Are Vitamin C Pills Good For You?

Are Vitamin C Pills Good For You?
4.5 (90%) 10 votes

What apparent effect does taking vitamin C supplements have on our lifespan?


Last year we learned that vitamin A and vitamin E supplements weren’t just a waste of money, but we were actually paying to live, on average, a shorter life—whereas vitamin D supplements were shown to increase our lifespan.

Let’s keep filling in the alphabet: vitamin C. Did scientists just discover that vitamin C supplements shorten our lifespan? Don’t do anything to our lifespan? Or do vitamin C supplements enable us to live longer?

No effect on lifespan, heart attack risk, or cancer risk—just, apparently, a waste of money.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by veganmontreal.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Last year we learned that vitamin A and vitamin E supplements weren’t just a waste of money, but we were actually paying to live, on average, a shorter life—whereas vitamin D supplements were shown to increase our lifespan.

Let’s keep filling in the alphabet: vitamin C. Did scientists just discover that vitamin C supplements shorten our lifespan? Don’t do anything to our lifespan? Or do vitamin C supplements enable us to live longer?

No effect on lifespan, heart attack risk, or cancer risk—just, apparently, a waste of money.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by veganmontreal.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

43 responses to “Are Vitamin C Pills Good For You?

Comment Etiquette

On, you'll find a vibrant community of nutrition enthusiasts, health professionals, and many knowledgeable users seeking to discover the healthiest diet to eat for themselves and their families. As always, our goal is to foster conversations that are insightful, engaging, and most of all, helpful – from the nutrition beginners to the experts in our community.

To do this we need your help, so here are some basic guidelines to get you started.

The Short List

To help maintain and foster a welcoming atmosphere in our comments, please refrain from rude comments, name-calling, and responding to posts that break the rules (see our full Community Guidelines for more details). We will remove any posts in violation of our rules when we see it, which will, unfortunately, include any nicer comments that may have been made in response.

Be respectful and help out our staff and volunteer health supporters by actively not replying to comments that are breaking the rules. Instead, please flag or report them by submitting a ticket to our help desk. is made up of an incredible staff and many dedicated volunteers that work hard to ensure that the comments section runs smoothly and we spend a great deal of time reading comments from our community members.

Have a correction or suggestion for video or blog? Please contact us to let us know. Submitting a correction this way will result in a quicker fix than commenting on a thread with a suggestion or correction.

View the Full Community Guidelines

    1. What about the 1000s of studies cited in Dr. Levys books showing the ascorbic Acid can pretty much fix anything? He literally cites over 1200 scientific references..

  1. The work of dr matthias rath and, possibly, other sources, would suggest that vitamin C offers significant benefits..

    Second, is frozen fruit and, specifcally, frozen acai limited or void of nutritional benefit? If so, what can US residents do to get optimal acai?

    1. Hello Evanbrand, yes, indeed you (and the others) are correct, vitamin C does have healthful benefits…if it’s obtained by eating whole foods. When you get your vitamin C from sources such as mangos, papayas, cantaloupes and yams, for example, you get other nutrients and antioxidants that are also vital for optimal health, like the beta carotene that is also abundant in these foods. The video discusses vitamin C from supplements, which can not only be a waste of money, but can be potentially detrimental to your health, particularly in large doses like vitamin A, see:®-supplement-liver-toxicity/ There is also evidence that rather than protecting from disease, multivitamins can actually increase the risk of breast cancer: Also, I wouldn’t put so much emphasis on one particular “superfood”, because there are many others that contribute to longevity, like cocoa (but of course without the milk and sugar that many folks tend to add for palatability), see: and: If you want to include acai in your diet, no need to concern yourself with the freezing process, it has very little (if any) impact on the quality and/or amount of antioxidants it contains. You should make every effort to eat a widely varied, plant based diet to ensure that you get as many phytonutrients as possible. It’s also very economical to eat this way, see: Have a wonder, healthy holiday!

  2. Hmm, I think Dr Greger is being entirely too dismissive of the powers of Vitamin C in convenient supplement form. Just note that in the antioxidant study he draws on for many of his videos, namely The total antioxidant content of more than 3100 foods, beverages, spices, herbs, and supplements used worldwide, Vitamin C (specifically, CVS Vitamin C (as ascorbic acid), 500 mg) has 1,019.69 mmol/100g of antioxidant content. Compare this with the paltry 261.53 mmol/100g of antioxidant content of powdered amla (Indian gooseberries) which he lauds so much. Almost 4 times more! I rest my case.

