|Klenner Vit. C Paper
Journal of Applied Nutrition Vol. 23, No's 3 & 4,
Observations On the Dose and Administration
of Ascorbic Acid When Employed Beyond the Range Of A Vitamin In Human Pathology
Frederick R. Klenner, M.D., F.C.C.P.
Comment by Robert
F. Cathcart, M.D.: This paper repeatedly refers to intravenous
acid. My personal experience, my talking with Klenner, and with
his wife, Annie Klenner, who served as his nurse, would indicate that he
means sodium ascorbate. See my article on
how to make intravenous C solutions. I am especially
indebted to Annie Klenner for her descriptions of how Fred made
the intravenous solutions of sodium ascorbate.
Because of the unusually high amounts of ascorbic acid used in Dr. Klenner's
treatment as reported in his paper, we asked him to verify amounts mentioned.
Following is his answer:
"To the Editor of the ICAN Journal: This will confirm that
all 'quantity' factors given in my paper are correct and can be confirmed
from hospital and medical office records. The notation relative to 150
grams represents the amount used for reversing pathology in a given case
and was the amount given over a period of 24 hours. (The I.V. was continuous.)
This was given in three bottles of 5D water, decanting only enough from
1000 c.c. to be replaced by the 'C' ampoules.
"Recently the FDA has published a 'warning' that too much soda-ascorbate
might be harmful, referring to the sodium ion. In reply to this I can state
that for many years I have taken 10 to 20 grams of sodium ascorbate by
mouth daily, and my blood sodium remains normal. These levels are checked
by an approved laboratory. 20 grams each day and my urine remains at or
just above pH 6."
Fred R. Klenner, M.D.
Body of paper
Appendix - more case histories
Ancient History and Homespun Vitamin C Therapies
of past civilizations report that for every disease afflicting man there
is an herb or its equivalent that will effect a cure. In
Puerto Rico the story has long been told "that to have the health tree
in one's back yard would keep colds out of the front door."
The ascorbic acid content of this cherry-like fruit is thirty times that
found in oranges. In Pennsylvania, U.S.A.,
it was, and for many still is, Boneset, scientifically called Eupatorium
perfoliatum. Although it is now rarely
prescribed by physicians, Boneset was the most commonly used medicinal
plant of eastern United States. Most farmsteads had a bundle of dried Boneset
in the attic or woodshed from which a most bitter tea would be meted out
to the unfortunate victim of a cold or fever. Having lived in that section
of the country we qualified many times for this particular drink. The Flu
of 1918 stands out very forcefully in that the Klenners survived when
scores about us were dying. Although bitter it was curative and most of
the time the cure was overnight. Several years ago my curiosity led me
to assay this "herbal medicine" and to my surprise and delight I found
that we had been taking from ten to thirty grams of natural vitamin C at
one time. Even then it was given by body weight. Children one cupful; adults
two to three cupfuls. Cups those days held eight ounces. Twentieth century
man seemingly forgets that his ancestors made crude. drugs from various
plants and roots, and that these decoctions, infusions, juices, powders,
pills and ointments served his purpose. Elegant pharmacy has only made
the forms and shapes more acceptable.
Early specifications, action and dosages for administrations.
To understand the chemical behavior of ascorbic acid in human pathology,
one must go beyond its present academic status either as a factor essential
for life or as a substance necessary to prevent scurvy. This knowledge
is elementary. Listen to what appeared in
Food and Life Yearbook 1939, U.S. Department of Agriculture:
"In fact even when there is not a single outward symptom of trouble, a
person may be in a state of vitamin C deficiency more dangerous than scurvy
itself. When such a condition is not detected, and continues uncorrected,
the teeth and bones will be damaged, and what may be even more serious,
the blood stream is weakened to the point where it can no longer resist
or fight infections not so easily cured as scurvy." It is true that without
these infinitesimal amounts myriads of body processes would deteriorate
and even come to a fatal halt.
Ascorbic acid has many important functions. It
is a powerful oxidizer and when given in massive amounts; that is,
50 grams to 150 grams, intravenously, for certain pathological conditions,
and "run in" as fast as 20 Gauge needle will allow, it acts as a "Flash
Oxidizer," often correcting the pathology
within minutes. Ascorbic acid is also a powerful reducing agent.
Its neutralizing action on certain toxins, exotoxins, virus infections,
endotoxins and histamine is in direct proportion to the amount of the
lethal factor involved and the amount of ascorbic acid given. At times
it is necessary to use ascorbic acid intramuscularly. It should
always be used orally, when possible, along with the needle.
Scurvy historically the target; today's goal of high blood levels to cope
with self-induced abuses and physiological traumas.
If one is to employ ascorbic acid intelligently, some index for requirements
must be realized. Unfortunately there exists today a sort of "brand" called
"minimum daily requirements." This illegitimate "child" has been
co-fathered by the National Academy of Science and The National
Research Council and represents a tragic error in judgment. There are
many factors which increase the demand by the body for ascorbic acid, and
unless these are appreciated, at least by physicians, there can be no real
progress. It is vitally important that cognizance be taken of the demand
by the body for ascorbic acid far beyond so-called scorbutic levels. Briefly
these demands can be summarized:
The age of the individual;
Habits -- such as smoking, the use of alcohol, playing habits;
Sleep, especially when induced artificially;
Trauma.-- trauma caused by a pathogen, the trauma of work, the trauma of
surgery, the trauma to the body produced accidentally or intentionally;
Season of the year;
Loss in the stool;
Variations in individual absorption;
Variations in "binders" in commercial tablets;
Flexible dosage standards explained as minimal standards.
With such knowledge it is no longer possible to accept a set numerical
unit in terms of
minimal daily requirements. This is true because
of the simple fact that people are different and these same people experience
different situations at various times. With ascorbic acid, today's adequate
supply means little or nothing in terms of the needs for tomorrow. Let
us start thinking in terms of maximum requirements. For too long
a time we have under supplied our children and ourselves by accepting through
negative ignorance and acquiescence so-called standards. Based
on scant data on mammalian synthesis, available for the rat, a 70-Kg.
individual would produce 1.8 grams to
4.0 grams of ascorbic acid per day in
the unstressed condition. Under stress,
up to 15.2 grams. Compare this to the
70 mg recommended for daily requirements without stress and 200 mg for
the simple stress of the obstetrical patient, and you will recognize the
disparity and understand why we have been waging a one man war against
the establishment in Washington for 23 years.
acid not synthesized by man
Work on mammalian biosynthesis of ascorbic acid indicates that the vitamin
C story as is generally accepted represents an oversimplification of available
This often leads to misinterpretations and false impressions. It
has been proposed that the biochemical lesion which produces the human
need for exogenous sources of ascorbic acid, is the absence of the active
enzyme, l-gulonolactone oxidase from the human liver.
A defect or loss of the gene controlling the synthesis of this enzyme in
man, blocks the final phase in the series for converting glucose to ascorbic
acid. Virus can mutate cells, X-Rays can do it and it can occur by chance.
Such a mutation could have happened, denying all progenies of this mutated
animal the ability to produce ascorbic acid. Survival demanded ascorbic
acid from an exogenous source. This is not remarkable. Other recognized
genetic diseases in which a missing enzyme causes a pathological syndrome,
in man, are phenylketonuria, galactosemia and alkaptonuria.
It is worthy to note that Sealock and Goodland have ascribed to ascorbic
acid the faculty of being the necessary co-enzyme in the metabolic oxidation
of tyrosine. The velocity of the oxidation in this reaction is dependent
upon the concentration of vitamin C. Tyrosine is essential in breaking
down protein to usable amino acid. The scorbutic guinea-pig's liver
is unable to oxidize tyrosine except in the presence of ascorbic acid.
This suggests a lead in the study of the metabolic abnormality Alkaptonuria
humans. Ascorbic acid administration will correct the alkaptonuria of the
scorbutic guinea pig. Its effect on human alkaptonuria has been inconsistent.
The reason: Inadequate use of ascorbic acid.
Biochemist Irwin Stones' concept has practical
The inability of man to manufacture his own ascorbic acid, due to genetic
fault, has been called "hypoascorbemia" by Irwin Stone.
This is another reason for abolishing the present concept of daily minimal
requirements. The physiological requirements in man are no different from
other mammals capable of carrying out this synthesis.
Various procedures testing for the vitamin C levels and Requirements of
Various tests have been employed to determine the degree of body saturation
of vitamin C, but for the most part they have been misleading. Blood
and urine samples analyzed with 2:6 dichlorophenol indophenol will
give values roughly 7 percent less than when testing with dinitrophenol
hydrazine. Gothlin advocates the capillary fragility test which
is similar to the tourniquet test of Hess in results. Both can be
used to estimate the quantity of vitamin C necessary to maintain capillary
integrity. The intradermal test
of Rotter as modified by Slobody is
again gaining new recruits. In principle
it is the same as the lingual test of Ringdorf and Cheraskin
since both are based on the time required to decolorize dye. The lingual
test is rapid and simple to perform but it requires a syringe with a 25
gauge needle and a stop watch. Since the dye methods depend on the reduction
of the reagent by vitamin C, any substance having a reducing potential
lower than the dye is a possible source of interference. Twenty years ago
we elected to measure, as a therapeutic gauge, the amount of vitamin C
in urine by borrowing on its ability to reduce qualitative Benedict's solution.
