Researchers: Vitamin C Deficiency Widespread - Link to Heart Disease, Infections, Cancer
In their book "Ascorbate - The Science of Vitamin C", Steve Hickey PhD and Hilary Roberts PhD point out that deficiency of vitamin C is far more widespread than is generally acknowledged by medical doctors and dieticians today. The two scientists, specialized in medical biophysics and nutrition, have challenged the scientific basis of the recommended daily amounts for this vitamin with medical authorities including the NIH - the National Institutes of Health, the IOM - Institute of Medicine and its Food and Nutrition Board charging that the amounts recommended are inadequate and that the science that forms the basis of the recommendations is seriously flawed.
While vitamin C is a vital nutrient that plays a role in preventing many disease states, some of the major "diseases of civilization" including heart disease and stroke, infectious disease and "the big C" - Cancer - according to the researchers are directly attributable to having too little of it circulating in our veins or saturating our tissues.
Human bodies are unable to synthesize vitamin C internally and must therefore rely completely on absorbing what comes with foods - not much in this world of fast food and refined, overcooked meals most of us are used to eating. Even supplementation is not very effective if it is not repeated several times during the day, say Hickey and Roberts, because vitamin C has a very short half-life. The amount absorbed is used up quickly, decreasing by 50 per cent every 30 minutes. Along with other factors, it is this short half-life that confounded the scientific studies done to determine the "recommended" dose.
Medical News Today carries an article giving a short history of discovery and suppression of this vital nutrient.
ONLINE SLIDE SHOW REVEALS CONSPIRACY AGAINST VITAMIN C
Has there been an ongoing conspiracy against vitamin C pills? Did vitamin C researchers, Drs. Linus Pauling and Matthias Rath, uncover the primary cause of coronary heart disease in 1970, only to have their discovery shunned by modern medicine? Were factitious reports about vitamin C widely spread to create public doubt about high-dose vitamin C, such as the false claim that high-dose vitamin C causes gene mutations that could lead to cancer?
Now, in graphic detail, a documentary slide show reveals how government health authorities conducted flawed scientific experiments to hide the many health benefits of vitamin C. British researchers Steve Hickey and Hilary Roberts reveal the flawed science, dispel the false idea that high-dose vitamin C creates nothing more than expensive urine, and show how humans can triple their blood concentrations of vitamin C and dramatically reduce their risk for heart attacks, cataracts, aneurysms, allergy and many other maladies. For the first time the public will view what happens inside arteries when vitamin C levels are low. Viewers will learn that most sudden-death heart attacks are not caused by cholesterol but a type of arterial plaque induced by a shortage of vitamin C.
The book of Hickey and Roberts can be obtained on line from Lulu.com. Here is Bill Sardi's excellent summary:
LINUS PAULING VINDICATED; RESEARCHERS CLAIM RDA FOR VITAMIN C IS FLAWED
Manchester, England - The authors of a new book claim the Institute of Medicine (IM) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) used flawed science to develop the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for vitamin C, a blunder that has likely caused millions of people to prematurely suffer avoidable health problems such as cataracts, strokes, heart attacks and many other maladies.
Steve Hickey PhD and Hilary Roberts PhD, pharmacology professors and graduates of the University of Manchester in Britain, claim they have been in communication with the NIH and the IM for over a year, challenging their rationale which establishes the RDA for vitamin C at 75 and 90 milligrams for males and females respectively. Hickey and Roberts say some basic errors in biology make justification for the current RDA for vitamin C indefensible. Even a recently proposed 200-milligram daily intake would still be inadequate to achieve optimal health says Hickey and Roberts.
HALF-LIFE FOR VITAMIN C IGNORED
The main flaw -- the half life for vitamin C is quite short, about 30 minutes in blood plasma, a fact which NIH and IM researchers have failed to recognize. (Half life is the time it takes for half of a substance to be removed from the body.) NIH researchers established the current RDA based upon tests conducted 12 hours (24 half lives) after consumption. "To be blunt," says Hickey, "the NIH gave a dose of vitamin C, waited until it had been excreted, and then measured blood levels."
