High dose vitamin C is a remarkably safe and effective treatment for viral infections. [1,2] In high doses, vitamin C neutralizes free radicals, helps kill viruses, and strengthens the body's immune system. Taking supplemental vitamin C routinely helps prevent viral infections.
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Source - Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, October 26, 2005
VITAMIN C BEATS BIRD FLU AND OTHER VIRUSES, TOO
(OMNS) High dose vitamin C is a remarkably safe and effective treatment for viral infections. [1,2] In high doses, vitamin C neutralizes free radicals, helps kill viruses, and strengthens the body's immune system. Taking supplemental vitamin C routinely helps prevent viral infections.
The Avian Flu (or Bird Flu), so often mentioned by newspapers, magazines and other news sources, is a particularly severe form of influenza. It should probably be called Poultry Flu, since almost all of the 150 or so human infections have come from domestic poultry.  Interestingly, the symptoms of avian flu include hemorrhages under the skin, and bleeding from the nose and gums. These are also classical symptoms of clinical scurvy, which means a critical vitamin C deficiency is present.
This means that vitamin C (ascorbate) is needed to treat it. Severe cases may require 200,000 to 300,000 milligrams of vitamin C or more, given intravenously (IV) by a physician. This very high dosing may be needed since the Avian Flu appears to consume vitamin C very rapidly, similar to an acute viral hemorrhagic fever, somewhat like an Ebola infection.
What should you do if you think you have a viral infection - any viral infection - coming on and IV vitamin C is not readily available? Nobel laureate Linus Pauling said that as soon as you feel the symptoms of sniffles, a cold or the flu, take oral doses of thousands of milligrams of vitamin C.
For best results, take vitamin C in evenly divided doses during the waking hours. Continue taking vitamin C on this schedule until, Pauling says, you have loose stool (just short of diarrhea). After having loosened stool, reduce the vitamin C dosage reduce by about 25 per cent. If you have another loose stool, reduce the vitamin C again, but if the symptoms of the viral infection begin to return, increase the dosage. You will quickly learn how much vitamin C to take; even children can learn to do this. Continue until you are completely well. Vitamin C greatly shortens the severity and duration of viral illnesses.
Vitamin C expert Robert Cathcart, M.D., specifies very high therapeutic doses of vitamin C. For a severe cold: 60,000 to 100,000 milligrams/day.  For most influenza (flu), 100,000 to 150,000 mg/day.  For Avian (Bird) Flu, 150,000 to 300,000 mg/day.
Vitamin C replaces antiviral drugs at saturation (bowel tolerance or loose stool) levels.
The reason very high doses of a vitamin can cure an illnesses is because a disease-induced deficiency of that vitamin can be a cause of the illness.
As for the safety of this approach: There is not even one death per year from vitamins. Pharmaceutical drugs, properly prescribed and taken as directed, kill over 100,000 Americans annually. Hospital errors kill still more. Unlike drugs, with vitamins, the range of safe dosages is extraordinarily large.
What is Orthomolecular Medicine?
Linus Pauling defined orthomolecular medicine as the treatment of disease by the provision of the optimum molecular environment, especially the optimum concentrations of substances normally present in the human body. Orthomolecular medicine uses safe, effective nutritional therapy to fight illness. For more information: http://www.orthomolecular.org
1. Gorton HC, Jarvis K. The effectiveness of vitamin C in preventing and relieving the symptoms of virus-induced respiratory infections. J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 1999 Oct;22(8):530-3. "Vitamin C in megadoses administered before or after the appearance of cold and flu symptoms relieved and prevented the symptoms in the test population compared with the control group."
2. Smith L. (Ed) Clinical guide to the use of vitamin C. (Also published as: Vitamin C as a fundamental medicine: Abstracts of Dr. Frederick R. Klenner, M.D.'s published and unpublished work) 1988. F. R. Klenner, M.D., "reports cases of influenza, encephalitis, and measles easily cured with Vitamin C injections and oral doses."
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