A 2 plus Benedict's reaction in a known dextrose free urine was accepted
as a standard. This test was helpful in gauging requirements for simple
stress, but not accurate enough when using needle therapy. Fifteen
years ago we developed the Silver Nitrate-Urine test.
This test employs 10 drops of 5 percent silver nitrate and 10 drops urine
which is placed in a Wasserman tube. When read in two minutes it will give
a color pattern showing white, beige, smoke gray or charcoal or various
combinations of any two depending upon the degree of saturation. We have
found this color index test is all one will need for establishing the correct
amount of ascorbic acid to use by mouth, by muscle, by vein in the
handling of all types of human pathology either as the specific drug or
as an adjuvant with other antibiotics or neutralizing chemicals. In severe
pathological conditions the urine sample, taken every four hours, must
show a fine charcoal-like precipitation with a clear supernatant liquid
if positive clinical results are to be realized. Spilling in the urine
is not new. Abraham and Keefer have demonstrated that when penicillin is
injected intravenously, excretions in the urine account for 60 percent
of the administered dose.
Role played by ascorbic acid in intercellular reactions, neutralizing,
possibly controlling virus production.
In 1935 Stanley isolated a crystalline protein possessing the properties
of tobacco mosaic virus. It contained two substances, ribonucleic acid
(RNA) and protein. The simple structure characteristic of tobacco
mosaic virus was soon found to be a basic property of many human viruses
such as coxsackie virus (which I believe to be the cause of Multiple
Sclerosis), Echoviruses and polioviruses - they all contain
only ribonucleic acid and protein. There exist minor variations. Adenoviruses
contain deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) and protein. Other viruses such
as that causing influenza contain added lipid and polysaccharides.
Deoxyribonucleic acid is used to program the large viruses, like mumps,
ribonucleic acid is used to program the small viruses, like measles. The
role of the protein coat is to protect the parasitic but unstable nucleic
acid as it rides the "blood highway" or "lymphatic system" to gain specific
cell entry. Pure viral nucleic acid without its protein coat can be inactivated
by constituents of normal blood. There are several theories as to what
happens after cell entry:
Once inside a given cell. the virus nucleic acid sheds its protein coat
and proceeds to modify the host cell by either creating mutations or by
directly substituting its own nucleic acid;
The infectious nucleic acid, after entering a human cell, retains its protein
coat and starts to produce its own type protein coat
and viral nucleic acid, so that new units can either depart to enter other
cells or by destruction of the cell, thus making the infection more severe;
The introduction of a foreign fragment of nucleic acid in the cell-virus
interaction approach as postulated by Starr.
In the Starr theory there can exist cells with partial chromosome make-up
and cells with multi-nuclei. Hiliary Kropowski
holds that these partial cells are 'pseudo-virons'
and are found in some tumor-virus infections. A key factor in the Starr-Kropowski
thinking is that the cell maintains its biological integrity to support
virus development despite the abnormal morphology and genetic deficiency.
If these invaded cells could be destroyed or the invader neutralized the
illness would suddenly terminate. Ascorbic acid has the capability of entering
all cells. Under normal circumstances its presence is beneficial to the
cell, however, when the cell has been invaded by a foreign substance, like
virus nucleic acid, enzymatic action by ascorbic acid contributes to the
breakdown of virus nucleic acid to adenosine deaminase which converts adenosine
to inosine. The net result is to lead to purines which are extensively
catabolized and not to p+urines which are utilized for further nucleic
acid. Ascorbic acid also joins with the available virus protein, making
a new macromolecule which acts as the repressor factor. It has been demonstrated
that when combined with the repressor, the operator gene, virus nucleic
acid, cannot react with any other substance and cannot induce activity
in the structural gene, therefore inhibiting the multiplication of new
virus bodies. The tensile strength of the cell membrane is exceeded by
these macromolecules with rupture and destruction. Another hypothesis is
that vitamin C acts to create new "L" viruses which are impotent. Still
another, that the "binding" alone is sufficient to destroy the virus.
Promptness of massive ascorbic acid in avoiding
fatal encephalitis related to stubborn head and chest colds.
In 1953 we presented a case history
and films of a patient with virus pneumonia. This patient was unconscious,
with a fever of 106.8°F (A. corrected) when admitted to the hospital.
140 grams ascorbic acid was given intravenously over a period of 72 hours
at which time she was awake, sitting up in bed and taking fluids freely
by mouth. The temperature was normal. Since that time we have observed
a more deadly syndrome associated with a virus causing head and chest colds.
This is one of the adenovirus striking in the area of the upper respiratory
tract with resulting fever, sore throat and eyes, and when in children
can cause fatal pneumonia. More often death is indirect by way of incipient
where the child can be dead in 30 minutes. These are the babies and children
found dead in bed and attributed to suffocation [SIDS, Sudden Infant
Death Syndrome]. It
is suffocation but by way of a syndrome we observed and reported in 1957
which is similar to that found in cephalic tetanus-toxemia culminating
in diaphragmatic spasm, with dyspnea and finally asphyxia.By
1958 we had collected sufficient information
from our office and hospital patients to catalog this deadly syndrome Into
two important stages.
Other findings of this dramatic second stage are:
There is always a history of having had the "Flu" which lasted 48 to
96 hours complicated with extreme physical or mental distress; or
A mild cold, similar to an allergic rhinitis, which lingered on for
several weeks but did not incapacitate the individual.
Stage 2, which is always sudden, will present itself in at least seven
Extreme excitability resembling delirium tremens if an adult and with dancing
of the eyeballs if a child;
Strangling in the course of eating or drinking (bulbar type);
Temperature can be normal, moderately elevated or high;
Respirations twice to three times normal and in some cases will be suggestive
of air hunger;
Pupils will be moderately open and in some instances (hemiplegic) one will
be markedly dilated;
The white blood count running from 6,000 to 25,000 with a high poly count
in the differential;
Young patients starting the second phase with a convulsion there has been
not only a history of normal bowel movements but also an enema given at
the time of first examination has produced a normal stool;
Bladder sphincter control was abnormal in our cases who convulsed or who
were in coma.
It is apparent that the second stage of this syndrome is triggered by a
breakthrough at the site of the blood-brain barrier. The time required
for neurological changes to become evident is roughly comparable to the
time necessary for similar neuropathology to be demonstrated following
a severe head injury. Cerebral edema exists in both conditions.
In my practice I start massive ascorbic acid therapy immediately. I have
seen children dead in from 30 minutes to 2 hours because their attending
physician was not impressed with their illness upon hospital admission.
An autopsy on one of these patients showed bilateral pneumonitis
- all one needs to spark a deadly encephalitis. To indicate just
how common this syndrome presents itself, I relate here a newspaper account
of a 15 year old girl who had a mild, lingering cold for several
weeks. She attended a dance party one evening and except for a complaint
of feeling extremely tired, she went to bed apparently well. She was found
dead in bed the following morning. An autopsy showed bilateral pneumonia.
How many times have you read such an account? This is why it is necessary
for everybody to take adequate supplemental vitamin C to guard against
In 1960 we decided to research the literature before writing our paper.
"Virus Encephalitis As A Sequel Of The Pneumonias."
Rosenfield in 1903 described a similar syndrome under the caption "Brain
Purpura or Hemorrhagic Encephalitis." Comby, in 1907, was the first to
call attention to the interesting "metastic" sequela of the pneumonias. Baker
and Noran in 1945 enumerated five groups, each showing certain definite
clinical characteristics which may be of both diagnostic and prognostic
significance in relation to this virus syndrome. 
These groups plus two additional types, namely:
Symptoms of a nonspecific nature - headache, vomiting, irritability;
were as we reported them, independently, in the Tri-State Medical Journal,
October 1958. Their results: Some recovered, some died and still others
lived as "vegetation" mental cripples. All of our patients recovered.
Thirteen years from the time of the Baker-Noran report to the time of our
report and 13 years from the time of our report to the present time. This
makes the issue urgent. Physicians must recognize the inherent danger
of the lingering head or chest cold and appreciate the importance of
early massive vitamin C therapy.
Chill - blood invasion type;
How does the brain become involved in encephalitis?--some speculations.
Clinical problems such as these groups present, leads one to speculate
on the pathways in which the virus gains entrance into the brain. We can
that the permeability of the blood-brain barrier can be changed
by introducing various toxic agents into the blood circulation. Chambers
and Zweifach emphasized the importance
of the intercellular cement of the capillary wall in regulating permeability
of the blood vessels of the central nervous system. In this syndrome the
toxic substance is an adenovirus. Ascorbic acid will repair and
maintain the integrity of the capillary wall.
Through the olfactory nerves;
Through the portals of the stomach from material swallowed, either pulmonary
or upper respiratory drainage;
Direct extension from otitis media or from mastoid cells;
The blood stream. Arriving in the brain the virus goes through the blood
cerebrospinal fluid barrier and/or the blood brain barrier by one of three
Chemical lysis of tissue;
Burns - degrees explained and some therapy rational.
