I was only 17 years old when my dad died from cancer. He was only 45. I have felt vulnerable and very mortal ever since. It’s one of those things that got me first questioning the medical system, and investigating the importance of nutrition. But even though many of my health choices are much better than my dad’s, I still live in a toxic environment with chronic stress, and I think I may have even been born with a weaker constitution than he was. So, the threat of cancer still lingers in my mind.
That may sound like bordering on hypochondria, but considering the estimation that 1 in 3 women (and 1 in 2 men) will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime, I’d say it’s pretty realistic to take measures to try to prevent it.
Something else that hangs out on the back burner of my mind is infectious diseases. How do I treat my child if he or she becomes ill with measles, pertussis, influenza, or other infectious illnesses that are usually just a big bump in the road of life for a healthy child, but can potentially turn serious and life-threatening in someone who is immune compromised? (Note: anyone who isn’t getting all the nutrition they need is immune compromised.)
I truly believe that having enough nutrition in our bodies can save our lives or our children’s lives from disease. But there is one particular nutrient that really stands out as being potentially life-saving. It is vitamin C.
Amazing Vitamin C
I listened to many of the talks from the My Healthy Child Summit as well as the Immune Defense Summit, and three of them covered vitamin C extensively. Dr Thomas E Levy spoke on vitamin C in both summits. He had a lot to say about it!
According to my notes I took during the two summits, vitamin C:
- helps the body to make antibodies
- is the ultimate anti-toxin
- is the ultimate antihistamine
- stimulates and supports immunity by at least 20 different mechanisms
- helps prevent vaccine damage
- augments the antibody response to vaccines
- cures childhood infectious diseases, rendering vaccines unnecessary
- is considered better than vaccines by Dr Levy
Wow, right? Dr Suzanne Humphries, vaccine awareness advocate, talks about how vitamin C can treat infectious diseases and has a vitamin C protocol for pertussis (whooping cough) and tetanus. Dr Humphries says vitamin C works better than the vaccine for tetanus. Regardless of whether you vaccinate or not, it sure sounds like vitamin C is a really good thing to take, especially during vaccination or an infection.
Dr Levy talked about cancer as being a result of oxidative stress. In fact, he said cancer is oxidative stress. I remember when I was 17 I was reading about cancer when my dad was ill, and I remember reading about antioxidants and how they were important for reversing or preventing cancer. According to Dr Levy, vitamin C is the ultimate antioxidant. That means it’s really important for treating and preventing cancer.
Some of the acute illnesses mentioned in his talk that can be cured with vitamin C are:
- sepsis (this is the #1 cause of death in hospital patients)
- colds and flus
- other childhood illnesses
Dr Paul Marik was mentioned for his study of vitamin C in sepsis patients. Sepsis is the number one cause of death in hospital patients. Someone very close to me almost died a couple years ago from sepsis. Bacterial infections in the blood are very scary! But vitamin C used intravenously can reduce mortality significantly. He spoke of a patient that was expected to die, but a vitamin C IV drip was placed, and in the morning he was doing well. In a study, fatality from sepsis dropped from 45% to 8% by using just 1500mg of vitamin. That isn’t even a very high dose. 50-100 grams (50,000-100,000 miligrams) is considered a better amount for sepsis. Sadly, this very safe treatment is not routinely used in hospitals. Some doctors and nurses flat out refuse to do it, even if it is requested, because it hasn’t been “proven” by “rigorous” studies. Not sure why you need a rigorous study to use something that is extremely safe, especially when the patient already has almost a 50% chance of dying….
Dr Levy suggests a protocol to help heal the body of oxidative stress.
- Address the cause of oxidative stress. Most of us have chronic infections that continuously cause oxidative stress in the body. I will write about that in another post, but a major thing to look at is hidden infections in the oral cavity (the mouth).
- Undo oxidative stress to cells by taking different forms of vitamin C: Sodium Ascorbate, liposomal, ascorbyl palmitate, and intravenous.
- Achieve total body saturation (see dosage below).
Your ideal dose is whatever gets you to total body saturation. The way to test this is to take several doses of vitamin C throughout the day until you start to get loose stool, then back off a little so you stop having loose stools. Note that the loose stool is from excess vitamin C in the bowels pulling water into the bowels. It is helpful to take vitamin C with food to avoid too much vitamin C rushing into the bowels. When taken with food, more of it will be absorbed.
There is no toxic level of vitamin C! If you get loose bowels you will know you need to back off, but the vitamin C itself will not overload in your body. The body takes what it needs, and excretes the rest.