  3. Hi Dr. Greger. I am currently taking D-Mannose for “IC-Like” symptoms (mainly urinary retention/trouble emptying). I was going to take Glucosamine in addition, but I was advised to take high doses of Vitamin C instead to help repair the bladder wall. What do you think?

    1. As always it is important to get the diagnosis right. Many common problems with bladder function reflect difficulties with muscle, hormones, lifestyle and aging. Others seem to be inflammatory and involve the bladder itself. Bladder Pain Syndrome of which Interstitial Cystitis(IC) is a subcategory is a poorly understood group of conditions of unknown cause which are difficult to treat. As a primary care physician I have had several patients plus one relative with the diagnosis of IC. I think it is best to find a physician who is experienced with treating patients with IC and who uses evidence based therapies. From my experience foods seem to have a significant effect on many bladder conditions but it can be hard to figure out. I think keeping a food diary is important to see if you can relate certain foods to improvement or aggravation of symptoms. If the problem seems to be one of the inflammatory conditions such as IC it would seem reasonable to follow a plant based diet with an emphasis on foods that improve the immune function and emphasize antiinflammatory over inflammatory foods while avoiding substances such as caffeine and alcohol which can have a detrimental effect. I would view the videos under the appropriate links. These include videos on the importance of a variety of plant foods in decreasing inflammation see… or the importance of avoiding meat to minimizing inflammation see Lifestyle issues such as sleep see… and exercise seem to help. I would only try isolated nutrients or therapies that have been supported in the literature and would discontinue them if after a fair trial they don’t seem to help. It is very important to work with your physicians to help sort all this out. Good luck.

      1. Thanks, DrDons! I’m 25 and I’ve been plant-based for almost a year now, getting plenty of leafy greens, superfoods, and avoiding processed foods. I avoid alcohol since I know all too well that it makes it worse. I had all those unpleasant tests performed when I was younger and they could not find anything, but sent me for biofeedback, anyway, and prescribed Detrol. The biofeedback didn’t do anything but the Detrol helped a tiny bit (not enough to keep taking it, and I also did not like the ingredients in the drug). I’ve tried many others things including naturopathic medicine, diet modifications, bodywork, rebirthing, energy healing, and acupuncture. The only thing that helps is holistic Chiropractic, but only if I get adjusted at least twice a week, and still it does not provide the relief I am looking for. Rebirthing/Breathwork also helped once, it was the only relief I’ve had in YEARS, but then it stopped. I have noticed that it is worse if I am angry, anxious, or emotionally irritated about something, so I try to stay calm. I read that “pockets” can form in the bladder wall and trap bacteria (but does not show up on tests), which can lead to IC-like and UTI-like symptoms including urinary retention, and women suffering from the same thing suggested D-Mannose. I’m going to try it for a few months and see if I notice a difference.

  4. Just because vitamin C didn’t prove beneficial for things like lifespan, cancer or heart attack risk? Its possible that it could assist with the flu, common cold, athletic performance, mood or a multitude of other factors that the study didn’t address. It might not be a waste of money after all.

    1. “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.”

  5. this is one of the most misleading statements I have ever heard…a waste of money….where’s the evidence….what studies….who else is in agreement with this one study ??????

    1. I have not seen the study, but vitamin c is may be a marker of how much fruits and vegetables consumed, not necessarily how much vitamin c you isolated then consumed.

      “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.”

      1. vitamin c supplements do not contain pesticide which is found on fruits and vegetables, unless you can afford to buy organic…Also vitamin C leaves the body within 12 hours, and your body rids itself of any amount it does not need. That’s why unless you take a time released capsule it is recommended that you take it every 12 hours to ensure round the clock does not accumulate in your body and any excess is rid through urinating.

        1. Taking a supplement does not replace a whole food, and it will never be the case. I know of no studies showing vitamin c to be more protective then regular fruit and vegetable consumption. Again, I shared with you the above study showing that the whole is greater then the sum of its parts. I know of no reason to supplement vitamin c when a plant based diet can supply mass quantities of this single nutrient. When studies show no benefit or worse, I tend to open my eyes and follow the trail of evidence.

