Vitamin C for Pain Control
Reagan Houston, MS, PE. 8/10/2016..
Vitamin C for Pain Control. Townsend Letter. November 2016. P55-57.
Vitamin C and Narcotics
Vitamin C often controls pain when it corrects the sickness that caused the pain. Vitamin C itself is less known as a pain killer. In 1973 Dr. Ewan Cameron with other doctors was running a test on patients who had various types of advanced cancer and were too sick for any regular therapy.1 They wanted to control cancer with a novel therapy. They gave patients large doses of vitamin C, typically 10 grams (10,000 mg) per day. To control the pain of cancer eating bone, they also administered large doses of narcotics when requested by patients. Five of his first such patients found that their pain almost disappeared in five days and they no longer asked for narcotics although one asked for mild analgesics.1,2 Also, patients had no side effects from suddenly stopping the narcotics, Table 1.
| Table 1. Vitamin C and Narcotics
Cameron was surprised to learn that vitamin C can control pain and that narcotics could be stopped without withdrawal pain! He may have been among the first to know.
Vitamin C and Drug Addiction
In 1977, Drs. Alfred Libby and Irwin Stone used vitamin C to control drug addiction.3 Knowing Cameron’s results, they thought that vitamin C might cancel the narcotics while still controlling pain. To treat drug addicts regardless of the type of drug, they would stop the intake of all drugs including methadone. They would have the patient drink milk containing 25 to 85 grams of sodium ascorbate (and other vitamins and minerals) during the day. The vitamin C dosage would be based on the estimated size of the drug dose. If the patients were unconscious, 30 grams of sodium ascorbate could be given by IV. Some patients had diarrhea for a day or so.
One patient was incoherent. About 45 minutes after he drank 30 grams of sodium ascorbate, he became coherent. Another patient took an initial dose of 45 grams of vitamin C in milk. Then, 5 hours later, he took a heavy dose of heroin but felt no effect!3
Vitamin C had stopped the desire for drugs! 3
Libby and Stone demonstrated a simple but effective method of temporarily curing 30 out of 30 drug addicts regardless of the type of drug. Their cure was temporary since the patients could be followed for only about 30 days. This did not give time to treat the malnutrition and the basic cause of the addictions.
Persons wishing to treat drug addiction could carefully Libby’s regimen.3
The doctors suggested that narcotics and opiates are pain killers that send pain signals to the brain opiate receptors. 3 They also suggested that the receptors originally were for ascorbate storage when vitamin C in the diet was limited.
Pains are symptoms, not usually the basic problems. But as the body fights pain, it generally consumes vitamin C.1 With low vitamin C (ascorbate) in the blood, white blood cells cannot kill germs and do other functions. 1 Replenishing the blood ascorbate strengthens the body.
Narcotics have several major side effects including constipation, addiction, intoxication, and withdrawal pains. Vitamin C can decrease these narcotic side effects. Table 2.
| Table 2. Vitamin C Cuts Narcotic Side Effects
1. Constipation is the opposite of diarrhea. Adjusting the dosage of vitamin C may eliminate the constipation of patients without causing diarrhea3.
2. Libby and Stone showed that addiction has been controlled by high dose vitamin C.1,3
3. Withdrawal pains were avoided even with sudden stoppage of the narcotic if patients were taking vitamin C.1,3
4. Pain control is the main objective of narcotics. Fortunately, vitamin C may provide pain control with or without narcotics.1
5. Vitamin C is safe for long term use at high dosages without side effects.1,4
Vitamin C As a Painkiller.
Dr. Andrew Saul describes a patient with painful back pain from sciatica.5 He could not sleep in his bed but only on the floor. He had debilitating pain in his lower back, legs and feet. For three months two neurologists did their best to control the pain. Then one said ‘You will just have to live with it.’ In despair the patient searched the Internet and found Dr. Fredrick Klenner’s regimen for back pain.6 The patient started 3 grams of ascorbic acid in water 10 times a day.6 During the first day he found no change. Starting the second day, he could get himself up off the floor. At the fourth day he felt healed and was able to do some strenuous work.
