Originally published on JeffreyDachMD.com
Mainstream medicine may laugh, but this Vitamin C protocol could be the key to a healthy heart
The Steam Roller is Not Joking
I once had a conversation with a cardiologist friend of mine in which I casually mentioned the Linus Pauling Theory of heart disease, and the subsequent idea that a non-toxic nutritional supplement program with vitamin C and a few amino acids could prevent and reverse heart disease. The response from my cardiologist friend was hearty laughter that anyone would even suggest such a nonsensical idea, and surely you must be joking?
My cardiologist friend and the rest of the mainstream medical system has no clue about the steamroller coming to health care aiming right at the huge profits from diagnosis and treatment of heart disease, a multi billion dollar industry in the US.
The Cardiac Cath Lab and Cardiac Bypass Surgery Program will be flattened, the first casualties of the internet medical information revolution providing information about a safe and cheap supplement program to reverse heart disease called the Linus Pauling Protocol. Time has come for the old dinosaurs to go. In the near future, thanks to Linus Pauling, heart disease will become a curiosity of the past, like the disappearance of gastric ulcers after the invention of antacids and antibiotics.
The Linus Pauling Protocol - Vitamin C
Vitamin C and Collagen
Vitamin C is required to make a protein called collagen. The lack of Vitamin C is a deficiency disease called Scurvy.
Why is Collagen Important?
Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body. It is the structural protein used to make connective tissues, bones, teeth, hair, and arteries. Strong collagen is important for a strong body.
Vitamin C Deficiency Results in Poor Lysine Crosslinking on Collagen
Vitamin C is required for strong collagen. How does this work? Vitamin C is required for lysyl hydroxylase, an enzyme responsible for attaching the lysine residues together on adjacent collagen strands. (see diagram below) Vitamin C deficiency results in weakened collagen strands caused by disrupted lysine crosslinking. The resulting weakened collagen results in a widespread problems in the connective tissues, bones, teeth, skin, hair, arteries, etc.
Steps in Collagen Synthesis
How are the fibrils crosslinked? This is done with Lysine residues (see below diagram)
Fibril Cross Linking with Lysine and Lysyl Oxydase (see diagram below):
Above image courtesy of wikimedia commons lysyl oxidase.
Next image (below) shows three steps in attachment of two fibrils (collagen strands) by combining two lysine molecules with the help of an enzyme lysine hydroxylase which requires vitamin C.
Full Blown Scurvy - Collagen Falls Apart
In the full blown Vitamin C deficiency disease called Scurvy, the structural elements of the body literally fall apart. Collagen is broken down and not replaced. The joints wear out, the small arteries begin to crack and degenerate, the skin shows easy bruising and bleeding as small vessels rupture throughout the body, and the teeth may loosen and fall out.
Linus Pauling: Heart Disease is a Chronic Scurvy Condition
Linus Pauling was unquestionably the greatest scientist of the twentieth century. All of modern biochemistry and molecular biology chemistry is based on Linus Pauling's work, especially his discovery and elucidation of the chemical bond. Pauling is the only scientist to be awarded two unshared Nobel prizes. Above image microscopic view of collagen fibers.
Pauling's later years were devoted to heart disease, and in 1989 he published "A Unified Theory of Human Cardiovascular Disease," in which he states that atherosclerotic plaques in heart disease are actually part of a repair process, to repair the arterial damage caused by chronic vitamin C deficiency.
In essence, Pauling said that heart disease is a manifestation of chronic scurvy, and atherosclerotic plaque is a mechanism evolved to repair or patch blood vessels and arteries damaged by chronic vitamin C deficiency. Linus Pauling also said that atherosclerotic plaque formation can be prevented or reversed with vitamin C, lysine and proline. These are nutritional supplements available at any health food store for a few dollars.
Atherosclerotic Plaques Contain LipoProtein (a)
Plaque deposits found in human aortas are made up of a form of cholesterol called lipoprotein (a) also called Lp(a).
Atherosclerotic Plaques Are Found at Maximal Mechanical Stress
Atherosclerotic plaques are not found randomly distributed throughout the arterial tree, rather distribution is restricted to sites of high mechanical stress such as bifurcations, and areas of motion such as the surface of the heart (coronary arteries). In the early 1950's, a Canadian, G. C. Willis, MD, made these same observations, and they have been confirmed by 60 years of coronary and peripheral arteriography at major medical centers.(1-4)
Exposed Lysine Crosslinks from Damaged Collagen is Site of LipoProtein (a) attachment and Plaque Formation
Imagine stepping on your garden hose a thousand times a day. You will soon notice cracks in the wall of the garden hose. This is the same process that happens in the artery. As these cracks open up, the collagen strands in the wall of the artery are teased apart. The triple helix collagen strands are normally bound together with lysine crosslinks which are now teased apart and exposed to the circulating blood stream.
