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 and Arthritis
Arthritis is the archetype of a holistic disease. It is not a single, simple condition; in fact, although rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis constitute the two largest classes of joint diseases, the family of more than 100 types of arthritis may be associated with other systemic diseases and deficiencies, as shown in Table 4.
Table 4. CLASSIFICATION OF ARTHRITIS
INFECTIOUS INFLAMMATORY METABOLIC
Bacterial: Rheumatoid Osteoarthritis
Staphylococcal Ankylosing spondylitis Traumatic
Gonococcal Juvenile rheumatoid Osteoporosis
Tuberculosis Collagen disease Aseptic necrosis
Streptococcus Reiter's syndrome Hyperparathyroidism
Pneumococcus Sjogren's syndrome Avascular necrosis
Parasitic: Psoriatic Osteoporosis
Amoebic Polymyositis Allergic (Atopic)
Malarial Rheumatic fever Calcium deficiency
Treponemal Scleroderma Vitamin D deficiency
Viral: Lupus erythematosus Osteochondrosis
Hepatitis Bechet's syndrome Hypothyroidism
Mumps Polychrondritis Hormonal deficiency
Rubella Polyarteritis Protein deficiency
Fungal: Polymyalgia Hypertrophic osteoarthropathy
Mycoplasmal: Erthema nodosum Gout
From "Fight Back Against Arthritis", Robert Bingham, MD. 1985(21)
Arthritis is not caused nor treated by a single agent; complex inter-related contributory factors to this most painful and dreaded disease may include:
infectious microorganisms such as viruses, bacteria and protozoa;
physical injuries to bones and joints;
nutritional deficiencies of protein, minerals and vitamins;
environmental toxic pollutants;
metabolic and immunological disorders, including allergies;
psychological and emotional stress.
Tens of millions of people suffer the outrageous slings and arrows of arthritis, desperate for and bereft of any hope of relief or cure. Victims of, and wracked with seemingly unbearable pain, arthritic sufferers have classically been condemned to the medical merry-go-round of the toxic arthritic drug emporium: aspirin, cortisone, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents (NSAIDS), gold shots, penicillamine, methotrexate and, as a last resort, surgery. The side effects of all these traditional anti-arthritic drugs can be severe(21):
Aspirin: gastric bleeding, stomach upset, loss of hearing, tinnitis, increased bleeding time, allergic reactions;
Cortico-Steroids: suppression of immune response moon-face, bruising, psychic derangements, cataracts, glaucoma, ocular infection, elevated blood pressure, salt and water retention;
NSAIDS: gastric, nervous, hepatic, skin, renal, ocular and blood disorders;
Gold: bone marrow damage, anemia, exfoliative dermalitis.
Penicillamine: generalized allergic reactions, gastrointestinal pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, peptic ulcer, liver dysfunction, pancreatitis, bone marrow depression, aplastic anemia, renal dysfunction and/or failure, tinnitus, myasthenia gravis. Penicillamine is a drug with a high incidence
of severe reactions, some of which are potentially fatal.
Methotrexate: bone marrow damage, anemia, leukopenia, bleeding, extensive liver damage, foetal deaths, congenital anomalies, diarrhea, ulcerative stomatis, hemorrhagic enteritis and death from intestinal perforation.
Fortunately, there is good news, thanks, in very large measure to the painstaking and pioneering work, worldwide, of over 200 physicians in 15 different countries who have each contributed innovative and effective treatments in the development and implementation of an integrated and comprehensive programme to fight and win the battle with arthritis. Physicians who have pioneered and developed the Rheumatoid Disease Foundation's recommendations, which have since 1982, produced a consistent 80% remission/cure rate for so-called intransigent Rheumatoid Diseases include Drs. Roger Wyburn-Mason and Paul Pybus, both now deceased, Jack M. Blount,Gus J. Prosch, along with outstanding contributions by many others. Central to these successes has been: (1) the use of certain oral medications; (2) intraneural injections; (3) appropriate diet and supplements; and (4) other appropriate treatments, such as treatment for Candidiasis, virtually universal in arthritics.
