This article is copyrighted by GreenMedInfo LLC, 2019
The herpes virus afflicts millions of people worldwide, causing painful blister-like sores that are often embarrassing. There is no known cure, and medications have a long list of potential side effects and a “take it forever” prescription. Did you know that there is a clinically proven, natural way to provide relief that is growing right under your feet?
Mushrooms, both wild and cultivated, have been prized for their medicinal value for more than 2,000 years. A staple of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Ganoderma lucidum or lingzhi mushroom, commonly called reishi, are among the rarest and most prized of therapeutic, edible fungi.
Deemed by ancient healers as the “mushroom of immortality,” reishis are large, dark mushrooms with a shiny, slick surface and “woody” texture, which is unsurprising, considering that they grow on old, hardwood trees. In order to meet culinary and medicinal demands for this valued mushroom, reishis are now actively cultivated in different varieties, using wood chips and logs as growing mediums.
One potential benefit of supplementing with this superfood is its proven ability to ease the painful symptoms from recurrent herpes simplex viral infections.
Herpes: A Global Epidemic
According to the World Health Organization, an estimated 3.7 billion people (nearly 70% of adults worldwide under age 50) are infected with herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1). Often referred to as “oral herpes,” this type generally presents with lesions known as “cold sores” on or around the mouth. HSV-1 is mainly transmitted via oral-to-oral contact but can also cause genital herpes via oral-to-genital contact.
An estimated 417 million people from this same group (around 11% of adults under 50 worldwide) have HSV type 2 infections (HSV-2), or genital herpes. Both types of herpes are considered lifelong infections with no known cure.
While most herpes infections are asymptomatic, for some sufferers, outbreaks are severe and can recur frequently. Symptoms include painful blisters at the site of infection, open ulcerations that burn and weep, and chronic itching. Non-physical symptoms can be acute, including shame and a desire for physical isolation due to social stigma surrounding infection.
Mushrooms Speed Relief of Herpes Symptoms
With no known cures and few effective treatments, scientists are focused on finding ways to help sufferers manage this often-debilitating condition more effectively. It was to this end that researchers at the Toyodo Hijikata Clinic and Kansai Medical University in Osaka, Japan, conducted a clinical experiment on medicinal mushrooms’ ability to improve recovery time for patients suffering from outbreaks due to HSV-2.
Published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, the paper details the attempt to reduce the amount of time needed for patients afflicted by genital herpes outbreaks to return to an asymptomatic state using an herbal mixture comprised primarily of reishi-type mushrooms.
A total of 28 adults participated in this clinical study. These individuals had experienced recurrent herpes outbreaks for more than one year and had received standard outpatient care at other medical facilities without improvement.
The treatment mixture, a combination of two, powdered reishi-type mushrooms (Ganoderma lucidum, Elfuinga applanata) and other traditional herbal remedies such as water chestnut and tropical almond, was administered to test subjects, while the control group received no treatment.
According to published results, the difference was dramatic: the mushroom and herb mixture provided “…fast, effective relief from symptoms of recurrent herpes (genitalis and labialis).” Herpes genitalis sufferers experienced a decrease in symptomatic time of more than 50% compared to the control group, with an average 4.9 days to recovery from pain and associated symptoms, while the group receiving no treatment required 10.9 days before relief was experienced.
Similarly, the time required to obtain relief from herpes labialis was nearly eight days without treatment but only four days when patients received the herbal supplement.
Effective Relief From Herpes Pain
A similar study provides reliable confirmation of the power of mushrooms to inhibit the pain associated with herpes outbreaks. Herpes zoster is another type of herpetic infection caused by reactivation of the varicella-zoster virus that causes chickenpox.
Also called “shingles,” herpes zoster is characterized by ulcerative lesions on the skin forming a painful rash-type cluster of blisters that can be slow to heal. Current conventional treatment protocols include oral antiviral medications, as well as pain medications to provide relief from these outbreaks.
