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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Vitamin C and Rheumatoid Arthritis

Every day I find more and more ailments and conditions that seem to respond favorably to Vitamin C therapy. I recently came across this article on intravenous vitamin C and help with arthritis. It MAKES ME WONDER if the LIPOSOMAL vitamin C taken orally might have a similar effect? Just speculation on my part at this point, however the Liposomal vitamin C  is absorbed quickly into the blood stream and it certainly couldn't hurt, though it may NOT have the same benefit for arthritis.

Let's take a look:


Vitamin C Proves Promising for Rheumatoid Arthritis

Riordan Clinic scientists find high dose of intravenous vitamin C eases the pain and inflammation associated with the major inflammatory joint disease.

By Joanna Cosgrove, Online Editor

Published January 17, 2013

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a debilitating inflammatory joint disease that affects about 1.3 million adults in the U.S. Though the exact causes of RA are still unknown, the disease triggers an abnormal immune reaction that destroys cartilage and joint linings, and erodes bone. In severe cases, it can also lead to rheumatoid nodules, vasculitis, heart disease, lung disease, anemia and peripheral neuropathy. But a new pilot study published in the Journal of Modern Research in Inflammation by researchers at the Riordan Clinic in Wichita, KA, found that high dose vitamin C delivered intravenously can have a beneficial effect on RA-associated inflammation and pain.  

Dr. Nina Mikirova, senior research scientist at the Riordan Clinic, explained that oxidative stress is elevated in RA patients, which implies that reactive oxygen species (ROS) are present as possible mediators of tissue damage. ROS trigger a cascade of events through nuclear factors' activation, which up-regulates gene expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines that mediate the immune responses causing inflammation. In short, reducing inflammation and oxidative stress can protect cartilage as it regenerates within the joint. Control of inflammation is also important when it comes to the reduction of cardiovascular risk.

The Riordan Clinic has studied the use of highly concentrated ascorbic acid to treat illnesses associated with inflammation, including cancer, atherosclerosis and viral infections for decades. According to the researchers, at high doses, vitamin C has been shown to reduce the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines. “Ascorbic acid has other properties that suggest it may be useful in treating rheumatoid arthritis: it is an antioxidant that scavenges ROS and it supports collagen formation and enhances extracellular matrix protein synthesis,” they wrote.

What’s more, researchers found RA patients tended to be vitamin C deficient and required supplementation in high doses in order to maintain acceptable plasma vitamin C levels. In addition to low vitamin C levels in the blood, the researchers said studies have shown below-normal ascorbic acid concentrations have also been observed in the synovial fluid of RA patients.

Dr. Mikirova told Nutraceuticals World she wasn’t entirely surprised at the results her team’s new research into RA yielded. “When administered at much higher–than-recommended dietary allowance levels, vitamin C has been suggested of having both a preventative and therapeutic role in a number of pathologies, including cancer, atherosclerosis and viral infections, so we expected that high dosages of vitamin C can be beneficial in treatment of RA,” she said. “Hallmarks of RA pathology are chronic inflammation and pronounced synovial hyperplasia. In addition, oxidative stress is elevated in RA patients implying reactive oxygen species are possible mediators of tissue damage. The balance between pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines due to chronic inflammation is a substantial feature of this disease.”

She went on to explain how her previous work has dovetailed with her current work on RA. “It is well known that vitamin C is essential for the building of collagen, the most abundant protein built in our bodies and the major component of connective tissue, and as antioxidant,” she said. “In our previous study of the effect of intravenous high dose vitamin C on the level of inflammation and pro-inflammatory cytokines, we demonstrated that vitamin C suppresses the release of inflammatory cytokines and decrease the inflammation in cancer patients (Journal of Translational Medicine, 2012, 10:189). So, we expected that the same treatment would have an effect on inflammation in patients with RA.”  

The RA patients in the Riordan Clinic study were characterized by moderate to high levels of the inflammation marker CRP, which indicated moderate to severe discomfort levels. “The effect of intravenous vitamin C (IVC) treatment on subjects with RA demonstrated that IVC therapy with dosages of 7.5 g-50g can reduce inflammation and the pain levels,” the researchers wrote. “The inflammation as measured by C-reactive protein levels was decreased on average by 44%. The average CRP level before treatment was 9.4 +/- 4.6 mg/L, while the average after IVC therapy was 6.4 +/- 4.6 mg/L. Examining those subjects who showed a net CRP decrease, we found that the effect of treatment is IVC frequency dependent.”

When asked if there were specific properties that made vitamin C a more preferable treatment option to other antioxidants, Dr. Mikirova acknowledged the use of other alternative medicine therapy treatments and nutritional adjustment practices. “Some, such as gamma-linolenic acid, fish oil, antioxidants and other supplementations have shown some possibility of benefit for RA, but a very limited number of controlled intervention trials have been conducted to evaluate dietary supplementation with antioxidants in RA development,” she said. “Several studies with vitamin E supplementation, selenium-enriched yeast supplementation, fatty acids, micronutrients and antioxidant supplementations demonstrated improvements but not significant clinical benefits. In the study with antioxidant supplementation, the level of vitamin C was only three to five times higher than recommended daily allowance.”

