Fighting Viral Infections by Vitamin C at Bowel Tolerance

Alan Smith’s remarkable recovery from a seemingly fatal infection, discussed here and here, thanks to administration of 100 g/day vitamin C over vigorous opposition from his doctors, highlights both the slow pace of medical progress and the potential benefits of natural healing methods that cooperate with human biology.

The doctors’ adamant opposition to vitamin C treatment is hard to fathom. There is ample clinical experience demonstrating that high doses of vitamin C can help the body defeat viral infections. Moreover, it is among the safest of known interventions.

Vitamin C in Animals

Vitamin C apparently first developed in plants and land animals about 500 million years ago. An ability to synthesize vitamin C has been retained by most land animals and birds. [1]

Over 4,000 species of mammals can synthesize vitamin C from glucose. In good health, mammals synthesize the equivalent in humans of 2 to 13 g/day; under disease or stress, vitamin C synthesis increases up to 100-fold. [2] Under such conditions, vitamin C synthesis may constitute over 90% of glucose utilization – placing a heavy burden on the liver and arguing that vitamin C must have exceedingly important functions in diseased and stressed states.

Three times in mammals – in bats, certain rodents (guinea pigs and capybaras), and the Haplorrhini branch of the primates (containing tarsiers, monkeys, apes, and humans) – the ability to synthesize vitamin C was lost. [1] The loss in the Haplorrhini line was triggered by a retroviral infection about 60 million years ago.

The loss of vitamin C must have had a selective advantage at the time in order to triumph. Whether that selective advantage would still hold today is unknown. Since most Haplorrhini today obtain the human equivalent of 1 to 4 g/day of vitamin C from diet, it’s plausibly the case that any advantage from loss of C synthesis would hold only for those obtaining gram doses of vitamin C through diet or supplements.

Clinical Experience With High-Dose Vitamin C Therapy

A few unconventional doctors have generated most of the clinical experience with high-dose vitamin C therapy.

Fred R. Klenner, a general practitioner from Reidsville, North Carolina, was the pioneer. In the 1940s and 1950s, he found that viral diseases, notably pneumonia and polio, could be cured or greatly improved by intravenous sodium ascorbate of up to 200 g/day. (He favored the pH-neutral sodium ascorbate over conventional acidic versions.) Vitamin C was first isolated in 1932 and first synthesized in 1934, so Klenner was a very early adopter. [3]

Klenner’s maxim was that the patient should “get large doses of vitamin C in all pathological conditions while the physician ponders the diagnosis.” [4]

Irwin Stone and Linus Pauling popularized vitamin C therapies in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Persuaded by Stone and Pauling, a doctor named Robert Cathcart, who had previously invented an improved artificial hip, began using high-dose vitamin C when he took up general practice in Incline Village, Nevada.

He soon made an interesting discovery:

In 1970, I discovered that the sicker a patient was, the more ascorbic acid he would tolerate by mouth before diarrhea was produced. At least 80% of adult patients will tolerate 10 to 15 grams of ascorbic acid … The astonishing finding was that all patients … can take greater amounts of the substance orally without having diarrhea when ill or under stress. [5]

Cathcart presented this figure showing how various diseases affected vitamin C tolerance:

Over the next two decades, Dr. Cathcart treated over 12,000 patients with high-dose vitamin C. He found that vitamin C “markedly alters the course of many diseases.” [3] In his experience, Dr. the limit of bowel tolerance was a “convenient and clinically useful measure of ascorbate need”:

The maximum relief of symptoms which can be expected with oral doses of ascorbic acid is obtained at a point just short of the amount which produces diarrhea. The amount and timing of the doses are usually sensed by the patient. The physician should not try to regulate exactly the amount and timing of these doses because the optimally effective dose will often change from dose to dose… The patient tries to TITRATE between that amount which begins to make him feel better and that amount which almost but not quite causes diarrhea. [5]

Recall that in animals, vitamin C synthesis rises as much as 100-fold under disease. In humans, the limit of bowel tolerance rises up to 20-fold during illness. This suggests that bowel tolerance limit is an indicator of need.

Dr. Cathcart found that vitamin C was helpful in combination with antibiotics against bacterial infections:

The effect of ascorbic acid is synergistic with antibiotics and would appear to broaden the spectrum of antibiotics considerably….

A most important point is that patients with the bacterial infections would usually respond rapidly to ascorbic acid plus a basic antibiotic determined by initial clinical impressions. [5]

Unfortunately, vitamin C didn’t help much against fungal infections:

Although ascorbic acid should be given in some form to all sick patients to help meet the stress of disease, it is my experience that ascorbate has little effect on the primary fungal infections. Systemic toxicity and complications can be reduced in incidence. [5]

Overall, Dr. Cathcart’s experience was that benefits of vitamin C therapy could be huge.

The method produces such spectacular effects … as to be undeniable. [5]

It’s Not Easy to Test Vitamin C In Clinical Trials

Cathcart notes:

Either this titration method or large intravenous doses are absolutely necessary to obtain excellent results. Studies of lesser amounts are almost useless. The oral method cannot by its very nature be investigated by double blind studies because no placebo will mimic this bowel tolerance phenomenon. [5]

The Danger of Induced Scurvy

I developed scurvy at the nadir of my own chronic infection, so I pass this from Dr. Cathcart along as a warning:

Well-nourished humans usually contain not much more than 5 grams of vitamin C in their bodies….

If a disease is toxic enough to allow for the person’s potential consumption of 100 grams of vitamin C, imagine what that disease must be doing to that possible 5 grams of ascorbate stored in the body. A condition of ACUTE INDUCED SCURVY is rapidly induced. [5]

Anyone with a chronic infection, certain or suspected, should be careful to supplement gram doses of vitamin C.

How Does Vitamin C Work?

Dr. Cathcart’s explanation for the benefits of high-dose vitamin C is that exogenous vitamin C comes with high-energy electrons suitable for transfer to the molecules involved in respiratory bursts:

Conventional wisdom is correct in that only small amounts of vitamin C are necessary for this [antioxidant] function because of its [recycling and] repeated use. The point missed is that the limiting part in nonenzymatic free radical scavenging is the rate at which extra high-energy electrons are provided through NADH to re-reduce the vitamin C and other free radical scavengers. When ill, free radicals are formed at a rate faster than the high-energy electrons are made available. Doses of vitamin C as large as 1-10 g per 24 h do only limited good. However, when ascorbate is used in massive amounts, such as 30-200+ g per 24 h, these amounts directly provide the electrons necessary to quench the free radicals of almost any inflammation. Additionally, in high concentrations ascorbate reduces NAD(P)H and therefore can provide the high-energy electrons necessary to reduce the molecular oxygen used in the respiratory burst of phagocytes. In these functions, the ascorbate part is mostly wasted but the necessary high-energy electrons are provided in large amounts. [6]

This explanation would be consistent with cell biology studies showing that vitamin C is consumed rapidly during phagocytosis:

The high concentration of ascorbate in leucocytes and its rapid expenditure during infection and phagocytosis suggests a role for the vitamin in the immune process. Evidence published to date shows an involvement in the migration and phagocytosis by macrophages and leucocytes … [7]

However, other mechanisms have been proposed by which vitamin C may support immunity:

  • Another early view was that vitamin C helps by destroying histamine, which may be produced in excess under conditions of stress. [8]
  • A 2008 paper from Japan points to a third mechanism: that the oxidized form of vitamin C, dehydroascorbate, has strong antiviral activity in vitro. It may be that the benefit from ingesting high-dose vitamin C comes not from the C itself, but from higher levels of its oxidized waste product, dehydroascorbate [9].

