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What is vitamin c, what does it do?
Oral or intravenous what's the difference?
Discovering scurvy to curing cancer
The future of injectable vitamin c
what is vitamin c
Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid) is a a nutrient essential for health and well-being. If it is not present in your diet, you die. Small quantities can keep you alive, larger amounts are needed for optimum health. Vitamin C is most commonly found in fruit and vegetable foods and is highest in fresh, uncooked foods. Vitamin C is one of the least stable vitamins, and cooking can destroy much of this water-soluble vitamin. Ascorbic Acid injection (vitamin C for injection) is a clear, colorless to slightly yellow sterile solution of Ascorbic Acid in Water for Injection, for intravenous, intramuscular or subcutaneous use.
There is a big difference medically between taking vitamin C orally and injecting it into the body by means of the needle, either into the muscle or the vein. (Intramuscular route is used only with small children, and the vein is used for adults.) Only through injecting large quantities of vitamin C directly into the vein -- 5 grams or more -- can blood levels be raised to the point where dramatic cure rates of any number of viral and other diseases can be expected. The procedures and diseases treated are described in medical articles reprinted in the new book, "Injectable Vitamin C and the Treatment of Viral and Other Diseases".
The book, "Injectable Vitamin C and the Treatment of Viral and Other Diseases" presents the full text with dozens of articles published in medical journals, most by the late Dr. Fred Klenner, from North Carolina, documenting the use of injectable vitamin C in the curing of a variety of diseases, including:
Current research, and the upcoming second volume of the book center on the treatment of cancer, as well as other diseases, using intravenous injections of large amounts if vitamin C.
History of Vitamin C
Ascorbic acid is made by living cells from glucose and protects animals from developing scurvy. A few species, including man and guinea pigs, are not able to make this vitamin, depending wholly on Vitamin C present in food. We have lost the gene upon which the final transformation to Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) depends.
Scurvy has been a scourge for thousands of years, or as soon as mankind began to depend on food sources deficient in Vitamin C. The proof that certain foods cure and prevent scurvy, and that the active principle is ascorbic acid, is associated with a small number of physicians and scientists. These include Sir James Lind, the British naval surgeon who first proved using controlled experiments that citrus fruit was anti-scorbutic. The British navy delayed acting on his discovery for at least forty years, resulting in the loss of about 100,000 seamen from scurvy. After they began to feed their sailors limes they were able to prevent scurvy. This is one of the factors which saved Britain from Napoleon’s fleet; French sailors at sea became sick with scurvy too soon. Other scientists were Dr. Szent-Gyorgyi, Dr. N. Haward and Dr. C. G. King, but of all these, Dr. Szent-Gyorgyi stands far above any other, and he was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1937.
Dr. A. Szent-Gyorgyi died in October 1986, when he was ninety-three years old. Recently Ralph W. Moss published Free Radical: Albert Szent-Gyorgyi and the Battle Over Vitamin C (1988). It is an excellent account of the life history of a remarkable person and scientist. I found the story of how ascorbic acid was finally identified fascinating.
In 1925, when he was thirty-two years old, Dr. Szent-Gyorgyi became interested in biological oxidation. At that time there was a debate between scientists who emphasized the role of oxygen and those who emphasized the role of hydrogen as reducing substances. Dr. Szent-Gyorgyi showed that both were involved but that an intermediary compound like succinic acid was involved. Dr. Szent-Gyorgyi became excited by the bronzing of skin of patients with Addison’s disease, and the brown pigmentation which develops when certain vegetables or fruits are cut, like potatoes, apples and pears. He showed that fruits which do not turn brown contain a substance which suppresses this oxidation—it is an antioxidant. But it was also present in adrenal glands. However, the main source was orange juice and cabbage juice. Before the substance could be identified it would have to be crystallized and then its exact chemical structure identified.
Dr. Szent-Gyorgyi moved to London where he worked with Sir Henry Dale. Later he moved to Cambridge, England, and eventually extracted 1 gram from orange juice and cabbage juice. But he did not know what the compound was. In his first paper he therefore called it “ignose” from ignosco (I don’t know). He added “ose” because it was derived from sugar (glucose). The editor of the journal to whom he had submitted the paper did not like that word. Then Szent-Gyorgyi suggested “Godnose”. This nearly cost him his Nobel Prize,, for the editor indignantly rejected this second term and suggested instead it be called “hexuronic acid”. This it is not. Had his paper not been published, his research career might have taken a different direction. He won his Ph.D. from this research.
