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Mega-vitamin C and Babies

Vitamin C II


 (Linus Pauling, PhD, twice the recipient of the Nobel Prize) 

 Any physician who gives twelve courses of antibiotics to an infant under a year old is not qualified to practice medicine.  I know more than one doctor who still does. 

 Ray, a health professional himself, brought his 11 month old son Robbie to me. The child was very sick, and had been for over a week. No one, and I mean no one, in their family had had any sleep in a long time. They were up night after night with this child, who had a high fever, glazed watery eyes, tons of thick watery mucus, labored breathing, would not sleep, and did little else but cry.  Day and night, night and day.

 Robbie was under the care of a pediatrician, who had been prescribing serious antibiotics all along. Antibiotics were clearly not working. This was all too apparent to Ray. 

 "Twelve rounds of antibiotics for a baby under a year old, and all the doctor wants to do is give more antibiotics?" he said. "That makes no sense at all."

 "Ray, antibiotics are their knee-jerk answer to a lot of things. There is a saying: 'When the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.'"

 "Well, we've thoroughly tried the medical route, and cooperated one hundred percent with the pediatrician. At this point," Ray said, "Robbie is worse, not better. We have got to do something ourselves, and we are going to. My wife is just as emphatic about that as I am."

 She was home, taking care of the other children. 

 I promptly acquainted Ray with the vitamin C doctors.

 "So the bottom line is to give Robbie as much vitamin C as he can hold without having loose bowels," Ray said.


 "We can do that," he said.

 And he did, too.

 So now I have a new case history record to offer: 20,000 milligrams of vitamin C daily for a 20 pound baby of 11 months of age. That's how much it took to cure Ray's baby of severe congestion, fever, and listlessness. That is 1,000 milligrams of vitamin C per pound per day; 2,200 mg "C" per kilogram body weight per day, nearly twice what Dr. Frederick Klenner customarily ordered for patients. And even at that huge amount, the baby never had diarrhea!

 You have to marvel at where it was all going. More marvelous is how quickly it worked. Ray kept in touch on the phone.

 "Robbie was noticeably improved in under twelve hours, and slept through the first night." Ray told me two days later. "He was completely well in 48 hours. Symptom free. Completely well!"

 Even without considering the harmful side effects of massive antibiotic therapy, we can look at the futility of all those repeated doses. Antibiotics are either going to work with the first or second round, or they are not going to work at all, period. There is no point in emptying twelve water fire extinguishers on an electrical fire. More of the wrong thing is just more wrong. And in a baby, just plain stupid.

 One simply must find the best, safest, and most effective way, especially with infants.  The great vitamin C advocates (Linus Pauling, Frederick Robert Klenner, Emanuel Cheraskin, William J. McCormick, Irwin Stone, Robert F. Cathcart III, and, ah... me) will tell you that you have a genuine option: consider using vitamin C as your first choice antibiotic. 

 Taking enough C results in the three C's: patient comfort, low cost, and parental control. Without necessitating the use of invasive technology nor the trauma of hospitalization, parents can regain confidence and mastery over illness to a degree that they might never have thought possible. We have now gone light years beyond the medical profession's customarily paternalistic, condescending attitude towards self-care.

 For this reason, vitamin C therapy will be decried and denounced as irresponsible quackery. It takes some real ego strength for a parent to stand firm and say, "This is what I am going to do: I am going to follow the Klenner/Cathcart vitamin C protocol."  The vitamin C doctors' shared knowledge of how it is done is the buttress that makes such a stance possible.

 When I was a kid, everybody got miracle drugs. From sulfa to Physohex, we followed the crowd from waiting room to prescription counter. Our parents gave us "safe" children's aspirin. Oops, not so safe for high fevers, it was discovered. So then it was children's Tylenol (acetaminophen) for everybody. Hmm: it turns out there's some liver and kidney side effects with that, too. And, as drugs go, acetaminophen is really safe.  But drugs all carry side effects; you just choose your poison carefully. Vitamins are vastly safer. 