The Japanese finding may supply the best explanation for why, in clinical experience, vitamin C is most effective against viral infections. Phagocytic respiratory bursts are more important for bacterial than viral defense.

Since animals upregulate ascorbate production under all kinds of stress, not just viral infections, it seems probable that vitamin C aids health by multiple pathways, not only by antiviral activity.


Vitamin C is extremely safe. Intravenous doses of 120 g/day given to cancer patients have been well tolerated. [10]

One of the reasons doctors give for avoiding vitamin C is fear that it might cause kidney stones. However, Cathcart believed vitamin C was beneficial for kidney stones:

It is my experience that ascorbic acid probably prevents most kidney stones. I have had a few patients who had had kidney stones before starting bowel tolerance doses who have subsequently had no more difficulty with them. Acute and chronic urinary tract infections are often eliminated; this fact may remove one of the causes of kidney stones. [5]

Veterinarians Aren’t Afraid to Supplement Vitamin C

In animals such as chickens that lack the ability to synthesize vitamin C, vitamin C is recognized as a means of supporting bacterial and viral immunity. [11]


Based on Cathcart’s testimony, thousands of patients with infectious diseases have benefited from high-dose vitamin C. Although mechanisms are not well understood, vitamin C probably helps along multiple pathways.

A well-tested therapeutic strategy would be to take 4 g vitamin C every hour with water until bowel intolerance is reached. The therapy is extremely safe, and its effectiveness is usually apparent within days.

Given its safety and the ease of testing its effectiveness, why shouldn’t every seriously ill person try this therapeutic strategy? Is there any good reason NOT to try it for at least a few days to see if it has an effect?


[1] “Vitamin C,”

[2] Lewin S. Vitamin C: its molecular biology and medical potential. New York: Academic Press, 1976, p 109. Cited in Ely JT. Ascorbic acid role in containment of the world avian flu pandemic. Exp Biol Med (Maywood). 2007 Jul;232(7):847-51. Full text:

[3] Klenner FR. Massive doses of vitamin C and the virus diseases. South Med Surg. 1951 Apr;113(4):101-7.

[4] “Fred R. Klenner,”

[5] Cathcart RF. Vitamin C, titrating to bowel tolerance, anascorbemia, and acute induced scurvy. Med Hypotheses. 1981 Nov;7(11):1359-76.

[6] Cathcart RF. A unique function for ascorbate. Med Hypotheses. 1991 May;35(1):32-7.

[7] Thomas WR, Holt PG.  Vitamin C and immunity: an assessment of the evidence. Clin Exp Immunol. 1978 May;32(2):370-9.

[8] Nandi BK et al. Effect of ascorbic acid on detoxification of histamine under stress conditions. Biochem Pharmacol. 1974 Feb 1;23(3):643-7.

[9] Furuya A et al. Antiviral effects of ascorbic and dehydroascorbic acids in vitro. Int J Mol Med. 2008 Oct;22(4):541-5.

[10] Riordan HD et al. A pilot clinical study of continuous intravenous ascorbate in terminal cancer patients. P R Health Sci J. 2005 Dec;24(4):269-76. Hoffer LJ et al. Phase I clinical trial of i.v. ascorbic acid in advanced malignancy. Ann Oncol. 2008 Nov;19(11):1969-74.

[11] Andreasen CB, Frank DE. The effects of ascorbic acid on in vitro heterophil function. Avian Dis. 1999 Oct-Dec;43(4):656-63.

Leave a comment ?


  1. Hi,

    I am currently being treated for h-pylori with a natural protocol. I thought of adding vitamin C to help with the diarrhea of the die off but each time I try some vitamin c (from food, alive brand) my diarrhea gets worse. I drink a bit of lemon juice throughout the day, but I have never been able to do any vitamin C. Does it mean my body does not need any more C? Or that it cannot absorb it because of the inflammation caused by h-pylori? To tell you the truth, in the last few years I have never been able to take vit C supplements (I am on a PHD following a year on Gaps and a few years on NT).

    Thanks for any suggestions,


  2. I have dealt with people who have had bad H pylori issues when they have had candida. Candida is associated with many other bacterial and viral diseases which can give rise to a bewildering array of symptoms for both H pylori and candida. Here is one naturopath’s obsevations on the many differing symptoms and associated diseases for candida:

    Both candida and h pylori are associative diseases which can express widely differing symptoms in individuals affected because of their multitude of pathogenic associations.

    If you don’t have candida, then the following regimen should help you to get rid of the H pylori:

    Take pancreatin enzymes with betaine hydrochloride at mealtimes. Your problems probably stem from a lack of hydrochloric acid in your stomach and/or a lack of bicarbonates(digestive juices) stored in the pancreas. For either reason, this will cause acid upper intestines and sets the stage for further problems caused by intestinal dysbiosis. The way to take the betaine is to increase your dose by one tablet at every meal until you get an acid feeling in your gut. Then just cut back by one tablet. As your gut heals and your production of HCl increases to proper levels in the stomach, you will probably get an acid feeling again — so just cut back by another betaine tablet. Do it like this until you no longer have to take the betaine.

    Alkalize the intestines with 1/2 tspn of Sodium Bicarbonate or Baking Soda in half a glass of water in between meals. Do this at least twice a day. This will also help replensh the bicarbonate stores in the pancreas.

    Take liquid Kelp extract(not tablets) regularly every day. Iodine is also needed to help the stomach produce sufficient amounts of HCl for digestion.

    For the inflammation and pain — take organic aloe vera juice in fresh orange juice in between meals. Aloe vera juice doesn’t taste so great but it is somewhat magical in its anti-inflammatory, pain-killing and healing affects in both the gut and on skin.

