Vitamin C raises intriguing questions – Orillia Packet & Times

Several weeks ago, I reported autopsies of the brains of people diagnosed with dementia reveal damage to small arteries, which may cause tiny strokes and brain injury. Researchers also discovered mice with Alzheimer’s disease (AD), when treated with vitamin C, showed typical amyloid plaques associated with this disease disappeared. And since high doses of vitamin C can decrease the risk of heart attack by providing oxygenated blood, could it also prevent AD?

So, I asked readers, “Do you know anyone who has used Medi-C Plus, or other brands containing high doses of vitamin C (4,000 to 6,000 milligrams) for several years, then developed Alzheimer’s disease?”

MM replied, “I believe Linus Pauling, the Nobel Prize winner, was right that low amounts of C cause tiny cracks in arteries leading to blood clots and coronary attack. So why can’t the same thing happen in the brain? It’s unfortunate he wasn’t listened to by doctors. But better late than never. Thank you for trying to save lives with your keyboard.”

MC replied, “Thank you for an interesting article and for thinking outside the box when so many are developing AD. As a health care aid, none of my clients with AD were taking big amounts of C.”

From Victoria: “It makes sense that a decreased flow of oxygenated blood to the brain is an unhealthy situation.” She added: “Vitamin C is not taken seriously. It sounds too simple, too available and people have been brainwashed into believing that only an expensive drug will cure AD. If vitamin C is the answer, big pharma will find a way to squash it.”

Another replied, “I’m encouraged any time an MD brings these topics to the forefront as I feel the majority of physicians are woefully ignorant about natural remedies.”

Many readers told heartbreaking stories of loved ones who had succumbed to this devastating disease. They described the agony of being told nothing could be done to stop the lingering death of AD.

TT reported, “I enjoy your articles and have been consuming vitamins for 35 years. But I only take 1,000 mg of C and plan to increase the amount.”

This was the general response of many readers. Others asked if giving large doses of C would help those who already have AD. Today, there is no evidence this would reverse the disease, nor research to prove it.

Some readers were concerned taking high doses of vitamin C would injure kidneys. Linus Pauling used 20,000 mg daily and he lived to age 94. I don’t know of any study that shows this is a problem. I’ve found it interesting, however, that many patients tell me high doses of C decreased nighttime visits to the bathroom.

But remember, I am not your doctor, so a decision to take vitamin C must be decided between you and your own physician.

You may remember I stressed in a previous column my inquiry was not a scientific study. I added there would never be a study as vitamin C is a natural product and cannot be patented. So, no one will spend millions of dollars on research with no chance of repayment. This is why, with an epidemic of AD, and still no cure, it is time to think outside the box. Many agreed with me.

Your responses show many readers have known AD patients who did not take high doses of C. But having received a ton of responses, no one has been able to tell me of an AD patient who died after being on large doses of vitamin C for several years.

It would be irresponsible for me to suggest at least 4,000 mg of C for several years would protect from Alzheimer’s disease. But we know tens of thousands of people are using Medi-C Plus and other high brands of vitamin C available in health-food stores. So, it is thought provoking that none of my readers can report a single case in which AD has developed after long-term use of big C.

It does make you wonder!

Dr. Ken Walker (Gifford-Jones) is a graduate of the University of Toronto and the Harvard Medical School. He trained in general surgery at the Strong Memorial Hospital, University of Rochester, Montreal General Hospital, McGill University and in gynecology at Harvard. His column is published by 70 Canadian newspapers, as well as internationally. For more information, visit or email


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