Outbreak Of Scurvy Strikes Modern Human Population

As an outbreak of scurvy is reported in the “land down under,” and just a single dose of vitamin C is reported to resolve non-healing skin wounds by physicians there in Australia.  [Express UK Nov 30, 2016]

Virtually every human is vitamin C (ascorbate) deficient at some time in their life if they are not a dietary supplement user.  While very little vitamin C is all that is required to prevent overt symptoms of scurvy (less than 10 milligrams/day to avert bleeding gums, eye hemorrhage, skin bruising, painful joints), prior to a gene mutation that occurred many generations ago the human body produced vitamin C upon demand with addition vitamin C when under stress.  [Medical Hypotheses June 1979]

A goat, about the same weight as a human, produces ~13,000 milligrams of vitamin C and more under stress.  Most mammals internally synthesize vitamin C except fruit bats, guinea pigs and primate monkeys who also fell victim to the same gene mutation that befell humankind.

Until that gene mutation is repaired, human lifespans will be cut short.  It was biochemist Irwin Stone who noted that animals that endogenously produce their own vitamin C live 8-10 times beyond their age of physical maturation (~age 18 years) whereas the ascorbate-deficient animals live 3-4 times longer.  In human terms the difference is living ~70 years versus a few hundred years.

Restoration of the intact non-mutated gene that would reestablish the ability to synthesize vitamin C in the liver has been theorized in the scientific literature (Genomics March 2004]  A kit for geneticists to conduct basic CRISP research on the flawed gulonolactone oxidase gene is now available.  [Gene Cards]  Restoration of the intact (gulonolactone oxidase) gene has been demonstrated in genetically modified mice in the laboratory. [Human Gene Therapy Dec 2008]  The reverse has also been demonstrated.  Deletion of the gulonolactone oxidase gene from mice results in spontaneous bone fractures. [Journal Bone Mineral Research Sept 2005]

In one animal lab study it was demonstrated that restoration of vitamin C adequacy (equivalent to 90 mg/day in humans) slowed the growth of implanted tumors in laboratory mice and optimal vitamin C (900 mg/day in humans) levels further slowed the growth of these tumors.  [Cancer Medicine Feb 2015]

While it is known that cancer increases the body’s demand for vitamin C, oncologists are not reported to universally re-supply vitamin C to their cancer patients.  This is equivalent to cancer chemotherapy and does not induce tumor drug resistance.

When laboratory mice were cross-bred with mice that have a familial gene mutation for Alzheimer’s disease with mice whose vitamin C-producing gene was inactivated, only the mice that were supplemented with high amounts of vitamin C exhibited less beta amyloid plaque in their brains. [Cell Death Disease Feb 2014]

Animals that synthesize their own vitamin C do so by enzymatically converting sugar in the blood circulation to vitamin C.  In fact, vitamin C is a sugar-like molecule being structurally similar to glucose that is made in the liver.

Elevated blood sugar levels deplete vitamin C and results in red blood cells becoming fragile. [EBioMedicine Oct 3, 2015]  There would virtually be no diabetes in humans if sugar were converted to ascorbate enzymatically in the liver.

In an animal experiment, the addition of high fructose corn syrup to their diet resulted in higher levels of uric acid (gout) and heart damage, which was reversed with supplemental vitamin C. [Anatolian Journal Cardiology Sept 2016]  A recent report says a new era has begun in the field of gout as vitamin C may help reduce the risk for this disease. [Quarterly Journal Medicine May 2012]  Uric acid levels in humans continue to decline when given doses of vitamin C up to 1000 mg/day. [Journal Rheumatology Sept 2008]

The problem from the public health standpoint is that the scientific community has lulled the public to sleep over the issue of vitamin C adequacy.

Any food or dietary supplement that provides 60 milligrams or more of vitamin C is labeled to provide 100% of the Daily Allowance.  That 60 mg intake number is intended for a perfectly healthy adult, not growing children, women in pregnancy, those who smoke tobacco, athletes, regular consumers of alcohol, diabetics, cancer patients, older adults who don’t absorb vitamin C very well, anyone under acute emotional or mental stress, and individuals who take vitamin C depleting drugs such as asthma drugs, estrogen, aspirin, acetaminophen (Tylenol), and diuretics.  (Gee, who’s left?)

So essentially the dictum to eat-an-orange-a-day (60 mg vitamin C) and you will get all the vitamin C your body needs without vitamin C pills is abjectly false and misleading.

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