Kill Cancer with Chemotherapy. Heal the Wounds with Vitamin C, Niacin, and Multivitamins
Last week I advised cancer patients to cooperate with their physicians to kill their cancer with chemotherapy and/or radiation, and to pressure their physicians to prescribe vitamin C, niacin, and multivitamins to heal the wounds. I promised to provide references to the scientific literature that proves that vitamin C and niacin in high doses are indeed effective for wound healing. This column will discuss vitamin C.
Large area wounds to the skin are generally referred to as burns. There are many different ways to wound the skin, resulting in many categories of burns. Sun burns, heat burns, rope burns, and chemical burns are among the most common types of serious skin wounds. The skin is the largest organ in the body, and far and away the most prone to injury. Treatments that help heal wounds to the skin are likely to help heal wounds in other organs and tissues.
The chemical structure of vitamin C was worked out in the 1930’s. Methods to synthesize pure vitamin C were worked out in the 1940’s. Shortly after it became available for use as a pure pharmaceutical compound, the first reports surfaced indicating that concentrated topical and IV solutions of vitamin C were a highly effective treatment for burns. Dr. Fred Klenner is the most well known among a handful of physicians who used vitamin C to treat burns decades ago. He documented his procedures and results. These documents are easily found on the internet by typing “Klenner and burns” into Google. Klenner’s papers report that the effect of combined IV, oral, and topical vitamin C on burns is dramatic. He reported that it is an obvious scientific result and saw no need further scientific inquiry. To him, vitamin C for burns was like penicillin for bacterial infections. The treatment obviously works.
Linus Pauling looked into Klenner’s claims and reviewed the scientific literature on vitamin C and burns for his book “How to Live Longer and Feel Better”. Pauling joined Klenner’s call for action and supported Klenner’s claims by providing references to a number of early scientific papers. I encourage everyone to read Pauling’s book and scan through the roughly 500 references provided.
In the two decades since Pauling published his controversial book, his claims about burns have been tested and confirmed by rigorous science. The subject was reviewed by Michael A Dubick at the U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research in 2000. He concluded, “The data to date suggest that doses up to 66 mg/kg/h (120,000 mg/day!!) infused for 8-24 h after burn may be required to reduce fluid needs and tissue edema (swelling) and such doses have produced no overt toxicity.” Evidently his claims met with resistance because they led to an incredible experiment. Dubick was able to find funding to carry out an expensive blinded clinical trial with sheep. A group of sheep were placed into a drug-induced coma and then severely burned over 40% of their bodies. One group was treated with vitamin C, and another group was treated using today’s normal standard of care. Yet again the results confirm the claims that intravenous vitamin C in high doses works to heal burns. Physicians in Chicago carried out a similar study on guinea pigs with similar results. Physicians at the Shriner’s Hospital for Children in Cincinnati have carried out supporting experiments on cultured skin substitutes. The list goes on. I found no reports of unsuccessful trials testing this hypothesis that high dose vitamin C helps heal burns (wounded skin).
If you need still more evidence, please read my column from several weeks back about the scientific studies proving that vitamin C protects the skin from the damage caused by the sun (sun burn). Beyond the science, the cosmetics industry has successfully commercialized and marketed vitamin containing skin creams (this is called clinical confirmation). The burn trauma treatment industry is developing vitamin C products to treat burns. I found ten recent patents. Personally, I’ve used vitamin C and niacin creams to treat minor burns from kitchen accidents and I thought they worked great. Science has reached a verdict. Klenner was right 40 years ago. Pauling was right 20 years ago. Dubick was right 7 years ago. High dose vitamin C heals wounds.