In 1929 he was invited to do his work in Rochester, Minnesota, at the Mayo Clinic where Dr. E. C. Kendall was doing his research. He was attracted to the Mayo Clinic because he was promised adequate facilities and a huge source of adrenal glands from the slaughterhouse of St. Paul, Minnesota. The adrenal gland is a rich source of ascorbic acid, one of the richest sources in the body. While there he isolated 30 grams of “hexuronic acid”, as it was now called, from thousands of pounds of adrenal glands. He sent 10 grams to Dr. N. Hawarth, one of the world’s best sugar chemists. But there was not enough for him to do so. Dr. Szent-Gyorgyi kept 10 grams which he took with him back to his own country, to Szeged, Hungary, in 1930. He had been given a laboratory to start an institute.
In 1931, Dr. J. Svirbely from Pittsburgh joined him. He had worked with Dr. C. G. King for his Ph.D. and had been working on methods of measuring the anti-scorbutic factor. When he arrived in Dr. Szent-Gyorgi’s lab, he told him he could tell whether something contained Vitamin C. Dr. Szent-Gyorgyi then pulled out his 10 grams of crystalline “hexuronic acid” and said, “. . . here, test this, I think this is Vitamin C.” He had suspected this for several years but had not proof. He was not really interested in vitamins and had no use for the study of nutrition. He believed, “Vitamins are of relatively little fundamental scientific interest.”
Other investigators were hot on the trail. Thus, Dr. Karl Link in Wisconsin had prepared several grams of impure calcium ascorbate but his Dean would not give him any money to test it on guinea pigs. Dr. C. G. King in Pittsburgh was also getting close. Later, King and Szent-Gyorgyi were involved in a hot debate over priority.
A few months after Sverbely began his studies, he proved that Dr. Szent-Gyorgyi’s “hexuronic acid” was Vitamin C. Early in 1932, Sverbely wrote to Dr. King, telling him of his experiments and conclusion. His chief, Szent-Gyorgyi, had urged him to do so. April 1932, Science published a letter from C. G. King, announcing that “hexuronic acid” was Vitamin C. The bitter debate was on. Soon after that, Nature carried a letter from Szent-Gyorgyi with his announcement. Pretty soon, U.S. science squared off against European science.
The controversy was settled when A. Szent-Gyorgi, not C. G. King, won the Nobel Prize in 1937. The U.S. patent office rejected King’s application for a patent in 1932, concluding he had no priority.
It is apparent the mutual dislike between these two scientists never died. Over the past twenty years the orthomolecular era was introduced by Linus Pauling; Dr. Szent-Gyorgyi jumped in on Pauling’s side to support his view that optimum doses, no matter how large, are much more important than the tiny vitamin doses supported by nutritionists, dietitians, and biochemists. Dr. C. G. King remained with the establishment, vigorously opposed to the use of mega doses. Dr. A. Szent-Gyorgyi took large doses of ascorbic acid with his breakfast, combined with wheat germ. He was convinced wheat germ also had anti-cold properties. About ten years before he died, he was very ill. On Linus Pauling’s advice he increased his consumption of Vitamin C and recovered.
Now we all know that “hexuronic acid” was Vitamin C. But what was “hexuronic acid”? Fortunately, Dr. Szent-Gyorgyi did not like paprika, yet his institute was in Szeged, the paprika capital of Hungary. Vitamin C was required in large amounts so that its structure and properties could be discovered. It was too difficult to obtain it from orange juice or adrenal glands. One evening, Dr. Szent-Gyorgyi took the paprika he had been served with dinner to his laboratory. He had realized he had never tested it for Vitamin C content. To his delight, he found it was five to six times as rich in Vitamin C as orange juice. Within one week his institute had isolated three pounds of Vitamin C. He promptly sent some to Dr. Hawarth who soon proved its structure and that it was not hexuronic acid. Dr. Szent-Gyorgyi’s word “ignose” was more accurate than the editor’s word, hexuronic acid. In 1937, the same year Szent-Gyorgyi won his Nobel Prize for physiology and medicine, Dr. Hawarth won his for chemistry. Dr. Szent-Gyorgyi was forty-four years old.
