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Ascorbate: The Science of Vitamin C
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99 of 99 people found the following review helpful
on August 16, 2004
Format: Paperback
Utterly honest, easy to understand, "Ascorbate, The Science of Vitamin C" is a real treasure. The difference between a small anti-scurvy intake of vitamin C, a few milligrams per day, and a therapeutic dose of 10 grams or more per day is made crystal clear.

The complete lack of evidence for the RDA set by the FDA is revealed. The rapid elimination of vitamin C was shown graphically, thus the folly in the persistent use of multi-gram oral doses by inept researchers was exposed. Small doses must be taken orally, maybe every hour, to keep serum levels up. The increase in serum levels obtainable with injected, not oral, sodium ascorbate, the usual non-acidic salt of vitamin C, also called ascorbic acid, is explained well.

The flaws in the published studies intended to debunk the usefulness of vitamin C from The Mayo Clinic and The Heart Protection Study in the UK are spelled out in detail. Wrong doses, wrong dosage forms, mismatched control patients, etc., all combined to fail to prove that vitamin C is not effective in treating cancer or cardiovascular disease. The problems with these studies and others is explained in great detail, and you will be able to follow the reasoning of the authors.

Then it is less of a shock to learn that vitamin C can cure polio and prolong lifespan for those with AIDS and cancer, among other conditions. The studies by Pauling and Cameron on vitamin C for cancer believed invalid by mainstream medicine, were, in fact, as well done as was ethically practical, and were confirmed by unrelated researchers.

My only gripes with this book are the incompetent chemistry on page 63 and some of the explanations of ordinary chemical reactions. Neither hydroxyl radical nor hydroxide ion plus an electron will give water as shown. Neither charges nor atoms are balanced or accounted for. Many disease states were said to be caused by the presence too many free radicals without enough direct evidence or identification of which free radicals.

That done, my opinion is that this book should be required reading by a very wide audience. Referencing is done to a very high standard. The next edition should be superb.
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65 of 66 people found the following review helpful
on March 24, 2005
Format: Paperback
What a well written, courageous book this is. Courageous because the authors, two professors of medicine, explain in laymen's terms, exactly how science is incorporated into medical practice, and how mistakes and bias get filtered into the mix. After making this clear, they follow the vitamin C story from the very beginning and demonstrate exactly how medical science developed a "bizarre" and illogical pet hate for vitamin C, Pauling and all his disciples. (and ignored apparent benefits)
This will not endear them at all to the tightly knit medical profession, but is a distinct service to the public.
In an honest and fair approach, with no unscientific exaggeration of evidence, the authors explain both sides of the vitamin c "controversy" which wouldn't have been very controversial at all if larger doses had been tried.
They also explode the sacredness of the "large, randomized,double blind, clinical trial" and clearly show how silly it is to deny patients a GRAS (generally recognized as safe) treatment, shown to provide huge benefits, on the flimsy excuse that no large scale trial was performed. Clinical trials should be refuted or replicated to allow science to advance. Phony excuses do not advance science.
All the latest findings are here from Cathcart, Cameron, Riordan, Hoffer and other doctors on the leading edge of ascorbate therapy.
The vitamin C deficiency theory of heart disease, developed by Pauling and Rath, is analyzed and updated, and the latest cancer treatment methods are given.
This is a very important book that has the potential to save hundreds of thousands of lives, it should be placed in the libraries of every school in the country.
W.G. Whitney
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54 of 54 people found the following review helpful
on July 25, 2004
Format: Paperback
A great resource for both medical professionals and lay persons alike. The authors have researched this subject extensively and write about it in a way that is insightful for both the lay person and the professional. They hold the evidence of existing research to the light, and propose an elegant theory which can explain all the existing evidence.

It is refreshing to find the tone of the book quite neutral and scientific.

