Volume 4, Issue 6
February 10, 2011

Have you seen this
vitamin C hoax?

You may have heard the news about vitamin C a couple weeks ago. A report surfaced on the Internet saying the FDA was banning intravenous vitamin C treatments. While the report proved to be a hoax, it did increase the awareness of the treatment. Let me show you just how important this treatment is — and why a ban would be disastrous.

I talked to a colleague of mine a few weeks ago. He told me that he was giving up his hospital affiliation. This means that he will no longer be able to treat any of his patients who are in the hospital. This is the same thing I did 30 years ago, only one year after I first began to devote my career to natural healing.

When I asked him why he decided to no longer work in the hospital, he cited the same reason that I had. There is just no use knowing all about natural healing when the hospitals won't let you do it. The patient really has no choice but to have drug-oriented physicians treat them. So when a patient of mine or his needs hospitalization, we can’t care for them, we just pray for them. And vitamin C is one of those natural treatments that really belongs in the hospital.

Why? Because vitamin C is so instrumental in helping the body in times of a trauma (such as surgery) that your body uses it up quickly. In fact, it often uses it up in only a matter of minutes. Then after surgery, the levels remain low. But not to worry, surgeons and nutritionists say, hospitals routinely give post operative patients vitamin C in their IVs. But here's the problem. According to the authors of a recent study, “To normalize plasma vitamin C concentration, much higher doses than the recommended daily allowance or doses recommended in parenteral [intravenous] nutrition guidelines are needed in these patients.”

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And that’s what makes me crazy.

We knew this 30 years ago! Thirty years ago, I told the nutrition committee in my hospital that I wanted to give my surgical patients doses of vitamin C much larger than the RDA in order to prevent complications. They told me categorically: “No!” It was too dangerous, they said.

Now, 30 years later, vitamin C has suddenly become much safer.

The researchers in this study now recommend: “In uncomplicated surgical patients, more than 500 mg/day of vitamin C may be required, with much higher doses in surgical intensive care unit patients.” That’s seven times the RDA!

They go on, “In uncomplicated gastrointestinal surgery, continuous parenteral [intravenous] administration of 500 mg/day of vitamin C reduced postoperative oxidative stress.” And, “Postoperative atrial fibrillation was prevented after cardiac surgery by perioperative vitamin C supplementation.”

While this is a move in the right direction, it’s not enough. The amount of vitamin C that’s really needed in many post-surgical and critically ill patients is closer to 100 times what these researchers recommend. I and many other doctors treating patients with cancer routinely give patients 120,000 mg of intravenous vitamin C (in the form of ascorbate) in only three hours.  That’s 24 times the dose recommended by this study!

Vitamin C at these levels is not only safe, it’s often very effective. I can’t prove it (because no one has tested it; in fact, no one is allowed to test it), but I can almost guarantee that if hospitals used these higher doses in surgical patients, it would save many lives and a ton of money. But don’t despair, the odds are good that we will see these kinds of doses in only another 30-40 years.

If you must have surgery, whenever possible have your integrative physician give you an IV of vitamin C the day before. And have him do it again the day after you get out of the hospital. It will significantly improve your recovery.

Finding your Real Cures,

Frank Shallenberger, MD

REF: Fukushima R, Yamazaki E. Vitamin C requirement in surgical patients. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2010 Aug 4.

Copyright 2011 Soundview Publishing, LLC

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