Monthly Archives: December 2013

Are You Healthier Than A Guinea Pig?

The US Recommended Dietary Allowance for vitamin C is higher for Guinea Pigs than it is for humans!

You may be thinking, that can’t be true but read on.

The US Department of Agriculture states

“The Guinea pig’s vitamin C requirement is 10-15 mg per day under normal conditions and 15-25 mg per day if pregnant, lactating, or growing.”(1)

Doesn’t sound shocking until you realize that an adult guinea pig weighs about 2.2 pounds. Guinea pigs therefore need between 10-25 milligrams of vitamin c per pound. The average human weighs 180 pounds however the US RDA for vitamin C is 90 mg for men, 75 mg for women, and if you smoke, they allow an additional 35 mg/day. All of these figures are inadequate if we measure up pound for pound with the guinea pig.

guinea pigs vitamin c

So how much vitamin C should we consume?

If we use the same logic the US Government uses on guinea pigs, our vitamin C intake should be between 820 mg and 2,000 mg.

According to a recent article written by Andrew W. Saul, Ph.D., it is “no wonder that so many people are sick and no wonder their medical bills are so high.”

Dr. Saul concludes his article by saying, “If we are going to have health insurance coverage for everyone, wouldn’t it be nice for the government to first offer us the same deal it gives to Guinea pigs?”

What do you think?

guinea-pig-480x280

(1) US Department of Agriculture Animal Care Resource Guide, Animal Care, 12.4.2 http://www.aphis.usda.gov/animal_welfare

 

 

Can You Die from Too Much Vitamin C?

orange slicesThe evidence says, “vitamin  C is safer than drinking water.” Researchers have documented lethal overdoses of water,1 yet no lethal dose has been found for vitamin  C. 2

There’s not a single drug — prescription or over-the-counter — that can claim that level of safety. As well, there are few other nutritive supplements that can even approach the safety of any amount of vitamin C. Vitamin C is an essential nutrient and important for your diet since humans are one of the few mammals that does not produce or store vitamin C.

Shocking Revelations

According to an article published in the Journal of the American Medical Association3, 106,000 patients died in hospitals in 1994 from drug reactions. This figure has remained unchanged for 30 years. That means from 1965 – 1994, over 3 million people died in hospitals because of prescription drugs!

In contrast, high-dose vitamin  C has been widely used since the late 1940’s without a confirmed report of any dosage level that will result in serious adverse effects. In fact, in 11 studies with high-dose vitamin C no side effects were reported.

Too Much Vitamin C

Regardless of any claims to the contrary, no one who has done a critical appraisal of the scientific literature can say anything other than, “Vitamin  C is one of the safest substances on earth.”

Resources

  1. Hayashi T, et al, “Fatal water intoxication in a schizophrenic patient–an autopsy case” J Clin Forensic Med. 2005 Jun;12(3):157-9. Epub 2005 Mar 16.
  2. Levy T, Curing the Incurable. Vitamin C, Infectious Diseases, and Toxins 2004,  MedFox Publishing, Henderson, NV.
  3. Lazarou J, Pomeranz BH, Corey PN, “Incidence of adverse drug reactions in hospitalized patients: a meta-analysis of prospective studies” JAMA 1998  279:10-15

 About the Author

too much vitamin c Thomas E. Levy, MD, JD is a board-certified cardiologist and the author of Curing the Incurable: Vitamin C, Infectious Diseases, and Toxins and STOP America’s #1 Killer! plus three other ground-breaking medical books. He is one of the leading vitamin C experts in the world and frequently lectures about the proper role of vitamin C and antioxidants in the treatment of a host of medical conditions and diseases to medical professionals all over the globe.

Ascorbic Acid Vitamin C: What’s the Real Story?

by Andrew W. Saul, Editor

(OMNS Dec 6, 2013) Heard anything bad lately about ascorbic acid vitamin C? If you haven’t, you may have been away visiting Neptune for too long. For nearly four decades, I have seen that, like all other fashions, vitamin-bashing goes “in” and “out” of style. Lately it has (again) been open season on vitamin C, especially if taken as cheap ascorbic acid. Linus Pauling, the world’s most qualified advocate of vitamin C, urged people to take pure ascorbic acid powder or crystals.

Without having met Dr. Pauling, they are also what Great-grandma used when she home-canned peaches. Vitamin C powder remains cheap and readily available on the internet. One-quarter teaspoon is just over 1,000 mg. If you encounter a powder that is substantially less potent than that, it may contain fillers. Choose accordingly.

I have told my students for a long time, “If they didn’t listen to Linus Pauling, don’t be too surprised that they don’t line up to hear what you have to say.” But Pauling’s two unshared Nobel prizes (he is the only person in history with that distinction) are no protection from critics who slam ascorbic acid C without first considering some basic biochemistry.