Although the authors don't subscribe to a conspiracy theory, the evidence that political and economical factors are heavily influencing the medical establishment seems obvious. The medical establishment has shown no interest in duplicating the existing research which points to great benefits in the use of high dosage vitamin C in diseases like cancer, polio and heart disease. Research dating back more than half a century found amazing results for using vitamin C, and yet the medical establishment chooses not to act on it, or worse, design experiments that seem to prove the opposite.
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60 of 62 people found the following review helpful
on July 6, 2004
Format: Paperback
This is an historic book, one that will be treasured by those who embrace natural health approaches and a revelation to the uninformed. Drs. Hickey and Roberts authoritatively document how the Recommended Dietary Allowance for vitamin C was impropely established and embellish on the current understanding of how to use vitamin C to promote health and longevity. There are more answers in this book about how much vitamin C your body needs than found anywhere else. For health activists, they will be outraged to find how the establishment of a marginal RDA for vitamin C has resulted in millions of avoidable health problems ranging from cancer and heart disease to cataracts over the past few decades. Had humanity had access to this information earlier mortality rates would have dropped by 25 to 50 percent. For two dollars a week you can implement the best preventive medicine known, by taking supplemental vitamin C. Throw out the false idea that the diet alone will supply your needs, it will only prevent scurvy. Drs. Hickey and Roberts disclose how living cells need more vitamin C when under physical or emotion stress. It's time to read this book, from cover to cover. This book will do more than change your life, it will alter the course for humanity. --Bill Sardi, Knowledge of Health, Inc., San Dimas, California USA.
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35 of 35 people found the following review helpful
on February 24, 2006
Format: Paperback
This is arguably the most important book of the last 10 years.

and it takes huge courage to present this argument in the face of such establishment criticism. After all, look at how much Linus Pauling had to endure for his belief in Ascorbate and he was one of the most prominent scientists of his generation. Have times changed? NO, the establishment is still in control of our health and the statistics prove that they are doing an atrocious job.

ALL of the major dis-eases are increasing, and the icing on the cake is that new ones are emerging all the time. The time is now to take responsibility for your (and the childrens) health and nowhere is there a better place to start than with this fantastic book on Vitamin C. To finish heres a quote from Drs Emanuel Cheraskin, Marshall Ringsdorf and Emily Sisley

"There are more than TEN THOUSAND published SCIENTIFIC papers that make it quite clear that there is NOT ONE body process

(such as what goes on inside cells or tissues) and NOT ONE disease or syndrome (from the common cold to leprosy) that is not influenced - directly or indirectly - by Vitamin C"

If thats not enough to persuade you to learn about it then nothing will
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on April 15, 2007
Format: Paperback
Ever wonder how wild animals like rabbits, squirrels, deer, etc. can live outside in cold weather and not catch colds while we humans routinely catch colds living in our warm dry houses? The answer is surprisingly simple: animals don't catch colds, or get any of a host of other illnesses which plaque humans, because most animals manufacture vitamin C every day and we humans don't. That's right, almost all animals except humans manufacture vitamin C in their bodies every day and they manufacture a lot of it -- a typical animal manufactures 20 mg of vitamin C every day for every pound it weighs. An animal weighing as much as a 150 lb. human would manufacture at least 3,000 mg of vitamin C daily and humans need about this much vitamin C too. But the government, and most physicians, tell us humans that we only need about 60 to 90 mgs of vitamin C daily. 60 to 90 mgs of vitamin C daily isn't enough vitamin C to keep a typical cat healthy, and is far short of what adult humans need. No wonder we humans catch colds in the winter and suffer from a variety of other ailments all year long. Fortunately some humans recognize the importance of vitamin C and take it as a supplement every day. Those who don't take supplemental vitamin C should do so, for a variety of health reasons which this excellent book discusses.
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on March 8, 2007
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
Books that discuss unconventional treatments often confront allopathic medicine and accuse it of conspiracy against the health of humanity. The topic of vitamin C is controversial and can easily be turned into the same old fight between the so called medical establishment and progressive allopaths.

I, however, was pleasantly surprised by this book. The facts regarding vitamin C are presented in a solid and ethical way. There is no unjustified claims, only well researched facts. There are more than five hundred references at the end of this text.

The authors are concentrating on application of ascorbate in "big three": infections, atherosclerosis and cancer, their prevention and treatment. They present biochemical basis for the action of ascorbate in each of these conditions, then results of animal experiments, followed by data from human trials. They draw very distinct line between the dosses needed for nutritional supplementation - i.e. to aviod the developments of scurvy - and pharmacological, or megadoses, that may be used to treat advanced conditions. Pharmacokinetics and toxicity of ascorbate is also well discussed.

