This article has to discuss evolution in order to make it’s point, so before I go into the subject of Vitamin C and explain its’ importance I’d like to make a plea to those readers with strong religious beliefs who might question evolution itself. (If you have no issue with the concept of evolution please skip the following three paragraphs):
A health plea to all those who have strong religious beliefs.
I live in a part of the US where religion is a very important part of life. I believe modern Christian Ethics are one of the pinnacles of human spirituality and a gift from Jesus Christ, but I would not describe myself as a committed Christian. All Holy Books contain wisdom and offer the reader an understanding of God, but they were written by men, and reflect the knowledge of the time in which they were written. Blinkered Religious Fundamentalism, which believes in the literal truth of Holy Books can be a dangerous thing, inflicting censorious punishment on all those around, witness the horror of Fundamentalism in the Middle East as I write.
I try to be a humanist and not be bound by any dogma. I don’t reject evolution, but I don’t accept that it was accidental. I don’t reject the idea that our bodies are wonders of bio-engineering, but I don’t believe we are only our bodies either.
When I teach my many Christian friends the incredible health value of natural and supplemental nutrition I always try to explain the ‘why’ of the remedies we discuss, and in order to understand the importance of natural health one must understand human evolution. So I would ask that while you keep that beautiful gem of your faith intact, please also keep an open and inquiring mind.
Every biological process in the body requires the biological equivalent of machinery; cellular action to refine, combine, change or remove chemicals the body needs or must reject in order to be active and healthy. As our bodies have evolved, so new machinery has been acquired and some old machinery has become redundant and generally dropped, through the process of natural selection. As an example we cannot tolerate the high salinity of seawater as it has a higher concentration of salt than our blood, so if we drink seawater we must also drink a quantity of fresh water to dilute it. Sea fish however have no problem with seawater and have machinery to deal with the high salinity. Our distant evolutionary ancestors had that machinery when they emerged from the sea, but through evolution later generations dropped that machinery as it was an unneeded biological overhead requiring energy and resources that could be used for more important things.
All animals require Vitamin C in order to stay efficient and healthy. Humans are no exception. During the period that Britain was said to rule the waves right up to the middle of the nineteenth century, over two million British seamen died of Scurvy, a disease brought on by the lack of Vitamin C on long sea voyages when there was no access to fresh fruit or vegetables. The medical profession gave it a Latin derived name, as they did for every medical condition, perhaps to suggest they knew something about it or how to treat it, but they didn’t. They called it Scorbutus. Like all ‘diseases’ derived from a lack of correct nutrition, (and there are still many today treated with drugs,) the symptoms are progressive. Scurvy starts with a general feeling of lethargy, then a shortness of breath, bone pain, muscle pain, bruising and spotting of the skin, bleeding of gums and loosening teeth, wounds not healing, emotional confusion, dryness of mouth and eyes, jaundice, fluid retention under the skin, lack of urine production, nerve degeneration impairing sensation and movement, fever, convulsions and finally death. The reason these symptoms are progressive is that the body carefully shepherd’s whatever amount of the vital nutrient it has available to service the major functions of the body in order of importance.
There are five vital immunological processes in the human body, which control and destroy pathogenic viruses and bacteria, FOUR OF THESE FIVE PROCESSES REQUIRE VITAMIN C. Animals manufacture their own Vitamin C, and Linus Pauling, who wrote a wonderful treatise on human health called ‘How to live longer and feel better’, has shown that the amount of Vitamin C required by any animal is directly proportional to it’s size; ants need so much, small insects so much, birds so much, and so on through dogs, primates (including people), cattle, elephants right up to whales. In fact all the thousands of different phylums ( major classes of life,) produce all the Vitamin C they need, except the whole Primate phylum including humans – they do not have the biological machinery necessary. It is suggested that the first primates lost this machinery because their diet was so rich in Vitamin C, they didn’t need to produce it.
Pauling estimated that based on size, healthy humans needed five grams (one heaped teaspoon) of Vitamin C every day. Unhealthy humans needed far more. The reason Vitamin C is needed every day is that, like the Vitamin B group, it is water based and cannot be retained by the body – go much more than a day without it and symptoms will begin.
The Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) issued by the US Food and Nutrition Board is laughable; just one fifteenth of Pauling’s estimate. This RDA was based on a fast research program sponsored by the US army in World War 2. They needed to know how much Vitamin C was needed to keep fighting troops fit.
We get very limited amounts of Vitamin C in our food, and even if we majored on fruit every day, we wouldn’t get nearly enough; an orange contains just 50 mg of Vitamin C. Take only the RDA recommended and you can expect health trouble.
The easiest and cheapest way to obtain and take Vitamin C is to buy powder in bulk, say 5 lb bags off the Internet, and take a heaped teaspoonful every day in Orange or Tomato juice. If you are healthy take it on an empty stomach, never take it after food, you will get loose stools and you won’t be able to absorb the nutrients of the food you previously ate. I take my ‘C’ drink up to my bed, and drink it first thing in the morning half an hour before breakfast.
In a future article I will examine the reason why modern medicine does not address nutritional health.
1. You can buy Pauling’s book on any good book web site, here is an Amazon link:
2. or visit Pauling Institute’s Facebook page:
3. I currently source my Vitamin C Powder from PC Network, freephone number
1 800 453 7516