  6. Dr. Greger, I started taking vitamin C supplements to increase progesterone, per Dr. Sara Gottfried’s book, The Hormone Cure. Do you see any research that there is this benefit, hormonally? Also, what’s your take on the famous chemist, Linus Pauling, and all the benefits he claimed with vitamin C? Here is a link to a recent acticle on Medical News Today:

    Thank you for all your work. I use and share your site, and it has been invaluable!

  7. Hello Dr. Greger,

    I like your site very much, really!
    I saw your video about vitamin c pills, but there was nothing about vitamin c powder.
    There’s a lot of confusion about vitamin c on the Internet.
    Lots of people pretend to know all about it.
    Some of them have very promising solutions, one of them especially.
    So to read the article, is it very clear (although I am Dutch), it looks like a new science.
    But to be sure I would like you to read it and share your honest opinion about it.

    Thanks for reply,

      1. Well ,yes, that’s sound advice but I eat whole plant foods and when I don’t supplement with vitamin C I get a bad cold/flu two or three times a year. When I supplement (1-2 grams daily), I don’t get colds or flu at all.

        I have seen no evidence that such doses are harmful. Rami below provides a quote that says “although a high dose (500 mg) may act as a pro-oxidant in the body”.

        However, the reference I found stated that “ascorbate at pharmacologic concentrations was a prooxidant, generating hydrogen-peroxide-dependent cytotoxicity toward a variety of cancer cells in vitro without adversely affecting normal cells.”

        In other words, it only acts as a prooxidant towards cancer cells not normal cells. This sounds like a good thing to me, not a bad thing which was the impression I got when I read Rami’s post.

        That said, I would be interested to see any other papers people may be aware of, that suggest vitamin c supplementation may be harmful.

    1. Hi Rudd. Thanks for your note. I think the pills and powders are similar. The website offers no studies about vitamin C. I like to find references online when searching websites that have information about nutrition. Hope that helps.

      Best regards,

  8. Re: Natural Vit. C Molecule versus Synthetic Ascorbic Acid

    It appears synthetic ascorbic acid (AA) is NOT harmless.

    Hoffman-La Roche, a Swiss company, was the first company to manufacturer synthetic AA. According to wiki, Roche is the 3rd largest pharma company in the world.

    Roche remains among the top manufacturers of AA in the world. Would a pharma company be producing a relatively unprofitable product that generates health, creating a healthy population, or at least health among some people, therefore reducing or eliminating their need for pharma drugs?

    IT IS A SCAM of Roche to call AA vitamin c, a scam joined in by many, among them some who are ignorant of the fact that AA is NOT Vitamin C.

    AA increases body acidity and can cause kidney pain if slightly dehydrated, blood in urine if moderately to severely dehydrated.

    Vitamin C is the entire Vit. C molecule, not just the AA which is only the outer coating of the Vitamin C molecule that protects the inner contents of the molecule

    In some people AA causes bruising which is evidence, perhaps, that AA increases the need for vitamin C, or by some other mechanism is causing harm resulting in bruising. Bruising not from an exogenous injury, but occurring from harm within the body simply from taking AA.

    Many harmful ingredients are permitted in foods in US, to a lesser extent Europe, and even lesser extent Asia, at least officially, but not always in practice. Bromide in flour (other products) is prohibited in Asia, I think it is banned also in Europe, but permitted in the US. It would appear foods in US are deliberately ‘posioned’ in order to generate customers for the pharmaceutical industry, bromide being one good example of a toxic ingredient in US food products. AA is disease promoting, not health promoting.

    AA has been used in cancer therapy but acidosis from AA limits its use. AA’s only use in cancer therapy is to increase hydrogen peroxide in cancer cells.

    AA increases oxidative stress to the body, it increases oxalates in the body. AA is a pro-inflammatory agent. AA increases body acidity.

    AA generates genotoxins:

    AA reduces endurance capacity, decreases muscle mitochondria biogenesis

    AA apart from the entire vitamin C molecule is harmful to the body. I give link to search results above, and there are conflicting reports as to the harm/benefits of AA. The confusing part is where AA is called Vitamin C and so need to examine did the research study use just AA and they are calling AA Vitamin C, or were other components of the Vtamin C molecule included along with AA, or just natural whole Vitamin C administered as food (orange juice or other high C food)?

    2-6 grams of AA can cause gastrointestinal disturbances, can cause diarrhea.

