Update on Corona virus

August 26, 2020

Since the last newsletter from May 28, things have gone well here in Denmark.
On the other hand, viruses have become widespread, especially in those countries that have not taken the spreading of infection seriously.
In the past month, however, localized infection clusters have emerged in various places here in Denmark as well, especially in immigrant communities.
The reasons for this have been mentioned in the previous newsletters, whose advice is still valid, so I will not repeat it here, but instead focus on what has happened in the last 3 months.

Studies
In a literature study(1) from Norwegian, Russian and Swedish public health institutes six researchers have concluded that early intervention with Zinc, Selenium and Vitamin-D can alleviate the course of the disease, and virtually prevent the cytokine storm, which is the process responsible for the destruction of tissues, microthromboses, inflammation, etc. -the whole cascade that can take the life of the Covid-19 sick persons.

An almost simultaneous study(2) from Germany analyzed Serum-Selenium and Serum-Selenoprotein P, and both values were significantly lower in those who did not survive Covid-19.
(Selenium: 53.3 ± 16.2 vs. 40.8 ± 8.1 μg / l, Selenoprotein-P: 3.3 ± 1.3 vs. 2.1 ± 0.9 mg / L p<0.001). These results must be said to be highly relevant in our country, where we consume so little selenium. This study falls nicely in line with the former study.

On August 3, an article was published in the Lancet(3) which strongly calls for increased intake of vitamin D based on solid literature reviews.
This also falls in line with the first study mentioned above.

And, finally, there is a meta-analysis(4) of the role of vitamin D in the development of acute respiratory infection. It includes 30,000 people in controlled trials (RCTs), and has shown significantly reduced risk of acute respiratory infection already at 10-25 µg of vitamin D daily.
This confirms a previous meta-analysis(5), which also found a significant inverse correlation between the risk of acute respiratory infection and the vitamin D content in the blood.
All of the above studies are nicely in line with the advice mentioned in the five newsletters from May.

Authorities distribute vitamins
Azerbaijan has registered 35,000 Covid-19 cases in a population of 10 million. Of these, 1,800 were hospitalized and 508 died.
Here, the Ministry of Health has provided more than 3,500 Covid-19 patients with a free “medicine package” containing: Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Magnesium, Selenium, Zinc and Paracetamol.
The idea is then that the patients stay at home and treat themselves there.
Every day they are then contacted by the local hospital clinic and have to answer a series of questions, just as the doctor checks that they are taking their pills.
So far, a significant reduction in the number of hospitalizations in this group has been observed(6).

You can only shout cheers when you see authorities who can think outside the box and dare to start such a project. My guess is that the trend will continue and that home treatment will continue to reduce hospital admissions in Azerbaijan.

The idea is not bad because you initiate a completely harmless treatment of a, for some people, -dangerous disease.
But why wait until they get sick?

With timely care, one can improve the immune system of the entire population if one simply provides information about these supplements and their significance.

What could be done here in Denmark is to provide subsidies to the vulnerable groups, especially residents of the country’s nursing homes, who are completely dependent on the public perception of vitamins and minerals. If their own doctor does not prescribe a vitamin supplement, then residents are often denied help to get the supplements, despite their own desire. They are completely dependent upon the doctor’s knowledge or lack thereof. I think Danish authorities and medical staff would be shocked if we measured the level of vitamin D in the country’s nursing home residents.
If you do not want to use public funds to donate these subsidies to the residents, then you can at least make sure that both residents and their relatives are informed.

These newsletters on Covid-19 are unfortunately necessary as this knowledge and the scientific back-up are neglected in the public advice to the Danish population.

Take care of yourself and others

Claus Hancke MD
Specialist in general medicine

References

  1. Alexander J, Alehagen U et al. (2020) Early Nutritional Interventions with Zinc, Selenium and Vitamin D for Raising Anti-Viral Resistance Against Progressive COVID-19. Nutrients 2020, 12, 2358.
  2. Moghaddam A, Heller R et al. (2020) Selenium Deficiency Is Associated with Mortality Risk from COVID-19. Nutrients 2020, 12, 2098.
  3. Martineau A, Forouhi N (2020) Vitamin-D for Covid-19: a case to answer. Lancet 2020;8:735-6.
  4. Joliffe D, Martineau A, Damsgaard Camilla et al. (2020) Vitamin D supplementation to prevent acute respiratory infections: Systematic review and meta-analysis of aggregate data from randomised controlled trials. medRxiv BMJ (endnu ikke peer reviewed) 17.juli 2020.
  5. Martineau A et al. (2017) Vitamin D supplementation to prevent acute respiratory tract infections: Systematic review and meta-analysis of individual participant data.
    BMJ 2017;356:i6585.
  6. lmahamad A, (2020) 3.500 covid-19 patients provided with free medication. Azernews 18.august 2020. https://www.azernews.az/healthcare/168099.html

Be prepared for the next Corona epidemic

The population is not

May 29, 2020

The Corona is spreading more slowly now, and, here in Denmark, Covid-19 is gradually infecting fewer and fewer people and we are more aware of protecting ourselves against it.