Because vitamin C is used up rapidly, a very high single dose of vitamin C would not achieve the same concentration in the blood serum over time as two divided lower doses. Hickey and Roberts claim many negative studies using high-dose vitamin C have failed to recognize this fact and have therefore mistakenly concluded that high-dose supplemental vitamin C is ineffective.
RDA NOT FOR EVERYBODY
In the past year Hickey and Roberts have shaken the confidence of the IM and NIH, revealing that the medical establishment has failed to investigate the use of high-dose vitamin C properly, for more than 50 years. Hickey and Roberts have taken the IM and NIH to task for developing the RDA for vitamin C on studies using only 15 healthy test subjects. Normal variations would call for a greater pool of test subjects before establishment of an RDA for hundreds of millions of people.
Furthermore, the RDA is intended to set a level of nutrient consumption that would prevent disease (scurvy) among the vast majority (95%+) of the population. Yet smokers (50 million), estrogen or birth control pill users (13 million and 18 million), diabetics (16 million), pregnant females (4 million) and people taking aspirin (inestimable millions) or other drugs, have increased need for vitamin C and comprise more than 35 percent of the population. The current RDA wouldn't meet the needs of these large subpopulations.
Furthermore, Hickey and Roberts confronted the IM and NIH with their own contradictory data. The IM and NIH claim the saturation point is reached at a certain concentration of ascorbic acid in blood plasma but later published a paper showing repeated oral doses could achieve much higher concentrations, more than three times greater! [Annals Internal Medicine 140: 533-37, 2004]
Because of the short half-life of ascorbic acid, five 100 milligram doses of oral vitamin C taken at intervals through the day will raise average blood levels more than a single 1000 milligram dose. Hickey says the blood plasma is not saturated when 1000 milligrams of vitamin C is consumed orally since NIH researchers themselves demonstrated 2500 mg dose produces even higher concentrations. Hickey and Roberts claim the minimum supplemental dose of oral vitamin C needed to sustain blood plasma levels is around 2500 milligrams a day in divided doses in healthy individuals. Millions of others (smokers, diabetics, etc.) have needs greater than this.
NIH researchers doggedly cling to their claim that no more than 200 milligrams of oral vitamin C is required for human health and that a diet which includes five servings of fruits and vegetables would provide 210-280 milligrams of vitamin C. [Biofactors 15: 71-74, 2001] But only 9 percent of the US population consumes 5 servings of plant foods daily. The National Cancer Institute has abandoned their 5-a-day recommendation and replaced it with 9-a-day servings of fruits and vegetables once they recognized five servings a day had not reduced the risk for cancer or heart disease.
TOLERABLE UPPER LIMIT ALSO FLAWED
The recommended Tolerable Upper Limit for vitamin C, 2000 mg per day, gives the false impression that amounts beyond this would be toxic or produce side effects. In fact, 2000 mg of oral vitamin C would not meet the needs of millions of American adults. The only side effect at this dose is transient diarrhea which usually dissipates over time.
TISSUE LEVELS VS. BLOOD PLASMA LEVELS
The mistaken idea that high-dose vitamin C supplementation saturates the blood plasma after a moderate dose of about 150 milligrams of oral vitamin C, and additional amounts are worthless since they are excreted in the urine, now must be abandoned, says Hickey and Roberts. More than a decade ago other researchers found that consumption of high-dose vitamin C (2000 mg per day) increased ascorbic acid levels in the human eye by 22-32 percent compared to when a so-called saturation dose (148 mg) is consumed. [Current Eye Research 8: 751, 1991] Ascorbic acid levels in other tissues in the body, such as the brain where vitamin C concentration is 10 times greater than in blood plasma [J Clinical Investigation 100: 2842, 1997], make it evident that blood plasma levels may not be the gold standard for measuring vitamin C adequacy in all tissues in the human body.
LINUS PAULING VINDICATED
Hickey and Roberts' revealing book confirms the work of Dr. Linus Pauling, a long-time advocate of high-dose vitamin C supplementation. Pauling advocated consumption of supplemental vitamin C throughout the day and he consumed 18,000 milligrams of vitamin C in divided doses on a daily basis, a practice which overcomes the half-life decay problem.