Although not shown in the article, the patient probably continued his regimen of 30 grams per day until his body needed less vitamin C and he had loose bowels or diarrhea. Then he could decreased his dosage.
If the pain is from a cracked or broken bone, the intense pain often requires enough narcotic to cause a fuzzy brain or mild intoxication.1,2 Patients often worry about addiction and do not take enough pain killer. Fortunately, vitamin C has demonstrated the ability to quickly neutralize addiction and leave no side effects. This allows a higher dose of narcotic and better pain control.
Saul showed that several types of pains from bone injuries might be controlled by vitamin C. 5
Dr. Robert Cathcart showed that pain from surgery could be controlled by high dose vitamin C. 7 He had a corneal transplant. When the local anesthesia began to wear off he started taking vitamin C at 12 grams every 15 minutes. At 72 grams he had no pain. He continued the vitamin C at 8 to 12 grams per hour for a day or so. Another time he fell and tore open the skin above his eye. He took 36 grams in 2 hours and then 12 grams/hour until the pain stopped. In both cases the wounds healed apparently without difficulty or diarrhea.
Vitamin C may stop pain from surgery.
Dr. Frederick Klenner, family doctor and famous author, minimized pain for 300 of his pregnant patients with vitamin C.6 His regimen was
“roughly 4 grams per day the first trimester, 6 grams the second trimester, and 10 grams the third trimester. Approximately 20% required 15 grams each day during last trimester. Eighty percent of this series received a booster injection, intravenously, on admission.”
Results were excellent. Leg cramps were less than 3%. Labor was shorter and less painful. (Klenner’s wife was in labor 1:45 & 2:45 hours.)6 There were no postpartum hemorrhages. No patient required catheterization. No toxicity appeared nor heart stress.
The new babies were started on 50 mg of oral ascorbate. Because they were obviously different, the nursing staff called them ‘The vitamin C babies.’ The vitamin C was increased to 1,000 mg/day by age one and to 10 grams/day at age ten and at that level through adulthood. 7 As an example of good health from Klenner’s recommended daily 10 grams of vitamin C, his 19 year old son never had a tooth cavity.
Vitamin C may decrease child birth pain and duration.
Shingles, herpes zoster, is exceptionally painful. Dr. Klenner treated a group of 8 patients with shingles by giving them 2 to 3 grams of sodium ascorbate by IV every 12 hours plus 1 gram orally every 2 hours.6 In 7 of the 8 patients, pain was gone in 2 hours and skin lesions completely resolved in 72 hours.
Dr. Klenner successfully treated burns while decreasing pain.6 He recommended that the hospitalized patients be covered by a sheet suspended above the burned area and the patient kept warm. No dressing or garments should touch the burn area. Three percent ascorbate in water is to be sprayed over the burn every 2 to 4 hours for roughly 5 days. Then the burn area is covered with vitamin A and D ointment alternating every 4 hours with the vitamin C spray.
Pain relief from burns often requires massive daily doses of sodium ascorbate by IV at 500 mg per Kg. body weight with each gram diluted with at least 18 ml of liquid such as 5% dextrose in water, saline in water or Ringers solution.6 The initial injection to be run in as fast as a 20 gauge needle will carry the flow. Oral ascorbic acid is given to tolerance with some diarrhea being acceptable. One gram of calcium gluconate should be given daily. Blood transfusions and electrolyte balance may be needed.
Vitamin C prevents infections and decreases pain.6
Scurvy is lack of vitamin C in the blood. Many diseases and stress cause the body to consume vitamin C. The symptoms of scurvy and near scurvy include depression, pain, fatigue, low appetite, and feeling bad. With scurvy, the body is vulnerable to colds, flu, chronic infections, and chronic fatigue. Dr. Ronald Hunninghake8 recommends 2 grams of vitamin C daily to control scurvy. However with an infected tooth or other sicknesses 2 grams of vitamin C may not be enough.
