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on February 16, 2009
An entire book about vitamin C? Is there really that much more to say about this subject? As it turns out, there is a great deal more to be said, and Drs. Hickey and Saul say it very well! In this very well-written, well-referenced book, we learn specifically how this essential nutrient works in our bodies to help create and maintain optimum health. We are taken on a journey into the world of our cells, into the world of free radicals and antioxidants, and shown with great clarity, the truly remarkable role that vitamin C plays in the healthy maintenance of our bodies.

We learn also, of the history of vitamin C research, and why the mainsteam medical community has chosen to ignore this research. Most importantly, we learn specifically how we can best benefit from the many decades of research on vitamin C, in order to gain and maintain good health in our own lives.

For anyone confused by the seemingly conflicting information printed in the mainstream press about vitamin C, I highly recommend this detailed, yet highly readable book. Reading VITAMIN C: THE REAL STORY, will likely change the way you think about vitamin C. Then again, it just may change your life.
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on January 7, 2009
Apart from various websites, this is the first book I've read about Vitamin C and I found it immensely informative and very valuable. I strongly recommend it to anyone interested in achieving optimal health and avoiding as much disease as possible later in life. Saul & Hickey do a good job explaining the history, the science, methodology and reasoning behind large doses, the controversy, and the chemistry. All this is covered as you proceed through the book and sets you up well for their synthesis in the final chapters where they lay down a very detailed explanation of how the fundamental cause of atherosclerosis is highly likely to arise from less than optimal levels of antioxidants, particularly Vitamin C, in the body. This was the section I found the most interesting. The book also has a great section on cancer, how it develops, and how Vitamin C can play a role in prevention and treatment.

Having done some internet research today since finishing the book I am a little surprised they never mention the role of the various genes that have arisen in animals that can't produce their own Vitamin C such as the one that produces Uric Acid (as wikipedia says it provides about half of the antioxidant capacity of the plasma), along with the ability to recycle ascorbate which is also seems unique to upper primates, guinea pigs and bats according to this recent article. [...] I think this is interesting too and could have been mentioned when comparing our vitamin C requirements to animals that make their own (hence the four stars). Nevertheless, this is minor, and gorillas eat 2-5g of ascorbate a day anyway which is way beyond what most people eat and about the range they recommend here for maintaining good health.

I think they make a very strong argument for increasing intake for optimum health, so I know I will be doing just that.
This is a great book, which is easy to read, concise and full of valuable information that could very well extend the length and quality of your life - and if you ever catch a lethal strain of legionnaires disease you'll know what to do!
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on February 25, 2009
Vitamin C: The Real Story
The Remarkable and Controversial Story of Vitamin C
by Steve Hickey, PhD and Andrew Saul, PhD,
2008, Basic Health Publications Inc., CA, 192 pages [...]

A curious title. What could be remarkable or controversial about vitamin C? Thousands of children take Flintstone multis every day; don't they get enough vitamin C? Many adults take some C when they have a cold. Even without supplements, don't most people get enough vitamins and minerals in their fruits and veggies? Authors Hickey and Saul think we need to know the truth about vitamin C. Their fascinating book presents some truly remarkable vitamin C discoveries. They outline its health-maintaining functions, introduce its health-restoring capabilities and warn us about anti-vitamin-therapy factoids.

Steven Hickey, PhD and Andrew Saul, PhD present the real story clearly and carefully. Readers will gradually realize that the vitamin C story has two dimensions. On the bright side, scientific and medical researchers have documented decades of vitamin research, clinical progress and success. Vital amines, and other nutritional substances, are essential for health and useful for healing. Over the past 100 years, a succession of scientific researchers studied the biochemistry of vitamin C and learned that vital amines sustain metabolism. Minimal doses of vitamin C can heal scurvy however optimum doses of vitamin C have remarkable health-restoring capabilities. Researchers carried out clinical trials, detailed patient recoveries, corroborated findings and wrote journal articles and reference books. The vitamin C story also has a disturbing dark side. Rather than telling the truth, certain health professionals dismiss the vitamin C research and disparage the clinical progress reports. They ignore vitamin C's health-maintaining functions and dispute its health-restoring capabilities. The anti-vitamin-therapy skeptics use factoids to support their denials, as outlined in this book.

