Healing with Vitamin C

Vitamin C has a fascinating history. It has been used to heal in a wide variety of illnesses. But much of this is not widely known.

Most mammals have the capacity to manufacture Vitamin C and typically when ill or under stress. A goat normally produces 1 gram of Vitamin C daily but when ill this increases to about 10 grams daily. We also need more when we are ill but can’t produce it. We therefore need a bit of help.

Some doctors in the 1940s and 1950s started using Vitamin C in high doses in ill patients, especially those with infections, and had remarkable successes. Dr Klenner successfully treated polio, tetanus, influenza, viral pneumonia, viral hepatitis and burns. Vitamin C has anti-virus properties. Often he used intramuscular and intravenous solutions for maximum effect. Sadly it is not used today in serious infections even though it can still be highly effective when used (see Youtube: The Miracle Swine Flu Cure) as an example of a miraculous recovery from a near-terminal infection.

A recent study published in November 2016 compared sepsis patients treated in intensive care units in the standard way to those given intravenous vitamin C, hydrocortisone and thiamine (vitamin B1). In the first group 40% died and in the second 8.5% died1. However Dr Marik went on to treat a further 150 patients with the Vitamin C protocol and the mortality in this group was only 1% (expected mortality 30-50%). Two other interesting facts emerged. Firstly all these ill patients had very low levels of vitamin C and secondly the dose given intravenously was quite small (1.5 grams 6 hourly).

A later randomised, double-blind trial study was done 2 years later at seven different intensive care units (ICU) in the USA. The study showed a striking reduction in all-cause mortality (by a third) and a significant increase in ICU and hospital-free days after using a Vitamin C infusion for a mere 3 days2.

Another trial of looked at 471 patients ventilated for over 10 hours. Giving Vitamin C (at a fairly low dose of 1 to 6 grams daily) reduced the time on a ventilator by 25%3. What was striking about the study was that Vitamin C helped the most severely affected patients the most, something almost unknown with other forms of medication.

Two things struck me as odd about this study. First the dramatic benefits of Vitamin C got no mention in the abstract of the paper but were hidden in the text of the article.  Secondly why was Vitamin C used for such a short length of time?

The biggest threat from sepsis comes from exotoxins produced by bacteria which can destroy the linings of blood vessels. This is why some patients with very severe infections like meningitis lose limbs, due to what is known as intravascular coagulation. Normally the linings (or endothelium) of the blood vessels are protected by Vitamin C within the endothelium but once the stores run out the blood vessels break down.

However anyone can use Vitamin C if they have an infection and it will nearly always make a difference. It will work best at high dosage. We normally need 4 to 15 grams of Vitamin C daily when well but we may need up to 150 grams daily when we have a severe infection. The best way to use it was developed by Dr Cathcart who suggested building it up to bowel tolerance. To be effective To be effective you need to reach 80-90% of your bowel tolerance. This means building up the dose until it gives slight diarrhoea and then reducing it. The easiest way to do this is to use Vitamin C powder. It dissolves best in warm water. Start with 1 teaspoonful (4 grams). Use hourly during an infection. Then keep giving doses frequently. The reason is that the level of Vitamin C drops by 50% every 30 minutes. So give 2 grams every 1 to 2 hours until bowel tolerance then keep giving it but at a lower dose. Bowel tolerance usually occurs after 10-30 grams of vitamin C in a day; the more serious the illness the more Vitamin C that is tolerated.

Children typically need 1 gram for each year of life so a 9 year-old would need 9 grams daily during an infection. For babies the dose is 100mg for each month so a 9 month-old child would need 900mg. However these are only rough guides as during an infection the body is like a sponge and will take up the amount it needs and there is no danger from giving too much.

Vitamin C Powder can be obtained from some most health food shops. You can also use sodium or calcium ascorbate –this is very similar. Some people tolerate it better but you need a slightly higher dose.

Vitamin C to Prevent Vaccine Reactions

      Vaccine reactions are rare but occasionally serious. (Figures for UK are not available but in Germany the Paul Erlich-Institute found that annually there were 360 severe reactions and 90 deaths (between 1978 and 1993).

Dr Kalokerinos drew attention to the unexpectedly high death rate after vaccination in Aboriginal children. He found giving them Vitamin C before and after vaccination almost completely protected them from these fatal reactions.

Another benefit of Vitamin C is it enhances the antibody response so it makes the vaccine both more effective and more safe.

      The difficulty for parents is that severe reactions due to vaccines are unpredictable. One way of minimising the risk is to use Vitamin C before vaccines. The dose is one gram of Vitamin C for each year of age (eg 5 grams for a 5 years old) For babies of up to 10lb use 500g and 10-20 lb use 500 to 1 gram. The powered form is easiest for this age group.

      For more detailed  information see: www.orthomolecular.org/resources/omns/v11no9.shtml

  1. Chest,2017;151(6):1229-38
  2. JAMA,2019;322(13):1261-70
  3. J Int Care, 2020;8:15