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Vitamin C

Lecture on Vitamin C by brilliant Suzanne Humphries


  Using Vitamin C to treat blood sepsis

  1. Vitamin C for the treatment of sepsis: The scientific rationale.
  3. Abstract: Most vertebrates can synthesize vitamin C with synthesis increasing during stress. Humans, however, have lost the ability to synthesize vitamin C. Vitamin C is an important anti-oxidant and an enzyme cofactor for many important biological reactions. Sepsis results in the overwhelming production of reactive oxygen species with widespread endothelial, cellular and mitochondrial injury leading to progressive organ failure. Sepsis is associated with an acute deficiency of vitamin C. In experimental sepsis models, intravenous vitamin C reduces organ injury and improves survival. In addition, emerging evidence suggests that the combination of vitamin C, corticosteroids and thiamine may act synergistically to reverse sepsis induced organ dysfunction. These findings are supported by a recent observational study. Randomized controlled trials are underway to investigate this novel approach to the treatment of sepsis.

Linus Pauling Institute Blog


Linus Pauling and the use of Vitamin C to treat many diseases

Gorillas, like humans, do not synthesize vitamin C, and so need to obtain it from their diet. In 1949 Bourne pointed out that before the development of agriculture, humans lived mainly off of raw, green plants with little meat; a diet similar to that of the modern gorilla. Bourne concluded that

it may be possible, therefore, that when we are arguing whether 7 or 30 mg of vitamin C a day is an adequate intake we may be very wide of the mark. Perhaps we should be arguing whether 1 g or 2 g a day is the correct amount.

Irwin Stone also took into consideration the amount of ascorbic acid that other animals, such as rats, manufacture. The rat synthesizes vitamin C at a rate of between 26 mg and 58 mg per day per kilogram of body weight. If the same rate of manufacture were applied to humans, a person weighing 70 kg (154 lbs) would need to ingest between 1.8 g and 4.1 g of ascorbic acid per day.

From there, Pauling verified the amounts of various vitamins contained in 110 different raw fruits and vegetables corresponding to a diet of 2,500 kilocalories per day, and found that “for most vitamins this amount is about three times the daily allowance recommended by the Food and Nutrition Board.” For ascorbic acid, the difference was much more drastic: the average amount of ascorbic acid in a day’s ration of the 110 raw foods was 2.3 g, which was about 42 times the recommended amount. Pauling argued that

If the need for ascorbic acid were really as small as the daily allowance recommended by the Food and Nutrition Board the mutation would surely have occurred 500 million years ago, and dogs, cows, pigs, horses, and other animals would be obtaining ascorbic acid from their food, instead of manufacturing it in their own liver cells.

Pauling found that the average ascorbic acid content for the fourteen most vitamin C-rich plant foods is 9.4 g per 2,500 kilocalories, leading him to the conclusion that the optimum daily vitamin C intake for an adult human being is between 2.3 g and 9 g – quantities in line with what he saw as existing in the natural diet of the human lineage and numbers far beyond the recommendations issued government nutritional authorities, then or now.


Check out this great video by Suzanne Humphries on Vitamin C