From the March 2005 Idaho Observer:

Vitamin C: Why this vitamin is a threat to the medical/pharma cartel and why we need free access to therapeutic doses of ascorbates

by Ingri Cassel


Vitamin C history

Many of us remember learning in history class that many sailors died of scurvy on their long ocean voyages taken during the Age of Exploration. While thousands did die, Captain James Cook was able to make three extensive Pacific voyages from 1768 to 1780 without losing any of his crew to the dreaded plague. Cook made use of many antiscorbutic agents. Whenever his ships reached shore, he ordered his sailors to gather fruits, berries, vegetables and green plants. Cook began one of his voyages with 7,860 pounds of sauerkraut – enough to provide each of his 70 sailors with two pounds of sauerkraut a week for an entire year. Sauerkraut happens to contain 30 mg. of vitamin C per 100 grams.

In 1747, while in the employ of the British naval service, Scottish physician James Lind discovered that some element in citrus foods prevented scurvy. He memorialized his experiments treating scurvy with citrus fruits in his 1753 book, A Treatise on Scurvy.

It wasn’t until 1795 that the British Admiralty ordered that a daily ration of fresh lime juice be given to the sailors which marked the period that scurvy was vanquished from the British Navy. This is also the reason that a British sailor was often referred to as a "limey".

The science of nutrition, or the study of specific vital elements in food that we call vitamins today, did not emerge until the 1900s. The specific nutrient that prevents scurvy (vitamin C) was "rediscovered" by Norwegians A. Hoist and T. Froelich in 1912. Vitamin C happens to be the first vitamin to be artificially synthesized in the form of ascorbic acid in 1935 through a process invented by Dr. Tadeusz Reichstein, of the Swiss Institute of Technology in Zurich.

Function of vitamin C

Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble nutrient and powerful anti-oxidant. A primary function of vitamin C is maintaining collagen, a protein necessary for the formation of connective tissue in skin, ligaments and bones. It is essential in healing wounds, fractures and burns since it facilitates the formation of connective tissue. Vitamin C also aids in forming red blood cells, strengthens blood vessels and prevents hemorrhaging. Many later researchers have discovered that vitamin C is essential in the prevention and treatment of artherosclerosis and high blood pressure.

Vitamin C is most well-known for its use as a preventative for the common cold and flu. Thousands can attest to the fact that taking several grams of vitamin C throughout the day for the next couple of days after the onset of a cold or flu minimizes the symptoms and speeds up recovery. The reason is that vitamin C enhances immunity. High blood levels of ascorbic acid have been shown to protect against a myriad of infections, free radicals, the harmful effects of pollution and even cancer.

Vitamin C is also called an "anti-stress" vitamin since it is essential in the formation of adrenaline. Large concentrations of ascorbic acid are found in the adrenal glands. During times of high stress, the level of adrenal ascorbic acid is rapidly used up.

To understand just how essential daily intake of vitamin C is, Dr. Roger Williams in his famous book Nutrition Against Disease, stated on p. 85:

"Vitamin C is essential for the building of collagen, the most abundant protein built in our bodies and the major component of connective tissue. This connective tissue has structural and supportive functions which are indispensable to heart tissues, to blood vessels, —in fact, to all tissues. Collagen is not only the most abundant protein in our bodies, it also occurs in larger amounts than all other proteins put together. It cannot be built without vitamin C. No heart or blood vessel or other organ could possibly perform its functions without collagen. No heart or blood vessel can be maintained in healthy condition without vitamin C."

How much vitamin C do we need?

Dr. Irwin Stone, one of the early pioneers of vitamin C therapy, noted in 1965 that most animals synthesize their body’s own vitamin C requirements, whereas humans, primates, guinea pigs, Indian fruit eating bats and a few Indian birds require ascorbic acid through the food they consume. Fruits and vegetables that are organically grown, eaten soon after harvesting and eaten raw have the highest levels of bio-available vitamin C and if our planetary conditions and lifestyle habits were ideal, deficiency symptoms should not be an issue. But since most people do not live in these ideal conditions nor are pure natural hygienists (raw foodists), it is prudent to estimate how much vitamin C our body needs on a daily basis.

It is illustrative to contrast the assumed daily vitamin C requirements of humans, who must obtain vitamin C from food, with other animals that synthesize their body’s vitamin C requirements. Rats synthesize vitamin C at the rate of 26 to 58 milligrams (mg) per day per kilogram of body weight. If we were going to model our vitamin C intake on the amount of vitamin C a rat requires, a human weighing about 154 pounds should ingest 1.8 to 4.1 grams(g) a day under ordinary circumstances. The variation in vitamin C requirements can be attributed to biochemical individuality and lifestyle/environmental factors.

Note: 1,000 mg= 1g.

Since most people do not like modeling their vitamin C intake after a rat’s requirements, it must be noted that the goat, cow, sheep, dog, cat, squirrel and rabbit also manufacture ascorbic acid at a high rate: about 10 g per 70 kg (154 pounds) body weight. Compare this amount to the RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowance) for vitamin C: Infants – 35 mg; Children – 45-50 mg; Adults – 60 mg. Does it make sense that humans require a fraction of the vitamin C that their animal friends require? Doing a little math and adjusting for body weight differences, goats manufacture 200 times the vitamin C our RDA of vitamin C claims is needed for human health maintenance.

"The inability of man to manufacture his own ascorbic acid, due to genetic fault, has been called ‘hypoascorbemia’ by Irwin Stone. This is another reason for abolishing the present concept of daily minimal requirements. The physiological requirements in man are no different from other mammals capable of carrying out this synthesis." ~Dr. Fred Klenner

Understanding that we must ingest an ample amount of vitamin C daily, for proper functioning of our immune system and basic body repairing collagen, Reichstein’s discovery of a way to artificially create large amounts of ascorbic acid in the laboratory becomes much more significant.

