Significance of High Daily Intake of
Ascorbic Acid in Preventive
Frederick Robert Klenner, M.D., F.C.C.P., A.A.F.P.,
Private practice, Reidsville, N. C.
Frederick Robert Klenner, B.S., M.S., M.D., F.C.C.P., A.A.F.P., after graduating Duke
University School of Medicine, March, 1936, took three years of hospital training and then
entered the private practice of medicine at Reidsville, N.C. Although specializing in
diseases of the chest, Dr. Klenner is engaged in a limited general practice which has
enabled him to make observations on the use of massive doses of ascorbic acid in virus
diseases as well as on other pathological syndromes. He has published 28 scientific papers
on these observations and has given numerous lectures to civic and other groups. Dr.
Klenner is a Fellow of the American Association for Advancement of Science; Fellow and
Diplomate of The International College of Applied Nutrition; Fellow of The Royal Society
of Health, London, England; Honorary Fellow of The International Academy of Preventive
Medicine and a member and fellow of many other medical and scientific organizations.
The American Medical Association in its introduction to Nostrums, Quackery and
Pseudo-Medicine states: “In from 80 to 85 per cent of all cases of human ailment,
it is probable that the individual will get well whether he does something for his
indisposition or does nothing for it. The healing power of nature, fortunately for
biologic perpetuity, works that way.” These percentages are relative. Increased
population and greater concentration in terms of living patterns, as well as other types
of insult to the body, will frequently change this index. As physicians we have a duty to
get the patient well, irrespective of his chance for self-healing with diet or herbs.
Hippocrates once declared, “Of several remedies physicians should choose the least
sensational.” Vitamin C would seem to meet this requirement.
The Virus Story
The common cold has received renewed interest since publication of Pauling’s book.
 Brody,  in 1953, after
studying vitamin C and its effect on colds in college students, advised that ascorbic acid
be given early and often and in sufficient amounts. This confirmed what we had been
experiencing and reporting over a period of several years. The response that we observed
with massive and frequent doses of ascorbic acid in treating the common cold alerted us to
the real significance of this treatment in preventive medicine. In February 1948,  I published my
first paper on the use of massive doses of vitamin C in treating virus pathology. By
February 1960, 
some 25 scientific papers later, I realized that every head cold must be considered as a
probable source of brain pathology. Many have died, especially children, following the
sudden development of cerebral manifestations secondary to even a slight head and/or chest
cold. These insidious cerebral happenings are responsible for the so-called crib deaths
attributed to suffocation. They die by suffocation, but by way of a syndrome similar to
that found in cephalic tetanus toxemia culminating in diaphragmatic spasm, with dyspnea
and finally asphyxia. These infants and children who have been put to bed apparently well,
except for an insignificant nasal congestion, will demonstrate bilateral pneumonitis at
autopsy. Adequate vitamin C, taken daily, will eliminate this syndrome. A similar
pathology, dubbed Crib Syndrome, is less acute but unless recognized and treated
heroically, the infant will also die. This condition is probably due to severe brain
trauma received at time of delivery. Laryngismus stridulous will be present in this
condition and the child will sound as if it has a cold. Calcium gluconate and massive,
frequent injections of vitamin C will also reverse this pathology. The recognized
treatment is daily oral dihydrotachysterol. Adequate ascorbic acid taken during the period
of gestation will also prevent the occurrence of this syndrome. The information relative
to crib syndrome is backed by case histories at Annie Penn Memorial Hospital, Reidsville,
N. C. I have seen children dead in less than two hours after hospital admission, having
received no treatment, simply because the attending physicians were not impressed with
their illness. A few grams of ascorbic acid, given by needle, while they waited for
laboratory procedures or examination to fit their schedule, could have saved their lives.
I know this to be a fact because I have been in similar situations and by routinely
employing ascorbic acid have seen death take a holiday. In a paper titled “An
Insidious Virus,”  I reasoned that
it should be a maxim of medicine for large doses of vitamin C to be given in all
pathological conditions while the physician ponders his diagnosis. The wisdom of this
dictum is backed by many hundred cases under our supervision. I have seen critically ill
chest patients well enough to go home after intravenous injection of 1 or 2 liters of 5%
dextrose in water, each carrying 50 gm ascorbic acid. This procedure resulted in a
dramatic transition from sickness to health.
Virus encephalitis can also be associated with the common cold as a result of the
presence of herpes simplex in cold sores. Lerner  and associates
believe that thousands of cases exist yearly from this route. Of this number, they
estimate that one third die; and of the survivors, eight out of nine have residual brain
damage. Their work suggests that passive hemaggluting antibodies in the cerebrospinal
fluid are a better indicator of the presence of infectious virus than are circulating
antibody titers in the serum. The simple herpes virus from the insignificant fever
blister, but possessing the capability of producing encephalitis, can remain hidden for
years in the neuron according to Drs. Stephens and Cook.  This confirms
the thinking of Goodpasture [ 8] given to us
many years ago. Thus, a herpes simplex virus once present in a cold sore, although healed
and leaving no evidence of lip pathology, could ignite later by simple exposure to
ultraviolet light. How many mothers are endangering the lives of their children by
sun-bathing, laboring under the belief that they are improving their health? Roizman [ 9] believes that
all children are infected by age 5, but that only 1% experience true clinical
illness. For many years investigators thought that each recurrence of fever blisters
represented a new infection. Evidence is accumulating that shows the herpes simplex virus
is harbored in dormant form until a physiologic or emotional event provokes the virus to
produce the typical herpetic lesion. In one case with five repeats of herpes virus
erupting at yearly intervals and at the same site, 7-10 gm ascorbic acid by mouth, daily,
was found to eliminate this pathology.
