Immune Response

Ralph L. Samson 73071.20 at COMPUSERVE.COM
Wed Mar 24 09:19:21 EST 1999

Jay and Nancy Mone wrote:
> The symptoms you describe sound like a classic inflammatory response.
> If this is true I would recommend that people stop taking Vitamin C
> and rely on a healthy diet which would easily provide sufficient
> amounts of the vitamin.
If the immune system has not encountered a particular invader before and
developed antibodies to the invader, a good response may well look like
an inflammatory response.  The objective is to restrict the invader
and the response to a localized area, developing antibodies in the
immediate vicinity, and preventing a systemic response.  When I was
bitten 18 hours after taking my last Vitamin C, I had a systemic response,
developing hives in other parts of the body and getting a sharp decrease
in blood pressure.  My doctor said I might have died if not for his
intervention with epinephrine.  I have since been bitten, but only got
a localized response because I took Vitamin C not long before.  Animals
that make their own Vitamin C can maintain some minimum level and then
produce more in case of an attack.  Dr. Mark Levine (NIH) referred to Vitamin
C and an immune-cell antidote.  An in vitro study at Keene University
showed that the antioxidants work in concert.  Free radicals are picked
up by Vitamin E, passed to Beta carotene and then to Vitamin C.  The role
of Vitamin C is particularly important since it is water soluble and can
carry the free radical out of the body.
There are many useful articles on the internet that one can find on
Vitamin C.  The Council for Responsible Nutrition gives the NOAEL (No
Observed Adverse Effect Level) as more than 1000 mg and says that no
LOAEL (Lowest Observed Adverse Effect Level) has been established.
A cold study, that demonstrated that while Vitamin C had minimal effect
in preventing colds but significantly decreased the severity and duration
of the symptoms, used 500 mg four times a day.
Regards, Ralph L. Samson

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