Vitamin C vs. TB
- Created on Tuesday, 28 May 2013 23:19
I found a new report interesting where researchers discovered that Vitamin C can kill multidrug-resistant TB germs (tuberculosis) in the lab. The study authors from Yeshiva University in Israel made the revelation in Nature Communications, and they think the same action may be possible form giving vitamin C to humans. Lead investigator Dr William Jacobs, professor of microbiology and immunology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine at Yeshiva University, says, "We have only been able to demonstrate this in a test tube, and we don't know if it will work in humans and in animals. This would be a great study to consider because we have strains of tuberculosis that we don't have drugs for, and I know that in the laboratory we can kill those strains with vitamin C. It also helps that we know vitamin C is inexpensive, widely available and very, very safe to use. At the very least, this work shows us a new mechanism that we can exploit to attack TB."
This does sound promising, and I hope they pursue it. For the record, I don’t take megadoses of Vitamin C in my daily life, and I don’t desire to do so, even if this turns into something terrific. And the reason is that I wouldn’t want to condition my body to getting a super-high dose of Vitamin C all the time. If I did it all the time, my body would adapt to it by getting lazy about absorbing Vitamin C; it would accelerate the breakdown and degradation of Vitamin C; and it would do other things to neutralize the effect I was trying to achieve. So, when I’m healthy and fit and doing fine, I want to take a generous but not exorbitant amount of Vitamin C. To my mind, that means taking no more than 1000 mgs of Vitamin C a day in supplement form, and otherwise eating a lot of Vitamin C-rich fruits and vegetables. That’s as high as I’m willing to go on a daily basis. But, if I were in a situation where I was fighting an infection or had some other health problem, I would be entirely open to temporarily taking much more Vitamin C, either orally or intravenously, depending on the circumstances. And I mean, perhaps, for several weeks. And so far, thankfully, I haven’t been in that situation so I haven’t had to do it or consider doing it. So, I have never actually done it. But, I would certainly be open to it if my circumstances changed for the worse.
When it comes to therapeutics, my attitude is that when you can do something which may be helpful, and where it is entirely safe and can’t possibly hurt you, which is certainly true of taking Vitamin C, then it pays to do it. And that’s another reason why I don’t want to do it all the time because I suspect it will have greater potential to help if I am conservative with Vitamin C in the day to day.
But, everything is relative. According to the government 90 mgs of Vitamin C is all you need, and they only raised it under pressure. The RDA used to be 60 mgs. But, living in a state of ideal Nature where fresh produce comprised a large percentage of your diet, you would naturally get many hundreds of milligrams of Vitamin C every day, and that is the natural order for a human being. So, I can’t imagine that 60 or 90 mgs is optimal. I definitely want to get close to if not over a gram a day, and I do. But, I’m not willing to enter the Linus Pauling realm of Vitamin C intake. And what’s interesting is that the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University, which is devoted to nutritional research, lauds Vitamin C, but they don’t actually recommend the high doses that he took. Word to the wise.