(Ascorbic acid/ascorbates plus bioflavonoids, etc.) by Phillip Day

Dr Linus Pauling, often known as the ‘Father of Vitamin C’ and twice awarded the Nobel Prize (both unshared – a record), declared that large intakes of up to 10 g of the vitamin complex each day aids anti-cancer activity within the body and also assists in repairing damaged arteries and removing arterial plaque (atherosclerosis) for heart disease sufferers. Pauling was largely derided for making these statements yet lived to be 94. Today, much higher doses of vitamin C complex are used by many practitioners for cancer/heart/stroke patients in nutritional therapy who believe Pauling was right and that the popular nutrient is indispensable to the body in its fight to regain health from cancer.

Heat destroys vitamin C. This means that for every meal you cook, 100% of the vitamin C content has been destroyed if it has been treated to sustained heat. Many go through an entire winter cooking their food because they like something warm. Since humans cannot make vitamin C in their bodies (unlike most mammals), and our only source of this valuable complex is dietary, vitamin C deficiency during the winter is extremely common, hence the need for supplementation and a high percentage of our diet to comprise raw, living, organic, whole plant-foods.

Vitamin C is not one nutrient but a complex of factors common in fruits, vegetables and many other foods. Several studies have suggested that vitamin C may reduce levels of lead in the blood. Epidemiological studies have shown that people with elevated blood serum levels of vitamin C had lower levels of blood toxicity. An examination of the data from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, enrolling 4,213 youths aged 6 to 16 years and 15,365 adults 17 years and older from 1988 to 1994, found a correlation between low serum ascorbic acid levels and elevated blood lead levels. The authors conclude that high ascorbic acid intake may reduce blood lead levels.1

Ascorbic acid or the non-acidic ascorbates (calcium or magnesium ascorbates) should be taken along with bioflavonoids and a healthy, majority-raw, alkalising, plant-based diet for optimum effects. Effective supplementing is all about obtaining optimal blood plasma levels of the nutrient, say Drs. Steven Hickey and Hilary Roberts in their book, Ascorbate:

An individual who wanted protection from, say, the common cold by taking vitamin C, would raise their blood levels more effectively by taking divided doses or slow-release formulations…. If a single dose of vitamin C raises blood levels for about six hours or one quarter of the day, the subject is unprotected for the other three quarters of the time…. The biochemical data supports Pauling’s hypothesis that, for a large proportion of the population, the optimal dose of vitamin C is several grams a day…. A single megadose tablet will only raise blood levels for a short period and is likely to be therapeutically ineffective. The aim is to raise plasma levels consistently and this requires either multiple tablets taken at short intervals throughout the day, or the use of slow release formulations.” 2

One of the greats of mega-dose vitamin C therapy was Frederick Robert Klenner MD, who was curing viral illness in the 1940’s using large amounts of the nutrient. He advocated a therapeutic use of vitamin C amounting to 350 mg of vitamin C per kilogram body weight per day (350 mg/kg/day), in divided doses.3 A kilogram is about 2.2 pounds, so:

mg of Vit “C”


Number of doses

Amount per dose

35,000 mg

220 lb


2,000 mg

18,000 mg

110 lb


1,000 mg

9,000 mg

55 lb


500 mg

4,500 mg

28 lb


500 mg

2,300 mg

14-15 lb


250 mg

1,200 mg

7-8 lb


130 - 135 mg

Which makes a mockery of the ridiculous 60 mg RDA set by government departments around the world. Andrew Saul PhD, editor-in-chief of The Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine, is a big fan of mega-dose vitamin C, and has two of the best websites on the subject.4 He introduces us to Dr Robert Cathcart III, an orthopaedic surgeon and inventor of a widely used hip replacement prosthetic, who advocated doses of vitamin C, often in excess of 100,000 mg per day, to reduce severe inflammation. In decades of practice Dr Cathcart effectively administered such treatment to tens of thousands of patients, titrating the amount of C given to ‘bowel tolerance’, i.e. to the point where dosage brought on diarrhoea, indicating a saturation of tissues. Many of his patients suffered from arthritis, back pain, or injury; some had ankylosing spondylitis.5 Andrew Saul writes:

For those unable to obtain intravenous vitamin C, it is essential to pay special attention to one of the most important aspects of vitamin C therapy: dividing the dosage improves absorption and retention of vitamin C. High oral doses of vitamin C yield higher blood levels of the vitamin, and dividing the oral doses maintains those higher levels. Although initially seeming almost too obvious to mention, these are not self-evident concepts. Many a medical website and government-based dietary recommendation hinge on ignoring them. Hilary Roberts, PhD, writes: “Stressed and even mildly ill people can tolerate 1,000 times more vitamin C, implying a change in biochemistry that was ignored in creating the RDA. In setting the RDA, unsubstantiated risks of taking too much vitamin C have been accorded great importance, whereas the risks of not taking enough have been ignored. Real scientists understand that ‘no scientific proof’ is a fancy way of saying ‘we don’t like this idea.’”6