Pauling also conducted studies using intravenous vitamin C as a treatment for cancer. In recent months published scientific reports even call for a reevaluation of the use of high-dose intravenous vitamin C for cancer treatment now that a study shows that intravenous vitamin C can produce blood plasma concentrations of vitamin C that are more than six times greater than oral vitamin C. [Annals Internal Medicine 140: 533-37, 2004] Three years ago even NIH researchers proposed that ascorbate treatment of cancer should be reexamined by rigorous scientific scrutiny in the light of new evidence. [J Am College Nutrition 19:423-5, 2000]
The inability to improve survival times in cancer patients with conventional cancer treatment has been disheartening. In 1991, it was reported that supplemental vitamin C, received by incurable cancer patients at some time during their illness, more than doubled their survival time. [Medical Hypotheses 36: 185-89, 1991] Indeed, Pauling and associates demonstrated that high-dose vitamin C more than quadrupled the survival times of terminal cancer patients. [Proceedings Nat'l Academy Sciences 73: 3685-89, 1976] But Pauling's research was discredited later when scientists claimed as little as 150 milligrams of vitamin C saturates the blood plasma and any more vitamin C than that is excreted. Now researchers recognize they made a grave error. Pauling even demonstrated that mice given high doses of vitamin C in their food were five times less likely to develop skin tumors when exposed to ultraviolet radiation than mice on low vitamin C diets. [Am J Clinical Nutrition 54:1252S-1255S, 1991] The significance here is that even high-dose oral supplementation may have preventive effects against certain forms of cancer.
HEALTH AUTHORITIES CEASE COMMUNICATION
Hickey has called for the IM and NIH to retract the current RDA or provide scientific justification for their recommendation. The NIH has ceased communication with Hickey via email.
Hickey and Roberts' new book, Ascorbate: the Science of Vitamin C, is available for immediate download ($6.00) at www.lulu.com/ascorbate.
ASCORBATE: THE SCIENCE OF VITAMIN C
$6.00 online download
$22.32 soft cover at www.lulu.com/ascorbate
6 X 9 inch perfect bound, fully referenced, 264 pages
Hilary has a BSc in physiology and psychology, an MSc in computer science and a PhD in child health from the University of Manchester, England. Her PhD work was on the effects of early life undernutrition on brain development and later behaviour. For a time she was a lecturer in organisational behaviour at Manchester Business School, working with Professor Enid Mumford. She was also a member of the British Computer Society's working group on Sociotechnical Systems. Hilary has scientific and other publications ranging from brain research to computer systems implementation.
Steve has a BA (maths and science) from the Open University, Membership of the Institute of Biology by examination in pharmacology, is a Chartered Biologist and a former member of the British Computer Society. In the first year of his PhD research in medical biophysics at the University of Manchester, he won the international Volvo Award for Biomechanics. In his final year, he was runner up for the Volvo Basic Science award for work on the development and aging of the spine. Other awards include the annual award and medal of the Back Pain Society (1986). Following his PhD, he worked with Professor John Brocklehust on the function of the urethra. This was followed by research into ultra high resolution CT body scanning, leading the physics team in Europe's first clinical MR imaging unit at Manchester Medical School. He was also a member of the Medical Research Council's task force on MR imaging. Steve has over 100 scientific publications covering a variety of disciplines. Currently he is Technical Director of a computer company in Manchester Science Park. He is also working with Professor Enid Mumford on aspects of computer systems implementation. In addition, he is a member of the Biology Department of Manchester Metropolitan University. He is currently affiliated with the Metropolitan University of Manchester.
Contact: Steve Hickey at radicalascorbate [at] yahoo.com
Vitamin C Can Boost the Immune System
ImmuneSupport.com - 03-02-2005
DENVER ó People who take daily doses of Vitamin C can boost their immune system, potentially protecting themselves from viruses and colds, according to a study presented at the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI).
Arizona State University Researchers Find Scurvy Is Serious Health Problem
by AScribe Newswire on 6/18/2004
Vitamin C may be a life-saver
Mega-doses of Vitamin C can counter avian flu, hepatitis and herpes, and can even control the advance of Aids - By Jane Feinmann
Imagine that a deadly virus is sweeping the world, killing and maiming hundreds of thousands of children. Nothing seems able to stop it - until a doctor stands up at the American Medical Association and reports on 60 cases involving severely infected children, all of whom have been cured. Yet his work, subsequently reported in a peer-review journal, is ignored, leaving the virus to wreak havoc for decades...
