“Vitamin C bad for you in large does some good in small doses. It seems to keep the DNA repair mechanism in good working order. The same principle is observed with alcohol, and a number of poisons. Very heavy drinking will kill you, but a glass of wine a day is a tonic” …. Bernard L. Cohen
Vitamin C for our body
Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin, it is means that our body doesn’t store it. We need vitamin C for the growth and repair of tissues in all parts of our body. It helps the body make collagen, an important protein used to make skin, cartilage, tendons, ligaments, and blood vessels. Vitamin C is needed for healing wounds, and for repairing and maintaining bones and teeth. Vitamin C is an antioxidant, along with vitamin E, beta-carotene, and many other plant-based nutrients. Antioxidants block some of the damage caused by free radical.
How much we need it?
Daily intake of dietary vitamin C (according to the National Academy of Sciences) is listed below.
- Birth – 6 months: 40 mg (Adequate intake)
- Infants 6 – 12 months: 50 mg (Adequate intake)
- Children 1 – 3 years: 15 mg
- Children 4 – 8 years: 25 mg
- Children 9 – 13 years: 45 mg
- Adolescent girls 14 – 18 years: 65 mg
- Adolescent boys 14 – 18 years: 75 mg
- Men over 18 years: 90 mg
- Women over 18 years: 75 mg
- Pregnant women 14 – 18 years: 80 mg
- Pregnant women over 18 years: 85 mg
- Breastfeeding women 14 – 18 years: 115 mg
- Breastfeeding women over 18 years: 120 mg
Because smoking depletes vitamin C, people who smoke may need an additional 35 mg per day.
How this is started?
It was Linus Carl Pauling (February 28, 1901 – August 19, 1994), an American chemist, biochemist, peace activist, author, and educator. He was one of the most influential chemists in history and ranks among the most important scientists of the 20th century. He is one of only four individuals to have won more than one Nobel Prize. He is one of only two people awarded Nobel Prizes in different fields (the chemistry and peace prizes) and the only person awarded two unshared prizes.
In 1970; s Linus Pauling’s book, Vitamin C and the Common Cold claim that taking 1 gram (1,000 mg) of vitamin C daily would reduce the incidence of colds by 45% for most people, but that some persons might need much larger amounts. It recommended that if symptoms of a cold do start, you should take 500 or 1,000 mg every hour for several hours – or 4 to 10 grams daily if symptoms don’t disappear with smaller amounts. Publication of this book, combined with Pauling’s reputation as a Nobel Prize-winning scientist, has made vitamin C a best seller. When his theory was announced, millions of Americans rushed to try it for themselves. The second edition of the book, issued in 1976 as Vitamin C, the Common Cold and the Flu, suggested even higher dosages
Vitamin C and the Common Cold also suggested that most people need a daily vitamin C intake of 2,300 mg or more for “optimum” health and to meet stresses, including infections. In a subsequent book, How to Live Longer and Feel Better, Pauling stated that individual biochemical variability is so great that optimum intake may may be as great as from 250 mg to 20 grams or more per day
Many concerned persons have wondered whether Pauling’s advice was prudent, and millions have experimented upon themselves to see whether they could tell. Pauling himself reportedly took 12,000 mg daily and raised it to 40,000 mg when symptoms of a cold appeared! Pauling apparently adapted to such dosage, but most people would suffer chronic diarrhea and the risk of kidney stones. Also, the vast majority of reputable medical and nutritional scientists strongly disagree with him.
What’s Behind Linus?
The Linus Pauling Institutes of Science and Medicine was founded in 1973 and operated under that name until 1995. For many years, its largest corporate donor was Hoffmann-La Roche, the pharmaceutical giant that produces most of the world’s vitamin C. Many of the institute’s fundraising brochures contained questionable information. During the 198o’s for example, they falsely stated that no significant progress had been made in cancer treatment during the previous twenty years.
A dispute between Pauling and Arthur Robinson gives additional evidence of Pauling’s defense of vitamin C megadosage was less than honest. Robinson is a former student and long-time associate of Pauling. According to an investigate report by James Lowell, in Nutrition forum newletter, Robinson’s research in 1978 conclude that the high doses of vitamin C being recommended by Pauling might actually promote some types of cancer in mice. Robinson told Lowell, that for example, that animals feed quantities equivalent to Pauling’s recommendation contracted skin cancer almost twice as frequently as the control group and that only doses of vitamin C that were lethal had any protective effect. Shortly after reporting this to Pauling, Robinson was asked to resign from the institute. When Robinson refused, Pauling locked him out and kept the filing cabinets and computer tapes containing nine years’ worth of research. They were never recovered. Pauling also told lab assistants to kill the 400 mice used for the experiments. Pauling’s later sworn testimony showed that the story about the damaging information was invented, while experiments by the Mayo Clinic conclusively proved that the theory about cancer and Vitamin C was wrong. Pauling also declared publicly that Robinson’s research was “amateur” and inadequate. Robinson responded by suing the institute and its trustees. In 1983, the suit was settled out of court with Pauling paying Robinson 575,000. In an interview quoted in Nature, Pauling said that the settlement “represented no more than compensation for loss of office and the cost of Robinson’s legal fees.” However, the court-approved agreement stated that $425,000 of the settlement was for slander and libel. the Institute’s own legal fees were close to a million dollar.
A sharp divergence of political opinion between the two men also became apparent. A few years after he won the Nobel Peace Prize, Pauling also won the Lenin Peace Prize. He told Robinson that he was more proud of the Soviet than the Norwegian award. For his part, in the spring of 1978 Robinson had given a speech at the Cato Institute, then in San Francisco, deploring the government funding of science as harmful to the independence that is essential to scientific inquiry.
