Treatment of AIDS with Vitamin C
AIDS and Vitamin C
VITAMIN C IN THE TREATMENT
OF ACQUIRED IMMUNE DEFICIENCY SYNDROME (AIDS)
Copyright (C), 1994 and prior years, Dr. Robert F. Cathcart. Permission granted to distribute via the internet as long as material is distributed in its entirity and not modified.
These large amounts of ascorbate are being drawn off the GI tract at a rate sufficient to prevent significant amounts from reaching the rectum and producing diarrhea. Measurements of ascorbate in urine, saliva, or serum indicate that if sufficient doses of ascorbate are not given when a patient is ill, the body level of vitamin C drops rapidly. In such a case, there is not enough vitamin C left in the body, particularly in the cells directly involved by the disease, to guarantee all the known housekeeping functions of the vitamin. Those functions known to be dependent on vitamin C, including several metabolic reactions necessary for proper functioning of the immune system, are put at risk of malfunctioning. I call this condition -acute induced scurvy.-
PREMIERE FREE RADICAL
-Note: this premiere free radical scavenger function has little to do with nutrition but is a pharmacologic effect of ascorbate when utilized in unnatural amounts for humans.-
Actually, the complete neutralization of free radicals requires several steps involving other substances, e.g. glutathione. However clinically, the most frequent limiting factor in the reduction of free radicals is ascorbate. In certain conditions such as chemical allergies, certain other limiting factors may become critically important, e.g. selenium and glutathione. Some have worried that a buildup of dehydroascorbate would be toxic in certain of these conditions. Clinically, this consideration has not created a problem when very large doses of ascorbate are used. Perhaps it is the high ratio of ascorbate to dehydroascorbate, I am careful to maintain in these patients, that protects against any temporarily accumulating dehydroascorbate. Further, I should like to point out that the dehydroascorbate formed should not be as toxic as that free radical the ascorbate reduces as it itself is oxidized into dehydroascorbate.
In a way, it is unfortunate that this free radical scavenger and vitamin C are the same substance. When ascorbate is destroyed in the process of destroying free radicals, the vitamin C stores, particularly in the cells directly involved in the disease process, are so depleted as to cause disorders of known housekeeping functions of vitamin C.
It is certain that AIDS causes this depletion. The sicker the patient is, the more ascorbate will be destroyed by the disease process. This depletion certainly contributes to the terminal events and probably plays a key role in the increased susceptibility of AIDS patients to various pathogens.
ASCORBATE VS. AN AIDS
-Actually, 10 to 20 grams/24 hours of ascorbate is easily tolerated and is not toxic- (1,2,3,4,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14). Unfortunately, clinically I have shown that the AIDS disease process destroys even larger amounts of ascorbate than the 10 to 20 grams because bowel tolerance is regularly increased to the range of from 40 to 185 grams of C per 24 hours in the patient who has moderate Kaposi's lesions and/or moderate lymphadenopathy. -Therefore, the 10 to 20 gram equivalent of ascorbate in the test tube will not be adequate in vivo-.
The following preliminary recommendations are based partly upon an anecdotal group of approximately 90 AIDS patients who sought medical care from physicians but who also took high doses of ascorbate on their own. Additionally, it is based upon 12 of my AIDS patients, 6 of whom were given intravenous ascorbate for a short period of time. Most of these patients have had considerable improvement in their condition. This improvement seems somewhat proportional to the amount of ascorbate taken by the patient relative to the severity of his disease. If the patient tolerates enough ascorbate to "neutralize the toxicity" of his disease and if the secondary infections are treated; his condition will go into remission. Subjectively, symptoms decrease and increase inversely with how closely the patient titrates to bowel tolerance.
The only death has been in a patient who had previously chemotherapy, interferon, and total body Xray therapy. Additionally, his veins were so destroyed by previous treatments that intravenous vitamin C therapy could not be continued under the existing circumstances.
Such a preliminary report
of recommendations is justified only because of the urgency of the problem
addressed and because in
PROTOCOL FOR AIDS PATIENTS
As predicted, AIDS patients are usually capable of ingesting large doses of ascorbate. It is desirable that the amount of ascorbate taken orally be maximized. Patients are -titrated to bowel tolerance- (the amount that almost, but not quite, causes diarrhea). A -balanced ascorbate- mixture is utilized which is made up of a mixture of approximately 25% buffered ascorbate salts (calcium, magnesium, and potassium ascorbate) and 75% ascorbic acid. This mixture is dissolved in a small amount of water and taken at least every hour. The purpose of the frequent doses and this balanced mixture is to maximize the amount of ascorbate tolerated without producing diarrhea. Patients are permitted to vary the percentage of ascorbate salts to straight ascorbic acid according to taste. The usual amount tolerated initially is between 40 and 100 grams per 24 hours. -Doses in excess of 100 grams per 24 hours may be necessary with secondary bacterial and viral infections-. As the patient's condition improves, bowel tolerance will decrease.
