» There are some who consider over 2000 mg/day of Vitamin C “a large dose.”
» Of the purported possible side effects associated with high vitamin C
» intake, I thought that this one, in particular, was quite startling:
» “[Over time, large doses of vitamin C can become] a ‘pro-oxidant’ (a
» substance thought to promote cancer, heart disease, and stroke, the
» opposite of an antioxidant)”
The lively 92-year-old first gave a candid history of how he came to take up the vitamin C cause. He was introduced to the subject by biochemist Irwin Stone in 1966. Five years later, he would pen “Vitamin C and the Common Cold,” and then boldly go on to champion vitamin C as a fighter of more serious diseases such as cancer.
According to Pauling, the vitamin’s versatility in illness prevention arises from its role in the manufacture of collagen, the protein that gives shape to connective tissues and strength to skin and blood vessels.
One of the great misfortunes of human evolution, Pauling explained, was when our human ancestors lost their ability to manufacture vitamin C. Pauling thinks the trait was probably discarded at a time when our ancestors had a diet of vitamin-rich plants and didn’t need to produce the vitamin themselves. This left today’s primates (including humans) as one of the few groups of animals that must get the vitamin through the diet.
Ever since proto-humans moved out of fruit-and-vegetable-rich habitats, Pauling said, they have suffered great deficiencies of vitamin C. Pauling has forthrightly recommended that people make up for this deficiency with daily doses of vitamin C much greater than the 60 mg generally recommended.
He said our vitamin C consumption should be on par with what other animals produce by themselves, typically 10-12 grams a day.