3

votes

Is heart disease perhaps in large part a case of Chronic Low-grade Scurvy?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created July 13, 2013 at 1:50 PM

Linus Pauling, the only man to win an unshared nobel prize twice seemed to think that heart disease was a case of chronic scurvy that could be corrected with vitamin c and lysine. Do you agree or disagree with this position, why or why not?

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on July 15, 2013
at 12:23 PM

What's his argument that scurvy -> CVD? Not everything is tied to vitamin C as he thought.

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on July 15, 2013
at 07:17 AM

I think it's important that RCT's haven't supported vitamin C as a benefit to CVD events. I do believe vitamin C can be helpful, I think potassium can be helpful too, same with magnesium, K2, vitamin D, niacin, pyridoxal, mixed tocopherols, coq10, oleic acid, carnitine, DHA, and so on. Good arguments could be made for lots of compounds to prevent CVD. Vitamin C ain't special, it's a piece of the puzzle. I've met people folks who, after reading Pauling, Rath, Stone, etc. thought ascorbic acid was the ticket to avoiding a heart attack. I'm just saying this is misguided. But you seem to agree.

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on July 15, 2013
at 07:15 AM

My view comes from RCT's where vitamin C fails to have any effect on CVD events. I do believe vitamin C can be helpful, I think potassium can be helpful too, same with magnesium, K2, vitamin D, niacin, pyridoxal, mixed tocopherols, coq10, oleic acid, carnitine, DHA, and so on. Good arguments could be made for lots of compounds to prevent CVD. Vitamin C ain't special, it's a piece of the puzzle. I've met people folks who, after reading Pauling, Rath, Stone, etc. thought ascorbic acid was *the* ticket to avoiding a heart attack. I'm just saying this is misguided. But you seem to agree.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on July 14, 2013
at 03:01 PM

Also any comment on the lowering of CRP? That seems pretty cool considering the tight correlation C Reactive Protein has with heart disease.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on July 14, 2013
at 02:59 PM

I definitely don't see vitamin c as a magic bullet though either. More like a necessary vitamin to help synthesize collagen along with the limiting amino acid lysine. Together with Adequate Potassium (which is typically common in vitamin c rich foods), soluble fiber and the synergistic effects between these different compounds on metabolic syndrome (by favorably effecting lean body mass) and regulating blood pressure and blood sugar levels I think there is a real opportunity here for increasing overall well-being in the General Population.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on July 14, 2013
at 02:53 PM

Yea I feel like we could go tit for tat on the subject all day : http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/vitamins/vitaminC/ . We probably just won't agree on the conclusions until more evidence surfaces.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on July 14, 2013
at 02:51 PM

Yea, I guess I'd just need to see more data on the subject since there is a lot of conflicting data on the subject.

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on July 14, 2013
at 03:51 AM

A cohort study is still far more confounder prone than an RCT like the WACS trial. Your cohort also reported no benefit from natural vitamin C sources: "We found no reduction of CHD risk at higher dietary intakes of vitamin C. In fact, after adjustment for potentially confounding dietary factors, vitamin C was positively related to CHD incidence". In case it was unclear I'm sure vitamin C can be helpful depending on the context, I just think it's far from the magic bullet described by Pauling, Rath, etc.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on July 14, 2013
at 02:57 AM

It does seem though that Vit C lowers CRP: ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18952164 , and then a cohort study that contradicts the study you provided: ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15585762 .

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on July 14, 2013
at 02:56 AM

What is the evidence you have to believe that this theory is so incorrect?

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on July 14, 2013
at 02:54 AM

Not to say I would advocate mega-dosing vitamin c; lets just say I'm including more fruit in my diet for the potassium+vitamin c and I'm enjoying it so far.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on July 14, 2013
at 02:53 AM

I would actually be interested in seeing this same study but with intravenous Vitamin C instead of what I assume is oral ascorbic acid. Epidemiological evidence has pointed me towards the idea that whole food sources of Vit C, like fruit is absorbed differently than oral ascorbic acid in isolation. It does seem though that Vit C lowers CRP: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18952164 , and then a cohort study that contradicts the study you provided: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15585762 .

  • Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

    asked by

    (10989)
  • Views
    2.4K
  • Last Activity
    1433D AGO
Frontpage book

Get FREE instant access to our Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!

2 Answers

best answer

5
A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on July 13, 2013
at 09:31 PM

In large part? I kinda doubt it. Linus Pauling was an incredible guy and his theory seems interesting, but at this point I think it would be noticeable in some of the vitamin supplementation trials that when people get vitamin C it prevents heart disease events, but as far as I'm aware this hasn't been the case.