When intravenous ascorbate is found necessary because the toxicity of the condition exceeds the ability of the patient to take adequate amounts of ascorbate to scavenge all of the free radicals created by the primary AIDS infection and the various secondary infections, the following intravenous solutions should be utilized. Sodium ascorbate buffered to a pH 7.4 and without preservatives is added to sterile water in a concentration of 60 grams per 500 cc. This concentration is twice the concentration I have recommended before because it is well tolerated in young males with large veins. Patients with small veins may be best treated with solutions of 60 grams per liter. The time of the infusions should be over at least a 3 hour period, preferably longer. As much as daily administration of 3 bottles, 180 grams per 24 hours, may be necessary in acutely ill patients, e.g. Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia, disseminated herpes, disseminated cytomegalovirus, and atypical pneumonia. Enough ascorbate should be administered to detoxify the patient regardless of the amount needed. Additionally, oral doses of ascorbate should be taken simultaneously with the intravenous ascorbate. -Do not let the patients become lazy and discontinue bowel tolerance doses of ascorbate while the intravenous ascorbate is being administered-.
There is a high incidence of food and chemical sensitivities associated with Candida sensitivities (15,16,17) and Candida must be suspected whenever such sensitivities are discovered.
FOOD AND CHEMICAL
This increased incidence of food and chemical sensitivities is very important to understand because apparent adverse reactions to vitamin C may occur. These reactions are almost never due to the ascorbate itself. Most ascorbate is made from corn. Minute amounts of chemicals used in the manufacture of ascorbate may remain. Residuals of these substances are almost invariably the cause of the sensitivity reactions. Ascorbates made from sego palm or from tapioca and which presumably are manufactured with some different chemicals, are often tolerated. Different brands should be tried. It is almost always possible to find some ascorbate that is tolerated. This sensitivity problem is very important to deal with because patients frequently feel their life depends on taking adequate amounts of ascorbate and they may be correct in this feeling.
Many times gastrointestinal discomfort and excessive gas can be alleviated by changing to the sego palm ascorbate or changing brands of ascorbate.
Viral infections should be treated with intensification of the ascorbate treatment. Intravenous ascorbate may become necessary.
should not be utilized.
All sharing of body fluids and fecal material should stop (18). Repeated exposures, not only to possible AIDS infection, but to the secondary infections, especially intestinal parasites and Candida should be avoided.
MONITORING VALUE OF
The amount of this burn has some practical and prognostic values; e.g., a patient with a burn much over 25-30 grams almost inevitably has something the matter with him and a thorough diagnostic workup is indicated. A lover of one of the AIDS patients had a burn of 100 grams. It was found that his helper/suppressor T-cell ratio was 0.7 but he had no other sign of disease. Over a 6 month period, the burn has dropped to 25 grams. AIDS has not been diagnosed in this patient but there is good reason to suspect that he has a pre-AIDS condition. The AIDS patient himself has had his burn drop from 125 grams to 35 grams. His lymphadenopathy has improved considerably.
AIDS POSSIBLY INVOLVING A
PERMANENT OR PROLONGED LOSS OF T-HELPER CELLS
This case, plus the previous two cases, strongly suggest that the basic AIDS infection, probably caused by a virus, is no longer active in these cases and that subsequent ascorbate burns and various later manifestations of the AID syndrome are caused by secondary and opportunistic infections. One is reminded of the permanent damage of certain viral infections in association with certain predisposing factors initiating an immune response to the beta cells of the islets of Langerhans and causing juvenile-onset diabetes (19).
ASCORBATE AND THE
POSSIBLE PREVENTION OF AIDS
It is on this basis that I recommend that all persons who fear exposure to AIDS and certainly anyone receiving blood trans- fusions or other blood products which could in the most remote way have been obtained from an AIDS carrier, be put on bowel tolerance doses of ascorbate.
CONTROLLED STUDIES OF
OTHER SUBSTANCES [may be] CONTAMINATED WITH ASCORBATE
POSSIBLE ELIMINATION OF
THE AID SYNDROME
I have preliminary evidence in one patient in which the above program was tried that while the secondary problems were markedly suppressed by the ascorbate (7 lbs, 11 oz in 14 days) that the basic AIDS condition was not reversed. This case plus the cases implying the permanent or prolonged suppression of the immune system make it essential to treat the prodrome stages of AIDS with ascorbate.
If there is not a complete elimination of the basic AIDS process, bowel tolerance doses of ascorbate and the rest of the described protocol will probably have to be maintained for life.
My experience (1,2,3,4), and experience of other researchers (10,11,12,13,14,20,26,27) is that acute self limiting viral diseases can be reliably cured with massive doses of ascorbate. Viral diseases that have become chronic seem to involve pathologic processes which are not quite as susceptible to ascorbate but which nevertheless are ameliorated, sometimes seemingly cured. It is hoped that funds will be made available for such a project.
C-paste has also been useful on early Kaposi's lesions. It should be applied up to 4 times a day. Alternatively, soaks of 20% sodium ascorbate or ascorbic acid (1 gram per 5 cc of water) for 15-30 minutes, 4 times a day may be helpful. Be careful not to irritate the skin too much even with these solutions. Keep ascorbic acid out of the eyes; a 20% -sodium ascorbate- solution can be used in the eyes with care.
The use of ascorbate is
increasing in the male homosexual population of the San Francisco Bay Area
and spreading across the
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