    Of course, if you have candida as well as h pylori then the whole protocol must change. So best to see a qualified naturapath first to confirm or deny whether you have candida. Don’t see a doctor, they are hopeless at diagnosing candida and their remedies — Nystatin, Amphotericin A & B with heavy antibiotics use is sheer madness and is a regimen which will only ever encourage the Antibiotic Syndrome and further dysbiosis and will cause many more problems. See this link:

  3. Bill,

    This is very helpful, thank you!
    I thought too that I was going to be diagnosed with candida, but the metametrix stool test did not detect anything, just h-pylori and unknown parasite. Perhaps the long time on Gaps sorted out that problem, especially the huge amount of kefir I was drinking (both milk and water). It is interesting that at a certain point I could no longer have any fermented food without bad reactions and I started regressing. This is when I searched for more testing. I will not do any antibiotics but a more natural antibacterial therapy. Yesterday I started drinking the alkalizing water. It’s funny that my mother has always done that (adding some lemon and water to baking soda) and it never occurred to me to give it a try! Today I had some pancreatin enzymes together with ACV (waiting to buy the betaine HCL): I have always wanted to try, but I was prescribed enzymes only in between meals and did not dare adding anything. I just want to make a try and report the results to my doctor. Today adding ACV and enzymes did not cause me any diarrhea and it is quite a success for me! Let’s see how it goes. I am also curious to try aloe vera, I guess it wont hurt to try since it is food. I might not be able to add kelp since I tend towards hyperthyroidism and iodine is not my friend.

    I am so glad I found this site. I very much believe that bacterial and viral infections play a huge role in our health but we rarely get tested for this at first, we need to wait for years to find someone listening!

    Thank you once again, Bill, I appreciate the support!


  4. @Bill Jencks, Hi Bill if you are still around,
    I have been re-assessing my Vit C supp type that i have been using.
    & it seems you have looked in to this a fair bit as well looking at your comment here,

    Would you still say sodium ascorbate is preferred & calcium ascorbate should be avoided?
    The avoid calcium ascorbate is also echoed here,

    There seems to be a fair bit of conflicting information out there, but currently i am thinking,
    preferred source = sodium ascorbate,
    2nd choice = magnesium ascorbate

    at this stage, i’ll probably get both, as i can get the sodium ascorbate in powder & the magnesium ascorbate in tablet form (which will be easier to carry around).

    All others welcome to pitch in with comments, thx all

  5. Here is vindication of Linus Pauling’s cancer research:

  6. Paul, I wonder if you can hep me. I have chronic health problems that have not been healed by the diet. I began to increase my vitamin C intake to see if that helped. I am now taking between 8 and 10 grams of vitamin C a day and have no reaction (i.e. I have not reached bowel tolerance).

    Should I continue? Is this dangerous? Does this indicate a problem that i should attack another way?

    I have undergone the full metametrix stool profile and found a cryptosporidium infection, which I too to my doctor; he treated me with antibiotics. The cryptosporidium is now gone, according to a second stool profile. My symptoms: amenorrhea, acne, constipation, bloating, exhaustion, insomnia, hypothyroidism. I have celiac disease.

    I eat according to Perfect Health guidelines, with modifications for autoimmunity: i.e. no dairy, no nuts, no nightshade vegetables, no white rice.

    I welcome your help with this, or the help of any commenters. I have been trying to feel better for over 2 years. Nothing has worked. My doctors are fed up and refuse to do more tests for infections. (They can’t find any.)

    Thank you so much for your help.

    • Hi Katharine,

      Vitamin C is extremely safe, so I think it’s worth continuing.

      Amenorrhea and hypothyroidism suggest carbohydrate starvation, and excluding white rice and white potatoes (if you consider them a nightshade) can easily lead to that – or to getting carbs from sugars which will exacerbate whatever dysbiosis is causing other issues. I would add rice and potatoes. Potatoes have very few nightshade toxins (they are in leaves and fruit) and rice is hypoallergenic. If they give you problems due to IBS, try dextrose powder for now to up your glucose intake and try to gradually replace it with potatoes and rice.

      Also, since tomatoes are such an excellent source of potassium and fiber, I would test them to see whether you really are sensitive.

      I would focus on gut health and circadian rhythms. For gut health, try scaling back supplements and eating very nutrient dense foods in a balanced diet; eg bone and joint broths, seafood/shellfish, organ meats, colorful vegetables. Balance = 30% carbs, 20% protein, 50% fat, full spectrum of foods.

      For circadian rhythms, see Chap 42 of our new edition.

      Best, Paul

      • Michael Rothman in the book ‘Edibolic Stress’ says that excessive vitamin C can lead to copper malabsorption and collegen depletion? It looks like the citations are from printed journals.

      • I’m disappointed in your comment regarding nightshades. Yes, potatoes can have low levels, but these levels are increased easily under the lights in todays 24 hour grocery stores.

        Also, the effect of nightshade toxicity is cumulative. So it depends on how much one has been eating over how many years.

        Sure, most people have no problems with nightshade vegetables, but for some, they can be completely disabling and ironically, also disrupt gut health and circadian rhythms.

  7. Thank you so much for answering my question! I am following the circadian rhythm recommendations. I forgot to mention that I have been diagnosed with latent onset type 1 diabetes. My A1c is a dangerous 6.1. I eat 100-150 starch calories per day from sweet potatoes, bananas, and plantains as well as winter squash (that is, from non-grain non-nightshade sources) because I trust your research on the dangers of too-low carb. However, I have dangerously high post-prandial glucose at times (180, e.g.) and worry about eating more starch. So far, I have simply gained a lot of weight with no improvement in symptoms. Would you still advise eating more rice and potatoes? Thank you for your help!

  8. Hi Paul,
    I’m sending this post and the one on pneumonia (about the TPN- total parenteral nutrition– that wasn’t for you of course! but for others like me who didn’t know what TPN meant) to my husband to send to his friend who’s mother is in the hospital and expected not to make it many more days. I don’t know the details, but he mentioned something about pneumonia that she had a month ago, and some respiratory issue. That’s all I know! So, for not knowing much, any other ideas of what posts we can send him? We covered the vitamin C, I mentioned if it’s respiratory, Vit A and Vit D are most critical (you told me that last week, and yes, in fact the chicken liver pâté must’ve helped me get better from the flu because recovery was quick after eating the liver). So, I mentioned those three vitamins. Of course we told him that without knowing what’s going, its difficult to help, but recommending Vit C, Vit D, Vit A should be pretty safe regardless I would think, so I didn’t feel like suggesting those three was risky, especially since they’re saying she might not make it much longer. I think if it were me, and someone said death was near, I would be willing to try whatever reasonable thing!
    Any other things we can suggest he look into? I’m just trying to pass on info, and then he can figure out what’s possible, feasible, what to ask doctors, etc.
    Thanks so much for your time!

    • Hi KH,

      Yes: Vitamin C, liver, vitamins A/D/K2, and sunshine in the day and dim light at night would do her good. If she’s on TPN she’s in trouble. Even if she’s eating hospital food and in a hospital with dim lights on 24 hours, she’s in trouble.

      I think C, D, and A are very safe. The A can be toxic but she is probably deficient now.

      I think that’s as far as I would go with advice for someone I don’t know.