    Has anyone who has eaten a diet high in natural Vitamin C experienced GI distress from the Vitamin C in those foods? But synthetic AA is an irritant to the GI tract one reason may be it is very acidi. There are buffered forms of AA and whether 2 grams or more of buffered AA can cause GI distress, haven’t seen anything on that.

    Does AA cause DNA damage? Lee et al demonstrated AA DOES cause DNA damage because AA induces decomposition of lipid hydroperoxide in the presence of transition metals to form DNA reactive electro-philes, among the electro-philes formed are a genotoxin that can react with DNA to form mutations. And that is why ROCHE, the world’s 3rd largest pharma company continues to manufacture AA and that is why many foods in the US have AA added to them. But the Nutrition Journal does not believe AA generates genotoxins, despite the experiment by Lee et al showing that it does. The Nut. Journal states, without any citation to back up their claim, that lipid hydroperoxides form only when AA is exhausted. The Nut. J. states AA prevents the formation of LH, but no citation to back up their claim that AA does prevent formation of LH.

    Linus Pauling was a long term user of AA, he died of cancer. Pauling’s long-time partner in research is purported to have said that everyone who they put on long-term AA use developed cancer. And that is consistent with the findings of Lee et al. that AA starts a chain reaction that in the end produces genotoxins. The information at link below is good, for the most part, except their including Linus Pauling, for to make the claim (which I do not dispute) that every person who has cancer has an acidic pH and yet include Pauling’s highly acidic AA regimen as an alleged cancer preventative flies in the fact of Otto Warburg (and others) showed that cancer cannot survive in an alkaline, oxygen rich environment. Otto Warburg is not stated to have died from cancer, but Pauling is stated to have died from prostate cancer. no citation given unfortunately,,stated at No. 4 is that the blood of people given natural Vitamin C molecule in the form of orange juice showed significant antioxidant activity 4 hours after ingestion, but the people given AA showed no antioxidant activity 4 hours after ingestion.

    AA is a harmful substance overall. There is no way the world’s third largest pharma company would be producing a substance for alleged healthy fortification of food products if indeed AA could have any role in promoting health and thereby keep some people away from the need for pharma drugs.
    Switzerland is a corrupt, evil nation, protectors of the Vatican, founded by Knights Templar in 1291, still their possession. Not disparaging all Swiss people in Swissy land, though. Switzerland funded Hitler, took in the gold from Hitler’s victims, mostly Jews; and its level of evil and corruption is ony second to the most corrupt entity on the planet, the City State of Vatican. Switzerland is home of the central bank of western central banks, the secret bank that runs most of the world, the Bank for International Settlements. And Swissy bring GMOs to the world through Switzerland based Sygenta, but refuses Sygenta’s GMOs to be available in Swissy land.

    1. Correction: Not Cameron, but rather Dr. Arthur Robinson, one of Pauling’s research scientist, said everyone they put on long term AA developed cancer.

      There is NO Vitamin C in corn starch, and it is corn starch from which ascorbic acid is manufactured by use of sulphuric acid. There are doctors who say that use of AA does cause side effects associated with Vitamin C deficiency, such as bleeding gums,, spider veins, varicose veins and bruising, which demonstrates that AA causes deficiency in Vitamin C.

    2. Dr. Linus Pauling lived to be 93 years old. He popularized Vitamin C with the world and America, and there was a lot of backlash against him. He said if you take 3 grams of Vitamin C a day you will live 25 years longer than you would otherwise. He showed that a goat, with the same weight as a man, would make 16 grams of Vitamin C a day, something a man cannot do, and many more grams if it was sick. Some people would wonder what is the food we used to eat that let us evolve to lose the ability to make Vitamin C. Was it a fruit? Was it a leaf? I certainly wish there was a way to get natural vitamin C to meet all our needs. We clearly eat very little Vitamin C. Humans have adapted to live with scurvy. Dr. Pauling, for making Vitamin C a common phrase in our vocabulary and in our collective knowledge base, made the world a healthier place.

      1. Linus Pauling died from cancer. If Ascorbic Acid prevented cancer, Pauling of all people should not have gotten cancer. PAULING DID NOT DIE OF OLD AGE, he died of cancer. Ascorbic acid is NOT vitamin C. HOFFMAN-LAROCHE popularized Ascorbic Acid with the world by making it available to the world. THERE WAS NOT A LOT OF BACKLASH against Pauling, he received the Nobel Prize. ONE OF THE WORLD’S LARGEST PHARMA COMPANIES takes up Pauling’s Ascorbic Acid and makes it available to the world, and you call that backlash.