Effecting a cure when a virus is the offending agent, and many times bringing about
this change in the short space of 24 hours, is a rewarding moment in medicine. Vitamin C
treatment must be intensive to be successful. Use veins when practical, otherwise give
vitamin C intramuscularly. Never give less than 350 mg/kg body weight. This must be
repeated every hour for 6 to 12 times, depending upon clinical improvement, then every two
to four hours until the patient has recovered. Ice cubes held to the gluteal muscle before
and after injection will reduce or eliminate pain and induration. When treatment continues
for several days, the child can be placed on an ice cap between injections. When employing
vitamin C intravenously, it is best to use sodium ascorbate and the solution free of all
additives except sodium bisulfite. The dose of vitamin C using a syringe should range
between 350 mg and 400 mg/kg body weight. In older patients or when very high doses are
required the vitamin can be added to 5% dextrose in water, in saline solution or in
Ringer’s solution. The concentration should approximately be 1 gm to 18 cc fluid.
Bottle injections will need 1 gm calcium gluconate one to two times each day to replace
calcium ions removed by the high intravenous schedule. One quart of milk daily will
suffice when using the vitamin intramuscularly. In place of milk one can substitute
calcium gluconate tablets. Supplemental vitamin C is always given by mouth. As a guide in
determining the amount and frequency of injections we recommend our Silver Nitrate-Urine
test.  This
is done by placing ten drops of 5% silver nitrate in a Wasserman tube and adding ten drops
urine. A color pattern will develop showing white, beige, smoke gray or one that looks
like fine grain charcoal. Charcoal is the color needed and the test is performed at least
every four hours. The test itself is read in one minute.
These large doses of ascorbic acid will also bring all body tissue back to saturation
which means that the white blood cells will now be capable of destroying other pathogens
that might be clouding the picture. Unless the white blood cells are saturated with
ascorbic acid they are like soldiers without bullets. Research on this is now under way at
the Bowman Gray School of Medicine by McCall and Cooper.  White cells
ingest bacteria and in the process produce hydrogen peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide will
combine with ascorbic acid to produce a substance which is lethal to bacteria. I have seen
diphtheria, hemolytic streptococcus and staphylococcus infections clear within hours
following injections of ascorbic acid in a dose range of from 500 mg to 700 mg/kg body
weight given intravenously and run in through a 20G needle as fast as the patient’s
cardiovascular system would allow.
Part of the white cells are lymphocytes. They, too, play an important role in survival
from infection. We found in several cases of trichinosis  that the
behavior of the lymphocytes was the real story of the changing blood picture and actually
determined the course of the disease. Wintrobe [ 13] observed
that the function of the lymphocytes was stimulation of antibody formation and that the
lymphocytic response runs parallel with the recovery of the patient. This build-up of
antibodies appears directly proportional to the concentration of ascorbic acid in all body
tissue, and yet we give vaccines but pay no attention to the degree of tissue saturation
of ascorbic acid. Dr. Nossal  of the
Institute of Medical Research, Melbourne, Australia, wonders about the mechanism by which
lymphocytes, on meeting antigens, decide to be turned on or off. He asks what
physiological mechanism underlies the discrimination between immunization and the
induction of immunological tolerance and would suggest that it is controlled by vitamin C
which in turn affects the negative charge which then influences the response of the
lymphocyte. Ginter 
of the Research Institute of Human Nutrition, Bratislava, offers some evidence to this
effect in his statement: “that all reactions which are connected with vitamin C have
oxidation-reduction features. It is therefore probable that the biological function of
vitamin C can be located in the metabolic reactions which are connected with electron
The killing power of ascorbic acid is not limited to just herpes simplex and the
adenovirus. When proper amounts are used it will destroy all virus organisms. We found
measles to be a medical curiosity. Specifically we observe that vitamin C given
prophylactically, by mouth, was not protective unless 1 gm was given every two hours
around the clock. One gram every four hours would modify the attack. One gram given every
four hours intramuscularly was also protective. With our own children we kept the measle
syndrome going off and on for 30 days by giving 1 gm every two hours for two days, then
off for two days. The disease was then stopped by continuing 1 gm every two hours, by
mouth, for four days. By 1950 we learned that we could kill the measles virus in 24 hours
by giving intramuscular injections in a dose range of 350 mg/kg body weight every 2 hours.
We also found that we could dry up chicken pox in the same time, but more dramatic results
were obtained by giving 400 mg/kg body weight intravenously. Two to three injections in 24
hours were all that was required. We published these results in 1951.  Recently, we
cured a man weighing 85 kg in four days taking 30 gm each day by mouth. In conclusion, the
killing power of ascorbic acid on virus bodies has been demonstrated by me in hundreds of
cases, many of which were treated in our hospital with nothing but vitamin C. We have
published some 28 papers on this matter.
