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It's Been Ten Years After the Death of Linus Pauling and his 'Cure for Heart Disease' is Still Being Ignored


It's Been Ten Years After the Death of Linus Pauling and his 'Cure for Heart Disease' is Still Being Ignored
August 19, 2004

Over ten years ago, the two-time Nobel prize Laureate, Dr Linus Pauling and his associate Dr Matthias Rath, advocated and published a definitive thesis on the root cause, treatment and actual cure for all forms of cardiovascular disease (CVD), including congestive heart failure, heart disease, and stroke. Today, cardiovascular related health problems together comprise fully one half of all causes of death in the US. Pauling's and Rath's brilliant analysis of CVD is compelling and amply supported by numerous epidemiological and clinical studies. His unified theory of CVD constitutes one of the greatest breakthroughs in modern science, but has been almost completely ignored by the mainstream medical establishment, and has received almost no press.

(PRWEB) August 19, 2004 -- It is the 10th anniversary of the death of Linus Pauling and his most controversial scientific conjectures about the health benefits of vitamin C are being confirmed. The weight of evidence may yet force the medical establishment to accept his ideas on nutrition and health.

Linus Pauling’s claims that he knew of a cure for heart disease and effective treatments for cancer and infections, were greeted with ridicule. His health claims concerned the substance known as vitamin C. Now, ten years after his death on 19th August 1994, his revolutionary ideas are finally on the way to vindication. Given his history, it is not surprising that Pauling was right. He was, after all, the leading chemist of the last century and, arguably, the greatest ever American scientist. He remains the only person to have won two unshared Nobel Prizes, the first for Chemistry (1954) and the second for peace (1962). In addition to his being one of the greatest scientists, he was a renowned humanitarian.

By the time of his death, the medical establishment had branded Pauling a quack because he advocated the use of high doses of vitamin C to treat many diseases. Irwin Stone introduced Pauling to the extraordinary properties of higher dose vitamin C. Vitamin C, the factor in food, the deficiency of which causes scurvy, was named before the substance was isolated and its chemical structure known. Stone, a biochemist, held the position that vitamin C wasn’t really a vitamin but an essential substance we could no longer manufacture in our bodies. Most animals make their own vitamin C, in multiple gram hyper-vitamin amounts. In humans, the gene used by other mammals to make vitamin C has mutated and no longer works properly.

When Pauling studied Stone’s claims he found that conventional medicine had long ignored evidence from respected physicians and scientists of the value of higher amounts of vitamin C than the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA). The findings of this research suggested that high doses of vitamin C may offer a treatment for many illnesses, including cancer and heart disease. However, when he explained these findings in his books "Vitamin C and the Common Cold" and "How to Live Longer and Feel Better", the incensed medical profession implied that Pauling, a chemist, could not possibly understand the intricacies of medical science.

If Pauling were correct, vitamin C could help overcome the major killers in the industrialized world. This sounded unlikely and a lesser scientist making the claim probably would have been ignored. The medical world had already disregarded similar reports of vitamin C.

Pauling had a reputation for being 20 years ahead of other scientists. He may well have been years ahead in other fields of science but such a thing as he was professing regarding vitamin C was thought to be impossible in medicine. Pauling battled with the medical authorities but he had convinced much of the public of the benefits of high dose vitamin C. He took on the medical establishment because the implication of vitamin C and health was enormous - an end to premature death from heart disease, infection and many cancers.

Since Pauling’s death, the medical establishment has reclaimed the scientific position with a series of experiments on vitamin C. For example, the NIH measured the distribution of vitamin C in the body and charged that Pauling was wrong in his assessment of the need for high doses because the blood could be saturated at low doses [Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 93, 3704–9.. NIH added that doses higher than one gram were unwarranted.

If the body could be saturated at low doses, they argued, higher doses were simply a waste or even potentially dangerous. However, clinical reports of the success of high dose vitamin C had been repeatedly mentioned in the literature for over 50 years. These reports, particularly in the fields of heart disease, infections and cancer, continued to contradict the NIH conclusions. Either the clinical reports of the efficacy of high doses were incorrect, or the NIH experiments were flawed.

Taking note of this inconsistency, Drs. Steve Hickey and Hilary Roberts decided to investigate the data for their book "Ascorbate, The Science of Vitamin C", ( They began by researching the seemingly ludicrous claims for the medical effects of vitamin C. Pauling had stated that the substance could treat cancer and that a shortage of it was the major cause of heart disease. Hickey and Hilary had surmised that during Pauling’s many scientific advances, it would have been natural from him to have made an occasional error and perhaps he had done so with vitamin C. It appeared to them that if Pauling was wrong, his hypotheses should be easy to refute.

