ANASCORBEMIA -- ACUTE INDUCED SCURVY
It is well established that certain symptoms are associated with an almost total lack of vitamin C within the body. Symptoms of scurvy include lassitude, malaise, bleeding gums, loss of teeth, nosebleeds, bruising, hemorrhages in any part of the body, easy infections, poor healing of wounds, deterioration of joints, brittle and painful bones, and death, etc. It is thought that this disease only occurs with dietary deprivation of vitamin C. However, an analogous condition is produced as follows:
Well-nourished humans usually contain not much more than 5 grams of
vitamin C in their bodies. Unfortunately, the majority of people have
far less ascorbate than this amount in their bodies and are at risk for
many problems related to failure of metabolic processes dependent upon
ascorbate. This condition is called CHRONIC SUBCLINICAL SCURVY.
This draw on ascorbate, from whatever source, lowers the blood level of ascorbate to a negligible level. I have coined the term ANASCORBEMIA for this condition. If this anascorbemia is not rapidly rectified by the oral administration of bowel tolerance doses of ascorbic acid or by intravenous administration of ascorbate, the remainder of the body is rapidly depleted of ascorbate and put at risk for disorders of the metabolic processes dependent upon vitamin C.
The following problems should be expected with increased incidence with severe depletion of ascorbate: disorders of the immune system such as secondary infections, rheumatoid arthritis and other collagen diseases, allergic reactions to drugs, foods and other substances, chronic infections such as herpes, or sequelae of acute infections such as Guillain-Barre' and Reye's syndromes, rheumatic fever, or scarlet fever; disorders of the blood coagulation mechanisms such as hemorrhage, heart attacks, strokes, hemorrhoids, and other vascular thrombosis;
Not only is there the theoretical probability that these types of complications associated with infections or stresses could result from ascorbate depletion, but there was a conspicuous decrease in the expected occurrence of complications in the thousands of patients treated with oral tolerance doses or intravenous doses of ascorbate.
THE MISSING STRESS HORMONE
Stone has described the genetic defect whereby the higher primates lost the ability to synthesize ascorbate. This defect is caused by a mutated defective gene for the liver enzyme, L-gulonolactone oxidase. The higher mammals (except for the higher primates) developed a feedback mechanism which increases ascorbate synthesis under the influence of external and internal stresses ).
There are many well-established functions of vitamin C that help in the handling of stress. When stressed, the higher mammals can augment these functions by this feedback mechanism. For the higher primates, including humans, ascorbate
can amount to the MISSING STRESS HORMONE .
I have seen strong clinical evidence that not only does the bowel tolerance to ascorbate increase under stress but that fully satisfying that potential use for ascorbate markedly reduces secondary diseases and complications following stress or primary disease.
Acute mononucleosis is a good example because there is such an obvious difference between the course of the disease, with and without ascorbate. Also, it is possible to obtain laboratory diagnosis to verify that it is mononucleosis being treated. Early in this study a 23-year-old, 98-pound librarian with severe mononucleosis claimed to have taken 2 heaping tablespoons every 2 hours, consuming a full pound of ascorbic acid in 2 days. She felt mostly well in 3 to 4 days, although she had to continue about 20 to 30 grams a day for about 2 months.
Many cases do not require maintenance doses for more than 2 to 3 weeks. The duration of need can be sensed by the patient. I had ski patrol patients back skiing on the slopes in a week. They were instructed to carry their boda bags full of ascorbic acid solution as they skied. The ascorbate kept the disease symptoms almost completely suppressed even if the basic infection had not completely resolved. The lymph nodes and spleen returned to normal rapidly and the profound malaise was relieved in a few days. It is emphasized that tolerance doses must be maintained until the patient senses he is completely well, or the symptoms will recur.
Acute cases of infectious hepatitis have responded dramatically. Cases included two orthopaedic surgeons who probably acquired the disease pricking their hands at surgery and being inoculated with a patient's blood. With ascorbate treatment laboratory tests including the SGOT, SGPT, and bilirubins indicated rapid reversal of the disease. In one of these cases, with the doctorpatient and his treating physicians having difficulty believing that the ascorbate was responsible for the improvement, the ascorbate was discontinued. The condition of the patient rapidly deteriorated. The patient's wife took charge and doled out the ascorbate; again the disease rapidly subsided with laboratory findings returning to normal.
Usually oral bowel tolerance doses will reverse hepatitis rapidly. Stools regularly return to normal color in 2 days. It generally takes about 6 days for the jaundice to clear, but the patient will feel almost well after 4 to 5 days. Because of the diarrhea caused by the disease, intravenous ascorbate may need to be used in very severe cases. Often large doses of ascorbic acid, taken orally despite diarrhea, will cause a paradoxical cessation of the diarrhea.
Morishige has demonstrated the effectiveness of ascorbate
in preventing hepatitis from blood transfusions .