Atomically Correct

Vitamin C is ascorbic acid, C6H8O6, and that’s pretty much all there is to it. If you really want to impress your friends, ascorbic acid can also be called (5R)-5-[(1S)-1,2-Dihydroxyethyl]-3,4-dihydroxy-2(5H)-furanone. As I liked to tell my university students, now there is something for you to answer when your parents ask what you learned in school today.

Even if this molecule comes from GMOs, which I disapprove of, it is still molecularly OK. You cannot genetically modify carbon, hydrogen, or oxygen atoms.

There are two ways the atoms can arrange themselves to make C6H8O6. One is ascorbic acid. The other is erythorbic acid, also known as isoascorbic acid or D-araboascorbic acid. It is a commercial antioxidant, but cannot be utilized by the body as an essential nutrient.

Acidity

That word “acid” gets us going, but in fact ascorbic acid is a weak acid. If you can eat three oranges, if you can drink a carbonated cola, or if you can add vinegar on your fish fry or on your salad, there is little to worry about. In fact, your normal stomach acid is over 50 times stronger than vitamin C. The stomach is designed to handle strong acid, and nutrients are not destroyed by this strong stomach acid. If they were, all mammals would be dead. Have you ever noticed when you throw up you can feel the burn in your throat? That’s stomach acid. A little gross, but we need it to live. People who have a lot of problems with hiatal hernias or reflux can actually regurgitate enough acid over a period of months where they damage and scar the throat.

Vitamin C could not do that on a bet. It’s impossible. You couldn’t start your car if you put vinegar in your automobile’s battery. It requires sulfuric acid, which is a very strong acid. The hydrochloric acid in the stomach is only slightly weaker than car-battery acid. Vitamin C is almost as weak as lemonade. That’s a huge difference.

Probiotics

If you eat yogurt or take probiotic capsules, they end up in your stomach. There they are subjected to this strong stomach acid, and survive it easily. Acidophilus bacteria, such as are found in yogurt, are literally so named because they are “acid-loving.” Many studies show that eating yogurt and taking other probiotic supplements is a good idea and that it works. If a strong acid does not kill them, then neither will a weak acid.

Furthermore, your body secretes a highly alkaline substance right where your small intestine starts, just past the stomach. This neutralizes stomach acid and automatically keeps the rest of your gut from being acidic. If the body can neutralize a strong acid, ascorbic acid is virtually irrelevant.

Buffering

Ascorbic acid can be buffered, and if you have a sensitive stomach, should be. There are a variety of non-acidic forms. http://orthomolecular.org/resources/pract.shtml#us I do not sell vitamins or any other health products, and do not make brand recommendations.

Don’t be bluffed or blustered about ascorbic acid. It is cheap and it works. Aside from intravenous sodium ascorbate, the vast majority of research showing that vitamin C is effective in prevention and treatment of disease has used plain ascorbic acid. Yes, the cheap stuff.

Remember what Ward Cleaver, TV father on “Leave it to Beaver,” said to his young son: “A lot of people go through life trying to prove that the things that are good for them are wrong.”

(Andrew W. Saul, OMNS Editor, has taught health science, addiction recovery, clinical nutrition and chemistry. He is the coauthor, with Dr. Steve Hickey, of “Vitamin C: The Real Story.”)

To learn more:

Vitamin C as an antiviral http://orthomolecular.org/resources/omns

Flu, viruses, and vitamin C megadoses http://orthomolecular.org/resources/omns

Are tropical fish getting kidney stones from vitamin C? They make so much more than the RDA http://orthomolecular.org/resources/omns

What really causes kidney stones (and why vitamin C does not) http://orthomolecular.org/resources/omns

Vitamin C: Which form is best? http://orthomolecular.org/resources/omns

The complete text of Irwin Stone’s vitamin C book “The Healing Factor” is posted for free reading at http://vitamincfoundation.org/stone/

How to reach saturation (bowel tolerance) with oral doses of vitamin C, by Robert F. Cathcat http://www.doctoryourself.com/titration.html

About Frederick Robert Klenner, M.D. http://www.doctoryourself.com/klennerbio.html

Dr. Klenner’s dosage table http://orthomolecular.org/resources/omns

Why the government thinks Guinea pigs are more important than people http://orthomolecular.org/resources/omns

Levy, TE. Curing the Incurable. Vitamin C, Infectious Diseases, and Toxins. Henderson, NV: MedFox Publishing, 2004. Reviewed at http://orthomolecular.org/library/jom/2003/pdf/2003-v18n02-p117.pdf

Pauling L. How to Live Longer and Feel Better. Corvallis, OR: Oregon State University Press, 2006. Reviewed at http://www.doctoryourself.com/livelonger.html . Linus Pauling’s complete vitamin and nutrition bibliography is posted at http://www.doctoryourself.com/biblio_pauling_ortho.html

 

Nutritional Medicine is Orthomolecular Medicine

Orthomolecular medicine uses safe, effective nutritional therapy to fight illness. For more information: http://www.orthomolecular.org

 

Find a Doctor

To locate an orthomolecular physician near you: http://orthomolecular.org/resources/omns/v06n09.shtml

 

The peer-reviewed Orthomolecular Medicine News Service is a non-profit and non-commercial informational resource.

