Linus Pauling – Vitamin C and Cancer
The medical research field is built on the foundation of substantial evidence based on thorough experiments. These experiments have been conducted over the years trying to find cures for incurable diseases including cancer. Given the rise of cancer cases, research suggesting a cure is surely going to create a buzz in the medical field and that is what Linus Pauling’s ideas have continued to do. Years after his death, researchers are still trying to validate Pauling’s love of the Vitamin C compound on which he built his theories.
Linus Pauling strongly believed that vitamin C was the key to a healthy life. From treating a cold, heart disease, and cancer, all his publications were in a bid to convince the whole world of his ideas. Unfortunately, not all supported the ideas leading to a never-ending debate that is even going on today.
Linus Pauling and Cancer
Back in 1971 after the war on cancer begun with the federal government increasing funding in cancer research, Linus Pauling was quick to jump on this new disease with the claim that vitamin C was the way to reverse the growths. He partnered with Dr. Ewan Cameron, a cancer specialist who had found out that doses of 10 grams of vitamin C daily slowed cancerous growth among some of the cancer patients.
As always, this was good news for Linus and they started to build on these findings in order to offer patients a longer life. The study which the two published later in 1979 and even wrote a book, cancer, and vitamin C, solidified their theory. Cancer patients who took the 10g were able to get their vitamin C blood levels to normal saturation.
Of course, after publishing the study, other researchers extensively looked at it and some saw some issues which the Mayo Clinic was on the frontline to prove. They performed trials that differed from Linus’ findings and that led to a loss in funding. However, Linus stuck with his idea as the Mayo Clinic had measured vitamin C’s effectiveness in a similar manner to cancer drug treatment thereby focusing on the disease rather than the patient. Linus Pauling still believed that vitamin C would help regress tumors and maybe offer full recovery to the point that even when his wife was sick with stomach cancer, he continued to believe he would cure her.
His theory and today’s findings
You can be sure that if the cure to cancer lies in Linus Pauling’s ideas, the research will continue until there is a conclusive verdict. Hence, a series of studies have been done and others are ongoing. For instance, the Canadian medical association journal published a study by Mark Lavine and colleagues which claimed that patients showed a longer survival after high levels of ascorbate (vitamin C) were introduced in the blood.
Another study by Mark Lavine and colleagues, also showed how toxic ascorbate was to tumor cells. The PNAS study also showed how the process depended on hydrogen peroxide generation.
NIH reported on the vitamin C effect on cancer as well. Their reports, however, were not in support of Linus Pauling’s ideas as they stated that high doses of vitamin C could reach saturation after which it was dangerous for the patient. Following the report, Dr. Steve Hickey and Dr. Hillary Roberts examined the evidence as well as dug deeper into other researches. The duo found errors on the NIH reports and while the evidence from other studies iron-proofed Linus’ ideas.
Clearly, Linus Pauling left us with an uphill task of finding the truth in his treatment of cancer idea using vitamin C. The above cases are just some that have proven Linus wasn’t wrong as well as dismissed his theory-NIH report. Since there is no definitive study so far, we have to keep looking until we can say with 100% certainty that Vitamin C helps in cancer treatment.
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