In certain individuals some virus conditions have a slower response. Herpes zoster and
mumps belong to this group. We found that in these conditions equally rapid destruction of
the virus could be effected through the use of adenosine-5-monophosphate. Adenosine was
given according to age and weight, 25 mg in children and 50-100 mg intramuscularly in
adults. This was given every 12 hours along with ascorbic acid. Adenosine will sometimes
precipitate a mild reaction in that the patient will feel a fullness in his head with
varying degrees of nausea. Inhalation of aromatic spirits of ammonia will quickly relieve
and, if used before injection, will prevent this condition. Their response, when adenosine
was administered, led us to theorize that when a cell has been invaded by a foreign
substance, like virus nucleic acid, enzymic action fostered by ascorbic acid contributes
to the breakdown of virus nucleic acid to adenosine deaminase which converts adenosine to
inosine. Some individuals cannot manufacture sufficient adenosine to cope with this phase
of purine metabolism under certain stress conditions associated with virus pathology. The
net result from this chemical action is to catabolize purines rendering them unavailable
for making additional virus nucleic acid. Ascorbic acid is further unique in that it
possesses the capability of entering all cells. After entering a virus infected cell,
ascorbic acid proceeds to take up the protein coats being manufactured by the virus
nucleic acid, thus preventing the assembly of new virus units. These newly made
macromolecules within the host cell soon create a situation where the tensile strength of
the cell membrane is exceeded with resulting rupture and cell death. Ascorbic acid, when
given in the massive amounts that accomplish full tissue saturation, will also enter those
cells harboring the so-called dormant virus. Where the vitamin C removes the protective
protein coat of the virus the micromolecule formed will act in the capacity of a repressor
factor inhibiting further activity of the virus nucleic acid which is then destroyed by
additional vitamin C. We offer as proof of this the instance of a patient having herpetic
lesions for five years and being cured with continuous high daily intake of ascorbic acid.
In acute virus infection, associated with a virusemia, ascorbic acid given intravenously
will remove the protein protective coat from the virus body, leaving the denuded virus
unit vulnerable to the leukocytes for destruction. Note that adrenal cortex extract and/or
desoxycorticosterone acetate must also be considered for support of the adrenals in a
The Cholesterol Story
Next in importance to the virus is the story of cholesterol. One must understand, as
noted by Ginter ,
that acute scurvy and chronic hypovitaminosis C are metabolically different conditions. On
this point the Food and Life Yearbook, 1939, U. S. Department of Agriculture, had this to
say: “Even when there is not a single outward symptom of trouble, a person may be in
a state of vitamin C deficiency more dangerous than scurvy itself. When such a condition
is not detected, and continues uncorrected, the teeth and bones will be damaged, and what
may be even more serious, the blood stream is weakened to the point where it can no longer
resist or fight infections not so easily cured as scurvy.”
Working with guinea pigs many research groups have proved that acute avitaminosis C
produces an increase m cholesterol concentration in the whole body. This increased
concentration of whole body cholesterol in scorbutic guinea pigs can be caused either by
increased biosynthesis or by slowed down cholesterol metabolism. The main pathway of
cholesterol catabolism is in conversion to bile salts. The stimulating effect of ascorbic
acid on the oxidation of polyunsaturated fatty acids and decreased oxidation of linolenic
acid in the tissues of scorbutic guinea pigs has been well documented. Mjasnikova [ 18] found that
intravenous injections of high doses of ascorbic acid to patients with high level blood
cholesterol is followed by a distinct decrease of cholesterolemia. It must be remembered
that the referred high doses of vitamin C employed by other scientists does not approach
the dose schedule that we recommend. For example, Tjapina  reported on
the effect of intravenous doses of 500 mg ascorbic acid on cholesterolemia in patients
suffering from atherosclerosis. The hypocholesterolemic effect from vitamin C was apparent
within one hour. With continued daily injections of 500 mg there was continued drop in
blood cholesterol. Spittle  showed that
blood cholesterol levels, in humans, vary with the amount of vitamin C employed. In our
own experience we lowered the blood cholesterol in one patient 42 points in six weeks by
increasing the vitamin C intake by mouth from 10 gm to 20 gm each day. Spittle advanced
the theory that atherosclerosis is a long-term deficiency or negative balance of vitamin
C, which permits cholesterol levels to build up in the arterial system and results in
changes in other fractions of the fats. Ginter  also
demonstrated that with a high cholesterol diet, guinea pigs used up all their dietary
vitamin C while rats and rabbits who manufacture their own vitamin C showed a gain in
ascorbic acid tissue levels. Ginter also showed that experimental animals given 50 mg
vitamin C each day had cholesterol deposits 40% lower than animals fed the same diet but
given only 5 mg of C daily. In a survey of 1000 school children Ginter et al showed
that 97% suffered from vitamin C lack during winter months when C-rich fruits and
vegetables were less abundant . The children
also showed corresponding rise in cholesterol. Czechoslovakian workers also reported that
when guinea pigs are fed a diet deficient in vitamin C and rich in cholesterol, they
frequently develop gallstones . Small reported
to the Society of University Surgeons in New Orleans in 1973 that when gallstones are
removed from patients they are 60%-70% cholesterol . This suggests a
causative factor in human gallstone formation. Reviewing the literature and summarizing
his own studies, Ginter concluded that there is no doubt that the daily intake of ascorbic
acid in the control of cholesterol will have a more pronounced effect in those persons who
are already saturated with vitamin C. Tjapina and many others have reported that when
amounts of ascorbic acid as low as 500 mg each day, by needle, were continued for 60 days,
the clinical picture in the majority of the patients was dramatic, especially concerning
the manifestations of coronary artery disease. Willis [ 25] reported that
in scorbutic guinea pigs, fatty deposits on the aorta were formed very quickly, even
without adding cholesterol to their diet. In 1957, Willis  found that when
ascorbic acid was given to these scorbutic guinea pigs, the atherosclerotic lesions were
quickly absorbed. Ascorbic acid is directly associated with the mechanism involved in the
pathogenesis of human atherosclerosis. Duguid  found
alterations of ground substance observed in atherosclerosis that produced experimentally
to be morphologically similar. Electrocardiographic tracings by Shafer  on scorbutic
animals showed that with prolonged vitamin C therapy, abnormalities disappeared entirely.
Stamler [ 29],
following the mortality rate for middle aged persons, found a significant drop with
improved nutrition with supplemental C.