      • Okay, great! Looks like I got the basics covered already. I just was hoping to pass on something that might help. Just recently, my cousin’s husband just died of viral pneumonia and he was only in his early to mid forties! I didn’t find out until after the fact, and I’m betting that no one tried any high dose Vit C (they were treating him in the hospital), so I feel sad that I didn’t hear of it until it was too late. I might have passed on that post about the NZ guy because why not try it? I think disseminating information is so important, but so hard to do sometimes.
        Ok, thanks!

  9. I would completely agree with taking Vitamin A, C, D and K2. The vitamin D and K2 helps to regulate Calcium in the body. What hasn’t been mentioned is magnesium which is a major player in intracellular calcium regulation. Undoubtedly, the best magnesium form to supplement is magnesium chloride(as Magnesium Oil) because you can use it both transdermally as well as orally. For more on this aspect, type “Sircus magnesium” in Google Search.

    It’s also well known that calcium channels regulate the sensing and release of insulin in the pancreatic beta cells. And from the research, excess calcium in the body also affects tissues and cells and actively causes myalgia when calcium is in excess. Excess calcium in the diet, over time, destroys tissue and organ cells essentially because of mitochondrial calcification. I also suspect this may be one of the major causes of diabetes today.

    Everything in our supermarkets, in terms of processed food, is over-fortified with calcium today. If you don’t believe me just read the labels on grains, corn flakes, sports drinks etc. People also seem to be infatuated with constantly supplementing large amounts of calcium in the diet. After the body reaches maturity, the need for calcium in the body drops hugely. But people still ingest large amounts of calcium in their diet without ever balancing this intake with magnesium which safely regulates calcium in the body. This situation is made much worse because magnesium is also sadly lacking in processed food diets today. Magnesium is also essential for sugar regulation in the body.

    Regarding diabetes, another fact that is rarely mentioned is that calcitonin, a thyroid hormone, acts to regulate bone formation in the body. The parathyroid regulates removal of calcium from bone into the blood. This system must be therefore be balanced. So if you lack iodine in the diet and you are low thyroid, then the production of calcitonin(from the thyroid) will be affected and bone formation activity may be reduced.

    The most recent research has found also that osteocalcin is produced during bone formation. This acts as a sort of glue for the bones. They have also found that higher osteocalcin levels in the blood has the effect of increasing the production of insulin in the pancreatic beta cells as well as acting to reduce insulin resistance in the insulin receptors throughout the body.

    Dr Flechas, from the Iodine Project, also relates an interesting story about the beneficial effects of higher dose lugols iodine on a 320 lb diabetic woman who was also hypothroid. Here is the story:

    “It was while treating a large 320-pound woman with insulin dependent diabetes that we learned a valuable lesson regarding the role of iodine in hormone receptor function. This woman had come in via the emergency room with a very high random blood sugar of 1,380 mg/dl. She was then started on insulin during her hospitalization and was instructed on the use of a home glucometer. She was to use her glucometer two times per day. Two weeks later on her return office visit for a checkup of her insulin dependent diabetes she was informed that during her hospital physical examination she was noted to have FBD. She was recommended to start on 50 mg of iodine (4 tablets) at that time. One week later she called us requesting to lower the level of insulin due to having problems with hypoglycemia. She was told to continue to drop her insulin levels as long as she was experiencing hypoglycemia and to monitor her blood sugars carefully with her glucometer. Four weeks later during an office visit her glucometer was downloaded to my office computer, which showed her to have an average random blood sugar of 98. I praised the patient for her diligent efforts to control her diet and her good work at keeping her sugars under control with the insulin. She then informed me that she had come off her insulin three weeks earlier and had not been taking any medications to lower her blood sugar. When asked what she felt the big change was, she felt that her diabetes was under better control due to the use of iodine.”


    I am sure many readers will loudly scream that lugols iodine is poison when supplemented above 1 or 2 mgs. Well, I really don’t have room to explain it, but here is all contrary demographic and historic evidence why higher dose lugols iodine — proper orthomolecular dosages — are indeed highly beneficial for the body.

    I have been taking 6 – 8 drops of 5% lugols iodine(approx. 50 mgs/day) for about 6 years now with no ill effects. Iodine was a major reason for curing my own systemic candida problems all those years ago — and I have continued to supplement lugols iodine at higher dosage on a daily basis for quite a while now.

  10. I thought it would be interesting and worthwhile to investigate and present evidence as to why Vitamin C in particular is so essential to the immune system. These are all reasons for supplementing Vitamin C and one or two the supplements besides.

    One of the main defensive mechanisms throughout the body concerns and involves the immune system phagocytes which act to engulf and continually destroy invasive pathogens throughout the body. The immune system also have two forms of leukocytes — neutrophils and eosinophils that help protect against extraneous pathogen attack.

    The defensive action against pathogens by both the neutrophils and eosinophils are similar. The neutrophils use the Myeloperoxidase enzyme(MP) and the eosinophils use the Eosinophil Peroxidase enzyme(EP) to mediate in the destruction of pathogens such as fungus, viruses, and bacteria. For ease of understanding, I will only describe how the neutrophil reacts against and kills pathogens. The defensive action of eosinophils is similar.

    From a tactile trigger within the medium, the neutrophil first detects the foreign protein of the foreign pathogen (bacteria, fungus, virus etc) and this stimulates the instantaneous generation of what’s called a “respiratory burst” from the neutrophil. This “respiratory burst” comprises a rapid intake of oxygen by the phagocyte, resulting in the inner cell conversion of chlorides and iodides, with hypoiodous acid(HOI) and hypochlorous acid(HOCl) being formed outside the phagocyte cell via catalysis by the MP enzyme which mediates this conversion using Hydrogen Peroxide. The final event of this “respiratory burst” from the neutrophil results in HOCl, HOI and Hydrogen Peroxide being sprayed outside the neutrophil cell itself which instantaneously acts to disrupt the outer cell wall of the offending pathogen resulting in its quick destruction. Also a notable feature is that hydrogen peroxide, hypochlorous acid and hypoidous acid all use pro-oxidant electrical action to kill the pathogen. After this event, these pro-oxidants are safely mopped up and removed by anti-oxidants such as catalase and superoxide dismutase enzymes. From the research, it has also been found that hypoiodous acid is seven times more efficient at killing pathogens than hypochlorous acid.

    From this essential neutrophil pro-oxidant defense, it therefore becomes much more obvious why supplementing iodine/iodide together with chlorides and hydrogen peroxide is so important for the body. To be more clear, neutrophils and eosinophils store Vitamin C for later conversion to hydrogen peroxide. So from the above description, we can therefore conclude that iodine, chlorides and vitamin C, in their correct orthomolecular amounts, are absolutely essential for a strong immune system defense within the body. Phagocytes in the blood and throughout the body also use this standard method of defense against pathogens in all regions of the body. So the demand for iodine/iodide, chlorides and vitamin C within the body must therefore be quite large — much larger than the recommended RDAs.

    Linus Pauling, from his own research with Vitamin C, concluded that people needed to take gram amounts of vitamin C every day — not milligram amounts as recommended by the RDA. Linus Pauling also concluded that most humans were heavily deficient in Vitamin C. With such a deficiency, the majority of humans will therefore have a lack of hydrogen peroxide supply to the immune system.

