This therapy kills viruses… relieves pain… help fight cancer… and potentially saves lives. But is new research enough to convince the mainstream that it’s no laughing matter?
I’ve used a lot of intravenous vitamin C in my 35-plus years of practice.
In fact, by a rough count, I’ve given well over 50,000 infusions of high-dose IVC… and for a variety of indications.
And, once I saw the amazing results of this remarkable treatment, I was encouraged to use it whenever OTHER therapies weren’t effective.
Great doctors before me have paved the way for me — including double Nobel Prize winner Dr. Linus Pauling (whose story I shared with you in the February issue of my Nutrition & Healing newsletter), Dr. Hugh Riordan, and others.
And then the watershed research by National Institute of Health (NIH) researcher Dr. Mark Levine was published in 2004, explaining that intravenous vitamin C acted very differently than oral vitamin C, with many, MANY times greater concentration in the cells.1
This explained its positive effects in fighting cancer, infectious diseases, and fatigue states, and it gave a scientific underpinning to what we knew empirically.
Still, conventional doctors snickered when their patients told them of successes attained by using intravenous vitamin C in moderate to high dose
But now, three recent papers have come to my attention — and, together, they may indicate a tidal change in attitudes about IVC therapy.
So much positive evidence of the many uses of intravenous vitamin C has been published, that it seems that conventional medical opinion is at least beginning a shift (though at a glacial pace) toward acceptance.
Here’s what you need to know.
A rare triple-play: Sepsis OUT!
The first of the new studies in this watershed movement was published a few months ago in Chest magazine, a peer-reviewed journal.
Dr. Paul Merrick and Associates at Eastern Virginia Medical School were exploring new therapies to improve survival in the critical problem of patient sepsis, the rampant infection of the bloodstream that affects 15 to 19 million people worldwide every year.
With sepsis, mortality can reach 60 per cent, particularly in low-income patient areas.
They decided to add intravenous vitamin C to their sepsis regimen of intravenous hydrocortisone, since the sepsis patients coming into their Emergency Room had very low serum vitamin C levels that were too severe to correct orally.
They added 1.5 g of intravenous vitamin C every six hours, for a total of 6 g per day. They also added 200 mg of thiamine (a.k.a. vitamin B1) twice a day intravenously.
They treated 47 patients in this way, and matched them with statistically identical patients who had been treated in a conventional way.
In the control group, 40.4 per cent of the patients died. In the treatment group, 8.5 per cent of the patients died.2
That’s a HUGE difference in mortality!
The IVC treatment, they concluded, “may prove to be effective in preventing progressive organ dysfunction including acute kidney injury and reducing the mortality of patients with severe sepsis and septic shock.”
I might add that studies like this — in which intravenous nutrients, particularly vitamin C, are used as primary treatments along with pharmaceutical medications — can only open the path towards more acceptance of these safe and effective therapies.
Head infection off at the pass
Let me preface the second study — which was published late in 2016 in another peer-reviewed journal, Annals of Dermatology — by saying that over the years, intravenous vitamin C in a high dose has been my go-to therapy for MANY different viral infections.
Whether it’s mono… herpes… or respiratory and digestive viruses… IVC is being used successfully across the board, and not just by me.
It’s comforting to know that the research is beginning to support this therapy, and that it’s becoming an option in conventional medical settings.
In this new study, Korean researchers used intravenous vitamin C therapy to treat herpes zoster, which is commonly known as shingles.
The study was of 87 patients who were admitted to the dermatology service with herpes zoster. They were randomised and, in a controlled manner, received either saline infusions or 5 g vitamin C infusions, three times in a five-day period.
While there wasn’t a statistical difference in the pain acutely, there WAS a dramatic difference in the development of postherpetic neuralgia, the severe nerve pain that can be the result of having had shingles.3
Using a standardised questionnaire, the pain score in the IVC group was lower than the control group, with a confidence level of P<0.05 (considered a highly reproducible result).
Postherpetic neuralgia development was significantly lower, with P=0.014.
In patients at my clinic, we routinely initiate this therapy at the FIRST sign of the virus activating — and, if we can get it early enough, we find that very few people go on to have the severity of postherpetic neuralgia.
Cancer cells won’t see IVC coming
The study that completes the hat trick actually reiterates what I’ve written about before and have advocated over the past decade — that is, the increased understanding of the role that intravenous vitamin C can play in the treatment of cancers, even those being treated by radiation and chemotherapy.
Researchers from the University of Iowa Medical Centre demonstrated in the laboratory what other studies have already demonstrated: Intravenous vitamin C doses much higher than normal antioxidant levels can act as an anticancer therapy.4
But more significantly, it can sensitise the cancer cells so that they’re MORE SUSCEPTIBLE to chemotherapy and radiation therapy!
This flies in the face of conventional oncology attitudes toward intravenous vitamin C — which have been either that it’ll interfere with chemotherapy, or that it’s a waste of money.
In this study, there was an overall increase of survival of four to six months in 11 patients with a fast-growing brain tumour known as glioblastoma multiforme. That resulted in a total survival of 18 to 22 months, versus a matched group who had 14 to 16 survival with standard treatment.
In addition, the patients were relatively symptom-free.
Thus, with the safety of the infusion protocol established, the researchers can move on to phase 2 studies, looking at the effectiveness of adding high-dose vitamin C intravenously to patients who are already receiving radiation and chemotherapy.
Those studies will be done on stage IV lung cancer and on more glioblastoma multiforme patients — and, as always, I’ll share the findings with you.
Our work isn’t over yet
Conventional medical science is just beginning to justify what Dr. Pauling knew a half a century ago: that vitamin C has very unique properties when using high doses of it intravenously, and that it’s safe, cost-effective, and widespread in its uses.
I’d consider the doses in the first two studies mentioned above to be very modest. For antiviral therapy, we frequently go with 25 to 50g of intravenous vitamin C; and for cancer, we can get up to 100g or more.
The protocol of the third study, however, was very similar to the one that you’ll find used at University of Kansas Medical Center, at the Riordan Clinic in Wichita, Kansas, and right here at the Rothfeld Center in the Boston area.
Since there’s no such thing as “one size fits all” medicine, this approach involves measuring blood levels of ascorbic acid to attain a certain target concentration in the bloodstream — and that means that given patients’ varying ability to absorb vitamins, there’s no one “standard” dosage.
This is all very encouraging… but of course there are still so many people who could benefit from IVC who either don’t know to request it or can’t get it from their care team even if they do.
Based on what I’ve seen with my patients, though, it’s a therapy that’s worth tracking down, even if you’ve got to switch doctors to get it.
Wishing you the best of health,
Dr. Glenn S. Rothfeld
Nutrition & Healing
Full references and citations for this article are available in the downloadable PDF version of the monthly Nutrition and Healing issue in which this article appears.