What causes heart disease part XXIV

In my long and winding road around cardiovascular disease I have often visited the same themes a few times. In part, this is because we are not dealing with Newtonian physics here. If billiard ball A strikes billiard ball B, at five metres per second, at an angle of 45 degrees, billiard ball B will move off at angle C at velocity D, assuming perfect elasticity. This will always happen, every single time.

On the other hand, with CVD, the complexity of human physiology and psychology, environmental factors, genetics the time of day, even sunspot activity – can have an effect – so some people have reported.

‘Space proton flux and the temporal distribution of cardiovascular deaths.

The influence of solar activity (SA) and geomagnetic activity (GMA) on human homeostasis has long been investigated. The aim of the present study was to analyse the relationship between monthly proton flux (> 90 MeV) and other SA and GMA parameters and between proton flux and temporal (monthly) distribution of total and cardiovascular-related deaths. The data from 180 months (1974-1989) of distribution in the Beilinson Campus of the Rabin Medical Centre, Israel, and of 108 months (1983-1991) from the Kaunas Medical Academy, were analysed and compared with SA, GMA and space proton flux (> 90 MeV). It was concluded: monthly levels of SA, GMA and radiowave propagation (Fof2) are significantly and adversely correlated with monthly space proton flux (> 90 MeV); medical-biological phenomena that increase during periods of low solar and/or geomagnetic activity may be stimulated by physical processes provoked by the concomitant increase in proton flux; the monthly number of deaths related (positively or negatively) to SA are significantly and adversely related to the space proton flux (> 90 MeV).’1

Oh yes, I do cast my net far and wide when looking at cardiovascular disease, as I feel I must. Quite what we are all supposed to do when the space proton flux is greater than 90MeV, I am not certain. Perhaps a tin foil hat would become appropriately protective headgear. By the way, this paper can be found in the National Institutes of Health on-line library – Pubmed. Referenced, peer-reviewed, and everything.

The point being? The point being that if you are looking for ‘billiard ball’ certainty, you are not going to find it here. If you were to do absolutely everything that I believe to be protective against cardiovascular disease, you will shift the odds in your favour, but you could still get struck down by a heart attack or stroke.

Anyway, with that proviso firmly in place, I shall move ahead, or maybe backwards. On the basis that some subjects need a second visit, I have decided to return to look at vitamin C again. First, because I have just been harangued by someone who believes that if you take high doses of vitamin C every day, you can reverse/cure heart disease completely and utterly. He also felt that I had completely ignored the work of G C Willis ‘The reversibility of atherosclerosis’, and also the research of Pauling and Rath on vitamin C.

It is true that I have not actually mentioned Willis before, but I have certainly written at length of Pauling and Rath. However, I realise that time passes, people forget things, and previous blogs settle to the bottom of the sediment layer. Therefore, it is not a bad idea to refresh things from time to time. I am also returning to vitamin C and the issues around it, because I have been getting a lot of correspondence about lipoprotein (a) (Lp(a)) recently. It seems this lipoprotein is gaining increasing attention. Of course, vitamin C and Lp(a) are tightly bound together.

Time, I think, for a quick refresher about this whole area. Particularly as it helps to confirm my central hypothesis that CVD is a disease of blood clotting, and you would struggle to explain the vitamin C/Lp(a) axis in any other way.

To begin. At some point in the distant past, our ancestors lost the ability to manufacture vitamin C. This happened, so I recently read, around sixty-one million years ago. Seems a long way back, but there you go. It has happened to some other animal groups, but not many. Quite why it occurred is unclear. You probably think you know, but I suspect you are wrong.

Interestingly, and as a bit of an aside, vitamin C is synthesized through a multi-step process, and the original molecule is glucose. Humans lack the last step in the process. Perhaps, because of this, glucose and vitamin C have some interesting interactions in the body. Mainly, it seems, that high levels of glucose prevent vitamin C from entering cells. Particularly immune cells, which need a lot of vitamin C to operate effectively. Make of that what you will.

Moving on, because humans cannot synthesize their own vitamin C, we must obtain it from within our diet. If we do not manage to eat enough, we will end up with scurvy. Scurvy presents with many different symptoms, but the one I am going to focus on in this blog is bleeding.

Bleeding occurs, because vitamin C is essential for collagen synthesis – a critical building block of supportive tissue throughout the body. Loss of collagen leads to break down of various structures in the body. For example, the walls of blood vessel walls which, start to break down and ‘crack.’

As blood vessel walls crack, they leak, and bleed. This leads to the best known symptom of scurvy, which is bleeding gums. This was well recognised several hundred years ago, mainly in sailors who had a highly-restricted diet during long voyages. In scurvy there is also bleeding in many other blood vessels, but you can’t easily see it. The usual cause of death in severe scurvy is internal bleeding.

On the positive side, after sixty-one million years, or so, evolution came up with a partial solution to the early stages of scurvy. Namely, the synthesis of a substance to block the cracks in the blood vessel walls, and control the bleeding. This substance is, or course, lipoprotein (a).

Lipoprotein (a) (Lp(a)) is synthesized in the liver, and it travels around in the bloodstream, looking for any cracks in blood vessels walls a.k.a. damaged endothelium. When a crack is spotted Lp(a) is attracted to the area and sticks very firmly, and cannot easily be removed. Of course, the rest of the blood clotting system also moves into action, so all hell breaks loose. Therefore Lp(a) becomes mixed up with platelets, red blood cells, fibrin, and almost everything else in the blood, including all the other lipoproteins.

However, Lp(a) has a very special trick up its sleeve. It mimics plasminogen.

After a blood clot forms, anywhere in the circulation, it has to be broken down, and removed – once the blood vessel underneath it has repaired. I liken this (not very accurately) to road works. If the road surface is damaged, the repair team comes in, sets up barriers and traffic lights and suchlike, then they repair the road. Then all the barriers, and traffic lights, and suchlike, must be removed.

Within a blood vessel, removal of barriers, and traffic lights, is a tricky exercise. Where does the blood clot go? Once a large blood clot has formed, over a ‘crack’ in the wall, it cannot stay there forever, restricting, or totally obstructing, blood flow. On the other hand, if the entire clot simply broke off, and travelled down the artery, it would get stuck as the artery narrowed – causing a complete blockage. Not a good idea.

Ergo, there is a need for a process that removes blood clots that have formed within blood vessels. It is called thrombolysis, or fibrinolysis. To ‘lyse’ means to break down.

The main player in thrombolysis is plasminogen. It becomes incorporated into (almost) all blood clots that form. It is activated by tissue plasminogen activator (t-PA). This turns plasminogen into plasmin, the ‘active’ enzyme that slices fibrin apart [fibrin is a long, and very strong, string of fibrinogen molecules that wraps round blood clots and binds them together].

t-PA can be manufactured and given to people who have heart attacks and strokes, to break apart the blood clots that are blocking the arteries in the brain, or the heart. You may have heard of t-PA referred to as a ‘clot-buster.’ Great stuff, but not so good if your stroke is due to a bleed in the brain, rather than a blood clot. In which case….

t-PA has been around for a while now and, with heart attacks at least, has mainly been superseded by angioplasty. Which is to open up the blocked artery, and stick a metal support (stent) into the artery. T-PA is still use in ischaemic strokes. That is, after you have had a brain scan to work out what sort of stroke you are having.

Sorry to appear to be going off in different directions here, but the systems of blood clotting are highly complex, and I think that explaining where Lp(a) fits in, is important.

Lp(a) is actually a lipoprotein, just like LDL. In fact, it is exactly like LDL, because it is basically LDL. It is the same size and shape, it contains triglyceride and cholesterol. However, it differs in one important aspect. Whilst LDL has a protein stuck to it called apolipoprotein B-100, Lp(a) has another protein stuck to it called apolipoprotein (a). Which is why it is called lipoprotein (a).

The fascinating thing about the protein, apolipoprotein (a), is that is has almost exactly the same chemical structure as plasminogen. So close, that you could hardly tell it apart. However, apolipoprotein (a) is completely unaffected by t-PA. It does not convert to plasmin, it is inert. So, when you want to break down a clot (fibrinolysis), the parts that have Lp(a) incorporated into it, cannot be broken down.

Which means that if you have a high Lp(a) level, you will develop bigger and more difficult to break down blood clots. Exactly what evolution had in mind for creatures that cannot manufacture vitamin C, and need to plug cracks in artery walls when the vitamin C level falls. However, not so good, if you want to stop atherosclerosis from developing.

Because these Lp(a) rich blood clots have to go somewhere, and the only place that they can go is to be absorbed into the artery wall itself, and then broken down. However, these clots are more difficult to break down, so, with repeated clots over the same area of artery wall, bigger and bigger plaques will grow.

That, anyway, is the theory.

What G.C. Willis did in 1957 was to study guinea pigs. Guinea pigs are another animal that does not synthesize vitamin C. He made them scorbutic (vitamin C deficient a.k.a. scurvy). Actually, he did not make them all scorbutic. He had a control group of twelve guinea pigs that he put on a vitamin C deficient diet, then injected them with vitamin C. None of these twelve guinea pigs developed any measurable atherosclerosis.

On the other hand, those guinea pigs on a scorbutic diet rapidly developed atherosclerosis. When I say rapidly, I mean within days. I think this point is worth repeating. If you make a guinea pig scorbutic, it will develop plaques, identical to those found in human arteries within days.

Willis then started feeding his guinea pigs vitamin C, and he found that the lipid filled plaques quite rapidly disappeared. He describes what he saw happening to the guinea after they were fed vitamin C.

‘The results of this investigation indicate that early lesions of atherosclerosis are quickly resorbed. The stages of this process are first a fading of lipid staining in the region of the internal elastic membrane with later a disappearance of all extracellular fat. Active phagocytosis of lipid by macrophage occurs, and when these macrophages finally disappear no evidence of the lesion remains.’ 2

I shall translate that passage for those with a non-science background.

What Willis found was that if you remove vitamin C from the guinea pig diet, they develop fat filled atherosclerotic plaques within days. If you then add vitamin C to the diet again, the plaques rapidly disappear (within days). The process of removal appears to be that the fat/lipid is ingested (phagocytosed) by white blood cells – known as macrophages.

However, if you let the plaques grow for too long, it is far more difficult to get rid of them.

‘More advanced lesions are considerably more resistant to reversal. Extensive lipid deposits clear in some parts of plaque but islands of intensely staining lipid persists in other parts. The macrophage response to such areas is only slight.’

It seems that if you don’t get rid of the plaque pretty much straight away, you don’t get rid of it at all. [Or maybe he didn’t wait long enough to see what happened over months, or years. Although my childhood memory of guinea pigs is that they tend to drop dead at the slightest excuse].

Of course, this was guinea pigs, not humans, so we must be careful not to extrapolate too far. However, previously, Willis had studied humans. Not many, only sixteen. Ten people with identified plaques were given vitamin C, six were not. In those ten treated with vitamin C, the plaques got bigger in three, stayed the same in one, and reduced in size in six. In those six not given vitamin C, three remained the same, and in three the plaques got bigger. Interesting, but hardly cast-iron proof of anything.

At this point there are a number of strands to gather together. We now know that humans cannot synthesize vitamin C, so we need to eat it. Without enough vitamin C, our blood vessels crack and bleed, and in severe cases we bleed to death.

In order to provide a degree of protection against vitamin C deficiency (scurvy), we produce lipoprotein (a) to fill up the cracks the blood vessels. However, unsurprisingly, a high level of lipoprotein (a) Lp(a) is associated with a higher rate of CVD.

‘In summary, elevated Lp(a) levels associate robustly and specifically with increased CVD risk. The association is continuous in shape without a threshold and does not depend on high levels of LDL or non-HDL cholesterol, or on the levels or presence of other cardiovascular risk factors.’ 3

This raises two inter-connected questions. Does vitamin C supplementation lower Lp(a) levels, and does it reduce the risk of CVD? It is of course entirely possible that vitamin C could reduce CVD risk by protecting blood vessels from ‘cracking’ without having any effect on Lp(a) levels.

Now you would think that this would have been an area of research interest to someone…. Anyone. However, the only people who seem to have looked at this area in any details are Linus Pauling (double Nobel prize winner, now dead) and Matthias Rath. A man whose reputation within the mainstream medical profession makes that of Andrew Wakefield look like mother Teresa. This from Wikipedia:

‘The Sunday Times (Johannesburg) has described Rath as an “international campaigner for the use of natural remedies” whose “theories on the treatment of cancer have been rejected by health authorities all over the world.”

On HIV/AIDS, Rath has disparaged the pharmaceutical industry and denounced antiretroviral medication as toxic and dangerous, while claiming that his vitamin pills could reverse the course of AIDS. As a result, Rath has been accused of “potentially endangering thousands of lives” in South Africa, a country with a massive AIDS epidemic where Rath was active in the mid-2000s. The head of Médecins Sans Frontières said “This guy is killing people by luring them with unrecognised treatment without any scientific evidence”; Rath attempted to sue him.

Rath’s claims and methods have been widely criticised by medical organisations, AIDS-activist groups, and the United Nations, among others Former South African President Thabo Mbeki and former Minister of Health Manto Tshabalala-Msimang have also been criticised by the medical and AIDS-activist community for their perceived support for Rath’s claims According to doctors with Médecins Sans Frontières, the Treatment Action Campaign (a South African AIDS-activist group) and a former Rath colleague, unauthorised clinical trials run by Rath and his associates, using vitamins as therapy for HIV, resulted in deaths of some participants. In 2008, the Cape High Court found the trials unlawful, banned Rath and his foundation from conducting unauthorised clinical trials and from advertising their products, and instructed the South African Health Department to fully investigate Rath’s vitamin trials.’

Matthias Rath even managed to fall out with Linus Pauling, before Pauling’s death, and law suits ensued. Rath has also successfully sued the BMJ, received £100,000 in damages. So, as you can see, not really a poster boy for mainstream medical research.

I include this information, as I think it is critical to the entire Vitamin C discussion. Because Matthias Rath is viewed as absolute scientific poison this has made the whole area of vitamin C supplementation a complete no-go area for any respectable scientist. If, as a doctor, you try to suggest that vitamin supplementation may be a possible treatment for, say, CVD, you might as well hand you licence over to the authorities at the same time – to save them the trouble of striking you off the medical register (almost a joke, but not quite).

So, essentially, we have a huge void here. The only research that I have ever seen (maybe I missed some) to establish if vitamin C supplementation does actually lower Lp(a) levels was done by Matthias Rath. And, according to him, it does. More so, in those with higher levels to start with. I am not referencing this research, but I would suggest you have a look around Rath and Pauling and vitamin C and Lp(a). See what you think. I think the research is robust.

With regard to the critical question, does vitamin C reduce the risk of CVD [with or without lowering Lp(a)]. I would say, case currently unproven. This does not mean that it does not (in fact I believe that it probably does). What I mean by ‘case currently unproven’ is that no-one has done a large scale interventional study using vitamin C to find out if it really reduces CVD.

The problem here is that such a study is almost certainly never going to be done. There is no way anyone can make money from doing such a study. Vitamin C cannot be patented, so if a company spend several hundred million ‘proving’ that vitamin C reduced CVD death, they would never get any money back.

You would have to find a Governmental organisation, tax payer funded, to do such a study. And with Matthias Rath around, that just ain’t going to happen. No-one would touch it.

However, there is one way to definitely reduce Lp(a) levels, and that is to take l-carnitine. Here, from a study called ‘L-carnitine reduces plasma lipoprotein(a) levels in patients with hyper Lp(a)’

‘L-carnitine, a natural compound stimulating fatty acid oxidation at the mitochondrial level, was tested in a double blind study in 36 subjects with Lp(a) levels ranging between 40-80 mg/dL, in most with concomitant LDL cholesterol and triglyceride elevations. L-carnitine (2 g/day) significantly reduced Lp(a) levels… the reduction being more dramatic in the subjects with the more marked elevations. In particular, in the L-carnitine group, 14 out of 18 subjects (77.8%) had a significant reduction of Lp(a) vs only 7 out of 18 (38.9%) in the placebo group. In a significant number of subjects the reduction of Lp(a) resulted in a return of this major cardiovascular risk parameter to the normal range.’ 4

Does this then result in a reduction in CVD risk? The answer is that I do not know, for sure. A meta-analysis of L-carnitine supplementation has been done. This consisted of five trials on three thousand people. L-carnitine supplementation did show some benefit – which did not reach statistical significance, but came very, very close.

For those of you who like a bit of statistics, here we go

‘The interaction test yielded no significant differences between the effects of the four daily oral maintenance dosages of L-carnitine (i.e., 2 g, 3 g, 4 g, and 6 g) on all-cause mortality (risk ratio [RR] = 0.77, 95% CI [0.57-1.03], P = 0.08)’5

CI [0.57 to 1.03] – close, but no cigar.

To put this into figures anyone can understand. In the intervention groups (those taking L-carnitine) there were 83 deaths. In the control group (those not taking L-carnitine) there were 106 deaths. Total study population was 3108, split in two groups: control and intervention. This gets as close to statistical significance as you can get (virtually). In fact, if this had been a statin trial, you would never have heard the end of it. ‘Ladies and gentlemen a 22% reduction in overall mortality with L-carnitine supplementation.’ [Oh, what fun statistics are].

So, what do we know?

  • A high level of Lp(a) is associated with a higher risk of CVD.
  • There is a probable causal mechanism linking Lp(a) to CVD death
  • Lp(a) is synthesized in animals that cannot make their own Vitamin C
  • A lack of vitamin C causes blood vessels to crack open – and potentially leads to atherosclerotic plaques development
  • Animal models have shown that a lack of vitamin C does lead to rapid atherosclerotic plaque development, and that replacement of vitamin C causes rapid regression of atherosclerosis
  • Some evidence from humans suggest that vitamin C supplementation causes regression of atherosclerotic plaques
  • Vitamin C supplementation does seem to lead to a reduction in Lp(a) levels
  • L-carnitine supplementation does lead to a reduction in Lp(a) levels
  • L-carnitine supplementation may reduce overall mortality.

What would I now recommend? If you have a high Lp(a) level take lots of vitamin C and l-carnitine and see if your Lp(a) level falls. If it does, keep taking lots of vitamin C and l-carnitine for the rest of your life. If it does not fall? Not sure.

As for the rest of us? Well I have no idea how much vitamin C anyone should take, or how much l-carnitine is required. There is literally no area of medicine that is less clear than our true vitamin requirements. You can find a thousand shouty people supporting high vitamin supplementation – any or all vitamins.

My view. I do not think the RDAs for vitamins are remotely accurate, or useful. They were established in times of absolute deficiency. The agreed Vitamin B12 levels, for example, were based on seven people, over sixty years ago, and remain unchanged to this day. All seven had pernicious anaemia (caused by vitamin B12 deficiency).

So, I do not believe in the RDAs at all. They are often, I believe, too low for optimal health. I can see no harm coming to people from taking lots of vitamin C or lots of l-carnitine. So, supplement away. You will probably reduce your risk of dying from CVD.

 

References
1: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9140214

2: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1823880/?page=3

3: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3295201/

4: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11213533

5: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4223629/

479 thoughts on “What causes heart disease part XXIV

  1. zoe harcombe

    On p29 of The Great Cholesterol Con, you said “Anyway, this lipoprotein is usually pronounced as ‘el pee little A’… Almost no one, including 99 per cent of doctors, know that Lp(a) is actually LDL. Even though this fact is of fundamental importance to understanding heart disease…(By the way, no one ever tells you what your Lp(a) level is. Which is typical, as it is the only one that may actually be important.)

    10 years ago and already ahead of the game! 🙂

    Reply
    1. BobM

      I get a series of tests (which I pay for myself) that measures Lp(a). Mine is always “high” (though I’ve had this measured by two different labs, and each of these used two different “high” values).

      Reply
    2. mikecawdery

      Same for insulin, glucagon etc, I have always wondered why feasible tests are ignored and replaced by “guessing”. As a TV ad repeatedly points out: why guess when you can measure

      Reply
    3. Gary Rees

      Is Lp(a) included when they measure total cholesterol ? Its inclusion could explain most of the increased all-cause mortality with elevated serum cholesterol.

      Reply
      1. smartersig

        I understood him to be asking does a total cholesterol count include Lp(a), in other words does high Lp(a) boost total cholesterol count. When I lowered mine I did not see any great decrease in total cholesterol so if it does it might not be significant.

      2. Gary Rees

        I found an answer to my question (Dr. Kendrick was right). http://www.mayomedicallaboratories.com/test-catalog/Clinical+and+Interpretive/89652
        The company that does my bloodwork appears not to know this as they have not replied to my question. So Lp(a) can form a large portion of LDL-C . So my thinking is subtract your Lp(a) number from the LDL_C number then recite the Freidwald equation as you throw the LDL test results in the dustbin. Then go for a walk in the sunshine and supplement your l-carnitine with a nice rib steak.
        Beef is the best dietary source of l-carnitine. I eat herds of beef and my Lp(a) is less than 3.!
        Thank you Dr. Kendrick

      3. smartersig

        If meats not your bag and it isn’t mine then try

        750 mg Vitc supp’ after breakfast consisting of
        One pink grapefuit
        Porridge with two Kiwi fruit chopped in

        Lp(a) = 18 (it was 31 before) which I guess is 1.8 on your scale (below 30 is desirable on my scale)

        Good luck with what ever your approach

    4. Dr Liz Stansbridge

      I would have more respect for your opinions Zoe if you hadn’t started to charge us to listen to them.

      Reply
      1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

        We all have to make a living Liz. If I could make some money out of this blog, without distorting what I am trying to do, I would. As it is, I pay to keep this site going – not a lot, but a bit. I get zero for writing it, checking the comments etc. But how on earth most people can be expected to work and work, and write and research – for nothing? ‘No man but a blockhead ever wrote for anything but money.’ Samuel Johnson.

      2. smartersig

        I blog all the time about this stuff, as I discover things. I admit not being a doctor means only a few people follow me but I can honestly say that I have no desire to moneterize anything even if I could. The problem with charging when you are taking an alternative view to mainstream is you immediatley weaken your argument. People are bound to say that, for example, Dr Sinatra only talks about the alternative views of heart disease because he is selling supp’s

      3. Mr Chris

        Doctor Kendrick
        The burdejn of this blog must be considerable.
        When you decide to ask people to pay, I don’t mind paying.

      4. JanB

        Yes, I was rather disappointed about that. My personal ‘pocket money’ is meagre at £10 per week, rather less, I suspect than what the average 12 year old receives so I had to give our Zoe the heave-ho much as I enjoyed her posts. So thank you, Dr. K., for educating and entertaining me for nowt. You’ll never know how much I enjoy your blogs.

      5. Dr Liz Stansbridge

        It’s a harsh world. Nevertheless,truth should be free.
        Deepest respect to you Malcolm for what you do….Yet
        Truth should be free

      6. Gay Corran

        Dr Liz Stansbridge, while the truth is (or should be!) free for all of us to research, it takes someone of Dr Kendrick’s calibre to dig long and hard enough to reveal it to us, and in such a way that lay people can not only understand it, but have a laugh along the way. Zoe Harcombe has a living to make, as does Doctor K, as he mentioned; I think it is fair that they should be rewarded, by one means or another for their hard work and presentation skills. In MHO neither they nor the truth are demeaned by what they do in these blogs. It’s not as if they are doctoring data for ill-gotten gains, after all…

      7. AH Notepad

        Most people who post here know that truth is hard won, and much time and effort goes into its publication. Somebody has to put in the effort so others can benefit. For whom should it be free? The researcher who puts in countless hours? The reader who has a casual input by comparison? Personally I think truth should be valued. Some of what I have learnt from this particular blog, and the sidetracks I have visited as a result (vaccinesrevealed, Suzanne Humphries et al) is priceless. If I could put something back into the system, I consider that as a responsibility. Other posters here do that by adding their knowledge to the discussion, either directly here, or on other websites. I don’t have that level of knowledge, so a contribution to the running costs seems, to me, a small cost.

      8. Dr Liz Stansbridge

        Charging people to listen to your opinions only engages those who are already converted to your way of thinking. It will not engage skeptics. It will not change the world.
        Yes we all have to make a living, but if you are a skeptic, you must find another way while trying to be heard.
        You can’t preach to the converted.

      9. AH Notepad

        There’s so much on Zoe’s site anyway, that if a skeptic will not be swayed except by listening to a paid-for service, for which they won’t pay, there is little hope for them. They might be happy in their skeptic world. It will be impossible to persuade some people, and why should anyone but a despot expect that everyone will think their way.

      10. Eugène Bindels

        Maybe someone with some knowledge could start a funding campaign to support the cost of this blog. I’m thinking of something like gofundme.

  2. Mr Chris

    Dr Kendrick
    Thank you for this.
    Am I right in thinking that Lp(a) levels are not diet determined, and in fact are a genetic inheritance. And is there agreement about what is high and the testing method?

    Reply
    1. bobniland

      re: Am I right in thinking that Lp(a) levels are not diet determined, and in fact are a genetic inheritance

      It appears to be in large part familial (SNPs rs3798220 & rs10455872 are associated), but it is also often responsive to diet (low net carb, grain-free, generous DHA&EPA, optimized microbiome, perhaps DHEA supplements). The suggestion here for l-carnitine makes me wonder about a possible role for mildronate as well.

      re: And is there agreement about what is high and the testing method?

      Zero might be ideal, but under 75 nmol/L is one a ballpark range. There is a specific test for Lp(a), which is not the same as teasing those SNPs out of your 23andme raw data.

      Reply
      1. Mr Chris

        Bobniland
        Thank you for that information”
        My last measurement was in 2010, and was 60mg/dL,
        The lipidist told me that he then gave up measuring because the results were really dependent on where it was done, question of the reagents, i”e cash I suppose. His other remark was that there was nothing you could do about it, but I see now that there is Vit C and LCarnitine. i already take a gm of Vit C so I will add the L Carnitine.
        Dr K reading this will say, But I told you this ten years ago in my book, which is true, but I took statins then and had forgotten.

      2. bobniland

        Mr Chris wrote: «My last measurement was in 2010, and was 60mg/dL,…»

        I’m a member on a site where this is a perpetual topic (and which has a target of under 50 nmol/L (via NMR), under 10 mg/dl (via electrophoresis) and under 30 (via the discontinued VAP). Not clear which test you got, but probably not NMR based on the units of measure. A major question about Lp(a) is: if diet and lifestyle factors are optimized, does Lp(a) remain a significant independent risk factor? The consensus risk assessments are based on standard diets (which are a major risk factor all by themselves).

        re: «The lipidist told me that he then gave up measuring because…there was nothing you could do about it…»

        This attitude prevails for a number of interesting markers for which consensus medicine has no Standard of Care treatments that work. They similarly don’t like to measure advanced lipoproteins generally, ApoE, CAC, real thyroid measures (fT3, fT4, rT3, TA) and insulin assay. They particularly like to remain blinded on conditions for which the only effective treatment is dietary; and even where diet is the most effective treatment. e.g. T2D, they usually prefer to throw meds at it anyway, and then more meds at the side effects of the earlier meds.

        In general terms, the top steps for Lp(a) appear to be to reduce excess small LDL particles (carb-driven), reduce glycation (carb driven), obtain a favorable Omega 6:3 ratio (more fish oil, nil added ω6LA), and reduce inflammation (multiple pathways; multiple markers). Tweaks beyond that to just drive down the Lp(a) marker may or may not turn out to be mere precaution. If the tweak is otherwise harmless, well, why not. If I had Lp(a), I would definitely look into L-carnitine (and not listen to any vegan advice about it☺).

      3. Mr Chris

        Hello Bob,
        Thanks for all that information.
        I found a long article on http://knowledgeofhealth.com/something-huge-is-going-on-in-cholesterol-world/, about Lp(a), which confirms your information, and Dr Kendrick’s. The article also sees a correlation between levels below 80 mg/dL and cancer. Does aunyone know anything about Bill Sardi and the Knowledge of Health website? He claims to be the vitamin and supplements man, and, remarkably there is no advertising.

      4. smartersig

        Thats very interesting Chris, the article mentions that flaxseed significantly reduces Lp(a) and I forgot to mention that when I said my Lp(a) had recently dropped to an all time low of 18 that in addition to Grapefruit I had also started in the last 6 months or so of taking Flaxseed every morning on my porridge. So my extra drop could be the Grapefuit (Vit C) or the flax seed or both. The bottom line is that very simple, easy to make changes like this can have a positive effect on lipid levels. If anyone is interested I use the bog standard one from Holland and Barret that also contains Coq10, Brazil nuts

      5. Sasha

        A good way to take flaxseed is to grind 2 tablespoons on a large cup of hot water and to drink like tea twice a day. It should not be pre-ground as it looses its qualities and goes rancid.

      6. smartersig

        Thanks Sasha, unground gives me the belly ache and I cannot be bothered with grounding so I use ground flax and keep it in the fridge

      7. Sasha

        Yes, it needs to be ground to have an effect. I think it’s better to keep it in the freezer once ground but I don’t remember how long it keeps.

        That’s why all supplements with ground flax seed or milk thistle are no good, IMO.