Law: the number one side effect of vitamins is failure to take enough of them.

 If you do choose to employ antibiotic drugs, bear in mind that they interfere with normal digestion by killing off beneficial colon bacteria. These are the very bacteria that make vitamin K, the B-vitamins cobalamin and biotin, help us digest many plant and dairy foods, strengthen the immune system, and repress the overgrowth of pathogenic microorganisms. After antibiotic therapy, all persons should take yogurt and an acidophillus supplement for a month or two to help restore a normal, healthy bowel environment. I have found shamefully few doctors who tell this to their patients.

 And this is not just about antibiotics. In the 1980 Physicians' Desk Reference, Prednisone didn't even have the "diamond" symbol of a frequently-prescribed drug next to its listing in the table of contents. Now it is used almost indiscriminately. For instance, I know a sixteen year old girl who had a lousy diet, innumerable colds, and chronic bronchitis. After bucketsful of antibiotics, the HMO doctors put her on Prednisone. Prednisone is a drug of desperation. When they pull out the corticosteroids, they don't know what else to do.

 Prednisone can cause the following nutritional problems, among others: sodium and fluid retention, potassium loss, osteoporosis, carbohydrate intolerance and increased insulin requirement, and a variety of gastrointestinal complications. Why subject a sixteen year old kid to this?

 On the other hand, I have in my possession two United States Pharmacopoeia statements on vitamin C for injection asserting that "there are no counterindications for the use of ascorbic acid (vitamin C)."  Additionally, it works. Intelligently employing vitamins can eliminate many dangerous side effects that come from over-reliance on over-the-counter and prescription drugs.

 This goes for viruses, too.

 Lowered resistance can trigger an outbreak of latent herpes viruses. Marta, age 30, was in her sixth month of a long-desired pregnancy. She came to see me specifically because of genital herpes. Her obstetrician had correctly told her that she could not deliver vaginally as long as there were active lesions. Exposure to herpes constitutes a real danger to a newborn. The doctor had said that if the lesions were inactive, and preferably gone, for a period of so many weeks, he'd OK a natural delivery. Otherwise, it would be a Cesarean for her.

 Her question was expected.

 "Is there any way to get rid the lesions with nutrition?" Marta asked.

 Conformist, party-line dietitians will vigorously deny such a possibility, but then, they don't read their own journals, and certainly not Linus Pauling's books or the Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine.

 So the truthful answer, the one I'd have to give if under oath, is: Yes, there probably is: very large doses of vitamin C.

 I ran this past Marta, and her concern was, once again, entirely predictable.

 "Are megadoses of vitamin C safe for the baby?" 

 I knew that Frederick R. Klenner, MD (the trailblazer of vitamin C megadosing) gave large doses to over 300 pregnant women and reported virtually no complications in any of the pregnancies or deliveries (Irwin Stone, The Healing Factor, chapter 28). Indeed, hospital nurses around Reidsville, North Carolina, the region where Dr.Klenner practiced, noted that the infants who were healthiest and happiest were in Klenner's care.  The hospital staff dubbed them the "Vitamin C Babies." 

 Specifically, Klenner gave: 4,000 milligrams during the first trimester, 6,000 mg during the second, and 10,000 milligrams of vitamin C a day - or even 15,000 mg - throughout their third trimester. This was his routine prescription for healthy women. He would respond to any sickness with daily vitamin C injections totaling many times that. 

 Over a nearly 40 year practice, Klenner (and previous animal studies) rigorously ascertained the safety and effectiveness of vitamin C during pregnancy. Specifically, there were no miscarriages in this entire group of 300 women. There were no postpartum hemorrhages at all. There was no cardiac distress and there were no toxic manifestations (Stone, p. 191). Among Klenner's patients were the Fultz quadruplets, who, at the time, were the only quads in the southeastern U.S. to survive. Upon admission to the hospital for childbirth, Klenner gave all mothers-to-be "booster" injections of vitamin C. 

