Image Credit: Kelly Sikkema / Unsplash. This image has been modified

Balancing the Risks and Benefits of Vitamin C Supplements

Mainstream medicine has long had a healthy skepticism of dietary supplements, extending to the present day with commentaries like “Enough is enough.” In an essay entitled “Battling quackery,” however, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, it’s argued that we may have gone too far in our supplement bashing, as evidenced by our “uncritical acceptance” of supposed toxicities; the surprisingly “angry, scornful tone” found in medical texts using words like “careless,” “useless,” “indefensible,” “wasteful,” and “insidious”; and ignoring evidence of possible benefit.

“To illustrate the uncritical acceptance of bad news” about supplements, the authors discussed the “well-known” concept that high-dose vitamin C can cause kidney stones, as I highlight in my video Do Vitamin C Supplements Prevent Colds but Cause Kidney Stones? Just because something is well-known in medicine, however, doesn’t mean it’s necessarily true. In fact, the authors couldn’t find a single, reported case.

We’ve known that vitamin C is turned into oxalates in the body, and, if the level of oxalates in the urine gets too high, stones can form, but, even at 4,000 mg of vitamin C a day, which is like a couple gallons’ worth of orange juice, urinary oxalates may not get very high, as you can see at 1:10 in my video. Of course, there may be the rare individuals who have an increased capacity for this conversion into oxalates, so a theoretical risk of kidney stones with high-dose vitamin C supplements was raised in a letter printed in a medical journal back in 1973.

When the theoretical risk was discussed in the medical literature, however, the researchers made it sound as if it were an established phenomenon: “Excessive intake of vitamin C may also be associated with the formation of oxalate stones.” Sounds less like a theoretical risk and more like an established phenomenon, right? That statement had seven citations supposedly suggesting an association between excessive vitamin-C intake and the formation of oxalate kidney stones. Let’s look at the cited sources, which you can see from 1:47 in my video. One reference is the letter about the theoretical risk, which is legitimate, but another listed citation, titled “Jaundice following the administration of niacin,” has nothing to do with either vitamin C or kidney stones. What’s more, the other five citations are just references to books. That may be acceptable if the books cited primary research themselves, but, instead, there was a kind of circular logic, where the books just cite other books citing that theoretical risk letter again. So, while it looks as if there’s a lot of evidence, they’re all just expressing this opinion with no new data.

By that time, there actually were studies that followed populations of people taking vitamin C supplements and found no increased kidney stone risk among men, then later, the same was shown in women. So, you can understand the frustration of the authors of “Battling quackery” commentary that vitamin-C supplements appeared to be unfairly villainized.

The irony is that we now know that vitamin-C supplements do indeed appear to increase kidney stone risk. The same population of men referenced above was followed further out, and men taking vitamin-C supplements did in fact end up with higher risk. This has since been confirmed in a second study, though also of men. We don’t yet know if women are similarly at risk, though there has now also been a case reported of a child running into problems.

What does doubling of risk mean exactly in this context? Those taking a thousand milligrams or so of vitamin C a day may have a 1-in-300 chance of getting a kidney stone every year, instead of a 1-in-600 chance. One in 300 “is not an insignificant risk,” as kidney stones can be really painful, so researchers concluded that since there are no benefits and some risk, it’s better to stay away.

But there are benefits. Taking vitamin C just when you get a cold doesn’t seem to help, and although regular supplement users don’t seem to get fewer colds, when they do get sick, they don’t get as sick and get better about 10 percent faster. And, those under extreme physical stress may cut their cold risk in half. So, it’s really up to each individual to balance the potential common cold benefit with the potential kidney stone risk.

What about intravenous vitamin C? I’ve got a whole video series on that, including:

If you’re not taking vitamin C supplements for pharmacological effects and just want to know how many vitamin C-rich fruits and vegetables to eat every day, check out my video What Is the Optimal Vitamin C Intake?.

Is there anything we can put into our mouth that really might help prevent colds? These videos will point you in the right direction:

And, if you’re interested in learning about the most important steps you can take to prevent and treat kidney stones, look no further than my videos How to Prevent Kidney Stones with Diet and How to Treat Kidney Stones with Diet.

What about high-oxalate vegetables such as rhubarb, spinach, beet greens and swiss chard? I’d encourage a moderation in intake. If you’re going to take my advice to ideally eat cups of dark green leafy vegetables a day I’d recommend sticking with other greens such as kale or collards.

In health,
Michael Greger, M.D.

PS: If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my free videos here and watch my live presentations:


Michael Greger M.D., FACLM

Michael Greger, M.D. FACLM, is a physician, New York Times bestselling author, and internationally recognized professional speaker on a number of important public health issues. Dr. Greger has lectured at the Conference on World Affairs, the National Institutes of Health, and the International Bird Flu Summit, testified before Congress, appeared on The Dr. Oz Show and The Colbert Report, and was invited as an expert witness in defense of Oprah Winfrey at the infamous "meat defamation" trial.

178 responses to “Balancing the Risks and Benefits of Vitamin C Supplements

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  1. I love this one.

    The sentences flowed like a stream of thoughts building on each other.

    With topics like this, it is generally so confusing and if confusion is like the rocks in a river bed, you just pointed out where the rocks are and then added more water and I floated right over them.

    More than explaining Vitamin C. It explains how science will have theories and studies and that there will be revelations that come in stages and that even when there are results, there is still the math of risk/benefit ratio.

    I feel like reading this helps me understand exactly why I am taking Vitamin C at this time and it tells me that there could be a theoretical risk, particularly if my males in my work like the vitamin C drops too much. I am going to be portioning them out.

    Very helpful.


    1. How does Lipsomal Vitamin C enter this discussion?

      The absorption of liposomal vitamin C is significantly higher than that of a standard vitamin C supplement. Benefits of liposomal vitamin C include increased bioavailability, cardiovascular support, skin health, cancer protection, increased collagen production, and reduced oxidative stress throughout the body.

      1. All viruses are susceptible to ascorbic acid, including Covid 19. I have been taking 1400 mg of liposomal Vitamin C since the pandemic broke out. So far no kidney stones, and no Covid either. hahaha

      2. That last reads like a marketing pitch. The Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State U has this to say

        ‘Another formulation of vitamin C, liposomal-encapsulated vitamin C (e.g., Lypo-spheric™ vitamin C) is now commercially available. One report suggested that liposomal-encapsulated vitamin C may be better absorbed than the vitamin in a non-encapsulated form (21).

        Large-scale, pharmacokinetic studies are needed to determine how the bioavailability of these vitamin C formulations compares to that of ascorbic acid.’

        1. Tom,

          I expect China will do just that. Having invented a superior process for manufacture of ascorbic acid and licensed the process internationally, it now has a vested interest in the widest application of C as a medicine, adjuvant, and supplement.

          Curious if a geneticist will import into humans the gene enabling the liver to produce vitamin C commonly occurring in most vertebrates.

          1. Morgan

            Thank you for that link. The chemistry is largely over my head but the history and commercial background set out there was fascinating.

            1. Tom,

              You are so welcome. The chinese physician trained in western medicine is open to traditional chinese remedies, if harmless, for a valuable placebo effect. They are frequently subject to violent assault if an elderly patient dies— the assailant feels cheated of the result promised in the payment. Many died last winter of complications following severe dehydration in biohazard gear hour after hour for days on end. Most remarkable is their tenacity in collaborating to understand, to experiment and heal when at any time they may be singled out, tortured and disappeared.

        2. Speaking of the Linus Pauling Institute, here’s what one of their principal investigators has to say:

          “Supplements containing vitamins C and D and other micronutrients, sometimes in amounts exceeding the federally recommended levels, are a safe, effective and low-cost means of helping your immune system fight off COVID-19 and other acute respiratory tract diseases, an Oregon State University researcher says.

          Findings were published today in the journal Nutrients.

          Adrian Gombart of OSU’s Linus Pauling Institute and collaborators at the University of Southampton (United Kingdom), the University of Otago (New Zealand) and University Medical Center (The Netherlands) say public health officials should issue a clear set of nutritional recommendations…”

          He doesn’t actually mention Vitamin C as a high dose treatment for CoVid-19 but rather as a prophylactic to protect against getting disease.

          I bring this up because someone reading your posts, Tom, might take them as being against taking Vitamin C.

          Probably not the case but I thought it best to clarify that a Pauling Institute’s researcher actually does advocate for Vitamin C as a preventative for not only Co-Vid-19 but other acute respiratory tract infections as well.

          Personally, I’m more concerned about “Death by Virus” than I am of being killed by Vitamin C. ‘-)

          1. Lonie

            I take vitamin C myself from time to time (or preferably ascorbic acid which I think is what Linus Pauling recommended). I also take a vitamin D3/K2 combo.

            My objections aren’t to taking these supplements but rather to the demonstrably false claims and unproven claims presented as absolute facts,that are made about them..

            1. Tom,

              Have you found the D3/K2 helped prolong and improve your sleep ? I pushed my D25-OH to 72 and went from avg 6H or split 7 to an easy 8-10. Approx 10,000 IU. If you suffer apnea and resolve that, then deploy sleep hygiene methodically, D3 adds the dimension of very deep sleep and easy drift off.

              Today’s achiever wants not to have to sleep at all. And those who try forget the sweet pleasure of being fully rested. Much like the sedentary man who’s long forgotten the physical pleasure of being fit.

              1. TBH, I’ve never had a problem sleeping and I’ve been taking D3/K2 for so long that I can’t remember if it made a difference. I just took it as a precaution. Now that I’m older, I keep taking it because vitamin D biosynthesis and utllisation become less efficient with age.

                Well, that and the fact that trials seem to show reduced mortality from taking vitamin D supplements eg

        1. Try looking at Rath’s work yourself sometime, rather than taking the word of the medical and drug industries that have MUCH to lose if his ideas are let grow to a wider audience.  Much like Linus Pauling, his work has been largely solid throughout.  But his detractors have a very large megaphone and very much to lose.  So they lie constantly.

          Read up on Dr. Ruth Harrell to get an idea of what’s possible with simple vitamins.

          Dr. Rath’s stuff works.  He’s got lots of very pleased adherents to show for it.  I suppose you’ll say he’s a great hypnotist too.

          Things are never ‘proven’ according the med/druggies unless they say they are.  Requiring a much greater standard to the things they oppose.  Safe, proven in practice, historically natural substances are required to meet the same standards as toxic synthetic drugs.  Why?  Because toxic drugs is all they sell.

          There is no greater level of nonsense than that.  But they claim it every day.  Being the industry with more money than god, their money drowns out all other voices.

          Science has shown that vitamins are absolutely *essential**for life*.  But doctors are proclaiming them otherwise unimportant every day.  And always looking for the needle in the haystack that needs a fancy drug rather than the simpler more obvious solutions.

          Even Dr. Fauci, who clearly knows the immune system is all important for protection again our current virus threat stands up in front of the whole world and says they *have nothing*! While 50% of those infected apparently have *no symptoms at all*, they have nothing to tell us!  No help!