There is a hate campaign against vitamin C promulgated by the medical community, drug industry and their paid shills in the media. People are being told vitamin C doesn’t work or, more ridiculously, that it can harm you. The world witnessed the amazing case of New Zealand farmer Allan Smith, who was put on ECMO life-support after contracting white-out pneumonia through swine flu. Doctors were prevented from switching off Allan’s machinery only after his sons threatened court action if his father was not continually administered intravenous vitamin C. Allan’s recovery was swift and damning after the appalling spectacle of officialdom scoffing at ‘useless’ vitamin C as they repeatedly attempted to stop the treatment. Watch his story on the Credence homepage to understand precisely what you are up against.7

Such quoted studies which damn vitamin C as ‘useless’, when conducted at all, are low-dose trials around 100 - 200 mg. Other stories spook the public that vitamin C is harmful. These are utterly without foundation. There is not one scientific paper which shows high intakes of vitamin C cause kidney stones or any other problem. When too much is taken, the bowels become loose – the so-called bowel tolerance threshold – which is actually the best indicator of tissues saturated with C.

If you are sick, one effective way of high-dosing C is to get a glass bottle (1 – 1.5 litres), put in 20 - 30 g of vitamin C powder and fill with water, then drink throughout the day. Replenish when necessary. This ensures high potency dosage is delivered on a regular basis simultaneously with water intake. Vitamin C is very safe for kids and highly effective when they get fevers or childhood ailments. For adults, mega-dose vitamin C (oral and IV) is effective for all forms of infection, flu, muscle weakness, muscle pain, chronic lower back pain, general pain management, periodontitis, etc. Andrew Saul concludes:

Dr. Klenner recommended daily preventive doses of 10,000 to 15,000 mg/day. He advised parents to give their children their age in vitamin C grams (1 g = 1,000 mg). That would be 2,000 mg/day for a two year old, 9,000 mg/day for a nine year old, and for older children, a levelling-off at about 10,000 mg/day. As for me, I simply say, “Take enough C to be symptom free, whatever that amount may be.” It worked for my family. I raised my children all the way into college and they never had a dose of any antibiotic. Not once. It is high time for medical professionals to welcome vitamin C megadoses and their power to cure the sick. Cure is by far the best word there is in medicine. It would seem that you cannot spell “cure” without “C.” I do not think Dr. Klenner would dispute that.”

Because smoking lowers levels of ascorbic acid in the body, researchers theorised that vitamin C supplementation may affect blood lead levels in smokers. A clinical study was performed on 75 adult men 20 to 30 years of age who smoked at least one pack of cigarettes per day, but had no clinical signs of ascorbic acid deficiency or lead toxicity. Subjects were randomly assigned to daily supplementation with placebo, 200 mg of ascorbic acid, or 1000 mg of ascorbic acid. After one week of supplementation, there was an 81% decrease in blood-lead levels in the group taking 1000 mg of ascorbic acid daily.8

Intravenous (IV) C: Studies show that when vitamin C is given intravenously in mega-doses, it is selectively toxic to cancer cells. Dosage varies from 30,000 mg to 200,000 mg IV/24 hours, sometimes more. There are no reported side-effects at the highest doses aside from a dry mouth and a spacey feeling in the head. The treatment is thought to work by producing large amounts of hydrogen peroxide at the cancer site (massive oxygen). Recent press reports of the effectiveness of this simple treatment have rekindled the public’s interest.9 Sadly, the pharmaceutical/medical establishment remains sceptical, chiefly due to the treatment’s lack of profitability and patentability.10 states:

There are many good reasons to give large quantities of vitamin C to a cancer patient. Ascorbic acid strengthens the collagen ‘glue’ that holds healthy cells together and retards the spread of an existing tumor. The vitamin also strengthens the immune system and provides a surprising level of pain relief.

But there is more. Vitamin C has been shown to be preferentially toxic to cancer cells. Laboratory and clinical studies indicate that, in high enough doses, one can maintain blood plasma concentrations of ascorbic acid high enough to selectively kill tumor cells. If you have not heard about this, it is probably because most of the best publicized (but worst designed) vitamin C and cancer studies simply have not utilized high enough doses. Now, however, Hugh Riordan MD and colleagues have treatment data which ‘demonstrate the ability to sustain plasma levels of ascorbic acid in humans above levels which are toxic to tumor cells in vitro and suggests the feasibility of using AA as a cytotoxic chemotherapeutic agent.’”

VITAMIN P (bioflavonoids): another part of the Vitamin C ‘complex’. Dr Albert Szent-Gyorgi, 1937 Nobel Laureate for his isolation of vitamin C, later found other factors intrinsic to the action of C. Originally believed to be a single nutrient, vitamin C became the subject of further testing by Szent-Gyorgi, who fought long and hard to have the co-factor (bio)flavonoids included in the C complex. Coining the new bioflavonoids ‘Vitamin P’, Szent-Gyorgi argued that they were essential for proper cellular health, derived from plant pigments known as the flavonols and flavones. Bioflavonoids are widely accepted today for their health benefits and are available in hydroxylated and methoxylated forms. They are derived from the pith of fruits (mostly citrus). The term ‘Vitamin P’, on the other hand, has been less well received by the medical czars.

For more information on Vitamin C, obtain a copy of my booklet, The Essential Guide to Vitamin C.