The 2005 study, a pilot clinical trial, was published in the American Journal of Chinese Medicine.Researchers provided a hot water extract of herbs containing Ganoderma lucidum, aka reishi mushroom, to five patients suffering from shingles. According to published results, pain relief was experienced within a few days of intake, with near-complete pain relief by day 10 of administration of the herbal extract.
Relief was experienced by patients of all ages (from 17 to 74 years) and in all outbreak locations (head, legs and lower body). Patients responded quickly to treatment and after more than one year of follow-up examinations, no patient had developed post-herpetic neuralgia, a lingering pain that is the most common after-effect of shingles.
Are Mushrooms a Prescription for Long Life?
Reishi mushrooms have been widely studied in modern medical research, with many of their traditional therapeutic powers confirmed.
Known for their ability to boost the circulatory and immune systems, people supplement with reishi mushrooms for health conditions such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol, and to improve cardiovascular health, among other documented benefits. Some of the properties attributed to reishis include their ability to:
Mushrooms are often considered a vegetable but are in fact a type of edible fungus. Rich in selenium, niacin, potassium, vitamins D and B3, as well as copper and iron, mushrooms are potent antioxidants that activate the immune system, eradicate dangerous free radicals and ensure proper functioning of nerves and muscles.
While eating reishi mushrooms is less common due to their tough, woody texture and bitter taste, this healing powerhouse is widely available as a tea and in both liquid and powdered extract formulas.
Red reishis have the longest history of medicinal use and have been shown to be effective in the treatment of a wide range of health conditions. Unlike other mushrooms, only the reishi (Lingzhi) has triterpenes (ganoderic acid), an important compound that gives them their bitter taste and is widely believed to be responsible for reishi’s amazing pharmacological effects.
Finally, mushrooms have a beneficial effect on the all-important microbiome, contributing a prebiotic effect by encouraging proliferation of healthy gut bacteria, resulting in better digestion, anti-aging effects and improved metabolic processes, including potential weight loss. This effect is attributed to the cobweb-like mycelium that make up the mushrooms’ structure, and connects mushroom clusters underground via a network of intelligent signaling pathways.
Explore the many healing effects of medicinal mushrooms and take advantage of Mother Nature’s infinite healing intelligence. GreenMedInfo has an in-depth database of nutritional-medical research. Find out more by exploring the 138 abstracts reishi mushrooms and their miraculous healing potential.
The GMI Research Group (GMIRG) is dedicated to investigating the most important health and environmental issues of the day. Special emphasis will be placed on environmental health. Our focused and deep research will explore the many ways in which the present condition of the human body directly reflects the true state of the ambient environment.
Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of GreenMedInfo or its staff.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) involves breathing air or oxygen in a pressurized chamber. The pressure allows your body to absorb a higher percentage of oxygen
There’s a wide range of conditions for which HBOT can be beneficial, including autoimmune conditions, neurological conditions, musculoskeletal injuries, mitochondrial dysfunction-driven conditions, ailments involving damaged microcirculation, chronic infections, subacute infections and cancer co-management
Hyperbaric oxygen improves mitochondrial function, helps with detoxification, inhibits and controls inflammation and optimizes your body’s energy production and healing capacity
HBOT also activates stem cell production, and can help optimize results when doing stem cell therapy
While HBOT can speed healing of any inflammatory condition, in the U.S., there are only 14 conditions for which insurance will pay, one of which is diabetic neuropathy, and typically only after other conventional treatments have failed. There are over 100 internationally recognized indications for hyperbaric use
In this interview, Dr. Jason Sonners discusses hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT), which is a tremendously beneficial and widely underutilized therapy. Sonners, a chiropractor, also has a degree in applied kinesiology,1 and has worked with HBOT for over 12 years.
Even if you’re not trying to treat a specific condition and are generally healthy, HBOT can have significant benefits for longevity.
“On its most basic premise, hyperbaric oxygen [therapy] is literally the breathing of either air or oxygen under pressure. You’re inside some type of pressurized device or hyperbaric chamber. Due to the pressure, you’re exposing the body to a higher percentage of oxygen.