          Not even that eating well and less junk might save your life just now.  Because money talks.  (Or because he’s an idiot that never learned a thing about nutrition, which I doubt.)

          50% without symptoms!  As if none of the rest of us can put 2 and 2 together.

          1. I looked at Rath’s website several years ago and downloaded and read the various free PDF books he offered.

            It seemed that a number of his basic premises/statements were contrary to known science and the level of personal vanity and egotism on display seemed positively pathological. Doesn’t that sort of thing concern you?

            1. Yes, Rath’s egotism did bother me some at first.  Until I read his work and listened to some of his interviews.

              He’s a solid intellect.  And he’s taken a difficult and unpopular path.  Much like Linus Pauling, the druggies are going to hound him till the end of his days.  All for speaking an unpopular, but eventually world changing truth.

              People complain when charities spend large money on advertising and salaries, yet those charities are the most successful at helping their intended groups.  Rath is a doctor.  He could make tons more money in other areas.  But he chooses to take on one of the biggest and most difficult problems of our time instead.  He can have all the accolades he wants!

              Imaging discovering and curing the epidemic that kills half of humanity!  He has done it.

              And the drug companies will never forgive him, will never end their character assassination of him.

              Cured heart disease!!!  My god!  He has done it.

              It was simple, right in front of us all along.  He wrote the book.  Because Linus Pauling asked him to carry the torch.


              1. The egotism displayed on his website.unsettled me. I couldn’t help but think narcissistic personality disorder. It’s not usually a good idea to uncritically accept the claims of people with possible mental health problems, especially when those claims are refuted by the global scientific and medical communities.

                Rath’s activities have also been held responsible for tens of thousands of unnecessary deaths in South Africa eg

                Even ignoring the rampant egotism on display there, the claims Rath makes in that book you linked are untrustworthy. For example, he states

                ‘Animals don’t get heart disease because they produce enough endogenous vitamin C in their livers to protect their blood vessels.’

                This is simply not true. We’ve known for years that animals can and do suffer from heart disease eg

                It seems to me that there is a very big gap between what Rath says and the actual facts of the matter.

        2. Mr ff,
          When I see statements touting Wikipedia, it comes to mind that almost anyone can go in to Wikipedia and change what is being written about someone or something.

          I don’t know if this happened here, but it is possible pharma could go in and change an entry. I think Wikipedia is/was taking donations, so a timely large donation might get an entry changed and locked?

          To be clear, I don’t know anything about the person mentioned here… just wanted to point out that nothing is guaranteed accurate. ‘-)

          1. You’re absolutely correct that nothing is guaranteed to be accurate Lonie.

            Why not try Googling Matthias Rath for yourself? He was quite famous for a while and I’d thought most people of your/my age group would have heard of him.

            1. Why not try Googling Matthias Rath for yourself? He was quite famous for a while and I’d thought most people of your/my age group would have heard of him.
              To be honest, I don’t do gurus. ‘-)

              There are places on the web where I look for articles that apply to me. I don’t pay for information and knowing that complete accuracy is in the eyes of the writer or otherwise poster of the article, I make judgments on the validity or importance of what I’m reading.

              And if it is long and contains too much detail, I figure it is above my pay grade. If conclusions drawn interest me, I’ll read those.

              I think I could be best described as someone who doesn’t seek information (unless I’m following up on something I seen or read and want more information) but rather allows information to come to me via different outlets.

        3. Anyone citing wikipedia as their primary info source is not remotely credible. ANYONE can edit anything there and there is a very real bias against alternative therapies.

          It may be fine for looking up the lengths of bridges or the annual tourism numbers of African nations but beware using it as a source of info on ANY topic subject to controversy.

          1. Fact check Rath yourself Alternative therapies are usually just wishful thinking and clever advertising

            Defining ‘lack of supporting evidence’ and ‘evidence to the contrary’ as ‘bias’ is SOP too

          2. Actually, not so. My son is in medical school, going into his third year on a full ride scholarship. The med students have an ongoing assignment to update Wikipedia medical pages whenever they see any issues. It’s a hobby among all med students. There is rarely, if ever, wrong information that has been entered. It just needs updating when new studies come out. I use it often and have never seen a conflict with the high quality evidence base as the Wikipedia pages are necessarily well referenced, so any discrepancy becomes immediately apparent.

            1. /Actually, not so. My son is in medical school, going into his third year on a full ride scholarship. The med students have an ongoing assignment to update Wikipedia medical pages whenever they see any issues. It’s a hobby among all med students. /

              That kind of proves the point.  Med school is a primary source of disinformation.  It’s where the drug companies indoctrinate their new acolytes.

  2. Honestly, when you do things like this, it helps people like me so much.

    For these past few years, I have read back and forth and back and forth even if PubMed and all over the internet.

    You have the ability to reconcile the information and make it so much easier to understand.

    It feels like most of the people out there are trying to make it more dramatic – Vitamin C performs miracles, Vitamin C will harm your kidneys. Hearing how we got to this culture helps me so much.

  3. Off-topic

    MedCram has gone in a FASCINATING direction with COVID-19.

    Wow, and I think it is slowly going to lead back into what is being done in the WFPB movement.

    Here is todays but back up from there and watch a few before it, though this one was my favorite because I understood every word because of the science music videos and Amoeba Sisters and other fun science sites.

  4. I read 2 stories about Vitamin. #1 tigers at the Bronx zoo were infected with corona virus. they all were cured because there body produces there own vitamin C. #2 in a family of 5 four were taking vitamin C, the mother came down corona virus she was not taking vitamin C.

  5. RE: pharmacological effects–there’s a whole realm unmentioned which is oral dosages far higher than 4000mg/day range. What is called a “Vitamin C calibration” or “flush” to determine bowel tolerance, then using maybe 75% of that as daily dose for awhile. There are small studies underway I think(?) using i.v. Vitamin C vs Covid-19 and some work was done in hospitals in China. Recent, tiny study indicated that it may well be possible to attain therapeutic blood levels via oral dosing:

    Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License – Version 2.0 – 03/09/2020
    Unexpected Early Response in Oral Bioavailability of Ascorbic Acid
    Vitamin C Blood Levels can be Higher from Oral Intake than Intravenous Infusion in the Early Minutes

    1. Dr. Greger has commented over the years about a few things in the vitamin C space while ignoring the elephant in the room which is the use of ascorbate for its free radical quenching ability instead of its vitamin capability. I encourage Dr. Greger to take a look at Cathcart’s writings and also the book “Curing the Incurable” and look at the underlying research for bowel tolerance oral use and IV use for infectious disease. As with the health benefits of plant foods, there is no big money to be made by demonstrating that vitamin C is as good or better than some blockbuster drug from Big Pharma.

    2. Geoffrey,

      That was an interesting link.

      It was very interesting how much difference there was even between the absorption between oral ascorbic acid versus sodium ascorbate and how strange that the ascorbic acid had a higher spike than the IV form.

      Going back to Dr. Greger’s blog, I am wondering if the different types would have different oxalate/kidney stone risks.

    3. The Vitamin C Foundation is a thoroughly untrustworthy source of information. For example, it states

      ‘According to Dr. Charles Mok of the Allure Medical Spa, the FBI and HHS took issue with the facility’s decision to offer “high-dose, intravenous vitamin C to all essential workers who are exposed to COVID-19,” even though this is exactly what China, South Korea, and other countries have been doing to treat their patients.’

      Apart from the question of whether selling bogus ‘cures’ is lawful in the first place, it is simply untrue to state that the Chinese, South Korean and other governments are using IV vitamin C to treat all covid 19 patients. There may be some small trials going on in those countries but that’s hardly the same thing.

      If people want reliable information on vitamin C, trustworthy sources like the NIH and the Linus Pauling Institute are the best places to find it – not dubious advocacy sites like this one pushing unproven claims and conspiracy theories.

      1. If people want reliable information on vitamin C, trustworthy sources … the Linus Pauling Institute are the best places to find it…
        I personally find that amusing… apart from the link I posted in another conversation, I’ve felt for a long time that after Pauling died (in his 90s) his namesake institution fell into the money line so they could get donations and funding… so they chose not to rock any boats as Pauling was famous for.

        It is my opinion they care nothing about the curative powers of Vitamin C… The only C they seem interested are C Notes. ‘-)

        1. Claims, false assertions and hype aren’t evidence though.

          As far as I ca make out, all the claims that vitamin C is a panacea are based on anecdotes in the form of case studies and very poor studies.

          Sure, the boring old science set out by the LPI and ODS is nowhere near as exciting as all the wonderful claims that vitamin c cures, Ebola, Zika, Dengue and indeed every other virus infection. As they say, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

          But what do I know? I’m not a genius.

          1.  Tom,

            In the 1930’s the patient with t2 diabetes was told to mix 2 T vinegar in 8 ozs of water after any large meal. It was all they had.

            Now the biochemistry of this effect is better understood:


            But what internist today would dare to prescribe it ? What patient would accept that without suspecting a physician impostor ? If you proposed a robust study of high dose IVC for sepsis, how would it be designed ? Here’s where the clinical context collides with the publication hurdle. Your patient is 25 and presents with sepsis at admission. You’re intrigued by IVC but you’d be mad not to lead with antibiotics known to treat sepsis cleanly. Except when they don’t. So you throw the Hail Mary pass with IVC hours before major organ collapse. And it works. Sometimes. A ‘mere’ case report. Suppose she received IVC at admission and immediately start standard treatment in parallel: risky and overdetermined. What study design is ethical and demonstrative ?

            Rushed into the ED are two Vietnamese poisoned by amanita phaloides. All you have is supportive care. And IV C. Pass the Hail Mary. And the liver responds. Case report. You try it again for accidental poisoning, heavy metal ingestion, benzene, strychnine. It works. Sometimes. You get a researcher interested. Study funding is rejected on the grounds the data are all single instances connected by a supposition. You get an informal peer circle organized to collect dozens of case reports. Can you publish ? The editor and your peers share a mindset: if your data show IVC is dangerous or ineffective, they’ll look at it. If not, are you a crank ? Are you a zealot ? A monomaniac ? Who wants to buy trouble, embarrassment, derision ? Are you a Barry J. Marshall or an Ignaz Semmelweis ? It’s not happening.

            1. Well Morgan, I know one current family medicine physician who suggests that vinegar can be used as part of the treatment for diabetes

              As for intravenous vitamin C and sepsis, there have been quite a few trials over the years eg

              A quick google would probably find many more.

              There are a lot of wild claims on the internet about vitamin C. I don’t find that statements made on alternative health sites have a great track record when it comes to factual accuracy.

          2. But what do I know? I’m not a genius.
            Don’t sell yourself short… I’ve had this nagging feeling that somewhere in time I have had a mysterious contact with you.

            It came to me tonight as I’ve been reading your posts.

            Years and years ago I did something I hadn’t done before. That is, my senior year in high school I skipped school one day. Not like a bunch of kids getting together and skipping school… just me.

