Vitamin C therapy is now being used to address a range of maladies including coronary artery disease, irregular heartbeat and cancer.
The rationale centers around the production of collagen, a primary building block in your body, and the integrity of your cells. While this page focuses on the use of Vitamin C therapy for coronary artery disease, benefits across the wider range of maladies can be experienced.
Remember when your mother would tell you to take plenty of Vitamin C to ward off colds and flus? Well, scientists are now finding out that Vitamin C, in therapeutic doses and in combination with other vital nutrients, is also an extremely effective antioxidant that can help prevent cancer from spreading and also help prevent coronary artery disease. I recently attended a seminar that had presentations on the use of Vitamin C therapy for these two maladies.
First of all, I thought I would start with a refresher course on some of the basics – I know I needed this in order to understand the rationale behind these therapies. However, before I start, I want to provide a word of caution. High doses of vitamin C can interfere with the effects of statin drugs. Although I always recommend consulting your doctor or other healthcare professional before starting any vitamin therapy, this is particularly important if you are currently taking statin drugs.
Most of us have heard about collagen as it relates to our skin. Hand creams claim to incorporate collagen to help make your skin soft and a decade ago collagen injections were a fad to help reduce wrinkles.
Collagen is actually the main protein of connective tissue in our bodies and the most abundant protein in all mammals. It is a long, fibrous structural protein that is the main component of cartilage, ligaments, tendons, bones and teeth. Additionally, it strengthens blood vessels and plays a role in tissue development. You can well imagine that our bodies need to be able to manufacture sufficient collagen in order to repair cellular damage and to maintain structural integrity.
Many of us take vitamins. If you do not, you may want to read the discussion on vitamin supplements. The recommended daily vitamin requirement is intended to maintain good health for already healthy individuals. However, to address specific ailments, vitamin C therapy involves administering higher doses of vitamin C and other related nutrients as a natural cure to allow your body to heal itself. Your body makes use of these higher doses to help it fight the specific ailment.
One of the presentations in the cellular health seminar focused on the causes of coronary artery disease. The information from this presentation is summarized below in simple English, rather than medical terminology.
Our vascular system provides a conduit for blood flow and therefore needs to be structural as well as slippery. The coronary arteries in particular are important because they are the main conduits for blood to reach the heart, which then pumps it to all other parts of the body. However, the coronary arteries are also the most susceptible to mechanical damage because the pressure caused by the heart pumping blood compresses these arteries and therefore stresses the artery walls. Think of squeezing a drinking straw over and over again - sooner or later it will crack.
Coronary artery disease develops because a long-term deficiency of essential nutrients in the vascular walls causes them to lose their elasticity. Vitamin malnourished vascular walls weaken, causing microscopic cracks and lesions to develop. These cracks cause stress points that attract calcification deposits and hence cause coronary artery disease – a narrowing of the arteries due to deposits on the inside of their walls.
The body's natural response is to attempt to fix these cracks and legions by applying a slippery substance called cholesterol to patch the damage. The liver responds by increasing cholesterol levels to make sure that there is sufficient patching material available. Therefore, high cholesterol levels are not a root cause of coronary artery disease, but rather a symptom. Think of your cholesterol level as an alarm system. Lowering cholesterol artificially by inhibiting liver function (as is done with prescription medications such as statin drugs) merely disables the alarm, and thus does not significantly lower the risk of coronary artery disease. Lowering cholesterol naturally through healthy lifestyle changes addresses the root cause.
A proper supply of nutrients will allow the cellular damage to vascular walls to be repaired properly and prevent further cracks and lesions. Proper nutrition addresses the root cause of the problem and therefore also results in lower cholesterol levels – one of the symptoms.
Collagen and elastin give our arteries their structure. The increased production of collagen, elastin and other structural reinforcement molecules allow your body to maintain the structural integrity of the all of your vascular walls. This prevents the damage to your coronary arteries due to mechanical stress. Therefore artery walls do not crack and thus are less susceptible to calcification and deposit buildup.
Collagen differs from other protein molecules in that it makes particular use of the amino acids lysine and proline. Vitamin C therapy stimulates the production of collagen in artery walls. Therefore, the adequate supply of lysine, proline and vitamin C is an important factor in maximizing the production of collagen.
My first reaction to all this information was that it made sense, but it was firmly in the camp of good theory. However, I started to become convinced when the results of clinical studies, published in the Journal of Applied Nutrition (1996, Volume 48, Number 3), were presented.
The study objective was to determine the effect of a nutritional supplement program, consisting of vitamin C therapy, on the natural progression of coronary artery disease in 55 patients between the ages of 44 and 67. The study used something called Ultrafast Computed Tomography to document the level of coronary artery disease and the sample of patients composed of people with early and advanced stages of the disease.
During the course of the 12-month study, the rate of coronary artery calcification decreased in all patients by an average of 15%. In the subset of early stage patients, the progression of calcification was stopped completely. In some cases, calcification was actually reversed, including a case of the disappearance of all calcification deposits. The nutritional supplement used was a broad spectrum supplement. The major differences between this supplement and the All One supplement I recommended for general nutrition, is increased amounts of Vitamin C, Lysine and Proline - vitamin C therapy. If you are already taking the All One supplement, taking 4-6 capsules daily of this NSI Collagen Building Supplement will give you the additional Vitamin C, Lysine and Proline that was used in the study. If you have been taking the All One supplement for a few weeks, start out by taking two pills per day and gradually increase the dosage over the span of 2 weeks. Also I suggest taking half the daily dosage in the morning and half in the evening, with or right after meals.
The presentation stated that vitamin C therapy can sometimes cause diarrhea. It is apparently our body's way to eliminating the excess vitamin C. Make sure to increase the dosage gradually, as described above. If you find yourself getting this problem shortly after adding this supplement, back off on the dosage until it stops.
Vitamin C Therapy is The Natural Path to good health.