A Nutrition Pioneer

I got a great magazine in the mail last week. It’s a TIME special edition about all my heroes in science. Sir Isaac Newton, Einstein, Pasteur…

I read a little further and I was happy to see Linus Pauling. I thought, “Great! They recognized what a pioneer he was…”

I was excited because Pauling is someone who’s close to home for me. He was a scientist who then became a nutritionist, and he was a contrarian. Someone who said to mainstream doctors, “You guys have missed the boat.”

But TIME didn’t say that about him. Instead, they chose to portray him as someone who went off the deep end. They wrote, “To many people, alas, the towering scientist who transformed chemistry is simply the guy who oversold vitamin C.”

And they say his claims for vitamin C never proved out.

I can’t just let this pass, because they’re dead wrong. And Pauling was right on.

Let’s look at the facts:

1) People try to discredit Pauling’s claims that vitamin C is anti-aging because he died. But Pauling never claimed that vitamin C could keep you alive forever. And he lived to the age of 93. That’s a pretty good accomplishment.

2)Almost everything he claimed about vitamin C was right. Vitamin C does help to protect against viral infection. It does protect against heart disease. And it does prevent cancer.

In 1976, Pauling did a study where he took 100 people with cancer whom mainstream medicine had given up on as terminal and “untreatable.”  He gave them 10 grams of vitamin C each day, and they lived on for nearly a year with no other treatment. Some were still alive almost four years after being diagnosed as terminal.1

Pauling compared his 100 with 1,000 other terminally ill patients. Those people who got no vitamin C averaged living for only 38 days.

3)Vitamin C does more than Linus Pauling knew. Vitamin C works by disarming molecules called free radicals, which attack healthy cells. But what we now know is that the protective caps on the ends of your DNA, called telomeres, are very sensitive to these attacks.

The shorter your telomeres, the older your cells act and the more susceptible they are to becoming cancerous. Vitamin C is very effective at stopping the shortening of your telomeres, which protects you from heart disease, cancer, and other diseases, too.

A Japanese study tested vitamin C’s effect on telomeres. Raising the level of vitamin C in the cells could slow down the shortening of telomeres up to 62%.

Another study found that skin cells treated with vitamin C kept their young firm shape because it slowed shortening of the cell DNA’s telomeres. The telomeres also suffered less damage in the presence of vitamin C.2

This is one of the reasons why I have been talking to you so much about nutrients lately, and why I felt the need to introduce my nutrition pyramid.

We need a lot of the nutrients that make up the base of the pyramid, Primal Nutrition, to avoid modern diseases like cancer.

Recently I told you about oranges and their primal nutritional value, including vitamin C. Today I want to tell you about some other ways to boost your vitamin C to a healthy, primal level. Here are three ways to get all the vitamin C you need to restore your primal nutrition:

1. The primal king of vitamin C: Dark, leafy vegetables, bell peppers, black currants, papaya , red and green chili peppers and guava all have a good amount of vitamin C. Strawberries and oranges have a it, too, and these are all good for primal nutrition in general.

But if you need extra vitamin C, the king of all fruits is the acerola cherry. Every 100 grams has 1,678 mg– over 20 times the vitamin C of strawberries!

2. Tea to the rescue: A little-known source of vitamin C is peppermint leaves. You can make peppermint tea – just make sure to cover the mug while brewing to keep in the oils.

3. A good supplement: Dr. Pauling himself took between 12,000 and 18,000 mg a day, and lived to the ripe old age of 93. But you should get 1,500 mg, twice a day, to bring yourself up to your basic primal requirements.

4. A bigger boost: If you’ve been lacking vitamin C, or in times of stress or sickness, you might want to consider IV vitamin C therapy.

You can safely get much more vitamin C through an IV than you can taking supplements. You can infuse vitamin C at 100 times the concentration of oral supplements completely safely. Remember, no matter how high the dose, vitamin C does not harm healthy cells.

If you’d like to visit my Center for Health and Wellness for IV vitamin C therapy, please call us at 561.784.7852 and any member of my staff will be happy to give you a phone consultation.

To Your Good Health,
Al Sears, MD
Al Sears, MD

1. Cameron E, Pauling L. “Supplemental ascorbate in the supportive treatment of cancer.” Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 1976. 73:3685-3689.
2. Yokoo S, Furumoto K, Hiyama E, Miwa N. “Slow-down of age-dependent telomere shortening is executed … by anti-oxidative effects of pro-vitamin C.” J Cell Biochem. 2004;93(3):588-97.