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Letters to the Editor Issue 166

by Letters(more info)

listed in letters to the editor, originally published in issue 166 - January 2010

Edging Towards Legal Challenge – EU Health Claims, Bill C-6 Canada and CODEX

Have you noticed the way governments and regulators are working these days?

The once slow and steady erosion of our basic rights and freedoms is gathering a head of steam in many parts of the world, leaving the recognizable footprint of political gradualism as a calling card.  These freedoms have been hard won by our predecessors, and many of us take them for granted.  Unfortunately, we can't any longer.

Have you seen what has been proposed within the unconstitutional Bill C-6 in Canada?  Canadians have the power to stop this bill in its tracks if they answer the call to action.  And did you hear that leading US constitutional lawyer, Jonathan Emord, is in agreement with the ANH that the EU Nutrition and Health Claims Regulation (NHCR) is the most serious infringement to freedom of speech that we've witnessed in the area of natural health?  A legal challenge may be the only way to stop this piece of legislation.  The NHCR fails to meet its intended objective of helping the consumer make informed choices.  Why? Because, first of all, it looks like a vast array of claims concerning the health benefits of foods and food ingredients (including food supplements) are going to be disallowed by the EU's highest authority on food safety, the infamous European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).  If this weren't enough, those products for which claims are allowed will all use the same claims, making it almost impossible for consumers to distinguish between different products.  This will benefit the cheapest products, produced and sold by the largest manufacturers and retailers.  Small companies, the pioneers in the natural health field, will lose out most.  And the justification? "Consumer protection" we are told.  There is a very high likelihood that many businesses will simply to go to the wall.  Without legal challenge, the NHCR sounds the end of emerging science, the end of a choice in healthcare and may leave many with no choice but to use pharmaceuticals.  The NHCR – a regulation or a game plan? 

Action to challenge these restrictive laws is crucial if we value our basic human rights and the principles on which most democracies have been founded. Working together we wield massive consumer power.  Working together we have the power to initiate change, succeed in legal challenges and preserve some semblance of democracy. This month, two different UK Downing Street e-Petitions received an identical meaningless response from the Prime Minister's Office. This reveals either a startling lack of interest and/or incompetence, or more worryingly, an indication of just how little democracy remains. Given that around 64,000 people felt strongly enough to sign the UK petitions, this is perhaps political suicide given the upcoming UK election.

Increasingly, we see governments trying to sneak through legislation at times when citizens are likely to have their attention diverted elsewhere – like Christmas, for example – in the hope that they will escape notice. The Polish parliament has done just that by choosing to have its debate and vote on the new 'GMO Act' today, on December 15th 2009. If this goes through, it will legalize the first planting of GM foods on Polish soil and is a classic example of political manipulation and corporate connivance. The Poles have been adamant that they don't want GM polluting their food, their bodies, their livestock and their countryside, but the powers that be have turned a deaf ear and a blind eye to date. We await this result with interest.

A recently published paper in a peer-reviewed journal lays bare the unsavoury reality of conflicts of interest in three European drug regulation agencies – all of which appear to be putting their corporate pro-pharma agendas ahead of genuine (legally proportionate) risk management. Whilst this paper focuses on Europe, it doesn't mean that the rot isn't more widespread. Other studies show the hand of Big Pharma behind much of the bias against natural health that we see syndicated across the world's media.

If you live outside of the EU, you may be breathing a sigh of relief after reading this, but remember that certainly with regard to the natural health industry, it's the EU legislative template that's informing Codex Alimentarius, at least in the area of health claims and vitamin/mineral supplements. Through this mechanism, the EU Master Plan is being exported to the rest of the world. Whilst the signing and ratification of the Lisbon Treaty in Europe means that all EU Member States have effectively handed over ultimate power to the unelected bureaucrats in Brussels (at least with respect to public health issues), our restrictive regime could be coming to a country near you very soon! 

Governments should be answerable to its citizens, not large corporations. Do you feel strongly enough about your rights and freedoms to get involved? 

Further Information

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Alliance for Natural Health  

Vitamin C As An Antiviral:

It's All About Dose

One of the most frequent questions from Orthomolecular Medicine News Service readers is, Just how much vitamin C should I take?

