The Vitamin That Conquered The

By Keith Scott-Mumby MD, MB ChB, HMD, PhD

Well, almost conquered the world...

The British were known all over the world as Limeys. Why is that? The Royal Navy fed limes to His Majesty’s sailors, which contained vitamin C and prevented them getting scurvy. Everyone else’s navy was sickly and the men died like flies from lack of this one simple vitamin substance.


A vitamin, by definition, means a substance essential for life and scurvy, without proper treatment, is relentlessly fatal.

It may not have been the only reason that the tiny island of Great Britain came to rule so much of the globe but it is certainly (in my view) one of the main reasons! The Royal Navy was feared everywhere as a fighting force because of skilled seamanship, fanatical courage and abundant vigorous health of the sailors.

The rest, as they say, is (or was) history! That’s true in more ways than one. Naval surgeon James Lind’s masterful proof in 1747 of the value of vitamin C is usually hailed as the first-ever clinical trial! He also got rid of typhus by having the men stripped, scrubbed and put into fresh clothes regularly, also giving Brits a competitive advantage over, say, the French.

The old name for scurvy was scorbutes; so vitamin C, once identified, was quickly christened a-scorbutic acid; or ascorbic acid. Ignore the deluded ninnies that think ascorbic acid is something evil and not real vitamin C! It’s as daft as saying H20 isn’t water! And before you write to tell me: ascorbic acid is the name for both natural and synthetic vitamin C and BOTH work just fine, because they are identical.

In fact for some people, synthetic is better: those who are allergic to corn, say, would react to vitamin C from corn sources but not the synthetic version. Moreover, doctors who administer life-saving IV vitamin C use the manufactured sort: it works 100% and we haven’t got time to go squeezing oranges and limes!

Safest Substance Known?

Remarkably, vitamin C, or more exactly, L-ascorbic acid, is the safest known chemical substance on Earth; way safer than water (which kills in sufficient quantity). Vitamin C is harmless and works as a true vitamin at levels around 50 – 100 mg; yet at 20,000 times that concentration it is still totally safe, biologically—at least in short bursts.

The curious thing is that ascorbic acid is not a vitamin for most animals; they make their own. Goats, for example, make around 10 – 15 grams a day internally.* The few exceptions are bats, guinea pigs, capybaras, and the Anthropoids (which includes apes and humans).

Some Great Properties of Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant, capable of voraciously quenching reactive oxygen species (it’s added to food products for their protection from oxidative damage).

Vitamin C is required in the manufacture of collagen; hence we age and get wrinkly when we are deficient.

It is a powerful anti-microbial. Large IV doses of vitamin C have saved the lives of countless individuals with septicemia and similar overwhelming infections.

Vitamin C is a powerful detoxer. Anyone encountering chemicals (or viral or bacterial toxins) needs the protection of vitamin C.

Vitamin C is a vigorous anti-cancerous agent, with demonstrable cytotoxic effects at doses which leave human cells unharmed (around 3 mg per 100 mL)

Vitamin C is found in high concentrations in immune cells, and is consumed quickly during infections. It is not certain how vitamin C interacts with the immune system; it has been hypothesized to modulate the activities of phagocytes, the production of cytokines and lymphocytes, and the number of cell adhesion molecules in monocytes.

Vitamin C is a natural antihistamine, which is why I found it so good for allergics. It both prevents histamine release and increases the detoxification of histamine. A 1992 study found that taking 2 grams vitamin C daily lowered blood histamine levels 38% in healthy adults in just one week!


Arterial Scurvy

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]


The traditional strategy was what we call fill-and-flush. Take as much as you can stand, till you get the benefits and it starts to spill out in the kidneys. For some people, diarrhea is the limiting condition.

You can test for ascorbate levels in the urine, by using vitamin C test strips. These are easily available online (for example:

But I don’t believe even that’s enough – not unless you have been taking large doses for several months. Because there is a renal threshold for ascorbate overspill. That means that, at a certain level, ascorbate begins to leak from the kidneys.

Which leads to the second major folly: who said that just because the kidneys are leaking ascorbate, that means the tissues are now saturated? That’s a faulty assumption. There is not a shred of science to support this mythical claim.

Best Supply

Me, I’m lazy and I HATE taking pills, powders and potions. Unfortunately taking traditional vitamin C in such doses is limited by the fact it causes diarrhea and abdominal discomfort…

I sometimes recommend LivonLabs liposomal vitamin C called Lipo-spheric Vitamin C. It’s really good because 1 gram of this is the equivalent—in blood levels—of taking 10 grams of ascorbate powder, for just over $1 a day. Plus you get some phosphatidyl choline for your tired brain. (

But it would not be right if I did not propose my own VERY BEST supply of vitamin C; I call it SUPER C, for reasons I will explain.

Dr. Keith’s Own® Super C is a vitamin C formula, specifically designed to allow large doses, without getting those side-effects. It has a soft taste somewhat similar to bicarb. Get Dr. Keith’s Own® Super C. It’s the best there is.

Dr. Keith’s Own® Super C contains D-ribose, a heart-friendly sugar with a mild, pleasant taste.

Dr. Keith’s Own® Super C also contains glycine, for super-energy and clarity of thinking.

Dr. Keith’s Own® Super C also contains EDTA, a safe chelating compound, approved as a food additives and GRAS (generally recognized as safe) by the FDA.

Note: Vitamin C is essential for making collagen. Less collagen means more wrinkles. So vitamin C has great cosmetic value!

Prof. Keith


All content within this information letter is commentary or opinion and is protected under Free Speech laws in all the civilized world. The information herein is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional advice of any kind.

In no event shall Professor Scott-Mumby be liable for any consequential damages arising out of any use of, or reliance on any content or materials contained herein, neither shall Professor Scott-Mumby be liable for any content of any external internet sites listed and services listed.

Always consult your own licensed medical practitioner if you are in any way concerned about your health. You must satisfy yourself of the validity of the professional qualifications of any health care provider you contact as a result of this newsletter.


Copyright © 2013–2023 Keith Scott–Mumby. All Rights Reserved.