Vitamin C in crossfire
The medical mushroom extracts as possible alternatives. We first drew the attention to a study summarizing clinical experiments (altogether 67 randomised experiments) which stated that vitamins A, E isolated from their natural environment and beta-carotene depending on the dose (the more they take the better) can shorten human life. This study stated about vitamin C that it’s not unequivocal if it’s harmful or not. At the same time and previously Hungarian people were alarmed about scurvy due to the absence of vitamin C by popularizing reports. The reason was that human organism can’t manufacture vitamin C like the animals so the intake of a dose which is manufactured by some animals is necessary in order not to become ill due to its absence. However, the prospective experiments which were published lately highlight that some groups of people who take additional vitamin C in isolated form become ill because they take vitamin C and additional medication containing vitamin C. It was proved by an 8 year long experiment which was published in 2009 that in the case of women over 65 who took 1000mg isolated vitamin C or 60mg multivitamin preparations the risk of the formation of cataract increased. This risk can be increased by corticosteroid or hormone therapies while taking vitamin C. Vitamin C is often suggested to diabetic people as it is expected to prevent the formation of complications due to its antioxidant effect. These suggestions could have fatal consequences on many diabetic people. A study published in 2004 which summarises the experiences of 15 years highlight that women after menopause or diabetics taking isolated vitamin C can increase the death rates of cardiovascular diseases. The result were astonishing for experts too as in the case of diabetes vitamin C level is lower than in the case of healthy people. The cause of the vitamin C’s harmful effect can be that the free iron concentration of the diabetics. In this case vitamin C is not an antioxidant but can have oxidant effects. It was pointed out in a randomised double-blind clinical experiment in 2002 that women after menopause taking 500mg vitamin C and 400 units of vitamin E increase the death rates and increase the probability of arthrosclerosis (inflammatory arteriosclerosis) progression’s speed with 280% . Life is not as easy as the humorous performances, issues scaring with the absence of vitamin C suggest. In western societies scurvy doesn’t threaten for long months, years it took its victims from among the sailors eating only low-quality meat without fruits and vegetables.
Those who argue for vitamin C state that by taking it many serious diseases can be prevented. Many randomised, clinical and placebo controlled experiments were published in 2009 which highlighted that vitamin C containing multivitamin preparations didn’t prevent diabetes or cancers or decrease the death rates of cardiovascular diseases. Vitamin C is suggested to strengthen the immune system against cold (upper respiratory illness) for the onset of winter. From this aspect the available clinical experiments are regularly evaluated in every 3rd or 4th year the last time was in 2007. Based on this vitamin C in a huge dose doesn’t decrease the symptoms of cold or the occurrence of upper respiratory diseases in the case of generally healthy people. Systematic taking of vitamin C slightly decreases the duration and seriousness of diseases. When taking vitamin C was started after the formation of the disease the seriousness and duration of it didn’t soften.
The randomised experiment according to which the joint taking of vitamin C and E increased the occurrence of tuberculosis for smoking men was published in 2008. If vitamin C wasn’t taken with vitamin E the possibility of tuberculosis didn’t increase. According to the results so far the benefits of taking isolated vitamin C doesn’t offset the risks to which the above prospective and clinical experiments highlight.
Of course it can be in the background that people try to deflect the attention from the medical mushroom extracts with the popularization of isolated vitamin C, as their anticancer effects insulin sensitivity increasing effects and their immune system stabilisation effects were justified by clinical experiments. The piquancy of this is that the anticancer effect of the medical mushroom extracts was manifested at first in Hungary in scientific animal experiments. The Hungarian professor who made the experiment hasn’t been officially recognised so far.
Finally it’s important to mention that the vitamin C’s natural occurrence in food is totally different from its isolated form: there it occurs well balanced with thousands of natural substances. In this form it’s not harmful but beneficial. Together with the thousands of natural substances it has different impact than in its isolated form. The Acerola fruit’s high vitamin-C content is outstanding. It is suggested to take it with medical mushroom extracts as it fosters the absorption of medical mushroom extracts.
This is not the first ‘sacrilege’ of the author. The radical questioning of popular beliefs based on scientific data can foster the enhancement of the efficiency of conscious health preservation. The author of the article finds it worrisome that after every article about vitamins’ publication the ethics committee of the organisation compressing food producers warns him not to popularize the medical mushroom extracts as according to their standpoint it’s unsuitable and not ethical. Otherwise they denounce him in which he was involved many times. It’s worrying that the ethic committee never referred to scientific reasons but to the compliance of the legislations. The author’s open answer to this kind of objections is that if the legislation prevents the spread of information with the help of which people can live healthier, the legislation should be changed because in this case there wouldn’t be ethics.
Author: Gábor Varga, drug expert