            I drove into town and just diddled around until the movie theater opened. Showing that day was the first movie of the James Bond flood that was to come. To be clear, I had no idea who James Bond, Sean Connery, or Ursulla Andres was… I was just drawn to skip school and go to the movies that day.

            Now I know why. It was preparation for this day when reading your posts… You are the evil genius DR. NO!

            ‘-), ‘-), ‘-)

            1. Thank you Lonie. Unfortunately, unlike Dr No, I am not rich enough to buy an entire Caribbean island.

              In a way though, I have a similar experience when I read your posts. They always make me think of the Brooklyn Bridge for some reason. And Shakespeare,

              Not because your writing is Shakespearean in any way but because he was one of the first writers in English to use words like ‘gulled’ and ‘gulling’.

          3. As far as I ca make out, all the claims that vitamin C is a panacea are based on anecdotes
            Then obviously you haven’t read the many links by others to Dr.s and scientists’ work who have been researching Vitamin C for decades.

            And the anecdotes? They are all positive ones as far as I can tell. If Vitamin C weren’t beneficial you would expect a few rationally presented negative anecdotes (as opposed to those who blow negative because their agenda is to stop the use of Vitamin C as a possible curative against a virus… you know, like you ‘-)

            Dismissing and dissing people who come here and offer positive results, anecdotally, makes it sound as though your goal is to stop any and all use of high dose Vitamin C.

            It could be construed that you see those offering their stories as fools, beneath your wisdom so no one should listen to them.

            1. You have misquoted me. I wrote that as far as I can tell all the evidence for vitamin c as a panacea is based on anecdotes in the form of case studies and (other) very poor studies.

              You are also trying to put words in my mouth by attributing beliefs to me that I don’t have

              You may want to believe wonderful stories Lonie. But some of us prefer to stick to the evidence and don’t think that stating falsehoods as facts, promoting ridiculous conspiracy theories and praising quacks and charlatans is a good thing.

            2. Incidentally, Lonie I’m not the one who claims to be so clever that he knows more about health, nutrition and medicine than health authorities around the world.

              Nor am I the one who claims to be so clever that he knows more about health, nutrition and medicine than professional scientific and medical associations around the world, for that matter..

              Come to that, nor am I the one who claims to so clever that he intuitively knows when an entire academic institute has been paid off to suppress the evidence. A dull-witted clod like me would insist on examining the institution’s funding sources before even suggesting such a thing.

              Nor am I so brilliant that I just know that there must be a concerted international effort to suppress the truth because the published scientific evidence doesn’t confirm my opinions or validate a bunch of personal testimonies.

              You see Lonie, that’s the real problem right there. I’m just slow-witted. I have to hobble along slowly on the twin crutches of fact-checking and critical thinking to get anywhere while all the clever people sprint past me because they just know things. And pretty poor tools fact-checking and critical thinking are too, Well, they must be because they usually don’t come up with the ‘right’ answers do they?

              1. You see Lonie, that’s the real problem right there. I’m just slow-witted. I have to hobble along slowly on the twin crutches of fact-checking and critical thinking to get anywhere while all the clever people sprint past me because they just know things.
                I agree with your self-assessment. However, I do not accept your attempt to falsely characterize me.

                In critical times like these, slow witted plodders bump along doing this study and that study and usually at the end, they jones for more funding saying that more studies need to be done to confirm or deny the outcome.

                And they may come to a conclusion different to the ones real front-line doctors and scientists are observing, so the study-ers in effect cause other i-dotters and t-crossers to dismiss something that is proven beneficial in the real world.

                Unlike your characterization of me, I don’t claim to know all there is to know about health and nutrition (although thousands of hours reading up on that does give me a modicum of license on the subject of health.)

                What I am in these important times is… if it has been “generally recognized as safe” throw the mud on the wall and see if it sticks.

                1. You are too modest Lonie.

                  You clearly know more about these things than the World Health Organization, national health authorities, the US National Institutes of Health and professional medical associations

                  Quite how you ‘know’ these things is beyond me though. Determining that selected anecdotes trump well designed and well conducted scientific studies requires a boldness and level of intelligence that are quite beyond me. Dimwitted oafs like me can only gaze in astonishment at your insight and understanding of these matters.

                  1. You clearly know more about these things than the World Health Organization, national health authorities, the US National Institutes of Health and professional medical associations

                    Quite how you ‘know’ these things is beyond me though. Determining that selected anecdotes trump well designed and well conducted scientific studies requires a boldness and level of intelligence that are quite beyond me.
                    Tut-tut Tom for your biting sarcasm.

                    These genius agencies you worship at the feet of have made many, many missteps during this pandemic.

                    But I’m not saying do away with them… they have a role to play for the hoi polloi to glom onto… much like is done by the followers of Internet gurus or their local practitioner.

                    Most of the population does not spend much time learning about their health or even health in general. They need an authority to tell them how to be treated.

                    And tut-tut again for trying to paint me as “knowing” more than these agencies and their well-designed and conducted studies (as though there are a bunch of THOSE floating around ‘-)

                    Most studies are imperfect. Yes, they follow the narrow lane of accepted design by the scientific community, but it is my opinion, and I think anyone who gives it much thought will agree with me, that the important data lies outside the walls of the tunnel vision lane.

                    That is, the breakthroughs will come when we have the ubiquitous ability to report how a food or a drug affects us individually. There may be some of that available now but generally speaking, studies are prone to look for the one-size-fits-all report.

                    So yes, I admit I do not show expected reverence to what the various agency powers-that-be put out… not following their every edict I feel is my long suit, and will allow me to be more successful in my quest to set a record for longevity. ‘-)

                    1. It’s not your irreverence for scientific reports on health and nutrition from international and national health authorities that are concerning. Scepticism is how science progresses. A detailed critique would be a lot more productive/helpful than airy fairy generalities though.

                      It’s the eagerness you appear to show in embracing heroic extrapolations of in vitro and animal studies, unsubstantiated claims and weird conspiracy theories that is worrying.

                  2. “You are too modest Lonie.

                    You clearly know more about these things than the World Health Organization, national health authorities, the US National Institutes of Health and professional medical associations ”

                    When it come to Vitamin C, she does!

                    Follow the money.

                    The above are not interested in what might really work. They DO know that Vitamin C helps support the immune system., They just don’t want YOU to know. They all have one common denominator between them, Big Pharma. And if you think Big Pharma has your interest at heart, think again. Money is name of the game.

                    Big Pharma funds all of the medical education schools in this country.

                    The Biochemistry of Vitamin C in the body and how it affects the immune system is known.

                    By the way, no one is claiming a cure using Vitamin C or any other nutrient. What they are saying is nutrients are necessary for the immune system to work and when it is working hard, it needs more nutrients. Give the immune system what it needs and you may have a better chance of survival.

                    1. ‘By the way, no one is claiming a cure using Vitamin C or any other nutrient.’

                      You seem to be ignoring all those posts here by people claiming exactly that. these are the people and claims that Lonie is defending.

                      As for this

                      ‘They just don’t want YOU to know.’

                      that is ridiculous tosh put out by conspiracy theorists and other assorted crackpots.

                      Anybody who bothers looking at the actual facts would know that the WHO and those other agencies have been telling us for decades to eat more fruits and vegetables. It’s also why the NIH etc set RDIs for vitamin C etc and why they publish fact sheets on eg vitamin C.. It’s also why the CDC collects and publishes data on the (micro)nutrient status of the US population.

                      You should be just as worried about Big Supplement as you are by Big Pharma

                      As far as possible we should be getting out micronutrients from food rather than supplements

                      ‘Vitamin C is used as a dietary supplement because of its antioxidant activity, although a high dose (500 mg) may act as a pro-oxidant in the body1,2. Here we show that 100 g of fresh apples has an antioxidant activity equivalent to 1,500 mg of vitamin C, and that whole-apple extracts inhibit the growth of colon- and liver- cancer cells in vitro in a dose-dependent manner. Our results indicate that natural antioxidants from fresh fruit could be more effective than a dietary supplement.’

      2. Thanks for the links, Tom.

        I will tell you that it is hard to trust almost any place because every supplement, drug, or any treatment at all revolves around money and power.

        I was thinking about how much I wish the pentagon hadn’t released UFO footage during a pandemic.

        It just added to the sense of distrust and that was what the radio discussion I heard today was about.

        People never believed them when they denied UFO’s and now people don’t believe them when they acknowledge them.

        It just added something to have to examine trust about.

        I did listen to MedCram and they talked about the politics of medicines and COVID and I felt trust for MedCram and I wanted to thank them because they reduced stress in how they presented information where so many organizations add stress and make it harder to trust.

        1. I feel like the UFO footage will push mentally ill people and conspiracy oriented people over the edge and the added stress will make them more prone to have bad results from COVID.

        2. Deb

          There’s a lot we don’t understand about atmospheric phenomena, Red Sprites, Blue Jets and ELVES were basically unknown until 30 years ago for example.

          There’s no real reason to think that other phenomena seen by pilots or from the space station are necessarily alien spacecraft or whatever. Heck, for all we know, it could be Jupiter the god of lightning just messin’ with us, Or something akin to high level ball lightning. Assuming some sort of conspiracy or cover-up is great fun but it assumes an awful lot.

  6. Thank you Dr. Greger. For me, 500 mgs of magnesium citrate daily resolves any kidney discomfort. 6-8 ozs of tart cherry juice resolves any gout level serum purine. I contracted COVID19 in SF in Feb with mild fever, fatigue then deep lung pain. I began 15 grams of powdered sodium ascorbate dissolved in a 5 oz can of V8 (to balance Na and K), every 3-4 hours for 8 weeks. All symptoms resolved. My SARS antibody test is positive. No gout. No kidney discomfort or dysfunction. My primary was always after me to get my Na number up (I’m a plant-based DDozener) ! My point ? After 5k grams (90gx7dx8wk) of C6H7NaO6 my kidneys are smiling. I am 72, with no chronic conditions, who spent $90 on vit C and dodged a potentially lethal 3-wk hospital visit. How did I know when to stop high-dosing ? As soon as the C is not consumed at the cellular level , it’s expelled in the gut as diarrhea. Thank you again for all the good you do. There is no minimum toxic level established for vitamin C, per NIH:

    1. Congratulations, Morgan Walsh!

      Excellent news that you came out the other side and didn’t have to go to the hospital and that you don’t have kidney dysfunction at the end!

    2. I am 78 and have been taking HIGH dose Vit. C for years (literally years) … right now I am taking 6 grams a day (with no problems on bowel tolerance, but I also take high dose Magnesium Citrate, approximately 1,300 mg. (because I have a prolapsed colon and need it to make sure I do not EVER become constipated). I also drink half my body weight in water every day. At any rate, I have never had a kidney stone and, hopefully, never will. I am also not on any medications (Praise God).

  7. Why would you take a supplement when you can get the same results from eating REAL food? For most people, you will get diarrhea before a kidney stone if your vitamin C intake is too much. REAL food contains other ingredients that enhance the main vitamin your body needs. For example, getting vitamin “A” from carrots is much better than supplementing in pill form. There are other nutrients in carrots that enhance the power of the vitamin A that cant be duplicated in a pill. Unless you have some kind of medical issue that requires supplementation over REAL food, REAL food is always better.