      8. Frederica Huxley

        We use a coffee grinder for grinding flax daily – and use it within 15 minutes; on our porridge or as part of the flours in our sourdough bread. Like pepper, once ground, flax rapidly loses its efficacious oils.

      9. Sasha

        Yes, that’s true. I also suspect that steeping ground flax seed in hot water helps extract some of its beneficial properties, in contrast to just sprinkling it on porridge. Definitely, less work for the digestive system, IMO.

      10. smartersig

        I would say about a spoonful and a half on my porridge which I have every morning. Just to sum up my anecdotal evidence based on this discussion and my reduced Lp(a) is that the following may have done the trick

        One and half table spoon on my porridge daily
        One pink grapefruit daily
        One 750 mg Vit C with Zinc from Holland and barret daily

        Test Lp(a) before starting and then again after a couple of months and do report back would be fascinated to hear if it fails or works for others

      11. chris c

        Interesting, the only fruit I eat much of is blueberries and strawberries (and sometimes cherries). I cover them with clotted cream and ground flaxseed and usually brandy. I grind the flaxseed in a coffee/spice grinder immediately before use, it takes a few seconds but is a bit noisy. So this is a good recipe then. (Probably most of my C comes from veggies like multicoloured peppers and leafy greens which alleviates the negative effect on absorption of excess glucose spikes).

  3. Hatty

    “Mainly, it seems, that high levels of glucose prevent vitamin C from entering cells. Particularly immune cells, which need a lot of vitamin C to operate effectively. Make of that what you will.”

    so in simple terms, if high glucose leads to impaired Vit C absorption, which leads to cracks, which leads to lipoprotein A to mend them, which leads to plaques, which leads to CVD… is this not the link between high carb diet and raised risk of heart disease and therefore also the opposite..?

    As ever, thank you for another thought-provoking post…

    Reply
      1. mark sanders

        I went low carb for 12 months or so about 5 years ago. At first I felt really good but then everything went downhill. I was tired all the time, sleeping 10-12 hours a night. I was cold all the time, especially my hands and feet, and my hair started falling out. Finally I had my first bout of angina, leading to a stent being placed in one of my cardiac arteries. Had to go back to carbs to get my energy and normalcy back. Some people do well with low carb, but as you can see, it’s not necessarily a cure-all.

      2. Bob

        You can’t assume causation, Mark. I got DVT after going low carb. It’s doubtful diet was to blame, though I wouldn’t rule it out.

      3. robert lipp

        consider this: it appears that arterial damage is a long and slow process, so any “event” before or after going low carb may well be from much earlier damage developed from long ago not the change to LCHF. The change over adaption may introduce stress which precipitates an event that was waiting to happen – maybe?

        LuanaLi, i think some damage can be reversed based on we evolved that (self repairing) way, I can find no evidence to support this (probably never the subject of a trial). In this blog we have heard about NO, vitamin C, and other natural supps that appear to reverse prior damage. Such reversal will probably be a slow process (years probably).

    1. Vanessa

      Plus it may account for the suggestion by ‘experts’ in the know that one’s immunity is highly compromised when eating a diet high in sugar/refined carbs at the expense of a diet rich in vitamin C? Also an implication for preventing the development of cancer, which the immune system deals with on a daily basis…until one day it doesn’t?

      Reply
  4. JanB

    A new post! On Monday morning! What a wonderful way to begin a new week. I look forward to devoting (quite a lot of) time to reading it.
    Thank you. Thank you

    Reply
  5. Wendy

    “After a blood clot forms, anywhere in the circulation, it has to be broken down, and removed”. Would the same apply to a clot in the lung?

    Reply
      1. Dr p scully

        Hey Malcolm. I’ve read Pauling. Relative Ascorbate deficiency is almost universal, and scurvy is very much a drastic almost complete deficiency . The joke of RDA will certainly prevent this drastic end stage disease, but not more insidious chronic consequences of weak collagen.. Pauling recommended 6-18 G of vit c per day. nothing heals without vitamin C. Including I would guess, microscopic vascular defects. Many long term conditions are quite possibly a result of the weak collagen caused by non-catastrophic ascorbate deficiency. I include eg ectropion…..not a good look. But more seriously: AAA, LBP (collagenous disc degeneration). Etc etc etc etc..Dr p scully GP and MSc nutr med.
        Ps thanks for all of your excellent posts

  6. Dr. Göran Sjöberg

    A great educational post indeed!

    I learnt a lot again – thank you!

    This reading was reassuring when I just finished sipping my daily glass of water with about 6 – 8 grams of Vitamin C. L-carnitine is not yet on my list but in my long time clogged state it could probably be a good candidate to add. I now wonder about the action of my daily 1600 units of natural vitamin E and Big Pharma’s serious warnings about it.

    The only drawback with the present post as I see it is that it will take all attention away from your previous one which then will not reach the 1000 comments landmark and then you will no be able to enjoy your well deserved reward, the double shot of Highland Park.

    Reply
      1. Dr. Göran Sjöberg

        Eric,

        Thanks for the reference.

        I don’t have a problem with the fact that “excess” Vitamin C will be excreted. That is why I am sipping my now 8 grams during the day. I though wonder if I should “spike” by taking my glass in one shot to get a real pharmacological (Pauling) action. Actually that happened last night since I had an awkward feeling in the back of my throat telling me that a new flu might be on its way and I had all the 8 grams within an hour, emptying my glass. In the morning my throat was clear for whatever reason.

        Basically, if I understand the paper right it does not recommend high doses and all along the official guidelines and I don’t see any references to Linus Pauling, my favorite on this issue. The spirit of Big Pharma is hovering in the sky.

        You might enjoy Pauling’s books.

      2. Luana

        Goran,

        As I understood it, the finding wasn’t just excreting the excess, but that above 1000 mg, there was increased oxalate and urate excretion, suggesting I suppose stress on the kidneys.

        Can you say more about how you’ve determined that big pharma is behind this study? If a vitamin C study doesn’t mention Linus Pauling it shows a conflict of interest?

        Eric, thank you for this link. Do you have an interpretation of the oxalate excretion?

      3. Eric

        Göran, Luana,

        my interpretation is this:
        – high doses taken orally won’t even make it to the blood, they are simply flushed out
        – if you want high doses, you need to inject your vitamin C
        – however, the filtering action of the kidneys kicks in, and it is concentration-dependent, so the best you can achieve is a spike of maybe 2 – 3 hours, after that the concentration will be lower than for the same dose taken orally (just compare the graphs!)
        – I am doubtful that big pharma is behind this. After all, they recommend increasing the RDA to 400 mg from 60 mg at the time, a region which the other papers Luana found say shows a significant preventive effect
        – Vitamin C get metabolized to oxalate, even at normal doses. The kidneys mainly filter out this oxalate, which can lead to oxalate kidney stones in people who are susceptible. This is why the paper recommends an upper limit of 1 g. If you haven’t developed kidney stones so far, you are probably not susceptible 🙂

      4. Eric

        Göran, two more things:

        1. I wonder at your propensity to catch viruses. My impression is that you live out in the sticks where there aren’t that many vectors (i.e. people), and you are not prone to line up for bread in a stuffy little village bakery where you could catch germs easily.

        2. I am a great believer in zinc gluconate or acetate lozonges against rhinoviruses. Just look up coldcure.com. It appears that most established studies denying this effect were done with too low doses or the wrong kind of zinc salts.

      5. Eric

        And further elaboration on 2., the dose of zinc does not seem to matter, but the time integral of concentration in your mouth.

      6. Dr. Göran Sjöberg

        Eric,

        I don’t know if you have read Paulings books on vitamin C but in my eyes they are still pretty accurate and for sure Pauling was aware of what you are saying about IV versus oral administration.

        E.g. by high doses of vitamin C (in the 100 grams region) he, together with Dr. Cameron (another scotch), was able to show significant positive outcome on terminal cancer patients – very convincing to me. However when “BigPharma” at the Mayo clinic “repeated” their clinical trials to refute Pauling they “for whatever reason” used pathetically lower doses. Pauling, as the eminent scientist he was, was really disgusted by this unscientific attack from the medical establishment. The sad thing is that, still today, those Mayo clinic “faked” trial are still invoked to claim the uselessness of vitamin C.

        As I said it doesn’t hurt to hear the story from the “horses mouth” rather than from “QuackWatch”.

        My present view is that Big Pharma is hovering everywhere to protect lucrative markets. Vitamins are prime targets for clandestine attacks not to mention the cholesterol issue.

      7. Eric

        Göran,

        no, I have not read Pauling. I doubt he was aware of the work I cited, as it was published two years after his death, and seems to be the first and only study of the pharmacokinetics.

        I am curious: how did he administer those 100 g?

        I am familiar with the problem that many studies that claim to refute a hypothesis actually chose an inadequate dose, an inaquate form or did not separate confounding variables well enough. However, I also believe that most substances you can administer work in a U-shape, and that the optimum for regular maintenance and maybe also for crisis situations will exist not too far from where a typical concentration historically existed. I am sceptical that doses 4 or 5 orders of magnitude higher than typical will do good, and they may even do harm.

        Also, there must be a plausible explanation of how they work. So far, I can see that for vitamin C and atherosclerosis, but not for vitamin C and cancer.

        On a completely different note, are you still current with the metallurical scene in Sweden, especially for non-ferrous metals?

        Thanks

        Eric

      8. JDPatten

        Eric,
        So, what becomes of a hefty dose of C taken orally by a person who is sick?
        Does the absorption rate change when there is a (presumably) greater need?
        Those other beasts that make their own manage it.

      9. Eric

        JDPatten,

        very good question. Absorption is mainly determined by the intestinal walls. I doubt there is a switch to up permeability. If you were to administer it intraveneously, those cells that need it could potentially snatch it before the kidneys do their work, but they’d have to be very quick about it. There is a figure in that paper that shows that by giving the same dose orally or IV, you can have a higher concentration for about two hours via IV, but in the end more will be peed out for IV.

    1. Eliot

      Actually the Pauling Therapy calls for taking lysine (and later proline) along with Vit C. The theory (IIRC) is that the lysine binds with lp(a) and carries it out of the system, while the V-C repairs the arteries. This should raise lp(a) levels in blood temporarily. I think Pauling and Rath verified this.

      Reply
      1. Luana

        Eliot,

        Rath states on his research website that vitamin C deficiency is only one reason for cracked arterial walls. The others are deficiencies in lysine and proline.

        “Lysine is called an essential amino acid because, similar to vitamin C, it cannot be produced in the human body. Lysine, together with another amino acid, proline, are important components of collagen and their hydroxylation is responsible for optimum stability and structure of collagen fibers. These two amino acids comprise about 25% of all amino acids in the collagen molecule. A deficiency of lysine and proline can also trigger blood vessel wall weakness and instability.”

        https://www.drrathresearch.org/drrath-discoveries/heart-disease

      2. Kevin O'Connell

        @ Eric ‘ there must be a plausible explanation of how they work. So far, I can see that for vitamin C and atherosclerosis, but not for vitamin C and cancer.’

        One suggestion (there are others) is that collagen support makes it more difficult for cancer cells to migrate, hence less metastasis. For me, that’s currently in my ‘plausible’ box, so I (PCa 2009) continue to take ca. 10-20g vitC (mostly sodium ascorbate) in divided doses during the day (& night).

    2. Dr. Göran Sjöberg

      Taking the complexity involved in the molecular biology involving our 10 000 proteins in the metabolism my feeling is that we should adopt a modest attitude rather than a categorical one. As always, what is important is the clinical outcome.

      To my taste it is all too easy to get entrenched in scholastic arguing about the individual associations of proteins.

      We have saying in Swedish that you easily loose the sight of the wood because of all the trees. I don’t know how that goes in English. Although an expert on “trees” Pauling, as I understand him, always took the “wood” perspective.

      Reply
      1. Gary Ogden

        Dr. Goran: In English it is, “You can’t see the forest for the trees,” pretty much exactly the same thing.

    3. Anna

      I had to stop contributing after about 600 posts as I could no longer load them. I have a slow internet here, living as I do in a 3rd world country known as USA.

      Reply
  7. Dr. Göran Sjöberg

    Well – now my wife told me that after my sever MI 17 years ago she, who was much more read than I was at that time, supplied me with supplements where L-Carnitine was one of the major ones. Evidently it didn’t hurt me so it seems to be a good idea to reintroduce it.

    Reply
  8. ibby26lytham

    Dr, Kendrick,

    Thank you for this. As a heart attack survivor I find this very interesting – fascinating even.

    As an aside – I’m sure you love this book – it overturns most of what I’ve learned about the human heart.

    Human Heart, Cosmic Heart: A Doctor’s Quest to Understand, Treat, and Prevent Cardiovascular Disease

    Kind regards

    Colin Ibberson

    On 16 January 2017 at 09:10, Dr. Malcolm Kendrick wrote:

    > Dr. Malcolm Kendrick posted: “In my long and winding road around > cardiovascular disease I have often visited the same themes a few times. In > part, this is because we are not dealing with Newtonian physics here. If > billiard ball A strikes billiard ball B, at five metres per second, at ” >

    Reply
    1. Marjorie Daw

      If I knew your address Dr. K, I’d send you this wonderful book as a thank you for all you’ve taught me. I hope you will read it and give us your thoughts.

      Reply
    2. Martin Back

      Speaking as an engineer, Dr Cowan’s theory of how the heart works is ludicrous.

      He says something like the fourth phase of water interacting with the capillary surfaces pushes blood forcefully up the veins into the heart, which then blows up like a balloon and squirts the blood into the arteries.

      There are so many things wrong with this picture I wouldn’t know where to start critiquing it. From an engineering point of view it is just not possible for this to work. For starters, pressure always gets less as liquid flows because of friction. So that means pressure in the capillaries has to be greater than pressure in the heart, which it obviously isn’t. The whole thing is backwards.

      I’m sorry, but you won’t catch me reading a word that Dr Cowan has written.

      Reply
      1. Eric

        Concur about his flow dynamics. If his theory were true, a heart suspended in some solution would not pump but just contract uselessly.

        He adopted the Stuttgart school of thought on g-strophantine, which has some merit, and I need to think more about his idea that g-strophantine acts to get the lactate out of the heart muscle cells (which is add odd with S. Seneff’s view that lactate is the cleanest fuel, and I must admit I cannot make sense of either at this point).

      2. chris Adams

        have you looked at any of Gerald Pollack’s work on the “fourth phase of water”, if not, you should..it is published

  9. Amanda H

    Good morning Dr K,

    We lost the ability to make vitamin C. 61 million years ago…. Are you sure? Absolutely sure?

    First primative primates first developed about 55 million years ago, First gorillas about 8 or 6 million years ago.. Protohuman… 5 million years.

    Apart from the above, its been a great series! Thanks…..

    Kind regards

    Amanda

    >

    Reply
      1. TS

        Re: “We lost the ability to make vitamin C. 61 million years ago”
        Perhaps it refers to us in our pre-primate days.

    1. Jillm

      Thank you Dr Kendrick. I am wondering if a few people can make Vit C. Is that possible? Thank you again, Dr Kendrick.

      Reply
    2. Martin Back

      It looks like we lost the ability to synthesize vitamin C around the time we split with our distant cousins, the lemurs. Guinea pigs and bats seem to have independently acquired a similar mutation in their genetic machinery.

      Reply
    3. johnnyv

      Haplorhines “dry-nosed” primates diverged from Strepsirrhini “wet-nosed” primates about 63 million years ago.

      Reply
  10. thelastfurlong

    Oh – wonderful post! Not so much for the knowledge packed in it, that was great to read, but for something – mmm – how to say? something that glows in the writing, the mind of a man shining through, the “aura”, well, I suppose, the charisma in it. And the lack of pontification. Thank you.

    Reply
  11. Gaetan

    i enjoyed reading this article of yours, thank you. A lot could be said about AIDS and the controversy of using vitamins. For example;
    http://www.pravdareport.com/health/16-05-2012/121133-aids_fraud-0/
    https://www.amazon.com/AIDS-Inc-Scandal-Jon-Rappoport/dp/0941523039
    http://goldsteinpress.blogspot.ca/2016/05/the-greatest-hoax-aids.html?view=flipcard

    One explanation i read is that after extensive use of hard drugs and powerful devastating RX drugs, one’s immune system gets destroyed and the host because very vulnerable. so when a usually harmless virus or bacteria shows up, this person dies unable to fight it effectively. The verdict? this person died from AIDS. AIDS in other words is an invented disease to fuel a multi billion dollars industry and university grants.

    Reply
      1. anglosvizzera

        Yes, ‘Wakefield Effect’ I suppose….although, having been watching the doc-series ‘Vaccines Revealed’ and the film ‘Vaxxed’ I’m beginning to think he really is Mother Theresa!

      2. Old fogey

        Very sensible of you to let these other vicious battles be fought by others, Dr. Kendrick. I wonder if you have noticed Donald Trump’s interest in the vaccination issue. The medical establishment seems to be worried here in the States. . .

      3. Gary Ogden

        Old fogey: Well spoken on all counts. The entire U.S. media is currently dumping vitriol on RFK, Jr. The reason is that they are captured by pharma just as the CDC and FDA are. The CDC is concealing layer upon layer of fraud. In 2001 they completed a case control study among Atlanta schoolchildren that was designed to test the Wakefield hypothesis, that the MMR was causally linked to autism. What did they find? Validation of the Wakefield hypothesis. What did they do? They spent 18 months reworking the data to make the finding “go away.” They ultimately couldn’t make it go away, so they changed the study protocol and removed 40% of the cohort from the database, thus rendering the findings statistically insignificant Then the study authors met in a meeting room and put all the original documents in a big garbage can. One of the coauthors, Dr. William S. Thompson, knew what they were doing was illegal, and he retained copies of everything. Those documents are now in the possession U.S. Rep. Bill Posey, but he lacks the committee chairmanship which would give him power of subpoena. Dr. Thompson retained one of the top whistle blower attorneys in the U.S, but, as a federal employee, he is not allowed to testify without a Congressional subpoena. The stakes were huge. Not only would this have restored the reputation of Dr. Wakefield, but there were, at the time, more than 5,000 autism claims in vaccine court. Conceding these would have bankrupted the trust fund which pays compensation for vaccine injuries. The vaccine court used this fraudulent (as published in Pediatrics in 2004 as DeStefano, et al.) study to dismiss every single case. The greatest miscarriage of justice in U.S. history. This fraud is the subject of the film Vaxxed. It will continue to be shown in the U.S. and elsewhere in 2017. The website has information about how to arrange a screening in your community.

      4. Gary Ogden

        Old fogey: One more thing: Trump is no shrinking violet. Like the general public he has great disdain for the media. He has known for at least ten years of the association of vaccines with autism and other neuro-developmental disorders. He met with Dr, Wakefield last September. He is not beholden to pharma. The truth will emerge. It will be ugly, as the whole edifice of “vaccines are safe and effective” will crumble like a house of cards built upon a foundation of sand, and fully-informed consent will be restored for American parents.

      5. AH Notepad

        Hang on, my house was built 170 years ago, on sand!. It is fine and in much better condition than those built on other terrain. 😉

      6. Eric

        Gary, I have not read up on this topic enough to form an opinion. And I find it very hard to find reputable sources in these post-factual times (actually, it isn’t that new, statin supports, medical associations, big pharma, but also supposedly good guys like Peat and Seneff have been know to publish articles that take a very selective view of the facts).

        However, I believe you may be projecting your wishful thinking onto Mr. Trump. Quest for truth, careful analysis of data, compassion and a drive to set injustice right just do not appear to be his defining character traits. I think it is more likely he met with Dr. Wakefield because he knew there were millions of angry anti-vaxxers out there, and it seemed like the thing that would win them over. That he has actually appointed someone who may be compatible with the goals he defined in his campeign might be conincidence. He had so many appointees who were at odds with campeign goals or with each other that he had to appoint a few who were consistent.

      7. Gary Ogden

        Eric: The public has no idea that Trump met with Dr. Wakefield. It has not been publicized. There are indeed millions of angry parents who were once pro-vaccine, until their children were injured by them. Trump has known about these issues for a long time. His stance on this issue is not political. Protecting children is not political. It is the fraud at the CDC and its coverup, which has harmed so many children, that Trump will be shining a light on, we hope. You can read the statement Dr. Thompson released through his attorney, and you can listen to Rep. Bill Posey speaking on the floor of the House in July, 2015 about this matter, if you want reliable information.

      8. Gary Ogden

        AH: I have no reference. The statement was rhetorical, in response to its rhetorical use by Eric. But it is certainly true if one looks worldwide. In the U.S. we can approximate using CDC figures. In 2014 the CDC estimated the rate of autism at 1 in 68 (among 8-year-olds). In 2016 they stated the number remained 1 in 68. Each birth cohort in the U.S. is roughly 14 million. Therefore, in each cohort for the three years 2014-1016 there are 205,000 with an ASD diagnosis, 605, 000 total (for the birth cohorts 2006-2008). If we add to these the children previously diagnosed since the explosion of neurological disorders began (in about 1989), it easily tops 1 million. About 30-40% of those diagnosed on the spectrum are at the severe end, which means non-verbal, often self-injurious, diapered into adulthood, prone to wandering, and rarely sleeping properly. Frequently this destroys marriages. Most of them get little to no help from a government who denies that their children’s injuries were iatrogenic. These people are worn out from 24-hour care of their offspring (often more than one sibling) who should be growing into young men and women, going to college, getting married. So yes, there are many angry parents. The number doesn’t matter. What is despicable is the callous disregard with which their government treats them. You won’t read any of this in the media. Their survival depends on the ad revenue from the makers of the products which injured these children.

      9. Luana

        Gary,

        1 out of 68 have an autism reaction. 30-40% of these have severe autism. So another way to say this is that 98.6% of children do not get autism from vaccinations, and 99.55% do not get severe autism (assuming a 35% severity rate).

      10. AH Notepad

        Interesting what impression figures can convey. 98.5% makes it sound safe, but 1 in 68 seems to me to be a significant risk. In epidemiological terms 1 in 68 [i]is[/i] a significant risk. I would like to know, what are the risks from not having the vaccination? Most of the people of my age group grew up without the vaccination, and if we caught anything it was a few days off school. Nowadays if a child catches measles, then it is headline news and we are given the impression the next biblical plague is upon us. Meanwhile the number of children with autism caused by vaccines at 1:68 never gets a mention. It is worth bearing in mind that 1:68 is near 1 child in every 2 average classrooms of children. Far to high a risk for what I think is probably to reduce a tiny risk.

      11. Luana

        AH Notepad,

        Sorry, I wasn’t suggesting a disregard for the injuries. I do this for everything (like sun causing melanoma statistics). But I think your question about what the risks are for not being vaccinated and how that compares to the injuries is key.

      12. Gary Ogden

        Luana: The actual risks from the diseases we vaccinate for are quite low. I will argue in the material I am preparing that the costs are far higher. A cost/benefit analysis would be very useful. One example of this, which was done by Dr. Gary Goldman, who was involved in surveillance of the varicella (chicken pox) vaccine for the CDC, showed that because of the resulting shingles epidemic, the social costs were three times what they had been before the vaccine. The costs of treating chicken pox and resulting days lost to work are trivial compared to the costs of treating shingles. The CDC was not interested in his shingles research. They ignored it. He thought it worthy of publication, and he did so, but not before they sent him a cease and desist letter! He had to hire an attorney to get them to back off. This research imperiled their varicella program, and that is what they do: vaccination programs, not public health, since they function as a delivery system for their partners, the pharmaceutical industry (you’ve heard of public/private partnerships?).

      13. Gary Ogden

        Frederica Huxley: The CDC did a telephone survey in 2015 and the result was 1 in 45 (1 in 27 boys). There is currently a whistleblower lawsuit in Utah (the state with highest rate) claiming fraud in the way their data was collected. They choose a handful of states for their incidence surveillance. For autism we must be skeptical of their numbers; there is no question that the numbers will continue to rise since the environmental triggers (vaccines, environmental chemicals, antibiotics, and acetaminophen, among others) are increasing in use.

      14. Gary Ogden

        AH Notepad: Yes, our cohort did perfectly fine with only a few vaccines, and none in infancy. There is a reason a few cases of measles result in banner headlines: This is called marketing. Most of biologically-based (compounds from plants, fungi, etc.) pharmaceuticals have already been discovered. These represent about 80% of the pharmacopoeia. So vaccines are their growth industry. There are hundreds in the development process. 2015 marked the first year revenues from vaccines exceeded those from pharmaceuticals according to Forbes magazine.

      15. Gary Ogden

        Luana: One million Americans diagnosed with autism, most of them under the age of 28, about 4 boys to each girl (testosterone amplifies the effect of the toxin, which may be mercury, aluminum salts, glyphosate, or a host of other environmental chemicals). It results from a neurological injury (often as a result of chronic microglial activation). The gut microbiome is also affected in most, as the brain and the gut are intimately connected and in constant communication. While there are genetic polymorphism which raise risk, neurological injury resulting in autism and a host of other sequelae almost invariably requires an environmental trigger. Autism is a man-made disaster It is a dire emergency. Percentages don’t even begin to tell the story.

      16. AH Notepad

        I agree there may be a significant number of parents who are angry about the disasterous effects of the MMR vaccine, I was questioning “millions” as I consider it important to have supporting references for such quantities. I accept that your calculations show a reasonable correlation, but proper data is needed for this to be used to counter the “it does not cause autism” position. Sorry to be pedantic, but I am insecure enough to need evidence for when I bring this up more widely.

      17. Gary Ogden

        AH Notepad: Thank you very much for your interest in and curiosity about this subject. It is virtually censored in all the mainstream media, which equates those who question vaccine safety to the tin-foil hat crowd. The viciousness with which Dr. Wakefield has been and still is vilified makes many physicians and scientists understandably reluctant to speak out, and the general public knows little about the actual science of vaccine injury as a result of this and the media blackout. A good start to learning about the issue would be “Dissolving Illusions” (Humphries and Bystrianyk), “The Age of Autism” (Olmsted and Blaxill), “Vaccine Epidemic” (Habakus and Holland, eds.), and the New York Times best-selling “Evidence of Harm” (David Kirby). Military personnel in both the U.S. and UK, were also grievously harmed during the Gulf War after receiving an experimental and very dangerous anthrax vaccine. 36% of the U.S. veterans of that war are now permanently disabled.

      18. AH

        Worrying about vaccines with respect t protecting children seems to be contradicted by by the suggestion trump will allow guns to be carried in schools and many public places. Lack of joined up thinking?

        >

      19. Gary Ogden

        AH: I share the concern of many about the proliferation of guns, especially in public places, and don’t own one myself. We do have a right in our Constitution to “keep and bear” them, so legislation affecting this right is fraught with Constitutional issues. Dr. Benjamin Rush, one of the signers of our Constitution, advocated for adding language guaranteeing a right of health freedom, but he was unsuccessful. In any case, protecting children from injury from medical treatment is an entirely different issue, and a far graver concern. Every vaccination injures, even though most of the time it is not obvious. What politician is consistent and coherent in their policy goals?

      20. Gary Ogden

        Eric: I am, like many, concerned with some of Trump’s Cabinet appointees, but we hope that Dr. Price (an orthopedic surgeon) for DHHS will rein in the increasing control of our health choices and our bodies by government. Also, for the info on CDC fraud, search: drwilliamsthompsonattorneystatment, and it will take you right to it. Search: repbillposeyjuly292015 and it will take you right to c-span.

      21. Eric

        Hey, seems I left before the party really took off! Reading the comments after a day’s absence, it seems to me Gary quoted the 1 in 68 figure of the CDC without implying that the CDC admitted this was caused by vaccination. Luana then got ahead of Gary by assuming that these were all caused by vaccination reactions, and then everybody assumed it was true.

        While I won’t rule out that vaccinations are in part responsible for this, there are about 20 other reasons I would guess have a bigger contribution.

        1.) Autism is diagnosed much more readily than it was 30 years ago.
        2.) What about industrially made food?
        3.) Environmental poisons?
        4.) Questionable medication of pregnant moms?
        5.) Toddlers babysat by TVs or electronic games?
        6.) Breakdown of family structures, e.g. both parents working two jobs each to make ends meet?
        7.) The economic meltdown of 2008/09 (did that cause yet another rise in autism rates?)
        8.) More Caesarians?
        9.) Health food craze, e.g. too much of cruciferous veggies, omega6 oils, fish oil?

        20) Pregnancy yoga (only partly tongue in cheek!)

        Also, for some anecdotal evidence, l was born in the late 60s, and looking at my vaccinaton pass, the schedule in Germany at the time was already aggressive then, if not as aggressive as today and in the US. My kids’ (who are in their early teens) schedule was slightly more aggressive. I live in a town that harbors a few successful tech companies, so untypically for Germany, it is growing, and the birth rate is quite high (with many couples having their first child in their 40s). Also, I know quite a few doctors, including pediatrists and neurologists, as scientist / MD couples are not uncommon. Yet I know of not a single case of autism, among adults or kids, from my home town, school, university, work, daycare, elementary school, middle school, sports club, you name it. There are a few cases of trisomy 21, depression, attention deficit disorders, which appear to match the statistics (so my anecdotal observations seem well calibrated for other disorders). I get similar pictures from my siblings and in-law siblings, all of whom have young kids but live in other parts of the country I also know a few adults that I would place on the low end of the autism scale, but this is only to be expected in a techy enviroment. There is simply no trace of an autism epedemic here. This may well be down to a lower concentration of shrinks here, slighly less adultered food and more emphasis on getting kids outdoors, but certainly not due to a less aggressive vaccination schedule.