We must protect our heart from stress. Adequate vitamin C is one answer. Asahina and
Asano  of
the Toho University School of Medicine in Tokyo found that the larger the dose of ascorbic
acid given to experimental rats, the longer they survived in decompression chambers in
which the air was made to approximate that found at elevations of 33,000 feet. When
ascorbic acid was given in amounts representing 14 gm in a human, only half their animals
expired. In humans we have observed that 30 gm in 24 hours is critical in any acute
situation. Had the Japanese doubled their vitamin C dose they probably would have had no
The Heavy Metal Story
Heavy metal poisoning is another morbid chapter in medicine. Lead poisoning comes from
many sources. Auto exhaust, smelter furnaces and storage battery factories lead the list.
Mercury takes second place. It is estimated that at least I million children in the U. S.
have some degree of lead poisoning. In 1964 Mokranjac and Petrovic [ 31] studied the
effect of mercury chloride in guinea pigs when ascorbic acid was administered in different
ways. They first gave each animal 200 mg of vitamin C a day for one week (this roughly
would represent 14 gm in a human) and then administered a dose of mercury proved
beforehand to be 100% fatal. They then continued to give 0.2 gm of vitamin C daily. After
20 days the animals were all alive proving that vitamin C had protected them from certain
death. If they gave vitamin C before and none after poisoning, two died. If vitamin C was
given daily after poisoning, nine of 25 died; and if a single massive shot was given after
poisoning, eight of 25 died. This again confirms that high daily intake of vitamin C will
protect one from many of the ills seen today. The same can be said for lead poisoning. One
of the more common types of lead poisoning is seen in long-term workers in lead storage
battery plants. All have subclinical scurvy. Adequate ascorbic acid intake would eliminate
the monthly blood examination for red cell stippling. The report by Dannenberg [ 32] that high
doses of ascorbic acid were without effect in treating lead intoxication in a child must
be ignored, since his extremely high dose was 25 mg by mouth four times a day and one
single daily injection of 250 mg of C. Had he administered 350 mg/kg body weight every two
hours, he would have seen the other side of the coin.
Monoxide poisoning is another killer or crippler. Persons living in most American
cities are frequently exposed to 100 ppm (that is, 115 mg/cu mm) of carbon monoxide in the
ambient air for varying periods of time and may attain carboxyhemoglobin blood levels up
to 10% .
Carboxyhemoglobin blood levels up to 7% have been reported in cigarette smokers. These
levels of carbon monoxide are quite capable of causing considerable interference with
tissue oxygenation in man by displacing oxygen from the hemoglobin molecule and shifting
the oxyhemoglobin dissociation curve to the left. Anderson [ 34] reports a
definite link between carbon monoxide, both in the atmosphere and in cigarette smoke, with
cardiac function. Normal coronary arteries can readily dilate and supply an increased
demand; while diseased coronary arteries (e.g., angina pectoris) may not be able to meet
this challenge. The hypoxic effect of carbon monoxide may act in a synergistic manner with
other factors operative in ischemic heart disease, outstripping the limited coronary
reserve and augmenting the production of stress-induced myocardial ischemia. Interesting
is the report by Pelletier [ 35] who has
shown experimentally that once you stop smoking, your ascorbic acid level approaches that
of the nonsmoker. Victims of house fires, especially children, succumb more often to
monoxide poisoning, which is overlooked in the course of treating the burn. Mayers  warns
physicians that symptoms of smoke poisoning might be delayed from 3 to 48 hours. In cases
of this nature ascorbic acid serves a dual purpose. A dose of 500 mg/kg body weight of
vitamin C given intravenously will immediately neutralize the carbon monoxide or smoke
poisoning while at the same time it will prevent blood sludging which is a major factor in
the development of third degree burns.
Other therapeutic effects of vitamin C include the following. Vitamin C will also
destroy pseudamonis, locally as a 3% spray and systemically with massive frequent
injections. This has been demonstrated in case histories on burns treated at Annie Penn
Memorial Hospital, Reidsville, N. C. It is a demonstrated principle that the production of
histamine and other end products from deaminized cell proteins, released by injury to
cells, is a cause of shock. The clinical value of ascorbic acid in combating shock is
explained when we realize that the deaminizing enzymes from the damaged cells are
inhibited by vitamin C. Chambers and Pollock [ 37] have
reported that mechanical damage to a cell results in pH changes which reverse the cell
enzymes from constructive to destructive activity. The destructive activity releases
histamine, a major shock-producing substance. Ascorbic acid, when present in sufficient
amounts, inhibits this enzyme transition.
Ascorbic acid will reverse shock found in other areas of medicine. In one patient who
had taken 2640 mg Lotusate (talbutal), the blood pressure was 60/0 when first seen in the
emergency room. Twelve gm sodium ascorbate was administered with a 50 cc syringe. In ten
minutes the blood pressure was recorded at 100/60. Over 100 additional grams were given
intravenously over the following three hours, at which time the patient was awake. Shock
from toxalbumin, neurotoxin, proteotoxin, muscarine and formic acid responds equally as
well to high doses of vitamin C. Keeping the tissues saturated will prevent such
experiences or make recovery by additional vitamin C a routine matter.
Blumberg, writing in Medical World News, noted that the discovery of the
Australian antigen raises hopes for an effective hepatitis vaccine. Many controversial
studies have been reported in the use of this antigen. Another controversial substance,
vitamin C, will cure viral hepatitis in two to four days and allow the patient to
immediately resume his usual activities. It should be given in a dose range of 500 to 700
mg/kg body weight every 8 to 12 hours. Our latest case was given 5 gm sodium ascorbate, as
crystals dissolved in 200 cc water or fruit juice, every 4 hours — i.e., 30 grams per
24-hour period. All symptoms and signs were removed in 96 hours. By contrast treating
virus hepatitis with an immunizing agent would possibly require several vaccines in a
single hepatic epidemic. If you want results, use adequate ascorbic acid.