You could also increase that oxygen by piping oxygen into the chambers. As a result of that environment, you’re increasing the body’s capacity to absorb more oxygen than what you and I can get here at 1 atmosphere (atm),” Sonners explains.
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Basics
Most healthy individuals have somewhere between 96% and 98% oxygen in their hemoglobin, which means your capacity to increase your oxygen level is between 2% and 4%, were you to breathe medical-grade oxygen, for example. That’s it; there’s no way to raise your oxygen level beyond that. The exception is if your body is under pressure.
“Two main laws govern how that works,” Sonners says. “Boyle’s Law and Henry’s Law. Basically, as you take a gas and exert pressure on it, you make the size of that gas take up less space. As a result of that pressure, you can then dissolve that gas into a liquid.
An easy example is a can of seltzer. They’re using carbon dioxide and water. But basically, you can pressurize that can, so you can put carbon dioxide into that can. As a result of that pressurization, you can dissolve molecules of carbon dioxide into the water.
In the hyperbaric version of that, we’re using oxygen, and the can is the chamber. But as a result of dumping excess oxygen inside that chamber, you can dissolve that into the liquid of your body … directly into the tissue and the plasma of your blood.
Normally your blood does not carry oxygen. We rely wholly on red blood cell oxygen-carrying capacity. But inside the chamber, you could literally bypass the red blood cell oxygen-carrying capacity altogether, and you can absorb oxygen directly into the plasma and tissue of the body.”
Your Body Needs All the Oxygen It Can Get
Sonners, who has a lot of experience with functional medicine and nutrition, views oxygen primarily as a nutrient.
“We need about 100% of the oxygen that we’re capable of carrying every minute of every day just to perform normal functions,” he says, “so there’s very little room for creating an excess of oxygen for the sake of healing or helping some of the conditions that we’ll talk about later on …
In nutrition, there’s deficiency, which has consequences. There’s optimum range, which is allowing us to do what we need to do every day. And then there are periods where we need a surplus of that nutrient to help us deal with some issue that we’re having in our health or in our life.
I look at oxygen the same way. If you’re not getting enough oxygen, whether that’s globally because of a lung or heart issue or if that’s locally because of a trauma … or some type of injury or inflammation, you could have an area of your body that has oxygen deficiency. We call that hypoxia.
There’s an optimum range of oxygen, which for us is virtually almost 100% of our oxygen-carrying capacity, every minute of every day. And then periodically, we might choose that we want to create a surplus of oxygen because oxygen … helps us detoxify, it controls inflammation, it runs our energy production and helps us to heal …
Once you expose the body to increased levels of oxygen … the whole oxidative phosphorylation [process], the whole ATP and energy production system of our body increases its capacity to produce ATP and to produce energy …
Sometimes, we might need more than the optimum range to help us get over some sort of health issue, or … from a quality of life, longevity, regenerative medicine-type standpoint …”
Conditions That Can Benefit From HBOT
Considering the importance of oxygen, there’s a long list of conditions for which HBOT is recommended. Insurance will pay for some, but not anywhere near all of them.
While HBOT can be used to help speed healing of any inflammatory condition, in the U.S., there are only 14 conditions for which insurance will pay, whereas there are up to 100 approved indications for HBOT internationally.
“In the States, we reserve it for pretty tough cases: really bad infections like gangrene, osteomyelitis, radiation burns … diabetic neuropathy … chronic wounds that are not healing with traditional attempts at antibiotics and things like that,” Sonners says.
From my perspective, it’s medically reprehensible and inexcusable for a doctor to not treat patients with diabetic neuropathy, infections in the distal extremities or peripheral vascular disease with HBOT, as it will in most cases prevent the need for amputation.