Like a Swiss-army knife, vitamin C has multiple capabilities. When we pick up a Swiss-army knife for the first time, we expect to find large and small blades but we may not inspect it carefully. In an emergency, we happily discover that a Swiss-army knife comes with a versatile set of built-in tools: a screwdriver, a tooth pick, a cork screw and a file. After these tiny tools save lives, the word gets out. Eventually the public learns that each Swiss army knife comes with life-saving tools. Consider the metabolic and healing capabilities of vitamins as tools for restoring health. In milligram doses, vitamin C enables essential metabolic pathways to sustain life. Small doses can heal scurvy. If taken in large enough doses when a patient has cancer or an infection or an overload of toxins, vitamin C can heal and restore health. The general public still does not know that vitamin C has a number of lifesaving capabilities. Meanwhile, certain experts, who should know better than to publish false information, scoff at vitamin C research, forget its biochemistry, ignore its metabolic functions and deny its therapeutic value. Why don't more scientific and medical professionals study the vitamin C research, review the clinical trials, interview recovered patients and learn that therapeutic doses of vitamin C really can restore health and save lives? Too busy. How can trusting patients know if our doctors understand and apply the healing capabilities of vitamin C or use false factoids to withhold vitamin treatments? Patients and families, caregivers and health professionals can read books and articles about vitamin C to learn the facts for ourselves.

Vitamin C: The Real Story teaches us that a hundred years after the discovery of vitamin C, mankind is still researching the biochemistry of essential nutrients and developing medical applications. We learn that vital amines, trace minerals, amino and fatty acids, hormones and many other nutrients are essential for sustaining life. Optimum doses can restore health. Orthomolecular health professionals know that regimens of vitamin C and other nutritional supplements, if given in the right doses, can help patients recover and live well. They routinely prescribe supplements and adjust the doses to suit each patient's diagnosis and biochemical individuality. Readers of this book will learn to distinguish the facts about vitamin C from the anti-C factoids. Patients can ask their doctors about vitamin research, optimal doses and patient recoveries. Readers are cautioned to take care with their health. Anyone who reads this book will learn useful facts about vitamin C and its clinical applications: therapeutic doses of vitamin C can restore health when taken as recommended by qualified medical professionals who understand biochemistry and know when to prescribe vitamin C as a complementary and restorative treatment.

review by Robert Sealey, BSc
author of 90-Day Plan for Finding Quality Care [...]
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on February 12, 2010
This books starts with a really wonderful introductory text by the 90 year old Abram Hoffer M.D. PhD., a man that has taken large amounts of vitamin C for 50 years with many positive effects and given it to a vast number of patients with many positive effects. The only problem as he points out is that as a doctor, it isn't great for you in soem ways if your patients all become too well because your treatment works so well!

Long story short, if you have cancer or any type of viral or bacterial disease, or any chronic disease or you want to avoid disease and live a longer and healthier life, you need to read this book - or at least understand the basics of orthomolecular medicine and the importance and effectiveness of high dose vitamin C taken daily.

As this book explains `Just about everything doctors have been telling us about vitamin C is wrong'

One of the most important messages of the book is that, if a doctor is unsure of the diagnosis, high dose vitamin C should always be given while the correct diagnosis is pondered.

The book also includes great information about Pauling, Cathcart, Klenner and Stone and other orthomolecular medicine pioneers.

This is an excellent book for doctors, as it explains why the facts about vitamin C are twisted and ignored in mainstream medicine as well as providing a mountain of solid evidence for the effectiveness of vitamin C. The book is also very easy to read for patients and members of the public.

