vitamin myths

Ralph L. Samson 73071.20 at COMPUSERVE.COM
Fri Mar 6 14:18:23 EST 1998

In response to Dr. David Haviland,
       Although my expertise is in electronics, computers, mathematics and
physics, I believe my analytical ability, developed in these fields, is
broad enough to be useful in other areas.  My ideas are based in part on
analysis of experience with insect bites and Vitamin C.
       The first bite occurred at night, shortly after I had gone to bed.
The sting was in the palm of the hand.  The palm turned red and ached for
about three days.  There were no other symptoms.  About three weeks later,
I was stung in the late afternoon by yellow jackets chasing my wife, who
ran past me.  They found me an easier target.  I was stung on the thigh.
I didn't feel any real sting.  Several minutes later, the palms of both
hands turned red.  Perhaps 10 minutes later, I felt uneasy and went to
a nearby doctor.  He immediately gave me injections to prevent my going
into shock.  He said my blood pressure was dropping drastically and I
could have died.  After I recovered he arranged for me to see an allergy
specialist.  I went there for tests at two times, a week apart.  The
first tests said I was allergic to at least two insects.  A couple of
hours before the second set of tests, I took 1000 mg of Vitamin C.
These tests were negative.  The allergist described the recommended
treatment of desensitization which would last up to five years.  I
said I would have to think about it.  Analyzing all the results, I
concluded that when I had taken Vitamin C not too many hours before,
I got a safe reaction.  Another interesting event was my palms
turning red after the second bite.  I concluded this was because
the immune system couldn't determine where the bite had occurred,
so it responded where it remembered it had happened before.  I
concluded that Vitamin C available in plasma enabled the immune
system to recognize where the attack had occurred.  I decided to
forego the long treatment and instead be sure to take Vitamin C
before being exposed to another bite.  To do this, I take Vitamin
C either three or four times a day, so that the maximum time
between doses is about 8 hours.  I did get another bite.  This
was on the back of the hand, which is more dangerous since there
are fairly large veins nearby.  The area about the size of a
silver dollar swelled some and ached, but there were no other
adverse effects.
       I concluded that maintaining a level in plasma of Vitamin
C would be protective of a bite or anything resembling one.  Of
course, if one knows when an event is going to occur, like a
vaccination, one only needs to take the C enough time before to
establish a reasonable level.
       In response to your comment about inhibiting antibody
production, I believe Vitamin C restricts the agents stimulating
the antibody production and thus controls where the antibodies
are produced.  It is restricting the agents that prevents any
unwanted side effects.
       Note that all this would argue against oral vaccines since
they are strategically more difficult for the immune system to
handle.  Utilizing my strategy in a vaccination program would
be relatively inexpensive.
Regards, Ralph

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