The Cancer Story
The question of virus and cancer association is still academic. Herpes simplex causing
cervical cancer appears to be positive. We have cured many fever blisters by applying a 3%
ointment of vitamin C to the lip 10-15 times a day. This is put in a water soluble base. I
think that it is time for those women with a family history of cervical cancer to douche
with a 3% solution of ascorbic acid at the first report of cervical erosion. Tamponing
with a 3% solution should also be done by the physician. Twenty grams of vitamin C daily
by mouth along with local application of vitamin C could erase this form of malignancy.
Virus and breast cancer, which in the mouse has been established, seems likely to be
confirmed in women on the basis of a hereditary factor along with a virus role. Paul Broca
(1866) pointed out that ten of 24 women among his immediate forebears had died of cancer
of the breast. J. A. Murray (1911) demonstrated that mice with familial history of breast
cancer developed breast cancer at an incidence three times that of mice with no familial
history of tumor. Feller and associates found particles resembling type B and C viruses in
eight of 16 human milk specimens from women with breast cancer but in only one of 43
apparently cancer-free women. These are stepping stones which serve to give warning that
women from cancer-prone families should not breast feed their children. What will daily
high intake of vitamin C do in altering the breast cancer picture? The answer is waiting
for experimental work to be done with mice from knowledge gained from Bittner’s
classic cross-suckling experiment.
The role of ascorbic acid in treating virus cancer pathology can be seen with its
action in mononucleosis. Large doses of vitamin C, given intravenously, will eliminate
this virus in just a few days, the actual time being directly proportional to the amount
of the vitamin employed in relation to the severity of the infection. A research team at
Yale, after studying hundreds of college students, believe they have evidence that
associates the Epstein-Barr virus with Burkett lymphoma [38, 39]. This has
also been confirmed by researchers at Children’s Hospital, Philadelphia, Pa. Many
investigators have been working with immunological procedures for the treatment of
malignant disease. As we noted earlier, unless the patient’s tissues are saturated
with vitamin C, the response in this area will be negated. Massive employment of vitamin C
will make possible prolonged radiation therapy in late cases. It will also prevent
radiation burns. Who can say what 100 gm or 300 gm given intravenously, daily, for several
months might accomplish in cancer. The potential is so great and the employment so
elementary that only the illiterate will continue to deny its use. Schlegel [ 40] has
demonstrated that the use of ascorbic acid as low as 1.5 gm each day will prevent
recurrence of bladder cancer. This is the so-called wasted vitamin C.
Rous  has
found that just 3 gm daily, by mouth, for four days will completely relieve all symptoms
of urethritis. He believes that the urethral irritation is caused by phosphatic crystals
formed in the urine because of insufficient acidity. Ascorbic acid, in this case,
acidified the urine enough to force the crystals back into solution. The neglected chronic
cystitis which is the rule with ammonical decomposition in the bladder, most always
associated with marked alkalinity of the freshly voided urine, will cease to be a clinical
entity once people take at least 10 gm vitamin C every day. This will also eliminate the
backwash type pyelitis so debilitating, especially in women of childbearing age.
In over 300 consecutive obstetrical cases, we found that the simple stress of pregnancy
increased the ascorbic acid demand up to 15 gm daily. This simple stress of pregnancy
becomes meaningful when we review the work of Conney  on mammalian
synthesis of vitamin C in the rat. Compared to a 70 kg individual the rat would make,
under stress, 15.2 gm of C each day. Compare this to the 100 mg now recommended in
pregnancy by the National Academy of Science and National Research Council and the
disparity is shocking. Fred Stare’s 40 mg/day is catastrophic. This must be changed.
There are at least 16 categories , not including
scurvy, that cry out against minimal daily requirements for vitamin C. There can never
exist a situation where a set numerical unit of vitamin C will meet the needs of all men.
This is true because people are different and these same people experience different
situations at various times. Roger Williams, speaking before the National Academy of
Science in 1967, reported that among guinea pigs living in his laboratory, some needed 20
times more vitamin C than others to maintain health. We must accept Ginter’s
conclusion that acute scurvy and chronic hypovitaminosis C are metabolically different
conditions. Antonowicz and Kodicek (1969), working with guinea pigs, discovered an
extremely complex chemical process existing in animals receiving ascorbic acid which did
not occur in the animals with scurvy. They found that glucosamine synthesis with the
formation of galactosamine was normal in those animals receiving vitamin C but did not
take place in those with scurvy.
Under a grant from the National Institute of Mental Health, Hepler and associates,
according to Medical Tribune, reported that marijuana smoking caused a significant
decrease in intraocular pressure. This decrease was found 30 minutes after smoking. In
fine print they conceded that the drop was not significant after three hours. Thus, one
would need be a chain-link smoker to maintain worthwhile levels [ 43, 44]. No mention
was made of the many deleterious effects smoking marijuana has on the human body. Virno
and associates ,
working in G. B. Bietti’s eye clinic observed a pronounced reduction in intraocular
pressure in the glaucomatous eyes by giving high daily doses of vitamin C. Bietti states
that these high doses of vitamin C are a very effective hypotonic agent for intraocular
pressure and when an intravenous dose calculated at 1 gm/kg body weight is administered,
the action is predominantly by osmotic dehydration of the eyeball. Virno employed 35 gm by
mouth in divided doses each day. This gave marked reduction of pressure within four hours
and this was maintained even in patients where Diamox and Philocarpone had failed. Linner
in several symposiums using 0.5 gm twice daily reported no significant changes in eye
pressure. Linner used 1 gm and Virno 35 gm each day — thus the difference in results.
