A More Potent and Foundational Treatment for Cancer
The treatment of cancer, neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s, ALS, and Parkinson, and anti-aging have become one of my new passions. Why? Because they all share the same primary metabolic defect — dysfunctional mitochondria. Dr. Otto Warburg was an M.D., Ph.D. and most experts consider him to be the most brilliant biochemist of the 20th century.
He received his Nobel Prize in 1931 for discovering that virtually every cancer cell does not use oxygen to create energy, but it ferments glucose to provide all its energy.
Interestingly, this use of glucose may contribute to a relative vitamin C deficiency since it is produced from glucose, and may explain some of its benefits in the treatment of cancer. However I am firmly convinced that vitamin C does not treat the primary defect responsible for most cancers, which is mitochondrial dysfunction.
The best way to address this mitochondrial damage that I am aware of is a ketogenic diet. This is achieved typically by a reduced calorie and carbohydrate diet that limits all sugars, grains, and most fruits. I am currently in the process of connecting with the leading experts in the world on this and will greatly expand on this exciting news in the near future.
Vitamin C Deficiency May Be an Independent Risk Factor for Stroke
While scurvy is the most well-known side effect of vitamin C deficiency, French researchers have also reported that those with vitamin C deficiency are at an increased risk for a lethal hemorrhagic stroke.11 According to the authors, vitamin C deficiency “should be considered a risk factor for this severe type of stroke.”
They also pointed out that previous studies have found vitamin C may help regulate blood pressure, and that higher blood levels of vitamin C have been found to reduce stroke risk by more than 40 percent.
A 20-year long prospective cohort study12 in Japan found that those with the highest serum levels of vitamin C had a 29 percent lower risk for stroke compared to those with the lowest serum levels. Moreover, people who ate vegetables six to seven days a week had a 54 percent reduced risk of stroke compared to those who only ate vegetables two days or less per week.
A common denominator here is the way vitamin C affects your blood vessels. Vitamin C helps dilate blood vessels, and is required for the biosynthesis of collagen, which helps keep your blood vessels strong and intact. Lack of vitamin C can therefore lead to a weakening of your blood vessels, resulting in scurvy symptoms like subcutaneous bleeding, or the lethal hemorrhaging associated with hemorrhagic stroke.
Vitamin C Performs Many Functions That Boost Health
Vitamin C has two major functions that help explain its potent health benefits. First, it acts as a powerful antioxidant. It also acts as a cofactor for enzymatic processes. In addition to that, vitamin C is a “reducing agent,” which means it donates electrons to other molecules, thereby reducing oxidation. As explained by the Linus Pauling Institute:13
“Vitamin C is the primary water-soluble, non-enzymatic antioxidant in plasma and tissues. Even in small amounts vitamin C can protect indispensable molecules in the body, such as proteins, lipids (fats), carbohydrates, and nucleic acids (DNA and RNA), from damage by free radicals and reactive oxygen species (ROS) that are generated during normal metabolism, by active immune cells, and through exposure to toxins and pollutants…”
Vitamin C also helps regenerate vitamin E from its oxidized form, and is involved in the metabolism of cholesterol to bile acids, the latter of which may help reduce cholesterol and gallstones. Vitamin C also boosts your body’s ability to absorb iron from the foods you eat, and plays a role in detoxification, as it helps neutralize and eliminate a range of toxins from your body.14
Signs and Symptoms of Vitamin C Deficiency
Photo by Jenny W.
In the U.S., serious vitamin C deficiency is rare; however many people do have low levels. If you’re elderly, for instance, you may have higher requirements for vitamin C, as aging may inhibit absorption. Smokers may also require more vitamin C due to the increased oxidative stress from cigarette smoke. Signs that you may need more vitamin C include:
Dry and splitting hair
Decreased wound-healing rate
Rough, dry or scaly skin
Gingivitis (inflammation of your gums)
Decreased ability to ward off infection
What’s the Best Way to Optimize Your Vitamin C?
The ideal way to optimize your vitamin C stores is by eating a wide variety of fresh whole organic locally grown foods, primarily vegetables and fruits. A number of people, primarily with the naturopathic perspective, believe that in order to be truly effective, ascorbic acid alone is not enough. They believe it’s the synergistic action of the ascorbic acid in combination with its associated micronutrients, such as bioflavonoids and other components that produce the full range of benefits.
Eating a colorful diet (i.e. plenty of vegetables) helps ensure you’re naturally getting the phytonutrient synergism needed. Particularly rich sources of vitamin C include those in the following list. One of the easiest ways to ensure you’re getting enough vegetables in your diet is by juicing them. For more information, please see my juicing page. You can also squeeze some fresh lemon or lime juice into some water for a vitamin C rich beverage.
What You Need to Know About Vitamin C Supplements
In some cases, it may still be wise to take supplemental vitamin C. The most effective form of oral vitamin C supplementation is liposomal vitamin C, which I was introduced to by Dr. Thomas Levy, who is one of the leaders in this area. Liposomal vitamin C bypasses many of the complications of traditional vitamin C or ascorbic acid (such as gastrointestinal distress), thereby allowing you to achieve far higher intracellular concentrations.
There are also other forms of vitamin C on the market, such as buffered forms of sodium ascorbate. One example would be Ester-C. These buffered forms are also effective and do not cause the gastrointestinal distress associated with conventional ascorbic acid.
When taking an oral vitamin C, be mindful of your dosing frequency. A researcher with a Ph.D. in medical biophysics, Steve Hickey, wrote the book “Ascorbate”,which shows that if you take vitamin C frequently throughout the day, you can achieve much higher plasma levels. So even though your kidneys will tend to rapidly excrete the vitamin C, by taking it every hour or two, you can maintain a much higher plasma level than if you take one mega-dose all at once (unless you’re taking an extended release form of vitamin C).
As noted by the Linus Pauling Institute,15 experiments have demonstrated that plasma vitamin C concentration is controlled by three primary mechanisms: intestinal absorption, tissue transport, and renal reabsorption. You can expect a significant rise in plasma vitamin C concentration at doses between 30 and 100 mg/day.
At 200 to 400 mg/day, healthy young adults reach a steady-state concentration of 60 to 80 micromoles/L, and ingesting doses of 200 mg at a time has been shown to maximize absorption efficiency.
According to Dr. Andrew Saul, editor of the Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, if everyone were to take 500 mg of vitamin C per day — the dose typically required to reach a healthy level of 80 µmol/L — an estimated 216,000 lives could be spared each year.
1, 13, 15 Linus Pauling Institute, Vitamin C
2 Quackwatch Linus Pauling
3 Medical News Today August 17, 2004
4, 5 Life Extension Magazine June 2011
6 Vitamin C Foundation
7, 14 Orthomolecular.org, Vitamin C and Cancer
8 Science November 5, 2015 DOI: 10.1126/science.aaa5004
9 International Business Times November 9, 2015
10 National Cancer Institute High Dose Vitamin C
11 Daily News February 18, 2014
12 Stroke. 2000;31(10):2287-2294