This is a great book for laying out the facts of vitamin C therapy and why it is so important, however very little practical information is given. To be clear, it isn't very complex and only a small amount of information is needed. But this book did not explain at all how to buffer plain ascorbic acid with bicarb soda, or the benefits of IV vitamin C over oral vitamin C and so on. All it says is that ascorbic acid is the best form, and that you do not need to worry about buying expensive `vitamin C complexes with bioflavonoids' and little else.

Articles from some of the authors listed above are far better sources of practical information on how to take high dose vitamin C, but this book is rock solid in amassing so much credible and important information on this topic in one place. The authors are to be congratulated on this important book that needs to be widely read by doctors and members of the public. This book will change your mind about vitamin C and could even have a big impact on your life and health.

This book is very similar to Ascorbate: The Science of Vitamin C, but if I had to choose between the two I'd choose this one, as it's so much more reader-friendly and simpler (both books are of a very high quality however, and excellent for giving to your doctor). Also essential reading are Dr Levy's two new C books which also discuss liposomal C.

Jodi Bassett, The Hummingbirds' Foundation for M.E. (HFME) and Health, Healing & Hummingbirds (HHH)
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on March 20, 2011
This book is quite simply a revelation. It reminded me while reading of the Matrix when Neo is instructed to "open your mind" to see the "real" world. 1.It makes you realize just how the Pharmaceutical industry so fully compromises our health for profit and greed. 2. How Pharma studies are so full of crap and generally followed religiously by the medical establishment that you wonder why most of us aren't dead already - Oh, I forgot, they don't actually want to kill us lest they ruin their revenue source. 3. It shows how ascorbate as a very natural and very NON-toxic substance works as most likely one of the best healing sources around - IN APPROPRIATE DOSEAGE....4. and Finally how you can learn to nearly NEVER get a cold or flu again and help yourself combat some of the worst diseases and virus around with Vitamin C!....amazing book.
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on June 27, 2013
This not a review as we usually understand it.

This is the brief account of personal experience based on the actual use
of the excellent and comprehensive information this book provides.

Three years ago I had a heart attack. The stent was inserted into one of my heart arteries to remove the obstruction.
The whole experience was a total shock, as I was always religiously following the life style guidelines ( right food, plenty of exercise ) that were supposed to remove the risk of getting my arteries damaged.

Well, this event showed, that the guidelines, although good, were NOT SUFFICIENT.
I obviously MISSED SOMETHING THAT WAS CRITICALLY IMPORTANT for maintaining the integrity of artery wall.

So, I was very motivated to find that missing element;....and, discovered a huge amount of work on Vitamin C and its functions. Based on the understanding I gained, I started to use the Vitamin C BASED THERAPY detailed in this book.
To check its effectiveness I have had ultrasonic test (UT) done every 6 months on my carotid artery, where the artery wall damage was present as well.

I am very happy now, as I see the evidence of this wall damage healing and receding. Doctor who is doing this Test is absolutely
amazed. And, if it was not for this evidence he would pay no attention.....BECAUSE HE KNOWS THAT VITAMIN C CANNOT DO THIS...

Well, do not believe what I am saying, do much better: Study, understand, use and TEST THE BENEFITS.

I wish you presence of mind to do it.
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on December 7, 2014
This book will change your life if you are ill. Using a sub-laxative level of Vitamin C to fight of a Candida infection. The RDA doses are desperately too low. The doses needed for each individual fluctuates drastically depending on how ill the person is. Some individuals can take 200,000 mg a day without a laxative effect if they have a massive infection, however once they successfully treated using Vitamin C they may only need 4,000mg a day to maintain their levels of health. This book teaches you myths about of Vitamin C. Afraid of kidney stones? This book will explain why it may actually hinder kidney stones, not cause them.

The medical profession wants to scare you from taking very high doses and perpetuates these myths. If you take too much Vitamin C your body has a very efficient way of dealing with it. It simply releases it through the bowels, just like with Epsom Salts (Magnesium Sulfate). Our bodies have been dealing with these substances for millions of years and recognizes these vitamins and minerals.