In the 1940s patients died receiving 5,000-10,000 units penicillin every four to six
hours. The same type pathology is cured today in 24 to 48 hours using 1-3 million units.
The size of the dose does make a difference — a real difference.
Dr. Linus Pauling has written that “Biochemical and genetic arguments support the
idea that orthomolecular therapy may be the preferred treatment for many ill
patients.” It is difficult to understand why megavitamin therapy remains so
controversial when massive doses of vitamin B12 are universally used in
pernicious anemia and niacinamide to correct the pathology of pellagra. I have used
150,000-200,000 units of vitamin A in a case of ichthyosis. The patient has been taking
this dose for ten years. His skin is clear with no signs or symptoms of vitamin A
toxicity. During the same time he has taken 10 gm of vitamin C each day. Is vitamin C the
and Osmond were probably the first to realize the value of ascorbic acid as an adjuvant
with niacin in treating schizophrenics. They employed from 6 to 8 gm daily. One acute case
was given 1 gm every hour for 48 hours at which time the patient was completely recovered
and remained so for six months without further treatment. Hawkins  found that by
adding megavitamin treatment he doubled the recovery rate, half the rehospitalization rate
and virtually eliminated self-destruction in dealing with schizophrenics who have a
suicide rate 22 times that of the general population. Dr. Pauling enabled his clinic to
treat seriously ill schizophrenics for $200 per patient per year and to reduce the number
of patient visits from 150 per year to 15. Hawkins’ method gives schizophrenic
patients four gm ascorbic acid and four gm niacin or the equivalent in niacinamide, in
divided doses, each day. Vanderkamp (1966) demonstrated that schizophrenics burn up
ascorbic acid ten times faster than normal people. On an intake of four gm vitamin C each
day, almost 100% of normal people will spill some degree of ascorbic acid into the urine.
In schizophrenics one can often go as high as 40 grams/day before spilling occurs. I have
observed this same picture in severe virus infections where the patient did not spill over
the urine until the second or third day, when a clinical response was evident. Milmer in
Great Britain and Lucksch in Germany have reported significant improvement in
schizophrenics given vitamin C alone. Both investigators used the double blind approach.
Ascorbic acid has value as an adjuvant in other medical syndromes. With
para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA), which is a fraction of the B vitamins, it will cure
trichinosis in nine days . Used with
intravenous mephenesin or methocarbamol, it will cure tetanus in 96 hours.
Arthritis is not only a crippler but also a nagger. Aspirin is the favorite medication
of many physicians because it will ease the arthritic pain. This makes aspirin a good guy
and a bad guy. The bad side is that those who take high aspirin therapy will also have low
platelet and plasma levels for vitamin C. With low plasma levels there will also be
depletion in the white blood cells. We know what this will do. As to platelets, their main
business is to keep people from bleeding to death. When a blood vessel ruptures, collagen
tissue, which makes up the basement membrane of blood vessels, is exposed. The collagen
affects the platelets so that they release a mineral substance called adenosine
diphosphate. This substance makes the platelets very sticky so that they cling together.
Aspirin can destroy this substance, but adequate vitamin C will prevent this action. As
the platelets act to seal off the wound, a second mechanism for clot formation comes into
play. This is a liquid protein called fibrinogen. In a recent case in which the platelet
count was abnormally low and bleeding was a serious problem, 25 gm of ascorbic acid daily
by mouth raised the platelet count back to normal with cessation of bleeding. Vitamin C is
also the number one agent in collagen formation. A person who will take 10-20 gm of
ascorbic acid a day along with other nutrients might very well never develop arthritis.
Abrams and Sandson 
have pointed out that synovial fluid becomes thinner, thus allowing easier movement, when
serum levels of ascorbic acid are high. Drugs such as ACTH and cortisone are noted for
their ability to drain ascorbic acid in prolonged usage. In our experience we found that
the patient who took vitamin C to tolerance made more rapid progress in reversing
The importance of daily high intake of ascorbic acid in preventive medicine has no
limits. Crest and Colgate might limit tooth decay to one cavity every checkup, a
relatively high index. Ten or more gm of ascorbic acid from age 10 up and at least 1 gm
for each year of life, each day, through age 9 will record no cavities. Our son who is 20
has never had a tooth cavity. The same schedule could eliminate disc pathology. McCormick
believes the problem is avitaminosis C [ 50]. Greenwood
believes that adequate amounts of ascorbic acid seem necessary to disc metabolism and
maintenance. In surgery we found that plasma determinations taken before starting
anesthesia, at the conclusion of surgery, and six hours later, were constant. At 12 hours
postoperative, there was a significant drop in vitamin C levels and at 24 hours there was
a dramatic loss of the vitamin. We have always required the surgeon to give 10 gm before
surgery, 10 gm in each postoperative bottle of fluids and 10 gm by mouth after
discontinuing fluids. Crandon et al state that postoperative disruption of abdominal
wounds occurs eight times more often in patients with vitamin C deficiency. Not only
surgery but any type of wound or fracture will heal slowly or not heal at all without the
benefits of adequate vitamin C. Powdered vitamin C mixed with water to form a paste and
applied to poison ivy or oak will usually effect a cure in 24 hours when adequate vitamin
C is also taken by mouth. Ascorbic acid does have a definite influence on the rheumatic
heart, especially in the acute stage . I have seen
children with the heart impulse so great that it raised the bed covers with each
contraction recover so completely that later in life they were inducted into the armed
services. Massive daily doses will also cure tuberculosis by removal of the
organisms’ polysaccharide coat. It does the same with pneumococci. I am convinced
that ten or more grams a day will prevent cancer of the lung in tobacco smokers. It will
relieve prickly heat and prevent heat stroke. Vitamin C will immediately reverse heat
collapse, cramps or exhaustion if 12 to 40 gm are given intravenously. It will bring
recovery to electric shock victims if sufficient amounts are administered soon after the
accident. Lightning victims can also be saved. I have done it. Chronic myelocytic leukemia
responds dramatically to 30 or more grams daily by mouth. Pancreatitis can be cured in
less than three hours with 50 gm intravenously, and ten gm daily by mouth is positive
insurance that it will never return. Virus pancarditis as a sequela of an adenovirus
infection can be relieved in 36 hours giving 400 mg/kg body weight, intravenously, every
four to six hours. I have never seen a patient that vitamin C would not benefit. And, too,
never send a boy to do a man’s job; meaning the dose level is very important.
