When a blocked nose, sore throat and general feeling of malaise strikes, many people head to the pharmacist or health store to pick up some vitamin C tablets.
But this thinking is all wrong. We need to take the vitamin every single day. For one thing, it’s much more effective as prevention than cure, so you don’t want to wait till you’ve got a cold to start taking it.
But there’s a far more important reason to take vitamin C every day: It helps prevent a heart attack. This is a very important finding — you don’t want to miss it…
LDL Cholesterol is not the Problem
Why do people have heart attacks (myocardial infarctions) but rarely have these “infarctions” in other organs?
Why do the arteries thicken with plaques but not the veins?
Why is it that only humans suffer heart attacks while almost all other animals are free of this plague? What’s so unusual about humans?
Matthias Rath is a German doctor and scientist well known in alternative cancer circles. As it turns out, he has other interests, too, and he set out to answer these questions about heart disease back in the 1980s. By 1991 he had formed a theory. . .
Some out-of-the-Ordinary Thoughts About Heart Health
Arteries sit on top of the heart and experience blood pressure that’s a hundred times greater than other vessels. Collagen provides arteries with stability, but without enough vitamin C — needed to produce collagen — the artery walls become unstable. Little cracks and crevices open up between the layers of cells that shape the blood vessels.
This signals the liver to send the best form of repair available. It’s a modified form of LDL cholesterol, a sticky molecule called lipoprotein (a) or Lp(a).
While LDL is found in the arteries, the Framingham Heart Study, the largest cardiovascular risk factor study ever conducted, showed that Lp(a) is a ten-fold greater risk factor for heart disease than cholesterol or LDL cholesterol.
It’s Lp(a) we need to be concerned about, according to Dr. Rath, not LDL cholesterol.
Lp(a) repairs the arteries, but in people afflicted with a chronic vitamin C deficiency, Lp(a) eventually becomes a problem itself by continually forming deposits.
The Questions Answered. . .
All this was theory, but it made logical sense and answered each of the questions. The arteries are affected — but rarely other organs — because the pumping heart exposes and agitates the underlying weaknesses there first.
Veins don’t thicken with plaques because high levels of blood pressure exist only in the arteries.
Animals don’t get heart attacks because, with a few exceptions, they generate vitamin C in their own bodies. They also have no need for Lp(a), so their bodies don’t produce it. Humans must obtain vitamin C from the diet.
Testing the Theory in the Lab
In the years after he formed his theory, Dr. Rath conducted and published many studies. To help him, his scientific team devised a genetically modified mouse whose metabolism mimics that of humans. The animal’s ability to produce vitamin C was knocked out and the gene for producing Lp(a) was inserted.
From test tube and transgenic mice studies he discovered the following:
- Lp(a) is found at the site of plaques, even in early lesions
- Lp(a) is the primary contributor to atherosclerotic plaques
- The accumulation of Lp(a) parallels the size of atherosclerotic deposits found in the arteries. The larger the deposits in the arteries, the more Lp(a) is found inside the artery wall
- Lp(a) is a leading risk factor for all known forms of cardiovascular disease
- Mice with enough vitamin C maintain clean arteries; those with long-term deficiencies develop cracks and lesions in the arteries and form plaques
- The breakdown of connective tissue (collagen) on the border of the artery walls starts the process
- Vitamin C and other micronutrients strengthen artery walls
- Plaque build-up can be reversed
Stopping and Reversing Coronary Calcification
Will high dose vitamin C work in humans?
Dr. Rath and his research team tested this therapy in 55 patients with documented coronary artery disease assessed by Ultrafast CT scan. This can only detect calcium deposits within plaques, not Lp(a), but calcium is an excellent marker for plaque advancement.
The patients were given 2,700 mg of vitamin C a day together with 30 other nutrients for 12 months. Nutrients work together as a team, and a number are involved with collagen synthesis and are found in the artery wall, so a full nutritional approach is needed when treating existing disease.
The authors concluded, “The most important finding of this study is that coronary artery disease can be effectively prevented and treated by natural means.
“This nutritional supplement program was able to decrease the progression of coronary artery disease within the relatively short time of one year, irrespective of the stage of this disease.
“Most significantly, in patients with early coronary calcifications, this nutritional supplement program was able to essentially stop its further progression. In individual cases with small calcified deposits, nutritional supplement intervention led to their complete disappearance.”
So it’s time to stop taking vitamin C for colds only. Take at least 250 mg of the nutrient every day along with a diet high in vegetables and fruits to protect your arteries. Personally, I take two grams (2,000 mg) of vitamin C daily in addition to what I get from fresh produce – which is probably quite a lot.
- Why Animals Don’t Get Heart Attacks But People Do. M Rath MR Publishing 2000