Demythifying Vitamin C
The Martial Art of Wellness
Volume 8 – August 2009
Welcome to this month’s BioNews. We must learn to free ourselves from the control that others exert over us. As we learn we become FREE, we become powerful. This pursuit of self defense in wellness, I call “The Martial Art of Wellness.” And as we practice we become Wellness Ninjas.
QUOTE OF THE MONTH
“ We do not GET a disease. We CREATE a disease by reducing our natural immunity through wrong eating, thinking and living. All diseases are curable. But not all patients are curable. We have to focus on the patient rather than the disease. ”
~ Dr. Bernard Jensen
THIS ISSUE’S TESTIMONIALS:
Immune system has been up
“ My family and myself are stronger with BAC and are embracing life with open heart.
One of our client whom is 64 years old and has been taking BAC for a few years asked me to inform you that for the past 2 years, her immune system has been up, is sleeping very well, and has stabilized blood pressure too.
Another parent continues to give her 6 years old daughter F2 because she has noticed slight improvement in the spine curvature. ”
– Dexter, Manila, Philippines
REALITY CHECK ( Demythifying Vitamin C )
This year I have committed to demythify either a substance, a supplement or a certain concept of health for each BioNews. This month I choose “vitamin C”, and know that I am no expert on vitamin C, but like many of you, for over 40 years I have read hundreds of articles about it, seen hundreds of people using it, and seen thousands of ads on paper, in health food stores, on the Internet and on television. I tried it too for many years, felt for the hype about it, and a few years ago I decided to seriously look into it, and I have made up my own mind about this hoax, and I am not alone.
The information that follows was gathered from written expert discussions that are close to the vitamin C debate and science. Reading this, I hope that you can simplify your life, protect your health and save your money. Still I recommend that you do your own research when facing a decision to (or not to) supplement, or medicate. When it comes to your health, do not rely on just your doctor, or on any ONE expert. YOU become the expert by learning from the many experts from both side of the debate, then YOU will be able to make up your OWN mind.
Demythifying Vitamin C
Contrary to popular belief, a mega-dose of vitamin C is not an effective cold remedy, nor good for cancer prevention or cure of any sort. There’s no doubt that vitamin C is good for you, but, as it turns out, only in minimal quantities which you can obtain from a few strawberries, half a green pepper, or multitude of other fresh foods.
It was Noble Prize Winner Linus Pauling, a chemist, who popularized vitamin C in the early 60s. He suggested that the vitamin, already known to protect against scurvy, was even more beneficial in mega doses. But a few years ago, a new study from his own institute “Linus Pauling Institute” concluded that tissues can’t use more than 200 milligrams a day.
Several other studies have come to this conclusion. Recently, a mega study that surveyed several scientific studies spanning over two decades and including more than 11,000 people, concluded that those who took 200mg of vitamin C daily had almost as many colds as those who took no supplements. The vitamin also failed to have a substantial effect on the length and severity of a person’s cold. Harri Hemilä at Helsinki University, who led the survey, said that for most people the cold-preventing effect of taking daily vitamin C supplements was so slight that it was not worth the effort or expense. “It doesn’t make sense to take vitamin C 365 days a year to lessen the chance of catching a cold,” he said. The review appears in the latest issue of the Cochrane Library, an international organization that is widely regarded as the most prestigious medical research evaluating authority.
A Newsweek article also commented on the Cochrane study and went on asking “Why does the cold-busting myth persist for the general population?” and answering “It turns out that the cold-busting properties of vitamin C were first reported in a 1970 book called “Vitamin C and the Common Cold.” Given that the cold is one of the most prevalent (and frustrating) ailments, it struck a cord with mainstream audiences that something could be done about it. Sadly the book didn’t have much scientific backing and even though it has been thoroughly refuted, the message has stuck.”
Furthermore, according to the article, “doctors have little incentive to correct the notion that it does, since consumption of vitamin C is not considered a public threat. (In fact, some studies have associated vitamin C’s antioxidant properties with a decreased incidence of some cancers.)” When you think of all of the things that doctors want you to stop doing (smoking, over-eating, drinking too much, stress, etc.), vitamin C just doesn’t make the list since it doesn’t hurt and might actually be good.” But that is no longer true, since mega-doses of vitamin C have been shown to cause cancer in animals, and mega-doses of beta-carotene to increase instances of colon cancer in human.
