• Humans Can’t Fully Correct For A Gene Mutation That Halted The Internal Secretion Of Vitamin C By Taking Oral Vitamin C Throughout The Day. Are We On The Cusp Of Correcting That Gene Mutation?

    Posted May 21, 2019: by Bill Sardi

    Please don’t let what is written here discourage you from taking vitamin C multiple times a day. That is what every noted vitamin C researcher has recommended. That is because vitamin C is rapidly excreted and has a half-life in the human body of 30 minutes. It needs to be replaced throughout the day.

    How much vitamin C do you need?

    First, the answer to the question how much vitamin C an individual needs is not provided in studies of groups of people. Population studies only provide an answer as to how much vitamin C is needed to significantly alter some measure of health or disease in a group. Yet it is these very studies that public health agencies reference in a flawed manner to advise individuals how much vitamin C they need to maintain health. The answer as to how much vitamin C you need as an individual is quite variable and depends upon many factors described below that obviously change both rapidly and over time.

    Why humans need vitamin C

    The destructive process of oxidation in the human body is what damages cells, tissues and organs. Around 5% of the oxygen atoms we breathe have lost an electron and are potentially destructive. These are called oxygen free radicals. Molecules that have an extra electron to donate to unbalanced oxygen atoms are known as antioxidants. The master electron donor in mammals is vitamin C, also known as ascorbate or ascorbic acid. Animals secrete vitamin C from their liver, or some animals from their kidneys, thus continually pouring electrons to quell a free radical storm.

    It was Dr. Robert Cathcart who began to categorize common maladies by the amount of vitamin C typically needed to bring them to a halt. That is to say, the amount of electrons needed to douse the flames of oxidation. In fact, Dr. Tom Levy, author of the landmark book entitled CURING THE INCURABLE, says “compromised electron flow is the final common denominator of most (or all) diseases.”

    Of course, we can’t determine the number of electrons needed to quell each and every malady because we would also need to determine severity of biological stress. But suffice to say, a constant provision of electrons is needed to maintain health.

    Vitamin C is an anti-stress factor

    Vitamin C is internally synthesized from the conversion of blood sugar to ascorbate (vitamin C). This conversion occurs in the liver. Given that sugar stores are released when the human body is physically or emotionally stressed, such as during infection, inflammation, malignancy, exposure to radiation, or exposure to toxins (example: alcohol, heavy metals, germs, tobacco, drugs) or simply mentally stressful events, vitamin C can be defined as an anti-stress factor.

    Most animals except for guinea pigs, fruit bats, primate monkeys and humans, respond to these stressors by the enzymatic conversion of sugar to vitamin C on an as needed basis. The enzyme is gulonolactone oxidase. The more biological stress (and the more sugar is that dumped into the blood circulation) the more vitamin C is endogenously produced. Humans, by virtue of a mutation in the GULO gene, do not internally produce vitamin C and have lost the ability to handle biological stress. In essence, given that vitamin C is internally secreted in most animals, it can be more precisely defined as an anti-stress hormone rather than a vitamin.

    Discovered sixty-plus years ago

    It was researcher Albert Lehninger who in 1957 first reported that humans, unlike most other animals, lost their ability to internally synthesize vitamin C due to a gene mutation and need to totally rely upon dietary sources of this essential nutrient for survival.

    Later, in the 1970s it was biochemist Irwin Stone who elucidated this finding in his book THE HEALING FACTOR, a reference the public could access. Based upon data obtained from rodents, Irwin Stone estimated humans would need ~1800-4000 milligrams of vitamin C a day to fully make up for that gene mutation. That is far beyond what the best diet can provide (one would have to consume 30-66 oranges to get 1800 to 4000 mg. of vitamin C). This makes humans dependent upon vitamin C tablets to fully restore a level of health and longevity that was once enjoyed by humans many generations ago before that universal gene mutation occurred.