    The need for chlorides in the body by the immune system, as illustrated in the above neutrophil example, is also fairly obvious. Sea salt(unrefined salt) and/or magnesium chloride would seem to be the best supplement forms for the body to maintain proper chloride levels in the body.

    Finally, Dr Guy Abraham from the Iodine Utilization Project discovered, through a random trial where he tested 500 people for correct iodine levels by using his Iodine Loading Test, that 96% of the people involved in the trial were deficient in proper orthomolecular levels of iodine. It is perhaps easier now to understand how this widespread iodine deficiency might also be significantly contributing to autoimmune pandemics through a constantly weakened immune system, which has been caused by a massive lack of iodide/iodine within the western processed food diet.

    Furthermore, if you are hypothyroid or low thyroid then you will have a weaker immune system because T4, circulating in the blood is used to transfer iodine/iodides to the phagocyte cells. So if you have low levels of T4 then the phagocytes will not have the necessary ammunition — the HOI — to kill the pathogens. Similarly, if you lack chlorides in your diet — from sources like Sea Salt and Magnesium Chloride then this will further weaken your immune system through lack of an HOCl generating source.

    From all the above evidence, it is also my belief that a lack of iodine/iodide, vitamin C and chlorides within the western diet perhaps constitutes the greatest contributory threat factor for weakening our immune systems, which is perhaps also a major reason for the explosion of autoimmune and other problems in the western world over the last 40 years or so.

    And this is why supplementing Iodine, chlorides and vitamin C must be at higher orthomolecular doasages to maintain good bodily health.

  11. Susan Costen Owens, who recommends a low-oxalate diet for those on the autism spectrum, says that vitamin C promotes oxalate formation if more than 250 mgs a day is given.

    Doe this make sense?

    I can’t seem to find any research to back it up, and I definitely have some symptoms of scurvy…in particular some corkscrew hairs on my legs.

    • Hi Kelly,

      See this post: Oxalate is a vitamin C degradation product, but, it is not the case that there is a linear relationship between how much C you take and how much oxalate forms. Some people have a very large need for C and need much more than 250 mg. C helps maintain a good oxidative status in which C is not degraded to oxalate. It is true that to prevent oxalate kidney stones, you need to focus on other antioxidants — zinc, copper, NAC. But C isn’t necessarily harmful in that regard.

  12. Thanks so much Paul. Very helpful. I did the SpectraCell test a year or so ago, and zinc was one of the things I was deficient in, probably because I was eating too many carotenes…?

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  14. Hi Paul.
    I’ve long been an advocate of high dose vit C. Last week I got suspected orchtis – pain in the left testicle that radiates into the lower abdomen and is much worse when standing. There is some swelling as confirmed by ultrasound but it is small. The testicle is overly sensitive though. I have been taking amoxicillin for 3 days with no sign of improvement. I discountinued oral C for fear it could interact with and reduce the effectivness of the antibiotics. I’m now wondering if I should dose back to bowel tolerance. I’d very much appreciate your thoughts on this.

    All the best

  15. Vitamin C ’til You Poop | Contrast - pingback on August 26, 2013 at 2:20 pm
  16. Hi Paul,

    Over at Suppversity, Adel has been talking a lot about taking large amounts of baking soda for performance gains. Do you have any thoughts on how safe this might be?


  17. I have a tendency towards acid reflux, especially with vitamin c. However after reading Paul Jaminet’s PHD book I feel I need high doses of Vitamin C. Do you have a suggestion as to what I could take. Is ascorbic the best form?

  18. Paul,

    My blood tests have come back and my white blood cell count is very low and has been low the last few years. This new doctor believes it is a chronic viral infection. My doctor has put me on a high protein, low fat, low carb diet, which in this case, I would think a high fat ketogenic diet would be better. I wanted to try to add therapeutic doses of Vitamin C, but 100 grams seems a bit much given I am not deathly ill.

    Do you think there is a supportive dose that could be beneficial while I am on this diet? I’m also taking 100 mg of Diflucan daily for one month.

    Thank you!

    • Hi Amy,

      With vitamin C, test to find bowel tolerance and take something like 1/3 that daily. A good rule is the C should not affect your stool consistency or frequency, or give you gas. If it starts to do that, reduce the dose.

      High protein low-fat low-carb diets are not sustainable. I would think PHD would be best. Ketogenic diets could help against some viral infections but might hurt against others. PHD is safest. But do intermittent fasting and circadian rhythm entrainment.

      Best, Paul

      • Paul,

        I appreciate your response. I will increase my vitamin C to tolerance to about 30,000 mg. My doctor is insistent on the ketogenic diet. Considering I am PHD, and the fact I have had improvements, I decided to change her recommendation of 600-700 protein calories and zero carbs, to 200 starch calories and 400 protein calories to avoid protein toxicity. Because of the 14 courses of antibiotics this past year, I have candida issues, and when I mentioned to her the ketogenic diet and fungal flare ups,she added 100 mg of Diflucan daily for a month. I am adding NAC and leucine as well. I am not sure how Diflucan falls into the PHD regimen, I have seen mixed research on it.

        At some point I would like to add the doxycycline, but was considering that after the Diflucan, or maybe that’s the time I should take it. I am on Maxalt and was hoping to test the antibiotics for recurring migraines.

        My big question is, after the 600 calories of carbs+proteins is the rest of the diet is unlimited vegetables and 7-8 tablespoons MCT oil? I want to make sure I am on target and don’t accidentally starve myself. I am assuming this is sustainable for one month.

        I am doing intermittent fasting in a window of 8-9 hours and circadian rhythm.

        If I have underlying viral infections, I will be watching carefully and may not be able to do it long. Hopefully, that is not the case. So far, I feel horrible except for the first hour after I eat. I figured the first few days would be the worst.

        Thanks again, finding PHD has been amazing, and has greatly improved many of my issues so far. But it is an exercise in patience and trial and error.


        • Hi Amy,

          Eating the starches and less protein is a very desirable, it will be less stressful for your body and give you better gut flora. Being too low carb will also cause the Candida infection to flare.

          Yes, that’s the gist of how to make a ketogenic diet. You can take about 10 g branched chain amino acids per day to help support ketosis. Adjust the MCT oil to the level where your urine has no ketones, but will if you up the MCT oil a bit.

          Diflucan is the best of the antifungals but usually improving immunity is what helps the most. The drugs can cause liver and kidney damage so you have to be careful.

          It does take time to get rid of chronic infections. I’m glad you are making progress. Keep me posted.

          Best, Paul

  19. Another important question, is the vitamin C typically a short or long term therapy?

    Thanks again,

  20. Much appreciated Paul. I will keep you updated. I’m rereading the book, I seem to pick up new things each time.

  21. Some more information on candida for those people who are interested.

    First, I’ve just written a book all about candida which has a very different approach to a cure. This strategy uses much more than just diet(which is also included in the protocol).