I am a medical doctor, and enjoyed reading this book. It is well written and would be interesting for wide audience. I agree that vitamin C may have the potential for treatment of numerous medical conditions and there should be more research on it.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon February 1, 2010
Format: Paperback
Humans, along with a few other animals, are unable to produce vitamin C internally. We lack a particular enzyme for converting glucose to vitamin C, so we must consume it in our diets. The RDA for vitamin C is very low on the assumption that humans are adept at recycling vitamin C. The current recommendation is just enough to prevent scurvy.

The authors provide numerous examples of scientists and doctors who have used vitamin C for the treatment of heart disease, cancer, AIDS, viral diseases, and polio with varying levels of success as well as the failures in treatment. Despite the many positive claims and clinical successes, science and industry repeatedly deny funding for further, definitive experimentation. The authors state, "A treatment for a chronic condition is more profitable than a cure, as it continues indefinitely."

One of the strengths of this book is how it explains the various scientific methods for testing hypotheses, which enables the reader to better understand flaws in investigation and experimentation. For example, a proponent of vitamin C therapy may claim 20g administered intravenously over the course of treatment successfully reversed a particular disease. Such claims are later dismissed with great fanfare by studies using 500mg orally. This seems to be a consistent problem with vitamin C studies in that low, nutritional doses are routinely used instead of high pharmacological doses, which allows medical "science" to claim that vitamin C is irrelevant.

The authors write, "Antioxidant therapy may indeed be curative, as Pauling and others have suggested. We do not know if this is in fact the case and neither do the medical profession. More importantly, they appear to have little interest in finding out. It is almost unbelievable that medical science has ignored theories of the cause and possible cures for the biggest killers in the western world. The theories have been proposed by reputable scientists over a period of half a century."

This book explains how to take vitamin C and which nutrients may work synergistically in enhancing its effects for treating different diseases. Of particular interest to me was the constructive criticism on the Pauling/Rath treatment for heart disease and suggestions for improvement. I highly recommend this book for the health seeker and medical professional.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on February 12, 2010
Format: Paperback
This book has a great section on `the scientific method' and how to think for yourself and use logic, rarher than just accepting that what is well-known and accepted is always accurarte and unbiased. It should be essential reading for all doctors!

This is a great book but seems more suitable for doctors than patients, as it has a quite formal writing style and is far more heavy going to read. While the creation of this book is admirable, there is little in this book that is not covered just as well or better in `Vitamin C: The real story' and it is this book I would recommend of the two, although the books are very similar in content and quality.

This is still a very solid book however, of a very high quality. The sections on scientific method and the bias and illogicality of our medical system are just wonderful.

The importance of vitamin C cannot be overemphasised.

Vitamin C in an appropriate dose:

1. is a powerful antioxidant (and also helps recycle other antioxidants),
2. is anti-carcinogenic (reduces the risk of developing various cancers),
3. supports the immune system by improving the host response to disease (making the body more able to fight off any secondary infections) and improving the function of white blood cells,
4. can stop recurrent boils (furunculosis) (people with this condition may have defects in white blood cell function that are correctable with vitamin C supplementation),
5. has antiviral and antibacterial effects (it controls and maintains phagocytosis),
6. supports the adrenal glands (and supporting the adrenals also supports the thyroid),
7. supports the cardiac/cardiovascular system and assists in the maintenance of peripheral circulation (including improving the blood flow to the brain) and maintaining capillaries,
8. is a natural chelator and helps to remove heavy metals and other toxins from the body ( this improved detoxification may markedly improve your tolerance of pollution and toxic chemicals),
9. safeguards the body from the effects of high blood sugar (glycation) and helps to normalise blood sugar and improve hypoglycaemia. Vitamin C is important in the digestion of food, the biochemistry of the body's utilization of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats and it has a pronounced activating effect on insulin,
10. reduces the severity of colds, flu's, and Candida infections,
11. has an antihistamine effect and can reduce or prevent symptoms of hayfever and food allergy,
12. can prevent asthma attacks (and possibly some SIDS deaths),
13. helps to reduce the toxic load of metabolised fat which occurs during weight loss, and helps support the liver during weight loss,
14. acts as an electron donor for eight different enzymes,
15. aids in the formation of liver bile,
16. may have an antidepressant effect and help the body handle emotional stress better,
17. counteracts some of the damaging effects of aspirin and heighten its pain killing effect, and also acts as an pain reliever in its own right (at bowel tolerance doses),
18. increases the therapeutic effect of different drugs and medicines by making them more effective (less of a drug is required if it is taken in combination with large amounts of ascorbic acid),
19. can help improve joint mobility (if serum levels of C are high, synovial fluid is thinner allowing for easier joint movement) and reduce inflammation and fever,
20. helps with connective tissue repair (especially collagen) and maintaining healthy teeth and bones (high dose vitamin C can help reduce tooth loss and cavities),
21. helps promote wound healing,
22. promotes eye health in many different ways (prevents cataracts, glaucoma etc.),
23. helps to produce the neurotransmitters serotonin and norepinephrine,
24. can cause sensations of overwhelming physical wellbeing,
25. is essential to the proper functioning of the central nervous system.