    Despite vitamin C pills, millions still have symptoms of scurvy

    Supplemental vitamin C became available in the 1930s but has yet to be fully adopted by human populations to compensate for that gene mutation. Strikingly, an estimated 11-15% of the population in the U.S. has a blood level of vitamin C so low (11.4 micromole or lower) as to render these subjects as having scurvy or pre-scurvy – that is being subject to bleeding gums, hemorrhages, weakened blood vessels (aneurysms), hernias, rotting teeth, painful joints and bones, and lassitude.

    Given that millions of Americans are marginally or overtly vitamin C deficient, this should prompt a call for a massive food fortification program. The absence of such a program suggests the population is being gamed for a certain level of disease to treat.

    Public health authorities don’t appear to be bothered by the present predicament. To the Food & Nutrition Board and the Food & Drug Administration, 10 milligrams of vitamin C a day prevents overt scurvy. An orange provides ~60 milligrams. Those organizations say that is enough C to prevent scurvy. Scurvy is blamed on a bad diet, not on the failure of public health authorities to fortify food to ensure intake and overcome lack of compliance to continually use vitamin supplements.

    However, vitamin C food fortification would be beyond practicality because of the amount of vitamin C required to simulate internal vitamin C synthesis. Mass vitamin C supplementation is not something most doctors would prescribe given they went to medical school to be trained to write scripts for synthetic drugs that only quell symptoms of disease rather than address their cause, which we have learned, is a lack of electrons.

    Recommended doses of vitamin C were determined for healthy adults, not for smokers, alcohol imbibers, diabetics, children in their growth years who have not yet developed antibodies to common pathogenic germs, the hospitalized, pregnant women, cancer patients, patients who have experienced a heart attack, users of vitamin C-depleting drugs (steroids, aspirin, diuretics).

    Unfortunately, public health authorities chose to make recommendations (the Daily Value 60 mg) used on dietary supplement labels, the Recommended Daily Allowance -90 mg) and arbitrarily scare patients away from taking more than 2000 mg/day (safe upper limit) when the no-observed adverse effects dose is 10,000 mg/day (not even diarrhea).

    The Recommended Daily Allowance, defined as the average daily intake of vitamin C sufficient to meet the nutrient requirements of nearly all (97%-98%) healthy people, is 75 mg for adult females and 90 mg for adult males. The percent of the Daily Value, which is printed on food and dietary supplement labels, is just 90 milligrams.

    Given that the average intake of vitamin C from foods is ~110 milligrams per day, such a labeling scheme gives the public a false sense they get an adequate amount of vitamin C in their diet and don’t need vitamin C pills. How many Americans are in perfect health and not subject to the biological stress factors listed above? That list of factors doesn’t include childhood growth, pregnancy, old age or hospitalization, which also increase the demand for vitamin C.

    To summarize up to this point, way back in human history, in response to biological stress, humans internally and continually produced vitamin C, ~1800-4000 milligrams a day and up to 15,000 mgs. when under duress, and the consumption of vitamin C from the diet (~110 mg/day) is considered to be sufficient to make up for this genetic flaw. If you buy into this proposition, I have a bridge to sell you in Brooklyn.

    For comparison, primate monkeys in the wild that have the same gene mutation consume 3000 to 8000 mgs. of daily vitamin C from the plant foods they eat.

    As salubrious as vitamin C supplements are, shortcomings between vitamin C supplementation and the internal synthesis of vitamin C exist.

    These shortcomings are beyond the obvious fact that oral vitamin C supplementation requires mindful and diligent use of vitamin C supplements with repeated dosing throughout the day, which breeds poor compliance.

    There are five reasons why a given dose of oral vitamin C is not equivalent to the same amount of vitamin C secreted internally.

    1. The more supplemental vitamin C that is consumed orally the less is absorbed. For example, 89% or 13 mgs. of vitamin C absorbed when 15 mgs. is consumed. But only 63% or 315 mgs. is absorbed when 500 mgs. are consumed. Internally secreted vitamin C obviously does not require absorption.