    There are many reasons why people fail or make no headway towards a cure for their own candida problems. The major reasons they fail are:

    * Its well known that candida is a dimorphic organism that can exist separately as both a yeast and in an entirely separate fungal form. Many people, however, seem to believe — very wrongly — that candida is a trivial disease that only ever exists just as a yeast form, which only ever infects locally the skin, uterus, intestines etc. For some convincing evidence as to how wrong this line of belief is, here is a link, by The Mycosis Group, which clear illustates and shows all the regions in the body where candida can infect. This will surprise you:

    So if you are just using a protocol to get rid of candida from, say, just your intestines and you already have the systemic or disseminated or the fungal candida form(in your blood, organs and tissues) as well, then you will probably fail to achieve a cure.

    Here are a few diagram links which might help candida understanding. I’ve also included an example Daily Protocol Schedule of my protocol from the book. Finally, I’ve also included an at-a-glance diagrams of how many diseases candida is actually associated with as a major causative factor. This clearly illustrates the fact that candida is anything but a trivial disease.

    * Candida is known to produces biofilms prolifically(which everyone seems to ignore in their anti-candida protocols). From the research, it has also been proven that candida biofilms can also house and protect other associated mixed-species pathogens — mainly bacteria — inside their biofilms. Candida biofilms are extremely difficult to remove. It’s also a fact that allopathic medicine has no way of successfully getting rid of hardened tooth plaque — these are also bacterial biofims that cause gum disease. And if you don’t get rid of the candida biofilms — then you you will not be able to use anti-fungals or your immune system to successfully kill the protected candida or the bacteria housed in these hardened biofilm matrices in the intestines. And, with the greatest respect to Vitamin C — I also use it in my protocols for different reasons — I can find no research at all which will confirm that Vitamin C dissolves candida biofilms. As a consequence, if you don’t get rid of these candida biofilms, then the candida will never go away or it will just keep coming back.

    * Candida uses heavy metals to construct its biofilms. So if you don’t use a strong heavy metal detox regimen in your protocols, it will be very difficult to achieve an outright cure.

    * Candida has the great ability and propensity to adjust to both medicines as well as to adjust to alternative candida-kill remedies. That’s why it makes complete sense to use more than one candida-kill nutrient/remedy against candida.

    Usually, none of the so-called anti-candida gurus on the internet have anything in their own protocols and pills that removes biofilms. From my own experience, there are only two possible ways to remove candida biofilms. You can either use protease enzymes like serrapepetase or lumbrokinase to eat away the biofilm fibrin matrix to expose the candida/bacteria or you can use and supplement turpentine/kerosene. From my own experience, supplementing turpentine/kerosene is by far the best one to use because its much cheaper and it also quickly kills candida, bacteria, parasites etc very rapidly. It also expels xenobiotics from the body. Have a look at turpentines properties here:,d.aGc

    * If you have disseminated or systemic candida then this probably means that all your local topical fungal problems are probably linked to candida and are just symptoms of the systemic form. Similarly candida can also initially infect topically to eventually invade to become the systemic or fungal candida form. Therefore, once you have the systemic fungal form, which infects your blood organs and tissues, then topical remedies will cease to work against the local fungal skin, uterine, nasal fungal infections.

    * Candida is always usually found to be strongly associated with parasites, bacteria, fungus, viruses, mycoplasma etc because candida mycotoxins have such a huge proficiency to bring down the human immune system with their vast array of aldehydes, alcohols and gliotoxins. So just taking candida-kill(anti-fungal) supplements is simply not good enough. You really need to supplement broad-spectrum pathogen killers like Iodine, Borax and Turpentine/Kerosene. Allopathic medicine has no broad spectrum pathogen killers of this capability or ilk.

    By the way, Lugol’s Iodine, Borax and Turpentine/Kerosene have already been declared as poisons by the drugs companies and by allopathic medicine. That’s the way drugs companies banish the unpatentable opposition and that’s the way drugs companies get rid of their main competitors in the market place — despite the fact that all these nutrients were widely once widely used in the older medicine for centuries. I take higher dose iodine — 50 mgs — every day. I take borax regularly(perhaps the ultimate fungal killer) and I take turpentine(one teaspoon with molasses and castor oil as Walter Last advises) twice weekly in my own preventative maintenance protocols. I’ve done this for about the last few years. I’m 63 and perfectly healthy — no aches and pains, no arthritis, heart good, bones good, slim, plenty of energy and mentally still very alert and active.

    I also realize that some people will be skeptical and will probably gasp and mumble “Poison!!” with respect to Iodine, borax and turpentine/kerosene. That knee-jerk reaction is really up to you and what you really already might know or might not know about these supplements. They were all widely used by doctors in the older medicine — up to and before WW2. If you don’t believe me perhaps you can look at these links and validate for yourself:

    Here is a description of candida as a pathogen from the opening pages of my book:

    “…If bacteria and viruses are the regular enemy troops that attack our bodies and our immune system, then you should regard candida as their Special Forces or as a highly competent guerrilla terrorist force that can hide in your body using biofilms; candida can breed with the host cells, thereby easily adjusting to medicines; candida can cause cravings in its host for its favourite food: sugar. It is both a saprophytic yeast and a fungal parasite with a dual form that is always associated with many other pathogenic forms and diseases and one that uses superior chemical warfare to continually weaken our immune system via its waste products, which act to poison and wreak havoc in our bodies with excessive levels of aldehydes, alcohols and poisonous proteins including tartaric acid and arabinose (a five-carbon aldehyde sugar).8,9,10 Knowing what I now know about candida and the effects of their waste products, I would far rather be infected with bacteria or a virus than from any fungus like candida. alcohols and poisonous proteins including tartaric acid and arabinose (a five-carbon aldehyde sugar). Knowing what I now know about candida and the effects of their waste products, I would far rather be infected with bacteria or a virus than from any fungus like candida.”

    I’m exhausted !!

  22. I bought Nature’s way Alive vitamin C 500 mg…it says to take 4 a day for 1,000 mg…how many should I take a day to reach 10 g?

    • Sheila, FYI – one gram equals 1000 mgs, so if you take 500 mgs four times a day, you would be taking 2 g./day. At that rate you should reach your goal of 10 g. in five days.

      Good luck with the protocol.

    • it bugs me when vit companies take the ‘serving size’ approach, its misleading.

      if this is the product you have,
      Then 4 capsules = 500mg Vitamin C.
      Therefore if you want to take 10 grams in a day,
      then you will need to take 20 capsules (yes 20), which means that product would last you 6 (six) days.

      Better to use powder if you want to dose high

  23. Dear Paul,

    first of all congratulations for the great work you’re doing. I listened to an old podcast about viruses and bacteria with You, Jordan Reasoner and Steven Wright where you say (if I understood correctly) that viruses can be considered prokaryotes. I did a little search and the topic seems to be controversial among biologits. Most of them say they’re not prokaryotes neither eukaryotes. They cannot eat sugar, nor ferment any molecules. So, what are they?

