VITAMIN C - THE MASTER NUTRIENT
Preface | Foreword | Introduction | Chapter 1 | Chapter 2 | Chapter 3 | Chapter 4 | Chapter 5 | Chapter 6 | Chapter 7 | Chapter 8 | Chapter 9 | Chapter 10 | Chapter 11 | Chapter 12 | Chapter 13 | Bibliography
Vitamin C: The difference between sickness and optimal health
Health is emphatically not merely the absence of disease. Just because we are not suffering from hay fever, runny nose, arthritis, cancer, heart disease, or stomach upset, does not mean that we are at the peak of health. However, being free from all physical illness would certainly be an excellent start on the journey to total health. And we are the best judges of our own state of health. Can you remember a time when you felt absolutely fit, completely relaxed and sublimely interested and motivated and enamoured with every aspect of your life? This uncommonly experienced state in today's world probably describes what optimal health is about.
Just as every individual is endowed with a unique set of genes, has a unique history of physical, biochemical, nutritional and emotional experiences, so the measure of optimal health is probably unique for each of us. Optimal means "the best we can be". The number of "minor" health problems plaguing the average individual is amazing – allergies, stiffness, back pain, hemorrhoids, skin rashes, fatigue, headache. We have become so used to these "minor" complaints that we only use the term illness to describe the even more serious problems which follow as we overload our body's capacity to handle abuse – arthritis, heart disease, diabetes, cancer.
Can you imagine that you could be free from health complaints and therefore ready to devote your energies to really living your life fully? It is possible, and accomplishing this will probably take you into vistas hitherto untravelled. You may discover and correct food allergies that are contributing to your minor health problems, dietary and environmental pollutants that contribute to illness and lifestyle practices which relax you and help you to more effectively manage your daily stress.
Vitamin C, nutrient extaordinaire, has been shown to be one of the body's vital substances required for many fundamental processes, ranging from the biosynthesis of collagen, fat-transporting carnitine, the hormones adrenaline and cortisone, electron transporter in many enzymatic reactions, protector of the integrity of blood vessels, promoter of healthy gums, radiation protector, regulator of cholesterol levels, free radical detoxifier, antibacterial and antiviral agent and immune enhancer.
The use of Vitamin C within your health programme will certainly augment your state of health and may significantly treat and prevent many serious illnesses. Vitamin C, along with other health promoting substances, may enable you to experience, perhaps for the first time in a long time, the radiant feeling of optimal health, as opposed to the sub-optimal absence of overt disease.
THERAPEUTIC USES OF VITAMIN C
The following is a list of many of the conditions for which preventative application or treatment with Vitamin C has been shown to be effective:
ALCOHOLISM AND DRUG ADDICTION
ALLERGIES, FOOD AND ENVIRONMENTAL
CANCER – bladder, breast, bronchial, cervical, kidney, liver, lung, ovarian, rectal, skin
CANDIDA ALBICANS INFECTIONS
M.E. (Chronic Viral Fatigue)
POST SURGICAL TRAUMA
RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS, RHEUMATOID DISEASES
RHINITIS – Hay Fever
SUDDEN INFANT DEATH SYNDROME
WOUNDS AND PHYSICAL TRAUMA
HOW CAN ONE SUBSTANCE WORK FOR SO MANY DIFFERENT ILLNESSES?
This indeed is one of the most intelligent and important questions at the centre of our growing renaissance in understanding optimal health and well-being of the individual and our entire society. The, answer, simple, yet the subject of voluminous scientific, philosophical and spiritual treatises throughout the millenia, is that optimal health is embodied by balance amongst all levels of ourselves – physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. Illness – or dis-ease (lack of ease or disharmony), is the result of imbalance. We are not compartmentalized automatons – we are intricately connected and exquisitely orchestrated organisms, sensitive and responsive to all that we take into our bodies, minds and psyches.
Vitamin C is an integral substance required for the normal functioning of our bodies. Since so many of us are unbalanced by virtue of deficient diet, environmental toxins and lifestyle stresses, is it not therefore reasonable that restoring adequate amounts of a fundamentally essential nutrient can help to restore health, whether the physical location of the disease be the eyes or the feet or the heart.