That the U.S. limits the use of HBOT to a last resort for only a few hard-to-treat conditions is truly unfortunate, as there’s a wide range of other conditions for which HBOT can be beneficial. This includes:
Any condition involving damaged microcirculation or that can benefit from capillary growth
Chronic infections such as Lyme disease, and subacute infections that cause damage over time — As noted by Sonners, “When you go into these pressurized hyperbaric chambers and you’re breathing and absorbing these higher levels of oxygen, they literally act as a natural antibiotic.”
The hyperbaric oxygen kills anaerobic bacteria and helps break down the biofilm that many anaerobic bacteria produce to protect themselves. At the same time, it’s boosting your immune system through increased neutrophil-macrophage stimulation and by feeding healthy bacteria.
Hyperbaric oxygen also combats viral and fungal infections, in part by stimulating neutrophil and macrophage activation. “You literally stimulate an increased production of white blood cells,” Sonners says, “and that’s what your body uses to fight infections”
Cancer co-management — As noted by Sonners, researchers are looking at HBOT in cancer treatments in a number of different ways. For example, doing it may allow you to use less radiation or chemo and still get the same outcome. Or, it may allow the patient to tolerate higher amounts of radiation by speeding the healing between sessions. A third avenue of investigation is the use of HBOT in isolation.
“Some of them are using it as a method to help with or augment the cancer treatment itself. Some are using it as a way to heal,” Sonners says. “There are consequences of chemotherapy. There are consequences of radiation.
The idea with most cancer treatments is we’re trying to kill cells. Hopefully, the person survives that process. If you’re augmenting with hyperbaric oxygen simultaneously, the idea is that you’re also helping to heal the tissue so that the healthy tissue can still survive or even thrive …”
HBOT Improves Mitochondrial Function
“If the idea is that we need to control inflammation, if we need to improve the rate of healing, if we need to improve mitochondrial function — all of these are going to be very solid indications of people who would respond very positively to hyperbaric treatment,” Sonners says.
One of the reasons I’m fascinated by HBOT is because of its ability to improve mitochondrial function. As noted by Sonners, longer term hyperbaric exposures will result in larger mitochondria and a greater density of mitochondria.
“Just to give you an idea, [after] 20 or 40 hours of exposure, what you’re going to end up getting [are] more efficient, bigger mitochondria, and you’re going to get a lot more of them,” he says.
“Even if you’re stuck at like 80% efficiency, if you had twice as many mitochondria, producing 80% efficiency, you’re still going to get a much better output for the patient. I think the capacity there for improving these chronic illnesses is really tremendous.”
HBOT Boosts Stem Cell Production
HBOT also activates stem cell production. Conventional stem cell therapy can cost $10,000 to $20,000 and isn’t covered by insurance. HBOT costs far less, may be covered by insurance (depending on your condition), is completely safe and has a whole host of other beneficial effects as well.
Even if you decide to get stem cell therapy, using HBOT before and after can significantly improve your end results, as the hyperbaric oxygen will help optimize your internal environment to make it more conducive to the newly injected stem cells.
Sonners suggests 10 to 20 hours of HBOT before your stem cell treatment, as that’s when your body will start upregulating its own stem cells. If you’re extracting the stem cells from your own body, you will now also have much higher amounts. After the stem cell injection, Sonners suggests doing 20 to 40 hours of HBOT to make sure the new stem cells will thrive.
Difference Between HBOT and EWOT
On a side note, there’s a similar therapy that many people confuse with HBOT. EWOT is an acronym for “exercise with oxygen therapy,” which usually involves using an oxygen concentrator and a large oxygen-filled bag that you then breathe from while exercising.
While EWOT certainly has its benefits, it’s not interchangeable with HBOT. They’re really very distinct therapies and accomplish different things. For starters, while EWOT is an active process, hyperbaric oxygen is a passive process.
With hyperbaric oxygen, you’re typically sitting or lying down and simply breathing normally. “Especially in some patient populations, you can’t even express the level of exercise you would need to in order to gain some of those benefits. That’s one difference,” Sonners says.
The primary difference, however, is that with EWOT, you’re basically increasing demand through exercise, and then you’re increasing supply through the oxygen concentrator. However, you’re still relying on your red blood cell oxygen-carrying capacity.
