Vitamin C Deficiency
Vitamin C deficiency is becoming increasingly common. For example, in the US, 15% of adults are estimated to be deficient. A quarter of a century ago, this figure was only about 3 – 5%. In Mexico, the percentage of women who were vitamin C deficient was estimated in 2003, to be as high as 40%, Without this vitamin C, the synthesised collagen in the body is too unstable to perform its function. Chronic Deficiency of Vitamin C leads to scurvy – the formation of brown spots on the skin, spongy gums, and bleeding from all mucous membranes.However, more evidence is coming to conclude that vitamins C deficiency is associated with many other health problems.
Vitamin C deficiency: Coronary Heart Disease
As Professor Linus Pauling, double Nobel prize winner, suggested, the main cause of atherosclerosis is chronic long term low blood levels of vitamin C.1 His specific high-dosage therapy for heart disease is apparently very effective, and it has been named the Pauling Therapy in Linus’s honor. It was reported that the Pauling-therapy for heart disease works quickly. Patients have consistently reported symptom relief in ten days or less, even in advanced disease.
Another expert, Thomas Levy MD observed different studies in his book “Stop America’s #1 Killer!” and arrived to the conclusion that a focal vitamin C deficiency in the arterial wall “degenerates” the basement membrane allowing the abnormal deposition of solute such as calcium, cholesterol and fat.2 Increased presence of toxic free radicals know as oxidative stress in the body and arteries is another risk factor for atherosclerosis. It is now accepted that antioxidants can never be completely effective in neutralising free radicals which damage arterial walls, in the presents of Vitamin C deficiency – the most potent out of all antioxidants.
1. Rath, M; Pauling, L. (1990). “Immunological evidence for the accumulation of lipoprotein(a) in the atherosclerosis lesion of the hypoascorbemic guinea pig”. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 87 (23): 9388–9390.
2.Thomas Levy (2006 “Stop America’s #1 Killer!”
Vitamin C deficiency: Impaired Brain Development
The crucial role of vitamin C in early brain development and chronic disease prevention was observed in two recent studies in Canada and Denmark which highlighted the surprising extent of vitamin C deficiency and brought up more evidence about the importance of vitamin C for the health.
The Danish researchers at the University of Copenhagen have found that deficiency of this vitamin in early postnatal life of guinea pigs causes in impaired neuronal development and a functional decrease in spatial memory. The researchers stressed that Vitamin C has been shown to have a key function in the brain. During deficiency brain is able to retain higher concentrations of vitamin C than other organs but may still be more sensitive to deficiency despite these preventive measures”
Low Dose Vitamin C fails to Correct Deficiency
There is the long-standing debate on optimal intakes in humans. Many nutritionists have argued the daily amount should be in the gram range 2-3 grams daily, taken in divided doses For example, Professor Linus Pauling recommended 3 grams that is higher than 60 mg suggested in EU Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA). Based on findings from the recent Danish study, it seems that such enforced restriction may have serious implications for brain development in very young children.
The Canadian researchers also found an association between low serum vitamin C and chronic disease markers in the young adults. In particular, in this study it was observed that participants with deficiency had significantly higher measurements of mean C-reactive protein (a plasma protein that rises in the blood with the inflammation from certain conditions), body mass and blood pressure than did those with adequate levels of serum ascorbic acid.