Otherwise, there have been many other (at least twenty) well controlled studies on the use of mega doses of vitamin C in the prevention of colds, treating the duration of colds, and in treatment of the severity of colds, and in none of those instances has there been any, really good evidence that vitamin C in mega doses does anything. Part of the confusion over vitamin C probably revolves around the idea that if something is good, more is better.
Sure Vitamin C is good for the body.
Without vitamin C, the immune function deteriorates, the intercellular cement deteriorates, the linings of blood vessels deteriorate, the membranes of cells deteriorate. Vitamin C helps decrease the formation of arterial plaque. It also eats up free radicals, which can damage DNA and cause cancer, and if the body gets an infection it mobilizes white cells to fight the infection. But all these benefits occur at what’s referred to as optimal levels of vitamin C, which is the RDA or recommended dietary allowance (daily need) set by the Institute of Medicine. That’s 75 milligrams for women and 90 milligrams for men.
Dr. Andrew Weil, a Professor at the University of Arizona, has written extensively on health and nutrition. Like many Americans, for years he thought mega doses of vitamin C, 1000 milligrams a day or more, were helpful. He goes on saying “What really convinced me to lower my recommendations were two studies, I think this was about four or five years ago, but one of them was done by the Linus Pauling Institute. And they concluded that tissues can’t use more than 200 milligrams a day.”
In the many studies that were done recently, strawberries are showing high vitamin C content, followed by oranges, cantaloupes, kiwis, black currents and grapefruit. While with vegetables, the colored peppers, the red, the orange, and the yellow bell peppers are higher in vitamin C then the green, about 95 milligrams per half a cup.
Mega dose of any antioxidant can be bad
A separate study recently warned that people who took regular supplements of vitamins A, E and beta-carotene in the hope of living a fitter, longer life were instead at risk of dying younger. Like vitamin C, the supplements are marketed as antioxidants capable of mopping up free radicals, highly reactive particles produced in the body that are thought to play a role in ageing. But the study, published by the Journal of the American Medical Association, found that during 47 trials involving more than 180,000 people, those who took the supplements were at greater risk of dying than those who did not.
So why not get Vitamin C from food?
It is an established fact that we need vitamin C daily. Because we don’t make vitamin C on our own, we have to get it from outside the body. We know without a shadow of doubt that fruits and vegetables are the best way to achieve that, because the body absorbs vitamins from food more efficiently.
Secondly, when it comes antioxidant power, or preventing the common cold, know that study after study has shown that vitamin C does little, if anything, to prevent, shorten or cure the common cold. Sorry. No one disputes that oranges, grapefruits and other vitamin C loaded foods have many health benefits. So regardless of the effect that they have, nothing should dissuade one from consuming vitamin C rich foods.
When you know that 10 mg of vitamin C occurring with a fruit or a vegetable is safe and tremendously more nutritionally functional than any supplement, why take a supplement at all? Why take the risk of mega-dosing, and of mixing supplements? More importantly, remember a well known advice, “that we should obtain our antioxidants and vitamins from a multitude of different fruits and vegetables eaten fresh daily.” Nothing else can achieve that goal, better. I am sorry, but you have to eat your veggies everyday.
Vitamin C and the Common Cold
National Public Radio
BioSuperfood and it’s connection to vitamin C
BioSuperfood contains vitamin C, vitamins B, E, D, A, and K, most minerals, fatty acids, and many antioxidants, but more importantly, consuming BioSuperfood “awakens the genius within”, the principal regulation organs of the brain (the hypothalamus-pituitary axis), and as a result all metabolisms of the body are stimulated, significantly increasing your capacity to assimilate, absorb and utilize the many nutrients in your foods and those stored in your body. BioSuperfood is an extraordinary ally food that will expedite your return to balance and health. Read more at The Magic is BAC, and at Awakening the Genius Within
SPECIAL ( Qi Gong that Heal from the Inside Out )
Gi Gong: Martial Arts that heal from the inside out. By Jackie Ostash
Have you done your twenty four Qi Gong exercises today? If not, you may want to consider that according to the:
American Psychological Association, “Qi Gong can: 1. cure illnesses such as hypertension, asthma, insomnia 2. Prevent arteriosclerosis and spinal deformity 3. shorten recovery phase from long-term illness.”