“We suggest the treatment should be by intravenous high dose vitamin C, as the in vitro experiments demonstrate that only high dose vitamin C can suppress activation of nuclear factor (NF-kB), which mediates the production of many pro-inflammatory cytokines,” she continued. “The effect requires millimolar concentrations of vitamin C [attainable via intravenous infusions].”

While the Riordan Clinic’s RA pilot study yielded promising results, the researchers acknowledged more research is warranted. “Our pilot study was based on the results of treatment on patients with RA at Riordan Clinic [who] had different intervals between IVC treatments and different numbers of treatments,” said Dr. Mikirova. “We think the results should be supported by the study on a larger population of RA patients with a standardized protocol of treatment and more detailed analyses of inflammation markers and patients’ conditions.”




"…when there is not a single outward symptom of trouble, a person may be in a state of vitamin C deficiency more dangerous than scurvy itself.

When such a condition is not detected, and continues uncorrected, the teeth and bones will be damaged, and what may be even more serious, the blood stream is weakened to the point where it can no longer resist or fight infections not so easily cured as scurvy.

It is true that without these infinitesimal amounts myriads of body processes would deteriorate and even come to a fatal halt.

Its neutralizing action on certain toxins, exotoxins, virus infections, endotoxins and histamine is in direct proportion to the amount of the lethal factor involved and the amount of ascorbic acid given.” 

Yes, that read “vitamin C deficiency can be fatal”

“The number of bacteria that each white blood cell digests is directly related to the ascorbic acid content of the blood. This is one of the reasons why a lack of ascorbic acid in the body produces lowered resistance to infectious diseases.” 


Allergies to drugs, foods, plants 
Brittle & painful bones 
Chronic infections 
Decreased ability to ward off infection 
Decreased pain tolerance 
Decreased wound-healing rate 
Dry and splitting hair 
Ear Infections 
Easy bruising 
Failure to cope with stress 
Gingivitis (inflammation of the gums) and bleeding gums 
High Blood pressure 
Muscle Spasms 
Rheumatoid arthritis 
Rough, dry, scaly skin 
Stretch marks 
Swollen and painful joints 
Varicose Veins 
Weakened tooth enamel and loose teeth 
Weight Gain 
… and more 


Guillain Barr Syndromes 
Reyes Syndrome 
Rheumatic Fever 
Scarlett Fever 
Disorders of the Blood 


Vitamin C is a cofactor in at least eight enzymatic (large molecules responsible for thousands of chemical interconversions that sustain life. 

Reactions including collagen, which supports tendons, ligaments and skin, and is also abundant in cornea, cartilage, bone, blood vessels, the gut, and intervertebral disc. 

… there are many tissues that maintain vitamin C concentrations far higher than in blood. 

Biological tissues that accumulate over 100 times the level in blood plasma of vitamin C are the adrenal glands, pituitary, thymus, corpus luteum, and retina.[39] 

Those with 10 to 50 times the concentration present in blood plasma include the brain, spleen, lung, testicle, lymph nodes, liver, thyroid, small intestinal mucosa, leukocytes, pancreas, kidney and salivary glands. 


Vitamin C is a vital antioxidant molecule in the brain. However, it also has a number of other important functions, participating as a co-factor in several enzyme reactions… 

The highest concentrations of ascorbate in the body are found in the brain and neuroendocrine tissues such as adrenal, although the brain is the most difficult organ to deplete of ascorbate. 

Combined with regional asymmetry in ascorbate distribution within different brain areas, these facts suggest an important role for ascorbate in the brain. 

Ascorbate is proposed as a neuromodulator of glutamatergic, dopaminergic, cholinergic and GABAergic transmission and related behaviors. 

Neurodegenerative diseases typically involve high levels of oxidative stress and thus ascorbate has been posited to have potential therapeutic roles against ischemic stroke, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and Huntingdon's disease. 

The functions of ascorbate in the CNS and brain are numerous. Essentially effecting neurotransmitters, dopamine and glutamate (learning and memory transmitters) cholinergic receptor (addictions). 


Adrenal Glands – Release hormones in response to stress and affect kidney function. 

Thyroid Glands – Controls how the body uses energy, makes protein and regulates metabolism. 
The adrenal glands and the thyroid gland are the organs that have the greatest blood supply per gram of tissue. This may be one of the reasons lung cancer commonly metastasizes to the adrenals. 

Pituitary - secretes nine hormones that regulate homeostasis that regulates PH, glucose, body temperature and the regulation of many bodily systems. 

Thymus – Educates T-Cells which are critical to the immune system, 

Corpus luteum – Involves the production of progesterone which is essential for establishing and maintaining pregnancy in females. 

RETINA - We found that cells in the retina need to be 'bathed' in relatively high doses of vitamin C, inside and out, to function properly,” said Henrique von Gersdorff, Ph.D., a senior scientist at OHSU's Vollum Institute and a co-author of the study. “Because the retina is part of the central nervous system, this suggests there's likely an important role for vitamin C throughout our brains, to a degree we had not realized before.” (*1) 

SPLEEN The spleen performs several important jobs such as preventing infection, destroying damaged blood cells and storing red blood cells and platelets. Certain vitamins play a role in keeping the spleen functioning properly. vitamin C helps your body to absorb iron, which reduces the chances of you developing anemia and an enlarged spleen. (*7) 

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