There have been good effects from keeping our distance and from maintaining good hygiene in which we have all been well instructed.

Much to the surprise of the Danish Serum Institute, less than 2% of the Danish population has had the disease, and only a few of these individuals may have obtained immunity to SARS-CoV-2, which the virus is called.
This means that more than 98% have not been infected and are completely without immunity. So forget about herd immunity.

The Danish population is just as vulnerable it was were in March when it all started.

Let’s try to summarize what we know and what we can do about it.

What do we know now?
SARS-CoV-2, which is the virus responsible for the current Covid-19 pandemic, is characterized in that it – like the influenza virus – triggers a reaction with the release of a number of signaling molecules such as interleukins, interferons, and lymphokines.

When this release is powerful, it is called a “cytokine storm”, and with Covid-19, it is so powerful that immune cells begin to damage the tissues where the process is taking place, and, in this case, it is primarily the lung tissue that is damaged.

During the cytokine storm, a violent inflammatory response and increased release of free oxygen radicals are created, which further damages the lung tissue due to the subsequent inflammatory microcoagulation seen in the pulmonary vessels. Adding too much oxygen at this stage will only aggravate the situation, which several anesthesiologists have experienced when Covid-19 patients’ conditions worsen when they are put on a respirator.

What can we do about it
Thus, it is primarily about attenuating the fatal cytokine storm.
Here vitamin D, magnesium, selenium, and vitamin C are particularly important as they specifically inhibit this cytokine storm and the subsequent inflammatory microcoagulation in the pulmonary vessels.
If the level of these essential substances in the body is high enough then you will have a subdued cytokine storm and thus attenuated symptoms, as seen during influenza infection. Fresh extract of Coneflower (Echinacea) has also been documented in several scientific studies to effectively inhibit this cytokine storm.

It should be obvious to protect ourselves by promoting such harmless and inexpensive remedies, but unfortunately in the medical and pharmaceutical world, one tends to stare blindly at the most expensive solutions.
Medical professionals were first intrigued by the antiviral drug Remdesivir, which could shorten the disease period of Covid-19 from 15 to 11 days. This fascination has now been replaced by a new one, another drug, an experimental cancer drug, Bemcentinib that may prevent viruses from entering the cells. A phase II trial is underway for 120 people, and we hope we will be able to get the result in a few months.

Well, it is excellent that medical professionals try to find a medicine that can help in this situation, but is it absolutely necessary to find a new, expensive medicine with side effects, when there are other far cheaper options without side effects?

The long awaited vaccine
While all this is going on, the pharmaceutical industry is working full speed on a vaccine. A vaccine against an RNA virus is very difficult to make, and using a vaccine is especially problematic because viruses constantly mutate and thereby often change the immune response.

No vaccine has ever been safety-tested, in the same way that medicine is tested, and this is a bit problematic because in recent years, the industry has started to add substances whose purpose is to stimulate the immune system for effective antibody formation. And stimulating antibody formation is good enough, too, but the safety of these substances has never been investigated. In Denmark, the use of mercury (thimerosal or thiomersal) in childhood vaccines was stopped from 1992 and in influenza vaccines from 2004, with the exception of the vaccine in 2009, which was an embarrassing exception. The toxic mercury should never be used again for human use – neither in the teeth, for that matter.

But in recent years aluminum has been added in the form of nanoparticles as well as squalene emulsions. These adjuvants have not been safety tested. It has just been noted (WHO has noted) that the number of side effects is not greater than is usually seen with vaccination. Aluminum is a neurotoxin, but it has been used in vaccines in the form of various aluminum salts since 1930, so in that form it probably isn’t particularly harmful. The problem is that nanoparticles are now being used that cannot be stopped by a cell membrane. They can penetrate all tissues.
It cannot be ruled out that it is safe to use these additives. It’s just never been investigated.

It should be a simple task to make a study with each of these ingredients against a real placebo such as brine.
We have many excellent vaccines, so let’s not be vaccine deniers. Let’s welcome a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine when it arrives, and then just hope it is properly safety tested. Of course, this hope becomes a requirement if we are to be mandatory vaccinated.

Of course, the Coronavirus will return
When and how bad we do not know, but it will come.
As mentioned in the Vitamin C newsletter, one of Europe’s experts in Covid-19, Professor Christian Drosten from the University of Berlin, has stated that the second wave could be tougher than the current one.
And since more than 98% of the Danish population is without immunity against it, we should not sit with our hands in our laps and wait for a vaccine.

We need to be proactive.
We need to make sure that we have enough of the nutrients that can reduce the risk of our getting sick, and especially the nutrients that can dampen the cytokine storms, so that we get a mild course of illness if we get sick anyway.

Especially old people and people who eat only very little, who may also be weakened by chronic disease, will do well by supplementing the diet in order to be well equipped with an optimally functioning immune system as the next virus threat approaches.