      22. Mr Chris

        Vaccination is important, but pending a new blog we could get on with Lp(a) and l arginine and l carnitine

      23. Gary Ogden

        Dr. Kendrick: Just for informational purposes:
        Johns Hopkins, in Baltimore, MD, is one of the world’s leading hospitals and medical schools.
        For those interested in the subject, here is a good overview of the problems of U.S. vaccination policy printed in their journal Narrative Inquiry in Bioethics:
        healthchoice.org/2017/01/20/narrative-inquiry-in-bioethics

      24. AH Notepad

        Gaetan, tahnk you for the vaccine link. Fantastic information. I think I will be buying the gold package so I have it before vested interests get to work.

      25. Frederica Huxley

        If only 10% of this series can be verified, it would still be appalling – I have watched it all with horror.

      26. AH Notepad

        Compare the careful and thought through, professional, measured tones in those videos with a pro-vaccine view from supposed doctors who drop into boorish tones faster than a US president.

    1. Martin Back

      In South Africa about 30% of women attending ante-natal clinics are found to be HIV-positive. Since most of them are young, black and relatively poor, there is no chance they are extensive users of hard drugs, nor would they have been getting powerful prescription drugs. They were people with normal immune systems who were unlucky enough to share bodily fluids often enough with an HIV-positive person to get infected with the HIV virus via sexual transmission.

      And once you have AIDS, you have to have treatment, otherwise you die and/or infect other people. The pharmaceutical industry responded to urgent demand. They developed modern drugs after extensive research and testing, they didn’t invent a disease to sell a product they had no other use for. In the early days they had AZT which was unsuitable, but that was in a crisis situation when nothing better was available.

      These days, paradoxically, people with AIDS are living longer than the the average person. That’s because they go for regular checkups, apparently. At least the medication is no longer killing them or bankrupting national health systems.

      Reply
      1. Sasha

        Martin, Pharma didn’t invent the early drugs for HIV, at least not AZT. Look up “The Truth About the Drug Companies” by Marcia Angel. It has the whole chapter on it.

      2. Gaetan

        I remember 30 years ago the campaign of terror the authority did to scare us about aids and how we would all die if we had unprotected sex. LOL. Turns out among all the people i have known and came across in my entire life, none died from aids, none developed it either. Condoms or not.

        AIDS in Africa is mostly propaganda just like the ZIKA virus or all the viruses year after year that are supposed to whip out the humanity if we don’t get vaccinated. The truth though is that almost no one ever dies from those lethal viruses (vaccinated or not), probably in the same magnitude of mortal rattlesnake bites. BUT it brings billions to big pharmas and CNN. and scare the shit out of people watching national news (unfortunately)

        AIDS is not an STD and cannot be transmitted sexually among healthy, non drug user, individual.

        People with aids do not live longer, because aids do not exist. It’s really a destroyed immune system of hard drug users in north America and western Europe. And in Africa i am pretty sure they dont go to regular check ups more frequently than we do. What they have in Africa is entirely different, still nothing to do with aids, but cases of malnutrition and lack of clean safe drinkable water etc.

        HIV testing is completely and utterly meaningless, way too many false positives. And HIV doesn’t leads to aids.

        ”Pharmaceutical companies are in the driving seat in terms of increasing the so-called AIDS patients, around the world. THE MORE THE NUMBER OF PERSONS DOWN WITH DESTROYED IMMUNE SYSTEMS,THE MORE THE PROFIT. That is the HIV/AIDS rule.”

        further reading that is worth the time:

        https://www.sott.net/article/299883-Questioning-the-HIV-AIDS-hypothesis

      3. Gaetan

        ”Some Good News

        One piece of good news is that this year the U.S. Military Appeals Court overturned an HIV conviction, which sentenced this sergeant to an 8-year jail term for attending a sex party not disclosing that he is HIV+. Acknowledging the fact that the likelihood of heterosexual HIV transmission is close to non-existent, which lawyers for the Office of Medical and Scientific Justice [16] pointed out, the court ruled that the evidence used to convict the sergeant was “legally insufficient.”

        Conclusion

        In summary, to quote Shakespeare (in the Rape of Lucrece):

        “Time’s glory is to calm contending kings,
        To unmask falsehood
        And bring truth to light.”

        The catechism “HIV causes AIDS” bas brought about wrong diagnoses, psychological terror, toxic treatments, a homosexual holocaust, and a squandering of public funds. A fallacy of modern medicine is the HIV/AIDS hypothesis. ”

      4. Martin Back

        Gaetan, I see there’s no point in talking to you. You probably do know people with AIDS but they would never tell you, because it’s regarded as a shameful condition to have. These days they take their medication and look perfectly healthy. Years ago they would withdraw from society and waste away quietly because there was no treatment.

        Babies get AIDS from infected mothers, either during birth or from drinking their milk; children get it from infected blood transfusion; sexually active people get it from unprotected sex; drug addicts get it from sharing needles; doctors and nurses get it from needle-stick injuries; dentists get it from infected material spraying in their eyes; and the old age homes are becoming a problem because the old folks are more frisky these days.

        AIDS is actually quite difficult to get and by taking simple precautions you can minimise the risk considerably.

        Once people have been identified as having AIDS, the government enrolls them in a program where they get counselling, regular checkups, and their medication. It’s been a long struggle. The numbers of new infections are finally dropping, but they are still over 1000 a day.

      5. Gaetan

        read his book and you’ll have a different opinion.

        You are rambling what we heard for the past 30 years from government agencies and the accepted mainstream view. You don’t need to tell me about it, i have read extensively about HIV and AIDS.

        And no, i don’t know anyone with aids or never heard about anyone suffering from it. It’s not even listed as an STD either. They don’t even check for it when you ask for an STD test, where i live anyways.

      6. Gaetan

        Sorry Dr. Kendrick, this is my last post about HIV/AIDS

        Martin you could always read those 2 more recent books on the topic:

        In 2007, two important books on HIV/AIDS were published, one by Rebecca Culshaw, a Canadian-trained mathematician and assistant professor of mathematics at the University of Texas at Tyler. The other one, The Origin, Persistence, and Failings of HIV/AIDS Theory is by Henry Bauer. He is Professor Emeritus of Chemistry and Science Studies and Dean Emeritus of Arts & Sciences at Virginia Tech.

        A reviewer of Dr. Culshaw’s book writes:

        “Noting the long recognized near impossibility of isolating HIV particles even from advanced AIDS patients, Culshaw remarks: ‘The farcical concept of viral load was invented to create the illusion of correcting this embarrassing fact.’ The book demonstrates that the entire theoretical edifice of HIV/AIDS is an illusion, a vast farce, now a faith, the greatest blunder in the history of medicine. It will forever shame what we today accept as ‘science’ that a courageous young mathematician, armed with one brief volume, can so easily discredit twenty years of Earth’s most advanced research enterprise.”

        Regarding Dr. Bauer’s book, the late Joel Kaufman makes this important point:

        “One of the most difficult things to write is a refutation of a massive fraud, especially a health fraud, in the face of research cartels, media control, and knowledge monopolies by financial powerhouses… The obstacles to dumping the dogma are clearly highlighted as Dr. Bauer discusses the near impossibility of having so many organizations recant, partly because of the record number of lawsuits that would arise.”

      7. Martin Back

        This will be my last post on HIV/AIDS. I have no special interest in the subject. I know one person, a friend of a friend, who got AIDS. I saw him when he was saying his last goodbyes before going to his mother to die. It was shocking to see how such a vigorous and athletic young man had wasted away to a frail husk. Full-blown AIDS is a terrible affliction.

        Most of what I know is general knowledge via the news media and radio interviews. I have lived through the denialist Mbeki years when gutless health professionals would toe the party line and suggest garlic, lemon juice, beetroot and African potato as a treatment for AIDS. Thank goodness, things are much more open now, thanks to the efforts of courageous organizations like the Treatment Action Campaign, and there is frank discussion of the subject. In fact, I get the impression that the average South African knows more about AIDS than the average European or American, which is perhaps as it should be because of the much higher incidence of AIDS here.

        Forget about chemistry and mathematics professors, or researchers whose best work was done thirty years ago. Speak to the people on the front lines. The doctors, social workers, and health officials who daily deal with something that threatened to become a society-destroying epidemic, not only from a medical point of view, but from a psychological and socio-economic perspective as well. They communicate regularly to the public via the media here in South Africa and are not shy to mention penises, vaginas, anal sex, condoms, etc etc.

        In the early years the health professionals were helpless. People would get AIDS, they would fight it for a while, then their CD4 cell count would go down, their immune systems would collapse, and they would die of opportunistic infections. There was AZT, which was so horrible people wouldn’t take it and anyway it wasn’t particularly effective.

        There was no test for the virus. I was a blood donor at the time and used to read the little card, “Do you have flu-like symptoms? Night sweats? Lumps under the arms? Please don’t give blood.” And I used to think, hmmm, I did have a little sniffle. Is this a lump in my armpit? And I am sweating a bit. Better not give. But that didn’t stop thousands of previously healthy hemophiliacs and people needing blood transfusions for operations or car crashes getting AIDS from infected blood. Which is proof enough of the reality of HIV, as far as I am concerned.

        These days the picture has changed completely. As they say, AIDS is no longer a death sentence, it is a life sentence. The medication no longer makes you vomit. As long as you are diligent about taking it, your viral load becomes undetectable, your CD4 cell count stays high, and you stay healthy. No one would know you had AIDS unless you told them. Best of all, there is very little chance of passing the infection along.

        The tests are good enough that the blood supply is now pretty much guaranteed to be uninfected. Actually, they don’t test for the virus, they test for the antibodies, I believe.

        Maybe as you say they are testing for something that doesn’t exist in order to sell you fake medicine that does nothing. But the funny thing is, the system works, and millions are alive today because of it.

        Using Occam’s razor, the simplest explanation is the conventional one: HIV is a virus that is transmitted in bodily fluids, it attacks the immune system, and if left untreated the host will die from opportunistic infections. And the advice is the same: don’t sleep around (and hope your partner doesn’t either), always wear a condom, don’t share needles. And if you get AIDS, see a doctor. They have very effective treatments even if they don’t have a cure.

      8. Anna

        AZT was an old drug developed at taxpayer expense and should have cost 50 cents. Instead they charged about 12,000 a year, and that is years ago. It is for reasons like this, rather than lack of public health insurance, that our nation will be bankrupted by medical fraud/greed/racketeering if these practices are not reigned in.

      9. Gaetan

        AZT was killing people with cancer so they removed it cause it was too lethal, and suddenly out of the blues it was safe to treat people with an already compromised immune system. Go figure. It smells of evil and unfortunately no one will ever go to jail because of that human poisonning.

      10. smartersig

        A very close friend of mine died of Cancer or should I say cancer treatment a couple of years ago. She was given the usual ravaging treatments for breast cancer which completely scuppered her immune system which I since learnt had been below normal levels pre cancer. The bottom line is that she contracted the worse case of shingles the doctors had every dealt with and the pain killers needed afterwards to try and get her back to daily life along with the cancer drugs rendered her incapable of functioning. Not feeding herself she lost lots of weight and eventually died at the age of 61. Now the point I am making is that her death certificate made no mention of cancer or cancer treatment and yet in my mind this was what led to her death. How many people die of cancer treatment and have Hodgkins Lymphoma or some other disease attributed with the cause and not cancer treatment ?.

  12. Kathy Sollien

    just curious – how is it determined that in humans or guinea pigs, within days their plagues have either increased or decreased? Is that done by CT scan or some other method? By the way, have been taking extra Vit C after reading your blogs and getting great information.

    Reply
      1. Kathy Sollien

        Ha – I get that but was referring to the very small trial in regards to the 16 humans and vitamin C that Willis had studied prior to the rodents.
        thanks

      2. Eric

        Actually, I wondered about that when I read your summary of his work and the quote. How could he deplete the guinea pigs, replete them and then find that the plaques either melted away or not so much, dependig on the duration of depletion?

        Either he had a way to do in-vivo monitoring, or he actually depleted 3n guinea pigs, killed n right away, kept another n on the same diet for another week or so to establish what the plaques did, and injected the last n with vitamin C and killed them after a week. That’s a very cumbersome way to do it, and apart from consuming a greater number of animals, it decreases the confidence of the observation that the plaques melted away. On the other hand, I read that guinea pigs baked in clay are tasty…

      3. Eric

        I Take tat back. He had a total of 77 animals tat he “sacrificed” at various time. Lots of clay needed…

      4. Eliot

        I think Willis used X-Ray Arteriography. I.e, inject a dye that sticks to the plaque and then take an x-ray of it. He recorded plaques shrinking, growing and staying the same, which can’t be determined strictly post-mortem.

  13. smartersig

    Thank you Dr Kendrick, this is probably your best article yet. I want to put my weight behind this argument, yes a sample of 1 I know. My Lp(a) was 31 which is a bit too high. It really needs to be below 23 if memory serves me right. I went on a bog standard Boots 1000mg Vit C tablet per day and my levels dropped to 21. After about a year I was away for 3 months and half way through ran out of Vit C and being a bit lazy stopped taking it. When I returned after being off it for around a month or two my Lp(a) was back to 31 ish. I went back on the Vit C and hey presto back to around 22. Since then I have added a breakfast pink grapefuit peeled every morning after reading they are good for keeping Tr’igs down (must admit research funded by Israel, big grapfruit producers) and my latest Lp(a) is at an all time low of 18. Also when I attended the BHF conference in 2015 a speaker who has research connections in Lp(a) declared that nothing could lower it. I raised my hand and said ‘that is not true’ and proceeded to tell him the research and my story. He refused to believe me and even when I tackled Dr Datta after the speech he was not interested in my Vit C angle. I decided to send Dr Datta some data given that Datta had a data problem. He did have the decency to reply and conceded that the paper and the datta sorry data was interesting.

    Good Video presentation here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O0lEmXJD7p4

    paper http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26064792

    Reply
      1. smartersig

        It is quite amazing that the list of things you cannot take on Warfarrin or what ever med of choice almost seems to be good for you. usually they say it will interfere with it which to me sounds like it will mean you will need to take less…yippee.

        To your question, I used to take a Boots 1000 Vitc one tablet per day. I now take a Holland Barret 750 I think it is with added Zinc (Holland and Barret is a High st shop here in the UK).. So as you can see nothing fancy. I also eat one pink grapefruit each morning peeled so that plenty of the pithe remains. The thing to do is try these things and test before and after. I have offered advice if you are in the UK and find blood testing expensive. I have a round of about 6 test yearly but I have them in Portugal where they cost me about £150 whereas in the UK they would cost over £600. Portugal has high street testing labs, you just walk in and get tested for Lp(a), APO A etc etc. You can also be mindful of other sources and increase these so for example bell peppers are very high so next time you settle down with that Netflix film get some hummus and sliced bell peppers rather than the pop corn.

      2. robert lipp

        Grapefruit somehow potentiates the efficacy of the meds (resulting in a potential overdose) also applies to warfarin – as I understand it.

    1. LuanaLi

      smartersig,

      Wow! Thank you so much for that video link. I found it riveting. This is my first exposure to Dr. Rath. Unfortunately I’ve only heard the bad stuff. It feels like a light switch just went on–he definitely has my attention now!

      In this video, he mentions two studies. Here are the links if you’d like them:
      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3886767/
      http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/80/6/1508.abstract

      It’s interesting they found such dramatic improvements with just 700 mg of C, and very little effect with vitamin E.

      Dr. Rath’s research page is http://www.drrathresearch.org.
      Looks like some very interesting information, including new research that blood pressure drugs block vitamin C.

      Reply
  14. smartersig

    One other thing I would like to add to my post is that before going on this Vit C crusade I used to get the occasional gum bleed when brushing my teeth. Nowdays no matter how vigourously I brush I never get any gum bleeds. The other thing I would like to add Dr Kendrick is a question. How much do you reckon it would cost to run a trial on Vit C that has some meaning. I suppose what I am asking is what is the minimum we could get away with and yet have some rigour in the results. A ball park figure will do. The reason I ask this is that I would certainly get behind it and perhaps through crowd funding we could put it together.

    Reply
    1. Helen

      I agree crowd funding is probably the only way of doing it, given that governments or independent research institutes (do such entities exist?) appear not to be interested. I’d be willing to contribute.

      Reply
  15. LuanaLi

    Dr. Kendrick,

    Thank you for this! It’s particularly helpful given my recent grappling with the supplement issue.

    Most of the discussions on your blog regarding supplement intervention for lp(a) have been around L-arginine. I’m wondering why you dropped it from your recommendations.

    Reply
  16. Justin Phillips

    This has been a fascinating post! I have read extensively on the links with Vit C (Pauling, Rath, Thomas Levy and many others). There is another aspect about inflammation of any sort consuming electrons – which depletes Vitamin C – as the body’s primary redox agent – and the age old debate about IHD and inflammation (chicken and egg). It all comes down to electron balance – antioxidants helping, inflammatory causes not helping. VitC being about the easiest way of adding antioxidants, and avoidance of toxins (smoking, carbs, environmental toxins, substance abuse etc) being the best ways to conserve electrons.

    Then we know that IHD not equal to Thrombosis potential. Could this be related to the Zeta potential of blood – Zeta potential being hat property of a colloid (blood) to reduce viscosity with increased electron potential? Another matter of electron potential – and this in turn has reference to the bit about Solar activity etc etc. Body Voltage is what defines life in fact…..

    I take 8-10 grams of Vit C daily, as a lovely powdered drink. What it does for a night out is beyond amazing – if it can handle excess alcohol so effectively, imagine the efficiency on other toxins. Meanwhile I like to believe my collagen is up to scratch, especially artery walls etc.

    Dr Thomas Levy (Board cert US cardiologist) explains best here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ZYZXHtq-VU

    See also ascorbate1.blogspot.com for a good collection of Vit C resources.

    Reply
  17. Emma

    Wonderful stuff, as always!
    While not at all against using high dose vitamin C, and wholeheartedly agreeing that the RDAs are balderdash, I would disagree that we need to take grams of vitamin C to compensate for our lost ability to make it. It is a ‘Just So Story’ that primates don’t make vitamin C because once upon a time our ancestors ate so much fruit that they didn’t need to make more, and lost the ability. Plenty of animals have a vitamin C rich diet and still churn out their own. And for our ancestors to have sourced, from fruit, the amount of vitamin C manufactured per kilogram of body weight by say, a rabbit, well that would be an impossible amount of food. For an adult human to equal it, you are looking at 2,315 apples a day!
    So it wasn’t a defect, a loss of function, it was an evolutionary advantage. Instead of continuing to make vitamin C from glucose, our ancestors evolved to RECYCLE it, a far more efficient use of resources. Which explains why we can get by on such tiny amounts of dietary vitamin C, compared to the amounts churned out by other species.
    I also suspect that some of the health benefits of high dose vitamin C may be because it is ‘sparing’ other antioxidants, or it is helping compensate for another deficiency – for example low vitamin D in winter.
    Having said all that, I wouldn’t discourage anyone who feels the benefit of taking extra vitamin C, and think it’s a great shame that research / investment is so problematic.

    Reply
    1. Eric

      Emma, interesting twist. Any literature on that?

      Ascorbate is not part of the Krebs cycle, so it does not make sense for other animals to make huge amounts of it.

      Large dogs and baby cows, both of which have approximately the weight of a human. They make 1 – 2 g per day, 10 g in case of severe illness or injury. 1 – 2 g seems to little for any metabolic benefit. Given the multiple ways that ascorbate is helfpul without contributing to the Krebs cycle, I doubt humans could have come up with a way to recycle “used” ascorbate from all pathways.

      Reply
    2. Eric

      OK, never mind about recycling. Someone posted the French paper below, it is about red blood cells taking up and transporting DHA.

      Reply
  18. Neil Macleod

    Very interesting Doc. Vitamin C especially in a readily digestible form is promoted strongly by my Chiropractor. Supposedly it helps prevent a cold too.
    Meanwhile my Chiropractor put me on Cardio Plus & Dyaplex Vitamins by Standard Process. My cholesterol and A1c dropped well into the recommended ranges. My Internist was happy with the new numbers. Me as well.
    All the best…Neil

    Reply
    1. Philippa

      What was your cholesterol before taking these and what is it now. Did they do anything for your blood pressure? Where do you purchase them from they seem to be expensive. They contain plant sterols are these a good thing to take?

      Reply
  19. Bill

    “t-PA can be manufactured and given to people who have heart attacks and strokes, to break apart the blood clots that are blocking the arteries in the brain, or the heart. You may have heard of t-PA referred to as a ‘clot-buster.’ Great stuff…”

    Maybe not, as I’m sure you are aware, for strokes anyway. Apparently the “science” relied upon by the neurologists to justify pushing t-PA administration to victims of ischemic stroke would easily have deserved a chapter in “Doctoring Data.” Gary Taubes could write a great book about it in his own long series of exposés of ridiculously bad science. Just one example of the critiques on t-PA use for strokes:

    http://www.thennt.com/nnt/thrombolytics-for-stroke/

    One big problem, as ER doctors keep annoyingly pointing out to the neurologists, is that many people spontaneously recover from strokes. Doug McGuff has described watching neurologists leaning over stroke victims in the ER, about to inject t-PA, when the patient spontaneously opens his or her eyes and appears substantially recovered. When that happens *after* t-PA, as it often does, too, of course the neurologists horribly strain their arms trying to pat themselves on the back. But they have no way to know if they helped or not. They do know t-PA can and does cause devastating bleeds, which one would have hoped would temper their enthusiasm. Much like every woman with a positive mammogram who survives after BC treatment credits the screening for saving them. When, in reality, many, perhaps the great majority, of them would have survived without or without.

    Reply
  20. AH Notepad

    Thanks Dr. K. Interesting article which must have taken significant effort to assemble. I thought you would have to soon run out of interesting articles to publish, but no, yet another one. 🙂

    Is there a home Lp(a) test? I ask because I have no idea what mine is, and I wouldn’t want an NHS one because of their identifying me as a case for treatment. I am unsure of the exact position and will have to go through this article again, but if vitamin reduces Lp(a) is this the same as reducing LDL is the same as reducing cholesterol? If so does this explain why some (most) think statins are a good thing, and is reducing the Lp(a) a good thing? If my diet does not have sufficient vitamin C it would be good to know and rectify it, by supplement if necessary.

    So much to know and so little time to find out, but thanks again for plugging some of the gaps.

    Reply
  21. Danny Evatt

    Having high levels of Lp(a) myself, I thank you again (currently taking vitamin C, as well as L-Arginine and L-carnitine.)

    If I may add to your excellent post, a bit of historical irony. Research by myself into scurvy turned up the fact that many unfortunate sailors died of it (a horrible way to die actually) while others, who ate exactly the same things on the ship, did not. Though it was said these that those who didn’t pass from scurvy had angels on their side, one suspects that they simply had high levels of Lp(a). High enough levels to keep the scurvy at bay – at least a bit longer than the poor souls who had normal or lower levels of Lp(a).

    Another of life’s little mysteries at least partially solved…

    Reply
    1. Luana

      Danny,

      You’ve mentioned before that you’ve been on this protocol for a while. Have you noticed any changes in your lp(a)? If I recall correctly, you also mentioned that you were going to get a followup CAC test. Have you gotten that? Were there any improvements? Just wondering if the protocol translated into an actual reversal.

      Thanks for sharing your personal story. Also, thanks for the scurvy story. I’ve never heard that before.

      Reply
      1. Harald Richter

        Luana,

        the question is if vitamin C supplementation might lower risk without lowering Lp(a)?

        As I am concerned as well, my Lp(a) levels dropped significantly with 2g niacin/day, but my CAC score did not change within a year, so I added Vitamin C 6g/day recently.
        So I am very curious for my next CAC score in a year…

        Harald

      2. Luana

        Harald,

        Dr. Kendrick has stated before that he wasn’t sure that lowering lp(a) was a good idea. I’m not sure why he’s changed his mind. But theoretically, lp(a) is only a problem if it’s been called into action to fix the weak vessels. Rath & Pauling said the vulnerabilities are caused by deficiencies in vitamin C, lysine, and proline, and that if you fix the deficiencies, you fix the problem.

        But a separate issue is if whether or not you can actually reverse lp(a) cementing (atherosclerosis) once it’s done. Rath claims that you can, based on a study he did with 55 people 21 years ago. He used a long, long…long (!) 🙂 list of supplements. I haven’t seen anywhere that the study has been repeated with more current imaging technology, but maybe someone else has found it. http://www.unicityscience.org/images/Files/niedzwieki.pdf

        Ivor Cummins has some research on his website showing that the risk really isn’t with the CAC score as much as the progression in the score. If that’s true then it could be that the real key is preventing lp(a)’s action moving forward.

        Anyway Harold, I hope you’ll keep us posted on your results. By the way, if you don’t mind me asking, are you taking statins by any chance? I’m asking because they have been shown to increase calcification, so that may be a confound to your protocol.

      3. Harald Richter

        Luana,

        this is very interesting, thank you for the link!
        I did not know, that a study like this was ever done, although it does not account individuals with elevated Lp(a)…
        I was on stains for a longer period, but after my last CAC scan I stopped them.
        I take high dose ascorbate and the amino acids and still niacin,
        but actually I like the idea that it might not be necessary to lower Lp(a) but to hinder it come into action as you stated! And there seems to be some evidence for this theory!
        Of course I will let you know about the outcome of my next scan!

        Harald

  22. Errett

    Excellent post Dr. K—-

    A new study (2008) appears to explain how humans, along with other higher primates, guinea pigs and fruit bats, get by with what some have called an “inborn metabolic error”: an inability to produce vitamin C from glucose.

    Unlike the more than 4,000 other species of mammals who manufacture vitamin C, and lots of it, the red blood cells of the handful of vitamin C-defective species are specially equipped to suck up the vitamin’s oxidized form, so-called L-dehydroascorbic acid (DHA), the researchers report in the March21st issue of Cell, a publication of Cell Press. Once inside the blood cells, that DHA–which is immediately transformed back into ascorbic acid (a.k.a. vitamin C)–can be efficiently carried through the bloodstream to the rest of the body, the researchers suggest.

    “Evolution is amazing. Even though people talk about this as an ‘inborn error’–a metabolic defect that all humans have–there is also this incredible manner in which we’ve responded to the defect, using some of the body’s most plentiful cells,” said Naomi Taylor of Université Montpellier I and II in France, noting that the body harbors billions of red blood cells. “[Through evolution], we’ve created this system that takes out the oxidized form of vitamin C and transports the essential, antioxidant form.”

    Meanwhile, the red cells of other mammals apparently take up very little, if any, DHA, which might explain why they need to produce so much more vitamin C than we need to get from our diets, Taylor said. The recommended daily dose of vitamin C for humans is just one mg/kg, while goats, for example, produce the vitamin at a striking rate of 200 mg/kg each day.

    In essence, the red cells of animals that can’t make vitamin C recycle what little they’ve got. Earlier studies had described the recycling process, Taylor said. “Our contribution to the whole story is to show that this process of recycling exists specifically in mammals that don’t make vitamin C.”

    Scientists knew that the protein called Glut1, found in the membranes of cells throughout the body, is the primary transporter of glucose. They also knew that Glut1 can transport DHA too, thanks to the structural similarities between the two molecules. In biochemical assays, it appeared that the glucose transporter would move glucose and DHA interchangeably.

    But, in the new study, Taylor’s group made a surprising discovery: The Glut1 on human red blood cells strongly favors DHA over glucose. In fact, the human blood cells are known to carry more Glut1 than any other cell type, harboring more than 200,000 molecules on the surface of every cell. Nevertheless, the researchers found, as red blood cells develop in the bone marrow, their transport of glucose declines even as Glut1 numbers skyrocket.

    The key to the glucose transporters switch to DHA, they show, is the presence of another membrane protein called stomatin. (Accordingly, in patients with a rare genetic disorder of red cell membrane permeability wherein stomatin is only present at low levels, DHA transport is decreased by 50% while glucose uptake is significantly increased, they report.)

    Then, another surprise: The researchers found that the red cells of mice, a species that can produce vitamin C, don’t carry Glut1 on their red blood cells at all. They carry Glut4 instead. They suspected that the differences in human red blood cells might be linked to our inability to synthesize the reduced form of DHA, vitamin C, from glucose. In fact, they confirmed Glut1 expression on human, guinea pig and fruit bat red blood cells, but not on any other mammalian red cells tested, including rabbit, rat, cat, dog and chinchilla. Next, they took a closer look at primates. Primates belonging to the Haplorrhini suborder (including prosimian tarsiers, new world monkeys, old world monkeys, humans and apes) have lost the ability to synthesize vitamin C, whereas primates in the Strepsirrhini suborder (including lemurs) are reportedly able to produce this vitamin, Taylor explained.