The scientific and technological advances of the past several centuries, along with the widespread adoption of a rational, scientific and mechanistic worldview has engendered the almost universally accepted notion that one disease = one cause = one cure. And certainly, since the discovery of bacteria and the concomitant development of many disease-specific drugs such as antibiotics, most people assume that there is a specific cause and cure for each disease. Hence the longstanding, expensive and as yet unsuccessful search for "magic bullets" for multi-factorially caused diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, cancer and heart disease. And witness the arousal of our skepticism and accusations of quackery when claims are made for natural products which apparently can cure or alleviate everything from hay fever to housemaid's knee.
IF VITAMIN C IS SO GOOD, WHY DOESN'T MY DOCTOR PRESCRIBE IT?
Hopefully in the near future, many more physicians will be prescribing Vitamin C and other natural health promoting substances. Much of the clinical research reported upon in the massive Vitamin C literature originates from physician-directed case histories and trials. Hopefully as well, the stereotyped images of pill-pushing GPs, knife obsessed surgeons and radiation and chemotherapy-oriented cancer specialists, will make way for a more inter-disciplinary, humane and less invasive model of health care. Ask 10 different specialist practitioners, ranging from GP to acupuncturist, to suggest treatment for an individual with certain ailments, and almost certainly there will be a diversity of opinion, just as asking 10 economists or politicians for their suggestions for a given economic or political situation may produce 10 radically different policies.
Is it heresy to expose the truth that doctors, like the rest of humanity are not omniscient, and do not have the "secret" knowledge to make you better? Within each healing specialty, a competent practitioner should be able to prescribe treatment, drugs, potions, that work for a particular illness. Each specialist will, of course, be influenced by their particular type of training. The surgeon is more familiar with surgery and would not ordinarly recommend nutritional supplements for a heart condition. The orthomolecular physician might recommend chelation therapy rather than a triple bypass operation for someone with atherosclerosis. It would be most unusual for a radiologist to recommend Chinese herbs for treatment of a tumour, or a Chinese doctor to prescribe homeopathic medicines for a cancer patient, etc. Yet all these disciplines, including stress management and counselling, might be valuable and appropriate in treating each of these conditions.
The cooperation of a wide spectrum of practitioners, including orthodox and "complementary", nourishing the mind as well as the body of the patient, will end the current polarized situation which sees battles rage between Medical Associations and just about every other discipline. Moreover, the impetus to bring about such an improved situation may rest with health conscious consumers who must learn to assert themselves when it comes to choosing healthcare options. Consumers have learned admirably to consult with friendsand competitors in choosing houses, cars, stereos, holidays; similarly, the individual should take individual responsibility about what happens to his or her body.
This means asking the practitioner about treatment options, possible side effects from suggested treatment, and making a considered decision about what to do on the basis of thorough research of the possible consequences. The practice of putting oneself in the hands of one's doctor and leaving it up to him or her should be adopted only after researching the options and deciding upon the chosen course of treatment. We are all in the driver's seat when it comes to our health. The doctor and every other practitioner is merely here to assist us in our recovery. The consumer must stop playing the role of passive recipient and assume a more active and responsible approach to healthcare.
CAN VITAMIN C ACTUALLY CURE ALL THESE ILLNESSES?
This is what each of us who is actually suffering from one of the above conditions secretly wants to know – is Vitamin C the "magic bullet" for each of us. We are gradually finding out that we are our own healers. Ultimately, it is we, who, with the aid of food, potions, drugs, laughter, and any number of other methods, get better. However, along the road to optimal health, the truth is that Vitamin C is an excellent companion, having been shown to be a most effective, and totally safe health promoting substance for each of the above listed conditions.
This book makes no claim that Vitamin C alone, or for that matter, anything else alone, will prevent or cure the above conditions. Life and health are too complex and dependent upon too many variables to guarantee such a sweeping and naive claim. However, epidemiological and clinical data show very strong correlations between Vitamin C intake and levels and incidence of many illnesses. And, clinical trials and treatment of tens of thousands of patients with Vitamin C over several decades provides us with a solid foundation of therapeutic evidence.
The development of Ester-CR ascorbate and the discovery of the utility of metabolites has catapulted us into a new level of enquiry that may assist in unravelling the biochemical workings of this amazing Vitamin. This book will attempt to explain the mechanisms behind Vitamin C's versatile therapeutic successes. Within the following pages is the clinical research evidence describing Vitamin C's effectiveness with many of the major scourges of our age – cancer, heart disease, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, AIDS and Chronic Viral Fatigue.