An appropriate daily dose for a normal-weight adult will typically be:

  • Vitamin A: 1-2 mg
  • Vitamin B6: 4-5 mg
  • Vitamin C: 2-3,000 mg
  • Vitamin D3: 75-100 µg
  • Selenium: 100-200 µg
  • Zinc: 20-30 mg
  • Magnesium: 200-300 mg

Note: The low dose is for those weighing less than 70 kg (155 pounds / 11 stones).

If you start now, you will be prepared in the fall. This is an obvious strategy for the country’s nursing homes.

This is the fifth and final Covid-19 newsletter.

Unfortunately, the five newsletters are necessary as this knowledge and scientific back-up are neglected in the public counseling of the population.

Take care of yourself and others,

Claus Hancke, MD,
Specialist in general medicine

Refs:

  • McGonagle D et al. (2020) Immune mechanisms of pulmonary intravascular coagulopathy in COVID-19 pneumonia. Lancet May 7, 2020:1-9
  • Zhang Y, Leung D, Richers B, et al. (2012) Vitamin D Inhibits Monocyte/Macrophage Proinflammatory Cytokine Production by Targeting MAPK Phosphatase-1. Journal of Immunology. 2012;188(5):2127-2135.
  • Alberto Boretti, Bimal Krishna Banik (2020) Intravenous vitamin C for reduction of cytokines storm in acute respiratory distress syndrome PharmaNutrition.
    2020 Jun;12:100190. Published online 2020 Apr 21.
  • Sharma M, Anderson A et al.(2009) Induction of multiple pro-inflammatory cytokines by respiratory viruses and reversal by standardized Echinacea, a potent antiviral herbal extract. Antiviral Research, 2009;83(2):165-170.
  • Cannell JJ, Zasloff M, Garland CF et al. (2008) On the epidemiology of influenza.
    Virol J. 2008;5:29.
  • Gorton HC, Jarvis K (1999) The effectiveness of vitamin C in preventing and relieving the symptoms of virus-induced respiratory infections. J Manip Physiol Ther, 22:8, 530-533
  • Hemilä H (2003) Vitamin C and SARS coronavirus Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, Volume 52, Issue 6, December 2003, Pages 1049–1050
  • WHO Global advisory committee on vaccine safety 2020 (ikke ændret siden 2006). https://www.who.int/vaccine_safety/committee/topics/adjuvants/squalene/Jun_2006/en/

A second wave of Corona epidemic is coming

That is why we need to be prepared

May 20, 2020

The Corona virus will return. Of course it will.

When and how bad it will be, we do not know, but it will come.

Curiously enough, most people expect the second wave this fall – what we are not being told is that this is because the population’s vitamin D level again will be low at that time that we also call the “flu season”.

One of Europe’s experts capabilities on Covid-19, Professor Christian Drosten of the Charité Institute at the University of Berlin, even thinks that the second wave could be tougher than the current one.

But should we then sit with our hands in our laps and wait for a vaccine?’
No, no and again no.

We must, of course, do everything we can to boost every Dane’s immune system so that we are “armed to the teeth” and can prevent a severe epidemic.

Well, isn’t it precisely an overreaction of the immune system (a cytokine storm) that kills lung patients? Yes. If they are vitamin-depleted, then it will happen.

However, several of the vitamins and minerals I have mentioned will specifically inhibit this cytokine storm from the activation of the NLRP3 inflammasome, which releases the inflammatory cytokines. Here, vitamin D and magnesium, selenium and the antioxidant vitamins are particularly important as they inhibit this cytokine storm and the subsequent inflammatory microcoagulation seen in the pulmonary vessels. It was described a week ago thoroughly in the Lancet by Prof. Dennis McGonagle and colleagues. They describe how there is actually inflammatory coagulation in the pulmonary vessels, rather than a pneumonia. Of course, this causes oxygen deficiency and such coagulation cannot be treated with a respirator. McGonagle and colleagues call it a diffuse alveolar and pulmonary interstitial inflammation in COVID-19 resulting in a macrophage activation that triggers extensive immunothrombosis.

Thus, according to this article, it is an inflammation-triggered immune response that leads to microcoagulation in the lungs, and that is what Covid-19 patients die from. This is interesting because this reaction can be dampened by vitamin D, selenium, magnesium and vitamin C.

Some of these substances have direct antiviral properties. We see this confirmed in the few scientific studies that are already published, as mentioned in the previous newsletters. The higher the level of intake (within a safe limit), the lower the mortality rate. Therefore, it is important to have high enough vitamin / mineral content for the immune system to be so effective that it will not cause severe lung disease. The more effectively we can prevent disease, the less we need treatment. The previous three newsletters have dealt with Vitamin D, Selenium and Zinc. Now we come to one of the cornerstones of human survival, namely Vitamin C. It is also called “ascorbic acid” after “a-scorbut”, ie against scurvy.

In the past, just as with other vitamins, these were believed to only protect against a deficiency of that vitamin. Thus, it was believed that vitamin C merely protected against scurvy, ie vitamin C deficiency.

However, the past 60-70 years of research have shown that vitamins (and certain minerals) have completely different and quite potent therapeutic properties when dosed accordingly.