Did you know most animals have the ability to synthesize Vitamin C from glucose, in their own bodies and adjust the levels daily bases on how stressed or ill they are. Their production levels are much higher than the RDA amounts. Humans lost this ability. Read the book and find out what this means and how it possibly occurred. It definitely indicates Vitamin C is much more than a Vitamin. Its just as or possibly more essential than Vitamin D ( a steroid hormone). If our bodies had the ability to produce it, it must be absolutely essential for survival.

Vitamin C does so much more for us than just boosting our immune system it is an anti-histamine, electron donor to cells and more.

Anyway their is much to this book than I can cover. Do yourself a favor, read this book and find the real truth of Vitamin C.
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on September 4, 2012

The purpose of this book, I believe, is to convince me that vitamin C can do all the things the authors claim. That, in fact, is why I bought it and read it. They failed. Not because vitamin C can't do all those wonderful things. It probably can do many of them. The authors simply failed to prove it to me. I am convinced by data, not by claims.

Here are some examples of what the authors call data:
1) Page 26 - Frederick R. Klenner said, "In the past seven years [1941 - 1948], virus infections [poliomyelitis] have been treated and cured in a period of seventy-two hours by employment of massive frequent injections of ascorbic acid, or vitamin C."
2) Page 105 - "He [Dr. Cathcart] reported on a group of approximately ninety AIDS patients who took high doses of vitamin C independently; an additional twelve of his AIDS patients were described, six of whom received intravenous ascorbate. Dr. Cathcart reported a response proportionate to the amount of vitamin consumed."
3) Page 107 - "In 1975, Dr. Cathcart reported that, over a three-year period, he had treated more than 2000 patients with massive doses of vitamin C. He noted considerable beneficial effects in acute viral disease ..."

These statements are not data. I do not doubt the truth of these statements, but even if they are 100% true, they are neither data nor evidence. They don't prove anything to me. In number 1), "infections have been treated and cured" is not very convincing. Were the infections diagnosed by independent medical authorities and accepted as polio? How many were there? How severe were they? How does Klenner define cured, and what were the degrees of curing? What was the cure or recovery rate for other treatments for similar diagnoses? In number 2), "a response proportionate to the amount of vitamin consumed" leaves a tremendous amount of wiggle room for interpretation. In number 3), "considerable benefit" is similarly vague.

The authors did, however, do a better job of presenting data from one study on page 16:
"A research group led by Dr. Jonathon Gould in the 1950s conducted a placebo-controlled trial of vitamin C as a treatment for polio. About seventy children were treated in the study; half of the children were given vitamin C and the remainder a placebo. All the children given the vitamin C recovered. However, in the placebo group, approximately twenty percent had residual impairment."

The authors also present many anecdotes of individual experiences of medical practitioners. The problem with anecdotes is that the reader doesn't know if the story they are reading is the very best outcome out of a large number of cases and how many of the cases resulted in diminished or poor outcomes. In other words, anecdotes can leave the reader with the impression that vitamin C is a wonder cure, and they should expect miracles. Maybe vitamin C really is a wonder cure, and maybe it does work miracles, but life is rarely that simple. And anecdotes are usually chosen to show the best outcome possible.

Since the book presented so little data that was convincing to me, I spent some time on the internet to try to find some, starting first with the authors' endnotes. I quickly found the following paragraph, though it was not referenced by the authors of "Vitamin C: The Real Story."

"To investigate the effects of vitamin C on cancer patients' health-related quality of life, we prospectively studied 39 terminal cancer patients. All patients were given an intravenous administration of 10 g vitamin C twice with a 3-day interval and an oral intake of 4 g vitamin C daily for a week. And then we investigated demographic data and assessed changes in patients' quality of life after administration of vitamin C. Quality of life was assessed with EORTC QLQ-C30. In the global health/quality of life scale, health score improved from 36±18 to 55±16 after administration of vitamin C (p=0.001). In functional scale, the patients reported significantly higher scores for physical, role, emotional, and cognitive function after administration of vitamin C (p<0.05). In symptom scale, the patients reported significantly lower scores for fatigue, nausea/vomiting, pain, and appetite loss after administration of vitamin C (p<0.005). The other function and symptom scales were not significantly changed after administration of vitamin C." ("Changes of Terminal Cancer Patients' Health-related Quality of Life after High Dose Vitamin C Administration", Chang Hwan Yeom, Gyou Chul Jung, and Keun Jeong Song, J Korean Med Sci, v.22(1), Feb 2007)

