By Gary Null
Wikipedia claims that a role for vitamin C as prevention or treatment for various diseases is disputed, with reviews reporting conflicting results. On the contrary, it is my opinion that vitamin C is the universal necessary nutrient. Go back to 1747, when a British naval surgeon named James Lind offered citrus fruit to 12 men suffering from scurvy on the HMS Salisbury. For the first time, men recovered. Historically, it was frequently fatal, especially for those who were at sea for months at a time where there were no fresh fruits or vegetables and they were vitamin C deficient. To everyone’s surprise, all 12 men recovered quickly. It would not be for another 50 years in 1795 when a British physician, Gilbert Blane, argued to the admiralty that they must now include citrus juice as a part of the daily ration on every British ship. And once again, to everyone’s surprise, the scurvy scourge vanished.
But it was not ‘til 1932 that a respected British chemist named Walter Haworth was able to identify the molecular structure of hexuronic acid, an organic reducing agent found in plants and animal tissue. He named it ascorbic acid. Today it is known as simply vitamin C. However, at the same time that Haworth was identifying vitamin C, independent of him, Albert Szent Gyorgyi discovered vitamin C. The next year, the Swiss laboratory synthesized ascorbic acid identical to vitamin C and it began to be produced in the general population in 1935. In 1937, in honor of the two great scientists’ work on vitamin C, they both received the Nobel Prize: Albert Szent Gyorgyi for discovering vitamin C and Haworth for his work with vitamin C and carbohydrates.
In 1970, Linus Pauling’s publication of “Vitamin C and the Common Cold” became a bestseller. It was he, a highly respected scientist who had won two unshared Nobel Prizes, who’d published in hundreds of peer reviewed journals in chemistry, who stated that we needed a minimum of 3 grams or 3000 mg a day of vitamin C in order to prevent the common cold. It was at this time also that Linus Pauling met a Canadian physician, Dr. Abram Hoffer, MD, PhD. Hoffer had been working with vitamins and helping people with schizophrenia and had published the first work showing that high levels of vitamin C could help people with schizophrenia. He then met with Linus Pauling and that was the beginning of what would come to be known as the orthomolecular medicine movement. In 1971, Linus Pauling began work with Dr. Ewen Cameron, a respected Scottish physician and scientist who was using intravenous vitamin C to treat terminal cancer patients. He was not using high doses, 10,000mg, but they were getting positive results. They did not cure anyone, but they substantially prolonged the life and lessened suffering while improving quality of life.
For a nearly 4-year period, from 1974 to 1979, Pauling was using experimental doses to study the anti-oxidants and oxygen quenching properties of vitamin C in vitro. in 1979, Dr. Lester Packer was the first to note the free radical reaction between vitamin E and vitamin C – hence the idea that many supplements should be taken together because synergistically they have a greater impact than taking either substance alone.
In the early 1980s, the Mayo Clinic conducted studies with the intent of discrediting Pauling’s cancer findings. However, it was not an accurate study. It did not follow Pauling’s protocol. The Mayo Clinic used oral supplements, not intravenous; also, the controls in the Mayo study were taking vitamin C supplements as well as other substances. In addition, Pauling personally called me and told me this study was a fraud because it was much too short. In fact, he came on my radio program in the early 1970s to discuss that he had increased the amount to 18,000 mg per day orally if you had a cold, the flu, or cancer.
In 1988, the National Cancer Institute recognized the inverse relationship between vitamin C intake and various forms of cancer and issued guidelines to increase vitamin C in the diet. Then, in 1989, the recommended daily allowance of 60mg for the average healthy adult was established. This was the first RDA to take into account the importance of environment and lifestyle factors in establishing the need for a vitamin. In the late 1980s, Linus Pauling found the role of vitamin C along with lysine to prevent atherosclerosis and relieve angina pectoris. That became known as the Pauling therapy for treating heart disease. In 2007, there was the discovery of the previously undiscovered enzyme associated with the vitamin C production pathway. From my own experience, I developed what I called the laws of compensation, which meant to the degree you have any physical or mental imbalance, trauma, virus, bacteria, parasite, or any other pathogen – nutritional deficiency, genetic predisposition, illness – you must exceed the level of that imbalance in order to correct it. So I began to encourage the people I was working with on a daily basis (starting as early as 1968) to take 10,000mg in divided doses of a buffered vitamin C.