“If you have an issue that is trauma-related — chronic inflammation, damage to the microcirculation — there’s nothing about that excess oxygen that you’re creating through supply and demand that’s ultimately ever going to change that. So long as you are relying on red blood cells carrying, you will not get oxygen to the damaged site.
The only way you’re going to change that environmental issue, and especially the microcirculation … [and stem cells, is through] exposures to oxygen [under] pressure. This is where oxygen will be absorbed directly into the plasma and tissues along the hypoxic tissue gain access to the oxygen.
What we’re finding is that it’s not just the level of oxygen absorption. Some of our epigenome is pressure-sensitive. Pressure alone increases the response to oxygen and stimulates some of these healing responses.
The biggest difference is that one is active and one is passive. One is still relying on red blood cell oxygen-carrying capacity; one is basically bypassing red blood cell oxygen-carrying capacity.
To some degree, they’re both increasing oxygen, but I don’t think you could really compare it. I mean hyperbaric is definitely increasing oxygen capacity to a degree that is significantly higher than anything else that exists.”
So, to recap, your red blood cells (if you are healthy) are typically already saturated with oxygen at 98% to 99%, and breathing pure oxygen at normal pressures will not significantly change that. But if you breathe oxygen under pressure, it will diffuse into your cellular fluids and provide a greater delivery of oxygen to your tissues, especially if they have compromised microcirculation.
Soft Versus Hard Shell Chambers
There are two primary types of HBOT chambers: hard shell and soft shell. Hard-shell versions are available in two types — the kind you find in hospitals and the kind you typically find in private clinics or can purchase for home use.
•Hard shell 100% oxygen hospital chambers are capable of the highest pressures, which in some cases can be important, especially in cases of nonhealing wounds. In this kind of chamber, the pressurization is done with 100% oxygen. While oxygen is not really flammable, it’s an accelerant, so you have to be very careful not to create sparks. You’re wearing cotton scrubs and you can’t bring anything inside the chamber.
•Hard chambers are the next step down. Instead of filling the whole hard chamber with oxygen, air is used to create pressure, and then oxygen is being piped in separately for you to breathe.
In this type of chamber, you can wear whatever clothing you want as you don’t have the same safety concerns. You can even bring certain electronics into the chamber. In many situations, this is an ideal choice, as the safety is higher while the effectiveness of the treatment is identical, especially for most internal issues. These types of chambers are often found in private clinics.
•Soft chambers are limited in terms of the pressure you can achieve. “In the U.S., you’re only allowed to go to 1.3 atmospheres (ATA), which is about a relative 9 feet underwater. It’s considered mild HBOT. It’s about 4 to 4.25 pounds of force per square inch (psi),” Sonners says.
Still, it will allow you to absorb quite a bit more oxygen than you could normally, so it still offers very meaningful benefits. You may need to use it more frequently, and for longer duration though.
While treatments involving hard shell chambers with 100% oxygen are quite costly, typically running around $2,000 per treatment (which may or may not be covered by insurance), hard and soft chambers found in private clinics are much more affordable, typically ranging between $90 to $180 per session. While this may still sound like a lot, it could well turn out to be one of your less expensive options in the long run.
“Clinically, we used to do our typical protocols. When people weren’t responding the way we expected them to, we would introduce hyperbaric oxygen.
At this point, it’s become literally one of the first things that we do, because if we do [HBOT] early on, so many of the other therapies that we used to have to do, we don’t need to do anymore,” Sonners says.
HBOT Treatment Suggestions
Typically, you’d want to start out getting about 10 hours of treatment at a local facility to see if and how your condition responds. If you’re trying to address trauma, an injury or a condition that has a beginning and end, then whatever benefits you get from the therapy, you will keep as you heal.
Progressive and degenerative conditions, on the other hand, and/or if you’re using it for longevity purposes, treatment will need to be ongoing for long periods of time. This is a case in which you may want to consider buying your own chamber.