In the treatment of burns ascorbic acid, in sufficient amounts,
reflects itself as a truly miracle substance. In the early forties, when
I was using ascorbic acid, intramuscularly, in treating bacillary dysentery,
shiga type, with excellent results, Lund, Lam and many others were using,
what they called, massive doses of ascorbic acid in the treatment of burns.
One or two grams each day, in fluids, was the recognized dose. Burns are
at the beginning first degree and some remain as just an erythema. Many
times the first degree burn progresses rapidly to the second degree
stage and remains as "blisters". Still others go on to third degree
which usually is more pronounced on the third-plus post-burn day. There
a fourth stage which results from lack of knowledge in treatment.
It terminates with skin grafting and plastic surgery. We believe
that ascorbic acid will eliminate the fourth stage and the third stage
if used as we will later program.
Burns - continued descriptive and related therapies.
The pathologic physiology of a burn wound from the moment of the
accident is in a state of dynamic change until the wound heals or the patient
dies. The primary
consideration is the phenomenon of blood sludging originally recognized
by Knisely in 1945.[26,27]
Initially there is intravascular agglutination of red blood cells into
distinctly visible, smooth, hard, rigid, basic masses. Lofstrom in 1959
demonstrated that the oxygen uptake by the tissues is greatly reduced
because of the sludging and therefore reduced rate of flow. Berkeley
in 1960 concluded that this phenomenon of sludging or agglutination results
in capillary thrombosis in the area of the burn, extending proximally to
involve the large arterioles and venules and thereby creating tissue destruction
greater than that originally produced by the burn. Anoxia
produces added tissue destruction. Lund and Levenson
found that after severe burns there is considerable alteration in the metabolism
of ascorbic acid as shown by a low concentration of ascorbic acid in the
plasma either with the patient fasting or after saturation tests and also
low urinary excretion of vitamin C either with the patient fasting or after
the injection of test doses. The extent of the abnormality closely paralleled
the severity of the burn. Bergman
reported an increase demand for ascorbic acid in burns especially when
epithelization and formation of granulation tissue are taking place. Lam
also reported in 1941 a marked decrease in the plasma ascorbic acid concentration
in patients with severe burns. Klasson
although limiting the amount of ascorbic acid to a dose range of 300 mg
to 2000 mg daily, in divided doses, found that it hastened the healing
of wounds by producing healthy granulation tissue and also that it reduced
local edema. He rationalized that ascorbic acid used locally as
a 2% dressing possessed astringent properties similar to hydrogen peroxide.
He also reported that antibiotic therapy was rarely necessary.
Severe burns and related therapy.
Harlen Stone suggested the use of gentamicin
in major burns to lower the sepsis caused by pseudomonas. Absorption of
its exotoxin from the infected burn wound inhibits the bacterial defense
mechanism of the reticuloendothelial system. Death can result either from
the toxemia alone or from an associated septicemia. We have found that
the secret in treating burns can be summarized in five steps:
If seen early after the burn there will be no infections and no eschar
formations. This eliminates fluid formation, since the eschar traps will
not exist and there will be no distal edema because the venous and lymphatic
systems will remain open. There will be no arterial obstruction and no
nerve compression. Pseudomonas will not be a problem, since ascorbic acid
destroys the exotoxin systemically and locally. Even if the burn is seen
late when pseudomonas is a major problem the gram negative bacilli will
be destroyed in a few days leaving a clean healthy surface. I have seen
2 inches wide and 1/2 inch thick, severely infected so that stench had
to be controlled with deodorizing sprays, melt away when employing
the method outlined. Ascorbic acid also eliminates pain so that
or their equivalent are not required. In
extremely extensive burns that involve back and front of the patient, the
"Hoverbed" employed by the British
should be considered. It uses the same principle as the hovercraft to lift
a solid object. What has been overlooked in burns is that there are many
living epithelial cells in the areas that grossly look like "raw muscle."
With the use of ascorbic acid these cells are kept viable, will multiply
and soon meet with other proliferating units in the establishment of a
The use of the "old covered wagon" type cradle when indicated, with three
25 watt bulbs. The patient controls the heat by turning on and off the
first bulb as needed to keep warm. No garments or dressings are allowed;
The employment of a 3% ascorbic acid solution as a spray over the entire
area of the burn. The spray can be applied with a Devilbis unit using an
ordinary portable pressure pump. The old type "flit gun" can also be used
or even a 50 c.c. syringe with a 20 gauge needle. The 3% solution is used
every 2 to 4 hours for a period of roughly five days;
The use of vitamin A and D ointment over the area of the burn and this
is now alternated, q4h with the 3% ascorbic acid solution;
The administration of massive doses of ascorbic acid by vein and by mouth.
500 mg per Kg. body weight diluted to at least 18 c.c. per gram vitamin
C using 5% dextrose in water, saline in water or Ringers solution and for
the initial injection, run in as fast as a 20 gauge needle or catheter
will carry the flow. Cut-downs are frequently necessary and the foot-ankle
area is recommended. Vitamin C solution is repeated every 8 hours for the
first several days, then at 12 hour intervals. Ascorbic acid, by mouth,
is given to tolerance. Loose stools is accepted as this index. Using large
doses of ascorbic acid I.V. will necessitate the administration of at least
one gram calcium gluconate, daily, to replace free calcium ions
removed in the breakdown chemical action as ascorbic acid goes to dehydroascorbic
acid, then to ketogulonic acid and later to oxalic acid as the calcium
Supportive treatment; that is, whole blood and maintaining electrolyte
Regarding personal and environmental pollution-carbon monoxide.
We are all plagued with varying degrees of chronic carbon monoxide poisoning.
This is the price we pay for putting our "railroads" on our highways, smoking
and being too lazy to walk. Small amounts of carbon monoxide, if constantly
maintained in the alveoli, can produce serious effects. Carbon monoxide
in the inspired air leads to oxygen deficiency in the tissues causing extreme
exhaustion. The affinity of carbon monoxide for hemoglobin is roughly 300
times as great as that for oxygen. In addition to active replacement
of oxy-hemoglobin the presence of some proportion of carboxy-hemoglobin
decreases the dissociability of such oxy-hemoglobin as remains. Carbon
monoxide can be released from hemoglobin if the patient is exposed to high
pressure of oxygen, 93% along with 7% carbon dioxide. This is not always
available. Ascorbic acid in the blood is constantly losing molecules of
water. Perfectly dry carbon monoxide and oxygen cannot unite to form carbon
dioxide, but carbon monoxide and water may give rise to carbon dioxide
in the complete absence of oxygen. The reactions which take place are CO
+ H2O = HCOOH CO2 + H2 (Wright). Here
the oxygen of the water has been used to oxidize carbon monoxide to carbon
dioxide with the liberation of hydrogen. Glutathione may facilitate
this cellular oxidation by acting as a hydrogen acceptor (Hopkins). Clinical
experience suggests that if sufficient ascorbic acid is suddenly placed
into the blood stream - 12 grams to 50 grams - that through "Flash Oxidation"
a concentration of oxygen is made high enough to pull carbon monoxide from
hemoglobin to form carbon dioxide. This rapidly formed carbon dioxide acts
with the high oxygen tension to serve the same purpose as when given by
"mask," further enhancing the chemical action taking place. Ascorbic acid
will also prevent residuals such as paralysis, blindness, interference
with sensations, muscle spasms or twitchings which in some cases can be
Primary and lasting benefits in pregnancy.
Observations made on over 300 consecutive obstetrical cases using supplemental
ascorbic acid, by mouth, convinced me that failure to use this agent in
sufficient amounts in pregnancy borders on malpractice. The lowest amount
of ascorbic acid used was 4 grams and the highest amount 15 grams each
day. (Remember the rat-no stress manufactures equivalent "C" up to 4 grams
and with stress up to 15.2 grams). Requirements were roughly 4 grams first
trimester, 6 grams second trimester and 10 grams third trimester. Approximately
20 percent required 15 grams, each day, during last trimester. Eighty percent
of this series received a booster injection of 10 grams, intravenously,
on admission to the hospital. Hemoglobin levels were much easier to maintain.
cramps were less than three percent and always was associated with
"getting out" of Vitamin C tablets. Striae gravidarum was seldom
encountered and when it was present there existed an associated problem
of too much eating and too little walking. The capacity of the skin to
resist the pressure of an expanding uterus will also vary in different
individuals. Labor was shorter and less painful. There were no postpartum
hemorrhages. The perineum was found to be remarkably elastic and episiotomy
was performed electively. Healing was always by first intention and even
after 15 and 20 years following the last child the firmness of the perineum
is found to be similar to that of a primigravida in those who have continued
their daily supplemental vitamin C. No patient required catheterization.
No toxic manifestations were demonstrated in this series. There was no
cardiac stress even though 22 patients of the series had rheumatic hearts.
One patient in particular was carried through two pregnancies without complications.
