Scurvy – Vitamin C is not just for Pirates of Penance Lymeys
There used to be a major debate over the need for multivitamin pills. I recall decades ago when the NBC Today Show resident doctor said for years that there was absolutely no need to waste money on multiple vitamins. He said this repeatedly at every opportunity.
A decade later there was a vitamin and mineral supplement company using his name on the “unnecessary” pills.
Today we all know that even in countries like the U.S. where most of the people are grossly overfed and overweight, they also have such poor diets that they are missing some vital micro nutrients such as vitamins.
But there are recent studies which show many, perhaps most doctors have ignored a critical vitamin deficiency especially in the elderly and even more critically among those elderly who land in the often careless hands of Intensive Care Unit doctors.
Vitamin C and the ICU
There is a lot of concern about what medications ICU patients and especially elderly patients should be receiving but, although many recent clinical studies show some supplements in particular are critical to patient care, most doctors haven’t learned much since they left medical school often decades ago.
This is especially true of the older doctors who make the rules in hospitals which explains a lot about modern medical care in the United States.
So, despite many clinical reports about the importance of vitamin levels in seriously sick people, very little if any attention has been given to vitamin or mineral levels in those who are so sick they are in the Intensive Care Units, especially the elderly (and very young) who have compromised immune systems.
In fact tests of patients in various ICUs in U.S. hospitals have shown that more than half the patients would be clinically classified as having scurvy but aren’t treated for this serious condition.
The levels (technically in medical parlance, serum levels) of two vitamins, in particular, are critically important and easy for individuals and families to improve.
Vitamin C and Vitamin D
Vitamin C, also known as Ascorbic Acid, the vitamin which gave limeys (British sailors) their nickname, erroneously as it happens, is critically important to good health as first proposed by Two time Nobel Laureate Linus Pauling decades ago. It is also cheap, very cheap as those things go, so cheap I use it to make lemon aid and sometimes in place of actual lemons in tea.
Amazon currently sells Ascorbic Acid powder, vitamin C, for about $30/Kilo. A Kilo of Vitamin C is more than a year’s heavy doses of Vitamin C which is usually given in 500-1000 milligram pills.
You can add it to lemon aid, lemon chicken marinade, or tea – a very good idea for any older person since Vitamin C not only helps prevent many diseases, it is also quickly depleted when a person is ill.
Vitamin D, actually D3 (calcitriol), is absolutely critical in management and possibly even preventing malignant melanoma, the most deadly kind of skin cancer.
Many historical studies showed this not to be true, but until they are all extremely flawed because they didn’t recognize or adjust for the different forms of Vitamin D. D-1, for example, provides no protection against cancer and, in fact, can be actively bad for you.
Other vitamins, including Thiamine, B1, also play an important role and are often at very low levels in seriously ill patients.
“Doctor, your septic patients have scurvy”
“Does Vitamin D3 Cure Malignant Melanoma?” (Of course not, but D3 and Indian Curry actually help prevent and treat some cancers as well as chemotherapy.)