Puzzling observations about vitamin C

Can one image a tumor with radiolabeled sodium ascorbate?

One might if the following observation is explained by the idea that vitamin C targets problem areas, and the vitamin C is likely directed there, perhaps by signals from the innate and/or adaptive immune systems.

Hence when body pools of vitamin C are limited, the diet is low in vitamin C and its adjuvants, and there is no supplementation or injection of sodium ascorbate, what little vitamin C there is becomes concentrated in problem areas, and sparse elsewhere, and as the vitamin C is used up in the problem areas, it becomes even more sparse elsewhere.

In this case, if the vitamin C that was originally concentrated turns over without significant replacement, we would expect to see initial scurvy like symptoms first in the sparse areas and second where it was originally concentrated. Do we in fact? The first symptoms of inchoate scurvy are fragile capillaries and facile bleeding, easy bruising, and bruises that take too long to heal (the latter two can also be due to, among other things, a vitamin K deficiency or B vitamin deficiencies).

We would also expect that the body would increase its absorptive capacity for vitamin C when it is sick or otherwise under duress, and it appears to, and to reduce its urinary excretion of vitamin C when it is under duress, and it appears to (British Journal of Nutrition (1992), 61, 3-16).

With sufficient supplementation by mouth, or by injections, or both, over a sufficiently long period of time, the targeting of vitamin C would continue to the areas where there are clear problems, until they clear up, and the depleted areas will eventually become replete, the excess vitamin C will not be efficiently absorbed, and this vitamin C that enters the colon can eventually lead to osmotic diarrhea.

Consistent with this idea:

The “bowel tolerance dose” of vitamin C is higher, the sicker someone is, although it is very high in mononucleosis (I have always thought that “mono” was a bit of a joke – but maybe the body knows differently – maybe the mono virus can, in addition to aggravating spleen and liver problems, compromise the BBB, and if more dangerous infectious agents are present…).

It appears the body does increase its absorptive capacity when it is sick, just as animals make more vitamin C when they are sick or under duress.

When we are basically healthy, our absorptive capacity for vitamin C is less, and so it takes less ingested vitamin C to get osmotic diarrhea than when we are ill and especially when we are very ill, especially sick with cancer. Had we been taking high doses when we first got cancer, in all likelihood, we might not ever have had a fatal battle with cancer.


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