Vitamin C – The Enigma

Enter The Enigmatic Vitamin C

In the unfathomable intricacy of the cosmos, with its kaleidoscope of elements and compounds, few are as taken for granted and yet so profoundly vital as that humble molecule known as vitamin C. This seemingly insignificant organic compound weaves a rather fascinating narrative. Born from the cauldron of evolution, it has scribed an epoch-defining tale in our human history, highlighting the intimate kinship of man and nature, one that invites us to contemplate not just our biological existence but our very essence and vitality.

Ascorbic acid, commonly referred to as vitamin C, tells an epic saga in itself, enmeshed within the evolutionary matrix of life. Embark upon this story a few hundred million years ago, when most mammals evolved to biosynthesize their vitamin C. But the plot thickens for us Homo sapiens, along with a handful of our primate kin and guinea pigs, abandoned this ability due to a genetic mutation – a twist in our DNA helix.

Herein lays the paradox. We humans, such magnificently complex organisms, are dependent on external sources for this vital molecule. Doesn’t that strike you as profoundly strange and yet beautifully interconnected? This dependency on vitamin C reflects our intrinsic and inescapable connection with nature. To nourish ourselves with it, we engage in an intricate dance with plants and animals, a testimony to the unity of life and a humbling reminder that we are, in fact, a part of the great cosmic drama, not mere observers.

Throughout our human story, vitamin C has made its appearances rather conspicuously. Take the age of seafaring exploration, when sailors embarked on months-long voyages into the unknown. These adventurers, having limited access to fresh fruits and vegetables, often fell prey to scurvy, a disease caused by vitamin C deficiency. It is a poignant reminder of the consequences of severing our ties with nature, severing ourselves from that life-giving matrix.

But as is the nature of life, healing, and transformation arise from the ashes of destruction. The suffering brought by scurvy eventually led to the discovery of a simple cure – an influx of citrus fruits into the sailor’s diet, reconnecting them with their natural roots. Once science caught up and the concept of vitamins was understood in the early 20th century, the humble ascorbic acid was given its rightful identity – Vitamin C. It’s as if we relearned a pearl of ancient wisdom – that our well-being is entwined with the bounty of nature.

The exploration of vitamin C’s role in human health has been akin to a journey down a long and winding river. From its early association with scurvy prevention, we have unearthed its function in a myriad of essential physiological processes. As an antioxidant, it safeguards our cells against oxidative damage, that cruel yet inevitable process of aging and decay. It plays a crucial role in the synthesis of collagen, that prolific protein that forms our skin, bones, and blood vessels, binding us together in a structural ballet. And let us not forget its role in bolstering our immune system, that complex defense network that equips us to negotiate the ebb and flow of life.

Vitamin C, in essence, is a linchpin for our survival and well-being. Yet, isn’t it intriguing that such a fundamental ingredient to our existence is one we cannot produce internally? It’s as if life devised a clever mechanism to constantly remind us of our biological humility and our perpetual communion with nature.

Here we are, sentient beings suspended in the cosmos, bound by the need for a molecule that anchors us to the earth and to life itself. In its subtlety, vitamin C encourages us to reconnect with our roots, to engage in the dance of give-and-take with nature. It reminds us to honor the interconnectedness of life and uphold the delicate balance that sustains us.

It is not a mere molecule but a symbol, a testament to our inherent bond with the natural world, and a call to continually nurture this relationship for our collective health and well-being. In its absence, we are less vibrant, less alive. In its presence, we are buoyed, more connected, and pulsating with life.

Like a Zen koan, the tale of vitamin C leads us to an unexpected revelation – that we are not separate entities but part of an intricate tapestry of life. Thus, by consuming and being sustained by vitamin C, we are participating in a timeless dance, a profound dialogue between man and nature, between the individual and the cosmos.

So, the next time you consume vitamin C, whether in an orange, a bell pepper, or a supplement, remember the journey it signifies – our evolution, our history, our symbiosis with nature. Remember the delicate balance it represents, and honor this vital connection. For in this mindful act, we affirm not just our survival but also our interconnection with the cosmos, our vitality, and our well-being.

Magic Meat?