The WACS trail for example (link), failed to find a benefits of 500 mg of the vitamin on the rates of heart attack, stroke, coronary revascularization, or cardiovascular disease deaths compared to placebo. Here's a graph of cardiovascular events between groups:

is-heart-disease-perhaps-in-large-part-a-case-of-chronic-low-grade-scurvy?

The Physicians' Health Study II trial (link) also noted no effect of 500mg vitamin C on the incidence of major cardiovascular events after 8 years of follow up.

I think it's pretty reasonable to suspect insufficient vitamin C intake (<100 mg/day I'd guess) probably contributes to atherosclerosis and the like, but I think it's merely one factor and I'm doubtful megadosing with C (recommended by Pauling) is entirely safe.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on July 14, 2013
at 02:51 PM

Yea, I guess I'd just need to see more data on the subject since there is a lot of conflicting data on the subject.

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on July 15, 2013
at 07:15 AM

My view comes from RCT's where vitamin C fails to have any effect on CVD events. I do believe vitamin C can be helpful, I think potassium can be helpful too, same with magnesium, K2, vitamin D, niacin, pyridoxal, mixed tocopherols, coq10, oleic acid, carnitine, DHA, and so on. Good arguments could be made for lots of compounds to prevent CVD. Vitamin C ain't special, it's a piece of the puzzle. I've met people folks who, after reading Pauling, Rath, Stone, etc. thought ascorbic acid was *the* ticket to avoiding a heart attack. I'm just saying this is misguided. But you seem to agree.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on July 14, 2013
at 02:54 AM

Not to say I would advocate mega-dosing vitamin c; lets just say I'm including more fruit in my diet for the potassium+vitamin c and I'm enjoying it so far.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on July 14, 2013
at 02:53 AM

I would actually be interested in seeing this same study but with intravenous Vitamin C instead of what I assume is oral ascorbic acid. Epidemiological evidence has pointed me towards the idea that whole food sources of Vit C, like fruit is absorbed differently than oral ascorbic acid in isolation. It does seem though that Vit C lowers CRP: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18952164 , and then a cohort study that contradicts the study you provided: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15585762 .

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on July 14, 2013
at 03:01 PM

Also any comment on the lowering of CRP? That seems pretty cool considering the tight correlation C Reactive Protein has with heart disease.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on July 14, 2013
at 02:53 PM

Yea I feel like we could go tit for tat on the subject all day : http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/vitamins/vitaminC/ . We probably just won't agree on the conclusions until more evidence surfaces.

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on July 14, 2013
at 03:51 AM

A cohort study is still far more confounder prone than an RCT like the WACS trial. Your cohort also reported no benefit from natural vitamin C sources: "We found no reduction of CHD risk at higher dietary intakes of vitamin C. In fact, after adjustment for potentially confounding dietary factors, vitamin C was positively related to CHD incidence". In case it was unclear I'm sure vitamin C can be helpful depending on the context, I just think it's far from the magic bullet described by Pauling, Rath, etc.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on July 14, 2013
at 02:57 AM

It does seem though that Vit C lowers CRP: ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18952164 , and then a cohort study that contradicts the study you provided: ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15585762 .

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on July 14, 2013
at 02:59 PM

I definitely don't see vitamin c as a magic bullet though either. More like a necessary vitamin to help synthesize collagen along with the limiting amino acid lysine. Together with Adequate Potassium (which is typically common in vitamin c rich foods), soluble fiber and the synergistic effects between these different compounds on metabolic syndrome (by favorably effecting lean body mass) and regulating blood pressure and blood sugar levels I think there is a real opportunity here for increasing overall well-being in the General Population.

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on July 15, 2013
at 07:17 AM

I think it's important that RCT's haven't supported vitamin C as a benefit to CVD events. I do believe vitamin C can be helpful, I think potassium can be helpful too, same with magnesium, K2, vitamin D, niacin, pyridoxal, mixed tocopherols, coq10, oleic acid, carnitine, DHA, and so on. Good arguments could be made for lots of compounds to prevent CVD. Vitamin C ain't special, it's a piece of the puzzle. I've met people folks who, after reading Pauling, Rath, Stone, etc. thought ascorbic acid was the ticket to avoiding a heart attack. I'm just saying this is misguided. But you seem to agree.

4
32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on July 13, 2013
at 08:10 PM

I don't think he was really qualified to make such a position. He took his Nobel celebrity and squandered it on fringe science. (See also Kary B. Mullis, 1993 Nobel in Chemistry.)

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on July 14, 2013
at 02:56 AM

What is the evidence you have to believe that this theory is so incorrect?

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on July 15, 2013
at 12:23 PM

What's his argument that scurvy -> CVD? Not everything is tied to vitamin C as he thought.

Answer Question


Get FREE instant access to our
Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!