Today, ascorbic acid is synthesized by the ton and distributed all over as a pure crystalline powder. As a vitamin its impact on medicine was enormous. But its use in mega doses, first started by Dr. F. Klenner in the U.S.A. and by our group in Canada about the same time, marked a major development in the field of human health. This was highlighted by Dr. I. Stone and Dr. Linus Pauling. Dr. Pauling risked his enormous scientific credibility by his views on using large doses of vitamins. His work on Vitamin C and the common cold and the flu, and later on the role it plays in controlling the ravages of cancer are well known and, in the opinion of orthomolecular scientists, are correct. We have come to the same conclusions by observing what Vitamin C has done for tens of thousands of patients. It is the most remarkable antistress antioxidant and is finding its place in the treatment of more and more difficult chronic diseases including AIDS, cancer, infections, toxemias, schizophrenia and more.
a call for action
Of course, many questions exist about the efficacy of injectable vitamin C. Research is needed to provide answers. With the stakes rising, now is the time to do that research. Certainly, the articles reprinted in this book, and those available elsewhere, though not compiled in conveniently available volumes, provide ample justification for additional studies.
But what about the dollar costs of such research? How great an expenditure would be justified? In his book, Martin Rees (2003) points out that the gravity of a threat can be calculated by multiplying its expected magnitude by its probability. There is, for example, a high probability that someone, somewhere will stub a toe in the next hour. But the magnitude of such an event is low. Thus, stubbing one’s toe cannot be considered a grave threat. It is also theoretically possible that all power-generating plants in the United States will independently malfunction at once and simultaneously shut down. This would be a high-magnitude event. But the probability is infinitesimally small. This, too, cannot be judged a grave threat.
Consider the flu epidemic that yearly strikes the residents of the United States. In Rees’s terms, the magnitude—reportedly an average of 36,000 deaths yearly from flu complications—is very high. Because the flu occurs every year, pretty much like clockwork, its probability is also very high. Thus, the yearly flu epidemic in the United States would have to be judged a grave threat. Imagine the response if an enemy nation or terrorists killed 36,000 U.S. residents every year. No doubt a considerable number of dollars (and manpower) would be allocated to halt such a loss.
To consider an appropriate expenditure to combat the yearly flu epidemic, let us look at sums spent to prevent deaths from other causes. According to a recent article in Science, head impact protection in automobiles in the United States costs between $390 million and $516 million per year and saves between 611 and 732 lives (Kaiser, 2003, 1836). Thus, we are spending between $665,000 and $705,000 per life saved. Automobile child restraints, which cost between $54 million and $122 million a year, save 25 to 35 lives, or $1.5 million to $4.9 million per life saved. Suppose, for the sake of argument, we take the low figure and assume a life in America has a minimum worth of $665,000. At $665,000 per life, 36,000 deaths from flu complications each year are worth approximately $24 billion. Too much, some would say. Even at only $50,000 value per life, 36,000 deaths are worth $1.8 billion. Remember, too, that such dollar losses occur yearly and thus accumulate. The five-year cost of deaths from flu complications in the United States calculated in this manner ranges from $9 billion to $120 billion.4
Even under the best of circumstances, though, not everyone who gets the flu is going to be cured by injectable vitamin C. Many of those who succumb to complications from flu are elderly and in frail health. Suppose, for the sake of argument, that only 5 percent of those people who die each year from flu complications can be saved by injectable vitamin C. Five percent of $24 billion is $1.2 billion; five percent of $1.8 billion is $90 million—each year. In this scenario, the five-year total cost ranges from $450 million to $6 billion. And we have not calculated or included the medical care costs and lost productivity resulting from these deaths. Moreover, we are discussing the costs of flu only—one of many currently existing diseases that may be responsive to injectable vitamin C. If we are to add the potential savings from using injectable vitamin C to treat impending designer diseases and other new health threats that are on our modern world’s horizon, we are talking about a considerable sum of money. But the point has been made: Injectable vitamin C offers the possibility of saving lives and dollars, and a lot of both.
Who can say what the odds are that further research will prove that injectable vitamin C is as effective as Drs. Klenner and Knight believed? Some will say the odds are quite high; others will say they are low. Suppose, just for the sake of argument (a worst-case scenario) that there is only a one in ten chance that injectable vitamin C will prove to be approximately as effective as described in the articles reprinted in this book. Suppose the odds are only one in 100, or one in 500, or one in 1,000. Suppose there is only a one in 10,000 chance that it is as effective as purported? Could spending $1 million for vitamin C research under such a highly improbable outcome—perhaps bizarrely unrealistic odds—be justified? Ask yourself: How much is your civilization worth? What is the value of your future?
A final note: The absence of modern medicine’s acceptance of injectable vitamin C as a method of treating many diseases and other health threats must not at this point be seen as an indication of its lack of validity. The only measure of a treatment method’s effectiveness must always reside in science, in quality data collected through unbiased means. Why not begin this research now? There is never time to waste when health and life are at stake.
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