In closing, I would like to quote Herbert Spencer, who summed up rather well a caution
I would like all of us to take to heart: “There is a principle which is a bar against
all information, which is proof against all argument, and which cannot fail to keep a man
in everlasting ignorance. That principle is condemnation without investigation.”
The drug evaluation book of the American Medical Association (1971) gives information
on the value of ascorbic acid which is at least 30 years behind present day knowledge. The
200-500 mg of ascorbic acid which is recommended as the 24-hour dose in burn cases is a
typical example. From clinical experience we know that ascorbic acid must be given to burn
victims in massive, frequent intravenous injections. Thirty to one hundred grams daily is
the proper amount to employ and this is given until healing takes place — 7-30 days
depending upon the degree of burn. We have found and reported that this massive vitamin C
therapy will eliminate skin grafting by keeping the tissues oxygenated. Ample supply of
oxygen to the tissues will prevent blood sludging and in place of the third degree burns
that develop on the fourth or fifth day, the eschars will drop off leaving normal tissue.
These high doses of ascorbic acid will also remove the smoke poisoning found in many fire
victims and save many lives, especially children who expire from the effects of monoxide
gas. The statement found in the A.M.A. book mentioned above — that controlled studies
have shown no benefit from large doses of ascorbic acid in human subjects — must be
ignored. The large doses referred to never exceeded 5 gm and in most cases not more than
that found in a quart of orange juice, for a 24-hour period. It is unfortunate that the
editorial staff of the AMA failed to check out the world literature. An example of their
high doses was an article by Dannenberg [ 32] which was
published in the JAMA in which the author found no value in lead poisoning by giving
extremely high doses of ascorbic acid to a child. Dannenberg’s extremely high dose
was 25 mg four times a day, by mouth, and one single intramuscular injection of 250 mg.
Had Dannenberg employed 350 mg/kg body weight and given it, intramuscularly, every two to
four hours he would have had a recovered patient in less than 72 hours. The amount of
ascorbic acid employed in any given case is the all important factor. In 28 years of
research we have observed that 30 gm each day is critical in terms of response. This seems
to be true regardless of age and weight. In certain pathological conditions like
barbiturate intoxication, snake bite or virus encephalitis, higher doses are required in
some individuals. We have observed from experience and from review of the literature that
15%-20% of humans require much more ascorbic acid than do others. Approximately 15% is in
evidence when giving vaccines, since they make no antibodies. Roughly 15% of pregnant
humans were scheduled, in the past, to become paralyzed if hit with the polio virus.
Fifteen percent of over 3000 cases in our files required more ascorbic acid to prevent
colds or to relieve the cold once infected. This percentage difference is the reason why
one patient would die with pneumonia while another lived, when all other factors were
apparently equal. This dosage factor alone has misled many scientists to disregard the
value of ascorbic acid in virus pathology because they would see dogs die with distemper
when they knew that the dog could make his own vitamin C. What they did not appreciate was
that even the animal could not make enough vitamin C under certain situations. I have
cured many dogs suffering with distemper by giving several grams ascorbic acid, by needle,
every two hours. We also found in over 300 obstetrical cases that roughly 15% require as
much as 15 gm supplemental vitamin C each day just to remain within normal limits. Ten
grams each day was the highest requirement of the other 85%.
Herpes simplex virus and the adenovirus can be destroyed with high doses of ascorbic
acid. Many infections can be prevented by taking adequate vitamin C, daily, by mouth
— 1 gm for each year of life up to age 10 and after 10 years of age at least 10 gm
vitamin C daily. With these amounts the patient will spill varying amounts into the urine.
The kidneys have a threshold for vitamin C much like the spillway of a dam. Spilling is
necessary to assure adequate amounts for various body tissues. For example, white blood
cells are useless unless they are full of ascorbic acid, since it is the ascorbic acid
which makes their phagocytosis and/or destruction of pathogens possible. Although herpes
simplex usually shows itself as a small lip sore and the adenoviruses as a mild but
lingering cold, both can become killers through passage of the virus to the brain. Either
one can cause crib deaths, which is truly the real cause. Again, we point out that high
daily intake of vitamin C can prevent this tragic incident. For this reason, if for no
other, the National Research Council and the National Academy of Science must remove the
so-called minimal daily requirement for this substance. Williams has shown and reported to
the National Academy that even guinea pigs living in his laboratory differ in their
requirements for vitamin C and that they differ each day, sometimes 20 times a given unit.
Guinea pigs, like man, cannot manufacture ascorbic acid due to genetic fault. Scurvy which
accounts for the thinking on the amount of vitamin C needed is actually of no consequence
m terms of avitaminosis C, which can determine one’s future existence. Ginter, after
ten years of research with vitamin C, concluded that acute scurvy and chronic
hypovitaminosis C are metabolically different conditions. Antonowicz and Kodick confirmed
this by finding that glucosamine synthesis in the guinea pig with the formation of
galactosamine was normal in those animals receiving vitamin C but did not take place in
the presence of acute scurvy.
