Autoimmune Thyroid Disease

An Unfortunate and Lengthy Adventure in Misdiagnosis

Interesting vitamin C article

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These are quotes taken from an interesting article that exposes the flawed methodology that was used in establishing the current RDA for vitamin C.

Firstly, there’s the whole “five a day” rubbish:

NIH investigators assert 5 servings of fresh fruits and vegetables provide about 200 milligrams of vitamin C and that the diet should be sufficient to reach optimal blood levels. Vitamin C pills are not required, period.

This is where the five-a-day advice originated. I don’t know what food database the NIH researchers were using (some made up one perhaps), but you are never going to achieve 200mg of vitamin C per day through food unless you are very, very careful about which five fruits and vegetables you eat. Five random fruits and vegetables do not even achieve your RDA. The five fruits and vegetables would have to include a combination of the following choices:

  • 3 medium sized oranges (freshly picked, not intensively grown)
  • 3 acerola fruit (have you ever even seen one outside of Australia?)
  • A medium sweet red bell pepper (freshly picked, not intensively grown)
  • 2 cups of broccoli (I dare you)
  • 2 1/2 cups of Brussels sprouts (I dare you)

No other fruits and vegetables would conceivably give you anywhere near this amount of vitamin C in edible quantities. “Five a day” is the kind of diluted advice we end up with once our medical authorities get hold of it, yank out the heart, twist it beyond recognition, and spit it out in sound bites. Then the general public go and drink Sunny Delight, a banana-and-an-apple for lunch and some mashed potato for tea and think they’re doing just great.

Hickey and Roberts note indisputable flaws in the RDA for vitamin C. NIH scientists waited 12 hours before measuring the concentration of ascorbic acid in the blood circulation to develop an RDA for 280 million people. Hickey and Roberts show that NIH investigators failed to calculate for the half life of vitamin C, which is about 30 minutes in humans. (The half life is the time it takes for something to disappear from the human body.) “To be blunt,” says Hickey, “the NIH gave a dose of vitamin C, waited until it had been excreted, and then measured blood levels.” Then, 24 half-lives later, NIH researchers concluded this was the saturation level.

It’s also obvious there weren’t enough subjects tested to develop adequate conclusions. The NIH only studied 7 and 15 subjects in the two studies they used to develop the RDA. Also, there was the false assumption that concentrations of vitamin C in blood plasma reflect the need for vitamin C in other tissues throughout the body. The brain has ten times greater vitamin C concentration than the blood plasma. A 1991 study found that 2000 mg of daily vitamin C increased vitamin C levels by 22-32 percent in the human eye over levels achieved by taking 148 milligrams.

The page shows a small graph detailing the blood concentrations of vitamin C after various different doses. The conclusions that one must draw from the graph is that if you want to optimise your vitamin C blood level, you need to take 2.5 grams of vitamin C four times a day. This is in fact, exactly what the Rath protocol does.

The article goes on to discuss the implications for the use of a bogus RDA on people’s health, now the Codex Alimentarius intends to ban sales of vitamins containing quantities larger than RDA, and the implications for health of taking 2.5 grams of vitamin C per day in divided doses of 500mg.

It includes the following line: “The incidence of aortic aneurysms (bulging and possible rupture) would be virtually eliminated. [Med Sci Monitor 10: 1-4, 2004]”

If only I could have told my mum that five years ago before she had a brain aneurysm! She was taking HRT and ibuprofen at the time. Ibuprofen is an NSAID just like aspirin, and salicylates interfere with vitamin C.


Written by alienrobotgirl

27 March, 2006 at 12:50 pm

Posted in Vitamins

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