High Dose Vit C
Vitamin C or Ascorbic acid, is one of the most talked about vitamins this decade. It has been the subject of media opinions, medical controversy-even anger and many anecdotal personal claims around Vitamin C benefits.
Increasing numbers of doctors are administering vitamin C infusions or Intravenous Vit C for a range of conditions from sepsis to cancer – all over the world. In fact, research shows that Vitamin C therapy using high doses of Vitamin C may slow down the growth and spread of liver, colon, prostate, pancreatic, and other types of cancer cells.
What is the truth?
Why so simple a vitamin that it can apparently work wonders? What are the benefits of vitamin C?
If true, why are we not using this in every day clinical practice, even in hospitals?
Is it safe?
How can it evoke such outrage from those who don’t use it?
What is it and where does Vit C come from.
The Entire Animal Kingdom Megadoses on Vitamin C (excerpts from orthomolecular.org)
Most animals make their own vitamin C, and a lot of it. Humans and a few other species have a genetic inability NOT to do so at all – hence we are completely at the mercy of our diet and health officials to advise us on dosage.
Linus Pauling and other scientists have estimated this amount to be somewhere between 1,000 and 10,000 mg of vitamin C per human body weight equivalent per day. That means that cows and sows, horses and porpoises, whales and walruses, fleas and flies, worms and fish, dogs and cats, and rabbits and rats all make vitamin C every day. And, significantly, they make vitamin C for themselves in the range of ten to one hundred times more than the health officials tell us to take. (why are we so special to under dose?)
The US RDA is less than 100 mg for people. Curiously enough, the United States Department of Agriculture has in fact set a recommended vitamin C level for Guinea pigs, one of the few animal species that cannot make vitamin C for itself. The USDA daily recommended vitamin C intake for Guinea pigs is about 10 times what the US RDA is for you.
Because it may cause harm
Every so often, the old myth that HDVC causes kidney stones rears up again as if it is common. In fact it is extremely rare and only in certain folk who have a marked susceptibility to oxalate stones. And even these people have rare increase – some experts say it may decrease stones! Well, in this day of witch-hunts and doctor quack-busters – we will exclude those rare cases of kidney damage from oxalate sludge and stones.
The other very rare exclusions from being able to have high dose Vit C are: Thalassaemia (rare blood condition), G6PD – a rare genetic disorder where IV Vit C may cause red cells to destruct, and any other red cell haemolytic disorders.
Another common caution was with those with too much iron storage in their body – Haemochromatosis. In fact this becomes an issue ONLY with taking ORAL Vit C but NOT when via intravenous infusion.
Often quoted by critics is the rare case of death by massive dose of Vit C causing more oxalate damage to already failing kidneys – which engenders fear for and opposition to the entire use of high dose IV Vit C. If we applied that same ‘rational thinking’ to all of our medical drugs – one only has to look at the death or severe harms rate for many drugs -then there would be few drugs left on the market. Its just the way it works. Our medical establishment is based on pharmaceutical model – all else is viewed with suspicion and couldn’t possibly work.
So is it safe
Using high doses of vitamin C treatment for a range of conditions is extremely safe and well tolerated when administered by appropriately trained medical personnel. I personally have administered many thousands of infusions over 25 years, from young children to the aged and to healthy as well as desperately sick individuals. I give myself IV C when coming down with a virus.
What does it do in the body
Ascorbic acid (vitamin C) at millimolar concentrations (attainable via intravenous infusions)is used to treat any illnesses associated with inflammation, including cancer, atherosclerosis, and viral infections. Inflammation itself may increase risk of cancer worsening.
At high doses, vitamin C has been shown to reduce the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Ascorbic acid has many other properties, including as an antioxidant at lower doses that scavenge reactive oxygen species (ROS) and it supports collagen formation and enhances extracellular matrix protein synthesis.
Inflammation plays a role in various stages of cancer development – it increases risk as well as playing a role in the unwell feeling of having advancing cancer – a bit like feeling awful with the inflammation of the common flu. Reducing inflammation with Vit C may be one of the ways it is beneficial – latest research is showing several mechanisms now to explain how Vit C actually kills cancer cells and may reduce its progress in the body. HDVC is not claimed to CURE cancer. It supports the body with cancer.
Emerging science is now looking at the opposite role of high dose Vit C in terms of being OXIDATIVE treatment. Its kind of reverse to the familiar ‘anti-oxidant role of physiological dosing of Vit C.
Perhaps when very ill with progressive cancers, infections, inflammations we are under chronic oxidative stress but not so much over but under oxidative capacity. After all we use oxidation to kill bugs and maybe ‘disarm’ toxins. A bit like burning them up in a furnace.
Emotion, egos and legality
Plenty of that! In New Zealand, IV Vit C has been well tested in the media, little in the hospital environment but starting to become researched vigorously in the universities. Well done.
2010 Professor Ethics-Vit C by Professor Grant Gillett – on the medical ethics of the right to choose