Vitamin C Guardian Angel for the Heart | Majid Ali MD
VITAMIN C: GUARDIAN ANGEL MOLECULE FOR THE HEART
In 1990 Linus Pauling and Matthias Rath proposed a protective role of vitamin C in the prevention of arteriosclerosis. A large number of studies show the many ways vitamin C prevents oxidative injury to other life molecules and prevents tissue injury and diseases. Two of my own studies briefly described above show some of the other ways vitamin C acts as the guardian angel molecule for the heart. I discussed this subject at length in a review article which appeared in the winter 1991 issue of The Environmental Physician published by the American Academy of Environmental Medicine. I include below some brief comments with updated
VITAMIN C: A PREMIUM LIFE SPAN MOLECULE.
Vitamin C is an excellent life span molecule. It is a molecule of small size, a close cousin of the glucose molecule from which it is derived in animals. We human beings cannot make this vitamin from glucose molecules because we do not have an enzyme necessary for this. It has been estimated that we humans lost the enzyme (glucunolactone oxidase) over 50 million years ago. Vitamin C is water soluble, is freely cleared through the kidneys and the bowel. It has no known toxicity. It is a premium water-soluble anti-oxidant molecule in the blood (Proc Nat Acad Sci 86:6377; 1989). It is essential for the function of several enzymes including some that are necessary for the synthesis of stress molecules in the adrenal gland and the metabolism of cholesterol. Finally and fortunately, no drug company has a patent on it and so it is quite inexpensive.
VITAMIN C IS AN ORPHAN DRUG
I have often thought how different things would have been if a drug company had owned a patent protecting its sale of vitamin C. I have no doubt in my mind that such a patent would have been the greatest blockbuster of all time, an unparalleled gold mine of a patent. I have also wondered how different things would have been in the area of “continuing medical education” for physicians in the hospitals. More lectures on the clinical benefits of this life-span molecule would have been given by doctors (paid by the drug company holding the patent) in our hospitals than for any other drug. The reason for this is simple. The drug researchers would have figured out that vitamin C, a powerful life span molecule, is likely to benefit many clinical disorders, just as physicians in nutritional medicine have found out. The difference is that when drug companies discover something, they spend millions of dollars to disseminate such information for marketing their drugs. When physician-nutritionists discover something of value about vitamin C, there is no money available for spreading this information. So it is that vitamin C remains an orphan drug.
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