Our bodies cannot make vitamin C (ascorbate), although most animals can. We must get it from our food and from supplements. But how much do we really need? Persistent arguments on this question may be settled by looking at how much vitamin C animals manufacture in their bodies. The answer is: quite a lot. Most animals make the human body-weight equivalent of 5,000 to 10,000 milligrams a day. It is unlikely that animals would have evolved to make this much vitamin C if they did not need it and use it. Indeed, cells in many human body tissues concentrate vitamin C by 25-fold or more over blood concentration.

Each person's need for vitamin C differs because of differences in genetics and individual biochemistry.[1,2,3] Further, our bodies undergo different stresses, and we certainly eat different foods. Therefore, the daily need for ascorbate to maintain health for an adult varies between 2,000 – 20,000 mg/day. Linus Pauling personally took 18,000 mg of vitamin C daily. Although he was often ridiculed for this, it is interesting to note that Dr. Pauling had two more Nobel prizes than any of his critics. He died at age 93. Abram Hoffer MD, a colleague of Pauling's, took megadoses of vitamin C and successfully gave it to thousands of patients over 55 years of medical practice. Dr. Hoffer died at age 91.

Antiviral Function

When we are challenged with a viral infection, our need for vitamin C can rise dramatically, depending on the body's immune function, level of injury, infection, or environmental toxicity such as cigarette smoke.[4,5] Ascorbate at sufficiently high doses can prevent viral disease and greatly speed recovery from an acute viral infection. Surprising to some, this was originally observed by physicians in the 1940s and has been verified and re-verified over the last 60 years by doctors who achieved quick and complete recovery in their patients with ascorbate mega-doses.[5] The effective therapeutic dose is based on clinical observation and bowel tolerance. Clinical observation is essentially "taking enough C to be symptom free, whatever that amount may be." Bowel tolerance means exactly what you think it means: the amount that can be absorbed from the gut without causing loose stools.[5,6] Very high doses, 30,000 – 200,000 mg, divided up throughout the day, are remarkably non-toxic and have been documented by physicians as curing viral diseases as various as the common cold, flu, hepatitis, viral pneumonia, and even polio.[4,5,7] On first reading this may sound incredible. We invite interested persons to read further, starting with the references listed below, and especially Dr Frederick R. Klenner's Clinical Guide to the Use of Vitamin C. This short book is posted in its entirety at  

Mechanism For Ascorbate Antiviral Effect

Several mechanisms for vitamin C's antiviral effect are known or suggested from studies.[4,8] The antioxidant property of ascorbate promotes a reducing environment in the bloodstream and tissues, enhancing the body's response to oxidative stress from inflammation,[9] thereby helping to fight microbes and viruses that propagate in stressful conditions.[10] Ascorbate has been shown to have specific antiviral effects in which it inactivates the RNA or DNA of viruses,[11,12,13] or in the assembly of the virus.[14]

Vitamin C is also involved in enhancing several functions of the immune system. Ascorbate can enhance the production of interferon, which helps prevent cells from being infected by a virus.[15,16] Ascorbate stimulates the activity of antibodies,[17] and in megadoses seems to have a role in mitochondrial energy production.[18] It can enhance phagocyte function, which is the body's mechanism for removing viral particles and other unwanted debris.[4] White blood cells, involved in the body's defence against infections of all types, concentrate ascorbate up to 80 times plasma levels, which, if you take enough vitamin C, allows them to bring huge amounts of ascorbate to the site of the infection.[4] Many different components of the immune response, B-cells, T-cells, NK cells, and also cytokine production, all with important roles in the immune response, are enhanced by ascorbate.[19-23] Additionally, ascorbate improves the immune response from vaccination.[24,25]


Vitamin C at high doses is effective in preventing viral infection and enhancing recovery. Several mechanisms are known, including specific viral anti-replication processes and enhancement of many components of the body's cellular immune system. When taken at an appropriate dose in a timely manner, ascorbate is our best tool for curing acute viral illness.