Vitamin C is involved in almost every bodily process and helps our bodies maintain homeostasis. Irwin Stone explains in his book on vitamin C that,

"Throughout the evolution of the vertebrates, including the mammals, Nature has used ascorbic acid to maintain physiological homeostasis. In simple nontechnical terms, this means that when stressful situations arose which disturbed the biochemical equilibrium of the animal, ascorbic acid was produced in increased quantities to get things running normal again. The amount of ascorbic acid produced is related to the severity of the stresses and if enough was produced soon enough, then the animal was able to survive the bad biochemical effects of the stresses. If, however, the enzyme system for producing ascorbic acid was overwhelmed or poisoned by the stresses and too little ascorbic acid was produced, then the animal succumbed. Man, unable to produce his own ascorbic acid, could not take advantage of this natural protective process. Instead stresses only further depleted his low stores of this vital metabolite. Now he can easily duplicate this time-tested defensive mechanism by reaching for the bottle of ascorbic acid and swallowing additional quantities whenever he is subjected to biochemical stresses. In duplicating this normal process for combating stresses, man has one great advantage over the other mammals -- he can get an unlimited supply of ascorbic acid without being dependent upon an enzyme system which may not produce enough, quickly enough. All man needs to know is how much to take.

One of the outstanding attributes of ascorbic acid is its lack of toxicity even when given in large doses over long periods of time. This has been recognized since the 1930s, and ascorbic acid can be rated as one of the least toxic substances known of comparable physiological activity. It can be administered in huge doses, intravenously, without registering any serious side effects."

The best form of vitamin C appears to be the new liposomal vitamin C which has a similar effect to vitamin C given by IV. For more information see Dr Levy's vitamin C book 'Curing the Incurable.'

Dr Levy writes:

"I found that liposome encapsulated vitamin C, taken orally, was roughly 10 times more effective clinically in resolving infectious diseases than the IVC. Having given thousands of IVCs and taken hundreds myself, this was difficult to comprehend, even though the clinical observation was quite straightforward. I subsequently realized that the liposome gave the ultimate bioavailability: intracellular delivery, including the mitochondria, endoplasmic reticulum, and even the nucleus. 2 to 6 packets daily covers most individuals for most situations."

As The Vitamin C Foundation explain,

"Almost 100% absorption is the key. Liposomal vitamin C is released from the liposomes in the liver almost perfectly imitating the animal release of vitamin C. The liposomal form of vitamin C may become important oral cancer adjunct by helping to maintain high blood levels of ascorbate - vitamin C, especially in people who have trouble tolerating ordinary pills due to gas and diarrhoea.

Our tests with liposomal vitamin C have been amazing. No gas or diarrhoea at double the dosages that usually create these effects in our subjects. The Foundation recommends utilizing Lypo-C after you reach bowel tolerance with ordinary ascorbic acid.

'Liposome-encapsulated Ascorbate Liposomes were first proposed as a unique drug delivery system approximately 35 years ago (Bangham, 1995; Gregoriadis, 1995). One of the primary reasons for utilizing a liposome-encapsulation delivery system is to assure a near complete absorption of the encapsulated nutrient or drug into the bloodstream. The physical qualities of the liposome also eliminate the need for digestive activity before absorption.'"