Ascorbic acid when taken in sufficient quantities will relieve the intraocular pressure
in the glaucomatous eyes, will relieve such things as prickly heat, and is a positive
reversal for pemphigus. Vitamin C when given by needle will destroy all viruses and many
can be destroyed by taking 25-30 gm each day by mouth. Lesser amounts will protect against
these pathogens. I have cured diphtheria, hemolytic streptococcus and staphylococcus
infections by employing vitamin C intravenously in a dose range of 500 to 700 mg/kg body
weight. Doses under 400 mg/kg body weight can be given with a syringe using the sodium
salt. This will always produce thirst. Fluids taken just before or immediately after will
eliminate this annoyance. Doses above 400 mg/kg body weight must be diluted to at least 1
gm to 18 cc solution, using 5% dextrose in water, saline in water or Ringer’s
solution. One gram calcium gluconate must be added to these bottle injections to replace
Ca ions pulled from the calcium-prothrombin complex. There is no limit to the amount that
can be administered by vein when honoring these two precautions. The use of vitamin C in
cancer will prove to be a very beneficial agent. We recommend bottle doses containing 60
gm vitamin C and such fractions of the B complex as 500 mg thiamin HCl, pyridoxine 300 mg,
calcium pantothenate 400 mg, riboflavin 100 mg and niacinamide 300 mg. This is to be given
daily or even twice daily. Vitamin C is a positive neutralizing agent in snake bite ,
spider bite  and insect stings. Our use of ascorbic acid in snake bite has been
limited to the Highland moccasin, a member of the copperhead family. Other poisonous
snakes are more deadly but we can easily calculate from our experience what dose to
employ. In a 4-year-old receiving a full strike from a mature Highland moccasin, 12 gm was
required. Unlike a virus that will continue production until completely destroyed, the
venom of the snake is constant in that there will exist no later increase in amount. I
would suggest 40-60 gin, as a starter, in a large diamondback or cottonmouth. Additional
vitamin C can be given if needed since the patient will be well on the road to recovery
with the first injection.
Adenosine monophosphate given with ascorbic acid will increase the potential of the
vitamin. This can be given in doses from 25 mg in children to as much as 200 mg in adults.
Our use of this agent has been limited to mumps and herpes zoster but we are now of
sufficient knowledge to believe that its use should be routine. The aqueous solution is
more efficacious than the gel. Some patients experience a fullness in the head, a sickish
feeling in the chest and a slowed pulse rate. Aromatic spirits of ammonia as a smelling
agent relieves or prevents this syndrome. At present we are using 50 mg doses more
frequently, until we can establish a reason for this type response.
Ascorbic acid can be lifesaving in shock. Twelve grams of the sodium salt given with a
50 cc syringe will reverse shock in minutes. In barbiturate poisoning and monoxide
poisoning the results are so dramatic that it borders on malpractice to deny this therapy.
Surgeons must learn to employ ascorbic acid more liberally. Ten to twenty grams in the
preoperative solutions and 10 gm in each postoperative bottle will all but eliminate
surgical deaths and will reduce hospital stay by 50%. The same can be said for obstetrical
cases. We found that obstetrical cases needed 4 gm each day the first trimester, 6 gm the
second trimester and 8-10 gm the third trimester. Fifteen percent of the patients required
15 gm each day just to stay within normal limits.
Ascorbic acid is the safest and the most valuable substance available to the physician.
Many headaches and many heartaches will be avoided with its proper use.
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Francisco: W. F. Freeman & Co., 1970.
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Oct. 1, 1971.
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plasma levels for ascorbic acid. Tri-State Med. J., 5, 1956.
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bactericidal agent. Bowman Gray School Med. Med. Alumni News, 14:1, Feb., 1972.
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of vitamin C and para-aminobenzoic acid. Tri-State Med. J., 1952.
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and Febiger, 3rd Edition, 1952.
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mouse. Medical Tribune, April 5, 1972.
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Research Institute of Human Nutrition, Bratislava, 1970.
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diseases. Southern Med. Surg., 1951.
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pri giper toniceskoj bolezm i ateroskleroze. Gipertoniceskaja bolezn. Tr. AMN SSSR,
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metabolism in laboratory animals. Acta med. Acad. Sci Hung., 27:23-29, 1970.
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acid on cholesterolemia in healthy subjects with seasonal deficit of vitamin C. Nutr.
MetaboL, 12:76-86, 1970.
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under conditions of acute and chronic vitamin C deficiency in guinea pigs. PhysioL
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Hypertensive Diseases. Monograph on Hypertension. Merck, Sharp and Dohme.
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seen in marijuana. Nature, Nov. 1971.
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News, September 24, 1971.
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with vitamin C and Tolserol. Tri-State Med. J., July 1954.
- Abrams, E. and Sandson, J.: Ann. Rheum. Dis., 27, 1964.
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etiologic concept. Arch. Pre., 71:29, 1954.
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preservation of disc integrity. Med. Ann. D. C., 33:6, June 1964.
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Antirheumatic activity of ascorbic acid in large doses. New Eng. J. Med., 1950.
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by a mature Hiland moccasin with vitamin C. Tri-State Med. J., July, 1954.
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From Journal of the International Academy of Preventive Medicine, Spring 1974,
Volume 1, Number 1, pp. 45-69
HTML Revised 23 March, 2003.
Corrections and formatting © 1999-2003 AscorbateWeb