Low vitamin C in the blood keeps the white blood cells from properly controlling germs. To increase your vitamin C intake, consider slowly adding a few daily pills that might be helpful, Table 3. Then every day or two, increase the vitamin C by one or two pills to almost cause diarrhea. The other pills can also be increased. Hoffer’s book4 and Houston’s The Almost Perfect Chemotherapy9 give a regimen that has helped many patients with cancer and other diseases.
Table 3. For People Starting Vitamin C
Vitamin C, 2,000 to 5,000 mg/day or more
One or two of each of the following pills:
Vitamin D3, 2,000 IU
Vitamin E, 400 IU
Coenzyme Q10 (ubiquinol), 100 mg.
This minimum regimen is recommended for persons who have had cancer or fear it. It has not been tested but it appears quite safe
Exercise helps even for those who are in a wheel chair. They can start exercising slowly such as by lifting each arm and leg 10 times. For diet, cut down on sugars and hydrogenated fats. Hopefully they stopped smoking long ago.
How to Take Vitamin C
Oral vitamin C is generally in the form of ascorbic acid pills. Pills should preferably be in the form of capsules because pills have a binder that can cause gas or upset stomach. Table 4 tells how to make a one-liter batch of ascorbate solution from which daily doses can be dispensed.1 To prevent foaming, add water first to the solids until bubbling stops and then add juice.
Sodium Ascorbate Solution1
Ascorbic acid . . . . . . . 223 gm
or one measuring cup
Sodium bicarbonate . . 20 to 80 gm
(baking soda) to taste
Water and juice to . . 1,000 ml,
For a dose of 10 grams take 45 ml of the solution. The solution can be kept for up to a month if refrigerated in a dark bottle. Take portions with water in 3 or 4 doses during the day, with or without food.
Before taking IV vitamin C, people should be checked for a deficiency of glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase enzyme.10 Lack of this enzyme is rare but it’s lack may cause acute anemia. Oral vitamin C does not appear to cause anemia.
How much vitamin C to take varies widely with each patient and his or her health. The government recommendation of about 100 mg/day is too low, many doctors believe. Dr. Klenner recommended 10 grams/day for his very healthy family.6 One glass of orange juice contains 100 mg of vitamin C. A dose of 10 grams would require 100 glasses of orange juice! That is unreasonable so take supplements. Build up the daily vitamin C slowly to avoid diarrhea.
For many people the proper vitamin C dose balances the constipation of opiates, feeds the body enough vitamin C, and puts some ascorbate into the lower colon to cause soft bowel movements. More vitamin C causes an occasional, unexpected diarrhea that is acceptable. A messy diarrhea warrants changing the diet or decreasing the vitamin C somewhat.
The urine vitamin C could also be checked regularly using a urine dipstick from the Riordan Clinic. The ascorbate level in urine should be 50 mg/deciliter or higher for good therapy.11
Pain, simplified, includes an electric signal going through nerves to the opiate receptors in the brain. High dose vitamin C may neutralize the receptors of narcotics. Vitamin C controls many types of pain including back pain, and even pain from rattlesnakes and jelly fish.
Vitamin C is extremely safe. Many people have taken over 15 grams per day for years. Based on small animal tests, the vitamin C lethal dose, LD-50, is around 350.12 This means that a 150 pound person might ingest 350 grams of ascorbic acid with a 50% chance of living. But 350 grams is over half of a pound, an amount almost impossible for a person to take quickly.
Chronic pain appears to be controlled by high dose vitamin C. Continuous vitamin C involves much sodium ascorbate intake and the patient may want his or her sodium and other electrolytes checked as needed.
- High doses of vitamin C can often replace narcotics for immediate and continuing pain control.
- Patients taking high dose vitamin C who suddenly stop taking narcotics often have no bad side effects from the narcotic.
- High dose vitamin C can often control pain from falls, back pain, burns, surgery, shingles, cancer, drug addiction, childbirth, stress, and scurvy.
- Vitamin C strengthens the immune system while narcotics weaken the body.
- High dose vitamin C is generally considered safe but may not control all pains.
Reagan Houston, MS, PE
(Professional Chemical Engineer)
600 Carolina Village Rd. Apt. 389
Hendersonville, NC 28792
- Cameron E and Pauling L. Cancer and Vitamin C. 1993; Philadelphia, PA: Camino Books.
