Archives for November 2011

Two Vitamin C Tablets Every Day Could Save 200,000 American Lives Every Year

Ascorbate Supplementation Reduces Heart Failure

New research has reported that risk of heart failure decreases with increasing blood levels of vitamin C [1]. Persons with the lowest plasma levels of ascorbate had the highest risk of heart failure, and persons with the highest levels of vitamin C had the lowest risk of heart failure.

According to the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) there are about 600,000 deaths from heart disease each year. [2] This is an enormous number. The definition of heart failure used by the study authors was on the basis of drugs prescribed, which would include all forms of heart disease that cause death. This agrees well with the CDC definition.

Specifically, the study found that each 20 micromole/liter (μmol/L) increase in plasma vitamin C was associated with a 9% reduction in death from heart failure. That works out to 54,000 fewer deaths from heart failure for each increase in 20 μmol/L plasma vitamin C. If everyone took high enough doses of vitamin C to reach the highest quartile (80 μmol/L), that would work out to approximately 216,000 fewer deaths per year. Just from taking vitamin C.

What is Heart Failure?

The heart muscle fails for many reasons. As we get older, it weakens and may not get enough nutrients to keep it healthy. A severe heart attack, that does not kill the patient but has caused significant damage to the heart muscle, may leave the heart in a very weakened state. Long standing or acute high blood pressure can put a massive strain on the heart and cause it to fail. An abnormal beating of the heart such as a very fast heart rate, an irregular beat or a lot of missed beats will result in a less effective pumping and eventual failure. Anemia will make the heart pump harder and faster in an attempt to deliver enough oxygen to the organs. The valves in the heart which direct blood flow are made up of an important fibrous strengthening tissue called collagen. Weakness or tearing of these valves can cause the blood to flow backwards, making the heart pump very inefficiently and eventually causing it to fail. When the heart muscle begins to fail, there is a buildup of carbon dioxide and waste products, resulting in weakening of the kidneys and liver. Eventually, fluid builds up in all the organs and the person presents with severe fatigue, shortness of breath (from fluid in the lungs) and swelling of the ankles.

Viruses and other microorganisms can attack the heart and weaken the heart muscle cells permanently by causing viral myocarditis. As the heart muscle cells get older they may require more energy to work and a greater level of protection from free radical damage. Nutrients such as magnesium, orotic acid, coenzyme Q10, acetyl L-Carnitine, and others may be required. Toxins, chemotherapeutic drugs, alcohol and deficiencies of some nutrients such as selenium may cause the heart to increase the size of its cells to compensate for the weakness. An enlargement of the heart muscle is called cardiomyopathy. These hearts are much more likely to fail.

Medical treatment of cardiac failure uses drugs that open the arteries, reduce blood pressure, and force the excessive fluid out of the body (diuretics). Drugs known as ACE Inhibitors improve quality of life and survival. Diet, fluid and salt restriction, and tolerable exercise are essential. For the most severe cases, a heart transplant may be required. However, many of these treatments have significant side effects. For example, treatment with diuretics to remove excess fluid will tend to lower the plasma vitamin C level and exacerbate the causes of cardiac failure.

How Much Vitamin C is Needed?

It takes less vitamin C than you may have thought. To achieve a plasma level of 80 μmol/L, and thereby reduce deaths by 216,000 per year, requires a daily dosage of about 500 mg of vitamin C. This is only one or two tablets per day, costing less than ten cents.

3,000 to 8,000 mg/day, in continued divided doses, can achieve a plasma level twice as high (160 μmol/L). This much C could save an additional 216,000 lives as it is an additional 80 μmol/L, assuming the relationship holds.

We can go still higher, and without intravenous administration. 1,000 mg of oral vitamin C per hour for 12 hours (12,000 mg/day) will result in a plasma level of about 240 μmol/L. A single 5,000 milligram dose might take you to a peak of 240 μmol/L, but only for about 2-4 hours after the intake. That is why the dosage needs to be spread out: better absorption, gradual excretion, higher plasma levels . . . and better results.

Conclusion

Optimizing vitamin C intake optimizes the health of a person taking it. This includes persons with potentially life-threatening disorders. It is a simple, cheap, effective, and safe therapy. Vitamin C is no longer a “controversial” therapy. It is an ignored therapy. It is time for the medical profession to fully awaken to what this recent study confirms: higher vitamin C intakes mean less heart failure. That means that higher vitamin C intakes mean fewer deaths. 200,000 per year fewer.

With just two vitamin C tablets per day.

(Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, November 22, 2011)

 

Read More

Low Vitamin C Levels May Raise Heart Failure Patients’ Risk

 

References

1. Pfister R, Sharp SJ, Luben R, Wareham NJ, Khaw KT. Plasma vitamin C predicts incident heart failure in men and women in European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition-Norfolk prospective study. Am Heart J 2011; 162: 246-253.