In the mid to late 1970s, I was communicating with a physician who was using high dose vitamin C – Dr. Frederic Kleener. He was working with the full spectrum of diseases and he was getting remarkable results that he had not previously been able to get in his career using just standard orthodox therapies. He was using up to 50,000mg intravenous, once or twice a week. I then began to help people working with a very popular gay physician, Dr. Steven Caazi. In the early to mid 1970s, he was treating gay men who were showing gastrointestinal challenges. He was not sure how to help them and that’s when he called me; I worked for 300 to 400 of these individuals and was able in the vast majority of cases to reverse their conditions. Later, these same symptoms would be called AIDS. Over a 10 year period, from 1974 to 1984, we worked together on a weekly basis. Then I began to work with the first AIDS patients – I worked with a total of 1200. I saw normal and even higher amounts of vitamin C wasn’t making a difference, but the moment they were taking glutathione, B12, and very high doses of vitamin C, and then supplementing with a very strong cleansing, immune-enhancing, detoxifying diet, their conditions improved tremendously.
I had them coming in six days a week. They started out with a lower amount and over a period of months got up to 200,000 mg this is the same protocol our medical team had used to reduce or improve breast cancer, ovarian cancer, occluded arteries, and lots of different herbs and juices and lots of vitamin C we had the best improvement in the world that I know of when it comes to working with aids patients. People who volunteered were not charged for their treatment at the Tri-State Healing Center. Eight people said they’d do the full protocol – they came six days a week for about 16 months and we were able to completely reverse their HIV status, from positive to negative. All their AIDS-defining illnesses were eliminated – Kaposi’s sarcoma, thrush, pneumocystis pneumonia, all these conditions reversed.
Our success was such that we held a massive press conference with hundreds of doctors, scientists and patients. No press came. It was as if there as a fear that if we were getting people healthy who had full blown AIDS that somehow we would challenge them financially and we weren’t doing this for any money. During this period of time, a Robert Cathcart from California had principally people with AIDS-defining illnesses and he had read an article in the Townsend letter that I’d written about natural approaches to treating AIDS giving specific case histories. He spent a week interviewing hundreds of people at the Tri State Healing Center. He went home and began administering 50,000mg, and his patients stopped dying of pneumocystis pneumonia.
All eight people whose AIDS I was able to reverse were interviewed by Bill Tatum, publisher of the Amsterdam News, and individuals such as Stokely Carmichael, Arthur Ashe, and dozens of African American physicians and scientists who would come to the center and interview people with AIDS and review their medical records to see their progress over the years – from full blown disease to complete cure. So where the natural and no- toxic approach to treating AIDS was well-known within the African American community, it was absolutely blacklisted within the Caucasian community. The politics and profiteering of the AIDS epidemic has never to this day been exposed, and it should be.
Linus Pauling was ridiculed and vilified by the medical establishment. In private conversations with me at the Institute of Applied Biology where I was a research fellow for 33 years in anti-aging medicine, nutrition and lifestyle and he told me he could not believe how powerful the pharmaceutical industry and the medical-industrial complex were in preventing quality information from being disseminated. He told me they acted more like organized crime than the healing profession. He was saddened. But he was a realist. It was because of Linus Pauling that many of the doctors who were not succeeding as they’d hoped began to use vitamin C in treating their patients.
The people who are the most critical of vitamin C would have you think there is no evidence supporting its usage. For those of us who are seeing patients, conducting studies, publishing peer-reviewed literature, and respecting the outstanding contributions of thousands of researchers to the peer-reviewed literature, we have one statement. Until such time as you do your own homework and save lives, being an uneducated misinformed ideologically-minded skeptic should not hold the same weight as the 61,707 studies that are published in the government’s own medical database.
Just a few of the conditions that benefit from vitamin C treatment include Pneumonia, Encephalitis, Shingles, Herpes, Mononucleosis, Pancreatitis, Hepatitis, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Bladder Infection, Alcoholism, Arthritis, Some Cancers, Leukemia, Atherosclerosis, Ruptured Intervertebral Disc, High Cholesterol, Corneal Ulcer, Diabetes, Glaucoma, Schizophrenia, Burns and secondary infections, Heat Stroke, Radiation Burns, Heavy Metal Poisoning (Mercury, Lead), Venomous Bites (insects, snakes), Multiple Sclerosis, and Chronic Fatigue.