Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) was first discovered in the 1700s by Dr. James Lind, a Scottish naval surgeon when he discovered that lemons and limes cured scurvy in British seamen. The chemical composition of this vitamin, though, wasn’t discovered until almost 200 years later by Albert Szent-Györgyi, a Hungarian-American biochemist who was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1937 for his work with ascorbic acid.
Linus Pauling, PhD, also became a strong advocate of vitamin C In the 60s — utilizing it as a therapy for many illnesses, including the common cold. Pauling’s peers, however, found it difficult to believe that such a cheap vitamin could treat anything — much less a common cold — and Pauling’s findings were scoffed at by the medical establishment and conventional physicians and, ultimately, this two-time Nobel Laureate was ostracized just for having suggested such a radical idea at that time. Much more criticism followed Dr. Pauling’s advocacy of vitamin C as a cancer therapy. Along with Ewan Cameron, MD, Pauling conducted a number of trials showing that high-dose vitamin C resulted in remarkable improvements in quality of life and survival time of cancer patients.
The two monitored the cases of hundreds of advanced cancer patients taking IV and oral vitamin C, and tracked them against similar cancer cases in which the patients were not receiving supplements. They found that those obtaining vitamin C lived up to six times longer than the patients in the control group. The National Institutes of Health subsequently funded what they said were “similar” studies at the Mayo Clinic. They used these studies to refute Dr. Pauling’s results. Critics contend that the results of the NIH trials were flawed from the outset because the protocols used to establish them were designed to create a failure.
First, there were only to be vitamin C tablets with no IV vitamin C treatments, and the dosage was far smaller than the therapeutic dosages previously established by Pauling and Cameron. The length of treatment was shortened in a way as to avoid the length of time necessary to obtain positive results. To the delight of the cancer treatment industry, the negative results of these trials satisfied the status quo and their infatuation with the much more expensive chemotherapy and radiation. Vitamin C as a cancer therapy never got off the ground as a result.
Is the National Institutes of Health finally seeing the light?
A team of NIH researchers led by Mark Levine, MD, PhD, recently published a study on the effects of very high-dose vitamin C on cancer cells. They found that exposure to high concentrations of vitamin C kills cancer cells, decreasing their survival rates by 50 percent. Tested on nine different cancer cell lines, vitamin C was highly toxic to five of them, and it eliminated lymphoma cells completely. Furthermore, normal cells were not affected.
Their paper went on to describe how vitamin C in high doses, kills cancer cells by producing hydrogen peroxide, which is toxic to cancer cells. White blood cells naturally produce hydrogen peroxide to destroy cancer, bacteria, viruses, and other microbes, which explains why IV vitamin C is also useful in the treatment of polio, hepatitis, HIV, herpes, tuberculosis, mononucleosis, Lyme disease and many other infectious diseases.
The only way to achieve the concentrations necessary to kill cancer cells and microbes is to give vitamin C intravenously. Just 10g of IV vitamin C, for example, raises blood levels of vitamin C higher than 250 g taken orally. Even the NIH researchers conceded this, concluding in their study, “These findings give plausibility to IV ascorbic acid in cancer treatment.”
Vitamin C Pioneers and Innovators
Even though conventional medicine turned its back on vitamin C decades ago, a handful of innovative and dedicated physicians have quietly continued to research and treat their patients with IV vitamin C. They have not had the financial backing or the status of the The National Institutes of Health behind them, but they did have an open mind and an intense desire to seek out the best possible therapies for their patients.
Some of these innovators include the late Dr. Hugh Riordan, Abram Hoffer, MD, PhD; Robert Cathcart, MD; Thomas E. Levy, MD, JD.; as well as Dr. Linus Pauling and Dr. Ewan Cameron. We owe these doctor-innovators a huge debt of gratitude.
Is IV vitamin C on the verge of becoming a mainstream cancer treatment?
Doubtful. It’s very unlikely that you will hear about IV vitamin C therapy from your oncologist. The industry that has grown up around the conventional treatment of cancer including pharmaceutical companies, cancer oriented medical centers, entire hospital wards, government bureaucracies, nonprofit organizations and the billions of dollars it currently generates for those industries aren’t interested in non-patentable products that fight cancer when the pharmaceutical, radiation machinery and surgical centers have stepped up to become the ‘established’ protocol for cancer therapy in spite of the known poor success rates of these strategies.