The publishers of this book, the Rheumatoid Disease Foundation, have published several outstandingly written volumes describing this comprehensive arthritis regime for the layman, which combines all modalities of treatment: physical, nutritional, infectious, emotional and spiritual. Several, which are highly recommended reading for everyone, include: "The Art of Getting Well", Anthony Di Fabio, 1988(71); "Fight Back Against Arthritis", Robert Bingham, 1985(21); and "Rheumatoid Diseases Cured At last", Anthony Di Fabio, 1982(70). These books provide a wealth of well-presented information relating to cause, diagnosis, treatment, diet, counselling, and exercises for the entire range of arthritic conditions.
The Vitamin C - Arthritis Connection
Vitamin C is vital to any arthritic therapeutic programme, because Vitamin C has an intimate therapeutic relationship with each of the major causes of arthritis: physical structure of joints and bones - collagen; immune response against infectious agents; nutritional deficiency; and stress.
As can be recalled from previous chapters, Vitamin C is an obligatory requirement for almost every step in the synthesis of collagen, that fibrous protein which forms the strong connective tissue vital for strong bones, cartilage, the very bodily structures which become degenerate in arthritic diseases. Hence, Vitamin C must figure prominently in any health promoting and arthritic prevention regime, in order for wound healing and regeneration of connective tissues to proceed at optimal levels.
As related in the preceding chapter, arteriosclerosis, the clogging up of arteries with cholesterol, interferes with normal circulation and metabolism of bones and joints, leading to degeneration and ultimately to arthritis. The previously described sterling role of Vitamin C in the prevention and even reversal of arteriosclerosis is yet another strong indication of the role of Vitamin C in the prevention and treatment of arthritis.
The role of Vitamin C in maintaining and strengthening immune resistance to infectious agents, and especially in the function of particular white cells, is yet another facet of Vitamin C's power against arthritis. Considerable research points to a pivotal role played by microorganisms, perhaps an RNA virus in association with a cell-wall deficient organism, in arthritis. Vitamin C's multi-faceted role in stimulating lymphocyte production, modulating the levels of circulating antibodies, in the synthesis of complement, the production of the body's natural anti-viral substance, interferon, in the inhibition of the prostaglandins PGE2 and PGF2, which are involved in inflammatory responses - swelling, pain, tenderness and heat - and Vitamin C's salutory therapeutic effects in allergic responses, often a critical component of arthritis, all speak to Vitamin C's essential role in the successful treatment of arthritis.
Ester-CR Ascorbate's Therapeutic Success in Arthritis
The majority of physicians working with arthritic sufferers develop treatment regimes to alleviate the pain in the individual. It is difficult to set up controlled cross-over trials to assess the effectiveness of various treatments, and, as a result, most available information is anecdotal and subjective. Countless case histories exist detailing the effects of Ester-CR ascorbate; the following represents a small sample exerted from one doctor's files.
Dr. Edwin Goertz, a Canadian-trained physician with a distinguished medical career in Canada and the United States in Emergency Medicine, Rehabilitation Medicine and private practice, has used Ester-CR with 300 arthritic patients. Dr. Goertz reports(90): "....at least 50 per cent have consistently reported beneficial results in their symptoms using Ester-CR either as a primary treatment or as adjunctive therapy. Also I have never observed any toxic side effects to this product or had any adverse reactions when taken in conjunction with other medications..." Several case histories are hereby appended:
Female age 61. Diagnosis, osteoarthritis of many years effecting major joints and back. Patient had very limited success with various arthritis medications and treatment. She was placed on Ester-CR ascorbate t.i.d. (3 times per day) along with calcium salicylate 800 mg t.i.d. She was virtually free of pain for one and a half months until she incurred back strain. For a brief time she ran out of Ester-CR ascorbate and substituted Vitamin C with immediate exacerbation of pain. Patient insisted on remaining on Ester-CR during the past year and has experienced no side effects.
Female, age 83. Diagnosis of degenerative joint disease most severe in hips and knees. Had history of intolerance to most arthritic medication and little or no relief from salicylates. Was placed on Ester-CR ascorbate t.i.d. and calcium salicylate 800 mg. t.i.d. for 2 weeks. She reported improved knee pain especially during the night.
Female, age 66. Diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis as a child with extensive deformities. Patient was placed on Ester-CR 300 mg. t.i.d. She felt much improved in a few days both physically and mentally and was able to reduce Prednisone and analgesics to about one half dosage. She commented, "I didn't believe I could ever feel this good again". Patient has remained on Ester-CR during the past year with continued benefit and no side effects.