Vitamin C is essential for our immune system, which has been documented in over 1,000 scientific articles. Finding evidence is not difficult. Rather, one must know how to limit oneself when searching.

Some of these articles are listed in the literature list. I have included a few old ones for historical reasons. After all, it is interesting that Frederick Klenner with high-dose vitamin C cured children from active polio, while here in Denmark we put them in iron lungs (the respirator of that time), while letting the virus rage in the body. Klenner killed the virus.

Another classic is Nobel Laureate Linus Pauling’s classic “The common cold …”, which created a great debate for and against.
Since that time, the scientific evidence has been well established and unanimously shows that vitamin C is essential for a well-functioning immune system.

Vitamin C has many extraordinary properties in that it can not only prevent disease but also be used in disease treatment.

If we are to concentrate on the current Covid-19 pandemic, then several serious studies around the world are using ascorbic acid intravenously to treat severe Covid-19 disease.

Contrary to the often heard mantra, “we have no treatment to offer Covid-19 patients”.

Well, we have.

It is true, however, that there are no gold standard randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies published in reputable, peer-reviewed, medical journals. But come-on.

This is a completely harmless treatment with an extremely cheap, natural vitamin for a potentially fatal disease.

If the seriously ill Covid-19 patients have to wait for the above publication, then they will be dead. Why not try it when it can never hurt them? If doctors are nervous about the legal aspect, use Article 37 of the Helsinki Declaration on compassionate care. Here, the doctor’s judgment applies.

The theoretical basis for the antiviral effect of vitamin C is present, along with a second-to-none safety track record. There is even more than 70 years of clinical experience from doctors who have used ascorbic acid for a variety of diseases, including severe viral infections. In addition, a large number of scientific studies, which more than indicate that Vitamin C has a place in the treatment of viral infections.

The least that could be done was to do a pilot study with 10 patients hospitalized with severe Covid-19 disease and compare with 10 who did not receive vitamin C. All 20 patients would receive the standard treatment available today.
Then you can compare mortality, hospitalization time, and recovery time.
The study can be completed in a month within a general medical department’s budget. It can hardly be more simple.

But that is perhaps the problem.

The first four newsletters have dealt with optimization of the immune system using vitamin D, Selenium, Magnesium, Zinc and Vitamin C.

The next newsletter will summarize our knowledge of the Covid-19 pandemic and conclude with a comprehensive overview of what you can take if you want to be highly equipped with an optimally functioning immune system as the next virus threat approaches.

Take care of yourself and others,

Claus Hancke, MD,
Specialist in general medicine

Refs.

  • Alberto Boretti, Bimal Krishna Banik (2020) Intravenous vitamin C for reduction of cytokines storm in acute respiratory distress syndrome PharmaNutrition. 2020 Jun;12:100190.  Published online 2020 Apr 21.
  • Cannell JJ, Zasloff M, Garland CF et al. (2008) On the epidemiology of influenza. Virol J. 2008;5:29.
  • Carr AC, Maggini S. Vitamin C and immune function. Nutrients 2017;9(11):1211.
  • Chambial S et al (2013) Vitamin C in Disease Prevention and Cure: An Overview. Indian J Clin Biochem. 2013 Oct; 28(4): 314–328.
  • Gerber, WF (1975) Effect of ascorbic acid, sodium salicylate and caffeine on the serum interferon level in response to viral infection. Pharmacology, 13: 228
  • Gonzalez MJ, Berdiel MJ, Duconge J (2018) High dose vitamin C and influenza: A case report.  J Orthomol Med. June, 2018, 33(3).
  • Gorton HC, Jarvis K (1999) The effectiveness of vitamin C in preventing and relieving the symptoms of virus-induced respiratory infections. J Manip Physiol Ther, 22:8, 530-533
  • Hemilä H (2003) Vitamin C and SARS coronavirus Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, Volume 52, Issue 6, December 2003, Pages 1049–1050
  • Hunt C et al. The clinical effects of Vitamin C supplementation in elderly hospitalised patients with acute respiratory infections. Int J Vitam Nutr Res 1994;64:212-19.
  • Kennes B, Dumont I, Brohee D, Hubert C, Neve P (1983) Effect of vitamin C supplements on cell-mediated immunity in old people. Gerontology. 29:305-310.
  • Klenner F 1949, Southern Medicine & Surgery, Volume 111, Number 7, July, 1949, pp. 209-214
  • Li W1, Maeda N, Beck MA. (2006) Vitamin C deficiency increases the lung pathology of influenza virus-infected gulo-/- mice, J Nutr. 2006 Oct;136(10):2611-6.
  • McGonagle D et al, 2020, Immune mechanisms of pulmonary intravascular coagulopathy in COVID-19 pneumonia. Lancet May 7, 2020:1-9
  • Pauling L (1971) Vitamin C and the common cold Can Med Assoc J. 1971 Sep 4; 105(5): 448, 450.
  • Wintergerst ES, Maggini S, Hornig DH (2006) Immune-enhancing role of vitamin C and zinc and effect on clinical conditions. Ann Nutr Metab. 50:85-94.
  • Yejin Kim, Hyemin Kim, Seyeon Bae et al. (2013) Vitamin C is an essential factor on the anti-viral immune responses through the production of interferon-α/β at the initial stage of influenza A virus (H3N2) infection. Immune Netw. 13:70-74.

