Hypoascorbemia; Vitamin C therapy

Ascorbic acid, a.k.a Vitamin C, is a water-soluble compound that is sensitive to UV radiation, heat, and oxygen. Albert Szent-Györgi, PhD, won the 1937 Nobel Prize for his discovery of vitamin C

The total body content of ascorbic acid is 1-5 g, and the daily turnover is 45-60 mg (3% of the total). The absorption of ascorbic acid occurs in the ileum, and it is 85% efficient. The body does NOT store ascorbic acid, and the half-life of ascorbate in the body is 30 minutes 

Ascorbic acid has been known to have many functions in the body, including: Neutralizes toxins, Anti-viral effect, Anti-histamine effect, Anti-clotting effect, and Anti-oxidant effect. The following diseases are always associated with vitamin C deficiency: Autoimmune disorders (e.g., Multiple sclerosis), Collagen disorders (e.g., Rheumatoid arthritis), chronic infections (e.g., Herpes), Hemorrhage cases, Scarring (e.g., Bed sores), Diabetics & Cancers

Hypoascorbemia is a term coined by Dr. Irwin Stone in 1966 to describe a global congenital inborn error of carbohydrate metabolism in man characterized by absence of the enzyme “L-gulonolactone oxidase”, which catalyzes the 4th and the final stage of ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) formation from glucose in the liver

In hypoascorbemia, man suffers from chronic, subclinical form of “Scurvy”. In contrast, mammals and plants produce their own vitamin C on a daily basis. The normal mammal’s secretion of ascorbic acid reaches up to 10 g/day in un-stressful condition, and up to 300 g/day in stressful conditions. A well-nourished human contain not much more than 5 g of vitamin C in their bodies

Vitamin C deficiency by human race is a global phenomenon. The body is adapted since birth for this deficiency; therefore, it won’t show-up the classical symptoms of scurvy until the very late stage, which the medical system considers them the diagnostic manifestations of scurvy. The medical system recommended dose for preventing scurvy symptoms is 45 mg, and they consider toxicity starts from 150 mg; this logic consider ascorbic acid as a “Vitamin” that the body needs as a “Trace element”, and NOT consider ascorbic acid as a vital metabolic liver metabolite that is needed in considerable quantities on a daily basis to get the optimal health 

To correct subclinical scurvy, or hypoascorbemia, the person has to take at least what animals produce in un-stressful situation, which equals 5-10 g of vitamin C per day. It is very difficult to get this amount from food, as 22 kilograms of boiled potatoes can give you up to 3 g of vitamin C!! Under heavy stress (e.g., cancer, infections …etc.), you can go up to 20-40 g per day for several months without any complications 

Ewan Cameron and Linus Pauling have published in 1973 that ascorbate is a good inhibitor of the enzyme “Hyaluronidase”, which is sued by cancer cells to dissolve the collagen around them. Dividing cells, including cancer cells, typically produce large amounts of hyaluronidase enzyme to permit their migration. In other word, administration of ascorbic acid in cancer can inhibits the cancer growth 

Professor John T. A. Ely in the 1970s proposed the “Glucose-Ascorbate Antagonism Theory”, which states that: since ascorbic acid is made-up of glucose, both ascorbic acid and glucose needs insulin to enter the cells, and that high glucose level in the serum antagonize the entry of ascorbic acid into the cells; therefore, diabetics have severe deficiency in ascorbic acid because of high serum glucose and lack of insulin. In fact, you can relate many diabetic complications to the severe deficiency in vitamin C (e.g., poor wound healing). Moreover, low ascorbic acid level is associated with Langerhans cells degeneration, further augmenting the relationship between vitamin C deficiency and diabetes

Vitamin C & Cancer

The theory of this treatment is based on the fact that Vitamin C is so similar to glucose, that cells, and especially cancer cells, consume vitamin C the same way they would consume glucose.  Because cancer cells consume 15 times more glucose than normal cells, under the right conditions, cancer cells should consume 15 times more vitamin C than a normal cell. While normal cells benefit from vitamin C, the microbes inside of the cancer cells may be killed by vitamin C. It is microbes which are inside of the cancer cells which cause cancer and which force a cancer cell to remain cancerous

Ascorbic acid when is taken by a cancer cell is oxidized to “Ascorbate acid radical(AA.) by “Metalloprotein catalysts(Mn-1) in the cancer cell. The metalloprotein radical donates its electron to oxygen in the cancer cell forming superoxide radical (O2-), which is then united with 2 hydrogen molecules forming hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), the ultimate cancer killer. This work was documented by Dr. Mark Levine 

The cytotoxic effect of ascorbic acid on cancer cells comes from its formation of “Hydrogen peroxide” within cancer cells after they take it. Ascorbic acid has a similar structure like glucose. When cancer cells uptake it, it is oxidized within them and transformed into “Dehydroascorbate

In cancer cells, ascorbic acid forms hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), and because cancer cells lack the enzyme supeoxide dismutase (SOD), which detoxify H2O2 to O and H2O, the DNA of cancer cells is damaged and they die. ROS activates NF-kB, which can be silenced by vitamin C in high dosage (e.g., from 8-20 g)


Selected references

1. Levy TE. Curing the Incurable: Vitamin C, Infectious Diseases, and Toxins. 2009; Livon Books; 3rd edition


2. Stone I, Pauling L, Szent-Gyorgyi A. The healing factor: "Vitamin C" against disease. 1972; Grosset & Dunlap; 1st edition


3. Pauling L. How to Live Longer and Feel Better. 2006; Oregon State University Press; 1st edition


4. González MJ et al. Orthomolecular oncology review: ascorbic acid and cancer 25 years later. Integrative Cancer Therapies 2005; 4(1): 32-44

5. Cameron E et al. The orthomolecular treatment of cancer I. The role of ascorbic acid in host resistance. Chem Biol Interact 1974; 9:273-283

6. Cameron E et al. The orthomolecular treatment of cancer II. Clinical trial of high-dose ascorbic acid supplements in adcanced human cancer. Chem Biol Interact 1974; 9:285-315

7. Akikusa JD et al. Scurvy: forgotten but not gone. J. Paediatr. Child Health 2003; 39: 75-77