She had been warned by her previous obstetrician that a second pregnancy
would terminate with a maternal death. She received no ascorbic acid with
her first pregnancy. This lady has been back teaching school for the past
10 years. She still takes 10 grams of ascorbic acid daily. Infants born
under massive ascorbic acid therapy were all robust. Not a single case
required resuscitation. We experienced no feeding problems. The Fultz quadruplets
were in this series. They took milk nourishment on the second day. These
babies were started on 50 mg ascorbic acid the first day and, of course,
this was increased as time went on. Our only nursery equipment was one
hospital bed, an old, used single unit hot plate and an equally old 10
quart kettle. Humidity and ascorbic acid tells this story. They are the
only quadruplets that have survived in southeastern United States. Another
case of which I am justly proud is one in which we delivered 10 children
to one couple. All are healthy and good looking. There were no miscarriages.
All are living and well. They are frequently referred to as the vitamin
C kids, in fact all of the babies from this series were called "Vitamin
C Babies" by the nursing personnel--they were distinctly different.
How concerned should we be about oxalic acid and kidney stones? A technical
One of the "scare" weapons used by the critics on high daily doses of ascorbic
acid is the oxalic acid-kidney stone hypothesis. Meakins
states that the chief factors in the formation of renal calculi are perversions
of metabolic processes, infection and stasis in the urinary tract. There
are two schools of thought on stone formation: 1) That there is a central
nucleus of colloids on which the crystalloids are precipitated; 2) That
the crystalloids are deposited from the urine in which they are present
in concentrated solution, in which salt and hydrogen ion concentrations
are important factors. In all cases stasis and a concentrated urine appear
to be the chief physiological factors. The only way that oxalic acid can
be produced from ascorbic acid is through splitting of the lactone ring.
This happens above pH5. The reaction of urine when 10 grams of vitamin
C is taken daily is usually pH6. Oxalic acid precipitates out of solution
only from a neutral or alkaline solution-pH7 to pH10. Kelli
and Zilva reported that "Nutrition
experiments showed that dehydroascorbic acid is protected in vivo from
rapid transformation to the antiscorbutically impotent diketogulonic acid
from which oxalic acid is derived." Values reported in the literature for
normal 24 hour urinary oxalate excretions for humans range from 14 mg to
56 mg. Lamden et al.
found in a group of volunteers that the ingestion of 9 grams ascorbic acid
daily resulted in oxalate spills as high as 68 mg for 24 hours and in the
controls without extra vitamin C the high was 64 mg for a 24 hour period.
These critics have overlooked the individual with diabetes mellitus.
The amount of oxalic acid found in the diabetic patient approximates that
found in the urine of a normal person taking 10 grams vitamin C each day.
With the diabetic we find a paradox. Give this individual 10 grams ascorbic
acid daily, by mouth, and the urinary oxalate excretion remains relatively
unchanged. Diabetics are known for their diuresis. The individual who takes
10 or more grams of vitamin C each day will find that this organic compound
is an excellent diuretic. No urinary stasis; no urine concentration.
The ascorbic acid kidney stone story is a myth. Methylene blue
will dissolve calcium oxalate stones giving 65 mg orally 2 to 3 times a
day. (Dr. M. J. Vernon Smith: Med. World News, Dec. 4, 1970)
Why death from insect and snake bites?
It is estimated that 6500 deaths occur each year in the United States from
snake bite. Many more from various flying insects, spiders, certain
plants and some caterpillars.These are needless deaths. Several
factors are at work in these pathologies:
Wells in 1925 called the poison of
certain spiders and snakes zootoxins and of poisonous plants, phytotoxins.Ford
in 1911 reported three classes of toxins in plants and fungi:
The tox-albumin of the snake bite, like the copperhead or rattler;
Formic acid plus a toxin with a protein cover, called proteotoxin by Arthus,
such as found in bees and wasps;
Neurotoxin from the Black Widow, the Fiddle Spider and snakes like the
Cobra and Coral;
Production of histamine, especially in the more severe stings and bites.
Those causing structural changes in the viscera with resulting fatty degeneration;
Ascorbic acid to the rescue.
It is a demonstrated principle that the production of histamine
and other end products from deaminized cell proteins released by injury
to cells are a cause of shock. The
clinical value of ascorbic acid in combating shock is explained when we
realize that the deaminizing enzymes from the damaged cells are inhibited
by vitamin C.It
has been shown by Chambers and Pollock
that mechanical damage to a cell results in pH changes which reverse the
cell enzymes from constructive to destructive activity. The pH changes
spread to other cells. This destructive activity releases histamine a major
shock producing substance. The presence of vitamin C inhibits this enzyme
transition into the destructive phase. Clark
and Rossiter reported that conditions
of shock and stress cause depletion of the ascorbic acid content of the
plasma. As with the virus bodies, ascorbic acid also joins with the protein
factor of these toxins effecting quick destruction.
The answer to these emergencies is simple. Large amounts of ascorbic
acid 350 mg to 700 mg per Kg. body weight given intravenously. In small
patients, where veins are at a premium, ascorbic acid can easily be given
intramuscularly in amounts up to two grams at one site. Several areas can
be used with each dose given. Ice held to the gluteal muscles until red,
almost eliminates the pain. We always reapply the ice for a few minutes
after the injection. Ascorbic acid is also given, by mouth, as follow-up
treatment. Every emergency room should be stocked with vitamin C ampoules
of sufficient strength so that time will never be counted-as a factor in
saving a life. The 4 gram, 20 c.c, ampoule and 10 gram 50 c.c. ampoule
must be made available to the physician.
A case history-success due to promptness with a twelve gram injection.
As an example of the lethal effect of certain stings and bites, I briefly
relate a case history. An adult male came to my office complaining of severe
chest pain and the inability to take a deep breath. Stated that he had
been "stung" or "bitten" 10 minutes earlier. Thinking that it was a Black
Widow and not bothering to look for fang marks, due to the gravity of the
situation, I gave one gram calcium gluconate intravenously. This gave no
relief. He begged for help saying he was dying. He was becoming
cyanotic [blue or livid skin from lack of oxygen]. Twelve grams of vitamin
C was quickly pulled into a 50 c.c. syringe and with a 20 gauge needle
was given intravenously as fast as the plunger could be pushed. Even before
the injection was completed, he exclaimed, "Thank God". The poison had
been neutralized that rapidly. He was sent home to locate the "culprit".
He soon returned with an object that looked like a mouse. It was 1 1/2
inches long with long brown hair. There was a dark ridge down the entire
back. It had seven pairs of propelling units and a tail much like a mouse.
The following day I took "The Thing" to Duke University where it was identified
as the Puss Caterpillar. This unusual caterpillar left 44 red raised
marks on the back of its victim. Except for vitamin C this individual would
have died from shock and asphyxiation.
Some concern answered regarding high dosage of ascorbic acid.
Merton Lamden, a biochemist, writing in the New England Journal of Medicine,
Feb. 11, 1971, expresses grave doubts about the safety of large doses of
ascorbic acid taken by mouth. He gives a
report by Paterson on the diabetogenic
effect of dehydroascorbic acid on rats. Paterson in 1950 employed only
the Ketone formula of ascorbic acid, dehydroascorbic acid, which he administered,
undiluted, intravenously, in extraordinary amounts. His results were based
on giving rats, weighing 100 grams to 120 grams, dehydroascorbic acid in
doses from 20 to 50 mg. This transposed to a man weighing 70 kilograms
would represent a dose of 3,500 grams-roughly 5,000 grams ascorbic acid.
Obviously the work has no relationship with the ingestion of ascorbic acid
by humans. I have taken from 10 to 20 grams of ascorbic acid daily since
my last visit to this college - 18 years ago. I do not have diabetes mellitus
and if I might digress a moment, neither have I had a kidney stone.
Diabetes mellitus response to 10 grams ascorbic acid by mouth.
Over the past 17 years we have studied the effect of 10 grams by mouth,
in patients with diabetes mellitus. We found that every diabetic not taking
supplemental vitamin C could be classified as having sub-clinical scurvy.
For this reason they find it difficult to heal wounds. The diabetic
patient will use the supplemental vitamin C for better utilization of his
insulin. It will assist the liver in the metabolism of carbohydrates and
to reinstate his body to heal wounds like normal individuals. We found
that 60% of all diabetics could be controlled with diet and 10 grams ascorbic
acid daily. The other 40% will need much less needle insulin and
less oral medication. Contrary to what Medical News Letter, (Vol. 12 #
26, Dec. 25 1970) carried to the physicians the Tes-Tape is accurate in
testing urine samples.
Observations following post-surgery cases on blood plasma levels of ascorbic
acid. Deduction is evident of the need for substantial amounts of ascorbic
acid prior to surgery.
In 1960 and again in 1966, in papers delivered before the Tri-State Medical
Society, I called attention to the "scurvy" levels of ascorbic acid
found in postoperative patients. Plasma levels recorded before starting
anesthesia and after cessation of such inhalants and completion of surgery
remained unchanged. This has lead many to believe that surgery created
little or no demand for supplemental "C". We found, however, that samples
of blood taken six hours after surgery showed drops of approximately 1/4
the starting amount and at 12 hours the levels were down to one-half. Samples
taken 24 hours later, without added ascorbic acid to fluids, showed levels
3/4 lower than the original samples. Baylor
University research team reported similar findings in 1965. Bartlett, Jones
and others reported that in spite of low levels of plasma ascorbic acid
at time of surgery, normal wound healing may be produced by adequate vitamin
C therapy during the post-operative period. Lanman
and Ingalls showed that the tensile
strength of healing wounds is lowered in the presence of "scurvy plasma
reported that the preoperative use of as little as 500 mg of vitamin C
given orally "was remarkably successful in preventing shock and weakness"
following dental extractions. Many other investigators have shown in both
laboratory and clinical studies, that optimal primary wound healing is
dependent to a large extent upon the vitamin C content of the tissues.