      Oral Vitamin C: The Greater The Dose The Less Is Available

      Oral Dose Amount / % Absorbed Blood Plasma Concentration Micromole/Deciliter Amount Excreted in Urine 120-180 minutes In Circulation
      15 mg 13 mg (89%) 8.7 0.0 mg 13.0 mg
      50 mg 43 mg (85%) 56.0 1.8 mg 41.2 mg
      100 mg 80 mg (80%) 66.0 25.0 mg 55.0 mg
      500 mg 315 mg (63%) 77.0 241.0 mg 74.0 mg
    2. High-gram (1000 milligram) doses of vitamin C are rapidly excreted within 30 minutes. A large oral dose raises blood plasma levels briefly, reaching a peak after 2-3 hours. The need for repeated dosing reduces compliance. This is true for both oral and internally secreted vitamin C, but only endogenous synthesis continually provides vitamin C, even during sleeping hours.
    3. From what has been learned so far, larger daily doses of vitamin C may be needed beyond the 1800-4000 milligrams estimated by Irwin Stone to approximate pre-gene mutation state. Another difference between vitamin C secreted internally versus taken orally is that this vitamin is absorbed based upon need. Many healthy adults take vitamin C supplements. A healthy person will absorb only a fraction of a single gram (1000 mg) dose whereas, in reverse fashion, a sick person absorbs almost all of a 10-gram (10,000 mg.) dose. For example, vitamin C is in greater need during wound healing. Theoretically, patients recovering from surgery need greater amounts of vitamin C and mega-doses under this circumstance would be fully absorbed and utilized. However, ten-thousand milligrams (ten 1000-milligram vitamin C pills) a day may be a bit much for many people to swallow.
    4. Oral vitamin C requires stomach acid for absorption. With advancing age, less stomach acid is secreted. The decline in hydrochloric acid secretion is called hypochlorhydria, while the complete absence of acid secretion is called achlorhydria. The incidence of achlorhydria is reported to be 19% in the fifth decade of life and 69% in the eighth decade of life. The longer humans live and less oral vitamin C they will absorb. Obviously the availability of internally secreted vitamin C is not subject to stomach acid.
    5. One common reason for negative studies involving oral vitamin C is infection with a bacterium known as Helicobacter pylori (aka Campylobacter pylori). H. pylori infection is common in the stomach. This bacterium shuts off secretion of stomach acid. The prevalence of H. pylori infection increases by1% for every year of life. Around half of 50-year-olds are typically infected. Over all age groups, about 35% of Americans are H. pylori positive. Normally vitamin C levels are high in gastric juice. This is disrupted by H. pylori infection. The eradication of H. pylori recovers the normal transport of vitamin C from blood plasma into gastric juice. In fact, vitamin C decreases the prevalence of H. pylori infection. Many millions of people cannot optimally absorb and utilize the vitamin C they consume due to this highly prevalent bacterium. Obviously, internally secreted vitamin C would avert this problem.
    6. The most important difference between internal vitamin C synthesis and oral supplementation is that there is no way to match the intake amount of vitamin C with the level of biological stress. GULO gene-intact animals under stress release internal sugar stores and these sugars are then enzymatically converted into a sugar-like molecule we call vitamin C. In gene mutated animals oral vitamin C does not convert released sugar to vitamin C. Sugar levels would then remain high under stress regardless of oral vitamin C intake. Only an internal mechanism that converts sugar to ascorbate would match the demand for vitamin C-donated electrons and control blood glucose levels. This could be likened to a built-in fire sprinkler system rather repeated use of fire extinguishers.

      To give another example of the difference between internal versus external supply of vitamin C, the occurrence of unexpected biological stress, for example, when a person is subjected to a frightening experience such as being chased by a wild animal. This would result in a rise in cortisol and adrenaline, stress hormones excreted from the adrenal glands located atop the kidneys that release sugar (glucose) into the blood circulation to provide instant energy to flee from that threat. Again, to handle that mental stress, a genetically flawed human would have to immediately consume many grams of vitamin C and even that would not convert the elevated sugar levels to ascorbate.

    Flawed reasoning

    It is obvious the reasoning behind recommended intake levels of vitamin C is seriously flawed. Rather than establish intake levels of vitamin C as public health authorities have done to set the RDA and Daily Value, it would be better to determine the blood concentrations needed to maintain health. However, even blood levels may only reflect recent consumption.