High doses of Vitamin C make us feel better …why?
Research in 1940, led by the co-discoverer of vitamin C, Professor Charles Glen King of Columbia University. Dr. King’s group showed that stressing rats with certain drugs stimulated their bodies to synthesize extra vitamin C. Later, evidence was presented to support the belief that animals, such as the rat, who can make their own supply of vitamin C, react to histamine by producing extra vitamin C. In 1974, two other research teams found that rats given vitamin C along with histamine-releasing drugs had a reduction in stress symptoms and reduced histamine in the urine [30,31]. They concluded that vitamin C can act like an anti-histamine drug. However many physicians believe that reducing infection-caused inflammation (nature’s defense reaction) slows recovery.
Histamine in varying amounts is almost always released in the tissues of the respiratory tract by an allergic-type response to the stress of common cold infections. Because vitamin C can act as a histamine or anti-depressant drug, that give stress-reduced effect and giving sense of calm, cure feeling in patient is actually caused by calm sense. This feeling can be called fake recovery sense.
Effect of high doses vitamin C
According to mayo clinic, although too much dietary vitamin C is unlikely to be harmful, megadoses of vitamin C supplements may cause:
- Abdominal bloating and cramps
- Kidney stones
END OF THE STORY:
Although Pauling’s megavitamin claims lacked the evidence needed for acceptance by the scientific community, they have been accepted by large numbers of people who lack the scientific expertise to evaluate them. Thanks largely to Pauling’s prestige, annual vitamin C sales in the United States have been in the hundreds of millions of dollars for many years. Pauling also played a role in the health food industry’s successful campaign to weaken FDA consumer protections laws. The Linus Pauling Institute that bears his name has evolved into a respectable organization. But Pauling’s irrational advice about supplements continues to lead people astray.
SCIENTIFIC FACTS THAT BURIED PAULING
- Chalmers TC. Effects of ascorbic acid on the common cold. An evaluation of the evidence. American Journal of Medicine 58-:532-536, 1975.
- Dykes MH, Meier P. Ascorbic acid and the common cold. Evaluation of its efficacy and toxicity. JAMA 231:1073-1079, 1975.
- Truswell AS. Ascorbic acid (letter). New England Journal of Medicine 315:709, 1986.
- Walker GH and others. Trial of ascorbic acid in prevention of colds. British Medical Journal 1:603-606, 1967.
- Schwartz AR, Hornick, RB and others. Evaluation of the efficacy of ascorbic acid in prophylaxis of induced rhinovirus 44 infection in man. Journal of Infectious Diseases 128:500-505, 1973.
- Coulehan JL and others. Vitamin C prophylaxis in a boarding school. New England Journal of Medicine 290:6-10 1974.
- Coulehan JL and others. Vitamin C and acute illness in Navajo school children. New England Journal of Medicine 295:973-977, 1976.
- Coulehan JL. Ascorbic acid and the common cold: Reviewing the evidence. Postgraduate Medicine 86:153-160, 1979.
- Anderson TW and others. Vitamin C and the common cold: a double-blind trial. Canadian Medical Association Journal 107:503-508, 1972.
- Anderson TW and others. The effect on winter illness of large doses of vitamin C. Canadian Medical Association Journal 111:31-36, 1974.
- Anderson TW. Large-scale trials of vitamin C. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 258:498-504, 1975.
- Anderson TW and others. Winter illness and vitamin C: the effect of relatively low doses. Canadian Medical Association Journal 112:823-826, 1975.
- Carson X and others. Vitamin C and the common cold. Journal of the Society of Occupational Medicine 25:99-102, 1975.
- Karlowski TR, Chalmers TC and others. Ascorbic acid and the common cold: A prophylactic and therapeutic trial. JAMA 231:1038-1042, 1975.
- Miller JD and others. Therapeutic effect of vitamin C: A co-twin control study. JAMA 237:248-251, 1977.
- Tyrell DAJ and others. A trial of ascorbic acid in the treatment of the common cold. British Journal of Preventative and Social Medicine 31:189-191, 1977.
- Carr AB and others. Vitamin C and the common cold: using identical twins as controls. Medical Journal of Australia 2:411-412, 1981.
- Pitt HA, Costrini AM. Vitamin C prophylaxis in marine recruits. JAMA 241:908, 1979.
- Briggs MH. Vitamin C and infectious disease: A review of the literature and the results of a randomized, prospective study over 8 years. In XH Briggs XH, editor. Recent Vitamin Research. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, 1984, pp 39-82.
- Shult PA, Dick EC and others. Abstract No. 617, Proceedings of the Interscience Conference of Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, Atlanta, Oct 1990.
- Audera C and others. Mega-dose vitamin C in treatment of the common cold: A randomised controlled trial. Medical Journal of Australia 175:389, 2001.
- Baird IM, Hughes RE and others. The effects of ascorbic acid and flavonoids on the occurrence of symptoms normally associated with the common cold. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 32:1686-1690, 1979.
- Subramanian N and others. Effect of ascorbic acid on detoxification of histamine in rats and guinea pigs under drug treated conditions. Biochemical Pharmacology 23:637-641, 1974.
- Nandi BK and others. Effect of ascorbic acid on detoxification of histamine under stress conditions. Biochemical Pharmacology 23:643-647, 1974.
- Gorski, David. High Doses Vitamin C and cancer: Has Linus Pauling Been vindicated? Science Based Medicine (2008).