Friday, November 11, 2011

Whole Food Nutrition vs. Synthetic Vitamins - A Brief History of Vitamin C

by Nelson, Dr. Christopher's Herb Shop

In the 1930's, ascorbic acid is discovered. It demonstrates a positive effect on scurvy. The research is published, and educated people say that vitamin C is ascorbic acid, and that it does everything that vitamin C can do. We have everything figured out.

Rutin is later discovered. It turns out to be part of a vitamin C complex. It is needed in order for vitamin C to strengthen the capillary walls, or it doesn't work. We have everything figured out.

J factors are discovered. Vitamin C only will enhance the oxygen carrying capacity of the cells if they are present. We have everything figured out.

Then a copper enzyme is discovered, then it turns out vitamin C will work magnitudes more effectively with vitamin E and A, and... well, it goes on. Oddly enough, this incredibly delicate, fragile balance has always been present organically bound in whole foods, such as an orange.

There is a common pattern where the expert advice is repeatedly demonstrated ineffective within a fairly short period of time. This shouldn't be surprising, because new information will always change our perspectives. However, I find it remarkable that the 'impure' food sources have the necessary co factors already present that we continually discover. I think its a safe bet that it has everything we forgot to discover.

Today we supposedly have more knowledge about nutrition than ever before. Go to a supermarket in America, and you find boxes and boxes of food, all with a nutritional profile. Most of our food has now been fortified. It is not uncommon to find juices, cereals and other foods fortified so that the label displays a beautiful ‘100%’ for your recommended daily value of nutrition. In fact, in comparison, the natural stuff looks pretty ridiculous.

According to the back of the box, the fortified stuff might be 50 times more nutritious than the same amount of fruit!

So why are we so malnourished?

How, with all the wizardry that’s been done to our food, (now to a genetic scale!) are industrialized people still alarmingly malnourished? It certainly isn’t a shortage of food. Somehow we’ve managed to overfeed ourselves yet still manage to starve.

Many nutritionists, Doctors (proclaimed experts in nutrition who received little nutritional training in medical school) and other learned people tell us that there is no difference in the type of vitamins we take, no difference between the sugar in fruit and white sugar, and that everything is a chemical and essentially behaves the same. In fact, these same people will say that it is better to isolate the chemical from all the other ‘impurities’.

The problem is that our microscopes keep getting better. We eventually find that there are other things that are necessary that we couldn't or didn't detect before. This is the reason why much of the 'expert' information is changing and often contradictory.

Most of our food is fortified with ascorbic acid until it can display a proud 100% RDV on the box, but ascorbic acid is only part of vitamin C. In fact, it is merely the protective shell around vitamin C lacking incredibly critical content! That's like having a car with no engine, tires, radiator or other components, but giving it a frame and saying its 100% functional!

One of the most important things I have relied on working with people with varicose veins has been food source vitamin C. Ascorbic acid does not work for them. Most of these people eat lots of food heavily fortified with vitamin C, yet their arteries are missing the crucial factor for keeping the vessels healthy. I tell them that they aren't getting 100% vitamin C, but that they are getting 100% of a part of vitamin C. The bioflavonoids are particularly important here.

I take that seriously. I have had people who were going to have their legs stripped with a painful operation that they would barely be able to afford, and I wouldn't blame them for considering it, given how painful some varicose veins can be. I've seen small varicose veins, and I've seen others that made me question my own confidence with herbs. I've had two people who had been told that they absolutely needed surgery. I gave them an excellent formula made by a brilliant herbalist I know (the V Vein formula) and told them to eat whole foods rich with the vitamin C complex. The results?

One was able to stun her doctors. In a few months, she did not have varicose veins. Surgery was of course unnecessary.The other was kind enough to call me and felt it important to excitedly tell me how happy he was for a full half hour. There have been a good deal more than these two, but those were recent and memorable.

The moral of the story? What we really need are whole foods. We find that most institutions that claim to be the authorities on health and nutrition are too heavily lobbied, and have an agenda that makes it impossible for them to provide objective information. These same authorities will even say that nutrition has nothing to do with disease, or that you can eat all the meat, pizza and dairy you want, as long as you take a multivitamin made from petrochemicals.

I disagree. I consider myself paid in beautiful experiences and stories, and I can't get either with the advice from most of these so called 'experts'. I know that disease is related to diet. I remember a woman who asked for advice for multiple sclerosis. She had a bottle of Complete Tissue & Bone, and she asked if it would help. I told her it wouldn't help her, and told her if she really wanted to use herbal therapy, that she should give up white sugar and white flour first (which she ate copiously). I said "The herbs have a lot of healing potential to offer you, but they work in conjunction with diet. It is a cleansing and nourishing approach, and they are completely ineffective without the rest of the program."

She got the herbs anyway and they did nothing for her. I wasn't surprised. Even though multiple sclerosis is considered an incurable disease, I have known hard working people who overcame it. But every person I've known who has had success did away completely with refined foods and ate whole foods.

There is an excellent documentary called Forks Over Knives that discusses the importance of whole foods and its role with terminal diseases. The information it offers is a beautiful gift to humanity. For those interested or impressed enough with it to support it, feel free to visit For those who have a Netflix Instant Play subscription it is currently available to play as part of your subscription.

-Nelson M.H

Find Dr. Christopher’s Herbal Formulas, single herbs, essential oils, books and more at Dr. Christopher’s Original Herb Shop:

NOTICE: All information in this newsletter is given out as information only and is not intended to diagnose or prescribe.