    Due to rapid excretion, even with the use of more absorbable forms of vitamin C (liposomal C), or the use of bioflavonoids or timed-release C to slow the absorption of vitamin C and therefore prolong high blood concentrations, these delivery systems are not equivalent to vitamin C on demand as would be produced internally in the liver 24-hours a day.

    Can the gene mutation be corrected?

    Probably the greatest single advancement in human health would be to restore the GULO gene in the liver that halted the internal conversion of blood sugar to vitamin C. Irwin Stone said: “Present-day Man still carries this defective gene … that has been responsible for more deaths, more sickness and human misery than any other single factor.”

    Irwin Stone hoped for a day when this genetic defect would be repaired. Stone 1979 wrote: “this genetic approach, in which the gene is repaired or replaced so it will be capable of directing the synthesis of the active enzyme (gulonolactone oxidase)… would be a convenient solution to the problem, but the present ‘state of the art’ in genetic engineering is not capable of doing this. Perhaps another 50 years will see this accomplished. Humans would then be able to perform the endogenous synthesis of ascorbate, just like the other mammals.”

    The genetic flaw in humans that blocks the internal synthesis of vitamin C is a single gene mutation. This author theorizes a known mechanism called stop-codon readthrough can possibly correct this single gene flaw and facilitate the synthesis of the enzyme (gulonolactone oxidase) required to convert blood sugar (glucose) to ascorbate (vitamin C).

    Stop codon readthrough is accomplished using a single molecular intervention has been practically proven in humans, though it has not bee deemed to be effective enough for clinical use. In a reverse manner, the widely extolled CRISPR gene insertion technique has been shown to induce stop codons in genes responsible for single-gene related disease. For brevity, this topic is explained elsewhere in more detail.

    The published report of a natural molecule extracted from olives found to double vitamin C levels in humans without dietary or supplemental vitamin C opened the door for commercialization and the prospect that this mutation can be molecularly corrected.

    The olive-based molecule was complexed with other co-factors known to facilitate the endogenous synthesis of vitamin C in animals and other nutrients that boost immunity. This formulation was branded as FORMULA-216™.

    Preliminary studies, as shown below, reveal that FORMULA-216™ raises urine levels of vitamin C both in normal and stressed conditions in humans. It is important to note that Formula-216™ was formulated to include vitamin C given that it was not known whether a baseline vitamin C level was required to produce a prolonged effect beyond normal rapid excretion.

    The initial test was conducted in humans using test strips that measure urinary concentrations of vitamin C. Concentration of vitamin C in urine rose hours beyond normal urinary excretion which suggests continued restoration of vitamin C synthesis in the liver. Vitamin C levels also rose in urine with the intake of alcohol which should have greatly diminished vitamin C levels, which is consistent with a stress-responsive effect.

    Blood tests conducted in 5 patients show FORMULA-216™ raised blood levels of vitamin C in the first day and continued to exhibit elevated blood vitamin C levels over the course of a day and night, and even maintained elevated blood serum concentrations of vitamin C ten days following cessation of use, all which would be consistent with correction of this genetic flaw.

    Results of 1st Human Trial

    Blood Levels / Vitamin C / Formula-216 / Micromole/Liter
    Subject Initial C Level 1st Blood Sample (Day 1) 2nd Blood Sample (Day 2) 3rd Blood Sample (Day 14)* Final Blood Sample (Day 24)
    1 34.06 39.76 73.49 73.49 62.45
    2 17.03 34.06 34.06 56.77 45.42
    3 51.10 73.81 90.84 62.45 56.77
    4 51.10 51.10 79.49 79.49 56.77
    5 45.42 68.13 73.81 56.77 51.10
    * Subjects Ceased Taking FORMULA-216. Data ENCODE NUTRITION® 2019

    Should this be further proven that this universal gene mutation has in fact been corrected, it is obvious this would not be a welcome development for our disease treatment system given it would prevent disease from occurring in the first place.

    Why Oral Vitamin C can't make up for loss of internal Vitamin C synthesis

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