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Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, February 15, 2014

A Timeline of Vitamin Medicine

by Andrew W. Saul, Editor

(OMNS Feb 15, 2014) Don't get bogged down by silly claims that multiple vitamins kill, or that antioxidants are bad for you. It is high time to take a look at the record, and review what published medical research actually has been saying for eight decades.

1935Claus Washington Jungeblut, MD, professor of bacteriology at Columbia University, first publishes on vitamin C as prevention and treatment for polio; in the same year, Jungeblut also shows that vitamin C inactivates diphtheria toxin.
1936Evan Shute, MD, and Wilfrid Shute, MD, demonstrate that vitamin E-rich wheat germ oil cures angina.
1937Dr. Jungeblut demonstrates that ascorbate (vitamin C) inactivated tetanus toxin.
1939William Kaufman, MD, PhD, successfully treats arthritis with niacinamide (vitamin B3).
1940The Shute brothers publish that vitamin E prevents fibroids and endometriosis, and is curative for atherosclerosis.
1942Ruth Flinn Harrell, PhD, measures the positive effect of added thiamine (B1) on learning.
1945Vitamin E is shown to cure hemorrhages in the skin and mucous membranes, and to decrease the diabetic's need for insulin.
1946Vitamin E is shown to greatly improve wound healing, including skin ulcers. It is also demonstrated that vitamin E strengthens and regulates heartbeat, and is effective in cases of claudication, acute nephritis, thrombosis, cirrhosis, and phlebitis; also, William J. McCormick, MD, shows how vitamin C prevents and also cures kidney stones.
1947Vitamin E is successfully used as therapy for gangrene, inflammation of blood vessels (Buerger's disease), retinitis, and choroiditis; Roger J. Williams, PhD, publishes on how vitamins can be used to treat alcoholism.
1948Frederick R. Klenner, MD, a board-certified specialist in diseases of the chest, publishes cures of 41 cases of viral pneumonia using very high doses of vitamin C.
1949Dr. Kaufman publishes The Common Form of Joint Dysfunction.
1950Vitamin E is shown to be an effective treatment for lupus erythematosus, varicose veins, and severe body burns.
1951Vitamin D treatment is found to be effective against Hodgkin's disease (a cancer of the lymphatic system) and epithelioma.
1954Abram Hoffer, MD, PhD, and colleagues demonstrate that niacin (vitamin B3) can cure schizophrenia; the Shutes' medical textbook Alpha Tocopherol in Cardiovascular Disease is published; and Dr. McCormick reports that cancer patients tested for vitamin C were seriously deficient, often by as much as 4,500 milligrams.
1955Niacin is first shown to lower serum cholesterol.
1956Mayo Clinic researcher William Parsons, MD, and colleagues confirm Hoffer's use of niacin to lower cholesterol and prevent cardiovascular disease; Dr. Harrell demonstrates that supplementation of the pregnant and lactating mothers' diet with vitamins increases the intelligence quotients of their offspring at three and four years of age.
1957Dr. McCormick publishes on how vitamin C fights cardiovascular disease.
1960Dr. Hoffer meets Bill W., cofounder of Alcoholics Anonymous, and uses niacin to eliminate Bill's longstanding severe depression.
1963Vitamin D is shown to prevent breast cancer.
1964Vitamin D is found to be effective against lymph nodal reticulosarcoma (a non-Hodgkin's lymphatic cancer).
1968Linus Pauling, PhD, publishes the theoretical basis of high-dose nutrient therapy (orthomolecular medicine) in psychiatry in Science, and soon after defines 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."
1969Robert F. Cathcart, MD, uses large doses of vitamin C to treat pneumonia, hepatitis, and, years later, acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS).
1970Dr. Pauling publishes Vitamin C and the Common Cold and Dr. Williams publishes Nutrition Against Disease.
1972Publication of The Healing Factor: "Vitamin C" Against Disease by Irwin Stone, PhD.
1973Dr. Klenner publishes his vitamin supplement protocol to arrest and reverse multiple sclerosis. So does Dr. HT Mount, reporting on 27 years of success using thiamine. Also: Ewan Cameron, MD, and Linus Pauling, PhD, publish their first joint paper on the control of cancer with vitamin C, two years after Cameron began using high-dose IV vitamin C.
1975Hugh D. Riordan, MD, and colleagues successfully use large doses of intravenous vitamin C against cancer.
1977Alfred Libby, MD, and Irwin Stone present findings that the use of high doses of vitamins hastens and eases withdrawal from highly-addictive drugs.
1981Dr. Ruth F. Harrell and colleagues demonstrate that very high doses of nutritional supplements help overcome learning disabilities in children, and bring about highly significant improvement to those with Down syndrome.
1982In Japan, Murata, Morishige, and Yamaguchi show that vitamin C greatly prolonged the lives of terminal cancer patients.
1984Robert F. Cathcart, MD, publishes on the vitamin C treatment of AIDS.
1986Publication of How to Live Longer and Feel Better by Linus Pauling.
1988Dr. Lendon H. Smith publishes Vitamin C as a Fundamental Medicine: Abstracts of Dr. Frederick R. Klenner, M.D.'s Published and Unpublished Work, now known as Clinical Guide to the Use of Vitamin C.
1990American doctors successfully use vitamin C to treat kidney cancer, and in 1995 and 1996, other cancers.
1993Large-scale studies show that vitamin E supplementation reduces the risk of coronary heart disease in men and women.
1995Dr. Riordan and colleagues publish their protocol for intravenous vitamin C treatment of cancer.
2002 Vitamin E shown to improve immune functions in patients with advanced colorectal cancer, by immediately increasing T helper 1 cytokine production.
2004Doctors in America and Puerto Rico publish more clinical cases of vitamin C successes against cancer.
2005Research sponsored by the U.S. National Institutes of Health shows that high levels of vitamin C kill cancer cells without harming normal cells.
2006Canadian doctors report intravenous vitamin C is successful in treating cancer.
2007Harold D. Foster and colleagues publish a double-blind, randomized clinical trial showing that HIV-positive patients given supplemental nutrients can delay or stop their decline into AIDS.
2008Korean doctors report that intravenous vitamin C "plays a crucial role in the suppression of proliferation of several types of cancer," notably melanoma. And, natural vitamin E is demonstrated to substantially reduce risk of lung cancer by 61%.
2009, 2010, 2012Intravenous Vitamin C and Cancer Symposiums filmed and made available for free-access online. (twelve lectures), (nine lectures) and (eleven lectures)
2011Each 20 micromole/liter (µmol/L) increase in plasma vitamin C is associated with a 9% reduction in death from heart failure. Also, B complex vitamins are associated with a 7 percent decrease in mortality, vitamin D with an 8 percent decrease in mortality.
2012Vitamin C shown to prevent and treat radiation-damaged DNA.
2013B-vitamin supplementation seen to slow the atrophy of specific brain regions that are a key component of the Alzheimer's disease process and are associated with cognitive decline.
2014In patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease, 2,000 IU of vitamin E slows the decline compared to placebo. Data from 561 patients showed that those taking vitamin E function significantly better in daily life, and required the least care. Vitamin C greatly reduces chemotherapy side effects and improves cancer patient survival.