    Notably, they detected Glut1 on all tested red blood cells of primates within the higher primate group, including long-tailed macaques, rhesus monkeys, baboons and magot monkeys. In marked contrast, Glut1 was not detected on lemur red blood cells. Moreover, they report, although DHA uptake in human and magot red cells was similar, the level of transport in cells from three different lemur species was less than 10% of that detected in higher primates.

    “Red blood cell-specific Glut1 expression and DHA transport are specific traits of the few vitamin C-deficient mammalian species, encompassing only higher primates, guinea pigs and fruit bats,” the researchers concluded. “Indeed, the red cells of adult mice do not harbor Glut1 and do not transport DHA. Rather, Glut4 is expressed on their cells. Thus, the concomitant induction of Glut1 and stomatin during red blood cell differentiation constitutes a compensatory mechanism in mammals that are unable to synthesize the essential ascorbic acid metabolite,” otherwise known as vitamin C.

    The researchers include Amelie Montel-Hagen, Institut de Genetique Moleculaire de Montpellier, CNRS, Universite´ Montpellier I and II, Montpellier, France; Sandrina Kinet, Institut de Genetique Moleculaire de Montpellier, CNRS, Universite´ Montpellier I and II, Montpellier, France; Nicolas Manel, Institut de Genetique Moleculaire de Montpellier, CNRS, Universite´ Montpellier I and II, Montpellier, France; Cedric Mongellaz, Institut de Genetique Moleculaire de Montpellier, CNRS, Universite´ Montpellier I and II, Montpellier, France; Rainer Prohaska, Max F. Perutz Laboratories, Department of Medical Biochemistry, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria; Jean-Luc Battini, Institut de Genetique Moleculaire de Montpellier, CNRS, Universite´ Montpellier I and II, Montpellier, France; Jean Delaunay, Hematologie, Hopital de Bicetre, APHP, INSERM U779, Faculte´ de Medecine Paris-Sud, Le Kremlin-Bicetre, France; Marc Sitbon, Institut de Genetique Moleculaire de Montpellier, CNRS, Universite´ Montpellier I and II, Montpellier, France; and Naomi Taylor, Institut de Genetique Moleculaire de Montpellier, CNRS, Universite´ Montpellier I and II, Montpellier, France.

    Story Source:

    Materials provided by Cell Press. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

    Reply
  23. Eric

    Great blog post!

    I don’t agree about your last paragraph about RDAs being bare minima. Just taking vitamin C, the daily turnover is 20 mg, yet the RDA is 100 mg (though many publications argue for a higher RDA).

    Having compared RDAs to actual content in fresh fruit for various vitamins, my impression is that RDAs are what can be achieved just barely if one follows a balanced diet. This would advocate some supplementation. But then, I believe that almost everything follows a U-curve.

    Historically, humans have not had the chance at a balanced diet that we have today (note that I wrote chance, as many choose to feed their faces in an unbalanced manner). I find it unlikely that we evolved to a point where the optima of supply are far away from what we could get.

    Reply
    1. Bob

      You can’t assume causation, Mark. I got DVT after going low carb. It’s doubtful diet was to blame, though I wouldn’t rule it out.

      Reply
      1. Bob

        My previous reply is in the wrong place. Sorry

        Eric, people tend to assume vitamin C comes from fruit but isn’t lives a better source?

      2. Gary Ogden

        Bob: According to the USDA database, what are called hot and sweet peppers (but really are chiles) have the highest vitamin C content of foods: the highest are hot green peppers, with 2.42 mg/g; cruciferous vegetables and many fruits are good sources (Kiwi fruit at 0.93, and broccoli at 0.65 are the highest). Chicken liver has 0.28 mg/g, and turkey giblets 0.13, but beef liver has very little.

  24. Gay Corran

    Thank you for another brilliant blog, Dr Kendrick. I had a problem getting to your page on my iPad and have had to start again, or I would have commented more on the last one. I find most of the guest posts interesting and informative, and like most of your fans, am very grateful for the time and research you put into running the blog, in addition to appreciation of your style of writing, with its humorous light-touched way of making deep and effective points.

    Reply
  25. Eric

    So how much carnitine do people actually take? Red meat contains about 100 mg / 100 g, and typical consumption on a non-vegetarian diet seems to be 100 – 300 mg / d.

    There is also endogeneous synthesis, provided one has sufficient vitamin C, B3 (Niacin), B6 and iron.

    Reply
  26. HotScot

    Dr Kendrick,

    I read the following on http://blog.doctoroz.com/dr-oz-blog/why-we-were-wrong-l-carnitine

    when I did a random search for L-carnitine supplements.

    “After you ingest L-carnitine, it travels to your gut, and intestinal bacteria converts the L-carnitine into a substance called TMA, which then gets processed by the liver. The liver converts TMA into a compound that has been linked to plaque build-up in the arteries and heart disease. This conversion was most apparent in those who regularly ate red meat. Remarkably, vegans and vegetarians, even after consuming a large amount of carnitine, did not produce significant levels of TMA. It may be because they have different gut bacteria.”

    I tried their link to “This new research” and eventually got to this link in ‘Nature’ http://www.nature.com/nm/journal/v19/n5/full/nm.3145.html

    I don’t have a Nature account, so have no access past the abstract (not that I would understand it).

    Reply
      1. BobM

        If that’s not good enough, here’s a review study:

        https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130412132321.htm

        One paragraph from this study:

        “This systematic review of the 13 controlled trials in 3,629 patients, involving 250 deaths, 220 cases of new heart failure, and 38 recurrent heart attacks, found that L-carnitine was associated with:

        · Significant 27% reduction in all-cause mortality (number needed to treat 38)

        · Highly significant 65% reduction in ventricular arrhythmias (number needed to treat 4)

        · Significant 40% reduction in the development of angina (number needed to treat 3)

        · Reduction in infarct size”.

        It seems odd that l-carnitine has these alleged benefits in people with heart disease….yet also causes heart disease.

      2. Stephen T

        Bob M, I agree. According to Dr Greger and his friends, meat causes diabetes, cancer and just about every ailment known to man. Where was the diabetes in the 1950s and 60s when we ate more meat? I don’t think facts matter to some people who believe eating meat is wrong.

      3. smartersig

        I think the problem with meat is the modern, grain fed antibiotic pumped variety on your supermarket shelves and for that reason most people would be advised to go veggie unless they can afford and have the time to source grass fed meats. Sadly the general useful message gets misdirected by the meat v no meat argument. I think the right meat in reasonable amounts with good veggie and fruit intake is probably OK but with the modern food we are surrounded by veggie is the safer option.

      4. Gaetan

        It’s impossible to know for sure, because in the 50-60s cattle were raised with antibiotics and growth hormones and fed with soy. So the meat humans ate 50 years ago was healthier for sure.

        what antibiotics do? they flush our microbiome and got flora and kills everything. So digestion may become problematic.

      5. Eric

        smartersig, I get your point about industrial meat, but I think the same applies to industrial veggie

  27. Nigella P

    I’m a huge fan of Vit C – hopefully not a shouty one – but a fan nonetheless. I take at least 2g per day & more if I feel any hint of cold/flu. I’m always aware that a single anecdote proves nothing but in myself, I have observed better immunity, better healing & amazingly less wrinkly looking skin since increasing to what I think most people consider to be a high dose.

    I also have huge reservations about RDAs and also the reference ranges for vitamin & mineral testing. One of my biggest bugbears is ferritin levels in women. The range is huge & dips down incredibly low for women. Year after year mine was a point inside this huge range or a point below and it would be casually suggested to me that a supplement might be an idea. Years on, having done my own research and being involved with a website where women habitually report shockingly low levels of ferritin, I would like to know if anyone actually feels well with levels as low as are considered acceptable at the very bottom of these huge ranges? As Dr K says, there is a huge difference between acceptable and optimal.

    Good to know that my Vit C may also be more than useful in protecting against CVD too. I eat plenty of red meat in my quest to improve my ferritin levels and that is also a good source of l-carnitine too!

    Reply
    1. Frederica Huxley

      Interesting – I was just about to refer to the excellent references to research on Vitamin C and heart disease on the GreenMed database!

      Reply
  28. Helissa Penwell

    L-carnitine may not be a good idea for those of us with hypothyroidism, since it is thought to be an antagonist of thyroid hormone by blocking entry of T3 and T4 into the cells.

    Reply
  29. Soul

    Got to love it, the cosmic connection. When my stomach condition flares up with out good cause I blame it on the cosmos anymore. It’s as good of answer as any.

    Fish oil will help lower LpA. I’ve seen several mentions of people concerned about LpA lowering it, down to near zero, by taking copious amounts of fish oil, in the range of 3000 to 4000mgs of EPA/DHA per day. I’ve sometimes wondered how that works out with fish eaten.

    Reply
    1. smartersig

      Taken from University of Maryland medical centre web site

      “Warfarin (Coumadin) — There have been rare reports of vitamin C interfering with the effectiveness of this blood thinning medication. In recent follow-up studies, no effect was found with doses of vitamin C up to 1,000 mg per day. However, if you take warfarin or another blood thinner, talk to your doctor before taking vitamin C or any other supplement.”

      Reply
      1. Bob

        Thanks. I spok to a GP who didn’t have a problem with D, but thought it’d be useful to ask around.

  30. jerome@jburne.org

    Great piece – one point about vit C might be of interest. You mention close chemical relationship between vit C and glucose (fascinating the vit C connection with Lp(a) – surprising (not) that in all my reading around statins and Lp(a) that connection was never mentioned).

    It’s my understanding that it is the similarity with glucose that allows vit C easy access to cancer cells. One of the changes involved in becoming cancerous is that the receptors that allow glucose in get ramped up because demand is shooting up. This allows Vitamin C to slip in because the gate keepers think it is glucose. Once in it does one of those transformations and turns into hydrogen peroxide. (From Travis Chrstofferson’s book on metabolic theory of cancer – Tripping over the Truth)

    You still able to do piece on stress and heart disease via clotting and coagulation?

    Best Jerome

    Paper below links the process with the antioxidant catalase

    This from Science Daily on Jan 9

    Why high-dose vitamin C kills cancer cells

    Low levels of catalase enzyme make cancer cells vulnerable to high-dose vitamin C

    Date:

    January 9, 2017

    Source:

    University of Iowa Health Care

    Summary:

    Cancer researchers have homed in on how high-dose vitamin C kills cancer cells. Vitamin C breaks down to generate hydrogen peroxide, which can damage tissue and DNA. The new study shows that tumor cells with low levels of catalase enzyme activity are much less capable of removing hydrogen peroxide than normal cells, and are more susceptible to damage and death when they are exposed to high doses of vitamin C.

    Share:

    FULL STORY

    _____

    Vitamin C has a patchy history as a cancer therapy, but researchers at the University of Iowa believe that is because it has often been used in a way that guarantees failure.

    Best wishes

    Jerome

    Email changing Email changing Email Changing

    My new email is: jerome@jburne.org

    Myzen email being phased out

    Please add to your contacts

    40 Warrington Crescent

    London W9 1EL

    W9 1EL

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    07940 393 094

    Blog. HealthInsightUK.org

    Reply
    1. Emma

      Thanks for mentioning that timely research Jerome, it’s very good news especially in the light of what has been said about the problems of research funding here, and builds on earlier 2006 research with IV treatment. Those who are sceptical of nutritional involvement in cancer treatment / prevention always gleefully proclaim that using vitamin C was thoroughly de-bunked in 1978 in the Mayo study…overlooking the fact that taking vitamin C orally is completely different from IV, where blood levels can be pushed 25x higher. A simple, but crucial difference, and though a cynic might disagree, most likely due to ignorance rather than any intention to relegate vitamin C to the quackwatch dustbin. Whenever there is research / headlines concluding that ‘Vitamins Kill!’ or whatever, always check the actual study design – they will have used the wrong form of the nutrient, or the wrong dose etc., or the media will have got the wrong end of the stick, and be ignoring the protestations of even the researchers themselves!

      Reply
    2. Eric

      Interesting, so there is now a plausible mechanism. We also get the classic criterion of chemotherapy that the cancer cells must be less able to deal with the toxin than healthy cells.

      But we also see a hint that high dose Vitamin C can cause DNA damage in healthy cells. I would, frankly, stay away from IV vitamin C if reasonably healthy.

      Reply
    3. Kevin O'Connell

      It is also very interesting to examine the work of Dr Frederick Klenner (d1984) who had a lot of success using vitC (intravenously but also orally) in the 40s, 50s, 60s against many diseases (not least polio & hepatitis). Linus Pauling provided a foreword to Klenner’s published words (https://www.seanet.com/~alexs/ascorbate/198x/smith-lh-clinical_guide_1988.htm) – ‘The early papers by Dr. Fred R. Klenner provide much information about the use of large doses of Vitamin C in preventing and treating many diseases. These papers are still important.’

      Reply
    1. MalcolmS

      At last stcrim – someone like minded! I find it most disconcerting to have a distinguished blogger whose main thrust is that diet is not the main cause of illness receive each time 600+ replies almost exclusively concerned with what goes in through the mouth. The results of the Grossarth-Maticek experiments prove conclusively that what goes on in the mind is six times more influential. Perhaps the circle can be squared if high fat or Vit-C supplementation fortifies against stress/cortisol. Do you have any links?

      Reply
      1. Eric

        I’ve said that before that much of Grossarth-Maticek, maybe especially what got translated into English, has the reek of being waaay to good to be true.

      2. MalcolmS

        Eric: “..has the reek of being too good to be true”
        The health “industry” is one where charlatans abound but I’m convinced Grossarth-Maticek is one of the “good-uns” and deserves to be trusted and viewed as seeking the well-being of humanity every bit as much as Dr Kendrick. G-M inherited a tidy sum of money and spent a considerable proportion of it (greater than $1million) on the therapists needed to execute his grand experiment. There was never any possibility of his making a profit from this, he has no product to sell, not even a book to sell, his results were only published in the form of scientific papers. Why would he spend such a sum of money and then fabricate the results. If he’d simply wanted prominence within his profession (a la Ancel Keys), his work predicting health outcomes from questionnaires was impressive enough and he could have kept his inheritance and lived a more comfortable life. I came across G-M’s results in a book by Michael Eysenck. Prof.Eysenck is another good guy, deeply concerned with truth and scholarship and has always answered my emails – I’m sure he will yours. His father Hans checked G-M’s results in detail and was thoroughly convinced by them.
        For myself I feel my way towards the “truth” by trusting the good-uns (from Darwin to Dawkins, Pinker, Sapolsky & Kendrick) and by always distrusting the profit motive. Your own attitude that because the G-M’s results are surprising they are therefore invalid says little for your own spirit of scientific scholarship!

      3. MalcolmS

        Eric, I apologise for impugning your scholarship but your dismissal of Grossarth-Maticek and your undermining of my modest attempts to highlight his achievements in this blog are very aggravating!

      4. Eric

        MalcolmS, may I suggest you read this, maybe with the help of google translate?
        https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ronald_Grossarth-Maticek

        Much of this sounds like a flashback to Freud, however, it also paints a much more nuanced picture than the one you have painted. I know I read up on G-M on heart disease at some point but seem to have misplaced the links. At least on cancer, the wikipedia article is quite clear that behavioral patters become statistically insignificant in the absense of physical factors such as smoking, drinking or malnutrition:

        Die sogenannte Krebspersönlichkeit wird von Grossarth-Maticek als Vertreter einer multidisziplinären Präventivmedizin empirisch widerlegt, da bei fehlendem oder nur geringfügigem Einfluss physischer Krankheitsfaktoren (Zigarettenrauchen, Alkoholkonsum, ungesunde Ernährung usw.) das Verhaltensmuster als Einflussfaktor seine statistische Signifikanz verliert.

        Hence my suspicion that G-M has been translated into English very selectively.

      5. MalcolmS

        @Eric
        I’ve been guided by Eysenck (Smoking, Personality & Stress, Springer-Verlag 1991) who draws the exact opposite conclusion: the statistical correlations showed personality dominant over lifestyle. Which should I believe?
        In fact I’m totally convinced a randomized trial, if rigorous enough, completely trumps any and every correlation study. The results from Grossarth-Maticek’s therapy intervention trial were as follows: control group 39/96 dead after 10 years (age approx 50-60) but therapy intervention group merely 5/96 dead. As I see it, this experiment either happened or it didn’t. If it happened then it proves conclusively (39 versus 5) that “mind” is totally dominant over diet and mainstream medicine has to shift its mindset substantially.
        Before you say these figures are incredible you have to understand G-M used his personality questionnaire to identify 192 highly stressed (disease prone) individuals which is why there is such staggering mortality rate in the control group. Of course if G-M didn’t properly randomize between the therapy and control groups then the results would be meaningless. He could have simply invented the numbers (in which case why not make them a bit more believable?). Its all down to scientific integrity and whether you actually believe G-M carried out the therapy intervention as reported. I’ve taken it on trust that the intervention happened. If it didn’t then everything I’ve said in this forum or believed in for the last 20 years is garbage.

        @Stephen
        I’m not saying a word against high fat. I’m just suggesting that IF high fat/Vit-C significantly blocks the pathway from stress/cortisol to cancer/CVD then I can carry on believing G-M and recommend high fat/Vit.C to others. Personally I’ve never skimped on the butter!
        I’m currently working on one highly stressed friend to do some anger management and on her husband to drop his PPIs and statins (he’s walking like a decrepit old man at 58)

  31. Tan

    Great post, Dr. I really love your work.

    In your post you mentioned “A lack of vitamin C causes blood vessels to crack open – and potentially leads to atherosclerotic plaques development”. You had mentioned in one of the posts that there were no cases of CVD in veins. If a lack of vitamin C causes blood vessels to crack, why does it only happen to arteries?

    Please excuse my poor English as it is not my first language.

    Reply
    1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

      Because, I believe, veins are under far less biomechanical stress due to a far lower blood pressure. If you turn a vein into an artery, in a coronary artery bypass graft, it will very rapidly develop atherosclerosis.

      Reply
      1. Tan

        Thank you, Dr. Kendrick, for taking the time to answer my question.

        Since we are on the topic of cracks on artery walls, I would like to know your thoughts on low magnesium linked to heart disease.

        According to Dr Rosanoff, “By 1957 low magnesium was shown to be, strongly, convincingly, a cause of atherogenesis and the calcification of soft tissues. But this research was widely and immediately ignored as cholesterol and the high saturated-fat diet became the culprits to fight. Ever since this early ‘wrong turn’, more and more peer-reviewed research has shown that low magnesium is associated with all known cardiovascular risk factors, such as cholesterol and high blood pressure.”

        http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/255783.php

      2. stcrim

        The components carried by veins and arteries are very different (and possibly the ph of each is different). Veins that become arteries are subject to a different set of chemicals. An example might be – is cortisol transported in by both veins and arteries – or for that matter is Vitamin C?

      3. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

        I don’t usually do this, but I am afraid that this comment is not remotely correct. Please provide an example of anything carried in veins that is not carried in arteries, and remember to include pulmonary veins and arteries.

      4. stcrim

        Well, actually several things come to mind – arteries are an oxygen rich environment, veins are an oxygen poor environment. Veins are a carbon dioxide rich environment while arteries are not. Arteries carry nutrients to the body while veins carry waste away. Please feel free to correct me if I’m wrong but a vein removed from the leg is going to experience a very different environment when placed in the heart – yes? If you reread my post I believe it’s correct, plus it was presented as a question not a challenge. Note: pulmonary veins and arteries should not apply since they were not involved in your post upstream and so should have nothing to do with my response. They basically work in reverse and were not mentioned in your comment nor considered in mine.

      5. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

        Apologies if I came over a bit too aggressively. The main point I wanted to make is that we have blood vessels in the lungs, arteries and veins. Neither of which develop atherosclerosis. Despite being very rich in oxygen and low in carbon dioxide, and vice versa. So any explanation for CVD has to be found in places other than oxygenation – or the differences in what veins and arteries carry.

      6. smartersig

        That answers my question.
        Dr kendrick what do you think of Chris Masterjohns theory of poor reverse cholesterol transportation being the main problem. his view is that when Cholesterol cannot dock to unload at cells or at the liver for removal it essentially is sent around again and again and each time its anti oxidant capacity is being lowered as its deals with free radical attack eventually succumbing to oxidisation and attachment to vessel walls. This poor reverse transportation can be linked to Thyroid performance and low Iodine levels which would link nicely with the Jap’s having low CVD as there Iodine intake is high.

      7. smartersig

        Does this add weight to the oxidative stress idea of plaque build up rather than cholesterol per se

      8. Eliot

        smartersig,

        Re: Chris Masterjohn and RCT

        I’ve been thinking lately that maybe one of the reasons exercise is good is that it increases the blood flow through the liver and over the receptors so the LDLs have a better chance of getting snapped up before becoming oxidized.

      9. smartersig

        Sounds logical but you could also say that prolonged exercise increases the sheer stress across arteries and hence arterial damage. Research showed that on a scale from 1 to 5 where subjects were 1 (couch potatoes) and 5 (triathlete types), 1 had the worse longevity followed by 5. The best was 3 followed by 2

      10. Mr Chris

        Smartersig
        Do you hav a link for that?
        Have to admit to being wary about exercise studies, too small sample, ill-defined parameters, too many variables.

      11. Mr Chris

        Smartersig
        Thanks for that- I fall in between categoeries so might have to change my habits. Off for a bit of R and R for a week tomorrow, but when I come back will dig out a study, not Pharma financed about exercise and statins. It is interesting stuff

      12. smartersig

        Interesting Chris, tends to contradict the finding of other research. How much the fact that the cohort were all people with high cholesterol I dont know. My own feeling, and I am from a sporty background, is that there probably is a goldilocks section where not too much and not too little is about right

      13. JDPatten

        Smartersig; Mr Chris,
        Other ways too much exercise can be problematic:

        It looks at how prolonged exertion can lead to cardiac scarring, electrical problems, and arrhythmias.

      14. smartersig

        I now no longer do log cardio runs but tend to do short pieces of interval running usually three quarter pace up a hill and then walk back down 4 or 5 times. this takes about 10 mins max and I am done compared to going out for 50 minute 6 mile run.

      15. Gary Ogden

        smartersig: Me, too. What sort of warmup do you do before the intervals? I do dynamic stretching, hip and shoulder mobility exercises, lunges, and jumping jacks, followed by about a half-mile jog. It was training for and running a marathon that ended my ability to do chronic cardio. Reached my limit.

      16. smartersig

        I warm up by taking the first incline gently and then gradually increasing thereafter, I also avoid doing it in the morning preferring late afternoon when I am generally more loose.

  32. Karl Schmidt

    Taking much more than 500mg of C will end up getting peed out.. There is a theoretical risk of stoking a fenton reaction where Vit C becomes an electron donor.

    Death by all causes is a VERY important end-point – that we just don’t know for high C supplementation.

    Reply
      1. Karl Schmidt

        You might want to look up antidotal evidence and see why we don’t use it to base interventions. Don’t they teach that in med school?

        Pauling was a great chemist – he seems to have been stricken with the phd/Noble disease that attacks egos later in life – effecting ethics in some cases. Consider this:
        http://www.quackwatch.com/01QuackeryRelatedTopics/pauling.html

        Not only did Pauling prevent this research from being published – he also destroyed other work of Robinsons that would have been very useful today. ( Robenison collected mass-spec on urine samples in a long term project that hoped to find early markers of disease ).

        More than a few grams of C can cause diarrhea in many people..

      2. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

        Anecdotal evidence is very powerful evidence. I tend to call such evidence case histories, sounds more scientific. We have moved into a world where, unless there is a double blind placebo controlled randomised study, evidence is dismissed. This a ridiculous attitude – but it is the prevailing attitude. I think I would not be too terrified by diarrhoea (metformin causes it in about 25% of those who take it).

      3. smartersig

        I agree, anecdotal evidence should be a prompt for further investigation but too often it is used as a label to discredit. Actually scratch that as the conventional medical profession have already hijacked the term ‘requires further investigation’ to mean ‘we dont like the results produced but cannot find a meaningful way to discredit them’

      4. smartersig

        Karl Quackwatch is set up to discredit any theory or person taking an opposite view to conventional big Pharma medicine. I believe that Vit C does lower Lp(a) and in turn reduces heart disease risk. I could not care less whether it cures the common cold.

      5. Luana

        Dr. Kendrick,

        The problem with anecdotes is selection and confirmation bias. Goran selects Pauling as a case and uses it to confirm that vitamin C makes one live a long life. But I could select my husband’s grandmother who died at 99, just short of her 100th birthday. She had no illnesses. She had dinner, said goodnight to her family, and her heart stopped beating in her sleep. She also ate bread, pasta, and white sugar everyday, along with her never-to-be-missed 5:00 cocktail. And the real kicker, she was adamant against taking any kind of pills, especially supplements. Never took a vitamin C pill in her life.

        She outlived Pauling even though she was born one year before him and died an idyllic death (Pauling died of cancer). I agree anecdotes can be useful, but I also think our human propensity toward confirmation bias is nearly irresistible, so the most we can do is have a lot of humility about how certain we can be with our conclusions if the objectivity of science hasn’t helped us sort it out.

      6. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

        Of course. The problem with randomised controlled clinical trials is that they are almost all done by the pharmaceutical industry. So, where can we look for evidence. It is a tricky matter indeed.

      7. Luana

        Dr. Kendrick,

        I agree that pharmaceutical influence is a big problem, but the idea that they are behind “almost all” trials out there is something I wouldn’t even begin to know how to verify. But even if that’s true, it certainly wouldn’t argue the opposite where anecdotes are taken as facts applicable to the general population, nor even to themselves. With so many variables in any given case, it’s hard to know why a person’s outcome was what it was, and why someone else’s is different. Sorting that out is why the scientific method was developed.

        My main point was to argue for humility about the facts, something you seem to do really well, but not something some of your more vocal followers embody. What concerns me is a default position that accepts or rejects studies based on whether or not they agree with the results (as has been discussed with supplement studies). This is completely counter to critical thinking. The merit of the study is in the design and analysis, not who funds it. There have been plenty of well-designed studies funded by various industries that produced results counter to the industry’s interest (Gary Taubes writes about many of them). Science progresses by surprises (who said that?). Certainly this applies to supplement studies as well.

      8. Luana

        Dr. Kendrick,

        I was thinking that you know, you really are good at this (like with your “probable, possible, unlikely” categories). Maybe you could write a blog on how to think critically and sort through what’s true in a post-science world. I’m sure we’d all love to read it.

      9. JDPatten

        Luana,

        Well designed large RCTs are necessary for the best understanding of human health issues – provided the right questions, asked by independent truth seekers, are put on trial. Sadly, too few qualify.

        Also, the personal anecdotes – in their numbers – that surround these questions need to be carefully considered for a fuller understanding of how the generalizations of trial outcomes might be best utilized for the benefit of the singular individuals we each are.

      10. Dr. Göran Sjöberg

        Luana,

        My “reference” to Pauling was just a “kick back” to Karl 🙂

        From a scientific point of view the problem with the “evidence based medicine” is that the complete design of the clinical trials are set up by Big Pharma and that the results are hidden in their files if there is not a legal action to force them to open their file cabinets.

        In my eyes the medical research is today almost completely corrupt from this point of view. How can you trust anything they claim?

        That is why I “go my own way” as one, to this date, rather successful “anecdote”! Though you have to have confidence in your own ability to stand on your own feet in front of the “experts”.

      11. Luana

        Goran,

        I think the distinction between our positions, if I’ve understood you correctly, is that you think any supplement or alternative medicine study that produces an unflattering result was obviously influenced by Big Pharma, and the only information you need to determine this “fact” is the result of the study, whereas I think pharmaceutical influence requires us to be very skeptical from the start, but that studies should be rejected on the merits, not the results. It sounds like you feel very comfortable seeing the world in black and white, whereas I feel very uncomfortable with that position, though admittedly I’d be much less neurotic it I did! 🙂

        I do take comfort though that our fearless leader here thinks Big Pharma is a serious problem yet takes antibiotics when he’s sick, thinks some vaccinations are good and others worthless, puts homeopathy in the “unlikely” category, and just made a positive statement about metformin. It’s that kind of complex, nuanced position that is easier for me to hear and take seriously, and that I personally think advances learning and evolution, than the simplistic ones.

      12. Martin Back

        Goran,

        Linus Pauling learned about the benefits of vitamin C from Frederick Klenner, who not only gave it to patients, he took it himself in mega-doses.

        “I can state that for many years I have taken 10 to 20 grams of sodium ascorbate by mouth daily”http://en.rfwiki.org/wiki/Fred_R._Klenner

        Fred Klenner died at the age of 76 (cause of death not mentioned). Not a bad age, but hardly spectacular.

      13. Dr. Göran Sjöberg

        Luana,

        17 years ago I certainly did not see the medical establishment as criminal. On the contrary I thought they were just a part of the same “natural science” I myself was accustomed to in metallurgy.

        However, gradually during these years my distrust has been growing to the point where I don’t trust anything they say without the possibility to scrutinize what they are claiming. E.g, this statin business is for me today just the tip of their criminal iceberg. Add to this the diabetes scam and the uselessness of of the cardiac business and a world of medical corruption develops in front of your eyes. It is just a question of doing your homework properly to unveil the emperor.