Signs of deficiency

Scurvy, the disease caused by severe vitamin C deficiency, is marked by a failure of strength, general restlessness and rapid exhaustion. The victim is mentally depressed, their skin becomes yellowish-gray and pain is experienced in the joints and muscles. If the disease is allowed to progress, the victim’s face will look haggard, his gums will ulcerate, his teeth will fall out and his breath becomes foul. Hemorrhages will occur throughout the body giving the appearance of extensive bruising. Final stages of scurvy are marked by profound exhaustion, diarrhea, and lung and kidney ailments.

Most people today suffer from what is known as sub-clinical scurvy. Bleeding gums, swollen or painful joints, slow-healing wounds and fractures, bruising, nosebleeds and impaired digestion are a few of the obvious signs of vitamin C deficiency. Less obvious signs include susceptibility to bacterial and viral infections, arthritis, arteriosclerosis, heart disease, various autoimmune diseases and cancer.

In the early 1900s, a disease known as Barlow’s disease occurred in bottle-fed infants and was characterized by broken bones, bruises, and sores that wouldn’t heal. Pasteurization (and heating of any kind) destroys the vitamin C in milk and mothers did not know the importance of supplementing their babies’ diet with fresh orange juice as a source of vitamin C. Today we have many cases of Barlow disease among formula fed infants whose meager vitamin C reserves are depleted with each vaccine administered. Only today Barlow’s disease has been renamed Shaken Baby Syndrome.

Treatments using therapeutic doses of vitamin C

Although many doctors have experimented with large doses of vitamin C on their patients, Dr. Fred Klenner was clearly the pioneer in establishing therapeutic doses of ascorbic acid for a myriad of human maladies. His now famous paper, "Observations On the Dose and Administration of Ascorbic Acid When Employed Beyond the Range Of A Vitamin In Human Pathology", describes in detail his use of ascorbic acid intravenously in the successful treatment of influenza, pneumonia, poisonous snake and spider bite, carbon monoxide poisoning, viral encephalitis, Epstein-Barr virus, mononucleosis, severe burns, poisoning from a myriad of environmental toxins, complications from smallpox vaccination, all types of hepatitis, cancer of the bladder, Lockjaw, trichinosis, and even chickenpox. Klenner claims that intravenous injections of ascorbic acid given every eight hours will "dry up" chickenpox in 24 hours.

Klenner also mentions the importance of using vitamin C throughout pregnancy. He recommends 4 grams daily during the first trimester, 6 grams daily during the second trimester, and 10 grams daily during the last trimester.

Out of 300 patients in "this series" who followed Klenner’s regimen, "[l]abor was shorter and less painful. There were no postpartum hemorrhages. The perineum was found to be remarkably elastic and episiotomy was performed electively...No patient required catheterization. No toxic manifestations were demonstrated in this series. There was no cardiac stress even though 22 patients of the series had rheumatic hearts.

"One patient in particular was carried through two pregnancies without complications. She had been warned by her previous obstetrician that a second pregnancy would terminate with a maternal death. She received no ascorbic acid with her first pregnancy. This lady has been back teaching school for the past 10 years. She still takes 10 grams of ascorbic acid daily.

"Infants born under massive ascorbic acid therapy were all robust. Not a single case required resuscitation. We experienced no feeding problems. The Fultz quadruplets were in this series. They took milk nourishment on the second day. These babies were started on 50 mg ascorbic acid the first day and, of course, this was increased as time went on …They are the only quadruplets that have survived in the southeastern United States.

"Another case of which I am justly proud is one in which we delivered 10 children to one couple. All are healthy and good looking. There were no miscarriages. All are living and well. They are frequently referred to as the vitamin C kids, in fact all of the babies from this series were called ‘Vitamin C Babies’ by the nursing personnel—they were distinctly different."

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."

~"Vitamin C: How Much is Enough?" By Patrick Holford

Many people have found that the best way to take therapeutic doses of vitamin C is by purchasing sodium ascorbate by the pound and incorporating it in all the fluids one drinks. Since vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin, if you take a quantity that is in excess of the amount your body needs at the time, your body will excrete the excess. To effectively saturate your body with this nutrient, it is best to take up to a gram every hour throughout the day. Vitamin C in the form of sodium ascorbate is non acidic, easily assimilable, and most people find that their bowel tolerance is not reached as soon with this particular form.

The Codex threat

Currently we are able to purchase therapeutic doses of vitamin C over-the-counter without a doctor’s prescription. Through the World Trade Organization, the Codex Alimentarius Commission threatens to undermine the Dietary Supplement Health Education Act (DSHEA) of 1994, first by redefining food supplements, vitamins and minerals as drugs instead of foods and, secondly, by setting limits to the therapeutic amount of vitamin C as well as other essential nutrients you can purchase without a doctor’s prescription.

If you have read this far and understand that most doctors are trained at medical schools funded in large part by pharmaceutical companies, your access to vitamin C in amounts higher than 100 mg is threatened.

It is imperative that we have free access to such an essential nutrient as vitamin C for basic health maintenance. It is also essential that we have access to truthful claims about these nutrients that cannot be construed as "medical claims" to give regulators an excuse to reclassify the nutrient as a drug and remove it from the market.

If you are as concerned as The Idaho Observer staff is about this looming threat to your health freedom, call or write your representatives in Congress. Many of them are advocates of taking vitamin supplements and simply are not aware of the problem.

If you have access to the internet, go to the following websites and get involved:

Friends of Freedom International ;

American Holistic Health Association ;

Alliance for Natural Health .

If you do not have access to the internet and want to know how to best direct your energies, call The Idaho Observer:


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