- Cameron E & Baird GM. Ascorbic acid and dependence on opiates in patients with advanced disseminated cancer. Letters to the Editor. J International Research Communication. 1973; 1(6):33.
- Libby AF & Stone I. The Hypoascorbemia-Kwashiorkor approach to drug addiction: a pilot study. Orthomolecular Psychiatry. 1977; 6(4): 300-308. Download from Google “Libby Stone drug addiction.” Or see http://www.seanet.com/~alexs/ascorbate/197x/libby-af-orthomol_psych-1977-v6-n4-p300.htm. Use predigested protein rather food for protein until eating is normal.
4. Hoffer A. Vitamin C and Cancer, Discovery, Recovery, Controversy. 2000, Kingston, Ontario: Quarry Press.
- Saul, Andrew. Spinal stenosis and related painful back problems. Spinal Stenosis, Ruptured Disks, and Chronic Back Problems. 2008. Downloaded 9/30/2015, http://www.doctoryorself.com/stenosis.html.
- Klenner, Frederick. Observations on the dose of ascorbic acid when employed beyond the range of a vitamin in human pathology. Journal of Applied Nutrition. 1971; 23 (3&4)p61-88.
- Cathcart, Robert. Vitamin C in High Dosages Provides Significant Pain Relief, down loaded 8/12/2015, http://vitamincfoundation.org/www.orthomed.com/pain.htm.
- Hunninghake R. Interviewed 11/20/2010 by Dr. Mercola at http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/11/20/ronald-hunninghake-on-vitamin-c.aspx.
- Houston R. The almost perfect chemotherapy. Townsend Letter. 2015; August/September:61-66.
- Riordan NH et al. Intravenous ascorbate as a cytotoxic chemotherapeutic agent. Medical Hypotheses. 1995;44:207-213.
- Jackson JA, Wong K, Krier C and Riordan HD. Screening for vitamin C in the urine: is it clinically significant? Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine. 2005;20(4):259-261. “VitaCheck-C” dipsticks can be ordered from the Riordan Clinic at a cost of about $16.00 for 50 dipsticks. Phone 800-447-4276.
- Hickey S & Roberts H. Ascorbate, the Science of Vitamin C. 2004, ISBN 1-4116-0724-4
Pain relief is desperately needed by many chronically sick people. Medical drugs are a wonderful help until used excessively. Both medical and street drugs are adsorbed into the opiate receptors. Ewan Cameron (1) had advanced cancer patients who were taking large doses on narcotics but still in great pain. Aiming to control the cancer, he administered large doses of sodium ascorbate, a form of vitamin C. Five of his first such patients found that their pain was almost disappeared and they no longer asked for narcotics. They had no side effects from stopping the narcotics.
According to Drs. Alfred Libby and Irwin Stone, vitamin C appears to be absorbed into the opiate receptors where it displaces the narcotic and the pain. The opiate receptors may have become part of our brains thousands of years ago to preserve vitamin C in the body.
What can help people now? Cameron typically gave 10 grams (10,000 mg) per day even up to 40 grams of sodium ascorbate. Libby, a family doctor, treated street addicts with 25 to 80 grams (2.3 to 8 tablespoons) per day of sodium ascorbate powder dissolved in milk. One incoherent patient became coherent in 45 minutes after consuming 30 grams of ascorbate. Another very sick cancer patient took about 100,000 grams in a day of a 50-50 mixture of sodium ascorbate and ascorbic acid dissolved in water. He improved from painfully bedridden to walking some in the yard. I strongly recommend that patients work with their doctor for their safety to keep electrolytes and nutrition in balance. The doctor may check for a rare immune deficiency of glucose-3-phosphate dehydrogenase enzyme, especially before giving IV sodium ascorbate.
For healthy people, vitamin C at 3 or 4 grams/day may cause diarrhea. Pain control doses of ascorbate rarely cause diarrhea because sick patients need the massive dose for healing. Therefore, when pain patients get diarrhea or loose bowels, they should gradually decrease the ascorbate dose as necessary.