Vitamin C has always been good for your health, and it still is!

Study on Vitamin C and heart disease - farther clarification from the Vitamin C Foundation.

From: "Dr. Bill Misner, Ph.D."

I received this posting yesterday and thought the endurance list would be interested. It appears partly to explain why Vitamin C was attacked again by the news media, not by real scientists...

A similar Vitamin C bashing took place 6-8 months ago claiming vitamin C caused DNA damage, but later we discovered the DNA damage occurred in mishandling by graduate research lab technicians, when they transferred the DNA from one media to another.

The recent story linking vitamin C "pills" with "clogging" of the arteries.

We have been in contact with Professor James Dwyer of the USC Medical School, one of the principal researchers. As expected, this research seems to be good news for elderly vitamin C takers whose carotid arteries have "thinned" with age. There is no evidence of occlusion(or clogging), contrary to the media reports.

Here is what we have confirmed with Dr. Dwyer:
1. There is no paper as we suspected. (The USC team's paper is in "peer review" and not available.)

2. The USC team used a new "B-mode" imaging technique which is still undergoing clinical trial for accuracy at the NIH.

3. This B-mode imaging technique has three indicators. The USC team only studied one; carotid arterial "thickening" or "IMT". (Dr. Dwyer tells us there will be no reference in their paper to the other two occlusion indicators; plaque index and velocity ratio.)

4. According to correspondence, Dr. Dwyer and the USC team is unaware that arteries might get thicker with increased vitamin C intake, and that this is entirely predicted by theory. (Increased Vitamin C stimulates collagen production, but this is not well taught or well known in medical school.)

5. Last year, the same USC research team (Dwyers, et. al) wrote a paper with the OPPOSITE findings. Last year they found that stress (some would say a vitamin C deficiency) leads to early atherosclerosis in men (March 1999).

Bottom line: There is no evidence of occlusion, only thickening.

Now we need your help repairing the damage caused by the premature release of this unpublished research. Millions of people are now afraid of vitamin C. Please help spread the word. We will post more information as it becomes available at:

Dr. Cathcart the leading expert on treating people with high doses of vitamin C says,

"My experience with 25,000 patients since 1969 indicates that this charge is ridiculous. I know that follow-up is not perfect in private practice but I have had no patient who had a good heart when I first saw them and who took massive doses of C who ever developed heart problems. I have to add that I advise all my patients to avoid sugar, chemicals, and highly process foods, and put them on a number of other nutrients.

"If it turns out that there is thickening of the carotid, I think it is reversing the thinning that occurs with aging. It is interesting that the effect is so dramatic in the reversing of the effect on smokers. I have to congratulate you at the Vitamin C Foundation on unveiling the other two findings that could have been measured which were not reported.

"Probably the finding that C helped would not be publishable."


Robert Cathcart, MD
March 10, 2000

Here is some technical information on the B-mode imaging process. Note there are three measures, yet the USC paper will only mentions one. The missing two measures are used to infer occlusion.

Detailed B-mode images of the right and left common carotid artery, common carotid bifurcation, and the first centimeter of the internal carotid artery are obtained. Selected images aredigitized for later measurement of intima-media thickness. After imaging, the sonographer obtains pulsed wave Doppler measures of blood flow velocity at the mid common (2 cm proximal to the carotid bulb) and in the internal carotid artery at the point of highest velocity distal to the flow divider. These are used to calculate the degree to which plaque may be interfering with blood flow.

The scanning and reading protocols result in three primary carotid disease measures:

1. average wall intima-media thickness ;
2. a measure of degree of focal plaque called the plaque index;
3. and the velocity ratio, a determination of whether or not plaque is interfering with blood flow in the internal carotid artery.

Again, the USC team's report will only concern arterial thickness. The occlusion indicators are not reported for reasons unknown.

Owen R. Fonorow
The Vitamin C Foundation