    1. Jack,

      I don’t think anybody here would disagree with you about that.

      People are supplementing because of the reality of how deadly COVID-19 can be and because not everybody eats enough of the right foods.

      I will tell you that I just eat and don’t really look at what nutrition is in which of my foods.

      I do eat a salad every day and I eat 2 oranges and maybe I get enough, but the people who work with me don’t eat a whole lot of fruits or vegetables.

      They did a Subway lunch run and there might have been some lettuce and onions on the steak and cheese sandwich but most of them aren’t anywhere near WFPB and the studies used supplements and supplements apart from changing diet and supplements helped and that is why people take them.

      1. I’m not “anti-supplement.” I take vitamin D3 when the weather doesn’t allow me to get outside. I am just saying why not pack an orange with your lunch instead taking a vitamin C supplement while you are waiting in line at the Subway sandwich shop?

    2. Jack, I respect your right to be an anti-supplementer as I also respect a person’s right to be an anti-vaxer. But I think it is o.k. to provide a more reasoned and scientific person’s pro-supplement stance, as outlined in the link below.

      “Specific vitamins, minerals and fatty acids have key jobs to play in helping your immune system, he says. In particular vitamin C, vitamin D, zinc, and an omega-3 fatty acid found in fish, docosahexaenoic acid, also known as DHA, are critical for immune function.

      “The roles that vitamins C and D play in immunity are particularly well known,” he said. “Vitamin C has roles in several aspects of immunity, including the growth and function of immune cells and antibody production. Vitamin D receptors on immune cells also affect their function. This means that vitamin D profoundly influences your response to infections.

      The problem is that people simply aren’t eating enough of these nutrients. This could destroy your resistance to infections. Consequently, we will see an increase in disease and all of the extra burdens that go along with that increase.”

  8. There was a recent paper in the Townsend Newsletter that showed that using not a Vitamin C ascorbate but straight ascorbic acid allowed very high blood levels, more or less equal to those obtainable from IV use. High levels of Vit C have been used successfully in China to treat Corvid-19, and the largest network of hospitals in NY state are also using it very successfully.

    And on a different note, there have been three recent large-scale studies, including one from the Framingham team, showing that use of fish oil has produced excellent results in both total deaths and deaths from CVD–snake oil indeed?!

    1. Chris,

      Yes, I have been trying to follow the Omega 3 end.

      Funny, how the D and Omega 3 and C have come up and they suddenly might do something.

    2. These statements

      ‘High levels of Vit C have been used successfully in China to treat Corvid-19, and the largest network of hospitals in NY state are also using it very successfully.’

      are untrue.

      Yes IV vitamin C is being trialled in China and some NY hospitals. However, nobody yet knows if the treatment is successful. Claims that they are seem to emanate from “Dr” Andrew Saul who makes his living promoting ‘orthomolecular medicine’, a form of alternative medicine.

      1. Tom,

        Richard Cheng is a physician trained in the US and licensed to practice here and in China.

        Here he interviews a Shanghai colleague conducting a controlled study of IVC in treating cytokine storm events, viral suppression and collateral bacterial pneumonia:

        He describes C as a cheap, effective and safe adjuvant in the COVID 19 treatment, primarily as a superb anti-inflammatory, a co-factor stimulating enphagocytosis of pathogens, and an intracellular inhibitor of virus replication:

        1. Thanks. Dr Cheng is a true believer clearly.

          As I understand it, Dr Peng’s study won’t be completed until September. In the meantime, he said in the video that statistically there was no difference between mortality in the treatment and control groups.

          There’s also a study of vitamin C and zinc supplements underway in Cleveland. But that won’t be completed until next year.

          My point is that it’s a pretty big assumption that these vitamin C trials will be successful. There’s no harm in taking vitamin C supplements in reasonable amounts just in case as a possible prophylactic I suppose although there are risks with eg excessive zinc intake.

          There’s always the risk of doing more harm than good when we follow highly touted but unproven internet remedies.

          1. Highly touted as in, “remdesivir/ventilators/RNA vaccines for coronaviruses [which have proven uniformly unsuccessful]?”

  9. What Jack said above. But with *mostly* instead off *always*.

    For example one could argue cacao is healthier compared to a cacao bean because it has less SFAT. Nutrition is more of a dynamical thing mostly with a few black and white stuff in there too.

    I just learned there is genetic and individual variability in plant based vitA uptake. I’ll check that out next. There’s always something something.

  10. I gave read that taking quercetin in conjunction with vitamin C makes it more effective. Does anyone have any information to that effect?

  11. Has any one read the book Curing the Incurable, by Thomas E. Levy, MD, JD? It contains over 1,200 scientific references pertaining to the use of Vitamin C and infectious diseases.

    1. Linda,

      Yes. Dr. Levy was my inspiration to try the regimen. His research references are thorough and verifiable. His account of the biochemical effect of C on infected cells and surrounding tissue is easily understood. It leads me to ask if the gene we lost which stimulates the liver to make C could be restored. Most vertebrates generate all the C they need naturally:

    2. You’d be much better off reading the real science on this subject rather than believing people who promote vitamin C as a panacea and offers basically weak anecdotal evidence and poorly conductedn studies to support these claims.

      Levy’s claims read like out and out quackery. Try the Linus Pauling Institute and the US National Institutes of Health for relaible scientific information about vitamin C

      1. Tom,

        Levy is not a research scientist, nor claims to be. There is no medical panacea— in the dismissive sense. But the greeks sought the remedy applicable to any disease process. Suppose there were a harmless chemical with superb anti-inflammatory potential, no known toxicity, and a demonstrated capacity to suppress pathogens, cheap to produce but overlooked by medicine. This was the challenge Pauling took up in the 1970s. What followed were dozens of faux studies widely hyped in which subjects were given risibly small dosages of C and the results failed to confirm any health benefit. Levy is neither a crank nor a con.

        1. Thanks Morgan but have a look around his website and see, for example, what he writes about vitamin C and treating Ebola, Dengue, Zika and indeed all viral infections. It shouted ‘crank’ to me.

          The other question we have to ask is: if this is a cheap, safe and effective treatment for cancers, heart disease, viral infections etc etc etc ignored and suppressed by big medicine and big pharma, why haven’t places like North Korea, Cuba, Iran, Venezuela etc been using it to eliminate those diseases? Or even the old Soviet Union, Albania etc for that matter. We’d certainly know about it if they had. After all, those places are or were beyond the reach of the Western medical establishment and big pharma. If it worked, they would have used it and would still be using it today.

          The fact is that no one has yet been able to come up with credible evidence that these old claims are true.

  12. I’ve been taking 5 grams of vit. C each morning in my green tea ( three bags, ripped open, and boiled for a couple of minutes), slugged down lukewarm, and followed by a quick bite of an orange section, and then slowly eat the orange. After about 45 years of doing this, I’ve never had the slightest hint of a kidney stone.
    My advice is to wait about an hour before eating anything starchy, or there’s a high possibility of uncomfortable intestinal gas. Never take pure vit. C with food, in general, but fruit never causes a problem when combined with large amounts of C.
    I’m now 72 and my only doctor (a dermatologist), says I’m in excellent shape, with a blood pressure measured at the office of 105 over 70.
    So, take your vit.C , and don’t worry about side effects, and maybe you’ll rarely get sick like me ( once every 2 or 3 years I’ll get a cold)
    P.S.- I also average about 3 or 4 oranges a day, plus an apple, and usually a cup of blueberries on my morning cereal.( Also I eat veg. at other meals, of course)

  13. But, has Dr Greger said the (high dose ?) vitamin C supplements can be PRO-oxiditive? (What type of C & dose?)

    Re: the claims that hospital Drs are using vitamin C successfully against covid19, where are the references, what’s the evidence? Thsnks

    1. These claims are false.

      There are trials underway with intravenous vitamin C therapy for covid-19 patients but no results have been published yet. It;s also being used in some NY hospitals but nobody knows if it’s any better (or worse) than standard treatment.

    1. I thought the smoking paradox is interesting.

      Both in China and in France where people are big into smoking, smokers are very low percentage of COVID-19 cases.
      That is interesting… especially since “Smoking remodels the gene expression of lung cells so that the ACE2 gene is more highly expressed in goblet cells. The effects of smoking on ACE2 pulmonary expression indicates an increase in the overall entry points for coronavirus and increases the risk for viral binding and entry of COVID-19 into the lungs.”

      Maybe somehow the nicotine by itself could avert the smoking damage?

  14. I found an article on a nicotine theory.

    Here is a video by Dr. Greger for the benefits of smoking without the risks through foods with nicotine.

    The article also mentioned vagal nerve stimulation and I am trying to remember which Dr. Greger video just had that. It was recent.

    I am going to take out my ICES PEMF and do some vagal nerve stimulation until I find the dietary version.

  15. I also looked up the NAFL and COVID and there were some interesting theories about that, too.

    They said that patients with NAFLD also had a higher risk of progression to severe COVID-19 and longer viral shedding time.

    They said that the underlying mechanism is unknown but might be related to abundant ACE2 receptors in the small intestine. They also mentioned that the liver contains the largest number of macrophages (Kupffer cells) in the body and is a potent cytokine producer and that they postulated that impaired hepatic innate immune status might play a critical role in COVID-19 outcome and that the polarization status of hepatic macrophages might be skewed from inflammation-promoting M1 macrophages to inflammation-suppressing M2 macrophages, leading to progression of COVID-19.

    I don’t really understand the whole M1 versus M2 macrophages and what that has to do with the ACE2 thing, but it is still interesting.

  16. At 77 I take no supplements. I just eat starch and other veggies. Make sure I get a sweet potato and beans most days. No problems and no need for supplements.

    1. At 77 I take no supplements. I just eat starch and other veggies. Make sure I get a sweet potato and beans most days. No problems and no need for supplements.
      Brian, I’m 69 & 74 months of age and I take supplements by the handful.

      More than one way for us cats to retain our skin. ‘-)

      1. Lonie,

        Why did you come up with 69 & 74 months?

        Do I need to get out my arithmatic pen to figure out your age? Do I even remember how to multiply and such? :-/

        1. Do I need to get out my arithmatic pen to figure out your age? Do I even remember how to multiply and such? :-/
          Heh, as of yesterday it became 69 years and 75 months. I use the first day of the month as my moving number day even though my birth DAY was at the middle of the month.

          To be honest, I don’t know how that translates into years. I could figure it out but have no desire to know.

          Keeping count by months is my way of reminding me to stop aging and if I do have changes during a month, identify what’s causing the change and work to reverse it. ‘-)

          1. I guess you could also stop looking at yourself — in the mirror especially — and when you do catch a glimpse of your aging mug, you could say “What a gorgeous chick!” Or in your case, dude. :-)

            And talk to your body organs too, when they’re in pain. “Feelin’ good, feelin’ good, feelin’ good good good!”