2. http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/lcod.htm

 

Your Toxic Tap Water

Dr. Paul Connett, Professor of Chemistry at St. Lawrence University in New York, gives a damning interview (2010) on the history of water  fluoridation, the collusion of major industries to put certified toxic waste into your drinking water, and why government health authorities refuse to conduct scientific studies into the dangers of fluoridation. After watching this video, you will never look at tap water the same way again.

Connett describes how he initially thought people who opposed fluoridation were “a bunch of whackos,” before conducting his own research which found that sodium fluoride was a toxic substance that contributed to a wide array of health defects. Heavy industry is barred from dumping this toxic waste into the sea by international law, but being able to sell it enables them to remove its hazardous characteristic and it becomes a product, explains Connett, polluting not only our water supply but also toothpaste and thousands of different foods.

Connett provides a detail run down of the many health problems caused by fluoride consumption, including dental fluorosis, which the Centers For Disease Control just recently announced was a problem for 41 per cent of children aged 12-15 in the United States, clearly indicating that children are being over-exposed to fluoride and that this is affecting other tissues and organs in the body, including bone disorders, a problem also wreaking havoc amongst adults in the United States as one in three now suffer from arthritis, which again is being caused by a build-up of toxic fluoride in the body. Connett also points to fluoride’s connection with thyroid disorders.

There have now been over 100 studies involving animals which show that fluoride damages the brain, stresses Connett, which is a particular concern for newborn babies who are susceptible to fluoride build up because of their weak blood-brain barrier. Connett cites numerous studies which prove a link between moderate exposure to fluoride and lowered IQ in children.

Fluoride’s impact on the pineal gland, which is a piece of brain tissue that sits in-between the two hemispheres of the brain, is key because fluoride attracts to this gland like a magnet. Researchers have found through animal studies that fluoride lowers the ability of the pineal gland to produce the hormone melatonin, which in turn shortens the time it takes to reach puberty, correlating with studies of fluoridated communities that show girls are on average menstruating 5 months earlier than those in non-fluoridated communities. Children are entering puberty at increasingly early stages and this is causing widespread concern, but health authorities have made no effort whatsoever to conduct any studies regarding this development and its link to fluoride.

 

DMSA Monograph

Meso-2,3-dimercaptosuccinic acid (DMSA) is a sulfhydryl-containing, water-soluble, non-toxic, orally administered, metal chelator which has been in use as an antidote to heavy metal toxicity since the 1950s. It is also known as succimer and sold as a prescription under the trade name Chemet. DMPS chelation is most commonly used to remove lead in both adults and children, although it may also be used for mercury poisoning and for dangerous levels of other heavy metals. Clinical use and research substantiates this compound’s efficacy and safety. 


Meso-2,3-Dimercaptosuccinic Acid (DMSA). Monograph

Altern Med Rev 2000; 5 (3): 264-7

 

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Dimaval®: Scientific Product Monograph

 

Vitamins Decrease Lung Cancer Risk by 50%

by Robert G. Smith, PhD. 

A recent study [1] of the effect of B vitamins on a large group of participants reported an inverse relationship between blood serum levels of vitamin B6, methionine, and folate and the risk of lung cancer. High serum levels of vitamin B6, methionine and folate were associated with a 50% or greater reduction in lung cancer risk. This exciting finding has not been widely reported in the media, but it confirms a growing body of evidence gathered over the last 40 years that B vitamins are important for preventing diseases such as cancer.

The study gathered information about the lifestyle and diet of 385,000 people in several European countries. The average age was 64 years, and most had a history of drinking alcohol daily. Blood samples were then taken from these participants, and some of those (889) that developed lung cancer were analyzed for the level of several B vitamins and related biochemicals such as methionine, an essential amino acid. These nutrients were studied because they are known to be important in the metabolism of single carbon compounds, which is necessary for the synthesis and repair of DNA in the body’s tissues [2]. Thus, B vitamins are helpful in preventing defects in DNA which can cause cancer [2-4].

Specifically, a high level of either vitamin B6, or methionine, or folate reduced the risk for lung cancer. High levels of all these nutrients together produced an even lower risk. The effects were large, so the results are highly significant.

The study divided the participants into three categories, depending on whether they currently smoked, had previously smoked, or had never smoked. While smoking is the most important lifestyle factor in the risk for lung cancer, interestingly, the effects of vitamin B6, methionine, and folate were fairly constant among the three categories. That is, those with higher levels of these B vitamins had a significantly lower risk of lung cancer no matter whether they smoked or not. The report emphasizes that this result strongly suggests that the effect of these essential nutrients in lowering the risk for cancer is real and not purely a statistical correlation. And, the report reiterates that smoking is dangerous, greatly increasing the risk for lung cancer in older people after decades of insult to the lungs.