Jodi Bassett, The Hummingbirds' Foundation for M.E. (HFME) and Health, Healing & Hummingbirds (HHH)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
TOP 100 REVIEWERon January 7, 2014
Format: Paperback
[later note: Levy's 2011 book, "Primal Panacea", is even better and is the only one so far that covers the new liposomal vitamin C in detail. He explains the best option for acute infections is a combination of liposomal vitamin C and vitamin C by IV and that given a choice of only one or the other, the better choice is liposomal vitamin C. The next best option is ascorbic acid taken orally and finally sodium ascorbate taken orally. His earlier book is also good: "Vitamin C, Infectious Diseases, and Toxins:Curing the Incurable". ]

An excellent book on the many benefits of vitamin C, which humans cannot make, although most animals can. Its main weakness is that it only briefly refers to liposomal vitamin C.

The authors prove that mega-dose vitamin C as ascorbic acid (like Vitamin D3, a super-nutrient) is an effective antibiotic, antifungal, nontoxic anti-cancer agent, and also a treatment for heart disease as well as strokes, arthritis, peptic ulcers and cataracts - has NO negative side effects, almost impossible to over-dose and less toxic than water;

They emphasize that very high doses are often needed in order to deal with problems. Repeatedly the book states there are virtually no side effects, despite the many accusations against vitamin C, when it is actually safer than water! There's little or nothing vitamin C can't cure, in large-enough doses. However, "Natural Astazanthin" claims Bioastin is much more powerful than any of the vitamins, for dealing with free radicals.

This book doesn't make it clear but I later learned the successful research used intravenous vitamin C for serious health issues like cancer. Also, working on the ratio of vitamin C that a rat requires, an adult human should be consuming between 2 to 4g a day when healthy and up to 15g a day when ill - not the RDI of 75mg. Further, it isn't a vitamin at all. It is an essential molecule for maintaining cellular communication in the body. The larger the amounts of vitamin C in ou body, the better the electron flow is between our cells. Illness is an expression of an impaired flow which arises when "free radicals - molecules lacking an electron - are allowed to proliferate. Vitamin C is a natural free-radical 'scavenger' that produces high-energy electrons to counteract the errant molecules.

Later note: I had been very ill for a very long time (2 decades) and in the end unable even to tolerate vitamin C. Synthetics, including all the synthetic vitamin C forms listed in this book, work short-term but always have a longer-term "cost" - see my review of "Supplements Exposed: The Truth They Don't Want You to Know About Vitamins, Minerals, and Their Effects on Your Health". Unfortunately, this book overlooks the fact that ascorbic acid and other synthetic vitamin C products act like drugs in the system and also leach natural vitamin C out of the body, as explained in "The Calcium Lie II" an intriguing book plausibly claiming to explain the root cause of most illnesses. It's also unfortunate no one is making a liposomal C using soy lecithin plus ONLY full spectrum, natural C such as the Innate Response Formulas, Vitamin C-400 or the Standard Process Collagen C which even has a little adrenal support and is not made from citrus.

Also, as I had suspected for a long time (even though doctors told me all my tests were "normal"), it turned out to be advanced low thyroid, which then created adrenal deficiencies as the two glands work as partners. I found "Stop The Thyroid Madness", a major help: it's a how-to manual and thanks to it you will know more than most doctors (and will need to!).

If you suspect you have a low thyroid problem, there is an easy way to identify it. The FREE basal (at rest) temperature test is THE gold standard for low thyroid problems and - with your symptoms - means more than any lab test (although most conventional doctors, including endos, won't agree but then they're not trained to understand thyroid problems). It will pick up conditions that current lab tests don't, such as thyroid resistance. The stopthethyroidmadness website has excellent instructions for this self-test, as well as several for adrenal fatigue, which often goes hand-in-hand with low thyroid.

As you have an 80% chance you have a thyroid problem if you have a long running health issue, I also suggest "Hypothyroidism Type 2" by Starr ("type 2" meaning the many thyroid problems for which there are no lab tests so they are never diagnosed), which shows how all chronic pain is linked to low thyroid, including those involved with diabetes, heart problems, both bleeding (like gums, periods) & blood clots (including strokes) and some cancers. The newer Hotze book on hypothyroidism is also worth reading.
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