        If you dare, I would recommend you to read what professor Goetzsche has to say about this corruption and for sure he knows what he is talking about. In the eyes of the establishment, to which he though belongs, he is though controversial which is quite understandable.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_C._Gøtzsche

        By the way I don’t have a problem with antibiotics not least since I was recently on a four weeks treatment for pneumonia. I am happy that antibiotics still work.

      14. Dr. Göran Sjöberg

        Luana,

        I forgot to mention the cancer scam as a great part of the corrupt iceberg.

        I am just now reading Thomas Seyfried’s book “Cancer as a Metabolic Disease” now for the second time and to fully realize the magnitude of this corrupt cancer business, and for sure it is business it is all about.

        Everything which doesn’t suit the Big Pharma cancer schedule is here “shot down”. The Nobel Prize laureate, Dr Warburg, a possible candidate for a second Nobel Prize although Hitler forbid this to happen, was silently (?) shot down after the war.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Otto_Heinrich_Warburg

        Linus Pauling though received his two Nobel Prize although the US authorities did their best to stop him from going to Stockholm to receive his first prize. The medical establishment didn’t hesitate to shoot him down as well.

        “Vitamin C against cancer! Who does he think he is?”

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linus_Pauling

      15. Luana

        Goran,

        Vitamin E being dangerous: Yes, quite possibly given the form and dose.

        Gotzsche: Yes, I’m familiar with him. I think he’s a hero. Why would you think I’m not familiar with him or that you need to persuade me that there is serious pharmaceutical malfeasance going on? All I have said to you is that unlike you, I don’t believe in rejecting studies based on their results (I’m more comfortable rejecting them based on their merits), and that I don’t accept at face value your claim that all supplements, at any dose, are 100% safe. How could I? I have no way to know that this is true.

        I’m glad to hear that you took antibiotics for your pneumonia and that the medical establishment was there for you in your time of need.

  33. Rene Erhardt

    Vitamin C use is not exactly uncharted territory. Frederick Klenner, MD, was one of the pioneers is the US in the 1950’s where he used it with great success for a variety of ailments. It has since been mainstay in orthomolecular medicine for almost 7 decades. Research and clinical outcomes are extensively documented in the Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine. An important issue is dosage. As you point out, RDA’s are ridiculously inadequate only just preventing overt cases of scurvy. Orthomolecular practitioners recommend mega-doses of several 1000 mg daily, long term instead of the 60mg as per RDA. We are talking pure vitamin C powder here, not tablets containing fillers and other ingredients which can cause issues with some people.

    Reply
  34. DBM

    Fantastic stuff. Not only is Vit C fundamental for the health of your arteries but also of your health in general. According to this chap Vit C is the universal antidote to everything….(?)

    Very interesting lecture if you have the time ( it’s about 45 mins). Mostly anecdotal evidence about the usefulness of Vit C but compelling none the less. According to this, an American GP in the 1950s used high doses of IV Vit C to treat and cure polio in and the occasional case of snake bite…

    Reply
  35. drtombaldwin

    Dr. Kendricks, I can’t tell you how much I enjoy your posts. Have you researched the relationship between heart “disease” and periodontal infection? I think the relationship lies right down the line with your theory of injury to the endothelium. Thanks for what you are doing!! By the way, Andrew Wakefield is one of my heroes, along with Linus Pauling and Paul Keyes!
    Dr. Tom Baldwin
    tebkeb@mediacombb.net

    Reply
  36. David Bailey

    “Quite what we are all supposed to do when the space proton flux is greater than 90MeV, I am not certain.”

    Surely the 90MeV was the minimum energy of protons that counted in the experiment – not the actual flux of particles!

    Reply
  37. Gary Ogden

    Dr. Kendrick: Thank you so much for this. We certainly do need to revisit what we have learned but may have forgotten. It has only been about 6 days, but I’ve noticed since I started vitamin C (1g each, morning and night) that I sleep through the night every night. Reduced inflammation, perhaps?

    Reply
  38. JDPatten

    Vitamin C
    The animals that have retained their ability to synthesize there own C produce a gram or two a day, presuming equivalent size to an average human.
    OK. But that’s happening in healthy, unstressed beasts. Under attack from infectious or physical, (Maybe emotional?) challenges/stresses, these same beasts will produce orders of magnitude more C.
    The questions are:
    How do they monitor the need?
    How does the “system” figure how much C to match the need?
    Yes, I’ve read the article about more than 400 MG/ day being damaging. In the healthy.
    Yes, I’ve read that intravenous megadoses have been shown to cure grievous illnesses.
    Then, the question is:
    How do we apprehend that we need more, and how much more to match the challenge, when we DON’T have the system (The last little missing step!) that our doggie does?

    Reply
  39. MjBarrett

    I learned in botany grad school (1972) that strawberry leaves are the highest in vit c of all plant material. Strawberry leaves are followed closely by fresh parsley.

    Reply
  40. Mark Johnson

    Dr Sinatra (a US cardiologist) suggests supplementing with what he describes as his “awesome foursome” for those suffering with any form of heart disease. This consists of: CoQ10, L-carnitine, D-ribose, and magnesium. He further suggests that carnitine maybe more bio-available / effective if taken as glycine propionyl-L-carnitine hcl, (GlycoCarn – GPLC). I don’t think he has any ties to the manufacturers of the above but GPLC is proprietary so usual caveats apply but there appears to be some science behind the claims.

    Reply
  41. JDPatten

    Stress causes heart disease.
    Writers of an article in the Lancet found a way to measure stress and accurately predict subsequent heart disease.
    Richard Lehman’s comment:

    ‘ Reading a book on China the other day, I learnt that the word for “being busy” is mang and its pictogram consists of a heart, and beside it death. This is a very simple character and may therefore be at least 4,000 years old, meaning that the connection between stress and cardiac death is nothing modern at all. Sages at all times in human history have concluded that being too busy is bad for the heart, while being insufficiently busy is just as bad. They have drawn charts of energy, developed systems of humours, invoked the power of the stars and planets, and of late they have brought neuroendocrinology to bear on this important subject. Even the bone marrow gets a look in: “In this first study to link regional brain activity to subsequent cardiovascular disease, amygdalar activity independently and robustly predicted cardiovascular disease events. Amygdalar activity is involved partly via a path that includes increased bone-marrow activity and arterial inflammation. These findings provide novel insights into the mechanism through which emotional stressors can lead to cardiovascular disease in human beings.” ‘

    Article:
    http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(16)31714-7/fulltext

    (It’s nice when further research corroborates what’s already perceived.)

    Reply
  42. Jean Humphreys

    Thanks for this – and all the extras from the folk I tend to regard as friends. I have little to add to the discussions, but it so helpful to be able to listen in.

    Reply
  43. Errett

    Irreducible complexity is a term coined by Michael Behe, who defines it as follows. Irreducible complexity is just a fancy phrase I use to mean a single system which is composed of several interacting parts, and where the removal of any one of the parts causes the system to cease functioning.

    The following is just an example of the complexity of the system—–our body immersed in the world—-

    Over millions of years retroviruses have been incorporated into our human DNA, where they today make up almost 10 per cent of the total genome. A research group at Lund University in Sweden has now discovered a mechanism through which these retroviruses may have an impact on gene expression. This means that they may have played a significant role in the development of the human brain as well as in various neurological diseases.

    Retroviruses are a special group of viruses including some which are dangerous, such as HIV, while others are believed to be harmless. The viruses studied by Johan Jakobsson and his colleagues in Lund are called endogenous retroviruses (ERV) as they have existed in the human genome for millions of years. They can be found in a part of DNA that was previously considered unimportant, so called junk-DNA — a notion that researchers have now started to reconsider.

    “The genes that control the production of various proteins in the body represent a smaller proportion of our DNA than endogenous retroviruses. They account for approximately 2 per cent, while retroviruses account for 8-10 per cent of the total genome. If it turns out that they are able to influence the production of proteins, this will provide us with a huge new source of information about the human brain,” says Johan Jakobsson.

    And this is precisely what the researchers discovered. They have determined that several thousands of the retroviruses that have established themselves in our genome may serve as “docking platforms” for a protein called TRIM28. This protein has the ability to “switch off” not only viruses but also the standard genes adjacent to them in the DNA helix, allowing the presence of ERV to affect gene expression.

    This switching-off mechanism may behave differently in different people, since retroviruses are a type of genetic material that may end up in different places in the genome. This makes it a possible tool for evolution, and even a possible underlying cause of neurological diseases. In fact, there are studies that indicate a deviating regulation of ERV in several neurological diseases such as ALS, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

    Two years ago, Johan Jakobsson’s team showed that ERV had a regulatory role in neurons specifically. However, this study was conducted on mice, whereas the new study — published in the journal Cell Reports — was made using human cells.

    The differences between mice and humans are particularly important in this context. Many of the retroviruses that have been built into the human DNA do not exist in species other than humans and our closest relatives — gorillas and chimpanzees. They seem to have incorporated themselves into the genome some 35-45 million years ago, when the evolutionary lineage of primates was divided between the Old and New World.

    “Much of what we know about the overall development of the brain comes from the fruit fly, zebrafish and mouse. However, if endogenous retroviruses affect brain function, and we have our own set of these ERV, the mechanisms they affect may have contributed to the development of the human brain,” says Johan Jakobsson.

    Story Source:

    Materials provided by Lund University. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

    Journal Reference:

    Per Ludvik Brattås, Marie E. Jönsson, Liana Fasching, Jenny Nelander Wahlestedt, Mansoureh Shahsavani, Ronny Falk, Anna Falk, Patric Jern, Malin Parmar, Johan Jakobsson. TRIM28 Controls a Gene Regulatory Network Based on Endogenous Retroviruses in Human Neural Progenitor Cells. Cell Reports, 2017; 18 (1): 1 DOI: 10.1016/j.celrep.2016.12.010

    Reply
    1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

      I find this very interesting, although it is going rather off line. If someone would like to write a blog as to why HIV is clearly the cause of AIDS and suchlike. Maybe someone else could write a blog demonstrating, why they believe, that HIV is not the cause of AIDS. I will try to work out how to put them up in such a way as to stimulate debate.

      Reply
      1. Errett

        I apologize for my deviation from the thread—–my point was simply that the complexity we are dealing with regarding understanding how our bodies function—makes me feel somewhat like a chimp tapping away on the keyboard in hope of creating MacBeth—–btw—have you read Meyer’s “Signature in the Cell”——-tchin-tchin

      2. Gaetan

        ”A well-credentialed scientist’s hard-driving attack on the accepted view that AIDS is an infectious disease caused by HIV. Duesberg (Molecular biology/Univ. of Calif., Berkeley), an early researcher in the field of retroviruses, asserts that HIV, like virtually all retroviruses, is harmless. He finds that HIV meets none of the usual criteria (such as the six laws of virology) used to establish that a microbe causes disease. But if that is so, why do scientists persist in saying that AIDS is an epidemic caused by HIV? As Duesberg tells it, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention needed a serious epidemic to justify its continued existence, and by naming AIDS a single contagious disease, it created an atmosphere of public fear that brought it increased funding and power. The biomedical establishment took note. Having failed to find a viral cause of cancer, Duesberg says, virus hunters needed a new disease, and AIDS was it. The HIV-AIDS connection was then announced by Robert Gallo, head of a retrovirus lab at the National Cancer Institute, at a 1984 press conference rather than demonstrated in a peer- reviewed scientific paper. Further, Duesberg charges, the pharmaceutical companies exploited the situation by bringing back highly toxic failed cancer drugs, such as AZT, which, he says, destroys the immune system and causes AIDS-like symptoms. Duesberg cites other scientists who have questioned the HIV-AIDS hypothesis, among them several Nobel laureates, including Kary Mullis (for Chemistry), the author of this book’s foreword. Duesberg’s own theory is that AIDS is linked to the use of immunity-suppressing illicit drugs (such as crack and “poppers”), and he urges investigation along these lines. One need not accept Duesberg’s drug hypothesis, however, to be persuaded that the serious charges he makes deserve serious answers. A controversial book, certain to be met with strong resistance from the biomedical establishment. Four appendixes (not seen) include articles on HIV by Duesberg in scientific journals.”

      3. Gaetan

        No Problem!

        I think this is fascinating as well, have read his book 15 years ago, which was a real eye opener

      4. Stephen Rhodes

        I was sure that the work conducted by Dr Harold D Foster into HIV and AIDS in Africa appeared in a comment on one of your blogs.
        http://www.newhope.com/ingredients-general/hiv-depletes-body-selenium-and-three-amino-acids is a summary of his theory of how HIV causes AIDS and how the mechanism leads to a ‘treatment’ – not a cure.
        I seem to recall that what lead him to consider AIDS as being a disease of deficiency was the similarity in rates of HIV in countries that had large differences in the rate of AIDS. Examination of AIDS patients showed severe depletion in selenium, cysteine, tryptophan, and glutamine – necessary for the production of glutathione peroxidase.

      5. Gary Ogden

        Dr. Kendrick: Excellent idea. It is a very interesting story, full of scientific and political intrigue, though beyond my area of interest.

  44. jgt10

    “… Ten people with identified plaques …”

    How are plaques determined or found? Is it difficult or expensive?

    It seems to me that the number and size of plaques in a person’s circulation system would be a good indicator of CVD risk.

    Am I missing something?

    Reply
  45. dearieme

    “Pauling (double Nobel prize winner)”: true, but one was the ever-silly Peace Prize. His prize in Chemistry, though, almost underestimates what a towering chemist he was. Whether he was right, or even sane, about Vit C I have no idea.

    Reply
  46. ellifeld

    “My view. I do not think the RDAs for vitamins are remotely accurate, or useful. They were established in times of absolute deficiency”. The agreed Vitamin B12 levels, for example, were based on seven people, over sixty years ago, and remain unchanged to this day. All seven had pernicious anaemia (caused by vitamin B12 deficiency).” Hard to believe that this has remained intact over the years.

    Reply
  47. Ken Strain

    After a period of not paying much attention to B vitamins and their derivatives, personal reasons have caused me to become very interested in this area. By studying my genome and reading about B6, folate, B12 and others, I have learned some useful things and been able to make my immune system behave very much better than it has been for a long time (actually most of my 50 years).

    Three facts from what I’ve come across seem to be of some relevance to the current discussion (the whole series as well as this post).

    1) Mutations of some relevant genes (I’m thinking of MTR, MTRR, MTHFR, CBS and several others) are very common – some up to about 50% of the population with at least a heterozygous SNP.

    2) B6 and methyl group (folate, cobalamin etc.) handling are involved in hundreds of metabolic processes, it would astonish me if it were not the case that some of these modulate the initiation and progression of heart disease. Given point 1) it is often impossible to say that an individual has good status of the active versions of these vitamins and metabolic derivatives (the usual tests don’t achieve that).

    More directly related to the current post:
    3) there is a direct relationship between serum vit-C and B6 [1]. “Whole blood level of ascorbic acid progressively fell during the vitamin B6 depletion phase and returned to normal upon repletion of pyridoxine” (retyped from source, errors mine). The associated graph shows a fall from 1.0 to 0.3 mg/dl serum ascorbic acid only somewhat recovering with the highest dose of B6 (1.75mg/day).

    We have a tendency to try to cut out part of metabolism and discuss in isolation, but it is always tricky to know how the hundreds or thousands of feedback loops will respond to a single variable change. Point 3 suggests that consuming vitamin B6 (or perhaps pyridoxal phosphate) and Zn (to assist absorption) could be as important as ascorbic acid, in maintaining a high serum level, if that’s what matters.

    Ken

    [1] INTERACTIONS OF THIAMIN, RIBOFLAVIN, AND OTHER B-VITAMINS
    HE Sauberlich 1980 DOI: 10.1111/j.1749-6632.1980.tb21329.x

    Reply
    1. smartersig

      Thanks for this Ken. I had my Homocysteine under control, down from 21 to under 10 when on a Mythocobalamin Vit B multiple supplement including B6 and folate, however I then switched to a B12 only lozenger and it crept back up to 14. I have been on B12 and Folate for about 2 months now and will get my Homocysteine results back in a couple of days. Will post up the results, hopefully back below 10 otherwise I am back on the full monty

      Reply
      1. Ken Strain

        One thing that struck me looking at 27 or so SNPs on (just a few of the) genes involved in Hcy generation or clearance – if the SNPs are independent there are something like 3^27 permutations – (i.e. for most of them 3 options: -/-, -/+ or +/+ , except for those genes on the X chromosome in males where there are only two options “+” or “-“). That’s approaching 1000 times the world population. These SNPs are mostly quite common. There are probably some non-viable combinations and also some “linkage” or correlation, both of which reduce the number of distinct combinations. But then there are many other SNPs and still more genes that affect Hcy levels …

        Hcy is just another marker that says something statistically, but on its own has uncertain (and for some of us very uncertain) meaning for the individual.

      1. Ken Strain

        Yes, sorry, I could not find the same information freely – I checked that the original research papers are also behind a paywall. I’ve not checked if similar results are otherwise available.
        Ken

  48. John Collis

    According to Lane(2009, chapter 9), If you increase your intake of vitamin C then the absorption is reduced and excretion through the kidneys starts at daily doses between 60 and 100 mg with body and blood pools saturating at around 400mg. Large doses induce diarrhoea. Without vitamin C we cannot utilise fat as an energy source due to the lack of carnitine, ultimately mitochondria have a reduced ability to obtain energy from glucose. Vitamin C is needed to synthesise noradrenaline, a stress reaction modulator amongst many other physiological effects. (p182 in Lane 2009 gives a larger sample). It seems to my somewhat naive brain that as with most substances involved in physiological systems the body maintains itself in the goldilocks zone to operate at its most efficient, outside of this zone the body becomes unwell. It is possible that i/v doses of Vitamin C may increase plasma levels by as much as 50 times the normal saturation level. Reference: Lane N. (2009), “Oxygen: the molecule that made the world”, Oxford University Press, Oxford: UK

    Reply
    1. JDPatten

      John Collis,
      Yes, OK. But as I’ve asked above, what is the absorption rate, peeing rate, and/or blood concentration in those who are SICK and taking larger doses orally??
      I search; can’t find evidence of research done on the ill.
      Anyone?

      Reply
      1. Mr Chris

        JDPatten
        As I remember from Paulig, I think, in times of infection the body needs more vitamin C, the throat particularly hence its possible effect on colds, and that massive doses are thus not eliminated in the urines, or cause diarrhea, this fits my own observations and seems plausible.

  49. HB

    I’ve read that information before about the 7 people with pernicious anaemia being used as the source for the B12 RDA, but have never been able to find any proof. I’m not doubting it. I’d just like to see some proof that would convince a doctor.

    I take high dose methylcobalamin and adenosylcobalamin orally. My B12 serum levels are always high. If I stop for more than a week or so I start falling over.

    Thanks for the brilliant blog, Dr Kendrick. It’s always a pleasure to read your articles.

    Reply
    1. Dave

      This is something I’m curious about too. I’ve got pernicious anemia, so if I don’t get 1000mcg a day or so (plus all the other methylation factors, like b6 and folate) I get all sorts of cranky. But I haven’t been able to find much about the history of the dietary recommendations and the common vitamin forms, all of which would help me understand better how to supplement.

      I ran across a historical survey of folic acid, for example, that talked about how there was a negotiation between the chemical companies and the national advisory bodies. Folic acid is shelf-stable and methylfolate is not, and so despite the acknowledged difficulties absorbing and processing large doses of folic acid the decision was made to supplement food with folic acid instead of methylfolate on the theory that there was so little supplementation and the idea wouldn’t take off, so people wouldn’t get too much folic acid and you wouldn’t see any serious negative affects.

      But I haven’t been able to find that study again. I should have bookmarked it and didn’t.

      I suspect something similar occurred with the development of cyanocobalamin vs. methylcobalamin; the former is shelf-stable and the latter isn’t, and so the former is the basic form of supplementation and the latter isn’t. In theory the amount of cyanide ingested via cyanocobalamin supplementation is low, much as, in theory, the amount of folic acid ingestion via supplementation is low.

      It seems like there’s some decent muckraking to be done on the compromises on vitamin supplementation.

      Reply
  50. chris c

    Excellent stuff! I knew bits of it, but not the other bits, nor how it all hangs together.

    So dieticians are partly right to tell diabetics to “eat more fruit” to avoid amputations – but they’d be more right if they suggested low carb low fructose sources like peppers, leafy greens etc.

    Reply
  51. JDPatten

    Dr Kendrick wrote a blog entry titled “What Causes Heart Disease?”
    The first paragraph of part I:

    “I have been somewhat silent on this blog for a while. Mainly because I have been putting together ten thousand words on the true cause of heart disease. Of course, by heart disease I mean the thickenings and narrowings in the larger arteries in the body (atherosclerotic plaques). I am also focussing almost entirely on the arteries supplying blood to the heart (coronary arteries), and the main arteries that supply blood to the brain (carotid arteries).”

    My own issue is, simply, death by heart disease. It’s what heart disease does.

    How did I get to where I am?
    Can I overcome the deficit to regain the time I might have had left?

    You can see why Dr Kendrick held out hope for me.
    And still does.

    . . . It’s been a full year.

    Everyone has his own particular urgent issue(s) to contend with.
    Each and every issue is important.
    Each ought to have an arbiter such as Dr. Kendrick. There are too few like him.

    Happy Anniversary!

    Reply
  52. Mark

    You wrote that “What I mean by ‘case currently unproven’ is that no-one has done a large scale interventional study using vitamin C to find out if it really reduces CVD”

    Just wondered whether you were aware of the vitamin results for this 2×2 factorial RCT which aimed to answer two questions simultaneously (in high risk individuals what’s the efficacy/safety of simvastatin, and what’s the efficacy/safety of high dose vitamins). The high dose vitamin C in combination with vitamin E and beta-carotene component was funded by Roche Vitamins Ltd:
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12114037/

    Reply
    1. Dr. Göran Sjöberg

      Mark,

      High dose vitamins?

      250 mg C while I myself take 30 times as much and Pauling himself took about 70 times that amount.

      About vitamin 600 mg E I, to start with, wonder if they used the synthetic one instead of the natural one. As far as I have understood the comprehensive Shute clinical experience it is essential, and also according to Linus Pauling, to use only the natural (L-tocopherol) vitamin E and at least at a 1600 IU level (roughly equivalent to mg) to get the therapeutic effect.

      I have now rather successfully kept my angina, at bay for three years, using the Shute protocol, but to my surprise I have recently experienced a couple of bouts so I will now significantly increase on the vitmin E to see if I also can chase away such occasional unpleasant experiences in the future.

      Well – life is an interesting experiment and it doesn’t seem to be any guaranties for eternal health even if you seriously work on the issue. Yesterday evening I attended a lecture about old Egypt and learnt the even the well nurtured faraos tended to die young.

      By the way, a double shot of scotch is a very proven way to relieve angina – takes about 5 – 10 minutes to my experience. Even the “stupid” cardiologist I met three years ago admitted that it was the only non-nonsensical part of my anti – CVD regimen.

      Reply
      1. JDPatten

        Dr Goran,
        It would be very interesting to know what the mechanism is that relieves your angina.
        E increases you collaterals by improving angiogenesis? Relaxes them as would nitroglycerin? Helps prevent clotting due to its (safe?) anticoagulant effect?
        Your thoughts?

      2. Dr. Göran Sjöberg

        JD,

        Basically I don’t know and the area seems open for hypothesis.

        What is known is though that vitamin E is an antioxidant and is contrary to e.g. vitamin C fat soluble. It is claimed that PUFA’s are antagonists to vitamin E and that the more PUFA the more vitamin E you need – anyway there is here some logic involved to me. As usual the complexity of our physiology is staggering but to my opinion our bodies are reasonably equipped with sensors to tell us if we are feeling well or not.

        Bottom line is that vitamin E seems to work clinically against angina “for whatever reason” and as a “scientist”, but contrary to the medical establishment today, I don’t have a problem with this pragmatic attitude.

        Big Pharma is today entrenched in the RCT as a decoy for their abuse of science in my eyes – if not we would see their hidden clinical test results. But still there is “a hundred years war” going on where Big Pharma for sure has the upper hand while there is pragmatic resistance from “alternative” medicin, not least from Dr. Rath the follower of Linus Pauling.

        The sad thing is that you as a patient can not trust the health care system today but have to do your own research to solve your health problems.

        What a weird “society”.

    2. Dr. Göran Sjöberg

      Mark,

      Due to my recent occasional bouts of angina I couldn’t refrain from searching my book shelf to find Wilfrid E. Shute’s 1969 book “Vitamin E for Ailing & Healthy Hearts”. And for sure, here I read that among his 50 000 angina clinical cases he noted that the angina could recur after a few years of successful treatment on a specific level and then he recommended the dose to be increased again in steps until the angina once more is gone.

      As he states, there is then no need to carry the nitroglycerin pills around any more. During my 17 years CVD-carrier I have still not taken a single one of them by the way.

      I will now increase from 1600 IU to 2000 IU E as the first step and see what happens.

      Wonder why does Big Pharma hate this.

      Reply
    3. Luana

      Mark,

      Thanks for passing this on. It’s interesting too that this study seemed to argue for the safety of the supplements and their efficacy in raising serum concentrations…just that they were ineffective, so again hard to explain away by BigPharma influence.

      “Among the high-risk individuals that were studied, these antioxidant vitamins appeared to be safe. But, although this regimen increased blood vitamin concentrations substantially, it did not produce any significant reductions in the 5-year mortality from, or incidence of, any type of vascular disease, cancer, or other major outcome.”

      Reply
    4. Martin Back

      If vitamin C really is a major risk factor in CVD, how do you explain the enormous rise in deaths due to CVD in the USA and UK from 1920 to 1970 (age-adjusted, so not due to an aging population), followed by an equally dramatic fall from 1970 to today?

      I have a few ideas, but I’m not convinced by any of them. The rise and rise of sugar and carb consumption, if it leads to vitamin C replacement by glucose, would surely overpower any increase in food vitamin C.

      Before 1970:
      – Maybe soil became depleted or the rise in chemical fertilizers led to the reduction in vitamin C in foods.
      – Maybe fresh foods and veg became unpopular. (I recall a cartoon from the 1960s: wife to husband: “I’ve had a terrible day. The electric can-opener broke down.”)
      – Maybe careless handling and storage led to loss of vitamin C between farm and consumer.

      After 1970:
      – More attention to the cold chain and supermarket refrigeration led to vitamin C preservation.
      – People started taking supplements or became more vitamin C conscious after the publication of Vitamin C and the Common Cold by Linus Pauling.
      – Reduced transport costs and tariffs led to a wider variety of vitamin C rich foods becoming available.
      – Increased consumption of fruit juices enriched by vitamin C.

      Reply
    1. smartersig

      Am I reading that correct. Upper limit of decrease on LDL was 12 mgdl which is about 0.3 mmol and that is on Hypcholesterolomenia patients who perhaps can be expected to see greatest reductions. Hardly seems worth it ?

      Reply
    2. Dan

      Sorry Randall, read what was in your link but don’t really understand it. Is that good or bad to take so much Vitamin c. Will it reduce cholesterol.

      Reply
  53. Charles Gale

    Just like to add my 2 pennies worth on this current blog on vit C and lp(a).

    Brilliant! Perhaps my favourite since Dr K began his blogs back in 2012. I thought it was pitched just right i.e. having to convey complex, technical subject matter in a way that the layperson can understand. Plus, the great style, humour, summing up, a few anecdotes (without losing the theme and cohesion of the blog) and checklists.

    Readers may want to watch on youtube the presentations given by both John Cha and Matthias Rath at the 2015 Maastrict Conference on vit C and lp(a).

    Also, Dr Suzanne Humphries vit C talk (especially the one where the slides pop up so you can read them) and the Andrew Saul Saul talk posted in the previous blog.

    Like others who visit this website, I too have my self experimentation under way incl vit C and lp(a) level. Sadly, it is still a few months to go before I retest and see what happens. Sadly, too, it means I can’t really start supplementing with l-carnitine until my 6 monthly experiment is reviewed.

    So, I have no real idea of the impact of my vit C supplementation on my insides. However, it does not appear to have had any impact on (a) my dermatitis or (b) melancholy/anxiety issues.

    I know people have had success using vit C with these problems. Who knows – too low dosages? Not given it enough time? Wrong combination of supplements? High expectation levels?

    On the subject of l-carnitine – can any readers recommend a brand of supplement and any youtube presentations?

    Reply
    1. Errett

      Mary Jo—–I have been taking Citrulline for over a year—–primarily for the NO release—-I work out 5 days a week (weight lifting) and I found that I can manage at a higher load and intensity—–seems to help with recovery also—–I haven’t really noticed any other obvious benefits, but like all things each individual will vary in response—–age 64—-building muscle and keeping it is key to our general health as we age—

      Skeletal muscle maintains our posture and produces body movement. Muscle is essential to make all movements required in daily life. Skeletal muscle has several other roles. It is a major target of insulin. Insulin receptors in the muscle play a major role in glucose regulation, and muscle is a major site of glucose disposal. Muscle is also a fuel source under certain conditions, such as starvation, and provides amino acids for gluconeogenesis in the liver. Recent studies have shown that skeletal muscle secretes several factors, so-called myokines, which are associated with maintaining healthy conditions.