For specific references on these subjects, just copy and paste any of the brief descriptions above into a search engine and press "enter." Doctors and reporters that say "they have not seen any good evidence that vitamins cure disease" are telling you the truth: yes, they have never seen it. That's not because it isn't available; it's because they have never done even this simple step.

Copy, paste and search. There is a whole body of knowledge out there. Take a look and decide for yourself.

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Editorial Review Board:

Ian Brighthope, M.D. (Australia)
Ralph K. Campbell, M.D. (USA)
Carolyn Dean, M.D., N.D. (USA)
Damien Downing, M.D. (United Kingdom)
Dean Elledge, D.D.S., M.S. (USA)
Michael Ellis, M.D. (Australia)
Martin P. Gallagher, M.D., D.C. (USA)
Michael Gonzalez, D.Sc., Ph.D. (Puerto Rico)
William B. Grant, Ph.D. (USA)
Steve Hickey, Ph.D. (United Kingdom)
Michael Janson, M.D. (USA)
Robert E. Jenkins, D.C. (USA)
Bo H. Jonsson, M.D., Ph.D. (Sweden)
Peter H. Lauda, M.D. (Austria)
Thomas Levy, M.D., J.D. (USA)
Stuart Lindsey, Pharm.D. (USA)
Jorge R. Miranda-Massari, Pharm.D. (Puerto Rico)
Karin Munsterhjelm-Ahumada, M.D. (Finland)
Erik Paterson, M.D. (Canada)
W. Todd Penberthy, Ph.D. (USA)
Gert E. Schuitemaker, Ph.D. (Netherlands)
Robert G. Smith, Ph.D. (USA)
Jagan Nathan Vamanan, M.D. (India)
Atsuo Yanagisawa, M.D., Ph.D. (Japan)

Andrew W. Saul, Ph.D. (USA), Editor and contact person. Email: This is a comments-only address; OMNS is unable to respond to individual reader emails. However, readers are encouraged to write in with their viewpoints. Reader comments become the property of OMNS and may or may not be used for publication.

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