Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Vitamin Injections: Testing Response vs. Dose (Vitamin C and Niacin)

No disease can be cured without the help of vitamins. The absence of vitamins in the diet causes fatal vitamin deficiency diseases. Diseases are expected to get worse if the body is deprived of vitamins during the healing process. Since it is impractical to measure the amount of vitamins in every meal, it is wise to take a multivitamin at least once or twice a week.

Physicians have been investigating effectiveness as a function of vitamin doses for decades. In my opinion, the most remarkable reports involve 10,000 to 100,000 mg/day doses of vitamin C and 50 to 5000 mg/day doses of niacin. Both vitamins have obvious side effects at the high end of these doses, so significant benefits are required to make taking these doses worthwhile. This column will discuss sinusitis and cancer.

Cforyourself claims that taking as much vitamin C as the digestive tract can manage is required to get maximum benefit for sinusitis. The benefit of vitamin C is claimed to increase with dose out to the highest tolerable amounts (10,000 to 100,000 mg/day).

Sinusitis often occurs in both sinuses. Vitamin C pills treat both sinuses equally, and spread the delivered dose more or less evenly throughout the body. I believe that the need for extraordinary doses of vitamin C may be limited to the sinuses. If so, why not use sodium ascorbate injections to both selectively deliver the vitamin to the sinus tissue and to test response as a function of dose. When sinusitis is present in both sinuses, physicians could inject different doses at different frequencies. Very high doses could be delivered to the sinus tissue while exposing the rest of the body to ordinary doses. I have written that I believe niacin increases the effectiveness of vitamin C for treating colds and other respiratory infections. Adding niacin to the injections could test the theory.

Drs. Pauling, Hoffer, and Cathcart are leading advocates of high doses of vitamin C and/or niacin as part of the treatment strategy for cancer (vitamin therapy is believed by many vitamin advocates to effectively complement chemotherapy). As of now, the effectiveness of high doses of vitamins against cancer remains controversial. The mechanism of action is unknown. What if high doses of vitamins fight cancer locally? If they do, injections provide a method of acquiring facts about effectiveness and dose/response. Tissues directly surrounding tumors could be injected with vitamins and the response observed. Tumors remote from the injections would serve as controls. If chemotherapy were more effective at the sites of the vitamin injections, the usefulness of vitamins as part of cancer treatments would be obvious.

The effectiveness of high doses of vitamins has remained controversial for decades. New approaches are needed to break the stalemate. I hope researchers will consider vitamin injections as a means of putting their ideas to the test.

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