Vitamin C, Infectious Diseases, and Toxins: Curing the Incurable, by Thomas E. Levy, M.D., J.D.
Discovery Shows New Vitamin C Health Benefits
Researchers in the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University have made a major discovery about the way vitamin C functions in the human body - a breakthrough that may help explain its possible value in preventing cancer and heart disease.
Posted on October 22, 2004 11:59 PM
by Sydney Bush PhD., DOpt. (IOSc. London)
A reply to Dr Isika Martins and others with similar problems of hypertension, enlarged heart etc., from Dr Bush.
Whilst I should like to assist, I cannot possibly comment on the cardiovascular problems of individuals in this forum but my general comments as an interested optometrist may be helpful.
Cardioretinometry, when practised by suitably trained and equipped optometrists is expected to enable this primary health care profession to determine, for the first time, what combination of nutrients effectively dissolves the cholesterol from the retinal (and hence coronary) arteries. Pauling/Rath theory suggests that the aetiology of Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) is nothing more than Chronic Unbalanced Circadian Atheroma (CUCA). This explains how the apparently fittest of athletes like Jim Fixx can die jogging. Cardiovascular repair is rate limited. As such it is vulnerable to many factors. This has encouraged the medical profession for too long into simply regarding it as complex multifactorial disease probably rooted in cholesterol and saturated fats. But the mystery tends to disappear with the application of Pauling/Rath theory. The ratio of wear to repair is critical and it does not improve with age. That the repair process, at least in youth, has to be at least double the speed of the wear process is obvious from the fact that most athletes and heavy manual workers survive on eight hours sleep.
From the forgoing, CUCA must be deemed to exist whenever there is an imbalance of nutrients and/or excess stress. It may exist when the stress is mental (provoking the fight or flight reflex') environmental e.g., excess noise, passive smoking, or apply whenever the individual unwisely exercises to the point where his recovery and repair rates cannot in the limited overnight phase, whether asleep or simply resting, effect the necessary renewal and repair of tissues. Any long repeated failure of repair which leaves even the most microscopic amount of residual cellular damage to the arterial endothelium at the end of the rest phase, must by definition be cumulative. Potentiated by ageing, it will result in an inevitable atheroma, CHD and eventual thrombosis unless death intervenes due to other causes. The avoidance of CUCA is therefore the key to a normal blood pressure and cardiovascular system.
In my best professional opinion, scurvy is endemic to the extent of over 90% of the population. Physicians tend to deny this. The excellent paper by Johnston CS published in the J Am. Coll. Nut. (1998 Aug) relies heavily on arbitrarily defined plasma levels which in my opinion are quite unrealistic as deficiency is defined as less than 11.4mumol/L and depletion as plasma concentration in the range 11.5 up to 28.4 mumol/L.
Public confidence in medical attitudes to vitamin C will be further eroded by the announcement of gross errors in the work published four years ago on its half life in the plasma. The same workers have now revised their figures of the half life of the vitamin in the plasma to approximately thirty minutes. (Annals Internal Medicine, April 6, 140: 533-37, 2004) This might explain why so many express disappointment at catching a cold whilst claiming to have taken their vitamin C as recommended once per day. No headlines have been seen in the papers or media following this startling correction. (see www.vitamincfoundation.org)
I intended revealing my evidence for the error in this medical thinking in a recently submitted short paper to the British journal entitled "Scurvy - You've got it!". Although backed up by photomicrographs of before and after vessels and a proposed new grading system ten classifications of pericorneal vasculature, it was rejected by the peer review committee because of its slant. My interpretation of this excuse was that the paper was regarded as not conducive to good relations between the two professions of Optometry and Medicine. Furthermore, I was asked not to submit further papers of a similar nature!
The public should readily recognise that Optometry stands for prevention and Western Medicine by contrast, stands for allopathic treatment of symptoms rather than causes. I therefore strongly resist closer links between the professions until Western Medicine is reorganised along preventive lines. The image of Optometry as a caring profession can only suffer by association with allopathic medicine. I have no confidence in a profession that denies the value of ascorbate drops in the treatment of pseudomonas corneal infections when Klenner found it to be specific against pseudomonas overgrowth in burns.