            I don’t think I’ve ever tried this myself; life is over-rated. *_^

            1. I guess you could also stop looking at yourself — in the mirror especially — and when you do catch a glimpse of your aging mug, you could say “What a gorgeous chick!” Or in your case, dude. :-)

              And talk to your body organs too, when they’re in pain. “Feelin’ good, feelin’ good, feelin’ good good good!”…life is over-rated.
              Heh, in re: the aging mug, I’ve long since given up (most of) the vanity thing. Healthy living is the only prize worth pursuing at this point.

              As for being in pain, I’ve gone through more of that recently than when I had sciatica some 10 or 15 years ago. It is a moving pain that shifts from my left calf to my knee to my thigh to my lower back to my right foot.

              Assuming it will only last another week or two (may be gout, or even CoVid-19 related?) I will consider it a positive event as it has given me food for thought, in re: death.

              I am actually a great admirer of death, even though I am at war with death. But I think everyone should have the right to a painless, sanctioned death should physical or mental pain become unbearable.

              Under that scenario… “Give us Liberty… give us death.”

                1. Heh, Y.R., I may be a little more like M ff as I look for the simple answer rather than the convoluted one.

                  I’ll not disparage the people in your link… it is possible they are on a higher level than me and can actually experience these things they speak of as reality.

                  And to prove I’m a more simple-oriented individual, here’s a YouTube guy I can identify with. ‘-)


                  1. I gave it an “up,” Lonie. :-) To think it was recorded over a month ago. (I love country music, anyway. Plus geetar music.)

                    Little did they know back in March how much more slogging …what? another month or two or three? ….until we’re released from this house arrest. This is not a fun time. The days will be getting too hot to wear these damn masks and do this “social distancing” bit. :-(

                    1. YR,

                      Since I posted that link, I went back and watched again. Then when it was over YouTube racked another Steve Martin to follow… it was titled “Atheists Have No Songs” (hilarious!) and then another Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers song titled “The Crow”.

                      What a Corona virus way to pass the day! The banjo with all the other instruments… especially in The Crow… well, that’s entertainment!… and I’m officially a Steve Martin (banjo player) fan. ‘-0

                    2. Yeah, nuthin much else to do but watch all TV shows, etc. There were a lot of good performers back in those day. Who is there nowadays to take their place? Nobody I can think of.

                      Will check ’em out. :-)

                    3. Not much else to do but make corrections too.

                      That should read “old” TV shows, not all.

      2. Been an RN since ’75 and slowly underwent a transformation from brainwashed Western medicine acolyte to clearly seeing that much of it simply DOES NOT WORK, that it is simply symptom-masking rather than addressing root causes.

        Once had an elderly patient in a SNF who was declining by the day-confused, incoherent, barely arousable, constipated, not eating.
        Called the doc who, after I had recited the litany of 15 meds she was on and her present state of health, said, “What we’re doing doesn’t seem to be working, do you have any ideas?”
        Shocked that he would ask a lowly nurses’s opinion, I replied, “What if we took her off all the meds?”
        There was a looong pause and I was sure I had pissed him off, but he finally said, “Do it.”

        2 days later she woke up, she knew who she was, where she was, she was hungry and she needed to have a BM.

        She was still alive and in good health nearly 2 years later when I left that position-the only medication that had been added back was Tylenol PRN for headache.
        THAT was my wake-up call…

        I’m coming up on 69 and have consumed a handful of supplements daily for many years [1-3K mg ascorbic acid included], even during my heavy drinking years [which ended 20+ years back, praise the Lord!].

        Zero vaccines since the oral Sabin polio vaccine at ~ age 9.

        I attribute my continued state of good health to those and to having cut out virtually all refined sugar and GMO’s about 15 years ago.

        Have not had more than what MIGHT be stretched to be called a mild cold in those 15 years, whereas I used to get respiratory bugs and horrible sore throats every 2-3 months in the previous 40+ years.

        Yeah, pretty sure there are no correlations there, but feel free to continue worshiping at the shrine of “evidence-based medicine”…

  17. Slightly off topic here but am hoping someone can help. There is a NF video about green and white tea and how the benefits are increased by adding lemon. But no mention of how much lemon to add. Anyone know please?

    1. You already received one comment that summed up the answer, but I’ll add that while I researched studies, none spelled out exactly how much lemon juice was used (although one mentioned “a splash.”
      I know that doesn’t answer your question, but adding even a small amount can be helpful as this article details. Do be careful if you add a TBS or more, that your rinse your mouth so you won’t risk eroding yur teeth

  18. Now I’m beginning to suspect that there’s an agenda here. All the available information suggests that the possibility of kidney stones caused by vitamin C is extremely small. Almost no actual evidence at all. Yet, the article ends by suggesting the opposite.

    In general, vitamin C causes oxalates not to adhere to each other. Thus, no stones. Of course the science also says that stones only happen in an environment of dehydration. Thus, drinking plenty of water means no stones. Look it up.

    Vitamin C is too good. The ‘powers that be’ have been trying their best to minimize its use for decades. All with nonsense science.

    Vitamin C is extremely safe and very natural. Most of the other animals produce vitamin C in their bodies. Man has the gene complex to do it, but the last of four pathways is broken. We can’t live without C. Judging from the amounts other animals make internally we would be much better off with levels higher than can be obtained from food. Experience of millions and lots of scientific literature bear this out.

    1. Yes, it’s all a conspiracy Richard. That’s why everywhere from North Korea to Nevada

      ‘The ‘powers that be’ have been trying their best to minimize its use for decades. All with nonsense science’

      From Cuba to Connecticut, from Iran to Indiana, the powers that be have been using ‘nonsense’ science to minimise its use for over 50 years.

      It couldn’t possibly be that people with bogus doctorates are using ‘nonsense science’ to promote quackery could it? It must be a worldwide conspiracy of unimaginable reach and control instead. it’s so obvious.

  19. Does anybody have info about studies that report suppleental doses of 500g or ore of vit C are pro-oxidant and cause DNA daage?*—-*

    1. Sorry certain keys on this laptop aren’t working

      I also wanted to ask if anyone has info about studies like this

      ‘Antioxidant vitamin C supplements were recently found worthless against heart disease (Rimm et al. 1993, Steinberg 1993), and evidence that they were damaging to the heart was presented in other studies (Herbert et al. 1994,Herbert et al. 1994a,Lauffer 1991)’.

        1. The current view appears to be that ‘Vitamin C has low toxicity and is not believed to cause serious adverse effects at high intakes’ (although it can be dangerous for people with haemochromatosis).

          The evidence on the risk of mutagenic DNA damage of high supplement doses and pro-oxidant activity appears to be inconsistent

          ‘Under certain conditions, vitamin C can act as a pro-oxidant, potentially contributing to oxidative damage [8]. A few studies in vitro have suggested that by acting as a pro-oxidant, supplemental oral vitamin C could cause chromosomal and/or DNA damage and possibly contribute to the development of cancer [8,90,91]. However, other studies have not shown increased oxidative damage or increased cancer risk with high intakes of vitamin C [8,92]’

          Therefore, mainstream medicine appears to think that there is no real risk from high dose supplemental vitamin C usage other than in people with hereditary iron disorders. So I was just wondering if anybody had any further information on whether this is a real issue or just an error (information other than fanciful conspiracy theories that is).

          1. I think that I may have found the answer to my own question……………

            ;Vitamin C is known to function as a highly effective antioxidant in living organisms. However, in test tube experiments, vitamin C can interact with some free metal ions and lead to the generation of potentially damaging free radicals. Although free metal ions are not generally found under physiological conditions, the idea that high doses of vitamin C might be able to promote oxidative damage in vivo has received a great deal of attention. Widespread publicity has been given to a few studies suggesting a pro-oxidant effect of vitamin C (204, 205), but these studies turned out to be either flawed or of no physiological relevance. A comprehensive review of the literature found no credible scientific evidence that supplemental vitamin C promotes oxidative damage under physiological conditions or in humans (206).’

      1. Every paper documenting good results with vitamin C must be countered with negative ‘research’.  Doctors ability to say ‘its not proven’ must be preserved.

        There is more bogus research regarding C than most any other nutrient, because it’s so powerful, so good, so important.  The rise of vitamin C in general use by physicians will cost the drug industry many hundreds of billions of dollars.

        It’s the substance they fear most.

        We were supposed to have huge amounts of endogenous C produced internally.  The animals that still have that ability simply don’t get sick.  Animals like goats that make lots of it can literally eat garbage without ill effect.

        Animal research suggests if we could fix our broken genes and start producing C again in our livers the average life expectancy of humans would increase by decades.  A large reduction in all cause mortality.  (Fixing heart disease alone should certainly contribute.)

        Think how much money the medical and drug industries make from heart disease.  Staggering.

        It’s not just an antioxidant.  It’s an antitoxin.  Used instead of antivenom, for broad-spectrum life saving effect.  Used regularly by those physicians that eschew drugs as a first response.  There are thousands of them.  Men and women who care more about helping others than helping themselves.  Doctors that cure instead of treating symptoms.  They revel in the idea their patients probably won’t be back.  They’ll be off enjoying a truly healthy life instead.

        Check your phone book (if you still have one), many naturopaths will even administer vitamin C IVs.  Cure pneumonia (or hepatitis) in a couple of days.  Fastest, safest therapy available.  No willy nilly killing off the gut bio me side of your immune system. Naturopaths protect.  ‘Regular’ doctors destroy, regularly, without a second thought.

        Unlike toxic drugs, vitamin C makes you feel great immediately. I wonder why.

        Alcohol is a toxin.  When megadosers over-imbibe they don’t get drunk.  Yes, I’ve tried this, it works.

        Most of the bogus research can be seen-through with a critical eye, as Dr. Greger has shown for other cases.

        Be well.

        1. Claims, testimonials and anecdotes are fine and dandy in late night informercials. They may be great marketing but they don’t constitute good evidence.

          When it comes to health, medicine and nutrition most people not unreasonably want evidence from good quality studies. The fact that naturopaths will happily sell vitamin C treatments to anyone who wants it isn’t evidence that they work. It may be evidence that they are profitable for naturopaths but it isn’t evidence that they work for patients..

          1. Your two links look interesting, Fumbles. Will check ’em out later.

            As for vitamin C. supplements of any kind, I’d always keep in mind “anything over 500 milligrams might cause diarrhea.” So the occasional times I would take one I’d keep it at 250 or less.

            Since the past month or two I’ve been adding a delicious orange or tangerine/mandarin every day… addition to the vitamin C found in other fruits and veggies, both raw and steamed, of course. (Unlike Lonie here, I don’t consider myself The Supplement Kid. :-)


            1. I’m not a great fan of Axe

              However, his commentary on vitamin C seems pretty mainstream. There have been some studies that suggest that taking supplemental vitamin C in doses of 500 mg or more may be pro-oxidant and increase some health risks. So keeping it under 500 mg may well be prudent.

