Outside in and inside out! A place to store ideas about education.

Monday, November 24, 2008

On an email re: Vitamin C and CVD.

The email actually came from this website that sells natural therapy regimens,

This email interests me much because of my work as a teacher of Biochemistry. Here's what I found out from a little internet research. I am wary as this email looks like it is selling something, so with my background I thought I'd do a little research before passing the email on to friends and associates.

I've looked at the references to this report. Taking large amounts (5-20 g/day) of Vitamin C is implicated in cancer treatments (Millimolar concentrations of extracellular vitamin C kill cancer cells but not normal cells, However, the Pauling/Rath papers are not definitive, that is, without more information, we can't really be sure. I have not seen further citations of the articles, and if you can see the dates of the research is way back 1990-1992, and that is 16 years ago. We have uncovered a lot more data since then, so I'm not sure how Pauling's arguments on cardiovascular health are received nowadays. The Linus Pauling Institute at OSU is doing studies on diet and health, and they've come up with a book about it in 2007, which should give a good update on how these researches are going.

An Evidence-Based Approach to Dietary Phytochemicals
by Jane Higdon, Ph.D.
This book provides a critical analysis of the current scientific, epidemiological, and clinical research on the health benefits of plant-based foods and dietary phytochemicals. Hardcover (2007) 238 pp.
Price: $59.95 Purchase Info

As of 2003, 1. Evidence is insufficient to determine if vitamins A, C, or E, multivitamins with folic acid, or antioxidant combinations reduce CVD risk. ( The main thing that delays these researches is that large scale, randomized trials that actually look into the amount of vitamins in the blood stream and not in the amount ingested by the patients.


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