    Could you please clarify this issue? Thanks a lot.

  24. When my chronic constipation is acting up, I start upping my C till “bowel tolerance” just because it helps relieve the constipation. This week, I have swallowed C’s by the handful all day long to no avail. If that means my body is doing something with the extra C, then—it means somewhere in there a pathogen has gotten worse?? Or at least, my body has something new to do with a bunch of C?

    Right now, a dose of 17 grams/day is as high as I’ve had time to take; but NO loose stools. Before this recent C increase, I was needing about 8 grams a day. Since I have other things to be busy with besides swallowing all this C, I’ve been unable yet to work up to higher than 17 grams. Today I may succeed in swallowing several more before I have to lay off the beverages in early afternoon (so as to avoid getting up all night).

    I’m in the process of changing my thyroid meds, and wonder whether going off my Armour is somehow related to needing a ton of vitamin C.

    It’s all so complicated. I wish I had a really good holistic doctor, but the Nashville medical establishment has kept them out; and/or forced them to hide their alternativeness.

  25. Hi Paul,

    Do you have any information on using Vitamin C to fight a skin viral infection? In my case I’ve had a mild molluscum contagiosum infection on my skin for about a year. Currently, I take 1G of Vitamin C a day. I also have fairly frequent yeast infections (vaginal). How long would taking a bowel-tolerance dose make sense? Does it put any strain on the liver?



    • Hi Ali,

      I wouldn’t go to bowel tolerance, find out what bowel tolerance and try 1/5 that. Also take NAC, liver, spinach, carrots, beets and optimize zinc, copper, iodine.

  26. Apparently there is a gender based difference in the effect of vitamin C on kidney stones.

    Dr. Gary C. Curhan and his colleagues at the Harvard School of Public Health have found that men taking high doses of vitamin-C are at an elevated risk of developing kidney stones, whereas no such connection can be established in the case of women.

    A group of Swedish researchers have come to the same conclusion, independently of Curhan et al.

  27. Vitamine C | Massage and Therapy with Andreas - pingback on July 30, 2015 at 11:08 pm
  28. Hi Paul,
    I’ve reread this page so I start taking more Vitamin C to see if it helps my strange lung/chest pains I’ve been getting. I also seem to have tight chest/air hunger type sensations.

    But someone led me to this article that got me worried about taking Vitamin C and vitamins in general. Is there any truth in anything said in this article about Vitamin C. Some quotes that make me worried:
    “A recent article in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (Vol. 87, No. 1, 142-149, January 2008) reveals that supplementation with vitamin C ascorbate devastates the muscle, causing impairment in mitochondrial function”
    “How antioxidants turn pro-oxidants”

    • Hi Claire,

      That paper is here: It’s in the same line as the one I looked at in a recent blog post, Rest assured that if vitamin C is benefiting one condition, it will be benefiting all parts of your body.

      I would try to get a more balanced portfolio of antioxidants, including glycine and N-acetylcysteine and vitamin E, rather than just C. But don’t want about a few grams of C per day.

      Best, Paul

      • Sorry to ask you Paul, but I am thinking of going to the GP to try to get to the bottom of what is happening with my lungs/chest/breathing. Currently I feel the need to be hunched over in order to get enough air. I wouldn’t say I’m short of breath but definately uncomfortable and tense in chest area. I’ve not had much success with teh GPs in the past. Last time the GP told me they won’t have answers to my problems for another 100 years! since all the tests they did came back within range.
        Are there any tests that you think I should ask my GP for in my case?

        The only thing I do know that is wrong with me (my own private stool test) is I have klebsiella and high sIgA.

  29. Thanks Paul. I have taken 10g of Vit C in a day a few times, and no sign of bowel tolerance reached.
    I take it that glycine is from bone joint broth. I have this nearly every day, and take great lakes gelatin on a day I’ve ran out or not eating at home. I should try NAC again but in the past it seemed to exacerbate my chest tightness, so have been fearful of it. How much should I take?
    I’ve never taken Vit E, but do eat nuts. Would a nut oil be useful to get more Vitamin E?

    • About 5 g / 1 tsp glycine and 500 mg / 1/10 tsp N-acetylcysteine, plus 500 mg to 1 g taurine. You have to eat PUFA to get vitamin E so I would suggest supplements.

      • Thanks very much Paul. Much appreciated. I’ve already taken 13g Vitamin C today and about 100mg NAC (will try more).

        To save me buying more supplements: is great lakes gelatin a source of glycine, or should I still get pure glycine?
        Also, I saw in your supplements page that red palm oil is a good source of Vit E. I have some in the fridge I’ve never touched yet. How much would be a good dose?

      • Hi Paul,

        I think one could get vitamin E from food while not eating much PUFA:

        (1) A pound of taro has 65% of the RDA for vitamin E, while having only 0.2 g of PUFA. (Why this state of affairs exists is a mystery to me!)

        (2) A tablespoon of high-oleic sunflower oil has 29% of the RDA for vitamin E, while having about 0.5 g of PUFA. (This is less mysterious: The breeding program to produce high-oleic sunflower from regular sunflower was targeted evolution to downregulate omega-6-desaturase; but the ancestral level of vitamin E synthesis, required to prevent peroxidation of the ancestral level of PUFA, was mostly-preserved.)


      • Hi Paul yesterday evening I took what you suggested (except for glycine as I don’t have that) and I had about 13g Vit C throught the day. I had one of the worst nights ever. I couldn’t sleep lying down, felt I needed to be upright, then I started feeling shaky as if my body wanted to jump out of it’s skin. I think it was adrenalin. I started pacing round the house and didn’t get to sleep until about 2am.
        My husband got so worried he wants me to stop all supplements (he hasn’t read you book). I myself am concerned if I am reacting to something. Or perhaps this is some sort of detox reaction going on and I have a problem with methylation pathways or something similar!

        I am at loss now as to what to do and after feeling well on waking I am starting to get strange symptoms in my chest gradually again.

        • Hi Claire,

          It could be detox, it could be a reaction to the sulfur in the NAC and taurine. I would have to know more about your case to say much. Try the glycine without NAC or taurine and see what happens. Then try C+glycine+taurine but no NAC. That will support bile flow and excretion so will help with detox over time.

          Also try taking the supplements (except the C) with the first meal.

          • Thanks Paul. For the last month I’ve stopped supplements and have been feeling much better! I used to take ascorbic acid daily but have even stopped that. I get scared taking supplements now.
            Since I have a confirmed klebsiella infection, I have learnt that Klebsiela p. inhibits and enzyme to do with detox.

            Is it possible the ascorbic acid starts off a detox pathway but I may have a blocked detox pathway so it makes me feel worse? I’m not really sure what it is but have been feeling better without the supplements. I wonder if I was out of balance in some of the nutrients due to supplementation?