Vitamin C slows cancer growth

August 13. 2008

More than 30 years of experience have shown the anti-cancer effect of vitamin C in both test tubes, animal tests and human trials.

Nevertheless, the Danish Cancer Society does not consider it acceptable to apply yet.

Well-known effect on humans
As early as 1936, a young registrar at the Blegdam Hospital in Copenhagen published in the danish scientific journal “Ugeskrift for Læger” an experiment on two leukemia patients in which the disease improved on treatment with vitamin C (1). The young registrar was later to become the renowned professor of pediatrics, Preben Plum.

………………..

References:
1. Plum P. Thomsen S. (1936) Remission under forløbet af akut aleukæmisk leukæmi iaggtaget i to tilfælde under behandling med ascorbinsyre. Ugeskr Læger (98):1062-67.
2. Benade L. Howard T. Burk D. (1969) Synergistic killing of Ehrlich ascites carcinoma cells by ascorbate and 3-amino-1, 2, 4, -triazole, Oncology, 23, 33–43.
3. Cameron E. Pauling L. (1976) Supplemental ascorbate in the supportive treatment of cancer: Prolongation of survival times in terminal human cancer. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 73, 3685–3689 .
4. Cameron E. Pauling L. (1978) Supplemental ascorbate in the supportive treatment of cancer: Reevaluation of prolongation of survival times in terminal human cancer, Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 75, 4538–4542 .
5. Murata A. Morishige F. Yamaguchi H. (1982) Prolongation of survival times of terminal cancer patients by administration of large doses of ascorbate, International Journal for Vitamin and Nutrition Research, Supplement, 23, 101-113.
6. Chen et al. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 20.Sep.2005;102:13604-9
7. NIH News (2008) Vitamin C Injections Slow Tumor Growth in Mice, Embargoed for Release, Monday, August 4,

Vitamin C inhibits cancer. But How?

September 18, 2007

New research sparks new theories about how vitamin C inhibits cancerous growth.

A great deal of research indicates that vitamin C has a considerable inhibitory effect on the growth of cancer cells.

The biochemical effect of high-dose treatment with vitamin C is reasonably understood; vitamin C acts as a pro-oxidant on cancer cells at such doses. This causes increased free radical strain on the cancer cells and thereby acts as a poison to the cancer.

In moderate doses, the kind of doses which we can get through our diets, vitamin C is an antioxidant. But even at these doses, vitamin C has shown an inhibitory effect on the growth of cancer cells.

It was therefore believed that vitamin C blocks the free radicals which cause the cancer forming mutations in the cells, and that the reason for its protective effects is that it protects the cells’ DNA.

This is presumably not the whole truth.

Many years ago a famous professor by the name of Warburg was among the first to maintain that cancer cells grow in oxygen poor tissue. Today this is common knowledge, but there lacks knowledge on how this occurs. Ten years ago Gregg Semenza of John Hopkins University found that cancer cells are dependent on a protein called HIF-1 (hypoxia induced factor), which helps the cells by compensating for lacking oxygen in the surrounding tissue and thus allows cancer cells to convert sugar to energy without oxygen. HIF-1 also catalyses the creation of new blood vessels so that hungry cancer cells can get fresh supplies of nutrients and oxygen. If a cancer grows aggressively, it quickly uses up its oxygen supply and becomes entirely dependent on HIF-1. The HIF-1 protein is dependent on the presence of free radicals, which are also necessary for many other processes in the body. A powerful antioxidant like vitamin C eliminates the surplus of free radicals, which causes HIF-1 to become ineffective and thus inhibits cancer growth.

This new theory is based on a study done by a research group at the centre of oncology at John Hopkins University in conjunction with Dean Felsher of Stanford.

They set out to study antioxidants’ roles in cancer growth and found, to their great surprise, that antioxidants destabilise the protein on which cancer cells are dependent. As professor Chi Dang from John Hopkins University wisely stated, “By uncovering the mechanism behind anti-oxidants, we are now better suited to maximize their therapeutic use.”

By: Claus Hancke, MD

Reference

HIF-Dependent Antitumorigenic Effect of Antioxidants In Vivo. Cancer Cell, Volume 12, Issue 3, 11 September 2007, Pages 230-238Ping Gao, Huafeng Zhang, Ramani Dinavahi, Feng Li, Yan Xiang, Venu Raman, Zaver M. Bhujwalla, Dean W. Felsher, Linzhao Cheng, Jonathan Pevsner et al.

www.cancercell.org

Smokers should get more vitamin C and E

April 1, 2006

Far too many people get too little vitamin E. The problem is especially large in smokers and can partially be solved by a supplement of vitamin C.

What do you do if you get too little vitamin E? Here is a suggestion: take more vitamin C.

Smokers have this problem more than any other group. They use vitamin E much faster than non-smokers. This is because tobacco smoke oxidizes and destroys the vitamin, which causes it to fail in the fight to protect the unsaturated fats of the body’s cells. Smokers therefore have a greater need for vitamin E than non-smokers. Because they have a greater need, it is easier for them to receive too little.

This is where vitamin C comes in. Vitamin C is easier to get a hold of than vitamin E. Because vitamin C is an antioxidant it can protect the vitamin E from oxidization by the free radicals of the tobacco smoke. This has long been believed, but, until recently, remained unproven in people. There has lately been a small scientific breakthrough in this field.

The study was done as a cooperative effort between a number of American universities and one Canadian university. 11 smokers and 13 non-smokers were given supplements of 50 mg vitamin E containing deuterium. By measuring the amount of deuterium in the blood the researchers were able to determine how fast the vitamin E disappeared from the smoker’s blood (plasma) and compare that to the changes in vitamin E levels in the non-smokers.

It disappeared, as expected, fastest in the smokers. In the course of 25 hours half of the marked vitamin E had disappeared. In the non-smokers this took 42 hours. But, when the smokers were given 500 mg vitamin C morning and evening, it took 34 hours for half of the marked vitamin E to disappear. The vitamin C protected the vitamin E reserves in the smokers, but did not bring them to the level of those in the non-smokers.

Far too few get enough
One can therefore see a normalising of vitamin E in smokers with the help of vitamin C. This is of course only true if the smokers receive enough vitamin E in the first place, which can be said of far too few.

To conclude the summary of this research is should be mentioned that only 8% of men and 2.4% of women receive the recommended 12 mg vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) per day. This is highly likely no better in the U.K. The first and most important recommendation made is that smokers received the recommended amounts (for smokers) of both vitamins C and E (125 mg vit. C and 15 mg vit. E). The second recommendation is that more research be undertaken regarding whether other antioxidants can protect against the degradation of vitamin E. This is important.

But is it true that one needs 12 mg vitamin E per day? Yes it is! An earlier study has shown that the bodily tissue of healthy, young people uses about 5 mg vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) per day.

Because one on average only absorbs about one third of ones food intake in the intestine, should one take a little bit more than the aforementioned 12 mg. But if one eats an especially light diet more should be taken. If breakfast is only cornflakes and low fat milk, taking a vitamin E supplement won’t do much good. Only a tenth of it will be absorbed.

Even young, healthy smokers should receive more vitamin E than others. Older people have an even greater need and it is apparent that most people don’t get enough.

By: Vitality Council

References
1. Bruno R S et al. Human vitamin E requirements assessed with the use of apples fortified with deuterium-labeled α-tocopheryl acetate. Am J Clin Nutr 2006;83:299-304
2. Bruno R S et al. α-Tocopherol acetate disappearance is faster i9n cigarette smokers and is inversely related to their ascorbic acid status- Am J Clin Nutr 2005;81:95.103.
3. Bruno R S et al. Faster plasma vitamin E disappearance in smokers is normalized by vitamin C supplementation. Free Radical Biology & Medicine 2006;40:689-97

Vitamin C against atherosclerosis (hardened arteries)

March 23, 2006

So far a British research study is showing that C vitamin fights inflammation. Therefore it is very possible that it also fights hardened arteries and blodclots.

If one compares peoples’ eating habits with their risk of blood clots in the heart, one gets the impression that vitamin C prevents blood clots. So far it has been hard to prove through randomised trails that vitamin C supplements protect high risk patients from blood clots. This is how it has been up to now, even though one can claim that many of the studies have been lacking.

Whatever the objections, it is widely believed that the debate over.

It is currently said that vitamin C does not protect against atherosclerosis, but is it true? A recent summary could indicate that the debate is long from over. It shows that vitamin C counteracts inflammation, which is to say infection-like reactions. There is also widespread agreement that atherosclerosis is due to inflammation. Does vitamin C therefore protect against atherosclerosis?

In order to understand the problem it is necessary to take a little detour in this discussion:
Until 20-30 years ago, atherosclerosis was believed to be a process which was roughly due to the depositing of cholesterol in the walls of the blood vessels followed by the build up of calcium. Today it is understood the vessel walls are composed of living cells, and that both the build up of cholesterol and the thickening of the vessel walls are related to inflammation. The same is true for the bursting of the surface against the blood stream, with the emptying of cholesterol and cell products, which causes the platelets (etc.) to clump together, causing a blood clot.

Inflammation appears, curiously enough, to be a part of the sales success of the cholesterol lowering medications, the so called statins. It cannot be denied that they save lives, but is it because they lower the blood’s cholesterol level?

Vitamin C lowers CRP
Here there is doubt. Statins do not only lower cholesterol, but also reduce inflammation. This can be directly measured by a simple blood test (CRP) which hundreds of thousands of Danes get taken when their doctors what to know if they have infection in their bodies. The two effects of statins, the lowering of CRP and the reduction of cholesterol, are not necessarily related, but the risk of blood clots in the heart is more related to CRP than to cholesterol levels. In a study where statins were shown to reduce the risk of heart disease by ca. 30%, their favourable effect was statistically shown to be related to CRP levels, regardless of the cholesterol level! It looks like CRP is more important than cholesterol!

With this we can return to vitamin C. Does vitamin C reduce CRP, just like statins?

In a couple of small randomised studies it was examined whether or not this is the case. In both studies the daily dose of vitamin C was about 500 mg. In the first (with smokers as the participants) CRP was markedly reduced, in the second nothing happened. The contradictory results have now been explained by a study with 3258 reasonably cardio-vascular healthy men between the ages of 60-79.

The primary result was that the more vitamin C that the men had in their blood (serum), the lower their CRP. The quarter of the participants who had the highest level of vitamin C in their blood (with or without consideration of supplements), had the lowest CRP values. The difference was overwhelmingly statistically certain. Concurrently, other measurements indicated that the likelihood for “irritability” of the vessel walls (endothelial dysfunction) was also the lowest in the highest vitamin C group. There is common agreement that this “irritability” mirrors a tendency for atherosclerosis.

Vitamin C is therefore believed to lower CRP, which is an important indicator for inflammation, and therefore the risk of dying of a blood clot. The debate rages on!

By: Vitality Council

References:
1. Ridker et al. C-reactive protein levels and outcomes after statin therapy. N Engl J Med 2005;352:20-8
2. Ridker PM, C-reactive protein levels and outcomes after statin therapy. N Engl J Med. 2005 Jan 6;352(1):20-8
3. Libby P. Inflammation and cardiovascular disease mechanisms. Am J Clin Nutr 2006;83(Suppl):456S-60S
4. Goya S et al. Associations of vitamin C status, fruit and vegetable intakes, and markers of inflammation and hemostasis. Am J Clin Nutr 2006;83:567-74
5. Ishwarlal J et al. Is vitamin C an anti-inflammatory agent? Am J Clin Nutr 2006;83:525-6
6. Mora S Justification for the Use of Statins in Primary Prevention: an Intervention Trial Evaluating Rosuvastatin (JUPITER)–can C-reactive protein be used to target statin therapy in primary prevention?Am J Cardiol. 2006 Jan 16;97(2A):33A-41A. Epub 2005 Dec 1.
7. Bruunsgaard H, Long-term combined supplementations with alpha-tocopherol and vitamin C have no detectable anti-inflammatory effects in healthy men. J Nutr. 2003 Apr;133(4):1170-3.
8. Block G Plasma C-reactive protein concentrations in active and passive smokers: influence of antioxidant supplementation. J Am Coll Nutr. 2004 Apr;23(2):141-7.

content.nejm.org
www.ajcn.org
www.nutrition.org

High Dose Intravenous Vitamin C Fights Cancer

September 28, 2005

This was the New York Times’ headline two weeks ago.

The United States National Institute of Health (NIH) has publicized a laboratory study (1) which shows that when cancer cells are exposed to high doses of vitamin C, which can only be achieved though intravenous injection, the cancer cells die without the normal cells being effected.

The NIH pronounced,”These findings give plausibility to i.v. ascorbic acid in cancer treatment.” They rightly add that much separates laboratory studies from human treatment.

Meanwhile this study is an affirmation of similar results of many earlier studies. In 2004 researchers indicated that “the role of vitamin C in cancer treatment should be re-examined” because intravenous doses of vitamin C can give concentrations which have anti-tumour effects (2)

In 1993 a study showed that vitamin C is deadly or cytotoxic to fast growing malignant cells while being non-toxic to non-malignant cells. Supplementary studies showed that ascorbate’s effects on cell growth are due to its direct lethal effect on cancer cells contrary to a cytostatic effect (3).

Earlier it had been proven that vitamin C has a growth inhibiting effect on cancer cells, but only in large concentrations. The addition of the antioxidant catalase to the growth media completely suppressed this growth inhibiting effect.

The authors of this study believed that this indicates that an overproduction of hydrogen peroxide in involved in the mechanisms responsible for vitamin C’s inhibitory effect of tumour cell growth (4).

The authors of the more recent study lean towards this hypothesis from 1989, which is that high dose vitamin C’s toxic effect on cancer cells is due to subsequent high concentrations of peroxide. Normal cells have an intact antioxidant defence in the form of catalase. This is lacking in cancer cells. This is why vitamin C harms cancer cells and not normal cells, which is exactly the finding of the 2005 study.

Vitamin C’s potential in cancer treatment was also shown in two large studies from 1994, where large doses of ascorbic acid had strong cytotoxic (cell poisonous) effects on a wide range of cancer cell types grown in test tubes (5).

The authors of the second 1994 study also argue that ascorbic acids acts as a pro-oxidant in cancer cells, and they recommend the use of ascorbic acid in the treatment of neuroblastoma (6).