“Somewhere between 10 and 20 hours, you kind of know if it’s a good fit for you. From that point, with guidance of the practitioner, you should be able to figure out a baseline of what your protocol should look like,” Sonners says. “Ultimately, if you’re going to be using this thing for years and years, then you’re better off, in most cases, just to have your own.”
Unfortunately, it can be tricky finding a local HBOT facility. Usually, online search results tend to focus on hospitals, and hospitals will not provide you with HBOT unless you have one of the 14 approved indications.
“To find a center, you’re just going to be looking up hyperbaric oxygen [centers]. You’re going to be looking in the private sector, because those are the only people outside the hospital who are going to treat these other indications,” Sonners says.
One alternative is to contact either the International Hyperbaric Association2 (IHA) or Hyperbaric Medical International3 (HMI). These are the two organizations focused on educating the public on the use of HBOT in the U.S., especially for indications that aren’t FDA-approved.
“They have a tremendous amount of resources,” Sonners says. “They also probably help direct people … to centers that might be more local … That’s probably the best. Otherwise, you’d be looking at different manufacturers that produce chambers and how to get those into your home.”
If you’re in New Jersey or Pennsylvania, you can visit one of Sonner’s clinics — New Jersey HBOT Center, or HBOT PA. You can also learn more on HBOTusa.com, which is Sonner’s primary education website. There you can find a list of treated conditions, research, the benefits of HBOT in athletics, testimonials and much more. Sonners has also written a book, “Under Pressure: How One Unexpected Tool Is Revolutionizing Health,” which you can preorder here.
(NaturalHealth365) Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is one of the most talked about (and studied) vitamins on the planet. Yet, despite all the scientific evidence, we still have too many people confused about its benefits – thanks to many misleading “nutritional” articles.
But, to be perfectly clear, vitamin C is absolutely essential for cardiovascular and immune system health.
In the 1980s, Nobel Prize-winning researcher Linus Pauling definitively linked vitamin C with heart health – and stressed the importance of sufficient supplementation. Now, integrative cardiologists – including Mathias Rath, M.D., and Thomas E. Levy, MD, JD – are continuing Pauling’s lifesaving work.
Unfortunately, too many conventionally-trained physicians view high-dosage vitamin C therapy with skepticism – no matter how impressive the results. Having said that, today we’ll focus on 6 of the greatest myths surrounding vitamin C.
Important point: Vitamin C deficiency is associated with heart disease
In Linus Pauling’s theory, heart disease is actually a manifestation of vitamin C deficiency. And atherosclerosis – with its attendant plaque deposits – is the body’s attempt to heal the cracks in arteries caused by the vitamin C shortfall.
Supplementation with high-dose vitamin C restores heart health in two ways.
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Vitamin C scavenges harmful free radicals that cause oxidative stress, while functioning as an important building block for collagen – a protein needed to promote healing, structure and stability in arteries.
Since the 1980s, a host of studies have helped to confirm Pauling’s theory.
In a paper published in Journal of Cardiology and Current Research, researchers reported that high-dose vitamin C reduces heart attack and stroke by up to 98 percent.
Now, let’s talk about those 6 vitamin C myths.
Myth #1: There are no studies on vitamin C
In his book Primal Panacea, high-dosage vitamin C pioneer Dr. Levy calls this statement “medical malpractice” and says it would be understandable if voiced by a mechanic or stonemason – but not by a physician.
Dr. Levy points out that a simple PubMed search yields over 60,000 studies on vitamin C – many of them showing positive effects on human health.
A board-certified cardiologist, Dr. Levy has written extensively on vitamin C, including a landmark review of 650 peer-reviewed studies on the effect of oxidative stress on vitamin C levels – as well as on the ability of vitamin C to reverse atherosclerosis.
Myth #2: There is no evidence that vitamin C works
Again, this is absurd.
Dr. Levy references over 1,200 studies showing beneficial effects – and says this only “scratches the surface” of what is known about vitamin C’s therapeutic abilities.
