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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, April 22, 2005

Vitamin C Saves Lives

Millions die each year from heart disease and stroke, and the overwhelming evidence is that vitamin C supplementation would save many lives.

Two-time Nobel Prize winner Dr. Linus Pauling estimated that the rate of heart disease would be reduced by 80 per cent if adults in the US supplemented with 2,000 to 3,000 mg of vitamin C each day. According to Dr. Pauling, "Since vitamin C deficiency is the common cause of human heart disease, vitamin C supplementation is the universal treatment for this disease."[1] Heart disease is the number one killer in the US. For those with existing heart disease Dr. Pauling said that blockage of heart arteries could actually be reversed by supplementing with 6,000 of vitamin C and 6,000 of lysine (a common amino acid) taken in divided doses throughout the day. Vitamin C supplementation both lowers serum cholesterol levels and repairs lesions of arterial walls. 1998 Nobel Prize winner Dr. Louis J. Ignarro found that supplementing with vitamin C and vitamin E significantly reduces the risk of developing arteriosclerosis.[2]

A study examined vitamin E and vitamin C supplement use in relation to mortality risk in 11,178 persons aged 67-105 who participated in the Established Populations for Epidemiologic Studies of the Elderly over a nine year period.[3] Simultaneous use of vitamins E and C was associated with a lower risk of total mortality and coronary mortality after adjusting for alcohol use, smoking history, aspirin use, and medical conditions.

A landmark study following over 85,000 nurses over a 16-year period for a total of 1,240,000 person-years found that vitamin C supplementation significantly reduced the risk of heart disease.[4] Intake of vitamin C from foods alone was insufficient to significantly effect the rate of heart disease. High quantities of vitamin C from supplements was essential to provide the protective effects. The study adjusted for age, smoking, and a variety of other coronary risk factors.

An international team pooled data from nine prospective studies of 293,000 people that included information on intakes of vitamin E, carotenoids, and vitamin C, with a 10-year follow-up to check for major incident coronary heart disease events in people without disease when the study began. Dietary intake of antioxidant vitamins was only weakly related to a reduced coronary heart disease risk. However, subjects who took as little as 700 mg of vitamin C daily in supplement form reduced their risk of heart disease events by 25 per cent compared to those who took no supplements. [5]

Researchers in Finland measured serum vitamin C levels in 2,419 middle-aged male participants of the ongoing Kuopio Ischemic Heart Disease Risk Factor Study. Men with a history of stroke were excluded from this analysis. Participants were followed for up to 10 years; the outcome of interest was development of stroke. During the follow-up period 120 participants suffered a stroke. After controlling for potential confounders - including age, BMI, smoking, blood pressure, and serum cholesterol - the researchers found that men with a low vitamin C level in their blood were more than twice as likely as those with a higher vitamin C blood level to experience a stroke.[6]

A stroke commonly occurs when a blood clot or thrombus blocks the blood flow to parts of the brain. A thrombus may form in an artery affected by arteriosclerosis. A recent study has shown how low plasma vitamin C was associated with increased risk of stroke, especially among hypertensive and overweight men.[7]

Vitamin C is preserves the integrity of the artery walls and strengthens cardiovascular tissue. Research indicates a reduced incidence of major coronary heart disease events at high supplemental vitamin C intakes.[8] Recent studies have shown that vitamin C appears to reduce levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), a marker of inflammation, and there is a growing body of evidence that chronic inflammation is linked to an increased risk of heart disease.[9]

Most Americans fail to eat the US RDA for several vitamins and minerals. Supplements are not the problem; they are the solution. Malnutrition is the problem.

What is Orthomolecular Medicine?

Linus Pauling defined orthomolecular medicine as "the treatment of disease by the provision of the optimum molecular environment, especially the optimum concentrations of substances normally present in the human body." Orthomolecular medicine uses safe, effective nutritional therapy to fight illness. For more information: http://www.orthomolecular.org

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Harold D. Foster, Ph.D.
Bradford Weeks, M.D.
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References
[1] "A unified theory of human cardiovascular disease leading the way to the abolition of this disease as a cause for human mortality". Rath, M., Pauling, L., J of Orthomolecular Medicine, 7: 5-15.7. [2] "Long-term combined beneficial effects of physical training and metabolic treatment on arterioscleroses in hypercholesterolemic mice", Ignore, LJ, Publication of the National Academy of Science, Vol 101, 246-252, June 8, 2004.
[3] Am J Clin Nutr, Vol 64, No 2, p 190-6 Aug 1996.
[4] Department of Applied Biochemistry and Food Science, University of Nottingham, Loughborough Age Ageing, Jan 1988, 17 (1) p 35-41. [5] Am J of Clin Nutr, Vol 80, No. 6,1508-1520, Dec 2004.
[6] "Plasma vitamin C modifies the association between hypertension and risk of stroke". S. Kurl, TP. Tuomaninen, JA. Laukkenen, et. al., Stroke, 2002, vol. 33, p 1568-1573.
[7] See ref [6].
[8] See ref [5].
[9] J Am Coll of Nutr, Vol. 23, No. 2, 141-147.

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