Stick with the above-mentioned types of vitamin C. Sodium ascorbate is wonderful because it is relatively inexpensive and you can get it in a powder or chewables. It is about 11% sodium, so it has a light salty taste to it, but otherwise has little flavor. It is very easy to put into smoothies, sprinkle a little onto food (make sure the food isn’t too hot), in some juice or water kefir (my preference), or simply put some in your mouth and chase with a glass of water. When I was treating my baby for a chronic cough, I would give it to him off a baby spoon and he would drink some water to wash it down (the sodium ascorbate was very effective for the cough, by the way).
You may be wondering what dosage to start with. Some vitamin C advocates suggest several grams a day. Dr Levy recommends for children, as a starting point to take 1 gram (1000 mg) per year of life (so 1 gram for a one year old, 5 grams for a five year old, etc) divided throughout the day. Then work up till saturation is reached. I’m not sure where to start as an adult. Maybe 10 grams? Just start somewhere. Even one gram for an adult will help and is way better than nothing.
During illness (acute or chronic), the body’s requirement for vitamin C goes up. This is because the immune system’s first defense, the macrophages, use 8000% the amount of vitamin C as most other cells in the body. These are the cells that “eat up” infectious organisms. I have misplaced my notes on this part of the talk, but apparently vitamin C is really important in fighting off viruses, bacteria and fungi. At the first sign of illness, Dr Levy recommends taking vitamin C to saturation.
Dr Levy calls vitamin C a panacea for acute infectious illness, but not for chronic illness. However, it does still help with all illnesses because all illnesses are the result of oxidative stress, and vitamin C reverses oxidative stress. The important thing is that the vitamin C can reach the cells that are inflamed with oxidative stress. I’m thinking this is why total saturation is important–so all the cells in the body are getting the vitamin C they need. Keep in mind that while sodium ascorbate is a great starting point, the other forms of vitamin C work a little differently (i.e. liposomal is fat soluble rather than water soluble, and IV vitamin C goes straight into the bloodstream), so it may be prudent to take all the recommended forms to achieve greatest improvement, particularly from chronic or serious illness.
I will point out, however, that Dr Levy warns not to avoid antibiotics when antibiotics are clearly indicated. Serious infections may not resolve without them, but the vitamin C will help them be more effective. Also, just like with anitbiotics, you want to continue with high dose saturation level vitamin C for at least two days after the symptoms have disappeared, so that the infection doesn’t come back with a vengeance.
Also, please don’t attempt to treat serious illness without the help of a qualified health practitioner. You may wish to use vitamin C in addition to other treatments.
But Synthetic Vitamins?
I know, I know. We should try to get all our nutrition from food. The problem is that there isn’t enough vitamin C in our food anymore, and there are so many toxins in our environment that we can’t possibly keep up with food alone. Maybe a healthy person living in a pristine environment and living on lots of fresh, wild foods high in vitamin C wouldn’t need to supplement, but I don’t think that is most of us. Food supplements like acerola cherry and amla powders don’t have enough vitamin C in them to combat serious infections or deal with a heavy toxic burden. They sure are better than nothing, though, and probably have some benefits of their own. It may be beneficial to take these alongside sodium ascorbate and the other recommended forms of vitamin C, as well as eating plenty of fresh produce.
I wanted to save the vaccine topic for another post, but I will cover it briefly here because vaccinations are a regular occurrence in our world, and each vaccination has the potential to cause harm, or even a fatal reaction. All vaccines contain toxins, and toxins cause oxidative stress, which cause inflammation and disease. Because vitamin C is an antioxidant, it can protect against vaccine damage.
Dr Levy mentioned a group of aboriginal infants who were extremely vitamin C deficient. When these infants were vaccinated, 1 in 2 died. When the infants were then supplemented with vitamin C before their vaccinations, the fatal reactions stopped. (Read an interview with the doctor who discovered this correlation here. This article about him mentions his belief in a link between vitamin C and SIDS, but conveniently leaves out the bit about vaccines.)
Helen Saul Case from the My Healthy Child Summit shared how her daughter had a serious reaction to a vaccine at age 15 months (excessive shrieking and loss of coordination, which could indicate encephalitis), which they treated successfully with vitamin C, and then when she had to be vaccinated again to enter school, they gave her vitamin C at saturation level before and after the vaccinations, and she had no adverse reactions.
Vitamin C is considered very safe, and seems to me to be a very reasonable precaution to take when vaccinating. It can be taken in the days before a vaccination, during (in the doctor’s office right before the injection) and in the days after vaccinations for best effect.
The Bottom Line
Vitamin C protects against toxins, bacteria, viruses and fungi by stopping or reversing the oxidative stress they cause to the cells of the body. Oxidative stress (inflammation) causes disease symptoms, can potentially lead to cancer, and can potentially cause organs to stop working, which, depending on the organ, can lead to death. Vitamin C has the potential to literally save your life.