              I used to take a gramme a day at one stage but stopped years ago after becoming concerned about the amount of sodium and fillers in most vit C supplements. Now I take it only if I get a cold/flu but haven’t had one of those for quite a while.

              Even if the evidence of increased risk of cancer and heart damage with higher dose vit C supplements isn’t strong, I’m coming around to the view that it might be best to stick with fruits and vegetables. There’s no convincing evidence that vitamin C supplement users have lower mortality than everyone else for one thing.

              However, higher plasma vitamin C levels do seem to be associated with reduced mortality risk in this Chinese study. Possibly though high plasma vitamin C levels may just be a marker for fruit and vegetable intake. Or disease states may deplete serum vitamin C levels for that matter.

              1. “I’m not a great fan of Axe”
                – – – – – –

                I knew you weren’t. But, yes, I agree he seems to make sense Vitamin C-wise.

  20. Our family has always used vitamin C supplements, but when a Doctor recommended both C and Dolomite for antibiotic maintenance, my then teenaged son treated these like sweets.
    In a couple of months, he had given himself kidney stones, at just 18 years of age.
    I had no knowledge of how many he had consumed, but he did admit to this, not knowing that each was an antibiotic.
    We lived on vegetarian food, much brown rice, tofu and vegetables, plenty of fruit, but very reduced sugar.
    It might be a good idea for parents to discuss what amount of these is acceptable in the diet, and also to take either of the following supplements with them.
    1. Mallow herb (capsules with Rose Mallow root)
    2. Chewable baby aspirin (just one)

    Mallow, especially when made into tea with a tablespoon of gin, is a recommended natural tonic for kidneys, as long as they are not inflamed. It creates a mucilage, which gently washes impediments from every organ.
    Baby A S.A.: aspirin flushes kidney stones, but too quickly, since some people can’t stand taking them. They cause kidney pain by flushing the kidney stone too rapidly. So taking the baby dose provides maintenance that NEVER causes kidney pain. If it’s chewable, it’s also pleasurable to eat.

  21. Discussions are great until it’s your own health at risk!
    In the second half of 2016 I was hit three times by “flu” type viruses–each knocking me out for two weeks. My doc said it was because I am a teacher, so exposed to everything going, and because I am “getting older.” Over that Christmas season I searched everything I could find on strengthening your immune system. I came across the work of Linus Pauling. The biggest change I made from then was to megadose on Vit C at the first sign of a sniffle. I have not had a single sick day in over three years.
    (I am still a teacher–and even older!!) This article outlines the same experience as I had:
    Flu, Viruses, and Vitamin C Megadoses: A Personal Statement
    By Robert G. Smith, PhD
    For the past year and a half I have been following a whole food plant-based diet, and enjoy eating great food and having a sharp mind. I am thankful for Dr Esselstyn, Dr Greger and all those others whose lifetime research has benefited me and so many others.

    1. Kudos to you, Sir, for taking responsibility for your own health and not blindly following the edicts from the big money interests which perpetuate the “sick care” which has been misnamed “healthcare”.

  22. For anyone interested, the Riordan Clinic in Wichita, Ks has a suggested supplement protocol to help boost the immune system during the Corvid19 virus. It includes 2000 vitamin C, along with D, selenium and zinc. It’s easy to check out this information on their site.

      1. /The Riordan Clinic promotes alternative medicine and unproven ‘cures’./

        Unproven by medical/drug company standards.  Their real cures have a long history and proof of effectiveness.  If it’s safe and it works again and again it’s proven.

        They don’t traffic in toxic drugs.  They use non-toxic, safe, often endogenous substances to cure instead of treating symptoms with the hope of seeing patients again and again.

        The medical/drug industry hates the word *cure* because it’s a ‘bad business model’.  Meaning it’s not nearly as profitable as treating symptoms.

        Many alternative medicine doctors are MD converts that have gotten tired of not actually helping their patients.

        The best MDs practice ‘alternative medicine’ because they care.

        1. They traffic in unproven claims and pseudoscience. And they will happily take patients’s money in exchange for useless treatments.

          If ‘alternative medicine’ actually worked it would just be called ‘medicine’

          Marketing hype and wishful thinking are no substitute for methodologically rigorous scientific evidence. Coming up with conspiracy theories as an explanation for why there is no scientific evidence to support their claims should be a red flag to any rational person.

            1. Thanks YR.

              You are absolutely correct (now, that’s not something you hear very often from me!).

              I’m just too lazy to proof-read before posting.

  23. I have a great deal of confidence in studies of the late Dr. Linus Pauling and the team at his LP Institute at Oregon State. Have been taking Vitamin C for years. It’s unfortunate that humans receive so much back & forth info on health, much like the yoyo dieting we are supposed to avoid. Eat this, not that. Repeat.

    1. The Linus Pauling Institute has a number of pages on vitamin C. For example, this on vitamin C and covid-19

      As Dr Kadish has pointed out, science progresses over time as new and better evidence accumulates along with the application of critical thinking. The LPI discusses the differences between Dr Pauling’s original beliefs and the Institute’s current assessment of the totality of the evidence available to us now

      Here are the LPI recommendations for micronutrient consumption in older adults

      1. The information on the Linus Pauling Institute web site saw quite a transformation after the drug industry made some large investments in the school.  Much of Pauling’s original ideas have been watered down or removed.

        It’s a shell of its former self.

        1. What drug company investments in which school? Care to provide some evidence?

          This looks like another of your made-up ‘facts’ like the Chinese etc government is telling its citizens to take vitamin C to prevent covid 19

            1. How can I or anyone else look up these sources if you don’t link to or cite them?

              Your claim about this is almost certainly as bogus as your claim that the Chinese Govt told its citizens to take vitamin C supplements to prevent covid 19. Your link has nothing to do with the Chinese Govt and nor, as far as I can see, has it anything to do with using supplemental vitamin C to prevent covid 19.

              You guys just make this stuff up as far as I can see,.

            1. What has any of those things got to do with Richard’s specific allegation that LPI received lots of drug company money and began doctoring the scientific evidence?

              If there is any proof of that allegation?

              It’s always the same with magical alternative health ‘cures’ – bleach/vitamin C/hydrogen peroxide/camel urine/apricot kernels will cure cancer or whatever but the evidence has been suppressed, faked or ignored because of some worldwide big medicine or big pharma conspiracy to protect their profits. Yeah, right.

              1. What has any of those things got to do with Richard’s specific allegation that LPI received lots of drug company money and began doctoring the scientific evidence?
                Heh, great attempt at obfuscation… Her links addressed your specific implication that no drug companies try to buy influence over universities.

                You asked: “What drug company investments in which school? Care to provide some evidence?”

                As for your quote above about LPI, I think Richard? answered that by saying that LPI admitted to “sanitizing” Linus Pauling’s papers in order to conform to mainstream beliefs and that the money came pouring in after doing that.

      2. Here are the LPI recommendations…
        Laredo Petroleum Incorporated?

        (Oh wait, Linus Pauling Institute… never mind.)

        1. Just got the latest issue of the Orthomolecular Medicine newsletter … here it is.

          I’m sure the trolls will find something wrong with it.  Be sure to read the whole thing first, including the references, there are only 40 of them …

          Please pass it on.  The life of your friends, family and neighbors may depend on it.

          This article may be reprinted free of charge provided 1) that there is clear attribution to the Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, and 2) that both the OMNS free subscription link and also the OMNS archive link are included.

          Click here to see a web copy of this news release

          *FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE* *Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, May 4, 2020*

          Vitamin C and Coronavirus: Not a Vaccine; Just a Humble Cure

          *Commentary by William F. Simmons and Robert G. Smith, PhD*

          (OMNS May 4, 2020) During the pneumonia epidemic in North Carolina in the 1940’s, after American soldiers returned from the war in Europe, a small-town physician used an anti-infective protocol of intravenous vitamin C to cure 42 cases of viral pneumonia. [1] During the same period, the physician used a similar treatment to cure 60 cases of viral poliomyelitis. All patients were clinically well within 72 hours. [2] This seemingly incredible event occurred before there was a polio vaccine. The doctor was Frederick Robert Klenner of Reidsville, North Carolina.

          During that same time interval, Klenner used a similar method to cure an assortment of other maladies, including herpes zoster, herpes simplex, chicken pox, influenza, virus encephalitis, measles, and mumps. Over the course of his practice, Klenner discovered that vitamin C was not only anti-viral, but anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-toxin as well. He also discovered that, in general, the higher the dose, the more effective the therapy was against the disease, which resulted in shortening the duration of the anti-infective vitamin C treatment. In his published papers, Klenner found that intravenous injection was necessary to attain adequately high blood levels of vitamin C.

          Even before Klenner started his medical practice in Reidsville, it was known that a sufficiently high level of vitamin C was cytotoxic to cancer cells. Several decades later, Linus Pauling and Ewan Cameron used Klenner’s intravenous therapy to treat a small group of cancer patients, and found that it increased their survival time. [3,4] Evidently, the high level of vitamin C from their intravenous protocol was cytotoxic to cancer cells — but spared other cell types. In response, the Mayo Clinic conducted a much larger, more structured study, supposedly using the same vitamin C doses as the Cameron/Pauling study, and found the therapy to be ineffective. But there was an important difference. The Mayo Clinic study used oral doses. Pauling critiqued the study, pointing out that intravenous administration was necessary. The Mayo Clinic denied access for Pauling and Cameron to inspect its data. Some years later, the Mayo Clinic conducted yet another trial, but found the same negative result. Since that time, the wider medical community has written off the approach of using vitamin C against cancer.

          After the passage of several decades, this stand-off was broken when others in the field “realized” that the Cameron/Pauling trial had used intravenous administration of Vitamin C, while the Mayo Clinic, although it had used the same dosage of 10 grams per diem, had also consistently used oral administration of the substance — a fact that Pauling pointed out at the time. [3-5] A group associated with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) coalesced around the investigation of the difference between the behavior in the human body of vitamin C given orally and given intravenously — the so-called “pharmacokinetics” of vitamin C. This group, which includes Mark Levine and Sebastian Padayatty, has repeatedly affirmed that the blood concentration required to be cytotoxic to cancer cells requires intravenous or intramuscular administration [6,7] — as Klenner had maintained as early as the 1940’s.

          More recent study of the behavior of vitamin C in the body (its pharmacokinetics) has yielded many results. The NIH group has confirmed many of the results that Klenner achieved during his pioneering vitamin C treatments. They have also confirmed that the efficacy of vitamin C in this cancer treatment is related to generation of hydrogen peroxide, as originally concluded by Linux Pauling. [8-10] Perhaps most importantly, the study of the pharmacokinetics of vitamin C has greatly clarified how vitamin C destroys invading organisms, such as viruses, bacteria, and fungi. [11-12]

          Diseased cells tend to accumulate iron. The ascorbate (vitamin C) ion contributes to the production of hydrogen peroxide. In a reaction called the Fenton Reaction, an iron ion reacts with a molecule of hydrogen peroxide molecule to produce free radicals (reactive oxygen species, ROS) that can oxidize and damage any other molecules in their proximity. When this activity occurs inside the diseased cell, the inner workings of the cell are destroyed, and the cell is rendered inoperative. [13,14] A similar Fenton reaction mechanism can disable viruses before they invade a living cell. [15,16] Any cell types, for example some cancers, that lack normal levels of the catalase enzyme (that removes hydrogen peroxide) are susceptible. [17]

          The important point here is that this anti-viral mechanism has nothing to do with the type of the target viral particle or its molecular antigens, which is the strategy upon which modern vaccines depend. If the invading organism mutates, the Fenton reaction process will destroy the cell all the same — without any need of appropriate antibodies. The diseased cells self-select, since it is they that are hoarding the iron. The increased availability of ascorbate and hydrogen peroxide leaves the healthy cells untouched.

