But the biggest breakthrough discovery is that deficiency of vitamin C is found to be a leading cause of atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). In fact heart disease and ischemic myocardial disease is really best described as “scurvy of the arteries”.
Even moderately raised blood levels of vitamin C measured in healthy persons have been found to correlate well with decreased risk of cardiovascular disease and ischemic heart disease, and so an increase life expectancy.
That is undoubtedly because it protects blood lipids from oxidation. Forget the cholesterol nonsense; cholesterol is pretty harmless as an isolated finding. It’s oxidized cholesterol that is dangerous and you can avoid that by maintaining a healthy vitamin C status, along with other antioxidants in your diet.
So: how much to take?
The “correct” dose is not the minimum needed to prevent you dying of scurvy. That’s the MINIMUM dose, by definition. This kind of nutrition (pretend nutrition) drives me nuts.
Linus Pauling made 2 grams a day seem the right thing and he’s famous! However, Pauling is WRONG. It’s too little. 10 grams a day is better and much more in line with what other animals manufacture for themselves; after all, we are bigger than goats on the whole.
It’s my whole thing with Nature again: how could she possibly get it wrong? It’s her story, for goodness sake! So rather than bumble along with minimums, let’s go for the optimum.
Problem (you’ll read about it sometimes): taking more than 300 mg a day does NOT increase blood levels of ascorbate. To most dumb scientists, that’s the end argument; no point in taking more. Very stupid.
Firstly, whoever said that blood levels were a good measure of total body load of ascorbate? Not logical, as Dr. Spock would say. If the body is in crisis with deficiency of vitamin C, wouldn’t you expect that however much you give the patient, it gets gobbled up by the tissues, where it’s needed?
In fact we now know, thanks to up-to-date studies due to COVID, that many dangerously ill victims of infection are perilously short of vitamin C, which may be the reason they die! ICUs that are testing the blood vitamin C levels, are reporting that the majority of their critically ill patients are vitamin C deficient, many with undetectable levels of vitamin C that would diagnose scurvy. One ICU in Barcelona found 17 out of 18 patients (over 90%) had ‘undetectable’ vitamin C levels, akin to scurvy. [Crit Care. 2020 Aug 26;24(1):522. doi: 10.1186/s13054-020-03249-y.]
Another, in the US, found almost all their patients were vitamin C deficient but those who didn’t survive had much lower levels than those who did. [Medicine in Drug Discovery, Volume 8, December 2020, 100064]