In 1949, it was my privilege to assist at an abdominal exploratory laparotomy.
A mass of small viscera was found "glued together". The area was so friable
that every attempt at separation produced a torn intestine. After repairing
some 20 tears the surgeon closed the cavity as a hopeless situation.
Two grams ascorbic acid was given by syringe every two hours for 48 hours
and then 4 times each day. In 36 hours the patient was walking the halls
and in seven days was discharged with normal elimination and no pain. She
has outlived her surgeon by many years. We recommend that all patients
take 10 grams ascorbic acid each day. Where this is not done and the surgery
is elective, then 10 grams by mouth should be given for several weeks prior
to surgery. At least 30 grams should be given, daily, in solutions, post-operatively,
until oral medication is allowed and tolerated.
Mononucleosis aided by ascorbic acid.
After studying hundreds of college students, Yale researchers have evidence
that strengthens the link between mononucleosis and Epstein-Barr virus,
a herpes-like agent also associated with Burkitt lymphoma.
Large doses of intravenous "C" has a striking influence on the course of
In one patient who was given the last rites of her church, the girls mother
took things into her own hands when the attending physician refused to
give ascorbic acid. In each bottle of intravenous fluids she would quickly
"tap in" 20 to 30 grams vitamin C. The patient made an uneventful recovery.
Her mother has her B.S. in Nursing and has been a long time advocate of
massive "C" therapy.
Could ascorbic acid have anti-cancer features?
Schlegel from Tulane University has
been using 1.5 grams ascorbic acid daily to prevent recurrences of cancer
of the bladder. He and biochemist Pipkin have been able to demonstrate
that in the presence of ascorbic acid, carcinogenic metabolites will not
develop in the urine. They suggest that spontaneous tumor formation is
the result of faulty tryptophan metabolism while urine is retained
in the bladder. Schlegel termed ascorbic acid "An Anticancer Vitamin". Along
this line Glick and Hosoda reported
on work by Von Numers and Pettersson that the depletion of mast cells from
guinea pigs skin was due to ascorbic acid deficiency. The possibilities
indicated are that vitamin C is necessary either directly or indirectly
for formation of mast cells, or for their maintenance once formed or both.
Ascorbic acid will control myelocytic leukemia provided 25 to 30 grams
are taken orally each day.
One can only speculate on what massive therapy would do in all forms
of cancer. Many pathologic conditions are cured by giving 5 million to
100,000 million units of penicillin as an intravenous drip over a period
of 4 to 6 weeks. How long must we wait for someone to start continuous
ascorbic acid drip for 2 to 3 months, giving 100 to 300 grams each day,
for various malignant conditions?
Barbiturate patients in shock normalized with
Clemmesen states that the important
principles in management of barbiturate poisoning are anti-shock therapy,
continuous oxygen and patent airways. Hadden
et al. suggest six measures as supportive
treatment. An intensive care unit would be necessary to carry out these
functions. All one really need do is give adequate ascorbic acid therapy.
One patient who had taken 2640 mg Lotusate (talbutal) was seen in
the emergency room with a blood pressure of 60/0. Twelve grams vitamin
C was given intravenously with a 50 c.c. syringe and then the needle attached
to a bottle of 5D water containing 50 grams ascorbic acid. Within 10 minutes
the blood pressure was 100/60 demonstrating the effect of vitamin C on
shock. A second bottle of 250 c.c. 5D water containing one gram emivan
was started in the other arm. The patient was awake in 3 hours, taking
juice with "C" added. She received 125 grams ascorbic acid by vein in 12
hours. Ascorbic acid not only assists with hepatic metabolism but also
as a major diuretic flushes these compounds out by way of the kidneys.
Nasal oxygen running 6 liters per minute was also employed. Another patient
who had masked 2400 mg seconal with paraldehyde was awake after 42 grams
of ascorbic acid had been given by vein as fast as a 20 gauge needle could
carry the flow. She received 75 grams vitamin C by vein and 30 grams by
mouth in a 24 hour period.
Cholesterol not a problem, when daily intake of
ascorbic acid is high.
Mention should be made of the role
played by vitamin C as a regulator of the rate at which cholesterol is
formed in the body; deficiency of the vitamin speeding the formation of
this substance. In experimental work, guinea pigs fed a diet free of ascorbic
acid showed a 600 percent acceleration in cholesterol formation in the
adrenal glands. Ten grams or more each day and then eat all the eggs you
want. That is my schedule and my cholesterol remains normal, Russia has
published many articles demonstrating these same benefits.
Ascorbic acid has no equal as a adjuvant with other drugs in many conditions.
With Tolserol it is curative in the treatment of Lockjaw. Both drugs
must be used in proper amounts. In our case 1000 mg Tolserol given intravenously
to a boy weighing 20 Kg. was the optimal amount to use. In
48 hours he was given 90 grams ascorbic acid and 3000 mg Tolserol, all
reported that vitamin C, when added to tetanus toxin "in vitro", brings
about inactivation of the toxin.
Two cases of Trichinosis was treated and cured using Vitamin
C: and Para-Aminobenzoic acid. Although
the temperature curve was returned to normal in 36 hours it was found that
nine days of treatment was necessary for permanent cures.
Infectious hepatitis relieved.
Viral hepatitis needs brief mentioning. There are two types: 1) Infectious
hepatitis; 2) Needle hepatitis. Physical
activity has always been considered to increase the severity and prolong
the course of the disease.In
Vietnam, Freebern and Repsher showed that pick-and-shovel details had no
effects on the 199 controls as against 199 kept at bed rest.
One thing is certain. Given massive intravenous ascorbic acid therapy and
patients are well and back to work in from 3 to 7 days. In these cases
the vitamin is also employed by mouth as follow-up therapy. Dr. Bauer at
the University Clinic, Basel, Switzerland, reported that just 10 grams
daily, intravenously, proved the best treatment available.
Ascorbic acid therapy applied to various maladies.
We could continue indefinitely extolling the merits of ascorbic acid.
These injections are usually given with a syringe in a dilution of one
gram to 5 c.c fluid. This concentration will produce immediate thirst.
This is prevented by having the patient drink a glass of juice just before
giving the injection.
Boyd and Campbell reported excellent
results in the healing of corneal ulcers even though their massive
doses was 1.5 grams daily. In one case of a corneal burn from the phosphorus
off an old time match, the pain was relieved immediately with the intravenous
injection of 12 grams vitamin C with a 50 c.c syringe. One gram was prescribed
each hour for 50 grams. The cornea was normal in less than 24 hours.
One single injection of ascorbic acid calculated at 500 mg per Kg. body
weight will reverse heat stroke.
One to three injections of the vitamin in a dose range of 400 mg Kg. body
weight will effect a dramatic cure in Virus Pancarditis.
One gram taken every one to two hours during exposure will prevent sunburn.
Intravenous injections will quickly relieve the pain and erythema,
even the second degree burns when precautions are not taken.
One to three injections of 400 mg per Kg. given every eight hours will
"dry up" chicken-pox in 24 hours.
If nausea is present it will stop the nausea.
40 grams ascorbic acid by vein and 1000 mg to 2000 mg vitamin B1 intramuscularly
will neutralize the person intoxicated by alcohol and will save
the life if one drinks after using Antibuse.
5 per cent ointment using a water soluble base will cure acute fever
blisters if applied 10 or more times a day and we have removed several
small basal cell epithelioma has with a 30 percent ointment.
Dr. Virno at the eye clinic, University
of Rome, Italy, reported very promising results in glaucoma with
a dose schedule of 100 mg per Kg. body weight taken after meals and bed
hour. He also reported that these large doses have proved to be safe.
In arthritis at least 10 grams daily and those taking 15 to 25 grams
daily will experience commensurate benefit. Supportive treatment must also
be given. Repair of collagenous tissue is dependent of adequate ascorbic
Complications of smallpox vaccination are usually handled by adequate
oral ascorbic acid. Several times we found it necessary to give the "C"
intravenously along with Adenosine. Twenty percent ichthammol used locally
with vaccinia necrosum is good psychology.
In herpes zoster two grams vitamin C intramuscularly and 50 mg Adenosine
5-Monophosphoric acid, aqueous solution, also intramuscularly every 12
hours. Compound tincture benzoin locally is helpful.
In massive "shingles" ascorbic acid should also be given by vein.
Always as much by mouth as can be tolerated. Heavy metal intoxication is
also resolved with adequate vitamin C therapy.
General all around benefits of one to ten grams ascorbic acid per day.
It has been suggested that ascorbic acid metabolism may be an index of
total metabolism and thus serve as a general diagnostic guide. Adults taking
at least 10 grams of ascorbic acid daily, and children under ten at least
one gram for each year of life will find that the brain will be clearer,
the mind more active, the body less wearied and the memory more retentive.