The Lysine residues look like little flags waving from the damaged collagen strand. The exposed Lysine strands are available for binding to circulating Lipoprotein (a), a special form of cholesterol that has lysine receptors, and is known to increase heart disease risk. This attachment of lipoprotein(a) to the free lysine residues of damaged collagen initiates the atherosclerotic process. Over time, this process builds larger plaque deposits which eventually narrow the inner diameter of the artery causing a blockage, or leads to plaque rupture and thrombosis, a catastrophic event which may cause heart attack or sudden death.
Animal experiments in genetically modified mice which have "knocked out" the lysine binding sites on lipoprotein (a) show a fivefold reduction in atherosclerotic plaque formation.
Can You Make Vitamin C ? No You Can't
We humans cannot make vitamin C in our liver as all other animals do. We humans had a genetic mutation in our ancestry 50 million years ago which "knocked out" the final enzyme in the hepatic synthesis of vitamin C. The missing enzyme is called GLO (gulano lactone oxidase). Primates such as gorillas, chimpanzees and orangutans also share this same GLO mutation and cannot make vitamin C. In adddition all primates share with humans susceptibility to heart disease. Above Image Vitamin C, a simple ring structure similar to glucose, Ascorbate Courtesy of Wikimedia
All Animals Can Make Vitamin C, but the Guinea Pig Can't
Except for humans and primates, all other animals have the three enzymes in the liver which can synthesize vitamin C from glucose (a simple sugar). One major exception is the guinea pig, which is really a rodent and not a pig, The guinea pig, for some unexplained reason, shares with humans the identical GLO genetic mutation and also lacks the GLO enzyme just like we do. This makes the guinea pig an ideal experimental model for human diseases. By the way, although animals that make vitamin C never get heart disease, the guinea pig which lacks the ability to synthesize vitamin C, also gets heart disease.
Animals That Make Vitamin C, Don't Get Atherosclerotic Heart Disease
I though this was worth repeating. (note: here I am referring to atherosclerotic vascular heart disease in animals. Dogs and Cats DO succumb to other common types of heart disease such as cardiomyopathy and heart worm etc.)
Animals That Don't Make Vitamin C, Do Get Atherosclerotic Heart Disease
This should be starting to become clear now.
Animal Scientific Support for the Pauling Unified Theory
As mentioned above, guinea pigs are especially well suited to study atherosclerosis because guinea pigs are unable to make their own vitamin C, and in addition, they develop atherosclerotic plaques similar to those found in humans.
G. C. Willis, a Canadian doctor, conducted research with guinea pigs in the 1950's showing that guinea pigs deprived of dietary vitamin C developed atherosclerotic plaques, while guinea pigs given plentiful vitamin C were protected. In addition,guinea pigs fed a vitamin C deficient diet had elevated Lipoprotein (a) levels along with the increased atherosclerotic plaque formation in the arteries.(1-4)
Similar findings were demonstrated in genetically engineered mice lacking the GLO enzyme. The GLO deficient mice fed a vitamin C deficient diet developed atherosclerotic plaques in the aorta with characteristic deranged collagen crosslinking. GLO deficient mice fed vitamin C were protected. (link)
Human Studies Supporting the Linus Pauling Theory
Optometrist, Dr. Sydney Bush's retinal artery observations support the Pauling theory. Using modern equipment to non-invasively photograph the retinal arteries of the eye before and after Vitamin C supplementation in humans, Dr. Bush has documented reversal of atherosclerotic plaque with Vitamin C supplementation. Unfortunately, Dr Sidney Bush's discoveries were not well received. His optometry license was revoked in 1993. Dr Bush's slide presentation at a 2013 medical meeting can be viewed here.
Why no drug company sponsored double blind placebo controlled studies? Since there are no patents involved for natural supplements, and no drugs involved, no drug company would ever invest the 250 million dollars to fund such a study with no potential for financial return.
The Physician's Health Study - Don't Waste Your Money On Vitamins!
Using public funds, the NIH (National Institute of Health) funded a large study called The Physicians' Health Study II which evaluated Vitamins C and E in heart disease and was published Nov. 9, 2008 in JAMA by Howard D. Sesso.(21) The study found that Vitamin C and E did not prevent mortality from heart disease, results which are completely opposite to massive previously published research and anecdotal case reports.
A closer look shows a few glaring errors in study design. The Linus Pauling Protocol was not followed. The dosage of vitamin C was set too low, at one tenth the dosage recommended by the Linus Pauling protocol, and lysine was not provided. While the Sesso study showed no mortality benefit, many previous studies such as the Enstrom Study showed a striking 40% reduction in all-cause mortality over 6 years from the same 500 mg daily vitamin C dosage. The Paul Knecht study showed a 25% reduction in Heart Disease risk with daily 700 mg Vitamin C. Two previous studies from Japan and Finland showed that Vitamin C reduces risk for stroke, another atherosclerotic disease. There are many more like these.