            My practitioner has put me on herbal supplements to help get rid of the klebsiella. So far I’ve been feeling fine on those.

          • As for my case/history. I don’t have any diagnosed conditions. Apart from high sIgA (stool), klebsiella p. and some gut disbiosis.
            Health issues started after a miscarriage over a year ago, when I got a UTI (doctors tests found no cause, I think it must be caused by the klebsiella), the UTI was reoccurring for 9+ months. During this time saliva tests found stage 2 adrenal insufficiency. I had one course of antibiotics at the beginning which made me feel worse. I seem overall much better now a year later but still occasionally get feelings of what seems to be adrenalin. I am scared of taking vitamin supplements now though.

        • Personally, I would stop the bone broth and glycine, and also lower the C. I developed bone pain (ribs, lower back) from both broth and then later glycine. Some have said it has to do with oxalate formation (oxalosis) but I’m not sure. All I know is that the inflammation has been reduced since stopping both.

          One diet doesn’t fit all, unfortunately.

  30. So, it’s a natural correlate that if you develop an infection that uses a lot of vitamin C, you could/would become constipated and have reduced mucin production? You might even think when you notice you are having constipation, that you might need to supplement with Vitamin C to try and fight an infection.

  31. I am getting vitamin C IV treatments at my doctors clinic and have inquired from the supplier of this vitamin C where it is actually from and they told me it is synthesized from glucose, is this form ok or healthy to be having?.

  32. Would vitamin C deficiency cause a feeling of dehydration? I take 500mgs daily for about 4 years. But I notice when I am pregnant and especially when I’m nursing, not matter how much liquid I consume, I am *desperately* thirsty. I have noticed a glass a day of San Pelegrino (specifically) helps, but if I got 2-3 days without having one while nursing and pregnant, I get cotton mouth. I’m concerned about being dependent on San Pellegrino. I ran out two weeks ago and waited to buy it again for 5 days, and my breastmilk supply so severely depleted that I couldn’t sustain my 5 month old! During this time I was also oddly craving citrus fruits and even bought a gallon of orange juice when I went shopping again, which is rare for me! I wonder if Vitamin C deficiency may contribute?

    • Hi Teresa,

      Interesting. The mineral content of San Pelegrino is as follows:

      Ag : 0.00217 mcg/L
      Al : 0.813 mcg/L
      As : 1.38 mcg/L
      B : 151.0 mcg/L
      Ba : 16.1 mcg/L
      Be : 0.005 mcg/L
      Bi : 0.0025 mcg/L
      Br : 330.0 mcg/L
      Ca : 175.0 mg/L
      Cd : 0.0455 mcg/L
      Ce : 0.0005 mcg/L
      Cl : 57.2 mg/L
      Co : 0.0199 mcg/L
      Cr : 0.1 mcg/L
      Cs : 3.87 mcg/L
      Cu : 0.149 mcg/L
      Dy : 0.0005 mcg/L
      Er : 0.00101 mcg/L
      Eu : 0.0005 mcg/L
      F : 0.619 mg/L
      Fe : 0.25 mcg/L
      Ga : 0.0025 mcg/L
      Gd : 0.001 mcg/L
      Ge : 0.0472 mcg/L
      Hf : 0.001 mcg/L
      Ho : 0.0005 mcg/L
      I : 9.88 mcg/L
      K : 2.2 mg/L
      La : 0.0005 mcg/L
      Li : 133.0 mcg/L
      Lu : 0.0005 mcg/L
      Mg : 50.5 mg/L
      Mn : 0.05 mcg/L
      Mo : 18.0 mcg/L
      Na : 33.2 mg/L
      Nb : 0.005 mcg/L
      Nd : 0.00119 mcg/L
      NH4 : 0.0025 mg/L
      Ni : 0.318 mcg/L
      NO2 : 0.05 mg/L
      NO3 : 2.73 mg/L
      P : 54.672 mcg/L
      Pb : 0.0118 mcg/L
      Pr : 0.0005 mcg/L
      Rb : 5.67 mcg/L
      Sb : 0.198 mcg/L
      Sc : 0.0719 mcg/L
      Se : 0.312 mcg/L
      Si : 3.65 mg/L
      Sm : 0.0005 mcg/L
      Sn : 0.01 mcg/L
      SO4 : 427.0 mg/L
      Sr : 2730.0 mcg/L
      Ta : 0.0025 mcg/L
      Tb : 0.0005 mcg/L
      Te : 0.015 mcg/L
      Th : 0.0005 mcg/L
      Ti : 0.04 mcg/L
      Tl : 0.418 mcg/L
      Tm : 0.0005 mcg/L
      U : 7.01 mcg/L
      V : 1.34 mcg/L
      W : 0.025 mcg/L
      Y : 0.0134 mcg/L
      Yb : 0.0005 mcg/L
      Zn : 0.816 mcg/L
      Zr : 0.00237 mcg/L

      So reasonable guesses for why San Pelegrino specifically would help include its high sulfate content, or possibly its moderate contents of boron, calcium, fluoride, or molybdenum.

      When you say “San Pelegrino (specifically) helps” — are there other specific mineral waters which don’t? Then we can compare mineral contents.


    • Hi Teresa,

      Odd but interesting experiences. I have no idea what is causing it. Does drinking milk help? I would try to avoid running out of San Pellegrino, orange juice, and milk.

      Best, Paul

  33. Hey Paul – big fan of your work.

    I found a comment you had left someone awhile ago and cannot seem to find it. I believe I have issues with candida, as I have had jock itch and athletes foot for the better part of the last 15 years.

    In the book you mention carbs are important, but I was curious from a supplement POV, what you recommend?

    Thank you much!

    • Hi Mark,

      Some keys are copper, zinc, chromium, iodine, salt, potassium, magnesium, vitamin A, Vitamin D, vitamin C. Probably A, D, and copper most important of those. Egg yolks, vinegar, circadian rhythm entrainment, N-acetylcysteine glycine and taurine. You would also be helped by Mother Dirt’s skin probiotic.

      Best, Paul

  34. Hi Paul – very grateful to have come across your work.
    I have chronic HBV managed by anti-virals. Do you have specific recommendations for me or do I need to alter anything in the standard PHD?
    Thank you.

  35. Hi Paul
    I have chronic HBV managed by anti-viral medication.
    I aim to eat liver etc as per PHD recommendations but but blood tests still show deficiency in iron – I read somewhere low iron can suggest infection in body as the infectious cells can chew up a lot of iron.
    I’m therefore conflicted as to how I should supplement with iron (continue to eat food based high iron products such as liver, or should I take an iron supplement if so what type do you recommend – there are so many on the market).
    Thank you so much

  36. Infections and Chronic Disorders | Paleo Leap - pingback on January 25, 2023 at 4:43 am
  37. All About Vitamin C | Paleo Leap - pingback on January 28, 2023 at 1:40 am

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