The types of pathology treated with massive doses of ascorbic acid run
the entire gamut of medical knowledge. Body needs are so great that so
called minimal daily requirements must be ignored. A genetic error is the
probable cause for our inability to manufacture ascorbic acid, thus requiring
exogenous sources of vitamin C. Simple dye or chemical test are available
for checking individual needs. Ascorbic acid destroys virus bodies by taking
up the protein coat so that new units cannot be made, by contributing to
the break-down of virus nucleic acid with the result of controlled purine
metabolism. Its action in dealing with virus pneumonia and virus encephalitis
has been outlined. The clinical use of vitamin C in pneumonia has a very
sound foundation. In experimental tests monkeys
kept on a vitamin C free diet all died of pneumonia while those with adequate
diets remained healthy.Many
investigators have shown an increased need for ascorbic acid in this condition.[63,64]
Brody in 1953 after studying vitamin C and colds in college students advised
that ascorbic acid be given early and often in sufficient amounts. Regnier
reporting in review of Allergy found that the larger the dose of ascorbic
acid the better were the results. Our findings resulted in a schedule of
one gram each hour for 48 hours and then 10 grams each day by mouth. Those
under ten at least one gram for each year of life.
Virus encephalitis is a deadly syndrome and must be treated heroically
with intravenous and/or intramuscular injections of ascorbic acid. We recommend
a dose schedule of from 350 mg to 700 mg per Kg. body weight diluted to
at least 18 c.c. of 5D water to each gram of "C". In small children, 2
and 3 grams can be given intramuscularly, every 2 hours. An ice cap to
the buttock will prevent soreness and induration. Ascorbic acid in amounts
under 400 mg per Kg. body weight can be administered intravenously with
a syringe in dilutions of 5 c.c. to each one gram provided the ampoule
is buffered with sodium bicarbonate with sodium Bisulfite added. As much
as 12 grams can be given in this manner with a 50 c.c. syringe. Larger
amounts must be diluted with "bottle" dextrose or "saline" solutions and
run in by needle drip. This is true because amounts like 20 to 25 grams
which can be given with a 100 c.c. syringe can suddenly dehydrate the cerebral
cortex so as to produce convulsive movements of the legs. This represents
a peculiar syndrome, symptomatic epilepsy, in which the patient is mentally
clear and experiences no discomfiture except that the lower extremities
are in mild convulsion. This epileptiform type seizure will continue for
20 plus minutes and then abruptly stop. Mild pressure on the knees will
stop the seizure so long as pressure is maintained. If still within the
time limit of the seizure the spasm will reappear by simply withdrawing
the hand pressure. I have seen this in two patients receiving 26 grams
intravenously with a 100 c.c. syringe on the second injection. One patient
had poliomyelitis, the other malignant measles. Both were adults. I have
duplicated this on myself to prove no after effects. Intramuscular injections
are always 500 mg to 1 c.c. solution. With continuous intravenous injections
of large amounts of ascorbic acid, at least one gram of calcium gluconate
must be added to the fluids each day. This is done because we have found
that massive doses of ascorbic acid pulls free calcium ions from the vicinity
of the platelets or from the calcium-prothrombin complex as the lactone
ring of dehydroascorbic acid is opened. The first sign of calcium ion loss
is "nose bleeding". This differs from the nosebleed found, at times, in
cases of chicken pox or measles. Here it represents frank scurvy from vitamin
C deficiency. The pathology being "Capillary
A new treatment for burns has been outlined, which if followed will eliminate
skin grafting and plastic surgery. It is probably too simple to gain early
acceptance. The literature has been suggesting the value of ascorbic acid
in burns for many years. Proper local application and the amount for systemic
usage has been misleading. One only need see one case properly treated
with ascorbic acid to appreciate its importance. If ascorbic acid can destroy
the exotoxin of tetanus, as Jungeblut demonstrated, it can also destroy
the exotoxin of Pseudomonas. Ascorbic acid plays an important role in maintaining
fluid balance in the body. Ruskin pointed out that the vitamin activates
an enzyme arginase, which breaks down the amino acid arginine, resulting
in production of urea which is one key to tissue fluid balance.
The simple stress of pregnancy demands supplemental vitamin C. This amount
will vary with the individual. The silver nitrate-urine text will simplify
these findings. Vitamin C seems especially concerned with mesenchymal tissue.
When one considers the demands of the fetus and infant, especially premature
babies, it is obvious that high vitamin C intakes are required during pregnancy
because this "parasite" will drain available "C" from the mother. Greenblatt
reports excellent results following the oral administration of vitamin
C in the therapy of habitual abortion. In my own practice I was able to
take women who had had as many as five abortions without a successful pregnancy
and carry them through two and three uneventful pregnancies with the use
of supplemental vitamin C. The German literature is "stacked" with articles
recommending high doses of vitamin C during gestation because they believe
that this substance is of great benefit in influencing the health of the
mother and in preventing infections. The vital contribution of ascorbic
acid to the body tissues can be summed up in the formation and maintenance
of normal intercellular material, especially in the connective tissue,
bones, teeth, and blood vessels. Genetic errors might be prevented if prospective
mothers were advised to take 10 or more grams of ascorbic acid daily. It
is significant that we found in the simple stress of pregnancy, a normal
physiological process, that equivalent requirements paralleled those found
in the rat when under stress. Experiments
by King et al. have shown that the
need for supplemental vitamin C begins with the embryo.
The "scare" factor of large doses of ascorbic vs. kidney stones has been
laid to rest. Since the urine is usually pH6, one can see that the opening
of the lactone ring is a slow process. This reaction takes place in tissues
and is probably regulated by the amount of glutathione present. The important
considerations are that one must have a concentrated urine, that stasis
must be a factor and that the urine must be alkaline for any appreciable
amounts of the crystalloids to precipitate out. This will never occur with
massive ascorbic acid therapy. Furthermore, it has been shown that the
controls in a given experiment had almost as much oxalic acid spill as
did those volunteers taking 9 grams of ascorbic acid daily.
Insect - Snake Bites.
The quickness of results in snake bite, spider bite, hornet stings and
caterpillar reactions demonstrates the usefulness in saving lives. It is
best to give the vitamin intravenously with a syringe since bottle preparations
are too time consuming. One precaution must be given. There exist a 2 gram
ascorbic acid ampoule, and ironically it is the only one to my knowledge
approved by the Food and Drug Administration, which might "kill" if used
undiluted in a syringe. This lethal factor is due to the preservatives
added. Each ampoule contains 2 grams sodium ascorbate. Vehicle contains:
Monothioglycerol 0.14%; Sodium Formaldehyde Sulfoxylate 0.05%; Methyl Paraben
0.13%; Propyl Paraben 0.015%. Neutralized to pH6 with Sodium Bicarbonate;
Water for injection q.s. This ampoule can be used intravenously ONLY when
diluted to at least 25 c.c. to one gram. One sometimes will be confronted
with extraordinary allergic and shock symptoms along with acute respiratory
obstruction. In these situation one must employ Benadryl intravenously
and/or intramuscularly and an adrenocortical hormone such as Decadron.
These can be given by a nurse while the ascorbic acid is being prepared.
In their absence a second "syringe" dose of ascorbic acid will suffice.
Fluids by mouth should be given to prevent or correct thirst which all
patients seem to experience.
Large doses of ascorbic acid do not cause diabetes mellitus in humans as
has been suggested. On the contrary 10 grams daily, by mouth, has proved
to be beneficial. The fact that 10 grams will allow them to heal wounds
like normal individuals will save many legs in. the future. Lamden, a biochemist,
instigated these fears by misinterpretation of the results reported by
Patterson using the Ketone formula intravenously in rats.
In surgery the use of ascorbic acid resolves itself into a "must" situation.
The 24 hour frank scurvy levels should be sufficient evidence to encourage
all surgeons to use vitamin C freely in their fluids. Proper employment
of vitamin C by the surgeons will all but eliminate the post-surgery deaths.
The part very large doses of ascorbic acid given intravenously over a prolonged
period offers a medical challenge. From cabbage and tomatoes grown in the
carbon-14 chambers radioactive ascorbic acid can be extracted, which can
be used in tracer studies. At least one research team has demonstrated
that in cancer all available "C" is mobilized at the site of the malignancy.
Lauber and Rosenfeld reported that "C" is mobilized from the tissues of
the body and selectively concentrated in traumatized areas. In one hopeless
case we administered 17 grams daily for 92 consecutive days without changing
the blood or urine levels from that associated with scurvy. This is the
reason we believe a dose range of 100 grams to 300 grams daily by continuous
intravenous drip for a period of several months might prove surprisingly
profitable. Blood chemistry should be followed daily with such an investigation.
Schlegel found that even a dose of 1.5 grams a day, by mouth, would prevent
Our findings in no less than 15 cases of barbiturate poisoning suggested
that no death should occur from this error in judgment. We also observed
the dramatic effect of 12 grams intravenously on blood pressure associated
with shock. The shock seen in heat stroke had been corrected by the time
the injection was completed. The dose range used was 500 mg per Kg body
Tetanus - Trichinosis
The use of ascorbic acid with Tolserol in the treatment of Tetanus should
be accepted as universal treatment. Here again the dose must be proper.
Our case as reported will serve as a guide in making these calculations.
