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If the Newbolds had theft way we'd all be taking megadoses of vitamin C and other vitamin and mineral supplements, eating all the fresh meat, fowl, or seafood (but not broiled or fried), animal fat, fresh fruits and vegetables we'd like, drinking spring water, and avoiding processed foods. This regimen, they contend, will ward off cancer or fight existing cancer and generally provide a sound basis for health. The gung-ho approach of the true believer would warrant a fast rejection save for the fact that Newbold comes through as a caring clinician with some good case histories. In addition, he includes articles by others and a wide variety of interviews with leading cancer specialists expressing divergent views (a loyal supporter of chemotherapy, for example, and one equally strongly opposed). Pauling, of course, is represented, as well as vitamin C's discoverer Szent-Gy"rgyi. The gist of it all is that success in using vitamin C to treat cancer has been reported (mostly) outside the U.S.--in some cases causing remission; in others delaying recurrence, relieving pain and greatly improving the quality of life. Perhaps the patient's immunodefense system was built up, perhaps cellular proliferation was curbed at the tumor site. Vitamin C is also a strong detoxifying agent, and an unanswered question is whether giving the vitamin in conjunction with chemotherapy might not protect tumor cells from destruction. The evidence is individual, and the few controlled studies raise questions, as Robert Good, Director of Research at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center makes clear in one of the best interviews in the book. Fortunately, word has gotten around that nutritional studies are sorely needed, both with experimental animals and in controlled clinical trials. While this is sound, the lengthy exhortations on diet, the advice on what forms of vitamin C to take (the drugstore tablets are not recommended), and the general minimizing of side effects are clearly invitations to the incautious do-it-yourselfer.

Pub Date: March 15th, 1979
Publisher: Ballantine