Linus Pauling Vitamin C Theory Vindicated?

Decades ago Nobel Laureate Linus Pauling was ostracized for proposing Vitamin C as a cancer treatment. Now there is evidence he was right.

When the only person ever to win two unshared Nobel Prizes (Linus Pauling – Chemistry and Peace) talks you should probably listen but when he touted the many possible benefits of massive Vitamin C doses he was labeled a quack.

But the latest research has shown that his idea of fighting some cancers with extremely safe massive doses of Vitamin C may well be the future of medicine.

linus pauling
L Pauling by Library of Congress Licensed under Public Domain via Commons.

The research into his claims suffered a major setback when early tests used oral doses of Vitamin C and showed no positive results. But they actually stood little chance of working the way they were conducted.

A similar thing happened with Vitamin D research in treating malignant melanoma where the wrong form of Vitamin D was used. (For details, see my book on Vitamin D)

In the case of the Johns Hopkins test of Vitamin C they used oral doses and the amount which can be given and absorbed that way is very limited.

Vitamin C can also be given by IV in massive doses without any adverse reaction and the newest information about several kinds of cancer show promising results.

For ovarian cancer there is an open text study published at

Two key paragraphs are these found near the end.

“For patients, quality of life is a key issue. In a self-assessment administered to 39 terminal cancer patients treated with 10 g of intravenous ascorbate at 3 day intervals combined with daily administration of 4 g orally for 1 week, quality of life was reportedly improved on several scales. Specifically, patients rated physical, emotional, and cognitive function higher and several symptoms, including nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, and fatigue, lower after ascorbate treatment. Similarly, advanced cancer patients in the phase I trial who received intravenous ascorbate doses >0.4 g/kg sustained quality of life for the duration of the trial.”

However, neither of these trials had a placebo control. How intravenous ascorbate might mediate improved wellbeing is unknown; further examination with appropriate placebo controls may be worthwhile.

In summary, intravenous ascorbate therapy is safe, well tolerated, and has minimal side effects compared to most standard agents, as verified by both case studies and early clinical trials. Additionally, intravenous ascorbate may contribute to maintaining quality of life.

“Current trials are investigating the potential efficacy of pharmacologic ascorbate given over longer durations in combination with standard chemotherapies.”

Very recent studies just published in Science, the journal of the American Association for the Advancement of Science into the use of Vitamin C in treating two kinds of cancer in rats show very promising results and the same cancer types are found in difficult-to-treat human cancers.

Although the actual study is available only to members, the AAAS provides a summary at

This study found that colon cancer cells often grow because of mutations in the KRAS or BRAF genes. These cells are fed by high levels of glucose (sugar) but the transporter, GLUT1 also carries Vitamin C to cells as the dehydroascorbic acid (DHA) oxidized form.

Bombarding the cells with high doses of the DHA (Vitamin C) can block free radicals and high doses actually do kill those colon cancers in the lab. The dosages required would require patients eating unbelievable amounts of fruits such as oranges but fortunately the same Vitamin C can be purchased in kilogram packages very inexpensively and mixed with sterile water for IV feeds.


Since Vitamin C is very cheap and people can not only tolerate it in massive dosages but will probably actually improve their quality of life, it appears that human trials could easily be approved and conducted. Because there is no real safety question, some doctors may agree to give their cancer patients the massive doses along with whatever traditional treatment such as chemotherapy which they are already getting.

Of course I am not offering medical advice, merely providing links to recent studies.

oranges natural vitamin c
Oranges have natural Vitamin C.