          The COVID-19 infection has been compared to the flu and severe pneumonia, which can be successfully treated by high-dose vitamin C treatment. [18-23] Although several ongoing clinical trials testing an intravenous anti-infective protocol of high-dose vitamin C are still incomplete, there is no reason to suspect that this protocol would fail since it has succeeded against every virus it has been set against. [24,25] And, considering the chemical strategy upon which it depends, one would conclude that success will be likely.

          An intravenous anti-infective protocol of vitamin C is not the highly sought-after vaccine which the pharmaceutical industry is desperate to concoct. Waiting for its development is at the cost of many lives. But intravenous vitamin C is almost certainly the humble cure we seek, available now.

          The History of a Viral Cure

          At the very end of the year of 2019, patients with an unexplained pneumonia appeared in Wuhan, China. Around a week later, on January 7, 2020, a new coronavirus was detected in a Wuhan laboratory at 9:00 pm. Three days later, on January 10, the laboratory detected pathogenic nucleic acids at around 8:00 pm. People in Wuhan continued to succumb to the coronavirus over the next four weeks, and, by February 4, 20,000 cases of coronavirus had been identified in China, with 406 dead. [26,27]

          On January 20, two weeks prior, South Korea, became one of the first countries to be affected by coronavirus outside of China. The United States reported its first case on the same day. [26,27]

          Sometime between late January and the first days of February, 2020, the Chinese government placed an order with Dutch State Mines (DSM) for 50 tons of vitamin C. Trucks arrived in Wuhan, the epicenter of the epidemic, on February 9, 2020. [28] Three days later, on February 12, Zongnan Hospital in Wuhan announced a trial of intravenous vitamin C against Coronavirus. [24,25] Patients would be administered 24,000 milligrams of vitamin C each day for 7 days. The next day, on February 13, Dr. Richard Cheng, director of the Medical and Scientific Advisory Board to the International Intravenous Vitamin C China Epidemic Medical Support Team, and U.S. board-certified specialist in anti-aging medicine, announced a second intravenous vitamin C study, in which 6,000 to 12,000 milligrams per day would be given to moderate and severe cases. Some allowance would be made for the study of oral administration. [25] These announcements were made on the hospital’s website, and these protocols were being published all over Asia. But the American news channels did not cover this story. The next day, February 14, the clinical trial commenced at Zhongnan Hospital in Wuhan, China.

          In just two days, on February 16, apparently since the results had been so unambiguous, Shanghai announced an “official” recommendation to use high-dose intravenous treatment of vitamin C to treat COVID-19. The official recommendation called for doses ranging from 50-200 milligrams per kilogram of body weight per day, or up to as much as 16,000 milligrams per day. Four days later, on February 20, Xi’an Jiaotong University Second Hospital reported that 4 patients with severe conoravirus pneumonia had recovered. [29]

          The next day, on February 21, Dr. Richard Cheng announced a third intravenous vitamin C trial targeting coronavirus. [25] Cheng called for immediate use of vitamin C for the prevention of severe coronavirus infection. He declared that the “current sole focus (in the U.S.) on vaccine and specific anti-viral drugs is misplaced”. Cheng further stated that 50 tons of vitamin C had arrived in China about two weeks prior, and was reported in Chinese media, but not in western media. Cheng further maintained that news of vitamin C research for COVID-19 was being actively suppressed.

          Six days later, on March 1, a report from a hospital in Daegu, South Korea, claimed that inpatients had been given an infusion of 30,000 mg vitamin C; some got better after 2 days, most had symptoms disappear after one injection. [30]

          Two days after that, on March 3, Dr. Cheng reported an intravenous vitamin C study using 12,000 – 24,000 mg / day, administered to the patient immediately upon arrival at the hospital. Cheng again claimed that news of vitamin C research for COVID-19 is being actively suppressed, and that anyone in the West saying that vitamin therapy can stop coronavirus is already being labeled as “promoting false information”, and promulgating “fake news.” On the same day, the Government of Shanghai, China announced its official recommendation that COVID-19 should be treated with high amounts of intravenous vitamin C.

          Three days later, on March 6, a medical team from the Second Affiliated Hospital of Xi’an Jiaotong University in China reported on the successful treatment of coronavirus patients with vitamin C. In a press release posted on the hospital website, the team described how “… patients have recovered after being treated with high doses of the vitamin.” The medical team recommended that “vitamin C treatment should be initiated as soon as possible after admission to the hospital.” Another hospital, Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University, was starting another study in which they hypothesized that vitamin C infusions can help improve the prognosis of patients with severe acute respiratory infection (SARI). In yet a further development, the Shanghai Medical Association in China published a consensus on the treatment of coronavirus disease. Based on the study of more than 300 clinical patients and developed by 30 experts in the treatment of new coronavirus pneumonia, it recommended high dose vitamin C for even light infection with the virus. This recommendation, described as the “Shanghai Plan”, attracted widespread attention, including on Shanghai television. [31]

          Five days later, on March 11, the Japanese published an intravenous vitamin C protocol, and released an educational video explaining the use of high-dose oral vitamin C (1000 mg 3x daily to bowel tolerance) along with other essential nutrients to protect against COVID-19. [32] Other important nutrients to prevent infection were included: vitamin D (2000-5000 IU/d), zinc (20 mg/d), selenium (100mcg/d), and magnesium (400 mg/d, in malate, citrate, or chloride form).

          The next day, on March 12, the Government of Shanghai stated that China is now officially recommending that high amounts of intravenous vitamin C be used to treat the novel coronavirus COVID-19. [33] The recommended dosage depends on the severity of the individual’s illness, but it ranges from 50 to 200 milligrams per kilogram of body weight per day. That equates roughly to 4,000 to 16,000 milligrams per day in adults.

          Meanwhile, the coronavirus was ravaging New York City. On March 24, twelve days after the Government of Shanghai announced its official recommendation, the New York Post reported that Northwell Health, New York state’s largest health system, which operates 23 hospitals there, were treating “seriously sick” coronavirus patients with intravenous vitamin C, and were using it system wide. [34] Dr. Andrew Weber, a pulmonologist and critical-care specialist at the hospital, said that the treatments were started based on work done with coronavirus patients in Shanghai, China. Patients entering these New York hospitals were given doses of 1500 milligrams of vitamin C immediately, with two or three recurring doses totaling 300 to 6000 mg/day. The patients receiving vitamin C did significantly better than those who did not get vitamin C, according to Dr. Weber. Weber said that vitamin C helps the body fight off an inflammatory overreaction to the infection which occurs as a result of coronavirus, a condition called sepsis. Pulmonologist Weber said that vitamin C levels in coronavirus patients drop dramatically when sepsis develops. “It makes all the sense in the world to try to maintain this level of vitamin C”, said Weber. Jason Molinet, a spokesman with Northwell Health confirmed for the New York Post that vitamin C treatments for coronavirus patients are being “widely used” across the hospital system.

          In Seattle, emergency physician Dr. Ryan Padgett contracted COVID-19 with severe pneumonia and was saved over several days in the period March 12-23 by the application of high-dose intravenous vitamin C along with a drug approved to treat cancer, both for the purpose of blocking the life-threatening “cytokine storm” in the lungs. [35] And in Richmond, Virginia, Dr. Jeff Brown also contracted COVID-19 with severe pneumonia, was given hydroxychloroquine, which didn’t help, and was finally saved by the same combination of cancer drug and high-dose intravenous vitamin C. [36,37] In Houston, Texas, an experimental combination of intravenous high-dose vitamin C and drug treatment for patients with COVID-19 with severe pneumonia has been working exceptionally well. Dr Joseph Varon said, “To date, we have 0% mortality at United Memorial Medical Center. Zero percent. I know it’s too good for people to believe in this but it’s working.” [38]

          Moreover, a group of critical-care doctors widely spread across the United States has set up a website that provides an explanation, a press release, and a protocol for the treatment that they have used to effectively prevent patients with severe COVID-19 pneumonia from needing a ventilator and from death. [39] They implore doctors to use the protocol or a similar one on COVID-19 patients at the earliest opportunity after admission to save lives. [40]

          In the meantime, on April 8, approximately 100 days since the unexplained pneumonia appeared in Wuhan, the lockdown in China is now being lifted. [27]

          Yet, in spite of the overwhelming evidence of the efficacy of an intravenous vitamin C protocol against coronavirus, the FDA, the CDC, and many respected members of the medical community inexplicably jeopardize their own credibility, apparently, to save the irrelevant business model of the pharmaceutical industry. The respect will be hard to win back. And that is right and proper.

          /(Texas resident William F. Simmons studied Greek, Hebrew and Arabic at universities in his home state, as well as in Jerusalem and Amman, Jordan. He read /A Physician’s Handbook on Orthomolecular Medicine/in 1982, and has been keenly interested in the topic ever since. Robert G. Smith is a physiologist and Associate Research Professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine. Dr. Smith is the author of/ The Vitamin Cure for Arthritis /and also/ The Vitamin Cure for Eye Disease/.)/


          1. Klenner FR. (1948) Virus pneumonia and its treatment with vitamin C. South Med Surg. 110:36-38.

          2. Klenner FR. (1949) The treatment of poliomyelitis and other virus diseases with vitamin C. South Med Surg. 111:209-214.

          3. Cameron E, Pauling L. (1978) Supplemental ascorbate in the supportive treatment of cancer: reevaluation of prolongation of survival times in terminal human cancer. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 75:4538-4542.

          4. Cameron E, Pauling L, Leibovitz B. (1979) Ascorbic acid and cancer: a review. Cancer Res. 39:663-681.

          5. Jaffey M. (1982) Vitamin C and cancer: examination of the Vale of Leven trial results using broad inductive reasoning. Med Hypotheses. 8:49-84.

          6. Padayatty SJ, Levine M. (2000) Reevaluation of ascorbate in cancer treatment: emerging evidence, open minds and serendipity. J Am Coll Nutr. 19:423-425.

          7. Padayatty SJ, Sun H, Wang Y, Riordan HD, Hewitt SM, Katz A, Wesley RA, Levine M. (2004) Vitamin C pharmacokinetics: implications for oral and intravenous use. Ann Intern Med. 140:533-537.

          8. Duconge J, Miranda-Massari JR, Gonzalez MJ, Jackson JA, Warnock W, Riordan NH. (2008) Pharmacokinetics of vitamin C: insights into the oral and intravenous administration of ascorbate. P R Health Sci J. 27:7-19.

