This page will center around the importance of vitamin C. We'll list the well known healing and prevention attributes of this antioxidant power plant. But we'll also delve into some ideas that decades ago seemed radical and "unscientific." At least within the halls of the elite medical mainstream conventions.
But good ideas that may have been ahead of their time often come back around for a second look. Added reasons to realize the importance of vitamin C are being discovered in this second look.
Many animal species can create vitamin C within their own bodies, but humans don't have that ability. We need to bring it in from the outside, which means making good diet choices.
Some of the generally recognized health benefits of vitamin C include:
* Helps our bodies heal from wounds
* Promotes the health of bones and teeth
* Helps convert fat into energy
* As an antioxidant, it fights the dangers from free radicals to help slow the aging process
* Serves as a preventative agent against the common cold and other infectious diseases.
But the importance of vitamin C has also generated controversy. Much of this disagreement centered around the work of a famous scientist. His name was Linus Pauling.
Linus Pauling is considered by many to be the very best American scientist of all time. He is also the only person so far to have won two Nobel Prizes on his own. He won the Nobel prize for peace in 1962 and for chemistry in 1954. He is also a successful author. One of his books is titled "How To Live Longer And Feel Better."
But he is most well-known for his research into the benefits of vitamin C. That recognition however came with a personal cost. Many of the mainstream members of the medical profession discounted his work. He was roundly criticized. His research suggested that increased doses of vitamin C could greatly reduce the risks of cancer, stroke and heart disease.
The criticism from practitioners of conventional medical treatments was hardly a surprise. If Linus Pauling was proven to be correct after being demonized by the doctors of the day, their treatment methods would be called in to question. Drug companies who profit so handsomely from the sale of prescribed medicine would see precipitous drops in sales.
We still see this method of character assault being used by the alliance of big pharmacy and the physicians who prescribe their products. Actually curing chronic illness and even worse, preventing terminal disease would be bad business for big pharmacy.
Here is some information from one of the authors featured in our list of classic books, located in the left margin of every page. Dr. Chauncey Crandall, author of "Fix It" shares the opinion of many doctors that Linus Pauling may have been correct all along.
"Decades ago, scientist Linus Pauling recognized the dangers of inflammation and recommended vitamin C as a remedy. Research is only just now catching up. You might already take vitamin C when you feel a cold coming on to boost your immune system, but it does a lot more than that, including reducing blood concentrations of C-reactive protein, which lowers inflammation. I recommend 2,000 mg of vitamin C per day."
As I've written in other pages, I hesitate to suggest that there is a sure-fire cure for dreadful diseases such as Alzheimer's or cancer. We all hope for that day and we are certainly getting closer. But there is still work to be done.
That being written, there is growing evidence that increasing the levels of vitamin C can help to reduce cancer risks. This was part of the message from Linus Pauling that was discounted years ago. Maybe he was ahead of his time?
It may be possible for intravenous vitamin C to help defeat certain cancer cells. When I read the following quote it reminded me of a test my Mom recently went through to search for possible cancerous cells.
Dr. Hugh Riordan led a 15 year study regarding IV vitamin C as a method of killing cancer cells. The findings were very encouraging. Here are some of his conclusions along with a very good explanation of a PET scan procedure as described by Dr. Ronald Hunninghake.
"What is actually injected into the patient at the start of the scan is radioactive glucose. Cancer cells... depend upon glucose as their primary source of metabolic fuel... [and] employ transport mechanisms called glucose transporters to actively pull in glucose.
Cancer cells will actively transport vitamin C into themselves, possibly because they mistake it for glucose. Another plausible explanation is that they are using the vitamin C as an antioxidant. Regardless, the vitamin C accumulates in cancer cells.
If large amounts of vitamin C are presented to cancer cells, large amounts will be absorbed. In these unusually large concentrations, the antioxidant vitamin C will start behaving as a pro-oxidant as it interacts with intracellular copper and iron. This chemical interaction produces small amounts of hydrogen peroxide.
Because cancer cells are relatively low in an intracellular anti-oxidant enzyme called catalase, the high dose vitamin C induction of peroxide will continue to build up until it eventually lyses the cancer cell from the inside out! This effectively makes high dose IVC a non-toxic chemotherapeutic agent that can be given in conjunction with conventional cancer treatments."
There are many more stories of people using high doses of vitamin C to recover from seemingly untreatable diseases. Enough that this option must be at least considered as another weapon to defeat cancer.
A colorful combination of foods can provide natural sources of vitamin C to help us fight existing disease or even better, prevent such diseases. In addition to the following list, a simple method is to squeeze some fresh lemon or lime juice into a glass of pure water.
* Chili peppers
* Sweet peppers
* Sweet potatoes
* Brussels sprouts
Years ago, scurvy was the surest sign of vitamin C deficiency. Over time that disease has been reduced. But recently it has seen a resurgence in poorer areas of America and other countries. The reasons are the same. Lack of proper diet. The importance of vitamin C shows up in these areas more than ever.
Some more common symptoms of milder vitamin C deficiency include:
* Bruising easily
* Bleeding gums or inflammation around the gums
* Decreased ability to fight off infection
* Slower wound recovery rate
* Dry, scaly skin
* Dry or splitting hair
What if Linus Pauling was right all along about the importance of vitamin C? What if more people took the time to consider the possibilities?
More people are taking time now. Many doctors have come around to the belief that increased levels of vitamin C either through better diet choices or through vitamin C supplements can help to prevent or reverse many chronic diseases.
Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, heart disease and cancer are among the deadly diseases that may be defeated with increased levels of this natural antioxidant.
If this second look proves to be correct, the importance of vitamin C has never been higher. And the time is now to find out.
Many of those foods listed above are found in the Mediterranean diet. As I've written before, this eating plan provides the best natural nutrition and is the very best weight loss program.
The importance of vitamin C is evident in the improved health that it promotes. Adding some of those foods listed above to our daily diets would be one of our best new resolutions.