Ascorbic acid along with Para-Aminobenzoic acid is curative in Trichinosis.
Both drugs are administered by mouth. It is estimated that at least 5 million
cases of chronic Trichinosis exists in the United States. Just nine days
of treatment would return these individuals to normal. In our cases 10
grams ascorbic acid was given daily and Para-Aminobenzoic acid was employed
in high range. Four to six grams to start then three grams every 2 hours
for eight times. For the remainder of the nine day schedule it was given
3 grams every two hours during the day and every three hours during the
Ascorbic acid is the drug of choice in viral hepatitis. The dose used ranges
from 400 mg to 600 mg per Kg body weight, depending on the severity of
the disease. It should be given every 8 to 12 hours. Ten grams ascorbic
acid daily in divided doses is also given by mouth. Those under 10 years
the usual schedule of at least one gram for each year of life.
We have reviewed many other pathological conditions in which ascorbic acid
plays an important part in recovery. To these might be added Cardiovascular
Diseases, Hypermenorrhea, Peptic and Duodenal Ulcers, Post-operative and
Radiation Sickness, Rheumatic Fever, Scarlet Fever, Poliomyelitis, Acute
and Chronic Pancreatitis, Tularemia, Whooping Cough and Tuberculosis. In
one case of scarlet fever in which Penicillin and the Sulfa drugs were
showing no improvement, fifty grams ascorbic acid given intravenously resulted
in a dramatic drop in the fever curve to normal. Here the action of ascorbic
acid was not only direct but also as a synergist. A similar situation was
observed in a case of lobar pneumonia. In another case of purperal sepsis
following a criminal abortion the initial dose of ascorbic acid was 1200
mg per Kg body weight and two subsequent injections were at the 600 mg
level. Along with Penicillin and Sulfadiazine an admission temperature
of 105.4°F. was normal in nine hours. The patient made an uneventful
recovery. In one spectacular case of Black
Widow spider bite in a 3 1/2 year old
child, in coma, one gram calcium gluconate and 4 grams of ascorbic acid
was administered intravenously when first seen in the office. Four grams
ascorbic acid was then given every six hours using a 20 c.c. syringe. She
was awake and well in 24 hours. Physical examination showed a comatose
child with a rigid abdomen. The area about the umbilicus was red and indurated,
suggesting a strangulated hernia. With a 4 power lens, fang marks were
in evidence. Thirty hours after starting the vitamin C therapy the child
expelled a large amount of dark clotted blood. There was no other residual.
A review of the literature confirmed that this individual has been the
only one to survive with such findings; the others were reported at autopsy.
Ten grams vitamin C and 200 mg to 400 mg vitamin B-6, by mouth, daily will
"shield" one from mosquito bites. Twenty percent will also require 100
mg vitamin B-6 intramuscularly each week.
Vitamin C plays a very important role in general nutrition. Deficiency
of this substance in sufficient amounts can be a factor in loss of appetite,
loss of weight or failure to grow, muscular weakness, anemia and various
skin lesions. The relationship between vitamin C and the health of the
gums and teeth has long been recognized. Laboratory
studies on gum-teeth connective tissue have reaffirmed this relationship.
Our son who will be 19 in July has never developed a tooth cavity. Since
age 10 he has received at least 10 grams ascorbic acid, daily, by mouth.
Before age 10 the amount given was on a sliding scale.
Ascorbic acid must be given by needle to bring about quick reversal of
various "insults" to the human body. We have found that doses must range
from 350 mg to 1200 mg per Kg body weight. Under 400 mg per Kg of body
weight the injection can be made with a syringe provided the vitamin is
buffered with sodium bicarbonate with Sodium Bisulfite added. Above 400
mg doses per Kg body weight, and a particular ampoule described in this
summary, the vitamin must be diluted to at least 18 c.c. of 5 per cent
dextrose in water, saline in water or Ringer's solution. Many times Adenosine
5-Monophosphate, 25 mg in children and 50 to 100 mg in adults, given intramuscularly,
is necessary to achieve results. The aqueous solution is more effective
for quick results, although Adenosine in Gel can be employed. In debilitated
individuals or when the pathology is serious, Desoxycorticosterone Acetate
(DCA), aqueous solution, must also be added to the schedule. Usually 2.5
mg for children and 5 mg for adults is the daily intramuscular dose required.
Sudden swelling of the feet indicates abnormal sensitivity and the drug
must be discontinued.
It must be remembered when using ascorbic acid that experiments on man
are the only experiments which can give positive evidence of therapeutic
action in man. Likewise, the use of ascorbic acid in human pathology must
follow the Law of Mass Action: "In reversible reactions, the extent of
chemical change is proportional to the active masses of the interacting
FRED R. KLENNER, M.D.
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Case History: Pesticide Poisoning
Three boys ranging in years from age seven to age 12 were walking along
a North Carolina Highway. They were caught in the "spray" of a dusting
airplane. The youngest boy had been covered by the other two and so received
little exposure. He was seen in the emergency room of the local hospital
and sent home. The other two boys had different physicians. One lad age
12, under our care, was given 10 grams of ascorbic acid with a 50 c.c.
syringe every 8 hours. The concentration was one gram for each 5 c.c. diluent.
He was returned home on the second hospital day. The third boy received
supportive treatment but did not receive ascorbic acid. His body was something
to see. The spray had produced an allergic dermatitis as well as a chemical
burn. He died on the 5th hospital day.
Case History: Nasal Diphtheria
Three children, living in the same neighborhood, developed nasal diphtheria.
All three children had different physicians. A little girl under our care
was given 10 grams ascorbic acid, intravenously, with a 50 c.c. syringe
every 8 hours for the first 24 hours and then every 12 hours for two times.
She was then put on one gram ascorbic acid every two hours by mouth. She
lived and is now a graduate nurse. The other children did not receive ascorbic
acid and both died. Our young patient also received 40,000 units diphtheria
antitoxin which was given intraperitoneal. The other children also were
administered the antitoxin.
Case History: Poliomyelitis
Although we were able to cure many cases of polio with massive doses
of ascorbic acid, one single instance demonstrates the value of vitamin
C. Two brothers were sick with poliomyelitis. These two boys were given
10 and 12 grams of ascorbic acid, according to weight, intravenously with
a 50 c.c. syringe, every eight hours for 4 times and then every 12 hours
for 4 times. They also were given one gram every two hours by mouth around
the clock. They made complete recovery and both were athletic stars in
high school and college. A third child, a neighbor, under the care of another
physician received no ascorbic acid. This child also lived. The young lady
is still wearing braces.
Case History: Acute Virus Infection representing Deadly Virus
Cases with paralysis are extremely interesting in as much as
they challenge diagnostic prowess. One of our cases, a female age 58, demonstrated
three different types. She entered the hospital because of a convulsive
seizure. She had had a lingering cold for ten days. She experienced
three additional convulsive seizures after hospital admission. The temperature
was 100.8°F. pulse 140, respirations 32. She was extremely restless.
Twenty-four grams ascorbic acid in 360 c.c. 5D water was given intravenously
for three times at 8 hour intervals. One gram calcium gluconate was added
to the first and third bottle. Twenty four hours following admission and
72 grams ascorbic acid in the blood stream, patient was awake and rational
but completely paralyzed, right arm and leg. Five grams ascorbic acid was
given in fruit juice every 6 hours by mouth and 6 grams ascorbic acid along
with a B complex preparation was given intravenously, daily for eight additional
days. The right arm and leg returned to normal 48 hours after admission.
Classical pellagra was also corrected during this hospital stay.
Case History: Repeating virus infection
This case proved that adequate ascorbic acid therapy must be continued
long enough to destroy all virus bodies, otherwise the infection will recur.
In 1960, I treated a seven year old boy, off and on, over a period of six
weeks, for influenza like symptoms. Therapy included one of the mold derived
drugs, sulfadiazine and 5 to 10 grams ascorbic acid by mouth. On three
different occasions this treatment schedule was dramatically effective.
When the child became ill for the fourth time, the administration of the
above antibiotics and oral vitamin C had no reversing effect. On the third
day of this illness the child suddenly became lethargic and just as suddenly
to frank stupor. The temperature which had been running low grade was now
102.6°F. At this paint all oral medication was discontinued.
I immediately gave six grams of ascorbic acid intravenously with a 30 c.c.
syringe. He was awake and asking, "what happened" in 5 minutes. Six grams
ascorbic acid was given in 4 hours and then at 6 hour intervals for two
additional doses. The recovery was complete in 24 hours and remained so.