Male, age 60. Diagnosis of osteoarthritis with symptoms primarily of hands. Ester-CR three times a day with moderate improvement in pain over three week period. The patient then discontinued Ester-CR and noticed an increase in pain. He then resumed Ester-CR with a notable improvement.
Male, age 55. Degenerative arthritis in the knees for several years with occasional edema at times but fairly persistent pain. At time of initial consult there was mild joint effusion and tenderness of left knee. Placed on Ester-CR three times daily. On three months follow up almost asymptomatic with no other medications but Ester-CR and working as full time truck driver.
Ester-CR Ascorbate: Crippled Dogs Walk Again
Over the last 30 years, draconian efforts have been undertaken by breeders and veterinarians to eliminate canine hip dysplasia. These measures included sterilization of all pups from a dysplastic litter and selective breeding of only those dogs free from hip dysplasia. These strategies were ineffective, since they were based on the erroneous assumption that canine hip dysplasia is an inherited birth defect. More recent clinical research(20) demonstrates that canine hip dysplasis develops as a result of inadequate Vitamin C in the young puppy, resulting in poor-quality, low-strength collagen in the affected ligaments. Although dogs produce their own Vitamin C, certain breeds produce low levels of Vitamin C, insufficient to counter the high levels of stress encountered in early life. Vitamin C is essential in the synthesis of collagen, the building blocks of muscles, ligaments, bones and tendons. Over the past 5 years, eight litters of German Shephered puppies from parents with hip dysplasis, have been totally devoid of canine hip dysplasis under the following regime: the pregnant bitch was administered 2-4 gm Vitamin C daily; from birth to 3 weeks, the pups are given 50-100 mg Vitamin C orally; from 3 weeks until 4 months, 500 mg; from 4 months to 2 years, 1 to 2 gm daily.
In a recently conducted study in at Droruddalen Dyreklinikk in Oslo, Norway(20), Dr. Berge tested Ester-CR ascorbate on 180 dogs, who were fed 3 x 30 mg/kg Ester-CR ascorbate over 6 months. These dogs exhibited clinical symptoms of chronic joint, skeletal and muscle inflammation, which was diagnosed by journal, clinical evaluation and, in some instances, X-rays. Treatment evaluation, 7 days following supplementation, after 6 weeks, and finally after 6 months, was based upon clinical evaluation and owner report. 100 dogs with the following chronic ailments were monitored in this study:
Joint injuries with secondary, permanent changes
Older disc-prolapse with secondary, permanent changes
Muscle-atrophy as a result of functional loss
Senile wear-changes in support and motion systems.
The results are as follows(20):
Ailment Good Improvement Little Improvement
Free of Symptoms No Effect
Hip Dysplasia: 1 week 32 (71.7%) 13 (28.9%)
6 weeks 35 (77.8%) 10 (22.2%)
Back prolapse: 1 week 13 (76.5%) 4 (23.5%)
6 weeks 13 (76.5%) 4 (23.5%)
Arthrosis: 1 week 30 (78.9%) 8 (21.1%)
6 weeks 31 (81.6%) 7 (18.4%)
The possible mechanisms for Ester-CR ascorbate appearing to exert a therapeutic effect, in arthritis, beyond that of Vitamin C(60) are presently not fully understood. However, the case of the dogs' (who, of course, manufacture their own Vitamin C) recovery from their chronic ailments(73,156), in response to Ester-CR supplementation, is quite dramatic evidence that possibly the metabolites in Ester-CR exert a yet to be discovered powerful therapeutic effect. Further, more rigorous clinical trials with these dogs are presently in progress in Norway.
Treatment Programmes for Arthritis
The author wishes to point out that Vitamin C should be regarded as merely one component of a fully comprehensive programme in the treatment of arthritis. The type(s) of arthritis should be established by careful diagnosis. This programme, in following the guidelines set out by the Rheumatoid Disease Foundation, should consist of anti-protozoal treatments, carefully and individualized nutritional programme paying careful attention to allergies, nutritional supplements including Vitamin C, exercise, relaxation and emotional support. Additional, complementary treatments such as hydrotherapy and acupuncture may also be appropriate.