[1]. Williams RJ, Deason G. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 57:1638-1641. Individuality in vitamin C needs. 1967.
[2]. Pauling L (1986) How to Live Longer And Feel Better, by Linus Pauling (Paperback – ISBN-13: 9780870710964. May 2006.
[3]. Hoffer A, Saul AW Orthomolecular Medicine for Everyone: Megavitamin Therapeutics for Families and Physicians. ISBN-13: 9781591202264. 2009.
[4]. Levy TE. Curing the Incurable: Vitamin C, Infectious Diseases, and Toxins. ISBN-13: 9781401069636. 2002.
[5]. Hickey S, Saul AW Vitamin C: The Real Story, the Remarkable and Controversial Healing Factor. ISBN-13: 9781591202233. 2008.
[6]. Cathcart RF Vitamin C, titrating to bowel tolerance, anascorbemia, and acute induced scurvy. Med Hypotheses. 7:1359-1376. 1981.
[7]. Klenner FR The significance of high daily intake of ascorbic acid in preventive medicine, in: Physician's Handbook on Orthomolecular Medicine, Third Edition, 1979, Roger Williams, PhD, ed., p 51-59. 1979.
[8]. Webb AL, Villamor E. Update: Effects of antioxidant and non-antioxidant vitamin supplementation on immune function. Nutrition Reviews 65:181-217. 2007.
[9]. Wintergerst ES, Maggini S, Hornig DH Immune-enhancing role of vitamin C and zinc and effect on clinical conditions. Ann Nutr Metab. 50:85-94. 2006.
[10]. Kastenbauer S, Koedel U, Becker BF, Pfister HW. Oxidative stress in bacterial meningitis in humans. Neurology. 58:186-191. 2002.
[11]. Murata A, Oyadomari R, Ohashi T, Kitagawa K. Mechanism of inactivation of bacteriophage deltaA containing single-stranded DNA by ascorbic acid. J Nutr Sci Vitaminol (Tokyo). 21:261-269. 1975.
[12]. Harakeh S, Jariwalla RJ, Pauling L. Suppression of human immunodeficiency virus replication by ascorbate in chronically and acutely infected cells. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 87:7245-7249. 1990.
[13]. White LA, Freeman CY, Forrester BD, Chappell WA. In vitro effect of ascorbic acid on infectivity of herpesviruses and paramyxoviruses. J Clin Microbiol. 24: 527-531.1986.
[14]. Furuya A, Uozaki M, Yamasaki H, Arakawa T, Arita M, Koyama AH. Antiviral effects of ascorbic and dehydroascorbic acids in vitro. Int J Mol Med. 22:541-545. 2008.
[15]. Gerber, WF. Effect of ascorbic acid, sodium salicylate and caffeine on the serum interferon level in response to viral infection. Pharmacology, 13: 228. 1975.
[16]. Karpinska T, Kawecki Z, Kandefer-Szerszen M. The influence of ultraviolet irradiation, L-ascorbic acid and calcium chloride on the induction of interferon in human embryo fibroblasts. Arch Immunol Ther Exp (Warsz). 30:33-37. 1982.
[17]. Anderson R, Dittrich OC. Effects of ascorbate on leucocytes: Part IV. Increased neutrophil function and clinical improvement after oral ascorbate in 2 patients with chronic granulomatous disease. S Afr Med J. 1;56476-80. 1979.
[18]. Gonz lez MJ, Miranda JR, Riordan HD. Vitamin C as an Ergogenic Aid. J Orthomolecular Med 20:100-102. 2005.
[19]. Kennes B, Dumont I, Brohee D, Hubert C, Neve P. Effect of vitamin C supplements on cell-mediated immunity in old people. Gerontology. 29:305-310. 1983.
[20]. Siegel BV, Morton JI. Vitamin C and immunity: influence of ascorbate on prostaglandin E2 synthesis and implications for natural killer cell activity. Int J Vitam Nutr Res. 54:339-342. 1984.
[21]. Jeng KC, Yang CS, Siu WY, Tsai YS, Liao WJ, Kuo JS. Supplementation with vitamins C and E enhances cytokine production by peripheral blood mononuclear cells in healthy adults. Am J Clin Nutr. 64:960-965. 1996.
[22]. Campbell JD, Cole M, Bunditrutavorn B, Vella AT. Ascorbic acid is a potent inhibitor of various forms of T cell apoptosis. Cell Immunol. 194:1-5. 1999.
[23]. Schwager J, Schulze J. Influence of ascorbic acid on the response to mitogens and interleukin production of porcine lymphocytes. Int J Vitam Nutr Res. 67:10-16. 1997.
[24]. Banic S. Immunostimulation by vitamin C. Int J Vitam Nutr Res Suppl. 23:49-52. 1982.
[25]. Wu CC, Dorairajan T, Lin TL Effect of ascorbic acid supplementation on the immune response of chickens vaccinated and challenged with infectious bursal disease virus. Vet Immunol Immunopathol. 74:145-152. 2000.

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