Optometry can only actively truly promote eye care, sight conservation and by association, life extension. Blind people are a worse optometric disaster than an edentulous person to a dental surgeon. Contrast this with Western Medicine - all the wealthier for more widespread and prolonged sickness; a principle that starkly erodes confidence. For how much longer can death and iatrogenic disease on the vast scale of probably a quarter million annual deaths across the West and millions damaged as revealed by Pomeranz BL (JAMA and BMJ) be tolerated, when considering the USA figures extrapolated to include the EEC population?
Digressing for a moment: - In the Chinese system patients pay physicians to keep them well and cease payments during illness. I shall not rest until the worst of all worlds which we have in England and the UK, is reversed. Our wrongly named National Health Service (NHS) extracts large contributions for a Medical or Sickness Service as described by Dr Walter Yellowlees to the Royal College of General Practitioners. ("Ill Fares The Land.") I should like to see physicians earn more, by annual retainer payments as at present but staged to earn most for the very young, least from 20 to 40 then increasing amounts in every decade until old people can feel that they are valued and no longer a challenge and burden to the NHS. which is perceived at present as increasingly their enemy.
Angered by Optician's unexpected rejection of what I felt to be an important paper that had taken a year to prepare, I wrote the British Medical Journal when a colleague, shortly afterwards alerted me to a paper by Wong TY on retinal vasculature and hypertension. To the great credit of the British Medical Journal, my entry directly into the Lions' Den, my definition of scurvy and my feelings regarding the friction engendered between the professions as a result of contrary attitudes to vitamin C in multigram doses, were fully aired in the letter published as an electronic Rapid Response to Wong TY on the 23rd July 2004. This can be read scrolling to Rapid Responses via http://bmj.bmjjournals.com/cgi/content/full/329/7457/79. In that letter I emphasised that scurvy is endemic and pandemic. My exact words in the BMJ were " - - it had become obvious from anterior segment examinations that scurvy, any state in which supplemental vitamin C improves the pericorneal vasculature was leading to reductions of vessel lumen, congestion and hyperaemia in almost every case." and "Microaneurysms and incipient microaneurysms were gradually eliminated as dosages increased. It was judged that over 90% of patients could be improved but some needed over 10,000mgs/day supplemented with vitamin E. According to the received wisdom, the physicians consulted by these patients continued to doubt the necessity for such large doses and a degree of friction existed."
In my conclusion to the BMJ letter I stated, which may be of more interest, "CardioRetinometry has already also demonstrated reductions of cholesterol in the retinal venules and it is believed by the author that cholesterol in the first post capillary venules and veins, deposited against the current received wisdom, is the precursor of arteriosclerosis and essential hypertension."
There can be little doubt from my clinical experience, that CUCA is rooted in scurvy and is the reason why cardiovascular disease is the main cause of death and affects over 50% of people who insist that they expect to get all the nutrition they require from their food!
For too long perhaps, physicians have considered the hypertension of 100+ the age to be normal. At the age of 75, my blood pressure is the same as when I was a 21 year old medical student, before switching into optometry.
To repeat my earlier comment, I am confident that cardioretinometry will prove to be a better surrogate outcome predictor of coronary arterial health than electron beam tomography or angiography with none of the problems of cost, safety and invasiveness. Nutritional prophylactic cardioretinometry should save many lives and improve the lives of many more.
I shall be happy to meet with and/or lecture (within time and distance constraints) any gathering of interested optometrists and possibly ophthalmologists. This group of health professionals is most likely to be (a) suitably equipped (b) interested (c) able to monitor the sequentially illustrative images at sufficiently frequent intervals and (d) supply and record the nutrients in the highly variable amounts thus shown to be necessary for clearance of the cholesterol deposits from the retinal vasculature.
If, as I am fully confident is the case, the small numbers of patients who I have been able to observe are representative, hypertension should be lowered within a very few weeks. The degree should correspond with the success of the procedure as directly visible in the instant images of the retinal vasculature and also, of course, available immediately to the patient in person if interested, without the delays one would normally expect when results have to be obtained from laboratories etc.