 So my answer to Marta's question of safety was an unfettered "yes."

 Additionally," I added, "For the ladies who had all the vitamin C, labor was both shorter and less painful."

 Soon to be facing her first delivery, Marta had a vested interest in that little side benefit.

 "I've never given birth myself," I went on, "But my wife's two deliveries confirmed what Klenner said. Her first labor was two hours and forty-five minutes total, and her second labor was one hour and forty-five minutes from the very onset to "it's a girl."

 Wow!" Marta said, happier than ever.

 "I hesitate to keep this going, but there's still more. The obstetrical nurses at Klenner's hospital repeatedly verified that stretch marks were seldom seen on Klenner's post-partum patients. I can personally vouch for this being true with my spouse. After two kids, the second with a birthweight of 10 pounds, two ounces..."

 Marta's eyes grew large at the very idea.

 "...My wife had a single, half-inch stretch mark. Pretty neat, eh?" 

 Marta nodded several times.

 "Well, I really want to get rid of this herpes thing so I can have a natural childbirth," Marta said. I know that herpes is most certainly not safe for the baby.  And from what I've read, Cesarean delivery, like all operations, carries risk, too. It seemed that my balance sheet favors trying the vitamin."

 "Well," I said, "If you are going to do it, Marta, you might as well do it right. This means building up your C level to saturation. That's bowel tolerance, remember?"

 She did.

 "And you mean that I might have to take much more than I'd expect to, right?" Marta added.

 "Yes," I said. "You do not take the amount of vitamin C you think you should take; rather, you take the amount of vitamin C that the body responds to. When your symptoms leave, that's the right level for you at that time. As you get better, you will not be able to hold as much of the vitamin. The dose is self-adjusting, and you need no equipment to monitor it. Just take as much as you can comfortably hold, just enough to be symptom-free, but not so much as causes loose bowels." 

  Marta said, "How long will it be before I see any progress?"

 "It depends on how much vitamin C you take, and how much vitamin C you need. A dry sponge holds a lot of water. The body seems to have an enormous capacity for vitamin C when infected with a virus. We'll all find out how much you need when we see how much you can comfortably hold. It is not a contest; just do what gets the healing. But it will take time to get to your saturation level."

 "What can I expect along the way?" she asked.

 "The first thing you will notice is: nothing. There is a latency period, a lag-time, while you load the body with the vitamin. It's a bit like waiting for your computer to load a new program."

 "Can you try another analogy?" Marta said.

 "Look at it this way," I responded. "Let's say you were in a plane taking off from Buffalo International Airport in the middle of winter. It is snowing, dark, gray, stormy and windy. Your jet takes off, and begins to climb. The wind rocks the plane, the snow and sleet and hail come down, and it's all dismally gray outside. The plane keeps climbing.  All you can see out the window is snow, darkness and the wings shaking from the wind. The person next to you is turning a bit green. Up you go, still in the winter storm. Then, all of the sudden, the airplane breaks out on top of the clouds, and like magic, there's bright sunlight and blue sky everywhere. Look down: Far below you is the storm. It's like it never happened, like you were never in it.

 "That is exactly what it is like when you reach saturation of vitamin C. At a certain altitude, higher than you expected, your symptoms go away.  This characteristically occurs with such ease that it is hard to believe it until you experience it for yourself. Precious few medical professionals have learned this. The medical-dietetic industry has a real fear of flying if vitamin C is the aircraft. Too bad, when it is the safest and fastest plane in the air.

 Marta was nobody's fool, and worked closely with her obstetrician. She had heard about something termed "rebound scurvy," and now asked me about it.

 "Rebound scurvy, or the rebound effect, is when a person takes a lot of vitamin C, usually with great success, and then abruptly stops taking it.  At that instance, symptoms come back, sometimes including a few classic vitamin C deficiency signs. Research shows that such an effect does not occur in the vast majority of situations.