Since favorable results would be financially destructive to the drug and hospital industries, a cynic might suggest that vested interests were at work in Sesso's study intending to discredit vitamin C (as documented many times in the past with examples of corporate influence in medical research). (21) It is not difficult to design a medical study to fail. I regard this as merely another example of the information war waged by corporate mainstream medicine against natural medicine.
Enstrom Study, 500 mg Vitamin C Reduces Mortality 40% over 6 years
Enstrom showed that increasing vitamin C intake had a dramatic 40% reduction in mortality benefit which exceeds any statin drug study ever conducted.(23)
Linus Pauling Protocol For Prevention and Reversal of Plaque
If heart disease is chronic scurvy, caused by chronic vitamin C deficiency, then it makes sense to supplement with vitamin C in the amounts needed to make strong collagen and prevent arterial damage from mechanical stress.
In addition, Pauling devised a clever yet simple method to address the issue of Lipoprotein (a) attaching to the lysine residues on the damaged collagen fibers in the arterial wall. He recommended supplementing with 2-4 grams of lysine per day. The additional lysine in the blood stream attaches to the receptor sites on the lipoprotein (a) molecules, inactivating the lipoprotein(a) and preventing it from attaching to the arterial wall. This prevents the initiation of the atherosclerotic process. In addition, Vitamin C and Lysine are both important precursors for building strong collagen which makes strong arteries. In addition to Lysine, some of the collagen cross-linking is done with another amino acid called Proline, so proline was also added to the treatment protocol.
Where to Read About the Linus Pauling Protocol:
Owen Fonorow is perhaps the single most dedicated person devoted to the 1992 Linus Pauling Protocol for prevention and reversal of heart disease.(link) A patent for the Linus Pauling Protocol was issued in 1994.(link) In 1996, a CAT scan coronary calcium score study validated the protocol showing a 15% reversal of calcification indicating reversal of coronary artery disease.(link) Another excellent book on the subject of Vitamin C and heart disease is, Stop America's #1 Killer by Thomas Levy MD, JD. 2006 (left image). To read more on the Linus Pauling Protocol, see this short four page booklet by Owen Fonorow.(link) Or, read this excellent article by English and Cass.(link)
What is the Linus Pauling Protocol?
These supplements can be obtained at any the health food store as tablets or capsules for 40 to 50 dollars a month.
Tower Labs Ascorcine 9
A convenient powder containing all the combined ingredients for the Linus Pauling Protocol is called Ascorsine 9 and from Tower Laboratories. This is a good choice for anyone serious about preventing heart disease looking for an easy product with everything in it.
Vitamin E, Good or Bad, Yes or No, Blessing or Curse?
Steve Hickey and Hilary Roberts come right out on page 167 of their book, and make the statement, "Vitamin C and Tocotrienols can reverse coronary artery disease". They would add the Tocotrienol form of Vitamin E to the Linus Pauling Protocol. Regarding heart disease, and atherosclerotic vascular disease, the authors state that "on the available evidence, the combination of Vitamin C and Tocotrienols could be curative with no known harmful effects."
Opposition to the Linus Pauling Protocol by Mainstream Medicine
If you are facing the prospects of coronary artery bypass surgery (below image), you might ask the obvious question: Why hasn't my cardiologist told me about this information and started me on the Linus Pauling Protocol?
Most cardiologists either don't know about it or ignore it because of the information war going on between mainstream medicine and natural medicine. Cardiologists read medical journals which regularly run incorrect and biased articles saying Vitamin C is useless for prevention and reversal of heart disease, such as the Nov 9 2008 Sesso study. (21). Above image: coronary artery bypass operation courtesy wikimedia.
Diagnosing and treating heart disease with expensive tests and procedures such as coronary angiography, angioplasty, stenting and bypass operations is the most profitable part of hospital big business. That's why hospitals compete and fight with each other over the rights to expand and build larger cardiac cath labs and cardiac bypass operation programs. These programs are huge money makers for the national hospital system.
What would happen if there was a cheap and effective way to reverse and prevent heart disease, (ie. the Linus Pauling Protocol)? Heart disease would become an uncommon illness. With fewer heart patients to treat, the multi-million dollar cath labs and cardiac bypass programs at your local hospital would become obsolete and disappear. This would be a financial catastrophe for mainstream medicine.
No More Construction Cranes?
With so much money and vested interest at stake, you can imagine why it is not prudent for a cardiologist to bring up the benefits of the Linus Pauling Protocol in friendly conversation while lunching in the Doctor's Dining Hall. That would be an instant ticket off the medical staff roster and out the hospital door, and the end of a lucrative cardiology practice. What cardiologist in their right mind would do that? It is easier for the mainstream cardiologists to simply laugh it off as a joke and go back to the cath lab, do more procedures and make some money to pay their bills. Above left image: Hospital expansion project for new cardiac cath lab and cardiac surgery theater. Courtesy wikimedia.
This article is part one, for part two click here.
For research-based evidence on the benefits of Vitamin C, visit the GreenMedInfo.com Research Dashboard.