Nothing however can be said to have been properly proven about the new sub-speciality within Optometry until a properly designed study has been funded and researched. I am applying for funds at the moment. My ability to be supremely confident of the outcome of a large trial is based on my experience over the last few years, gained it must be admitted, up to now, from somewhat erratic patients and lack of method and consistency difficult to achieve in a contact lens practice. However the dramatic arterial changes that have been seen as never before, encourage one to be very certain indeed that the outcome of any suitable trial will be completely satisfactory and one's faith fully vindicated.
I am confident that we shall have to thank Linus Pauling and cardiologist Dr Matthias Rath MD. for Pauling/Rath theory of course and I am certain that Dr Rath who I look forward to meeting eventually, will have every cause to be quietly satisfied with his achievement.
When in Sweden this summer, I discussed the forgoing with Dr Uffe Ravnskov MD. PhD., author of "The Cholesterol Myths - Exposing The Fallacy That Saturated Fats Cause Heart Disease" and am pleased to say that he was immediately appreciative of the implications for the new procedure and I am hoping that his immense knowledge of the problems of design of similar studies might be forthcoming in order to satisfy the strict criteria that the scientific community will doubtless expect to be met.
Vitamin C: possible cancer-killing promise
High-dose intravenous vitamin C may be effective in treating cancer, newly published research indicates.
posted by Sepp Hasslberger on Friday July 9 2004
updated on Tuesday December 7 2010
URL of this article:
An Open Challenge To The Ridiculous Dietary Allowance (RDA)
Drs Steve Hickey and Hilary Roberts have for a limited time made the their new book: "Ridiculous Dietary Allowance" free (until Jan. 15th 2005) so more people can read it and understand, what travesty the RDA limits are. In the pretense of improving our health these guidelines actually damage it. This book will help educate us all so we can put pressure on the establishment and their Codex deliberations. Which... [read more]
December 15, 2004 - Chris Gupta
THE VITAMIN C FANATICS WERE RIGHT ALL ALONG
..."Millions of people could have delayed or avoided health problems such as cataracts, cancer, blood vessel disease, aneurysms, gall stones and more had NIH researchers properly conducted tests to determine the human need for vitamin C.... ....Despite recently published data that stands in stark contrast to the RDA and the claim that mega-dose vitamin C supplementation is of no benefit, public health authorities are not forthcoming about their past mistakes."...... [read more]
July 09, 2004 - Chris Gupta
MISINFORMATION ABOUT VITAMIN C
As usual the self proclaimed (more like self serving) mainstream authorities are so deathly afraid of vitamin C that they continue to disseminate all sorts of rubbish on it. Not realizing how stupid they look to anyone who even knows a smidgen about this king of vitamins should laugh at their ineptness of the most basic understanding let alone their authority on it. WHAT A JOKE! Sadly this is not... [read more]
September 21, 2004 - Chris Gupta
Vitamin C beats statins in cholesterol - heart disease
The solution to high cholesterol and therefore heart attacks - tell us Astra Zeneca and Pfizer, two of the heavyweights in pharmaceutical remedies - is to take their drugs, Crestor and Liptor respectively. According to what Dr. Mercola tells us in one of his recent articles - Crestor and Other Statins: Are They Really Worth the Risk? - there are serious side effects to these drugs, one of them being... [read more]
November 09, 2003 - Sepp Hasslberger
The Negative Impact of Sugar on Vitamin C
Thanks Owen, exactly what I had suspected, one can also add alcohol to Dr. Ely's theory . The hit to the immune system by sugar is an added insult. See: Fibiger's Work on Cancer & Sugar Another good reason, from many, to ditch processed foods... Chris Gupta ----------------------- At 07:22 AM 7/22/2004, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote: FYI - Dr. John Ely has a Glucose Antagonism Theory - that since both glucose and... [read more]
August 04, 2004 - Chris Gupta
Sudden Infant Death - Eliminate With Vitamin C, Not Prison
258 convictions for killing children, with more than 50 parents still in prison, will be reviewed, according to an article in BBC News today. It is likely that many of the cases are not criminal offenses but a tragedy called Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) or Cot Death, gone unrecognized and turned into human tragedies with courts, prisons and all the trappings of destroyed families and lives. Fortunately there is... [read more]
January 19, 2004 - Sepp Hasslberger