One of my favorite teachers, researchers, scientists, and authors, Valter Longo, author of the book, The Longevity Diet has observed that a vegan diet is the best way to get to a healthy 65 years of age. However, he has also observed that there are diminishing returns on that vegan diet and overall mortality beyond the age of 65. His answer is to incorporate a small piece of fish once a week for greater longevity and overall mortality.

Personally, I am not satisfied with this answer. I want to know why.

On the surface, this seems counterintuitive to me because there is nothing magic about eating meat. Nothing special is found in eating meat that cannot be obtained from plant-based sources. True, we cannot get animal-based collagen from plant sources, but animal-based collagen is not a necessary nutrient. Our body makes its own collagen when provided with sufficient amino acids and other nutrients, like copper, zinc, and vitamin C. All things found in plant-based foods.

So what is it that happens at age 65 that would make meat confer greater overall mortality to an aging population? I am thinking that it has more to do with the production of stem cells and an elevated white blood cell count associated with eating cooked foods referred to as digestive leukocytosis. This occurs when any foods, plant or animal-based enter the body that has been cooked. Eating cooked or overheated foods result in an increase in leukocyte production similar to what we see when the body has suffered an injury or some form of infection. Eating raw foods does not have this effect.

Some people, especially raw vegans, and fruitarians might feel that this justifies a completely uncooked diet, however, that is a conclusion that is not really justified in that the solution is to simply eat a diet of both cooked and raw. Dr. Paul Kouchakoff demonstrated all this in two papers he published back in the 1930s. However, most people only read his first paper on the topic published in 1930 that points out that digestive leukocytosis happens when foods are overcooked. It is his second paper published in 1937 that is only available in French that further explains that eating cooked foods isn’t a problem if one also eats even a small amount, some 10%, of the same foods uncooked. But alas, most people only read the first paper that had been published in English while ignoring the second one that was published later, available only in French.

This leads me to suspect that the answer can be found in a process called hormesis, whereby our body’s immune system is upregulated. That a diet that incorporates certain kinds of cooked foods into our diet to trigger an increased amount of neutrophils, eosinophils, basophils, monocytes, and lymphocytes that then go out into the body resulting in a greater level of regeneration. A cleansing effect if you will. Maybe this is why soups have been loved by many as not only comfort food, but one that makes them feel better when they are suffering the effects of the common cold.

I figure I have another 15 years until I see age 65. I imagine that will be long enough to resolve these questions.

Magic Beans – Lysine and Proline

L-Proline & L-Lysine supplement
L-Proline & L-Lysine supplement label

How it Works, from

The Dr. Rath Cellular Solution is theorized to stop the spreading (i.e. metastasis) of cancer via stopping the destruction of the collagen matrix by enzymes secreted by cancerous cells, thus stopping the cancer from spreading. If the cancer is contained the body can usually deal with the cancer.

The Dr. Rath Cellular Solution

This quote explains how Dr. Rath felt cancer cells spread:

Cancer cells produce and secrete millions of enzyme molecules, which, like scissors [cancer scissors], cut collagen and tissue that surrounds cells. This picture shows how liver cancer cells use these enzymes to cut little holes in the blood vessel wall and get into the blood stream where they can travel to other organs, such as the lungs. Using the same mechanism, cancer cells can settle and start new tumor growth.

~Dr. Aleksandra Niedzwiecki, Rath Foundation

This quote explains more things about the importance of the connective tissue:

Connective tissue functions not only as a mechanical support for other tissues but also as an avenue for communication and transport among other tissues. Most significantly, connective tissue is the stage for inflammation. The principal cell types involved in immunological defense are found within connective tissue.

The Dr. Rath Cellular Solution consists of two amino acids, L-Lysine and L-Proline, plus Vitamin C, and a substance in Green Tea, the polyphenol catechin known as epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). Laboratory trials and human trials have suggested the effectiveness of this combination.

It should be noted that Dr. Rath worked with two-time Nobel Prize winning chemist Linus Pauling on a heart disease prevention program. The three key elements of the heart prevention program are the same elements in the cancer solution (excluding the EGCG).

Additional Reading

Polyphenolic Profile and Biological Activity of Chinese Hawthorn (Crataegus pinnatifida BUNGE) Fruits