This is data. Everything is defined: the sample set, diagnoses, doses, measures of success, statistics, outcomes. And one bonus of this study is that the doses were relatively small and for a short treatment period, so one can only wonder how much better the outcomes would have been with higher doses and longer durations.

I also found other relevant data that the authors failed to exhibit or even reference. I bought this book so I wouldn't have to do my own research. They failed me in that respect.


What the authors did very well is to introduce me to a potentially important therapy that I previously thought of as just a nutrient. They clearly state the problems, the solutions, and many constraints on those solutions. The first five chapters do a very good job of presenting the scientific background of what vitamin C is and how it works. Chapter Five is a good presentation of the biochemistry of antioxidants. It would, however, benefit from some graphics. Likewise, Chapter One discusses what vitamin C is but never presents a graphic showing the structure of the molecule.

I applaud the authors for doing something unheard of in modern popular technical books--presenting data graphically. Basic Health Publications is clearly not a New York City mainstream publisher. The mainstream publishers have been convinced by their Park Avenue allies that modern American readers would be confused by graphical data and refuse to buy anything with a graph in it. Yet a graph is the only rational way to present such time-sequence data as they do in Chapter Three. Kudos for small publishers with expansive vision.

All in all, I was quite favorably impressed with the book--in spite of my ranting about their failure to show me the data.
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on July 17, 2009
plus 2) vitamin b complex;
3) magnesium 500 mg a day and
4) Lugols solution ....on an empty stomach - twice daily in either liquid mixed in water or pill...
( Lugol's was the most prescribed medicine in America in the 1930's...)
just my opinion and what I do daily....
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on September 11, 2011
Vitamin C is so important for health that the vast majority of animals manufacture it daily in their bodies. This is why animals can live outdoors even in the winter without getting colds or most other infectious illnesses. Being healthy is important to animals because if an animal gets sick it usually becomes eaten by a healthy animal. Only a few animals -- principally humanes, monkeys, and apes -- cannot manufacture vitamin C. The inability to manufacture vitamin C confines monkeys and apes to live in or near the tropics, where the weather is warm and edible fruits and vegetation is very rich in vitamin C and thus can supply their need for this essential nutrient. Outside the tropics they would get sick and die or be killed, so most monkeys and apes live only in or near the tropics unlike most other animal species. When monkeys and apes are removed from the tropics to live in zoos or as pets, they routinely are fed a diet very rich in vitamin C in order to keep them healthy.

Humans also originated in the tropics and cannot manufacture vitamin C but -- unlike monkeys and apes -- most humans eventually migrated away from the vitamin C rich tropics and spread all over the world to places in which the food supply contains much less vitamin C than is needed to maintain our health. Thus, unlike other animals, we humans routinely get sick with colds and other illnesses which adequate vitamin C would protect us against. Only the invention and use of clothing, shelter, and weapons makes it possible for humans to survive the illnesses caused by inadequate vitamin C which we routinely get. Humans are the only animals which routinely get sick and yet generally survive our illnesses. But why should we live with periodic bouts of illness? Why not protect ourselves by taking supplemental vitamin C? This is the argument presented in this outstanding book and by the greatest chemist of the 20th century, Dr. Linus Pauling in his book Vitamin C, the Common Cold, and the Flu. Linus Pauling was the greatest chemist of the 20th century and is the only person ever to have been awarded two unshared Nobel Prizes. Please acquire and read this valuable book and Pauling's as well. If you take adequate supplemental vitamin C daily, you probably will become healthier in many ways, and may never have another cold or the flu.
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