          9. Parrow NL, Leshin JA, Levine M. (2013) Parenteral ascorbate as a cancer therapeutic: a reassessment based on pharmacokinetics. Antioxid Redox Signal. 19:2141-2156. 0

          10. Shenoy N, Creagan E, Witzig T, Levine M. (2018) Ascorbic Acid in Cancer Treatment: Let the Phoenix Fly. Cancer Cell. 34:700-706.

          11. Hemilä H. (2017) Vitamin C and Infections. Nutrients. 9(4). pii: E339.

          12. Levy TE (2011) Primal Panacea. ISBN-13: 978-0983772804

          13. Bae DH, Gholam Azad M, Kalinowski DS, Lane DJR, Jansson PJ, Richardson DR. (2019) Ascorbate and Tumor Cell Iron Metabolism: The Evolving Story and Its Link to Pathology. Antioxid Redox Signal.

  24. I can’t remember the name of the gal who posted here a few months ago orso. Her name began with an F I think….or was it a P? She recommended a book, and I immediately reserved it from our local library. (Thanks to that person.)

    After a fairly short wait, I was able to read it. I learned a lot of interesting stuff — some pretty shocking. I’d like to read it a second time.

    I too recommend it:

    (Our library has been closed to the public for many weeks now. The closing has been extended until the end of this month. At the very least. :-(

  25. Below is another thing to consider the cost/benefit analysis of Vit C supplementation

    An article found in the NY Times on November 26, 2014 titled: “Why Antioxidants Don’t Belong in Your Workout” ( this study, “which was published online this month in The Journal of Physiology, scientists at the Norwegian School of Sports Sciences
    in Oslo and other institutions includes:

    “They began by recruiting 32 men and women who had at least some
    experience with weight training. They measured the volunteers’ muscular
    size and strength. Then they randomly divided them into two groups. Half were asked to start taking two antioxidant vitamin pills each day, one before and one after
    exercising. The total daily dosage amounted to 1,000 milligrams of Vitamin
    C and 235 milligrams of Vitamin E, which “is high but not higher than
    athletes commonly use,” said Goran Paulsen, a professor at the Norwegian
    School of Sports Sciences who led the study. The other group did not take any supplements…

    …In general, people’s muscles had increased in size to the same extent,
    proportionally. The group that had taken the vitamins now had larger
    muscles. So did the group that had not.
    But there were subtle but significant differences in their strength gains.
    Over all, the volunteers who had taken the antioxidants had not added as
    much strength as the control group. Their muscles were punier, although
    they had grown in size…

    …”The differences continued beneath the skin, where, as the muscle
    biopsies showed, the volunteers taking the vitamins had reduced levels of
    substances known to initiate protein synthesis. Protein synthesis is
    necessary to repair and strengthen muscles after weight training. So the
    volunteers taking the vitamins were getting less overall response from their
    muscles, even though they were following the same exercise program.
    Exactly how antioxidant pills change muscles’ reactions to weight
    training is still unknown. But Dr. Goran and his colleagues speculate that, by
    reducing the number of free radicals after exercise, the vitamins shortcircuit
    vital physiological processes. In this scenario, free radicals are not
    harmful molecules but essential messengers that inform cells to start
    pumping out proteins and other substances needed to improve strength and
    fitness. Without enough free radicals, you get less overall response to
    Dr. Goran believes that the same process occurs after endurance
    exercise, although the specific biochemical signals and pathways are
    12/2/2014 Why Antioxidants Don’t Belong in Your Workout – 4/4
    The upshot is that whether you lift weights or jog, Dr. Goran would
    advise “against the use of high-dosages of concentrated antioxidant
    Of course, his advice does not apply to anyone with an actual deficiency
    of one of the antioxidants, he said, although that condition is rare. He also
    doesn’t suggest that we avoid orange juice or other natural sources of
    vitamins C and E while training. “But large volumes,” he said, “would be

    1. Interesting article.  It points up a common problem with testing things in isolation, which our science often does.

      B vitamins, as an example, work much better when taken as a group.  When you take just one, perhaps because you’ve identified a deficiency, it tends to create deficiencies in the others.

      So the very common recommendation is to take the whole B-complex together.

      Building muscles requires a whole host of different nutrients. When you raise the intake of some and not others you create deficiencies elsewhere.

      Careful what you take away from various research.  Focused views are helpful yet problematic.  They often don’t tell the whole story.

      This is a common problem with today’s medical doctors, perhaps because of so much research like this one.  They tend to focus on smaller issues separately.  This often leads to over-prescribing drugs.  Multiple drugs to treat one problem.  It’s a wonder profit tool, but no so good for the patient.

      Much like statistics, medical research can easily mislead.

      1. ‘It’s been noted that there appears to be a tendency among Nobel Prize recipients in science to become enamored of strange ideas or even outright pseudoscience in their later years. Indeed, it’s happened often enough that some wags have dubbed this tendency the “Nobel disease.” Be it Linus Pauling and his obsession with vitamin C, Nikolaas Tinbergen and his adoption of the “refrigerator mother” hypothesis as the cause of autism (which has led one blogger going by the ‘nym Prometheus to quip that Tinbergen’s Nobel acceptance speech represented a “nearly unbeatable record for shortest time between receiving the Nobel Prize and saying something really stupid about a field in which the recipient had little experience”), or Louis J. Ignarro going from a Nobel Prize in Medicine for his work in figuring out nitric oxide signaling pathways to pushing his book on arginine supplementation as a cure-all for heart disease and becoming a shill for Herbalife, there’s something about becoming a Nobel Laureate that has a tendency to lead people to becoming cranks. Either that, or maybe it’s because mavericks who make Nobel-worthy discoveries have a tendency not always to recognize that not all of their ideas are as brilliant as the ones that garnered the Nobel Prize for them, although certainly another possibility is that winning the Nobel Prize tends to give some scientists an inflated sense of their own expertise in fields of science not related to the ones for which they won their Nobel Prize in the first place. Maybe it’s a bit of all of these.’

        1. Please try using paragraphs so your posts can be read.

          Linus Pauling is considered one of the 20 greatest scientists of all time.  He was a kind, generous and extremely gifted person, one of the founders of the fields of quantum chemistry and molecular biology.  And the only person in history to receive two unshared Nobel Prizes.  He was supremely qualified in every field he investigated, researched and published about.  To suggest otherwise was beyond scurrilous.

          He continued working and giving lectures to attentive crowds into his 90’s.  Check Youtube for some of his lectures.   He wasn’t difficult, egotistical or self-serving.  He certainly didn’t deserve the poor treatment heaped on him by the med/drug cartels. They were out for blood and assassinated his character and impugned his research at every turn.

          The cartels continue to claim his science was never proven sufficiently to their unachievable standards.  Yet his findings continue to cure patients and save lives around the world.

          1. They weren’t my paragraphs. It was a quote. The link to the source was at the bottom.

            All this conspiracy nonsense and the hagiographic adulation of Linus Pauling are no substitutes for a reasoned argument or evidence.that Pauling’s beliefs on these matters were correct.

            ‘… the concept that megadoses of vitamin C can cure cancer has been around for decades now, ever since two-time Nobel Laureate Linus Pauling first proposed it. It began in 1972, when Ewan Cameron hypothesized that ascorbate could have anti-cancer action by inhibiting hyaluronidase and thereby preventing cancer spread after two-time Nobel Laureate Linus Pauling had first proposed that taking 1,000 mg of vitamin C daily can reduce the incidence of colds by 45% for most people. It wasn’t long before the two teamed up, and in 1976 Pauling and Dr. Ewan Cameron reported that a majority of 100 terminal cancer patients treated with 10,000 mg of vitamin C per day survived three to four times longer than patients who were not so treated.

            Unfortunately, as experimental clinical protocols go, this study was a complete mess. Linus Pauling was not a clinician and had no experience in clinical trial design, and it really showed. Even as a retrospective analysis, the paper was a total embarrassment. There was no standardization, no good matching of controls by age, stage of cancer, or performance status; given the terrible design, there was clearly serious selection bias going on at a minimum. The study’s flaws, which were too numerous to mention, rendered its results essentially meaningless. If you want a quote from his original paper that shows this better than anything, here it is: “We believe that the ascorbate-treated patients represent a random selection of all the terminal patients in the hospital, even though no formal randomization process was used.” Suffice it to say that, in a clinical trial, it is not sufficient to “believe” that your groups were properly randomized and matched. You have to show it.’

          1. Of course it is Linda.

            Well, it’s a lot easier to say that than it is to justify the poor design and conduct of the studies that Pauling based his beliefs on.

            When the evidence refutes your beliefs, blame it on a conspiracy. When somebody points out the flaws and weaknesses in your assertions, call them a shill for big pharma. This ismStandard Operating Procedure for conspiracy theorists and alternative medicine promoters

            For example, I’ve lost track of the number of times cholesterol/saturated fat/ msg/orthomolecular/apricot kernel etc believers have called me a shill for this or that industry. I don’t mind because these claims highlight the intellectual poverty of their arguments. Unfortunately, the moderators tend to delete such posts because personal accusations of that kind are considered to be in breach of the site’s comment etiquette.

    1. Good one, Lonie!

      T. Colin Campbell said that he has information in The China Study that eating things like vegetables increases antibodies.

      This man had a different drug for cytokine storms.

      The drug was dealing with Interleukin 6 and I am pretty sure that can be done with diet, but it is nice to hear about a different drug for COVID-19.

      This one seems really promising, but again, if it is normalizing Interleukin 6, I think there are foods for that.

      These people said that they were having something like 95% recovery and no deaths.

  26. Dr. Greger;
    Compared to your masterful discussion about nutritional issues with food, your talk about vitamin C sounds like a med student struggling over a term paper. Vitamin C is actually safer than water as explained by Dr. Thomas Levy in his book The Primal Panacea. There is no known upper limit of ldl for C. On kidney stones, if you are a stone former you are going to make them regardless. But if C makes oxolate, and the higher the level, the more stones, how come pregnant women can have super saturated levels of oxolate in their kidneys and not form stones more than the rest of the population? Virtually all animals and green plants make C except for a few mutants like Man, Apes and Guinea pigs. So it isn’t a vitamin really, but an essential nutrient.
    Regarding C’s effect on colds and viruses, are you unaware that they used ascorbate for curing the CoVid 19 virus in Wuhan, Shanghai, South Korea and Japan? The attached article explains how they did it and is easily fact checked because Dr. Richard Cheng, who was trapped in Wuhan, is a member of the Board of the Orthomolecular Medicine group in the US. This story has been suppressed in the US media as “fake news”,. Who would this protect? It also explains how long ago mega doses were tried by Dr. Frederick Klenner, a true pioneer. You are so far behind the curve on supplements, it is going to be tough for you to come up to speed, Dr. Greger! [hint: look up Dr. Abram Hoffer on vitamin B3 and Dr. Shute on vitamin E]

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