Some widely-reported health studies have suggested that B vitamins can increase the risk of cancer. The theory is that these vitamins can help to prevent cancer from their effects in strengthening DNA synthesis and repair, but that when cancer is present, the vitamins supposedly help the cancer to grow [5]. However, there is a long history of health studies, including the above mentioned study, reporting that B vitamins including folate and vitamin B6 can help to prevent many types of cancer, such as breast, prostate and colorectal cancer [1-6].

It is just amazing how the news media could have missed this, but they pretty much did. In one much-publicized study [7] it was widely claimed that “Multivitamins increase deaths in older women!” Actually, the study found that B complex vitamins were associated with a 7 percent decrease in mortality, vitamin C was associated with a 4 percent decrease in mortality, vitamin D was associated with an 8 percent decrease in mortality, and several minerals were associated with a decrease in mortality.

Essential nutrients in a well-balanced diet, including B-complex, C, D, and E vitamins, are crucial to maintaining good health into old age for a variety of reasons. Persons taking adequate levels of vitamins will live longer, with fewer heart attacks [8] and other serious diseases such as diabetes [9], multiple sclerosis [10], and dementia [11].

The question begged by the report is, what role did vitamin supplements play in the blood levels reported for these essential nutrients? Taking a multivitamin that includes B-complex vitamins will obviously increase the blood levels of these essential nutrients. However, the value of supplements was not emphasized in the report.

So we will emphasize it here. Vitamins dramatically lower lung cancer risk. Supplements provide these nutrients in abundance. Modern diets do not.

(Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, November 18, 2011)

 

References 

1. Johansson M, Relton C, Ueland PM, et al. Serum B vitamin levels and risk of lung cancer. JAMA. 2010 Jun 16;303(23):2377-85.

2. Xu X, Chen J. One-carbon metabolism and breast cancer: an epidemiological perspective. J Genet Genomics. 2009;36: 203-214.

3. Larsson SC, Orsini N, Wolk A. Vitamin B6 and risk of colorectal cancer: a meta-analysis of prospective studies. JAMA. 2010;303:1077-1083.

4. Ames BN. Prevention of mutation, cancer, and other age-associated diseases by optimizing micronutrient intake. J Nucleic Acids. 2010 Sep 22;2010. pii: 725071.

5. Mason JB. Unraveling the complex relationship between folate and cancer risk. Biofactors. 2011 Jul;37(4):253-60.

6. Giovannucci E. Epidemiologic studies of folate and colorectal neoplasia: a review. J Nutr. 2002;132(Suppl):S2350-S2355.

7. Mursu J, Robien K, Harnack LJ, Park K, Jacobs DR Jr. Dietary supplements and mortality rate in older women. The Iowa Women’s Health Study. Arch Intern Med 2011. 171(18):1625-1633.

8. Pfister R, Sharp SJ, Luben R, et al. Plasma vitamin C predicts incident heart failure in men and women in European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition-Norfolk prospective study. Am Heart J. 2011 Aug;162(2):246-53.

9. Harding AH, Wareham NJ, Bingham SA, et al. Plasma vitamin C level, fruit and vegetable consumption, and the risk of new-onset type 2 diabetes mellitus: the European prospective investigation of cancer–Norfolk prospective study. Arch Intern Med. 2008 Jul 28;168(14):1493-9.

10. Solomon AJ. Multiple sclerosis and vitamin D. Neurology. 2011 Oct 25;77(17):e99-e100.

11. Selhub J, Troen A, Rosenberg IH. B vitamins and the aging brain. Nutr Rev. 2010 Dec;68 Suppl 2:S112-8.

 

Potassium

Learn the benefits of potassium.

Potassium. Videogram. Colorado Springs, CO: Mineralife LLC, 2011.

What is Iron?

Learn what iron is and how it can help your body and health.

What is Iron? Videogram. Colorado Springs, CO: Mineralife LLC, 2011.

What is Calcium?

Learn where calcium comes from and how it helps your body.

What is Calcium? Videogram. Colorado Springs, CO: Mineralife LLC, 2011.

What is Magnesium?

Learn about Magnesium, benefits and what can happen to the body with lack of magnesium.

What is Magnesium? Videogram. Colorado Springs, CO: Mineralife LLC, 2011.

Benefits of Copper

Find out how copper helps your body.

Benefits of Copper. Videogram. Colorado Springs, CO: Mineralife LLC, 2011.

What is Zinc?

Learn about zinc and how it helps your body.

What is Zinc? Videogram. Colorado Springs, CO: Mineralife LLC, 2011.