      Research “myokines”—–one of the keys to robust health

      Good luck—errrett

      Reply
      1. Errett

        Mary Jo—-forgot to mention—-I take “C” to bowel tolerance level—-currently 6 grams over 24 hours

      2. Gary Ogden

        Erret: Thank you very much for this! Maintaining skeletal muscle is so vital to overall health, but is not emphasized sufficiently in health advice. Like, you I am attempting to increase mine (through body-weight exercises only), and am, though slowly, at 68.

  54. Mark Johnson

    Allow me to play devil’s advocate for a while and let’s accept for the purposes of this that humans evolved and that the basis of evolution is natural selection and simply put, natural selection is any advantageous trait which allows successive generations to have more offspring hence becoming more common in the population. If this process continues, eventually, all individuals in the population will have this advantageous trait.

    With all the arguments in this blog in favour of “massive” vitamin C supplementation and it being stated that X number of millions of years ago humans / our ancestors lost the ability to synthesize vitamin C, can someone please explain how not being able to synthesize vitamin C can be in any way be described as advantageous? Or maybe we are the way we are for a reason and supplementing in “massive” doses to somehow bring us in line on a g/kg body weight basis with other animals which can synthesize vitamin C is not how we are designed to be?

    By the way, I am currently supplementing vitamin C (with lysine) in the region of 5-10 g/day – I’m just playing devil’s advocate here!

    Reply
    1. Sasha

      Does evolution always follow the path of having more offspring for successive generations? You could argue that, as societies evolve, people are having less offspring, not more.

      Reply
      1. Gary Ogden

        Sasha: An interesting book which addresses some of these questions is “Cannibals and Kings” (Marvin Harris, 1977).

      2. Mark Johnson

        Does evolution always follow the path of having more offspring for successive generations?

        Well yes. That’s the definition of natural selection!

        Natural Selection
        Natural selection is the process by which individuals with characteristics that are advantageous for reproduction in a specific environment leave more offspring in the next generation, thereby increasing the proportion of their genes in the population gene pool over time. Natural selection is the principal mechanism of evolutionary change, and is the most important idea in all biology. Natural selection, the unifying concept of life, was first proposed by Charles Darwin, and represents his single greatest contribution to science.

        You could argue that, as societies evolve, people are having less offspring, not more.

        The “evolution of societies” is more in the realms of social “science” rather than biological.

    2. Luana

      Mark Johnson,

      There are lots of theories out there as to why it might have been an advantage, like it wasn’t necessary given the high vitamin C diet of the proto primates, and resources could be devoted to more essential traits. My understanding is that the GULO gene is still there, just neglected and all mangled up.

      But what I keep coming back to is that for modern humans (hunter gatherers all the way to Price’s indigenous groups), the loss of vitamin C synthesis has clearly not been a concern because they didn’t have all of the modern diseases that we have. Those diseases, including heart disease, were extremely rare and not seen at a population level until the Westernizing of the diets and lifestyles. I don’t know if you’re a Gary Taubes’ fan, but his latest book, “The Case Against Sugar,” outlines this history very well, including the many detailed studies of this transition. The common element seems to be the introduction of white sugar and flour. With the Westernized groups, you see this gradual introduction of these foods, along with the slow development of the disease clusters. With the indigenous, you see abrupt and dramatic introduction of sugar and flour, along with abrupt explosions of the same disease clusters. The hypothesis is that the physiology didn’t have time to adjust and simply couldn’t handle it.

      This seems to fit well anyway with the idea that glucose blocks vitamin C. If such refined sources of glucose overwhelm an ancient physiology’s ability to process it, then a vitamin C deficiency would seem a natural result. The C deficiency to weak vessels, to lp(a) response, to atherosclerosis result, is a description of (one of) the mechanics of heart disease, but not the cause. I don’t know about reversing atherosclerosis once it’s in place, and if mega doses can actually do that, but the take away for me moving forward is to not have the white flour and sugar (among other things) and let my body recycle and manage vitamin C as it successfully did for the natives—hoping not all is lost at this point!

      Reply
      1. Mark Johnson

        There are lots of theories out there as to why it might have been an advantage, like it wasn’t necessary given the high vitamin C diet of the proto primates, and resources could be devoted to more essential traits.

        I’m not sure of any real “lots of theories out there” except the oft quoted one of the diet being high in vitamin C. But that’s just an assumption and precludes the more than likely scenario of food scarcity (hence our inbuilt metabolic flexibility to switch from glucose to ketones for energy). With vitamin C being water soluble, it would seem to be even more essential to produce it than say vitamin D which we can of course store. So, assuming this is a population wide “defect”, is it a defect at all or the way we’re designed to work?

        Many on this board often say that the body is remarkable and can heal itself given the right foodstuffs but what “real foods” can realistically give us in the multiple grams of vitamin C per day? And then there are the studies which seem to show that ingesting multiple grams of vitamin C per day invokes a natural absorption tapering effect past about 200mg. So, if the body is naturally controlling absorption >200mg doesn’t that seem to indicate that the body doesn’t want / need greater than these amounts and it’s folly to attempt to reach those vitamin C g/kg body weight levels of other animals?

        I repeat that I’m playing devil’s advocate here and I do supplement but they are niggling questions at the back of my mind.

      2. Mark Johnson

        But what I keep coming back to is that for modern humans (hunter gatherers all the way to Price’s indigenous groups), the loss of vitamin C synthesis has clearly not been a concern because they didn’t have all of the modern diseases that we have.

        This is really circular reasoning and something that we can’t realistically test for. Indigenous groups didn’t have modern diseases so lost the ability to produce vitamin C but now that we do have modern diseases we need multiple grams of vitamin C per day.

        Those diseases, including heart disease, were extremely rare and not seen at a population level until the Westernizing of the diets and lifestyles. I don’t know if you’re a Gary Taubes’ fan, but his latest book, “The Case Against Sugar,” outlines this history very well, including the many detailed studies of this transition. The common element seems to be the introduction of white sugar and flour.

        I do have Taubes’ latest book as well as his older ones. The case against sugar / HFCS being consumed in the quantities we do seems pretty logical and robust to me but the argument in high dose vitamin C supplementation in this scenario seems similar to the argument for metformin / insulin use:

        Doctor: You have high blood sugar / insulin resistance. You must take metformin to bring your blood sugars down.

        Patient: OK doctor. But what about when I become increasingly insulin resistant over the years?

        Doctor: Don’t worry, we’ll simply increase your metformin dose and then put you on insulin.

        Similarly, what appears to be being said is that glucose “blocks” vitamin C so we should consume more vitamin C even though the body appears to taper absorption >200mg. So similarly, the more dysfunctional our metabolism becomes through continued sugar intake should we consume more vitamin C even though are bodies don’t appear to want to absorb such high amounts?

        So, you could then argue to go HFLC whilst supplementing high dose vitamin C but could this approach cause problems?

        According to Online First Gut 2007; doi: 10.1136/gut.2007.12857 Fat in the stomach may cause vitamin C to promote, rather than prevent, the formation of certain cancer causing chemicals because fat transforms ascorbic acid from inhibiting to promoting acid-catlysed N-nitrosation.

        Nitrites access the stomach via saliva as well through certain processed foods. Vitamin C can convert nitrite to nitric oxide and thereby prevent the formation of harmful nitrosamines, which are formed when exposed to stomach acid. However, the Glasgow researchers found that nitric oxide can diffuse into fat and react with oxygen to then form nitrosoamine-generating chemicals. Without fat, vitamin C lowered the presence of two nitrosamines by between five and 1000 times and completely eliminated the production of the other two. “In the experiments performed in the absence of lipid, the addition of ascorbic acid (vitamin C) effectively prevented the nitrosation of the amines,” wrote the researchers. The team then added ten percent fat, which resulted in vitamin C boosting the nitrosamine production by eight and 140 times.

      3. mikecawdery

        Errett,

        Bruce Ames (of the Ames test for carcinogenicity) many years ago raised the issue of statins being carcinogenic in rodents – rapidly ignored on the grounds of the rodent/human differences. This fact was ignored when old, of-patent pharmaceuticals were found by the same tests to be carcinogenic; immediately taken off market to be be replaced with new, patented products.
        Cancer. 1984 May 15;53(10):2034-40.
        The detection of environmental mutagens and potential carcinogens.
        Ames BN.
        PMID: 6367933 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

      4. Luana

        Mark Johnson,

        Your summary that I said, “Indigenous groups didn’t have modern diseases so lost the ability to produce vitamin C but now that we do have modern diseases we need multiple grams of vitamin C per day,” isn’t in the universe of what I thought I was saying, so I must have communicated poorly.

        What I was saying is that the more modern humans (homo sapiens sapiens) who never had the ability to synthesize vitamin C have shown that this lack is in fact not inherently a problem as evidenced by the many indigenous groups that did not have the diseases associated with vitamin C deficiency, including lp(a) atherosclerosis. Nor did I ever say we need multiple grams of C per day. I believe I’ve expressed pretty thoroughly that I don’t believe there is good evidence to support that position.

        Re: “I do have Taubes’ latest book as well as his older ones. The case against sugar / HFCS being consumed in the quantities we do seems pretty logical and robust to me but the argument in high dose vitamin C supplementation in this scenario seems similar to the argument for metformin / insulin use”:

        Are you suggesting Gary Taubes is pitching high dose vitamin C to get away with a poor diet, or that I am?? Both Taubes and I argue the exact opposite. And Taubes’ doesn’t argue for any kind of supplementation. Perhaps with a closer read of my comments and his books, you’ll recognize this.

        Re: ” Many on this board often say that the body is remarkable and can heal itself given the right foodstuffs but what “real foods” can realistically give us in the multiple grams of vitamin C per day?”:

        The premise of your argument here is that multiple grams of C is needed. I think most people making the argument for “real foods” don’t accept that multiple grams is necessary or even natural, so to counter this by saying they’re wrong because diet couldn’t provide that much C is arguing against what was never claimed.

    3. Gary Ogden

      Mark Johnson: In my rudimentary understanding of evolutionary biology, my answer would be that mutations which do not result in reproductive disadvantage can persist. Also, it is possible
      this mutation provided some as yet unknown reproductive advantage, which explains its persistence, and the more than seven billion pill-popping humans swarming about all over the place. Other mysteries: Why are some fatty acids and some amino acids essential?

      Reply
      1. Mark Johnson

        n my rudimentary understanding of evolutionary biology, my answer would be that mutations which do not result in reproductive disadvantage can persist. Also, it is possible
        this mutation provided some as yet unknown reproductive advantage, which explains its persistence

        Hmmm, aren’t we becoming guilty of ad hoc hypotheses now just to satisfy the original premise? This isn’t something on the lines of say sickle cell where in malarial areas it confers a survival advantage yet isn’t 100% in the population; this is an apparently human population wide inability to produce vitamin C.

        I am playing devil’s advocate here.

      2. Gary Ogden

        Mark Johnson: Yes, heterozygous for the sickle cell allele does confer a survival advantage for humans living in malarial habitats; a classic case of Mendellian genetics. Ain’t anywhere near that simple, though, for most genetic inheritance. I wouldn’t call my remarks an hypothesis at all, merely reasonable speculation. I think it reasonable to state that mutations can be disadvantageous, neutral, or advantageous, and their survival in the genome is a matter of contingency.

      3. Mark Johnson

        Are you suggesting Gary Taubes is pitching high dose vitamin C to get away with a poor diet, or that I am?? Both Taubes and I argue the exact opposite. And Taubes’ doesn’t argue for any kind of supplementation. Perhaps with a closer read of my comments and his books, you’ll recognize this.

        No, I wasn’t suggesting that at all. I think I was typing too quickly and mixing replies to various posts in one.

        The case for vitamin C supplementation appears to be solid but the elephant in the room still seems to be this 200mg absorption limit which no one can appear to answer.

  55. Mark Johnson

    On the subject of l-carnitine – can any readers recommend a brand of supplement and any youtube presentations?

    Do some research on GPLC – Glycine Propionyl L-Carnitine. It is a patented form but appears to have some serious studies behind it as well as being recommended by at least one prominent cardiologist.

    Reply
      1. Mark Johnson

        Vitamin C The Real Story by Steve Hickey may shed some light on the 200mg absorption limit

        Can you summarise it so we don’t have to buy a book to find out?

  56. Errett

    We know diabetes/metabolic syndrome increases CVD risk—–here is a new possible link—their database contains 4 million chemicals known to have some level of toxicity

    Synthetic chemicals commonly found in insecticides and garden products bind to the receptors that govern our biological clocks, University at Buffalo researchers have found. The research suggests that exposure to these insecticides adversely affects melatonin receptor signaling, creating a higher risk for metabolic diseases such as diabetes.

    Published online on Dec. 27 in Chemical Research in Toxicology, the research combined a big data approach, using computer modeling on millions of chemicals, with standard wet-laboratory experiments. It was funded by a grant from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, part of the National Institutes of Health.

    Disruptions in human circadian rhythms are known to put people at higher risk for diabetes and other metabolic diseases but the mechanism involved is not well-understood.

    “This is the first report demonstrating how environmental chemicals found in household products interact with human melatonin receptors,” said Margarita L. Dubocovich, PhD, senior author on the paper and SUNY Distinguished Professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology and senior associate dean for diversity and inclusion in the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at UB.

    “No one was thinking that the melatonin system was affected by these compounds, but that’s what our research shows,” she said.

    The current research focuses on two chemicals, carbaryl, the third most widely used insecticide in the U.S. but which is illegal in several countries, and carbofuran, the most toxic carbamate insecticide, which has been banned for applications on food crops for human consumption since 2009. It is still used in many countries, including Mexico and traces persist in food, plants and wildlife.

    “We found that both insecticides are structurally similar to melatonin and that both showed affinity for the melatonin, MT2 receptors, that can potentially affect glucose homeostasis and insulin secretion,” said Marina Popevska-Gorevski, co-author, now a scientist with Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, who worked in Dubocovich’s lab while earning her master’s degree at UB. “That means that exposure to them could put people at higher risk for diabetes and also affect sleeping patterns.”

    The results suggest that there is a need to assess environmental chemicals for their ability to disrupt circadian activity, something which is not currently being considered by federal regulators. The UB researchers are developing a rapid bioassay that might be able to assess environmental chemicals for this kind of activity.

    The work is part of a larger effort by Dubocovich and her colleagues at UB to develop their Chem2Risk pipeline, combining UB’s expertise in computational biology and melatonin receptor pharmacology.

    “Our approach seamlessly integrates the screening of environmental chemicals through computer simulation, in vitro and in vivo techniques to gauge the risk these chemicals present for various disease end points,” explained Raj Rajnarayanan, PhD, lead author and assistant professor of pharmacology and toxicology at UB.

    The UB database contains about four million chemicals reported to have some level of toxicity. “From those, we identified hundreds of thousands of compounds that had readily available chemical structures so that we could study them,” Rajnarayanan explained. After grouping the chemicals in clusters according to their similarity, they found several with functional groups similar to melatonin.

    Using predictive computational modeling and in vitro experiments with cells that express human melatonin receptors, they found that carbamates selectively interact with a melatonin receptor. That interaction can disrupt melatonin signaling and alter important regulatory processes in the body.

    “By directly interacting with melatonin receptors in the brain and peripheral tissues, environmental chemicals, such as carbaryl, may disrupt key physiological processes leading to misaligned circadian rhythms, sleep patterns, and altered metabolic functions increasing the risk for chronic diseases such as diabetes and metabolic disorders,” said Dubocovich.

    For example, she explained, there is a fine balance between the release of insulin and glucose in the pancreas at very specific times of day, but if that balance becomes disrupted over a long period of time, there is a higher risk of developing diabetes.

    Dubocovich is an internationally renowned authority on the brain hormone melatonin and how melatonin receptors are regulated. Her work has significantly boosted the scientific understanding of how melatonin impacts circadian rhythms and human health in general, including sleep disorders, metabolic disease and drug addiction.

    Popovska-Gorevski presented preliminary findings on this work at the 2014 Experimental Biology meeting in San Diego, receiving a Best Abstract Award from the Toxicology Division of the American Society for Pharmaceutical and Experimental Therapeutics and a Best Poster Award from the Upstate New York Pharmacology Society.

    Story Source:

    Materials provided by University at Buffalo. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

    Reply
  57. Mark Johnson

    It’s my understanding that it is the similarity with glucose that allows vit C easy access to cancer cells. One of the changes involved in becoming cancerous is that the receptors that allow glucose in get ramped up because demand is shooting up. This allows Vitamin C to slip in because the gate keepers think it is glucose. Once in it does one of those transformations and turns into hydrogen peroxide. (From Travis Chrstofferson’s book on metabolic theory of cancer – Tripping over the Truth)

    Best Jerome

    Jerome

    I’ve read Travis’ book on Dr Thomas Seyfried’s work and it’s fascinating. Would it seem logical that a powerful anti-cancer approach maybe to link water only fasting with high dose vitamin C therapy? Fasting for the body to switch into nutritional ketosis together with high dose vitamin C therapy for those reasons you mentioned above. I can’t imagine vitamin C would affect nutritional ketosis or would it?

    Reply
  58. thnem

    Does carnitine, ascorbate and B vitamins (and ex-vitamins, like choline) supplementation reduce resistance to insuline and resistance to leptin?

    Another thing. I can imagine two scenarios where a large interventional study on vitamin C could be done. One, those who finance the study are professional investors and finance the research in a very, very secretive way, and position themselves financially in such a way that they would begreatly beneficiated if a stock market chaos ensues after very positive (and perhaps truthful) results are published. Second, the patent system is abandoned for any kind of medical product or foodstuff, not only for “molecules” but for patentable industrial processes. No State would concede any patents over any chemical product ever again, and no Court would hear any plea about this issues. This second case, which would put out of business 3 out of 4 lawyers in the world, would probably bring about huge progress in medicine and in all science at the cost of a little bit of human pride. It also would probably stop all the current scams, both in the supplement world and in the “official drugs” world. It is too good to be true. We don’t deserve it.

    Reply
  59. NY

    Dr Kendrick,

    How trying to lower LP(a) is different than trying to lower inflammation?

    How effective is vit C supplementation without paying attention to glucose levels in the body?

    Reply
  60. Errett

    The type of sugar you eat — and not just calorie count — may determine your risk for chronic disease. A new study is the first of its kind to compare the effects of two types of sugar on metabolic and vascular function. The paper is published ahead of print in the American Journal of Physiology — Heart and Circulatory Physiology.

    Female rats were given a liquid solution of either glucose (a form of sugar found naturally in the body after carbohydrates are broken down) or fructose (sugar found in fruit and fruit juices) in addition to their normal diet of solid food. The rats received the sweetened solutions for eight weeks, roughly equivalent to a person eating large amounts of sugar for six years. The sugar-fed rats were compared with a control group that received plain drinking water in addition to their food supply.

    Researchers found that although both sugar-fed groups consumed more calories than the control group, the total calorie intake of the glucose-fed rats was higher than the rats that were given fructose. Another surprising observation was that “despite this difference, only the fructose group exhibited a significant increase in final body weight,” wrote the research team.

    In addition to higher weight gain, the fructose group showed more markers of vascular disease and liver damage than the glucose group. These included high triglycerides, increased liver weight, decreased fat burning in the liver (a factor that can contribute to fatty liver) and impaired relaxation of the aorta, which can affect blood pressure.

    These findings suggest that an increase in the amount of calories consumed due to sweeteners is not the only factor involved in long-term health risks. The type of sugar may also play a role in increasing risk factors for heart disease, diabetes and other chronic diseases.

    Story Source:

    Materials provided by American Physiological Society (APS). Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

    Journal Reference:

    Gemma Sangüesa, Sonali Shaligram, Farjana Akhter, Núria Roglans, Juan C Laguna, Roshanak Rahimian, Marta Alegret. TYPE OF SUPPLEMENTED SIMPLE SUGAR, NOT MERELY CALORIE INTAKE, DETERMINES ADVERSE EFFECTS ON METABOLISM AND AORTIC FUNCTION IN FEMALE RATS. American Journal of Physiology – Heart and Circulatory Physiology, 2016; ajpheart.00339.2016 DOI: 10.1152/ajpheart.00339.2016

    Reply
    1. Martin Back

      They didn’t test the most obvious sweetener, plain old sucrose, which is what humans actually consume most of. In fact, very few nutritional studies seem to use sucrose.

      I used to believe it was for reasons of academic rigour that they wanted to compare pure sugars, but now I believe researchers don’t use sucrose because they are afraid they will get unfavourable results and bring the wrath of the powerful sugar lobby down on their heads.

      Personally, I ignore all the studies that don’t test the stuff I am actually consuming.

      Reply
      1. Errett

        I agree with your point Martin—–I personally try to avoid sucrose—–also HFCS—I focus on Glucose sources in my carb selections—–I’m an optimist by nature but it does seem to me that humans are treated by corporate entities as a “herd” —- to be managed from cradle to grave producing a fine profit along the way. Thanks for your input—very helpful.

      2. bobniland

        Martin Back wrote: «They didn’t test the most obvious sweetener, plain old sucrose…»

        Or HFCS 55, both which would have been interesting. But this paper is extremely valuable despite that, as it isolates some very different effects of glucose and fructose.

        It’s long been obvious to everyone except dietitians that glucose provokes BG. I’ve long suspected that fructose drives TG, which this trial shows (unless humans are really different from Sprague-Dawley rats in this matter).

        There are too many “diabetic” food-like substances on the market that avoid immediately provoking BG by sweetening with fructose. This may fool the glucometer, but it won’t fool the waistline, or the coronary arteries.

      3. Stephen Rhodes

        You mean the good old disaccharide ‘sucrose’. Robert Lustig’s description of its metabolism is revelatory.

    2. mikecawdery

      Dr Kendrick

      Many thanks for this brilliant comment on Vitamin C and CHD. I am even more convinced that “good health” should be the starting point when investigating ill health of any type; in this case CHD.

      Re Solar Activity and good weather:
      Comment: As you say, what we do about it? I am surprised that no one has related this SPF > 90 MeV to the increase of green house gases in the upper atmosphere. Weather certainly affects death; more people die in winter

      Vitamin C and Lp(a) are tightly bound together
      Comment: To quote your good self: “If you were to do absolutely everything that I believe to be protective against cardiovascular disease, you will shift the odds in your favour, but you could still get struck down by a heart attack or stroke”. I also seem to remember that somewhere in your writings you mentioned that 200-300 conditions had been associated with CHD Vitamin C is, I believe, more involved in benefits related to infections, not in cardiac health per se.

      In dogs for example, I understand that they can up their production of vitamin C when suffering from viral or bacterial infections. In humans too the clinical evidence is also associated with infections (Klenner). If the arterial damage is caused by an infection then there may be a case where benefit from Vitamin C but I suspect other factors would be vastly more important.

      Vitamin C

      1) Connective tissue conditions such as Ehrlers-Danlos(ED) can also cause cardiovascular problems and, in that Vitamin C is associated with this condition it could have some minor effect in some cases of heart disease. The signs of ED are somewhat similar to those of Vit C deficiency

      2) This insight into Vit C deficiency and its associations with lp(a) et al. are most intriguing. I believe that it reflects my view that one has to start with good health to understand the problems of ill health

      Re Willis’ findings in humans is interesting but not significant in terms of plaque reduction. (6/10 0/6 ratios of plaques reducing the two-tailed P value equals 0.1328). However by doubling the number of patients in each group while retaining the ratios, the two-tailed P value equals 0.0192, a significant effect and a warning to researchers not to investigate further if they want to earn Big Pharma browny points. Compare these possible numbers for obtaining a significant result with the huge group sizes, cost and time required to demonstrate a benefit in statin studies

      Under the current “belief”system no researcher, aware of the belief, is going to risk his career and family to attempt to research the problem. There is simply too much evidence that contrary evidence will be squashed by “the financially involved” – the example of Dr Barry Marshall and H. pylori and his treatment by the “experts” is there for all to see but he was so spectacularly right that he won – a very rare event. .
      3) “Now you would think that this would have been an area of research interest to someone….
      No I would not. Vitamin C is not patentable and there is no perception of PROFIT for Big Pharma. Indeed it might even improve health and only ill health is in their business model.

      4) Re: Rath
      A CDC study, hidden from sight for 15 years but recently Dr Thompson involved in the study, blew the whistle to reveal that the Afro-American boys involved in the study did show that MMR vaccine caused autism. Why should other conflicted insitutions not follow the same procedure of hiding embarassing data?

      5) Conventional research is dominated by Big Pharma and is based solely on their perception of profit. Statins are an example and the HPS a ? example. In this study 156 patients were “estimated” to have been saved but are unidentifiable. On the other hand 781 patients died of CVD despite therapy while 937 placebo patients also died. Both groups are identifiable and have full medical records including TC levels. The comparison of these two groups was never done; the TC levels were never published on the grounds of confidentiality.
      Indeed, the between group and within group analysis of TC was also excluded from the results.

      Was there a difference between the treated or placebo survivors’ TC and the treated or placebo but dead patients’ TC?

      Had these results been favourable to statin therapy they would have been published; thus they MUST have been negative to the chooleesterol hypothesis. Sorry but this sort of selective “research” is contrary to the very basis of research as I was taught at the LSH&TM some 60 years ago and it disgust me. It does not say much for the Lancet reviewers who let it be published.

      L-carnitine and lp(a)
      Dr Graveline always recommended l-carnitine and you have put the reasons very clearly. Thank you. Again this is going back to good health and metabolism working properly but not helpful in the search of molecules to change a damaged process as practised in current medical pharmacology.

      In conclusion I really look forward to this series being published in book format. It is certainly something that should be in every practice in most countries.

      Reply
      1. Sylvia

        Bravo Mike. fantastic stuff. My mother died of stomach cancer. She and her siblings were motherless from an early age, her father did a sterling job but struggled, hand to mouth existence. He was a railway Porter, took them all with him to the pub on horse and cart, they sat outside whilst he had his beer. I imagine she was infected with Helicobacter Pylori as a child and That perhaps a course of antibiotics would have done the trick, but how to know these things. Now, although we know how to obtain Vt C and to improve our physical health, our young, I believe have a much more stressful work life balance. How to obtain holistic wellbeing, there’s the rub.

      2. Richard Wallace

        got your reply but no text found richard wallace

        On Sat, Jan 21, 2017 at 10:03 AM, Dr. Malcolm Kendrick wrote:

        > Sylvia commented: “Bravo Mike. fantastic stuff. My mother died of stomach > cancer. She and her siblings were motherless from an early age, her father > did a sterling job but struggled, hand to mouth existence. He was a railway > Porter, took them all with him to the pub on hors” >

    3. mikecawdery

      Erret many thanks for the link. Very relevant in the sense of looking at the C6 components of sucrose but as Martin Back points out it avoids the issue of blaming “sugar” and the consequent approbation of “seriously conflicted but powerful financial interests”. In short, profits are more important than human health.

      Reply
  61. Mark Johnson

    Does evolution always follow the path of having more offspring for successive generations?

    Well yes. That’s the definition of natural selection!

    Natural Selection
    Natural selection is the process by which individuals with characteristics that are advantageous for reproduction in a specific environment leave more offspring in the next generation, thereby increasing the proportion of their genes in the population gene pool over time. Natural selection is the principal mechanism of evolutionary change, and is the most important idea in all biology. Natural selection, the unifying concept of life, was first proposed by Charles Darwin, and represents his single greatest contribution to science.

    You could argue that, as societies evolve, people are having less offspring, not more.

    The “evolution of societies” is more in the realms of social “science” rather than biological.

    Reply
  62. Gary Ogden

    Two papers linking (methyl)mercury burden with CVD, and the cardio-protective affects of DHA:
    Guallar E N Engl J Med 2002;347(22):1747-1757
    Salonen JT Circulation 1995;91:645-655

    Reply
  63. Martin Back

    Goran,

    I was very interested to read Prof. Gøtzsche’s “Corporate crime in the pharmaceutical industry is common, serious and repetitive”

    https://engineeringevil.com/2015/02/18/corporate-crime-in-the-pharmaceutical-industry-is-common-serious-and-repetitive/

    Here is one example he mentions:

    9. Eli Lilly to pay more than $1.4 billion for illegal marketing in 2009

    …Eli Lilly successfully marketed Zyprexa for numerous off-label uses including Alzheimer’s, depression and dementia, particularly in children and the elderly, although the harms of the drug are substantial, inducing heart failure, pneumonia, considerable weight gain and diabetes. Eli Lilly sales people were posed as persons in the audience who were interested in Zyprexa’s expanded use and asked “planted questions” during off-label lectures and audio conferences for physicians. Another tactic was that, while knowing the substantial risk for weight gain posed by Zyprexa, the company minimized the connection between Zyprexa and weight gain in a widely disseminated videotape called “The Myth of Diabetes” that used “allegedly scientific studies of questionable integrity as well as the haphazard reporting of adverse events.” The settlement agreement included a Corporate Integrity Agreement.

    Shocking. And he easily found another nine multi-billion dollar frauds with a simple Google search.

    But there are a couple of other things from the article I’d like to highlight.

