6 vitamin C myths exposed
(NaturalHealth365) Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is one of the most talked about (and studied) vitamins on the planet. Yet, despite all the scientific evidence, we still have too many people confused about its benefits – thanks to many misleading “nutritional” articles.
But, to be perfectly clear, vitamin C is absolutely essential for cardiovascular and immune system health.
In the 1980s, Nobel Prize-winning researcher Linus Pauling definitively linked vitamin C with heart health – and stressed the importance of sufficient supplementation. Now, integrative cardiologists – including Mathias Rath, M.D., and Thomas E. Levy, MD, JD – are continuing Pauling’s lifesaving work.
Unfortunately, too many conventionally-trained physicians view high-dosage vitamin C therapy with skepticism – no matter how impressive the results. Having said that, today we’ll focus on 6 of the greatest myths surrounding vitamin C.
Important point: Vitamin C deficiency is associated with heart disease
In Linus Pauling’s theory, heart disease is actually a manifestation of vitamin C deficiency. And atherosclerosis – with its attendant plaque deposits – is the body’s attempt to heal the cracks in arteries caused by the vitamin C shortfall.
Supplementation with high-dose vitamin C restores heart health in two ways.
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Vitamin C scavenges harmful free radicals that cause oxidative stress, while functioning as an important building block for collagen – a protein needed to promote healing, structure and stability in arteries.
Since the 1980s, a host of studies have helped to confirm Pauling’s theory.
In a paper published in Journal of Cardiology and Current Research, researchers reported that high-dose vitamin C reduces heart attack and stroke by up to 98 percent.
Now, let’s talk about those 6 vitamin C myths.
Myth #1: There are no studies on vitamin C
In his book Primal Panacea, high-dosage vitamin C pioneer Dr. Levy calls this statement “medical malpractice” and says it would be understandable if voiced by a mechanic or stonemason – but not by a physician.
Dr. Levy points out that a simple PubMed search yields over 60,000 studies on vitamin C – many of them showing positive effects on human health.
A board-certified cardiologist, Dr. Levy has written extensively on vitamin C, including a landmark review of 650 peer-reviewed studies on the effect of oxidative stress on vitamin C levels – as well as on the ability of vitamin C to reverse atherosclerosis.
Myth #2: There is no evidence that vitamin C works
Again, this is absurd.
Dr. Levy references over 1,200 studies showing beneficial effects – and says this only “scratches the surface” of what is known about vitamin C’s therapeutic abilities.
And, there is a problem with what constitutes a “study.”
In order to be acknowledged by the medical community, says Dr. Levy, a study must be large, randomized, placebo-controlled and double-blind.
At first glance, that sounds reasonable. But, are you ready for a shocker?
Dr. Levy maintains that most prescription drugs currently in use lack this type of rigorous study! (So why is vitamin C held to a stricter standard?)
Dr. Levy points out that a group of patients being given IV high-dosage vitamin C under closely monitored (hospital) conditions “does not count” as a study – even if all patients are cured!
To see evidence of vitamin C’s efficacy, one need look no further than the astounding success of Dr. Paul Marik at Sentara Norfolk Hospital.
Dr. Marik uses a mix of intravenous vitamin C, thiamine and corticosteroids to treat sepsis, a life-threatening systemic infection. To date, the groundbreaking therapy has saved 150 patients from almost certain death.
Myth #3: Vitamin C is unsafe
With a superlative safety profile (and no known lethal dose) vitamin C appears to be one of the safest substances on earth. In fact, natural health experts note that plain water is more toxic than vitamin C.
And, vitamin C seems to be free of dangerous side effects even at high doses.
The Rath Recommendations may call for over 10,000 mg of vitamin C a day – and some clinicians routinely use doses of 250,000 mg to 300,000 mg a day. This is an absolutely whopping amount that is over 3,000 times the RDA – yet no serious adverse effects have been reported.
Of course, check first with your integrative physician before beginning any supplementation routine.
It’s worth pointing out: pharmaceutical medications administered in hospitals kill thousands of patients a year. In fact, a recent Johns Hopkins study reports that 250,000 people die every year from medical errors – making it the third leading cause of death in the nation, right behind heart disease and cancer!
So, one has to wonder, why all the “controversy” surrounding a non-toxic substance like, vitamin C?
Myth #4: Vitamin C causes kidney stones
This myth is based on a medical fact, but is a myth nonetheless.
Experts say that vitamin C can – under certain conditions and in certain forms – contribute to oxalate production, which can in turn contribute to kidney stones.
But, Dr. Levy notes that the presence of high oxalate is not enough to create kidney stones.
For many, the matter was put to rest by a rigorous 14-year study of 85,557 women conducted by researchers at prestigious Harvard Medical School – in which the team found no link whatsoever between vitamin C intake and kidney stones.
Vitamin C has been further vindicated by additional studies, showing that the nutrient actually lowers the incidence of kidney stones.
Myth #5: You can get enough vitamin C through diet
The current RDA for nonsmoking adults is a paltry 60 mg of vitamin C a day – roughly the amount in one small orange. Although this is enough to prevent the serious medical condition known as scurvy, natural health experts decry it as ridiculously low.
Of course, more vitamin C is required to combat atherosclerosis and heart disease. In fact, one study showed that it takes 1,500 mg per day to prevent or reverse atherosclerosis in 60 percent or more of the population.
This would require consuming over a dozen red peppers and close to two dozen oranges – more than most people are willing to eat. And, when you consider that many people consume the Standard American Diet (SAD), notoriously low in fresh fruits and vegetables, the need for high-quality supplementation for most is clear.
Naturally, it doesn’t hurt to raise your dietary vitamin C intake as well – which you can do by eating organic citrus fruits, red peppers, strawberries, kiwi fruit and broccoli.
Remember: a wide range of factors – including infection, physical and emotional stress, dental toxicity issues, smoking, alcohol use, medications and environmental toxins – can drain the body stores of vitamin C.
Myth #6: Excess amounts of vitamin C are excreted through urine
Vitamin C proponents say that this is akin to saying that water is excreted in urine – which means that it is unneeded by the body – a clearly misguided belief.
The truth is, water performs many life-sustaining functions before being excreted – and the same is true of vitamin C. It is true that vitamin C is water-soluble – and, it is excreted through urine. But, not before it confers a host of cardiovascular benefits.
So, myths aside, we know that vitamin C is effective, non-toxic and safe. With heart disease claiming 640,000 lives a year, it seems unsafe not to use vitamin C to avoid unwanted health outcomes.
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