While examining the evidence, Hickey and Roberts found substantiating background evidence for Pauling’s theories from independent scientific and medical reports covering half a century. The findings in these papers could neither be dismissed as placebo effects nor could they be easily explained. The reports included remission of AIDS, cures for cancer, and the immediate recovery of children at the point of death from septic shock. The claims seemed so out of the ordinary that they were hard to believe. However, Hickey and Roberts could find no counter examples in the scientific or medical literature.

If these positive reports were wrong, they were not proven to be so. The scientific evidence was consistent with Pauling’s ideas, with a few notable exceptions. The primary exception was the NIH data on blood and tissue saturation which the medical establishment accepted. The US Institute of Medicine had based their official recommended dietary allowance (RDA) on these results. It was concluded that if the NIH was correct, Pauling must be wrong and the positive reports of high doses must be invalid.

As it turned out, the NIH conclusions were not correct. Hickey and Roberts examined the NIH experiments and found them to be full of errors. For example, the researchers had given a dose of vitamin C, waited until it had been excreted and then measured blood levels. Using this procedure, they found that increasing the dose did not greatly increase the blood levels. Instead of realizing that this occurred because the dose had been excreted, the NIH claimed that it was due to the body being saturated, making higher doses redundant. They then used white blood cells as a model for normal cells, to study the manner in which they absorbed vitamin C from their surroundings. These white blood cells are specialized to absorb high amounts of vitamin C, even when supplies are low. If other body cells were similar to white blood cells we would normally have a reserve of 40 grams in our bodies. If this were true, given the proposed RDA of 200mg, it would take 2-3 years to fill a depleted body. This is demonstrably incorrect by the classic example of James Lind’s sailors’ recovery from scurvy within a few days after having been given citrus fruits containing small amounts of vitamin C.

These NIH mistakes showed a definite lack of scientific methodologies in this field. In order to check their reinterpretation of the data, Hickey sent e-mails to the NIH, the Institute of Medicine and every scientist he could contact who was associated with the RDA, asking them to provide a reasonable scientific response to these errors. No one in that group responded. As it is normal scientific practice to explain and defend ideas, the hypothesis that people only need small amounts of vitamin C becomes easily dismissed.

In addition to the discovered mistakes, the NIH’s subsequent data contradicts their earlier work. The NIH vitamin C group published a series of papers on vitamin C and cancer [Ann Intern Med, 140(7), 533-7.. In these papers, they suggested that repeated doses of oral vitamin C would produce blood levels of at least 220 microM (a measure of the concentration), which is three times greater than the 70 microM maximum "saturated" value that they claimed in their RDA papers. While their own papers clearly showed that their low-dose claims were wrong, the NIH appeared not to notice. Instead, they suggested that intravenous doses could produce higher blood levels, which might be effective against cancer. Although their data were coming closer to Pauling’s findings on the use of vitamin C in cancer, the NIH took the opportunity to attack Linus Pauling.

Pauling had performed a series of trials with Dr Ewan Cameron, a Scottish cancer specialist which demonstrated that intravenous vitamin C allowed cancer patients to live much longer than expected. Numerous other studies confirmed this effect, particularly the works of Dr Abram Hoffer and Dr Hugh Riordan. The Mayo Clinic tried to refute this research but failed, as they used low, oral doses, making their results invalid. In their own cancer paper, the NIH researchers claimed that Pauling and Cameron’s use of the IV route was "serendipitous", implying that Pauling did not know the difference between injected and oral doses. In fact, Pauling had written explicitly about this difference, so the NIH criticism was erroneous.

A new scientific theory, the dynamic flow model, explains all of the observed responses to vitamin C in the literature. This model is described in the book "Ascorbate", mentioned above. According to the model, people should ideally be in a state of dynamic flow, meaning they should ingest more vitamin C than they need, in the form of divided dose supplements. The extra ascorbate flows through the body and is excreted in the urine. It is not wasted, however, as the excess acts as a reservoir when extra vitamin C is required. Dynamic flow is the closest humans may get to restoring physiology to the way it was before we lost the ability to make vitamin C in our bodies, as most other animals still do.

Were he still living, Hickey and Roberts believe that Pauling would have pointed out the NIH errors much earlier. It is now 10 years since Pauling’s death and biologist René Dubos foretells that the mainstream will converge with Pauling twenty years later. If so, we have only another decade to wait for the medical establishment to admit that Pauling was right and that they were wrong.

Dr. Hilary Roberts

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