 

Editorial Review Board:

Ian Brighthope, M.D. (Australia)
Ralph K. Campbell, M.D. (USA)
Carolyn Dean, M.D., N.D. (USA)
Damien Downing, M.D. (United Kingdom)
Dean Elledge, D.D.S., M.S. (USA)
Michael Ellis, M.D. (Australia)
Martin P. Gallagher, M.D., D.C. (USA)
Michael Gonzalez, D.Sc., Ph.D. (Puerto Rico)
William B. Grant, Ph.D. (USA)
Steve Hickey, Ph.D. (United Kingdom)
Michael Janson, M.D. (USA)
Robert E. Jenkins, D.C. (USA)
Bo H. Jonsson, M.D., Ph.D. (Sweden)
Peter H. Lauda, M.D. (Austria)
Thomas Levy, M.D., J.D. (USA)
Stuart Lindsey, Pharm.D. (USA)
Jorge R. Miranda-Massari, Pharm.D. (Puerto Rico)
Karin Munsterhjelm-Ahumada, M.D. (Finland)
Erik Paterson, M.D. (Canada)
W. Todd Penberthy, Ph.D. (USA)
Gert E. Schuitemaker, Ph.D. (Netherlands)
Robert G. Smith, Ph.D. (USA)
Jagan Nathan Vamanan, M.D. (India)
Atsuo Yanagisawa, M.D., Ph.D. (Japan)

Andrew W. Saul, Ph.D. (USA), Editor and contact person. Email: omns@orthomolecular.org This is a comments-only address; OMNS is unable to respond to individual reader emails. However, readers are encouraged to write in with their viewpoints. Reader comments become the property of OMNS and may or may not be used for publication.

OMNS free subscription link http://orthomolecular.org/subscribe.html and OMNS archive link http://orthomolecular.org/resources/omns/index.shtml are included.

Do Vitamin C Showers Stop Chlorine Damage?

According to the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, yes.

Vitamin C has been in the headlines recently with celebrities like Leonardo DiCaprio fitting their home showers with vitamin C shower filters. The MGM Grand has also increased the count of their “Stay Well” rooms which feature vitamin C showers, dawn simulator alarm clocks, aromatherapy diffusers, air purification systems, hypoallergenic bedding, and more.

So why the craze?

Why is Chlorine Added to Tap Water?

Since 1918, Chlorine has been added to the public water supply to kill disease-causing bacteria that can be transported into our homes. Chlorine has been hailed as the savior against cholera and other water-borne diseases that can cause diarrhea, severe dehydration, and sometimes death. Unfortunately, chlorine comes with a price. Chlorine can react with other naturally occurring elements to create toxins which have been shown to cause illnesses in major urban populations, notably Philadelphia, Washington D.C, and Southern California.

To demonstrate just how powerful a chemical chlorine is, chlorine was used as a weapon in World War I and more recently in the Iraq War. Chlorine gas was described by soldiers as smelling like a mixture between pepper and pineapple. It also tasted metallic and stung the back of the throat and chest. So you can see why filtering out the excess chlorine is essential to good health.

What do Vitamin C Showers Do?

Vitamin C Showers can reduce the water’s chlorine content and are said to leave the hair and skin in better condition. Vitamin C showers are said to neutralize chlorine’s residual side effects like:

  • Dry Skin
  • Dandruff
  • Frizzy Hair
  • Headaches
  • Itchy Eyes

Both forms of vitamin C (ascorbic acid and sodium ascorbate) have been shown to effectively neutralize chlorine in water supplies. Vitamin C is considered a non-hazardous chemical and is not toxic to aquatic life at the levels used for dechlorinating water. Major luxury hotels and condominiums are beginning to outfit their rooms with vitamin c showers at a significant cost. Is this just a trend or are these vitamin c showers worth the added cost ($35 to $125 per filter).vitashower vitamin c showers

Do Vitamin C Showers Work?

Reviews are mixed on vitamin c showers but let’s do some math…wait don’t leave, okay I’ll do some math.

Facts:

  • Federal regulations mandate new shower heads flow less than 2.5 gallons per minute. (9.5 liters)
  • EPA requires water systems to maintain a chlorine level at or below 4.0 mg/liters (goal is 2.0 mg/l)
  • Studies show average time spent in a shower is 10-12 minutes
  • Approximately 2.5 parts of ascorbic acid are required to neutralize 1 part chlorine. (see Vitamin C Neutralizes Chlorine Study)

This  means that low performing shower heads use  95 liters of water (10 minutes x 9.5 liters per minute) per shower. Consequently the average person is exposed to 190-380 mg of chlorine each time they shower. A typical vitamin c shower can contain 250 grams (250,000 mg) of vitamin c, which would be sufficient to neutralize all or some of the chlorine we are exposed to.

Is my math off? Are vitamin C showers a trend or here to stay?