ALIAS VITAMIN C by Irwin Stone


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Despite impressive introductions by two Nobel Laureates, chemist Stone's extolment of the seemingly endless curative powers of Vitamin C is far from convincing. Along with such spongy statements as ""Chronic. . . scurvy is a disease that practically everyone suffers from,"" he claims that ascorbic acid can greatly benefit sufferers of ills from leprosy to leukemia to the troubles of old age. The author's basic premise -- that man's ancestors once were able to internally manufacture Vitamin C, an ability lost through genetic change -- is highly speculative -- at the very least this contention requires much more scientific proof than is offered here. Stone does review the medical literature for evidence that Vitamin C has beneficial effects, but the studies he cites date from the '30's to the early '50's during a period just after Vitamin C was synthetically produced in the pure crystal form of ascorbic acid. There was a burst of excitement in research circles, but the amount of work on the new cure-all soon dropped off, indicating perhaps a lack of promising results rather than the medical conspiracy Stone hints at. When positive results were not obtained, Stone insists that not enough ascorbic acid was used to be really effective. Under his genetic theory of Vitamin C much larger doses are needed than were (or are) being tried. Many of the experiments he wants performed would be rather simple -- but until such research has been done the provocative notion that use of large amounts of Vitamin C on a prophylactic basis will (as Stone suggests) prevent many illnesses remains unfounded. Believers will welcome this addenda to Pauling; skeptics will remain firmly planted in Missouri.

Pub Date: Sept. 18th, 1972
Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap