrations 10(-1) to 10(-8)M and incubated for periods of 2, 18, 24 and 72 hours was found to greatly inhibit the growth and DNA synthesis of melanoma cells in mice and was confirmed by in vivo experiments. Mice given 9 mg of 6-Br-AA three times daily for 16 days experienced tumor-suppressing effects on solid melanoma.

    - M. Osmak, et al., 6-Deoxy-6-bromo-ascorbic Acid Inhibits Growth of Mouse Melanoma Cells, Res Exp Med (Berl), 190(6), 1990, p. 443-449.

  51. In this seven year follow-up study of 2,974 men, average vitamin C levels were found to be lower in stomach cancer death cases relative to controls.

    - H.B. Stahelin, [Vitamins and Cancer: results of a Basel Study], Soz Praventivmed, 34(2), 1989, p. 75-77.

  52. This study found that ascorbic acid incubation is cultured stomach cancer surgery specimens resulted in a 50-90% increase in the rate of 5-fluorouracil incorporation into RNA of 5-fluorouracil-sensitive stomach tumors and in an approximately 50% increase of the rate of 5-fluorouracil-resistant tumors.

    - M.P. Shlemkevich, [Effect of Ascorbic Acid on In Vitro (6-3H)-5-Fluorouracil Incorporation into RNA of Stomach Cancer Tissue, Normal Gastric Mucosa, and Normal Small Intestine Mucosa], Vopr Med Khim, 29(1), 1983, p. 17-19.

  53. This study demonstrated that a 3% solution of ascorbic acid in drinking water added to estradiol propionate (carcinogen) decreased the incidence of uterine sarcoma tumors in mice by 35%.

    - L.S. Trukhanova, et al., [The Inhibitory Effect of Ascorbic Acid on the Estrogen-Stimulated Promotion of Uterine Sarcoma Development in Mice] Vopr Onkol, 36(5), 1990, p. 563-567.

  54. This study showed that injections of ascorbic acid before onset and at the start of tumor development decreased blood and urine 3-oxyanthranilic acid-antigen levels down to its eventual elimination from the body in rats and mice. Such activity was found to prevent the subsequent development of hepatoma.

    - T.A. Korosteleva, et al., [Effects of the Administration of Ascorbic Acid on 3-OAA-antigen Levels Formed During Chemical Hepatocarcinogenesis], Vopr Onkol, 35(12), 1989, p. 1455-1461.

  55. In this randomized study, postoperative treatment of 95 stomach cancer patients with vitamins C, E and A following, resulted in a decreased rate of postoperative complications from 30.9% to 1.9%.

    - V.N. Sukolinskii and T.S. Morozkina, [Prevention of Postoperative Complications in Patients with Stomach Cancer Using an Antioxidant Complex], Vopr Onkol, 35(10), 1989, p. 1242-1245.

  56. This study found that cancer patients suffered from a decreased level of ascorbic acid relative to non-cancer patients in addition to showing that such decreases correlated with an increase in blood concentrations of malonic and pyruvic acids. When cancer patients were given 1.5 g of ascorbic acid daily over a period of 7 days, blood levels of ascorbic acid returned to almost normal and lactate and pyruvate levels exhibited a decrease. In addition to these changes, ascorbic acid deficiencies were found to result in an increased risk of postoperative complications. This risk was decreased by increasing the levels of ascorbic acid in the blood of deficient patients.

    - E.G. Gorozhanskaia, et al., [The Role of Ascorbic Acid in the Combined Preoperative Preparation of Cancer Patients], Vopr Onkol, 35(4), 1989, p. 436-441.

  57. This study showed that mice treated with doses of 1.5, 0.25, and 0.025% of ascorbic acid in drinking water all experienced decreases in the frequency of N-nitroso compound induced tumors.

    - N.L. Vlasenko, et al., [Effect of Different Doses of Ascorbic Acid on the Induction of Tumors with N-Nitroso Compound Precursors in Mice], Vopr Onkol, 34(7), 1988, p. 839-843.

  58. Doses of 0.3, 0.75 or 1.5% of ascorbic acid administered in drinking water inhibited the growth of 1,2 dimethylhydrazine and estradiol-dipropionate induced uterine sarcomas in mice.

    - L.S. Trukhanova, [Effect of Ascorbic Acid on the Induction of Uterine Sarcomas in Mice], Vopr Onkol, 33(11), 1987, p. 53-57.

  59. The effect of high doses of ascorbic acid (100 mg/kg daily) on tyrosine metabolism and clinical course of acute lymphoblastic leukemia was studied in nine children. Ascorbic acid administration was shown to prevent or to considerably lower the excretion of a blastogenic metabolite of tyrosine Ð p-hydroxyphenylpyruvic acid. The treatment improved clinical blood count indexes, prevented hemorrhage and was followed by an earlier onset of complete remission after chemotherapy. Although chemotherapy suppressed p-hydroxyphenylpyruvic acid excretion, its level was inordinately high as late as on day 12. It is concluded that although the effects of ascorbic acid and cytostatic drugs on p-hydroxyphenylpyruvate hydroxylase level are similar, that of ascorbic acid is more specific and is followed by a complete recovery of tyrosine metabolism.

    - V.N. Baikova, et al., [The Effect of Large Doses of Ascorbic Acid on Tyrosine Metabolism and Hemoblastosis Course in Children], Vopr Onkol, 28(9), 1982, p. 28-34.

  60. This case-control study of diet and breast cancer in 2 Chinese populations found a strong inverse association between breast cancer and the intake of vitamin C, carotene, and crude fiber.

    - J.M. Yuan, et al., Diet and Breast Cancer in Shanghai and Tianjin, China, British Journal of Cancer, 71, 1995, p. 1353-1358.

  61. This review article looked at 12 case-control studies on the relationship between breast cancer and diet. The most consistently significant inverse association found was between vitamin C and breast cancer risk.

    - G.R. Howe, et al., Dietary Factors and the Risk of Breast Cancer: Combined Analysis of 12 Case-Controlled Studies, Journal of the National Cancer Institute, 82, 1992, p. 561-569.

  62. This review article cites results from several studies documenting the protective effects of vitamin C in reducing the risk of cervical cancer. One, in particular, found that women with the highest levels of dietary vitamin C decreased their chances of developing cervical cancer by 4-5 times compared to those with the lowest levels.

    - J. VanEenwyk, The Role of Vitamins in the Development of Cervical Cancer, The Nutrition Report, 11(1), January 1993, p. 1-8.

  63. Dietary vitamin C was found to be protective against cervical intraepithelial neoplasia in this case-control study.

    - C.F. Amburgey, et al., Undernutrition as a Risk Factor for Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia: A Case-control Analysis, Nutrition and Cancer, 20(1), 1993, p. 51-60.


Gary Null, PhD

P.O. Box 918 Planetarium Station

New York, New York 10024 USA


Reprinted with Permission from The Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients


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* Thanks to Gene Excoffon 8-4-97 for proof reading and editing.