    First, the absolute scale of the industry. Eli Lilly’s top-selling antipsychotic drug, Zyprexa (olanzapine), had worldwide sales of nearly $40 billion between 1996 and 2009. That’s just for one drug. In 2010, the ten largest companies sold drugs for $303 billion, which is more than the Gross National Product for all but the richest 34 countries in the world!

    Phew! Imagine the pressure than kind of money can buy against a lonely researcher speaking out against the industry.

    Second, there was this sentence, referring to the USA. The most sold class of drugs in 2009 (in dollars) was antipsychotics and antidepressants came fourth, after lipid lowering drugs and proton pump inhibitors.

    I could not believe that PPI’s were the third best-selling medication in America. If you are looking for proof that Americans eat dysfunctionally, here it is. The medications are for heartburn and acid reflux, conditions that are entirely due to too many carbs and sugars, eating too much or too fast, and lying down too soon after a meal. The cure is simple: cut down on the carbs and sugars; don’t stuff yourself but leave a bit of room in your tummy after you finish eating; and keep going. Resist the temptation to lie down.

    Donald Trump should ban the sale of PPI’s completely. It would force Americans to eat properly, and those that don’t would drown in their own gastric juices, and deservedly so.

    Finally, and bringing the discussion back to CVD, psychoactive drugs were the first and fourth best sellers in America. The first antipsychotics and antidepressants became available in the 1950s. Benzodiazepines (Librium) in the 1960s, Prozac in the late 1980s.

    If stress is the driver of CVD, maybe the introduction and wide use of stress-relieving medication was responsible for the decline in CVD from the 1970s on. The psychiatrists were accomplishing what the cardiologists could not!

    Reply
    1. Dr. Göran Sjöberg

      Martin,

      Now visiting two relatives who both have been seriously hit by cancer to help the one who is not capable to prepare the food for herself while the other now will be at the hospital for a week for a comprehensive operation. They are both heavily overweight and have been very hostile for many years towards the strict LCHF regimen of my own family. Everything is LIGHT in their kitchen and the sugar level are skyrocketing high in almost all items.

      Anyway, today I prepared dinner for the first time for all of us in their house – a huge stew on ground beef with a very liberal amount of butter to start with. My guess was that the fat content could have been around 75 % and the 5 % carbs all from vegetables.

      I couldn’t have imagine the appetite I now witnessed and the “standing” approval from both of them although I have witnessed the same appetite and approval at other occasions with sceptic guests in my own house given the same treat. My man though turned a little hesitant when he saw the “little sea” of remaining sauce on his plate and asked if that was all fat (How true he was!) and if it could clog the piping in his kitchen.”Well, you should eat it!” I said so he asked his wife for a slice of bread to soak it up. He couldn’t refrain from praising the dinner afterwards although it was in essence a very simple one.

      The great tastes are evidently with the fat of the meat and the butter and these tastes seem to be very persuasive and hard to resist physiologically once you get them into your mouth.

      I think LIerre Keith expressed this phenomenon in the same way in her book “The Vegetarian Myth” where she tells her story how she finally after 20 years of vegan life turned “carnivore” from one day to the next. To me that book was a great reading in the same spirit as Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring”.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lierre_Keith

      Reply
      1. Jennifer

        Dr Goran. I am sorry to hear about your relatives, and trust your food regime will make them feel better, and more inclined to follow your regime.
        My overweight relative was diagnosed with type II and thyroid problems a month ago, but was offered no advice except to return for further blood tests after 3 weeks. After listening to my story and changing to my regime of LCHF, with pure, unadulterated foodstuffs, the subsequent blood tests showed a total reversal of all diabetic and thyroid markers. The GP advised re-tests in 3 month’s time, and is very impressed; a weight loss of a stone, a settled sleeping pattern and total lack of abdominal bloating has also been reported. And after so short a time.
        Now, it is anecdotal, but food MUST be a factor in good/bad health. I just wish people would be more inclined to follow you and others of your (and my) persuasion.
        The kind help towards your relatives is to be commended, along with your generous contributions to this blog. Thankyou.

      2. AH Notepad

        There is a downside, and I think it is a case of “be careful what you wish for”. Encouraging people enmass to switch to LCHF diets will push up the price of HF foods.

      3. Eliot

        Dr Goran,

        On another heart-related forum a member there recently developed cancer. He does *a lot* of research and came back with the idea that high doses of liposomal vitamin C can induce hydrogen peroxide in cancer cells, thus killing them. He came to the conclusion that 6-9 grams of liposomal C for 4-8 weeks, with a ramping up period, would be the protocol to follow. Oil-based liposomal should work better to get into cells rather than water based C which would go into the bloodstream and have difficulty getting into the cells.

        Here is a link to the page but I think you might be required to register (free) to be able to read it.

        http://www.heartlifetalk.com/forums/default.aspx?g=posts&t=52856#post128461

    2. Dr. Göran Sjöberg

      Martin,

      About the criminality of Big Pharma you seem to have arrived at the same standpoint as I did just a few years ago. Before that, I was more of the attitude Luana seems to harbor that there is just a few bad apples in the basket.

      It was though the overwhelming “evidence” from all directions, not least from the corrupted health care systems worldwide, but decisive was the reading of Prof. Gøtzsche’s books (but also Robert Whitaker’s) which made me realize that the whole basket is just full of rotten apples even if they all are shining red. You have to cut them up, as Götzsche does, to see how rotten they are.

      It thus surprises me how Luana sees Götzsche as her hero (he is also mine 🙂 ) but still seems to believe that Big Pharma is just a bunch of “good guys” making good business. If you take this forgiving standpoint it is in my eyes as to try to deal wth the maffia. Everything the maffia is doing is not bad but to sort out the “little good” from the “main evil” takes your human effort.

      It all turns into one of the most fundament philosophical questions – when can you put a name on something?

      How high percentage of the apples do you need to find rotten in the basket before you decide to throw all away? As Luana notes I have saved the antibiotic apple even if the “evil” industry is working hard to corrupt even this apple when using it abundantly in the livestock production.

      Reply
      1. Luana

        Goran,

        Re: “It thus surprises me how Luana sees Götzsche as her hero (he is also mine 🙂 ) but still seems to believe that Big Pharma is just a bunch of “good guys” making good business.”

        Please don’t misrepresent my position. I’ve never said this, and don’t believe this. I’ve repeated my position of having great concern about pharmaceutical interference over and over. So what’s up with that, Goran?

      2. JDPatten

        Ah! I wanted to ask you about corrupting the antibiotic apple, Goran.
        Are you able to find antibiotic free and hormone free and grain-fed free meats easily at your local markets? Is that important to you?

      3. Dr. Göran Sjöberg

        JD,

        Life has to be pragmatic!

        You do your best and in the larger grocery stores there are today substantial shelves with “natural” foods and where I usually find something. When it comes to meat it is more difficult and you have to arrange for a good supply “line” from some local farmer you can “trust”. Usually I fill my freezer once a year from my now trusted source (I have talked with his cows 🙂 .

      4. Gary Ogden

        Dr. Goran: That’s what we have to do in the U.S., too. The USDA (meat) and the FDA (most everything else) have such a stranglehold on food production. Good quality eggs, cheese, and in some states, raw milk, are available in grocery stores, but not meat. The FDA has just seriously damaged the availability of raw camel milk (I’m not making this up). Due to the activism of Ralph Nader, it is illegal to ship raw milk products in interstate commerce, although the ban only applies to the milk from hooved animals, which the camel is not. Regulatory agencies have such a broad mandate that they think they can make their own laws, and they do so under the radar. The largest camel milk producer in the U.S. was recently told to cease and desist shipping out of state, and they buckled (very expensive to fight city hall, especially for a farmer, who lives on narrow margins).

      5. Mark Johnson

        On another heart-related forum a member there recently developed cancer. He does *a lot* of research and came back with the idea that high doses of liposomal vitamin C can induce hydrogen peroxide in cancer cells, thus killing them. He came to the conclusion that 6-9 grams of liposomal C for 4-8 weeks, with a ramping up period, would be the protocol to follow. Oil-based liposomal should work better to get into cells rather than water based C which would go into the bloodstream and have difficulty getting into the cells.

        I’ve read quite extensively on liposomal vitamin C and have used some from the market leading manufacturer.

        However, I again started having those niggling questions at the back of my mind namely: encapsulated vitamin C does not occur in nature so if in this form it’s being absorbed by the body and bypassing the natural 200mg or so limit (which no one has yet answered) is this necessarily a good thing? If the body can’t absorb >200mg or so then is it right to try and bypass this natural absorption limit / system? Just asking.

    3. Sasha

      I doubt that antipsychotics and antidepressants was what drove down CVD rates in the US. For an alternative view on what they had done, look into “Mad in America” or “Anatomy of an Epidemic” by the same author.

      Reply
      1. Martin Back

        Sasha,
        I don’t really believe psychoactive medication drove down CVD rates. It was a nod to Dr Kendrick’s theory that stress is the cause of CVD, which faces the same epidemiological problem that all theories face: how to explain the enormous rise of US CVD rates to 1970, and the equally enormous fall thereafter till today?

        You could argue that the Cold War period was more stressful than WWII, which was more stressful then the Great Depression, which was more stressful than WWI. It’s unlikely, but consider that although economically the US was doing well after WWII there were social stresses like the threat of nuclear annihilation, hippies, yippies, Weathermen, and Black Panthers. In Europe you had Danny Cohn-Bendit, riotous students, and the Baader-Meinhof gang. In the East you had the Japanese Red Army Faction (which bombed Athens airport as we were driving past. We heard the explosions.), and Chairman Mao and his millions of Red Guards waving their Little Red Books. So there was plenty of stress about.

        Then why did the stress become less from 1970? I submit it was only with the fall in the Berlin Wall in 1989 that international tensions eased. The only think I can think of that might have relieved stress is medication.

      2. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

        There was no enormous rise of CVD in the 1970s in the US. CVD in the US rose enormously until about the late 1950s and has fallen ever since – until last year when it started to go up again.

      3. Gary Ogden

        Dr. Kendrick: From the data I have the peak year (in the U.S.) appears to be about 1968, though it basically leveled off by 1960. What is astonishing is the dramatic rise from 1920 (160/100,000) to 1950, when it slowed a bit, to 1960 at 370 (combined men and women). For thirty years almost linear. The graph I’ve made of the data looks like Mt. Everest. Another interesting data set I have is stroke mortality. From 1900 to 1935 it dropped from 107 to 85; at this point it began to rise fairly steeply to 108 by 1960. It has dropped ever since, except for the second half of the 1980’s, to 59 by 1998. I suspect smoking is a major factor here. The cancer data I have shows a continual rise (from 1900) until it levels off by 1990.

      4. Gary Ogden

        Addendum: 1968 was a year of riots, demonstrations, political turmoil, and the assassination of two beloved leaders, so it’s no wonder people were dropping dead.

      5. Gary Ogden

        Martin Back: This is a very interesting thing to ponder. The heart disease rate (in the U.S.) for women was 305/100,000 in 1971, dropped to 286 by 1975, but then went back up to 308 by 1983; it then dropped to 278 by 1991, before rising again to 284 by 1993; by 1998 (where my data end), it had dropped to 268 (the same as men!). So for women it is not linear. For men it is. In 1971 the rate was 415. From this point it dropped continuously, most steeply in the second half of the 1980’s (also true for women), to equal the women’s rate by 2008. What sense can you make of this?

      6. smartersig

        I believe a t test is needed to check the significance of say a drop from 305 to 285 and it would appear that the t value for this drop means it is not statisticaly significant to 0.05 confidence interval. In other words the drop could simply be by chance and the fact that it pops back up may be further weight to that position

      7. Sasha

        Martin, I don’t believe antidepressants relieve stress, I think they internalize it with some serious side effects down the line.

        Also, I don’t remember anyone on here saying that declining CVD rates had to do with the relief in international relations, stress, etc. I personally believe that it had at least something to do with taking lead out of gasoline and environmental improvements that began with “Silent Spring”.

      8. Martin Back

        Eric,
        Sorry, it was the Palestinian group Black September. All we knew at the time was the streets were suddenly swarming with troops, but we couldn’t understand the Greek newspapers.

        5 August 1973: Two Arab gunmen stage an armed assault on passengers nearby the Trans World Airlines lounge, within the Athens International Airport, killing five and wounding up to 60 others. Two Americans and an Austrian are among the deceased. The initial target was intended to be passengers on a flight to Tel Aviv. — https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terrorism_in_Greece

      9. Martin Back

        Sasha,
        Dr Kendrick compared death rates in Russia and Lithuania before and after the fall of the Berlin Wall and concluded “psychosocial stress/social upheaval is the single most important cause of death from CVD.”
        https://drmalcolmkendrick.org/2016/06/19/what-causes-heart-disease-part-xvii/

        Another factor that Dr Blackwell mentioned in her podcast is that highly-stressed mothers give birth to babies with shorter telomeres, which would affect the death rate many years later.

        It may be that if you put all the known influences on CVD into a giant matrix and cranked the handle, you might come out with the observed national death rates, but I don’t think we are there yet. There is still room for speculation and theorising.

      10. Sasha

        I have no doubt that stress and social upheaval have an effect on all sorts of illnesses. I just don’t think that antidepressants do much to mitigate it.

      11. Martin Back

        Oops, Dr Elizabeth Blackburn, who won the Nobel Prize in 2009 for her discovery of the protective caps on chromosomes called, “telomeres.”

      12. chris c

        “There was no enormous rise of CVD in the 1970s in the US. CVD in the US rose enormously until about the late 1950s and has fallen ever since – until last year when it started to go up again.”

        If that hasn’t yet been blamed on LCHF and people stopping their statins, I predict it will be.

  64. Mark Johnson

    I could not believe that PPI’s were the third best-selling medication in America. If you are looking for proof that Americans eat dysfunctionally, here it is.

    Not just the Americans. PPIs have their place but that place is limited and for a matter of a few weeks only. It’s not uncommon for people and particularly the elderly to be on this type of drug for years, to “protect their tummy”. Absolute nonsense. I’ve more than once asked hospital doctors, particularly on elderly medicine wards what exactly they’re wanting to protect stomachs from. I’ve never received a good answer. GERD isn’t a disease it’s a symptom. The elderly are likely to produce too little stomach acid to begin with and with reduced stomach acid you’re going to have all manner of digestive and nutrient absorption problems, which inevitably lead to all manner of further problems down the line.

    Reply
  65. Gary Ogden

    Having just reread the post, and the L-carnitine paper (which concludes it may have potential therapeutic value with essentially no down side), I’m sold. Going to pick some up this morning, rather than order the pine box. My only Lp(a) test showed 76 nmol/L, with reference range <75.

    Reply
  66. Gary Ogden

    It took me a while, but I found the conversion factor for lp(a) from nmol/L to mg/dL. It is division by 2.5, thus 50 nmol/L would be 20mg/dL for lp(a). I rarely bother with Wikipedia, but they have this to say, “Lp(a) occurs in different isoforms. . .simple quantitative results may not provide a complete assessment of risk.” According to them, my 76 lies at the bottom of the high risk group.

    Reply
    1. Mr Chris

      Gary
      My 60 is not so bad. What are you going to do? My plan is L Carnitine on my porridge when I get the time to order it.

      Reply
      1. Gary Ogden

        Mr Chris: Your 60 would fall somewhere in the middle of the moderate risk range. I’m not going to do anything about mine except add 500 mg L-carnitine twice a day to my 1g twice a day of vitamin C. When I run out of the vitamin C pills, I’m going to do like Dr. Goran, and buy the powder; I believe there is evidence that replenishing it every 2-3 hours is beneficial. I have no plans to recheck my lp(a). What good would it do?

  67. Gary Ogden

    This thought occurred to me: If elevated lp(a) is a symptom, when we lower it with L-carnitine and vitamin C are we treating the underlying cause of the symptom or just the symptom itself, or both? If the underlying cause is something which causes the blood vessels to crack, what is the cause and how do we treat it? Perhaps it doesn’t matter. Reading the post for the third time gives me confidence that treatment is likely to reduce CVD risk and mortality. Interesting that the third reference above recommends treatment for lp(a) levels above 50mg/dL, and treating with niacin, yet in the Quest reference range above 30mg/dL (75nmol/L) is considered high.

    Reply
    1. Martin Back

      I’d be hesitant to lower Lp(a) directly. It’s nature’s little puncture repair kit, and presumably we always need some on hand to deal with the process of renewal and repair constantly going on with our epithelium, unless it’s made of something like Teflon.

      It’s like bending the needle on your speedometer if it says you’re going too fast, rather than taking your foot off the accelerator.

      From the guinea pig studies it seems that the deposition and absorption of plaques are routine tasks for the body. The interesting question to me is, what factors cause a plaque to grow bigger rather than being absorbed again?

      Reply
      1. Gary Ogden

        Martin Back: Your question is, I think, exactly what I was trying to get at. There are clues in all CXXIV posts. I suspect that if food inputs are healthful, toxic exposure minimal and we’ve had good luck in the genetic sweepstakes, how we cope, mentally, with the twists and turns of life is one of the keys to this. “Always look on the bright side of life.”

      2. Martin Back

        Gary,
        Yes, mental coping is certainly a factor. Elizabeth Blackburn, Nobel prize-winning discoverer of telomeres, says

        Abstract: We investigated the hypothesis that stress impacts health by modulating the rate of cellular aging. Here we provide evidence that psychological stress–both perceived stress and chronicity of stress–is significantly associated with higher oxidative stress, lower telomerase activity, and shorter telomere length, which are known determinants of cell senescence and longevity, in peripheral blood mononuclear cells from healthy premenopausal women. Women with the highest levels of perceived stress have telomeres shorter on average by the equivalent of at least one decade of additional aging compared to low stress women. — https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15574496

        They used women with children in their study. Women with normal children as the control group, and woman with children with chronic conditions needing care as the stressed group. Interestingly, they found that women with autistic children were the most highly stressed. (From a podcast at https://www.acast.com/commonwealthclubofcaliforniapodcast/dr.-elizabeth-blackburn-and-dr.-elissa-epel-the-new-science-of-living-younger )

      3. Sasha

        Did autistic children cause their mothers to shorten telomeres or did aged mothers produce autistic children?

      4. Gary Ogden

        Martin Back: It is no wonder that this is the case. For those with children on the severe end of the spectrum it is a 24-hour-a-day job, and stressful for both parents; this is why it destroys so many marriages.

      5. Martin Back

        Sasha,
        They weren’t looking at autism specifically. They were investigating the link between stress and telomere length. I gather the sample was a group of fairly young mothers, with the ones being full-time child carers considered the stressed group. It was an off-the-cuff remark that those caring for autistic children appeared to be more stressed than those caring for children with other problems, but that wasn’t the hypothesis under test.

      6. Sasha

        Martin, I don’t remember how it was phrased, but I thought they were proposing that having autistic children shortened the mothers’ telomeres.

    2. Mark Johnson

      This thought occurred to me: If elevated lp(a) is a symptom, when we lower it with L-carnitine and vitamin C are we treating the underlying cause of the symptom or just the symptom itself, or both? If the underlying cause is something which causes the blood vessels to crack, what is the cause and how do we treat it? Perhaps it doesn’t matter.

      I think it’s a good question and I think it does matter. Otherwise, aren’t we guilty of the same things that we chastise big pharma for, ie treating symptoms and not the causes. We accuse big pharma of driving down surrogate markers through patented chemical means yet aren’t we in danger of doing the same but by using natural chemicals? Now, if elevated Lp(a) is due to a vitamin C and / or carnitine deficiency then fine, let’s supplement if the lack of said supplement(s) is the cause of elevated Lp(a) and said supplement(s) can better heal the damaged epithelium. However, if it’s simply about lowering for the sake of lowering, and as Martin Back said, “I’d be hesitant to lower Lp(a) directly. It’s nature’s little puncture repair kit, and presumably we always need some on hand to deal with the process of renewal and repair constantly going on with our epithelium” then surely lowering it would be unwise.

      Anyone has any other thoughts?

      Reply
      1. smartersig

        Put your trust in Nature, if consuming Vit C lowers is and not consuming Vit C raises it, what do you think we should do ?

  68. Charles Gale

    FAO Gary Ogden

    Currently, I have vit C supplement in tablet, capsule and powder form. Based on talks by Suzanne Humphries and Andrew Saul, my main source is now the powder form and I won’t use tablets again. I think from a practical point of view it’s good to have capsules to take to work or when you are out and about. And, with capsules, you also know exactly how much you get every time unlike the powder, unless you measure/weigh every spoonful.

    I had my lp(a) measured last year and become aware of the varying ranges of normal level between various labs. For 2/3 I was in the normal range.

    Wouldn’t regular checking give you peace of mind if nothing else? I had no symptoms or any awareness that anything was wrong inside but down I went. One positive of my CVD event is that those around me have the opportunity to make these checks and head trouble off before it’s too late – e.g. my brother is currently awaiting an angiogram test result. And they are aware of this website and that Dr Kendrick is blogging on the things to do to minimise the risk.

    From a self experimentation point of view, you need to know what;s happening. On the other hand, when I retest my lp(a), I’ll still supplement with vit C whatever the result, or possible add l-carnitine and see what happens after 6 months on that regime.

    My understanding is that, simplistically, lp(a) is a mobile healing molecule and that a vit C deficiency will trigger it’s production. And perhaps other factors as well. So, I think increasing or maintaining vit C levels is treating one of the causes for lp(a) production.

    Reply
    1. Gary Ogden

      Charles Gale: Thanks. You’ve answered my question with “. . .increasing or maintaining vit C levels is treating one of the causes for lp(a) production.” Actually, not having lab tests gives me much greater peace of mind. What am I going to do about it? There appears to be no other way than supplements to lower it, and those supplement have little or no toxicity. Charging ahead is all I can do. I always chuckle when I write “lp(a),” because in my brain I see “el pee little A.” Thanks to Dr. Kendrick for writing it and Zoe Harcombe for reminding us (but why is the A capitalized?).

      Reply
  69. gollum

    @87 Mark Johnson
    Re: PPIs

    This was a minor big deal in German media some days ago. Apparently a large fraction of the population is taking them. Who made a fuss, the insurance companies of course. Never mention the infection risk, CVD risk (learned about from dr. kendrick), the overgrowth syndromes …

    What should they protect against? Why, I believe it’s COX and other painkillers. They happen to reduce stomach mucosa too via the same pathway so it is standard practice to add stomach protection.

    Ironically, low dose painkillers have been advertised as CVD protection. You cannot win as a victim of medicine.

    I don’t have time at the moment to read or comment on all your nice posts. In short,

    Re: Vitamin C: I still think the oxalate issue, the limitation via GI intake, and the flushing out by kidney at equilibrium of ~500 mg/d, suggests the “natural” RDA is probably not much higher.

    And, have you heard of Mr. Haverich? He had some shout-out in Circulation about how the common CVD is wrong. Says it is probably the outer wall and its small circulation arteries getting clogged and dying. Don’t know if it is the same idea as Subbotin’s. Not much time to look into it and the full text is behind paywall.

    Reply
  70. Maureen H

    Mark Johnson, re ”the flushing out by kidney at equilibrium of ~500mg/d”, It may well be that studies that came up with this result, ignored the effect of a high blood glucose level on ascorbic acid, blocking it’s absorption so it gets flushed out through the kidneys. It would be very interesting if those same studies were done taking the glucose effect into consideration.

    Reply
    1. JDPatten

      Maureen,
      Yes. But, again, what happens to absorption and equilibrium in those who are sick? That’s the unanswered question here.
      (Probably no researcher wants sick people hanging around his lab.)

      Reply
      1. Maureen H

        “Yes. But, again, what happens to absorption and equilibrium in those who are sick? That’s the unanswered question here.”
        I can’t answer that specifically, but a good start may be to reduce carbohydrate to a level whereby the glucose isn’t obstructing the entry of Vit C into cells. Of course what that level of glucose would be I have no idea, I suspect quite low. But enabling Vit C to get in there and do it’s good work against ROS should surely go some way to improving the situation.

    2. Mark Johnson

      It’s possible but then we’d be second guessing. And what is a high blood glucose level? Is it the one following what your doctor says or people such as Dr Joseph Kraft MD who measures postprandial glucose and insulin response over a few hours? And since your doctor only measures blood glucose, could that just be a surrogate for something else which is key, eg insulin? And if glucose is the key, then isn’t the answer again a LCHF diet rather than supplementation? I’m not meaning to be a troll and I’m wanting supplementation to be the easy answer but can it be so simple?

      Reply
      1. chris c

        I know very many diabetics who have tested friends and family and found exactly the same thing as endocrinologist Richard Bernstein – who tested meter salesmen – genuine nondiabetics have glucose VERY tightly controlled around 5 +- 0.5 at all times (90 =- 10 for the Yanks). Anyone whose glucose goes much above this is already On The Diabetic Progression. This amounts to 5g glucose in the total blood volume. The diagnostic point for diabetes used to be postprandial over 11 on more than one occasion, not much more than double and a tiny increase seeing as we are supposed to eat 230 – 300g glucose per day or according to some dieticians even more.

        IMO the reason the diagnostic cutoff is set so high is to avoid diagnosing “too many people”. Yet the sooner you spot the problem (insulin would be an even better and even earlier metric) the easier it is to control via diet rather than medication.

        Now the diagnosis must only be done by HbA1c this leaves even more people with high postprandial glucose spikes which would be blocking the vitamin C transport.

  71. Errett

    Cancer Res. 2017 Jan 20. pii: canres.0785.2016. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-16-0785. [Epub ahead of print]

    RelB expression determines the differential effects of ascorbic acid in normal and cancer cells.
    Wei X1, Xu Y2, Xu FF3, Chaiswing L4, Schnell D5, Noel T6, Wang C7, Chen J8, St Clair DK9, St Clair WH10.

    Abstract
    Cancer cells typically experience higher oxidative stress than normal cells, such that elevating pro-oxidant levels can trigger cancer cell death. Although pre-exposure to mild oxidative agents will sensitize cancer cells to radiation, this pre-exposure may also activate the adaptive stress defense system in normal cells. Ascorbic acid (AA) is a prototype redox modulator that when infused intravenously appears to kill cancers without injury to normal tissues; however, the mechanisms involved remain elusive. In this study, we show how AA kills cancer cells and sensitizes prostate cancer to radiation therapy, while also conferring protection upon normal prostate epithelial cells against radiation-induced injury. We found that the NF-κB transcription factor RelB is a pivotal determinant in the differential radiosensitization effects of AA in prostate cancer cells and normal prostate epithelial cells. Mechanistically, high ROS concentrations suppress RelB in cancer cells. RelB suppression decreases expression of the sirtuin SIRT3 and the powerful antioxidant MnSOD, which in turn increases oxidative and metabolic stresses in prostate cancer cells. In contrast, AA enhances RelB expression in normal cells, improving antioxidant and metabolic defenses against radiation injury. In addition to showing how RelB mediates the differential effects of AA on cancer and normal tissue radiosensitivities, our work also provides a proof of concept for the existence of redox modulators that can improve the efficacy of radiotherapy while protecting against normal tissue injury in cancer settings.

    Copyright ©2017, American Association for Cancer Research.
    PMID: 28108513 DOI: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-16-0785

    Reply
    1. Dr. Göran Sjöberg

      Agree that this is very interesting.

      I now better understand why Prof. Seyfried avoided my question about Vitamin C when I communicated with him after having read his book an writing about it. The whole issue of ROS and antioxidants seems to be very complex.

      I just now wonder why my other antioxidant supplement, vitamin E though fat soluble, appears to keep my angina at bay.

      Funny physiological world indeed!

      Reply
      1. Ken Strain

        I’ve not looked closely at “vitamin E” or rather alpha-tocopherol which seems to be the “one” that matters. When I looked at B-vtamins (see posts above, including the comment about vitamin C serum levels which could have parallels here), it became clear that the complexity of how they interact with a given genome is enormous – to the extent that we could quite easily each be unique in that respect.

        There are many publications that suggest that there is sufficient vitamin E in the diet and supplementation is unlikely to help. To me that’s not the end of the story, but it has to be taken into account. That’s the same position I am in with B6, another vitamin that is “rarely deficient”, but which helps me (profoundly, and I know how and why, at least plausibly). So I think you would need to look for an uncommon reason that vitamin E helps you (based on your genes).

        I just now searched for “tocopherol related genes” and quickly found this paper discusing just alpha tocopherol’s effect on gene expression etc.:
        Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2004 Dec;1031:86-95. “Vitamin E mediates cell signaling and regulation of gene expression.” with the abstract here https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15753136
        (unfortunately the article is behind a paywall though the abstract is already useful).

        A few of the genes mentioned are familiar, as they overlap with B vitamin metabolism so I’ve studied them, and it looks likely that you would be able to find one or more “plausible” links with heart disease, but that there are likely to be sufficient genetic variants involved that you won’t be able to find anything definite. (Even if you have had your own genome analysed, there probably won’t be enough published data to link your SNPs to the question you want to answer.) That’s a guess and it could be that there is one or other pathway that has been well studied and has few variations such that it can be understood (but probably not, or we would have heard about it).
        https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10385606 (from 1999 and free) tells us how little we knew then. It is clear that thinking of vitamin-E as a simple chemical antioxidant is unhelpful (and my impression is that has been shown pretty clearly in trials).