 "However, pregnancy is a special case. If the mother takes a lot of C while pregnant, Klenner and others confirmed that her labor and delivery will be shorter, easier and free of complications. If the vitamin helped while Mommy was pregnant, it should most certainly be given to the baby. During gestation, the baby got all the C he needed. But now, baby is on his own: no more C through the placenta and umbilical cord. If the baby is used to, and benefiting from, abundant vitamin C, it obviously should be provided for him individually after birth. Klenner gave newborns about 50 milligrams a day. Not doing that results in a scorbutic baby."

 "But doesn't that just mean that the baby is dependent on vitamin C?" Marta said. I told you she was nobody's fool. 

 "No," I answered. "No more than the baby is dependent on oxygen, or water, or food. Consider this: If you have a really high paying job, and expenses to fit it, and you are suddenly fired, you have a problem. Your problem is not money. Your problem is a lack of money."

 Marta smiled comfortably. 

 "So don't stop a good thing, then," she said.

 "That's it," I agreed. "If vitamin C is important enough for the woman to take before giving birth, then it is important enough for the baby to get after it has been born."

 "I can see that," she said. "But I'm going to breast feed my baby. Is there vitamin C in breast milk?"

 "There is some, but we do not know how much at any given feeding. Keep in mind that the nursing woman is healing up and stressed out. Along with recovering from childbirth, she is adapting to really momentous changes in her lifestyle and sleeping schedule, and everybody knows that taking care of a baby is a tremendous demand on a person. Mom needs a lot of vitamin C herself. So her amount of available surplus C is small.  For this reason, breast milk is an unreliable source of vitamin C for babies. However, mother's milk otherwise is the perfect food for infants. You absolutely, positively are making the right decision when you breast feed. Just slip the child a little C each day as you do it.  Even a newborn can gum down a tiny bit of a finely-powdered chewable children's C tablet. You can put a little right on the baby's tongue. Vitamin C drops are also available. My own kids got supplemental C from the very first days of their lives."

 "What if a baby was formula-fed?" Marta asked.

 "Then supplemental C is ever more essential," I said. "Very little of the vitamin is found in formula, especially after it is manufactured, packaged, opened, heated, poured, and oxidized during bottle feeding."

 "OK," said Marta. "I guess I should get started."

 She did. 

 It was not that long afterward that I had a follow-up conversation with her.

 "The delivery is on," Marta said. "The herpes lesions are all gone, and have been gone since I got to saturation with the C. Do you want to know how much it took?"

 "You bet I do."

 "44,000 milligrams a day!" she hooted. "Can you believe that? And at that much I hardly had any bowel signs at all. So I dropped it to about 35 to 40 thousand and stayed there. That's it!"

 Not quite. A couple of months later, Marta had one of the most adorable baby girls I've ever seen. That Dr. Klenner fellow. I'd have liked to have met him. (For more about Dr Klenner: )

 Right now there are a whole lot of researchers searching for a good new anti-viral drug. They are the blind leading the blind. They already have one. The pharmaceutical industry's mercenary scientists and their medical doctor clones will, in fact, try everything but megadoses of vitamin C. I think of them as birds that are willing to land on any branch except one. Too bad, because that one branch is the best in the tree.

Many readers have long been hunting for copies of these amazingly valuable books. Your wishes have been answered. Dr. Klenner's Clinical Guide to the Use of Vitamin C is now posted in its entirety at
The complete text of Irwin Stone's book The Healing Factor is now posted for free reading at

Copyright C 2004, 2003 and prior years Andrew W. Saul. 

Andrew Saul is the author of the books FIRE YOUR DOCTOR! How to be Independently Healthy (reader reviews at ) and DOCTOR YOURSELF: Natural Healing that Works. (reviewed at )

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Andrew W. Saul


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