So far so good; but remember that researchers from the NIH mention that there is much separating laboratory studies and the treatment of people.

Vitamin C is meanwhile so non-toxic that some have already undertaken large studies on people.

As early as 1936, a young Danish doctor published an article in the Danish medical weekly “Ugeskrift for Læger” outlining a study where vitamin C was used in the treatment of two leukaemia patients where both showed improvement. This young doctor, named Preben Plum later became a renowned professor or paediatrics.

40 years later a study including 1,100 patients suffering from terminal cancer showed that those who were treated with i.v. vitamin C lived considerably longer than those who were not treated (7).

Ten years ago Riordan et. al. showed that ascorbic acid levels in the plasma can reach levels toxic to tumour cells if given intravenously. The authors believe that ascorbic acid’s cytotoxic properties should qualify it to be considered as a chemotherapeutic drug.

These few examples of a large amount of vitamin C studies fit together like pieces of a puzzle.

This has awakened considerable interest in the media and could strengthen the scientific foundation of clinics where i.v. vitamin C treatment for cancer is already used.

By: Vitality Council

References:
1. Chen et al. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 20. Sept. 2005;102:13604-9.
2. Annals of Internal Medicine 2004;140: 533-37.
3. P.Y. Leung, et al. Cytotoxic Effect of Ascorbate and its Derivatives on Cultured Malignant and Nonmalignant Cell Lines, Anticancer Research, 13(2), March-April 1993, p. 475-480.
4. V. Noto, et al., Effects of Sodium Ascorbate (Vitamin C) and 2-methyl-1,4-Naphthoquinone Treatment on Human Tumor Cell Growth in Vitro. I. Synergism of Combined Vitamin C and K3 Action, Cancer, 63(5), March 2, 1989, p. 901-906.
5. M. A. Medina, et al. Ascorbic Acid is Cytotoxic for Pediatric Tumor Cells Cultured in Vitro, Biochem Mol Biol Int, 34(5), November 1994, p. 871-874.
6. S.L. Baader, et al., Uptake and Cytotoxicity of Ascorbic Acid and Dehydroascorbic Acid in Neuroblastoma (SK-N-SH) and Neuroectodermal (SK-N-LO) Cells, Anticancer, 14(1A), January-February 1994 p. 221-227.
7. Cameroun, Proc Natl Acad Sci 1976;73:3685-9.
8. N.H. Riordan, et. al. Intravenous Ascorbate as a Tumor Cytotoxic Chemotherapeutic Agent, Medical Hypotheses, 44(3), March 1995, p. 207-213.

www.nih.gov
www.pnas.org
www.annals.org
www.iiar-anticancer.org/research/research_index.htm
www.cancer.org/docroot/home/index.asp
www.med.unibs.it/biblioteca/pubmed2/biomol6.htm
www.sciencedirect.com
www.cancer.gov
www.nytimes.com
www.iom.dk

On-time “Delivery” with Vitamin C

June 28, 2005

Vitamin C is necessary for the creation and maintenance of connective tissue. Therefore, it protects pregnant women against damage to the fetus membrane so that the uterine fluid in which the fetus floats does not leave the uterus prematurely. The typical Danish diet contains much too little Vitamin C for pregnant women.

It is well-known that pregnant women should take folic acid – even before the conception of the fetus – to prevent the birth of children with Spina Bifida. Now it seems that Vitamin C is important for the pregnant in another area: It protects against premature birth.

By: Vitality Council

Reference:
Casanueva E, Ripoll C, Tolentino M, Morales RM, Pfeffer F, Vilchis P, Vadillo-Ortega F Vitamin C supplementation to prevent premature rupture of the chorioamniotic membranes: a randomized trial. Am J Clin Nutr. 2005 Apr;81(4):859-63.

New Type of Antioxidant Protects Against Sunburns

June 6, 2005

A new type of antioxidant protects against sunburns and is thought to have other, additional health benefits. Similarly, vitamins C and E have been found to work too.

French researchers have created an innovative substance, incorporating a special form of the important antioxidant/enzyme SOD (Super Oxide Dismutase), that can be taken orally without fear of the SOD being destroyed in the stomach prior to assimilation.

The human body itself creates SOD, an essential enzyme. So far, it has only been possible to supply SOD by injection. But thanks to a combination of the enzyme with the wheat protein gliadin, this difficulty has now been overcome. The product (Glisodin) can be bought in Denmark.

By. Vitality Council

(Shortened)

References:
1. CARD (Annual Congress of Dermatological Research) meeting in Brest on May 28th 2005, (report).
2. Placzek M et al. Ultraviolet B-induced DNA damage in human epidermis is modified by the antioxidants ascorbic acid and D-alpha-tocopherol. J Invest Dermatol. 2005 Feb;124(2):304-7.
3. Bialy TL et al. Dietary factors in the prevention and treatment of nonmelanoma skin cancer and melanoma. Dermatol Surg 2002;28:1143-52.

www.blackwell-synergy.com/loi/jid
www.blackwellpublishing.com/journal.asp
www.iom.dk