Health in the CNMI: The Chinese, heart disease, and vitamin C – Marianas Variety
- Category: Health Matters
- By Russ Mason, M.S.
MY wife Ulan recently informed me that many of her Chinese relatives died from heart disease. This was a surprise.
In reviewing the mortality statistics of death by heart disease in China, it was far down the list. (Turkmenistan is number one). China’s statistics were even lower than those of the USA.
But why? What is the cause of heart disease? And how can it be prevented?
If we compare the USA to China, Americans tend to be fatter and more sedentary than the Chinese. One rarely sees a fat Chinese person.
But that did not explain my wife’s relatives all dying from heart disease. Nor why a nation of fairly slender people should have comparatively high incidence of heart disease.
One answer: they are not getting enough vitamin C.
Dr. Linus Pauling did decades of research on vitamin C and he reported several facts to which we should all pay attention:
According to Dr. Pauling, heart disease is an advanced form of scurvy — a vitamin C deficiency.
This flies in the face of conventional medical wisdom, but Pauling was firm on this. Through a genetic mutation centuries ago, human beings are one of the few animal species which do not make their own vitamin C in the liver or kidneys. Even a goat makes 14 grams of vitamin C per day, which is a huge amount, even for a human.
14 grams is 14,000 mg. The RDA or Recommended Daily Allowance for humans is 60 mg, which is almost nothing. If you smoke cigarettes, one cigarette will consume the 60 mgs of vitamin C. If you smoke 10 cigarettes per day, you’ll need 600 mgs just to stay even.
The 60 mg of vitamin C in the RDA list is, in theory, enough to prevent scurvy, provided the person doesn’t smoke cigarettes.
As you may know, British sailors during the 17th to the 19th centuries suffered from scurvy until some savvy natives in the Sandwich Islands (Hawaii today) showed them that by eating certain tropical fruits — primarily limes — the scurvy could be easily cured. That is why British sailors are often called “Limeys,” a term they hate, by the way.
Banishing scurvy is comparatively easy in the USA. That is because, as a nation, we eat more fruit and vegetables than did the sailors of history; they mostly ate salt-cured beef or pork, and hard-tack biscuits.
And, while the comparatively small amount of vitamin C derived from eating fresh fruit is sufficient to eradicate scurvy it will not, according to Dr. Pauling, have any preventive value for coronary heart disease.
“One of the most intensely studied areas of vitamin C benefits is in the area of cardiovascular health. Researchers are finding that vitamin C impacts several aspects of cardiac health, ranging from blood pressure to endothelial health. Perhaps it’s not surprising that as the relationship between oxidative damage, inflammation, and atherosclerosis becomes increasingly investigated by science, vitamin C is seen as a key protective element against many aspects of cardiovascular disease.
“Vitamin C — Breakthroughs in Cardiovascular Health
“For years, scientists have warned us against the dangerous buildup of plaque that can lead to a heart attack or stroke. Researchers are investigating the possibilities that vitamin C may play a role in reducing our risk of plaque buildup.
“In the early stages of atherosclerosis, white blood cells called monocytes migrate and stick to the walls of the endothelium. Once this process begins, our vessel walls begin to thicken and lose their elasticity, which paves the way for atherosclerosis.
“Interestingly, British researchers studied the effects of vitamin C supplementation (250 mg/day) on this adhesion process in 40 healthy adults. Before the study, subjects with low pre-supplementation levels of vitamin C had 30 percent greater monocyte adhesion than normal, putting them at higher risk for atherosclerosis. Impressively, after six weeks of supplementation, the rate of this dangerous monocyte adhesion actually fell by 37 percent.
“The researchers went on to demonstrate that the same small dose of vitamin C was able to normalize a molecule that white blood cells use to adhere to the endothelium. The findings indicated that through supplementation with vitamin C, scientists were able to regulate how specific genes produce vital proteins, thereby reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease at the molecular level.”
It appears that Dr. Pauling was correct, but he would have disagreed with a dose of 250 mg. Still, a daily dose of 250 mg of vitamin C might possibly have extended the lives of my wife’s relatives.
“The Pauling/Rath unified (vitamin C) theory of cardiovascular disease constitutes one of the great potential breakthroughs of modern science. Their remarkable theory, and its intriguing claim that very low cost Lp(a) binding inhibitors will prevent and even dissolve arterial blockages has apparently gone unnoticed by the pharmaceutical industry, the medical profession, and the media.
“It would be a miracle if the cure for heart disease already exists. It would be even more miraculous if the therapy that leads to the cure works quickly (even in advanced disease), is completely non-toxic, inexpensive, and is available at any drug store without a prescription.
“ ‘When your doctor tells you that this theory “hasn’t been proven,” you should know that it hasn’t been studied. This outstanding achievement by one or most reputable scientists has been ignored. Should your doctor tell you the therapy is unproven, you can reply that no one has shown that it doesn’t work.’ — Dr. Owen Richard Fonorow, Orthomolecular Naturopath.”
Last Sunday we had a guest, a Korean woman who was experiencing upper respiratory distress. She also had a sore throat. Ulan asked me if there was anything I could do for her.
I mixed up a small glass of buffered vitamin C powder, about 2 grams, and gave it to her to drink, along with 2 aspirin for the sore throat. She was much improved within 30 minutes, and was all smiles by the time she went home. The vitamin C drink probably helped her heart also.
Too bad I couldn’t have helped Ulan’s relatives with such a simple vitamin drink. But it is not too late for you to help yourself. If you are not taking at least 500 mg of vitamin C every day, please consider it. It’s the cheapest and best heart health insurance there is.
Opinions expressed by Marianas Variety contributors are their own.