Ascorbic acid was again started by mouth giving 5 grams in juice every
8 hours. After one week, this was reduced to the usual daily "take" of
seven grams. I had ample opportunity to observe this case--the child was
Case History: Snake bite
Child of 4 years was struck on the lower leg by a large highland moccasin
at 7:00 P.M., while at play in the yard of her country home. Seen in the
emergency room of the local hospital at 7:30 P.M., the child was vomiting,
was crying because of severe pain in her leg, which she held with both
hands above the "fang marks". Fever was 99.0°F. Four grams of ascorbic
acid was given intravenously at 7:35 P.M. with a 20 c.c. syringe. The following
25 minutes were taken to follow a skin test on anti-venom. At this time
and before the anti-venom was administered the child had stopped vomiting,
she had stopped crying and was sitting on the emergency room table, laughing
and drinking a glass of orange juice. She commented: "Come on, Daddy, I'm
all right now, let's go home." She was allowed to return home with the
understanding that her father would give me a report, by phone, each hour
during the night. This he did. His report, each time, was that the child
was sleeping as usual and that except for moderate swelling to the "calf
of the leg", appeared normal. Seen in the office at 10:00 A.M. the following
morning she still demonstrated the small amount of swelling of her leg
and had 1/2 degree fever. She was given a second dose of 4 grams of ascorbic
acid intravenously. Seen at 5 P.M. she had no fever but the swelling remained
constant. There was no pain. The following day, 38 hours after being bitten,
she was completely normal. Since this was our first case of snake bite
treated with vitamin C, we elected to give an additional 4 grams of ascorbic
acid on this visit. No other antibiotics were given and none was required.
Since she had had a booster injection of tetanus toxoid in recent months,
none was given at this time.
Comparing this to an earlier case of snake bite in a 16 year old girl,
struck by a moccasin of about the same size, as gauged from the fang marks,
on the hand while pulling tobacco plants, and who was hospitalized for
three weeks. She was given 3 doses of anti-venom. The arm was compressed
continuously with magnesium sulfate solution. Swelling was four times that
of the opposite arm and striae developed over the entire surface. This
patient received no vitamin C other than that found in a regular hospital
diet. Morphine was required to control pain. (We no longer use anti-venom.)
Case History: An Insidious virus
This was a child of 18 months. She was seen in the driveway to my home
at about 7:00 P.M. The history was brief. The child had strangled on food
while eating supper. A cursory examination given in the front seat of an
automobile revealed an extremely restless, whining child. The temperature
was 98.6°F. (axillary 10 minutes-corrected). There was no obstruction
to the air-ways. We did elicit the information, that the child had had
cold for several days. We also learned that the child's mother had
taken her for a long stroller ride the previous day--which in this area
was damp and cold. Frankly the impulse to send the child home was great.
Remembering that I had seen children dead within 30 minutes to two
hours after hospital admission without treatment, I decided to buy
some time. The Uncle was asked to take the child to the emergency room
of the local hospital. The nurse on duty was given an order to take a rectal
temperature and then give a fleets enema. If the results proved unsatisfactory,
she was to repeat the procedure in 30 minutes using a normal saline solution.
Approximately 45 minutes after leaving my home, the intern on duty reported
by phone, that the child was unconscious to a point where she responded
only to pain stimuli. The enema had not been given. Going at once to the
hospital, conditions were found as described. The little patient was lying
motionless on the examining table. Using a suitable size rectal tube I
gave the enema with good results. The stool was normal. Rectal temperature
taken at the hospital was 98.4°F. (corrected). The pulse rate was 152
per minute and respirations were 32 per minute. It was impossible to visualize
the throat because the mouth was "locked" as one finds after stimulation
in lockjaw. Our impression was that the virus had now entered the brain.
Thirty grams of ascorbic acid, in divided doses, was given intramuscularly
over a period of 36 hours. Crystalline penicillin was started on the second
day and 300,000 units were administered in divided doses over the next
three days. This was added to block secondary invaders. One hour following
admission we applied a 4 x 4 gauze, saturated with tap water, to the child's
lips. The sucking reflex was still intact, but the child immediately strangled.
Turning the child head down, the small amount of water ran from its nostrils.
Now it was clear. It was this "bulbar phenomenon" that was at play
when the child was eating supper. The nursing log showed the temperature
to be 99.0°F. (corrected) 1 1/2 hours after admission and 1 1/2 hours
later it was recorded at 100.0°F. (corrected). The nursing log at this
time read: "Shows no sign of consciousness." Temperature was 101.2°F.
four hours after admission and was 102.4°F. (corrected) after six hours.
Now the nursing log read: "Baby swallowed water without difficulty." At
this point the temperature curve started back down and by 7:00 A.M. (11
hours following admission) the child was alert and taking water freely
from a spoon. Twenty eight hours after the first injection of ascorbic
acid the temperature was normal. Water, milk and orange juice were now
taken from a bottle. Cecon (liquid vitamin C) was given by mouth. Discharge
was on the 5th hospital day. The initial low fever recording indicated
that the child was dying; after ascorbic acid therapy she began to
respond, thus the fever. After the virus was killed, the temperature returned
Case History: Monoxide Poisoning
State highway employee carried into my office in unconscious condition.
He was a known diabetic. The breathing was not Kussmaul type and his skin
was warm and dry. We elicited the information that he had been found in
the cab of his truck with the windows closed and the engine running. It
was a cold Winter day. Entertaining a diagnosis of Monoxide intoxication
we immediately gave 12 grams ascorbic acid with a 50 c.c. syringe using
a 20 gauge needle. (We employ a 20 G. needle when using a 50 c.c. syringe;
21 G needle for a 30 c.c. syringe; 22 G needle for a 20 c.c. syringe and
a 23 G needle for a 10 c.c. syringe. This assists in controlling the rate
of flow which is important, especially, in young children). Within 10 minutes
the patient was awake, sitting up on the edge of the examining table, rubbing
his eyes and saving: "Doc, what in the world am I doing up here in your
office." He returned to his place of employment within 45 minutes.
Case History #1: Acute Virus qancarditis
A five year old boy was admitted to the local hospital with history
of having a "relapse" after recovery from measles. The physical
findings showed a thready and feeble pulse. A distinct rub was in evidence
by auscultation. The EKG showed RS-T deviations. The temperature was 105°F..
Ascorbic acid calculated at 400 mg per Kg body weight was given intravenously
with a syringe. Within two hours the picture had almost reverted to normal.
Injection of Vitamin C was repeated in 6 hours and again at 12 hours. A
fourth injection was given after 24 hours although the patient was clinically
well. The child returned home on the 4th hospital day.
Case History #2: Acute Virus Pancarditis following a deep cold
The findings approximated those of case #1. The parents elected to take
the child to Duke Medical Center. Six grams of ascorbic acid was given
by needle before starting the trip to the hospital which was 60 miles away.
Upon arrival at the Medical Center the child had made such dramatic response
to the single injection of ascorbic acid that the parents were tempted
to return home. The receiving physician questioned the sickness of the
child as being out of proportion to that relayed by me during our telephone
conversation. The parents assured the physician that the child had been
seriously ill, but that the change came about after receiving the ascorbic
acid. Although 50 grams (25 ampoules) of ascorbic acid was sent along with
the parents, none was given because the physician in charge stated that
he would be afraid to give that size dose, intravenously, to a child. The
fact that we had administered six grams, which represented a dose of 400
mg per Kg body weight, apparently had no influence. Laboratory findings,
however, confirmed our impression and the child was hospitalized for two
weeks. Two additional injections of vitamin C would have cured the child
in 24 hours.
Case History: Acute Pancreatitis
Adult Male seen in the emergency room of local hospital complaining
of severe, agonizing pain in the epigastrium which radiated to the back.
Nausea and vomiting were present. Serum amylase studies showed a concentration
of 345. This was the 4th such attack experienced by this patient. Sixty
grams ascorbic acid in 700 c.c. Dextrose in water was given intravenously.
20 mg Pantapon was given in the emergency room. No additional opiates were
required. The patient made an uneventful recovery. He was placed on 10
grams ascorbic acid by mouth and has not had a recurrence in almost 5 years.
He has, however, developed mild diabetes mellitus which is now controlled
with diet and vitamin C.
I am in full agreement with Lancelot Hogben who said, "A scientific
idea must live dangerously or die of inanition. Science thrives on daring
generalizations. There is nothing particularly scientific about excessive
caution. Cautious explorers do not cross the Atlantic of truth."
Frederick R. Klenner, M.D., F.C.C.P.
Reidsville, North Carolina
A native of Pennsylvania, Dr. Klenner attended St. Vincent and St.
Francis College, where he received his B.S. and M.S.
degrees in biology. He graduated magna cum laude and was awarded
a teaching fellowship there. He was also awarded the college medal
for scholastic philosophy. There followed another teaching fellowship in
chemistry at Catholic University, Where he pursued studies for a
doctorate in physiology.
Dr. Klenner then 'migrated' to North Carolina and Duke University to
continue his studies. He arrived in time to use his knowledge in physiology
and chemistry to free the nervous system of the frog for a symposium by
immersing the animal in 10% nitric acid. Taken in tow by Dr. Pearse, chairman
of the department, he was finally persuaded to enter the school of medicine.
He completed his studies at Duke University and received his medical
degree in 1936.
Dr. Klenner served three years in post graduate hospital training before
embarking on a private practice in medicine. Although specializing in diseases
of the chest, he continued to do general practice because of the opportunities
it afforded for observations in medicine. His patients were as enthusiastic
as he in playing guinea pigs to study the action of ascorbic acid. The
first massive doses of ascorbic acid he gave to himself. Each time something
new appeared on the horizon he took the same amount of ascorbic acid to
study its effects so as to come up with the answers.
Dr. Klenner's list of honors and professional society affiliations is
tremendous. He is listed in a flock of various "Who's Who" registers. He
has published many scientific papers throughout his scientific career.