        So it is said a man cannot make as much vitamin c as a goat, where is it shown that it is detrimental to mankind that he does not make as much vitamin c as a goat? Pauling makes the contention that taking 3 grams of ascorbic acid daily extends life by 25 years but he has no empirical evidence to back up that statement.

        THE WORLD IS NOT HEALTHIER post mass consumption by the public of ascorbic acid.

        “… Dr. Pauling contacted pharmaceutical companies in order to make sure that these discoveries were being implemented globally in order to save as many human lives as possible. Negotiations took place with executives of Hoffman LaRoche, the world’s LARGEST manufacturer of [ascorbic acid] ….”

        IT IS A FRAUD OF THE MEDICAL INDUSTRY TO CALL ASCORBIC ACID VITAMIN C. And anyone who thinks that the pharmaceutical industry cares about saving lives, rather than being a greedy business not only profiting from disease, BUT MAKING SURE THE POPULATION IS DISEASED, (and one of the major ways a diseased population is maintained, as to the USA, is though the FDA which permits cancer/other disease causing chemicals in food and water), is quite naive. Bromated flour is banned in Asia, but purposefully replaced iodine in flour in USA. So they add a poison called bromide. Bleached flour, dyes, flavorings, preservatives, ascorbic acid, citric acid, phosphates, antibiotics, hormones and the list goes on and on of items permittedi in USA food supply in order to maintain a diseased population that the pharma companies thereby profit from their diseases.

        Here Pauling gets in touch with executives of pharma giant Hoffman LaRoche and the ball gets rolling to see to it the greatest health promoter to mankind is distributed worldwide hahaha, one of the greatest disease promoters was put into the hands of the masses by pharma giant Hoffman LaRoche, that is ascorbic acid – which is fraudently called vitamin C.

        Too much citric acid is bad for health, and the tolerance of individuals to exogenous citric acid varies. Citrates are sometimes added to dairy, are widely used as a presevative, sometimes used to form mineral complexes,(magnesium citrate, etc.). Too much oxalate is bad; too much phosphorous is bad, and too much citric acid and too much phosphorous is usually due to food processors adding phosphates and citric acid to their products.

        1. Dr. Pauling won two Nobel Prizes. His long career included the banning of nuclear testing, for which he won the Nobel Peace Prize. He is the only person to win two unshared Nobel Prizes. He did indeed die of kidney cancer at the age of 93. Ascorbic is the anion of Vitamin C. I went to your link. They describe Dr. Rath and Dr. Pauling hoping to get the drug companies involved in their heart therapy, called the Pauling therapy, which involves lysine and vitamin C. That website describes, rather desperately, that lysine is a treatment for cancer. Do you agree with this? It has not been tested in people. It is indeed very surprising that Dr. Pauling died of Kidney Cancer, because he was such an advocate for those with schizophrenia and because of his advocacy of Vitamin C. I wonder if Dr. Rath would suggest that Pauling take Lysine if he had his diagnosis. He took 16 grams of vitamin C a day. Thus, you can infer from his death that Vitamin C does not prevent cancer. Does it postpone it though? Dr. Pauling discovered a book by Abram Hoffer, himself much maligned, describing a vitamin therapy for schizophrenia at a doctor’s office. After this, he became an advocate for vitamin therapy for mental illness, for which he was regarded as a qwack by many of his peers. People with schizophrenia rarely get cancer, despite being heavy smokers. He made vitamin C popular among Americans. I agree with you about the pharmacy companies. Have natural products divisions have shrunk to make more artificial chemicals that are described as rational? I think there is nothing more rational than using large doses of vitamins for illness. There are several people who found that vitamins could treat disease and subsequently became shunned, along with their vitamins. These include the Shute brothers, who showed that Vitamin E could cure angina. Dr. Foster, who is no longer cited with others who point out how Selenium (along with some amino acids) can reserve AIDs. Dr. Hoffer, who showed that Niacin can cure schizophrenia. There are others. Medicine really began with vitamins. Iodine, isolated, for the treatment of goiter. This was the modern paradigm of medicine. Now medicine is about treating cholesterol with statins. Why not try 2 grams of Niacin instead? That was the gold standard for years. The years of Niacin therapy didn’t stop heart disease. Could lysine? Are you saying that Ascorbic Acid made from corn starch is not healthy? Or are you saying that it cannot have the properties of vitamin C because it is synthetic? Or are you saying you need to have the cation of Ascorbic Acid which is vitamin C? Are you saying the pharmacy companies have literally managed to get the FDA to allow the synonym of Vitamin C and Ascorbic Acid when there is no evidence they are the same thing? Did you know that biologists were able to use restriction enzymes to reconstruct the polio virus from genetic material? Is that not still the polio virus? Citric Acid and Acetic Acid are different than Ascorbic Acid. Do you have evidence that the anion of Ascorbic Acid does not function as Vitamin C? That drug companies are selling us a non vitamin? I think this very video makes such a suggestion. Vitamin C is critical to health, and Dr. Pauling argues that we as a species do not get enough vitamin C and have evolved to deal with it. He argues that Vitamin C can give you an upper hand. Thank you for the link. Lysine is the limiting nutrient in vegan lives. We should get more. Vitamin E in most supplements is made from coal balls. It includes dl tocopherol. The l tocopherol are worthless. If we had enough chemistry could you show that Ascorbic Acid is like l tocopherol?