And, there is a problem with what constitutes a “study.”
In order to be acknowledged by the medical community, says Dr. Levy, a study must be large, randomized, placebo-controlled and double-blind.
At first glance, that sounds reasonable. But, are you ready for a shocker?
Dr. Levy maintains that most prescription drugs currently in use lack this type of rigorous study! (So why is vitamin C held to a stricter standard?)
Dr. Levy points out that a group of patients being given IV high-dosage vitamin C under closely monitored (hospital) conditions “does not count” as a study – even if all patients are cured!
Dr. Marik uses a mix of intravenous vitamin C, thiamine and corticosteroids to treat sepsis, a life-threatening systemic infection. To date, the groundbreaking therapy has saved 150 patients from almost certain death.
Myth #3: Vitamin C is unsafe
With a superlative safety profile (and no known lethal dose) vitamin C appears to be one of the safest substances on earth. In fact, natural health experts note that plain water is more toxic than vitamin C.
And, vitamin C seems to be free of dangerous side effects even at high doses.
The Rath Recommendations may call for over 10,000 mg of vitamin C a day – and some clinicians routinely use doses of 250,000 mg to 300,000 mg a day. This is an absolutely whopping amount that is over 3,000 times the RDA – yet no serious adverse effects have been reported.
Of course, check first with your integrative physician before beginning any supplementation routine.
It’s worth pointing out: pharmaceutical medications administered in hospitals kill thousands of patients a year. In fact, a recent Johns Hopkins study reports that 250,000 people die every year from medical errors – making it the third leading cause of death in the nation, right behind heart disease and cancer!
So, one has to wonder, why all the “controversy” surrounding a non-toxic substance like, vitamin C?
Myth #4: Vitamin C causes kidney stones
This myth is based on a medical fact, but is a myth nonetheless.
Experts say that vitamin C can – under certain conditions and in certain forms – contribute to oxalate production, which can in turn contribute to kidney stones.
But, Dr. Levy notes that the presence of high oxalate is not enough to create kidney stones.
For many, the matter was put to rest by a rigorous 14-year study of 85,557 women conducted by researchers at prestigious Harvard Medical School – in which the team found no link whatsoever between vitamin C intake and kidney stones.
Vitamin C has been further vindicated by additional studies, showing that the nutrient actually lowers the incidence of kidney stones.
Myth #5: You can get enough vitamin C through diet
The current RDA for nonsmoking adults is a paltry 60 mg of vitamin C a day – roughly the amount in one small orange. Although this is enough to prevent the serious medical condition known as scurvy, natural health experts decry it as ridiculously low.
Of course, more vitamin C is required to combat atherosclerosis and heart disease. In fact, one study showed that it takes 1,500 mg per day to prevent or reverse atherosclerosis in 60 percent or more of the population.
This would require consuming over a dozen red peppers and close to two dozen oranges – more than most people are willing to eat. And, when you consider that many people consume the Standard American Diet (SAD), notoriously low in fresh fruits and vegetables, the need for high-quality supplementation for most is clear.
Naturally, it doesn’t hurt to raise your dietary vitamin C intake as well – which you can do by eating organic citrus fruits, red peppers, strawberries, kiwi fruit and broccoli.
Remember: a wide range of factors – including infection, physical and emotional stress, dental toxicity issues, smoking, alcohol use, medications and environmental toxins – can drain the body stores of vitamin C.
Myth #6: Excess amounts of vitamin C are excreted through urine
Vitamin C proponents say that this is akin to saying that water is excreted in urine – which means that it is unneeded by the body – a clearly misguided belief.
The truth is, water performs many life-sustaining functions before being excreted – and the same is true of vitamin C. It is true that vitamin C is water-soluble – and, it is excreted through urine. But, not before it confers a host of cardiovascular benefits.
So, myths aside, we know that vitamin C is effective, non-toxic and safe. With heart disease claiming 640,000 lives a year, it seems unsafe not to use vitamin C to avoid unwanted health outcomes.