Hawaii Medical Journal, “(Qi Gong) patients saw a “big increase in breathing capacity”, a disappearance of backaches and neck aches, and those with high blood pressure claimed a drop of 10 to 15 mm Hg systolic at rest.”
Pronounced “chi gong”, Qi Gong is proving itself as a medical marvel. ‘Qi’ means air or breath of life, and ‘gong’ means the skill of working with,or cultivating self-discipline and achievement. But Qi Gong means so much more then ‘breathing work!’ Lost in this simple translation is the significance, as in the Chinese culture these words represent ‘Life Force.’ Qi Gong was developed over four thousand years ago to help injured Chinese martial artists recover quickly. Consisting primarily of meditation, relaxation, physical movement, mind-body integration and breathing exercises; Qi Gong’s twenty four exercises were created to cleanse the body of toxins, restore energy and reduce anxiety.
With his fourth generation certificate from Master Helen Wu; Master George Picard, thinks of Qi Gong martial arts as self defense training for your health, “Most modern systems of martial arts teach and prepare you to fight against a physical outside attacker, but teach you nothing on how to protect yourself from a virus! Think of Qi Gong as self defense for your health… it chemically, spiritually and physically restores you’re whole body, healing you from the inside out.”
In traditional Chinese medicine, good health is a result of a free flowing, well-balanced energy system. Picard painted a great illustration to help clarify this philosophy, “A fish is not aware that it’s in the ocean, even though he is completely submerged in it. It’s the same for us in regards to energy! We are surrounded by energy… just because we can’t see it doesn’t mean it’s not there!” Therefore our bodies continuously have energy flowing through them. It’s when that flow of energy is disrupted or not running smoothly that causes us to get sick.
Picard also pointed out that our cells are disintegrating and regenerating at fifty million cells a second! That our entire body is replaced by new cells every three years, so you are either replacing them with new healthy cells or unhealthy ones. Practicing Qi Gong keeps our energy flowing so that we are efficient at creating strong and balanced cells. Picard also has recommendations on how often one should practice Qi Gong for optimal wellness, “The Chinese believe that you can heal almost anything in three years if you follow these three steps. One: you must changes how you think. Two: you must change your lifestyle and three: you must set a set aside one hour every day for Qi Gong exercises and meditation.”
If you think about it, fitness alone does not make you healthy! For example, how many professional athletes can you name who are either injured or are sick? They are at the peak of physical fitness and yet their many of their bodies are mentally and physically breaking down. Qi Gong is so highly regarded in China that the government made it a mandatory part of all its 2008 Beijing Olympic athletes. Qi Gong has also attracted a lot of celebrity buzz from people like Tiger Woods, Dr. Oz and Oprah who are openly boasting about its benefits!
Another point to ponder; Western medications are the best they have ever been and yet people are still getting terribly sick. We often go to the doctor to ‘fix’ us, in which, the practicing physician will try to isolate the problem and either try to remove it or manage it. Have you ever had an ankle injury that spread to your knee, then up to your hip and before you knew it you were dealing with a sore back? To illuminate this cycle; Qi Gong, works the entire body with the belief that everything is in connection and you must treat the whole body to heal properly. While modern medicine has its place, this is a system that not only heals current injuries but also prevents illness from occurring.
So we know where Qi Gong originated, what it’s for, how often we need it and even how to pronounce it- but what about the RESULTS? Master George Picard summarizes some of his personal experiences, “I have worked with every possible injury that you can imagine and I have seen people have so much success that they were able to cancel shoulder operations, back surgery and hip replacements. I have witnessed clients reduce or stop their medications as their asthma, migraines, and arthritis disappear.” Picard also explained that he is not the healer, he only teaches these simple exercises and that it’s ultimately the responsibility of the individual to work them into their everyday life.
The interesting thing about Qi Gong is that there is no particular aliment that it’s recommended for. No matter what your injury or health issue is, your body will reap the benefits with your body fixing what it needs to fix. From four thousand years ago to today, the basic simplicity of this low impact martial arts may still be the answer to heal pain.
For additional research check out www.wuyijiehe.com