            Synthetic ascorbic acid is structurally different than the natural form, dehydroascorbic acid. In the article at link above, I give research links. In 1936 scientists said ascorbic acid does not cure scurvy. THE FRAUD is that government and big pharma and most alternative healthcare practitioners claim that ascorbic acid aka Vit.C cures scurvy. In 1936 scientists knew there is a second equally important factor, Vitamin P (bioflavanoids), and absent administration of Vit. P while giving ascorbic acid created “spontaneoius pathological conditions” – that’s why big pharma is on ascorbic acid big time.

            Vitamin E is said to deplete the body of co-enzyme Q-10, so do statins. Studies have shown people taking Vitamin E have more heart attacks than those who do not take Vit. E. In natural foods as part of a diet, one cannot obtain the levels of d-alpha tocopherol available through supplements, and in natural foods where one would be ingesting d-alpha tocopherol, they would also be ingesting the entire Vit. E. complex, not just the aforesaid one fraction of Vit. E. Using the example of dehydroascorbic acid, one could not obtain in natural foods in the diet said DHAA without also ingesting Vit. P, and in 1936, scientists showed synthetic ascorbic acid absent Vit. P created spontaneous pathological conditions; therefore it is logical to extent what applies to Vit. C to Vit. E as well, where taking a fraction thereof would also create pathological conditions. No synthetic vitamin is the entire makeup of that vitamin, there are co-factors that enable the body to utilize the vitamin which through ingestion of natural foods are there, but not in the synthetic version, not even in the whole foods version of vitamins (such as Megafood vitamins), as Cashmir Funk, the one who coined the term ‘vitamin’, said even such vitamins are inferior to whole foods as source for all of one’s nutritional needs. Niacin is known to cause liver damage, B-6 nerve damage. Synthetic vitamins are not good for heatlh. The Chinese have shown that synthetic vitamins and ascorbic acid cause liver damage.

            1. Stil… we have to rely on B12 supplements in a WFPB diet… and B6 is hardly bioavailable in plant foods. How do we deal with this without synthetic supplementation?

              1. I think you can be vegan and also take vitamins for a specific purpose, with or without medical advice. Being vegan does not immediately cure one of all sickness. Vitamins can speed the curing, in my opinion.

            2. Thank you very much! Now I see what you are saying. Dehydroascorbic acid is Vitamin C. I do not think Dr. Pauling did a scam to sell us dehydroascorbic acid as ascorbic acid. I have no knowledge of this issue and cannot comment.

              “Studies have shown people taking Vitamin E have more heart attacks” You are taking about the USPTF study. “The USPSTF found adequate evidence that supplementation with vitamin E has little or no significant harm” It was an editorial not a study.

              Another study found Vitamin E cut your risk of mortality by 40 percent. Since then, there has been a campaign to lower Vitamin E in pills for reason unknown. I think it is bizarre to say that Vitamin E can cause heart disease when that is exactly what it treats. I lack the wherewithal to argue. You say Big Pharma is evil and say that Vitamins are wrong. You seem to agree, though, that vitamins as they are available do not treat disease. I can’t disagree more.

