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Seldom-reported research around the world: documenting important discoveries in vitamin c therapy.

Documenting Important Discoveries in Vitamin C Therapy

Vitamin C and the Immune System

From Pretoria, South Africa Division of Immunology University of Pretoria

Ronald Anderson, Ph.D., reports that activation of phagocytes (cells of the immune system), which engulf and digest invading viruses and bacteria, is accompanied by a burst of cellular components and increased consumption of oxygen, leading to the formation of oxidants.

Oxidants can suppress the immune system, cause cancer, and inactivate an enzyme that is essential in healthful lung function.

The effects of antioxidant ascorbic acid (vitamin C) in scavenging and neutralizing the reactive antioxidants prove that ascorbic acid is vital in protecting surrounding tissues from damage caused by oxidants which are released during the encounter between phagocytes and the foreign invaders.

Vitamin C and Dental Disease

From Western Human Nutrition Research Center Presidio of San Francisco, California

Vitamin C is effective in preventing and curing periodontal disease. Inflammation of the gums was dramatically cleared and restored to health by infusions of the vitamin during experiments at the Center. Tests performed included administration of 600 milligrams of ascorbic acid daily (a small amount) for a period of 14 weeks. (R.A. Jacob, S.T. Omaya, J.H. Skela et al, Researchers.)

Vitamin C and Cervical Dysplasia

From Gynecologic Cancer Research Albert Einstein College of Medicine Bronx, New York

Seymour L. Romney, M.D., reports that women who showed signs of cervical dysplasia (a disorder of the cervix that has cancer implications) were found to have a vitamin C deficiency. Administration of ascorbic acid supplements, 1 gram daily for six months, was effective in raising blood vitamin C levels and prognosis for recovery proved optimistic.

Vitamin C and Cataract Prevention

From London, Canada Department of Epidemiology University of Western Ontario

Biochemical evidence suggests that oxidative stress caused by accumulation of free radicals is involved in the development of senile cataracts. Appropriate amounts of the antioxidant vitamin C and E were expected to prevent or retard the process.

A recent epidemiological study found that cataract patients tended to have lower serum levels of vitamins C and E or carotenoids (beta carotene). The results suggested a reduction in the risk of cataracts of at least 50%, after a regimen of the vitamins was administered. (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, January 1991; 53:346S-351S.)

Similar results were observed in experiments conducted by researchers at the Department of Human Nutrition and Health, F. Hoffman-La Roche and Company, Basel, Switzerland. (Reported in the Swiss medical journal Z Ernahrungswiss, March 1989;28(1):56-75.)

Vitamin C and Arthritis

From Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Philadelphia College of Podiatric Medicine

Vitamin C may provide practitioners with a supplemental or alternative treatment for patients with rheumatoid arthritis, a study conducted last year indicated. The administration of vitamin C reduced pain and arthritic swelling. (Journal of American Podiatry, August 1990;80(8):414-8.)

Vitamin C and Bacterial Infections

From Bombay, India Indian Journal of Medical Sciences (Volume 6: pp.252-255, 1952.)

It has been known for some time that ascorbic acid has the ability to destroy bacteria including Staphylococcus aureus (the pus organism), Bacterium coli (the organism from sewage), diphteriae (the microbe involved in diphtheria), and Microbacterium tuberculosis (tuberculosis).

Ascorbic acid has the power to neutralize, inactivate, and render harmless a wide variety of bacterial toxins. Ascorbic acid stimulates white blood cells to mobilize at the site of infection.

Vitamin C and Cancer Therapy

From Amsterdam, Netherlands Medical Journal Tijdschrift voor Geneeskunde (Volume 7, pp. 896-902. 1938.)

A high deficit of ascorbic acid is found in patients suffering from leukemia. Any ascorbic acid circulating in the blood has been scavenged. To correct this condition, ascorbic acid has to be administered in sufficiently large doses not only to provide adequate saturation of white blood cells, but also to provide adequate spillover into the blood plasma and tissues.

Vitamin C and Iron Absorption

From Goteburg, Sweden Department of Medicine Sahlgren Hospital, University of Goteburg

Recent studies on the absorption of iron from the diet have clearly demonstrated that ascorbic acid is the most potent factor in optimal absorption of the mineral.

Reduction of the content of a meal rich in vitamin C, studies prove, results in impaired iron absorption.

Vitamin C and the Healthy Eye

From Department of Ophthalmology University of Maryland, School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland

Normally, the level of ascorbic acid in tissues of the eye, the aqueous humor and the lens are usually high. Experiments were conducted in which stress to the lens and other parts of the eye was observed. Simultaneously, vitamin C content diminished. High concentrations of vitamin C, it is therefore assumed, are necessary to maintain ocular health.

In a similar study at Tufts University, researchers theorized that dietary vitamin C protects against photo-oxidation and may help in preventing or ameliorating cataract development.

Vitamin C and Cancer

From The School of Public Health University of California, Berkeley, Public Health Nutrition Program

Vitamin C has been examined in a series of 90 epidemiological studies in which the vitamin has shown significant anti-cancer properties. Evidence is strong for its ability to ameliorate or prevent cancers of the esophagus, oral cavity, stomach, and pancreas. Substantial evidence also suggests that vitamin C has a protective effect in cancers of the cervix, rectum, and breast. (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 1991, December, (6 suppl.):1310S-1314S.)

Iron Deficiency Anemia and Vitamin C

From Fukuoka, Japan Nakamura Gakuen College Department of Food and Nutrition

Improvement in iron deficiency anemia was achieved by using ferric ammonium citrate and vitamin C together with aerobic exercise.

In 781 female college students, there were 41 cases of iron deficiency anemia, 209 of latent iron deficiency, 3 of other anemias, and 528 normal cases. Five hundred milligrams of vitamin C daily an 6 milligrams of iron were given in varying degrees to the particular groups. (Journal of Nutrition Science and Vitaminology, Tokyo, April, 1991; 37(2):161-71.)
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Publication:Nutrition Health Review
Date:Mar 22, 1992
Previous Article:Reflections on vitamin C and hidden scurvy.
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