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Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, December 3, 2007

Antibiotics and Vitamins Work Together

(OMNS Dec 3, 2007) The benefits of using vitamin C together with antibiotics are considerable. In a controlled trial with dairy cows with infected udders, high dose vitamin C has been shown to have synergistic effects when used with antibiotics. [1] The cows were divided into two groups. One group was treated with antibiotics alone, and the other group was treated with antibiotics and the human equivalent of 10,000 mg/day injections of vitamin C. The vitamin C group got well much sooner: in just over half the time.

In humans, an astoundingly high 120,000 mg/day (nearly 2,000 times the RDA) of vitamin C delivered intravenously has been demonstrated to accelerate healing of burned skin in a blinded clinical trial. [2] 1,000 to 3,000 mg/day (100 times the RDA) of niacin is a standard treatment for controlling cholesterol. [3] Similar doses of niacin have been demonstrated to reduce inflammation [4] and to reduce injury to the brain after strokes. [5]

Extensive evidence shows that vitamin D serves as an important regulator of immune system responses. [6] Many of these regulatory pathways are optimized when vitamin D is present in the bloodstream at levels considerably higher than average values in the American population. Regular vitamin D supplementation, by taking a daily multivitamin and an additional daily 1,000 IU of vitamin D, is recommended. In addition, a one-time dose of up to 5,000 IU of vitamin D at the onset of a serious bacterial infection should be considered. Physicians now have access to routine tests of vitamin D status. Periodic blood testing is recommended for anyone regularly taking very large amounts of vitamin D.

Physicians managing life-threatening bacterial infections have many options for administering vitamin C and niacin. The simplest is oral supplementation at modest doses of 2,000 to 10,000 mg/day of vitamin C and 100 to 500 mg/day of time-release niacin or "no flush" niacin (inositol hexaniacinate). Injections can be used to deliver much higher doses directly to the site of infection. For improved at-home management of respiratory infections, extra vitamin C, vitamin D and niacin should be taken along with antibiotics or other prescribed medication.

There are now dozens strains of antibiotic resistant bacteria. They are estimated to kill about 100,000 Americans per year, more than AIDS, breast cancer, and auto accidents combined. High potency vitamin supplementation can prevent many of these deaths and speed recovery.


[1] Naresh, Ram; Dwivedi, S. K.; Swarup, D.; Patra, R. C. Evaluation of ascorbic acid treatment in clinical and subclinical mastitis of Indian dairy cows. Asian-Australasian Journal of Animal Sciences, 2002. 15(6), 905-911.
[2] Dubick, Michael A.; Williams, Chad; Elgjo, Geir I.; Kramer, George C. High-dose vitamin C infusion reduces fluid requirements in the resuscitation of burn-injured sheep. Shock, 2005. 24(2), 139-144.
[3] Brown, B. Greg. Can niacin slow the development of atherosclerosis in coronary artery disease patients already taking statins? Nature Clinical Practice Cardiovascular Medicine, 2005. 2(5), 234-235.
[4] Yu, Bi-lian; Zhao, Shui-ping. Anti-inflammatory effect is an important property of niacin on atherosclerosis beyond its lipid-altering effects. Medical Hypotheses, 2007. 69(1), 90-94.
[5] Maynard, Kenneth I. Natural neuroprotectants after stroke. Science & Medicine (Narberth, PA, 2002). 8(5), 258-267.
[6] Tavera-Mendoza, L.E. and White, John H. Cell Defenses and the Sunshine Vitamin. Scientific American, November 2007, 62-72.

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