              “Niacin is known to cause liver damage” Only the very low flush preparations. If you say we can’t get Niacin, which is made from tobacco and maybe nicotine itself, from pills or from supplemented grain we’d have a real problem with pellagra. There have been zero deaths from Niacin ever. You can get real bad nausea from high dose niacin, even develop an eating disorder, it can raise liver enzyme tests, but I don’t think anyone has ever gotten actual liver disease from niacin. Very low flush preparations made people sick in the 1980s. Literally millions of people have used it. It’s in your cereal and bread. No one has ever really gotten sick from it.

              B-6 can cause nerve damage. High dose B6 can cause nerve periphery in some people, but that’s like 2 grams or more. I think for those people it was an annoyance than severe nerve damage. They were medical students who reported this effect. You can take less than that and really enjoy your dreams.

              They did a lot of studies (Clinically controlled) of High Dose IV vitamin C in cancer patents. They found it improved their lives. The studies were not published. Why? Why are only negative studies of vitamins published, one presented at this very link? Why are you on the defensive when you have the majority view? There is no research coming into the publications to defend vitamins. There are many studies that use flawed reasoning to suggest vitamins are harmful.


              Dr. Abram Hoffer treated cancer patients with vitamins.
              “We have increased the longevity from 5.7 months to approximately 100 months, which is very substantial. There has been a tremendous decrease in pain and anxiety. Vitamin C must be a vital component of every cancer treatment program.”

              “Cashmir Funk, the one who coined the term ‘vitamin’, said even such vitamins are inferior to whole foods as source for all of one’s nutritional needs.” I think we can all agree that it’s best to get your nutrition from food. I do not think Selenium in a pill is different than Selenium from Brazil Nuts. Maybe in adsorption there is a huge difference.

              I wish you luck in getting DHAA used instead of AA. Millions of people would benefit from more vitamins. Deficiencies abound and accrue injuries.

              I think a plant isolate can be used instead of the whole plant for specific purposes, for instance, for the sick. If you have a sick person, you can give them a vitamin to make them well. For instance, thamin for Beriberi. If only all medicine were like this. DHAA for scurvy, for instance. (If your gums bleed from tooth brushing, you might have sub clinical scurvy which could be called gingivitis).

              Doctors are not trained to spot a particular sickness as part of a host of deficiencies. Almost all chronic and infectious disease according to Dr. Hoffer is a deficiency, or if I got him right, all chronic and infectious disease. A single vitamin deficiency has many different symptoms, not all of which are known.

              “Eat more vegetables” could become “eat more stinging nettle shoots” if medicine were to advance.

    3. Although i agree with some of your points & it was an interesting read… How old was pauling when he died? What is the average lifespan of an american or any human on this planet? Hmmm…. Seems he knew something after all!!!!!

  9. I have severe allergies and have been taking 1000 mg of Vitamin C twice daily for over twenty years since it lowers histamine levels by 60%. It helps my allergies to the point where I do not need to take antihistamines, some of which I am also allergic to. (Zyrtec makes my bronchial tubes close up and causes heart issues)
    Since I’m already stuffing myself with fruits and veggies, what whole natural food could I add to take the place of Vitamin C’s natural antihistamine activity to the tune of lowering histamine 60%?

    1. Hey Marilyn, there are likely to be better things for your allergies than megadosing vitamin C. The weight of evidence indicates a substantial risk for kidney stones in anyone taking more than about 250 mg. per day of supplemental vitamin C.

      Leukotrienes (LTs) are thought to be much more potent for causing allergy symptoms than histamine is. In fact, LTB4 used to be called ‘Slow-reacting substance of anaphylaxis’ – a reference to how potent it is at causing allergy symptoms. It’s important to know that LTB4 is a breakdown product of arachidonic acid, an omega-6 fat found in meat and eggs. By eating a diet higher in omega-3’s (walnuts, flax, canola oil) and (maybe) supplementing with a vegan-source DHA, you’ll make far less LTB4, and your allergies are likely to improve significantly (at least, this is what I’ve seen in patients I’ve worked with.)

  10. Dear Dr. Greger,

    Is anyone familiar with the product Medi-c plus lysine, which is a high dose of vitamin c and lysine for atherosclerosis. It is based on the work of Linus Pauling.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This