        If someone has done some on-off experiments and finds an effect, it is either real or placebo and nobody has the right to say that it can’t be real as that probably can’t be proven (and of course the placebo outcome could be eliminated with help and some risk with a blind mini-trial, not that I’m suggesting such). However, it cannot be taken as a recommendation for others who may very easily have different requirements based on their genes (or the correlation would have shown up strongly in population studies).

        Ken

    2. mikecawdery

      Erret

      Thank you for the link. I was aware of the rather odd situation where ROS could be responsible for the mitochondrial damage leading to some cancers and the importance of ROS in association with chemotherapy in reducing cancer growth. It seems a pity that Governments and charities use public moneys (tax and donations) to enhance Big Pharma profits rather than investigating alternatives such as KO’s 3BP

      Reply
  72. Dr. Göran Sjöberg

    What irony that, while reading Seyfrieds book, staying with my seriously cancer struck relatives to support at the same time note that the health care system liberally supplies “Energy drinks” with 40 % sugar while I myself, though to their evident and utter enjoyment, and along with Seyfrieds protocol, offer my 75 % fat dishes and with as low carb as possible.

    What a sick world!

    Reply
  73. mikecawdery

    First. Vitamin C, lyposomal Vit C and dehydroascorbic acid. These are three forms of Vit C with different absorption characteristics. The following two can be made at home.

    (dehydroascorbic acid), good absorption

    Vit C and research

    Second, as vaccines have entered the fray my views having worked for some years on protozoological immunity (trypanosomes, Theileria [malaria like in cattle with a natural local “immunity” after survival from infection])

    Antibodies can be easily demonstrated and even produced in the animal but they are not immunebodies and are not protective. This group of parasites have been researched for nigh on 100 years and so far as I know there have been no “eurekas” despite much money.

    Clearly veterinary research has an advantage; animals can be vaccinated and then challenged with the infective organism to see whether they are protected rather than the medical studies having to wait for natural infection. Veterinary effective vaccines include the several Clostridial vaccines. Adverse events are less important than in humans and the duration required is limited in food animals.

    Unfortunately with human vaccines efficacy is measured using surrogates in the form of measuring antibodies. The question as to how effective they are in protection. Adverse events are also important in humans. In that the US Government has a law that protects the Big Pharma vaccine producers from legal suit clearly proves that there is a problem with vaccines in this regard and then there is the clear effort to hide the data and the absence of proper research to establish the details and extent of this problem is depressing.

    Another example of where money and status are more important than human health

    Reply
  74. Charles Gale

    Vit C testing

    Thanks (Mike Cawdery) for posting the 2 presentations.

    A bit envious of the green smoothie guy who set up his vit C absorption experiments and had the resources to test his blood every 3 days.

    I wish!

    Having viewed both John Cha’s and Matthias Raths 2015 presentations, I’ve instigated my own vit C experiment using lp(a) as the indicator of any repair underway due to vit C deficiency.

    I haven’t been able to find any vitamin C testing, not even on labtestsonline UK who have excellent details and q&a’s on so many tests. I queried the absence of vitamin C testing details and their reply was:

    “There is a blood test available but only in a few very specialist labs. It is hard to measure and samples have to be preserved under special requirements”.

    Does any one know any different?

    Reply
  75. Ad Hominem

    Thank you for speaking the true reason why Vitamin C is vilified. I used to get so confused about that. Even Linus Pauling has taken a hit from the association with Rath. I didn’t know why, but I always knew it was bogus. The reason it didn’t pass the sniff test for me wasn’t because I knew about Rath (I didn’t), it was because science can’t be always saying “more studies are needed” about almost everything, and then turn around and make up its mind so conclusively twice about one subject.

    Sometimes I feel like sending a list of logical fallacies to the editors of peer reviewed journals, or maybe legislators. Either works. But I’m afraid their reading levels are too low to absorb the implication of the gesture.

    Anyway, since when has it been the job of companies, government or universities to make money before helping people (with regard to medical knowledge)? If things like this logical fallacy are standing in the way of basic science, no wonder the health systems are critically flawed and no wonder they’re wasting money on useless routine tests that do nothing.

    Meanwhile, I was told today that searching for a virus that might be affecting me in exactly the same way that is described in a “rare” disease might come out of my own pocket. So routine tests that don’t help they pay for… but the one I need for a diagnosis… they may not pay for? How bizarre can you get?

    A few months ago I was told that my CAT scan for general ab pain was denied and that I should get a… get this.. transvaginal ultrasound because it was probably PID. Wow… when insurance companies know more than my doctor! I declined to be vaginally penetrated by a machine during a painful test that is humiliating, and chose to fast for 4 days instead. The pain went away. Thank God, because if it hadn’t I might’ve had to pay for the CAT scan myself. The trouble is, I’m sure that pain will come back, I think it’s my spleen, the reasons are complex and virus related.

    What kind of medical system forces people into these positions? If they think the rationale is to save money, they should explain why they insist on ineffective routine yearly tests for billions of people, and why they waste time, paid doctor/patient time, scaremongering instead of helping and solving. … why they obstruct diagnosis and push drugs that make people sicker in scenarios that are no better than guesswork?

    I thank you for your voice of sanity in the darkness. I’ve been fighting back hard enough to have learned lots of multisyllabic medical terms and bizarre acronyms. If I hadn’t, I’d have been lost a long time ago. So feel free to jargon away, I can always google it. It’s amazing how much a layperson can learn by repeatedly reading research for long enough to let it sink in, and it’s amazing how many times I’ve saved myself a lot of bother by doing so.

    Reply
    1. Gary Ogden

      Ad Hominem: I bookmarked a paper: europepmc.org/articles/pmc3678363 and I keep going back to reread it. It contains what I think is a profound insight. In my mind, and I think in the minds of many, I’ve always thought “infection” and “disease” to be equivalent states, while differing in intensity and outcome. There appears to be a paradigm shift under way in understanding the role of pathogens in initiating disease, and that infection and disease are not equivalent. A quote:
      “In contrast to a one pathogen-one disease model, we describe a model of the human virome in which we are nearly continually exposed to viruses, which may or may not cause symptoms.”
      The insight being that viruses are only pathogenic in the presence of other factors; that many of us are asymptomatic carriers of them. So is it correct to call them pathogens? Perhaps “conditionally pathogenic” would be a better term? Seems to be an upending of germ theory.

      Reply
      1. David Bailey

        Well is that such a paradigm shift? For example (it is said) many people used to catch polio, and only get temporary flu like symptoms. I have seen a figure that one person in 200 went on to get paralysis.

  76. smartersig

    There has been some discussion and interest on here about Lp(a) and Vit C. Also some interest in studies and why we dont get more of the type we would like. Now I am not for one minute suggesting that the following is a trial worthy of publication but I for one would be interested still to see the results. If a number of people on here tested there Lp(a) and then went on a 1 month increased Vit C intake and then retested to see if any changes had been made to their Lp(a). I have not made any suggestions about the detail yet as I do not want to waste peoples time if they are not interested. Although it does seem an opportunity to walk the walk. Any takers ?

    Reply
  77. Gaetan

    Effects of a mindfulness-based weight loss intervention in adults with obesity: A randomized clinical trial.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26955895

    The risk of major cardiac malformations associated with paroxetine use during the first trimester of pregnancy: a systematic review and meta-analysis.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26613360

    ->”Paroxetine use during the first trimester of pregnancy is associated with an increased risk of any major congenital malformations and cardiac malformations. The increase in risk is not dependent on the study method or population.”

    Reply
  78. mikecawdery

    A recent Lancet paper on diabetes is of interest and suggests that insulin if given to post MI diabetics without blood insulin measurement might increase death rate.

    Association of insulin dosage with mortality or major adverse cardiovascular events: a retrospective cohort study
    http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2213-8587(16)30316-3
    With adjustment for baseline covariates, mortality rates were higher for increasing insulin doses:
    but the conclusion with a bit of statistical juggling gives
    After applying marginal structural models, insulin dose was not associated with mortality in any group (p>01 for all).
    but the following suggests there is a trend:

    less than 25 units per day [reference group]; 1.00
    25 to <50 units per day, hazard ratio (HR) 141 [95% CI 112–178];
    50 to <75 units per day, 137 [104–180];
    75 to <100 units per day, 185 [135–253];
    and at least 100 units per day, 216 [158–293].

    Using regression analysis on the following
    units/day mean HR
    15 1
    37.5 1.41
    62.5 1.37
    87.5 1.85
    100 2.16

    leads to
    Regression Statistics

    Multiple R 0.951
    R Square 0.904
    Adjusted R Square 0.872 87% of variance accounted for by regression
    Standard Error 0.162
    Observations 5.000

    df Sum of Squares Mean Square F Significance F
    Regression 1 0.738 0.738 28.197 0.013 Significant
    Residual 3 0.079 0.026
    Total 4 0.816
    Coefficients Standard Error t Statistic P-value Lower 95.00 Upper 95.00
    Intercept 0.815 0.158 5.175 0.007 0.314 1.316
    x1 0.012 0.002 5.310 0.006 0.005 0.020

    There is a signiicant trend in the positive Association between increasing insulin dose and death rate.

    An example of how data can be manipulated to give the “right” answer (safe or not) and the reason that if the results are published the raw data should also be published.

    Reply
    1. chris c

      Not totally surprising, I believe physiological insulin requirement is somewhere between 20 – 50 units/day depending on body mass, activity level etc. for Type 1s generally non-insulin-resistant. Some of the doses insulin-resistant Type 2s take would stun a horse and kill a Type 1 stone dead.

      Reply
  79. Charles Gale

    Ad Hominem/Smartersig

    Totally agree with the thoughts and lunacy on NHS and testing – all I’ve met with is resistance and negativity about the blood tests I want and also a CT – CAC scan. I’ve paid my way here in the UK and would like some say in this E.G. I just had a routine check up on my implant and they decided to give me a latitude communicator with which to keep in touch with me 24/7. God knows how much this device costs, but couldn’t they spring me for something worthwhile like a CT scan?

    Last blog, I think it was Boston USA charged $95, S Ireland upto about 300 euros and the most expensive private quote I’ve had in England is £800!!!!!!!!! Ouch!!!!!

    And still can’t get around the issue of a GP referral for private.

    It nags away at the back of my mind – rightly or wrongly – there may be a fear of misdiagnosis. Just been advised of such a scenario on Judy Barnes Baker’s Carb Wars website – blog called “Worst day of my life and an important warning”

    Her husband had cpr, then pads then rushed into intensive care where he was stented and implanted. Luckily, he recovered but the tests revealed no arterial blockage and so on. Turned out to be potassium deficiency – cardiac event at all.

    Some people in recent comments think testing is futile but as Judy Barnes Baker states…”an important warning.”

    I think a few of us regulars to this website are self experimenting and I am specifically doing vit C supplementation to see the impact on lp(a) level.

    I decided on 6 months and have a few to go but will report back.

    Reply
    1. mikecawdery

      Charles Gale

      I am afraid that the NHS/DoH administrations are simply a disaster. I have complained to both but they are impervious to criticism. They simply go their own way; QoF (Quality of Outcome Framework) and then Hunt’s 24/7 medical coverage which in practice existed as Dr SL Lewis pointed out in the BMJ recently ( http://www.bmj.com/content/356/bmj.j164/rapid-responses ) are clear evidence of thoughtless waste of money. I even complained to my MP bur I expect nothing from that quarter. Administrators are all protecting their own rears and to hell with the common herd. As Horace so brilliantly put it centuries ago “ Odi profanum vulgus et arceo

      Reply
      1. chris c

        All part of the oncoming privatisation of the NHS. Virgin Medical, free balloon angioplasty and a discount on your internet.

    1. mikecawdery

      Gammer

      Thanks for the link. Another nail in the coffin of Big Pharma’s attempt to denigrate Vitamin C. Its all part of their astroturfing and agnotology plans for advertising – the fake medical news industry

      Reply
      1. Martin Back

        Mike,
        I wouldn’t waste my time reading Jon Rappoport’s opinion on medical matters.

        Firstly, he himself is not medically trained. He has a BA (Philosophy) and in addition to being a freelance reporter is a painter, a poet, and “maintains a consulting practice for private clients, the purpose of which is the expansion of personal creative power.” (Details from his website.)

        Second, he makes three points, each of which is easily refuted.

        1. ONE: Proponents claim a vaccine stimulates a person’s immune system to produce antibodies, …but if antibodies show up, the doctor tells the patient he has the disease.

        After vaccination, antibodies rise to a peak after two to four weeks, and die away to nothing after two to four months. Thereafter, if antibodies are detected, you must have the disease. What’s wrong with that? (That’s the IgM antibodies. The IgG antibodies which carry the template for making the IgM remain, and their presence is an indication that you have been vaccinated and/or have had the disease.)

        TWO: Obamacare is about control, so it’s an answer to the prayers of the medical cartel… Obama and his allies are promoting a medical system that is the third leading cause of death in America. It’s that stark and it’s that simple.

        Come here to Darkest Africa. We have no doctors and no medicine. You will be perfectly safe. ;o)

        THREE: The gold standard test for disease diagnosis is called the PCR… Finding a tiny, tiny trace of viral material in a patient says absolutely nothing about whether he is ill, has been ill, or will become ill.

        It is the patient’s symptoms which tell you whether he is ill or not. Finding viral material helps to identify the infecting agent. Once that is done you can apply the recognised clinical procedures. Without a positive identification you are reduced to guessing games and trial and error.

      2. Gary Ogden

        Martin Back: That is just the problem, viral detection. “Viruses can only be seen by EM, and this requires in excess of 10 (to the 11th power) particles. Viruses usually detected by indirect means.” (this from Blumenthal in an introductory virology text)

      3. mikecawdery

        Martin Black
        Re your first point in the UK foot and mouth vaccines and TB vaccines are not used because of the difficulty of differentiating between vaccinates and the infected. Furthermore, antibodies may exist from prior contact with the infective organism or post-infection cure.

        Your point 2 is entirely correct but I would add Clinton’s name. She is the darling of the pharmaceutical industry, the banks and the defence industry.

        Your Point 3 involves the PCR test (http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/774873) which is used mostly for bacteria, I quote:
        This molecular tool is well-suited for the rapid detection of bacteria directly in clinical specimens, allowing early, sensitive and specific laboratory confirmation of related diseases. It is particularly suitable for the diagnosis of infections caused by fastidious growth species, and the number of these pathogens has increased recently. This method also allows a rapid assessment of the presence of antibiotic resistance genes or gene mutations.

        To quote yourself: Finding a tiny, tiny trace of viral material in a patient says absolutely nothing about whether he is ill, has been ill, or will become ill.

        It is as you say the clinical signs and symptoms that define infection but in this world of defensive medicine, a positive serological test will frequently lead to treatment “just in case” to avoid the possibility that his/her clinical diagnosis of “no infection” was wrong. How many doctors in the US will prescribe statins even though they and the patient know that they are a waste of time? Probably most.

        Come here to Darkest Africa. Born there, worked there researched there, been ill there but still alive and kicking. On an EU mission many years ago I came across an excellent little mission hospital at Kidepo (Karamoja) run by an Italian doctor and his locally trained nurses. Given his resources it was not in the class of a major western hospital but I suspect he saved more lives than he killed or took five years to reach a diagnosis.

        As far as Rapoport is concerned he, like many commenters on this blog, sees the medical fabrications of Big Pharma and their hand maidens (CDC, FDA, NIHBLI et al) through lay eyes and while he may make technical mistakes, so what? The medically trained also make mistakes which kill or maim. At least his mistakes do not kill and, as a lay writer, his comments are valid and if he convinces other lay persons of the medical scams that are perpetrated on the unsuspecting public the better in my book.

  80. Eric

    My bad, he is a chiropractor, not an MD. Has a degree in education and psychology. I was mislead by the fact that his chemistry actually makes sense.

    Reply
  81. Dr. Göran Sjöberg

    What I just now realized is that the new president in the US is challenging Big Pharma realting to the the evident vaccine/autism scam and he is not a friend of main stream media. Interesting to see how this will turn out. Actually, I wonder for how long time he will survive.

    http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2017/01/24/new-vaccine-safety-review-panel.aspx?utm_source=dnl&utm_medium=email&utm_content=art1&utm_campaign=20170124Z2&et_cid=DM131786&et_rid=1855085466

    Reply
    1. Gary Ogden

      Dr. Goran: You are absolutely right to be concerned, as I am. These folks are enormously powerful and vicious, and they live in the shadows. Exposing the fraud at CDC will open the flood gates, and of this they are terrified because the victims are children.

      Reply
    2. Stephen T

      Thank you, Goran. I hope he does do a genuine review of vaccine safety. They attempt to suppress all discussion.

      Reply
    1. Eric

      C’mon, who boils peppers in water? You either grill them, fry them or maybe steam them, but you certainly don’t boil them in 10x their weight of water and then throw out the water afterwards.

      Reply
    2. Gary Ogden

      Randall: Thanks for the link! I had thought that heat destroyed all of the vitamin C, but brief cooking with limited water preserves most of it. This is very good to know.

      Reply
  82. Gary Ogden

    David Bailey: Yes it is indeed, from a one pathogen-one disease model to the understanding that likely all of us are asymptomatic carriers of microbes which are pathogenic in some people in some circumstances. Diseases are described by symptoms. Without symptoms we are “infected” but disease free. I find this revolutionary, to my (previous) understanding of microbial pathogenesis.

    Reply
    1. Sasha

      Gary, not only that, in many cases there’s no such thing as “asymptomatic” carrier as those who don’t develop symptoms actually derive benefits.

      For example, 90% of people with H. Pylori have no stomach issues. Instead, in them this bacteria provides benefits in preventing asthma and allergies.

      Reply
      1. Gary Ogden

        Sasha: Correct. The model we’ve been taught is dead. We live sometimes more than a century in homeostasis in a sea of microbes.. We couldn’t exist without them, and they act in symbiosis with each other and the host in ways we’re only beginning to understand. Problems can arise when an entirely novel microbe enters an individual or a population, but that doesn’t often happen today with worldwide air travel providing a shared microbial genome. It is my opinion that he standard model of treatment, calling for eradication of an individual microbe is dead as well. Another example: poliovirus was lab-confirmed in only a portion of those paralyzed in polio epidemics, and some had no virus at all; in addition there are entire populations with lab-confirmed poliovirus, but no paralysis, so how can it be causal? I think we’ve gone just as terribly wrong with infectious diseases as we have with degenerative diseases like CVD.

      2. Sasha

        Gary, I think part of the problem is our preference for linear thinking where in our mind A always causes B. I think we are now beginning to realize that in human biology things are rarely that simple.

    1. mikecawdery

      Thank for the link. It seems that hormones.not surprisingly, also contribute survival and mortality.

      One wonders why “predictions” are attempted when the issue is so very complex.

      Reply
  83. Mark Johnson

    Vitamin C The Real Story by Steve Hickey may shed some light on the 200mg absorption limit

    Pharmacokinetics of Oral Vitamin C

    Abstract

    Purpose. To test whether plasma vitamin C levels, following oral doses in supplemented volunteers, are tightly controlled and subject to a maximum in the region of 220 mM L21, as suggested by previous researchers for depleted subjects. To determine plasma levels following single, variable-sized doses of standard and liposomal formulations of vitamin C and compare the effects of the different formulations. To determine whether plasma levels above ,280 mM L21, which have selectively killed cancer, bacteria or viruses (in laboratory experiments), can be achieved using oral doses of vitamin C.

    Design. This was a single blind study, measuring plasma levels in two subjects, in samples taken halfhourly or hourly for 6 hours, following ingestion of vitamin C. Data were compared with published results and with data from 10 years of laboratory plasma determinations.

    Materials and methods. Standard 1 gram tablets of vitamin C; liposomal vitamin C. Plasma levels were analysed using the method of Butts and Mulvihill.
    Results. Preliminary investigations of the effects of liposomal and standard formulation ascorbate showed that blood plasma levels in excess of the previously assumed maximum of 220 mM L21 are possible. Large oral doses of liposomal ascorbate resulted in plasma levels above 400 mM L21
    .
    Conclusions. Since a single oral dose can produce plasma levels in excess of 400 mM L21, pharmacokinetic theory suggests that repeated doses could sustain levels well above the formerly assumed maximum. These results have implications for the use of ascorbate, as a nutrient and as a drug. For example, a short in vitro treatment of human Burkitt’s lymphoma cells with ascorbate, at 400 mM L21, has been shown to result in ,50% cancer cell death. Using frequent oral doses, an equivalent plasma level could be sustained indefinitely. Thus, oral vitamin C has potential for use as a non-toxic, sustainable, therapeutic agent. Further research into the experimental and therapeutic aspects of high, frequent, oral doses of ascorbic acid either alone or (for cancer therapy) in combination with synergistic substances, such as alpha-lipoic acid, copper or vitamin K3, is needed urgently.

    http://www.encognitive.com/files/Pharmacokinetics%20of%20oral%20vitamin%20C.pdf

    Reply
    1. mikecawdery

      Mark Johnson

      Many thanks for the link. The study really puts it to the Vit C opposition to rethink their position. However the fact that this study only included two patients will be ignored just as they ignored the life saved of the New Zealand farmer and indeed the clinical benefit shown by Klenner and others over the decades.

      Reply
  84. gollum

    B12 megadoses?

    The first bullet point about these is that they don’t work , orally. In one meal intrinsic factor can absorb about the current RDA. Unspecific diffusion without factor is listed at 1% efficiency.

    B12 is measured in µg and not many of them. Maybe the methylation is a problem but other sources of methylation in the body have more mols I would imagine.

    All this antioxidant stuff is not well understood. Building muscle seems to work with micro-wounds in muscles and ROS signaling. Overloading antioxidants means this will not work so well. Who knows what other mechanisms work this way.

    Case in point, taking B12 to catch NO. Scroll down to the next page of herbal info telling you how you need NO to get the arteries to open.

    Reply
    1. mikecawdery

      KnightScientific are using their antioxidant measuring system to help training in both football and horse racing to insure peak performance and avoiding over-training. For what its worth, I believe that in practice it is measuring “best health” and should be widely used in medicine. It also has other medical uses.

      Reply
  85. mikecawdery

    Add Vitamin D3 to the pot

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5216295/

    Pak J Med Sci. 2016 Nov-Dec;32(6):1430-1433. doi: 10.12669/pjms.326.10714.
    Effects of Vitamin D supplementation on physical activity of patients with Heart Failure.
    OBJECTIVE:
    To see the role of Vitamin D supplementation on physical status of patients suffering from Congestive Heart Failure (dilated cardiomyopathy).
    CONCLUSION:
    Vitamin D supplementation decreases the severity of HF as reflected by reduction in serum pro-BNP levels and significant increase in six minutes’ walk distance..
    Fact Sheet
    National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
    National Institutes of Health
    https://wayback.archive-it.org/3635/20130901052131/http://library.thinkquest.org/27533/facts.html
    Data Fact Sheet
    http://wayback.archive-it.org/3635/20130901052131/http://library.thinkquest.org/27533/facts.html
    Congestive Heart Failure in the United States: A New but RAPIDLY DISAPPEARING Epidemic
    How to end an unwanted epidemic – the simple procedure used by US CDC and NHBLI at Big Pharma;s begest

    Reply
    1. mikecawdery

      Addendum:

      Comment: CHF = dilated cardiomyopathy = muscle damage = statin adverse reaction
      No wonder NHBLI and CDC took their web pages down

      Reply
    2. BobM

      Interesting. I was diagnosed with idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy. A bit over three years ago (about 6 months after being diagnosed), I started a low carb diet. I then improved upon that, after about 1.5 years, by adding intermittent fasting. I also upped my vitamin D level, various proteins, and various minerals (mainly magnesium, though I now take chromium and zinc).

      What I think happened was that 3+ decades of a low fat, high carb diet caught up with me. There is a link between insulin resistance and heart failure, and plausible mechanisms to explain damage caused to the heart. What I think happens is that the so-called “healthy” whole grains (including the primary culprit, modern wheat) and other high carb fare (including “healthy” fiber) cause a lack of minerals, leaky gut, and other deleterious effects, the primary being massive insulin resistance. I had GERD, poor sleep, restless legs, asthma (exacerbated/caused by drugs for cardiomyopathy), allergies, IBS, frequent urination/feeling as if I had to go even when I just went, etc. The low carb diet helped with a lot of that, and the low carb and intermittent fasting really helped. I’m now on a ketogenic diet with weekly fasting. I was down about 55 pounds, but I gained a bit of weight and lost muscle due to having shoulder surgery. I’m now almost back to being down 55 pounds. ALL of my issues are resolved, and have been resolved for a while, though I still have cardiomyopathy (but normal ejection fraction and not many irregular heart beats).

      I believe it takes years with supplementation to get back what a “healthy” whole grain, high carb diet takes away. I’m slowly moving toward little to no supplementation, but to do that, I’m still catching up, and I have to eat nutrient-dense foods (mainly meat). I’ll likely to continue to take vitamin D, but I hope to also get outside more and get more natural vitamin D. That’s more difficult to do; you can’t really rip off your shirt while in a business park, surrounded by buildings.

      Reply
      1. Errett

        Awesome story Bob—-learn—take responsibility—act—–you are a role model—-I wish you the very best—-stronger every day. Errett

      2. chris c

        Brilliant story!

        My issues were significantly different but the cause and the “cure” were similar, IMO 50 years of too many carbs (for me) and 30 years of low fat. It all went completely Pete Tong after I was referred to a dietician whose horrific advice caused a rapid and major decline in my health. Eating the exact opposite of what I was told has improved just about everything but I suspect hasn’t undone all the damage. I think I now have the basics sussed but am still tweaking around the edges.

        Can “orthorexia” still be diagnosed when it improves your health?

    1. mikecawdery

      Martin Black
      Re your first point in the UK foot and mouth vaccines and TB vaccines are not used because of the difficulty of differentiating between vaccinates and the infected. Furthermore, antibodies may exist from prior contact with the infective organism or post-infection cure.

      Your point 2 is entirely correct but I would add Clinton’s name. She is the darling of the pharmaceutical industry, the banks and the defence industry.

      Your Point 3 involves the PCR test (http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/774873) which is used mostly for bacteria, I quote:
      This molecular tool is well-suited for the rapid detection of bacteria directly in clinical specimens, allowing early, sensitive and specific laboratory confirmation of related diseases. It is particularly suitable for the diagnosis of infections caused by fastidious growth species, and the number of these pathogens has increased recently. This method also allows a rapid assessment of the presence of antibiotic resistance genes or gene mutations.

      To quote yourself: Finding a tiny, tiny trace of viral material in a patient says absolutely nothing about whether he is ill, has been ill, or will become ill.

      It is as you say the clinical signs and symptoms that define infection but in this world of defensive medicine, a positive serological test will frequently lead to treatment “just in case” to avoid the possibility that his/her clinical diagnosis of “no infection” was wrong. How many doctors in the US will prescribe statins even though they and the patient know that they are a waste of time? Probably most.

      Come here to Darkest Africa. Born there, worked there researched there, been ill there but still alive and kicking. On an EU mission many years ago I came across an excellent little mission hospital at Kidepo (Karamoja) run by an Italian doctor and his locally trained nurses. Given his resources it was not in the class of a major western hospital but I suspect he saved more lives than he killed or took five years to reach a diagnosis.

      As far as Rapoport is concerned he, like many commenters on this blog, sees the medical fabrications of Big Pharma and their hand maidens (CDC, FDA, NIHBLI et al) through lay eyes and while he may make technical mistakes, so what? The medically trained also make mistakes which kill or maim. At least his mistakes do not kill and, as a lay writer, his comments are valid and if he convinces other lay persons of the medical scams that are perpetrated on the unsuspecting public the better in my book.

      Reply
  86. Dr. Göran Sjöberg

    This comment might be slightly OT but since I have here been a strong advocate of reading Mercolas posts (although critically) there is today one about “charged water” which just make me too sad to read. To me it is just about blurring our very well known fundamental knowledge about the acidity chemistry of water (and our cell chemistry) – in short term it is the worst form of low level quackery. Here you must for sure talk about charlatans. How Big Pharma must laugh in their own tremendously more sophisticated quackery heaven.

    “In “Water, Cells and Life,” Pollack — author of the groundbreaking book, “The Fourth Phase of Water: Beyond Solid, Liquid, and Vapor” — explains the role of water in the functioning of cells, and the importance of living, structured water, which he refers to as EZ water — EZ standing for “exclusion zone” — which has a negative charge.”

    Traditional chemistry works fine to explain to explain the fundamental properties of water. As me Linus Pauling would most probably cry if he in his grave if could see this kind of efforts to stain his own “Orthomolecular” approach to alternativ medicine by just blurring his own chemistry through “renaming” coupled with dubious health claims.

    Reply
  87. Gary Ogden

    mikecawdery: Good interview by Dr. James Lyons-Weiler (lifebiomedguru) with the lead author of the study in IJVV, Dr. Antonietta Gatti.

    Reply
  88. Jerome Savage

    Very good read.
    Comments also interesting.
    Only one problem – I find myself glued to my phone with the result that I don’t always get the levels of exercise that keep me on straight n narrow. (Not a serious complaint)

    Reply

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