View Full Version : Vitamin C for Cholesterol Reduction/Management

David Wood
08-02-2007, 05:37 PM
Garrett (or others):

What are your thoughts on this idea?



(Many, many more can be found by googling "vitamin c" and "cholesterol" in the same search. Most results are fiercely anti-statin, and propose that (moderately) high doses of Vitamin C (4 - 8 grams / day) will resolve the problem better.

I'm interested because (a) I have been doing 4 grams / day for many years (for a variety of reasons) and have "pretty good" cholesterol numbers (Total about 180, LDLs below 60), and (b) my wife won't even consider it. She's still trying to find a statin that won't make her legs ache (duh!). Currently on a low dose of Vytorin (Zocor+Zetia); that seems to do the trick. Dosing her heavily with CoQ10, but can't get her to try the Vitamin C route.


Robb Wolf
08-03-2007, 11:05 AM
1st-still missing the old times.

The information looks compelling. The regression analysis Pauling did was pretty slick with regards to what humans would naturally produce if we still had the L-gulonolactone oxidase enzymeIn (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L-gulonolactone_oxidase) this light it makes sense to run humans at 5-10g/day. it's interesting to note that even the Inuit had fairly high Vit-C intake due to raw meat/organ consumption.

So the C might be a good idea but it still (in my mind) begs the question: Is the "high" cholesterol a problem and if so how should one tackle this? Uffe Ravonskov (http://www.ravnskov.nu/cholesterol.htm) has sliced and diced this topic pretty thoroughly and from my perspective it's a tough case to make for statins for nearly ANYONE but especially women. I think Dr.Eades had a blog post on this but there is a very small sub set of men with specific blood lipid profiles who appear to benefit from statins...women have not been shown to benefit and there is a boat load of data suggesting statins are very dicey with regards to things like suicide and oxidative damage.

Not sure if this helps or just complicates things. I wish EVERYONE had a family doc like Mike Eades.

bottom line the Vit C is not going to cause problems in and of itself. jarrow formulas has a powdered vit c that is excellent. if you have more questions post 'em here or give me a jingle.

Garrett Smith
08-03-2007, 11:49 AM
I'm not a big fan of megadosing any particular nutrient to achieve a drug-like effect (ie. lowering cholesterol), particularly one that is isolated like ascorbic acid (incorrectly called vitamin C, that's the reason they have different names).

Great article on Vitamin C dosing and the differences between isolated and complexed vitamin C: http://www.innateresponse.com/Dosing%20Parameters%20for%20vitamin%20C.pdf

Also, the "Pauling/Rath Therapy" as described here, definitely goes way beyond simple megadose ascorbic acid therapy: http://www.thecureforheartdisease.com/protocol.htm

Also, as has been thoroughly discussed here and elsewhere, cholesterol is not the root of the problem with CV disease.

I personally do use a Buffered Ascorbic Acid powder (ascorbic acid and magnesium/calcium/potassium carbonates) to the tune of ~2 g of ascorbic acid per day (~4g/day on my metcon-heavy days) and I add 400mg of the Innate vitamin C complex to the mix 4 days a week. I like this particular product for several reasons: the ascorbic acid, the minerals (I take extra magnesium citrate on top of this product), and the carbonates (to increase alkalinity in the system).

Either the powder or the whole food vitamin C (much smaller doses can be taken and achieve a similar effect) may be more appealing to your wife.

Please tell me she's on a solid dose of fish oil....

Neal Winkler
08-03-2007, 08:38 PM
David, listen to Robb. Like he said, statins stink, and have not been shown to benefit women (if you want the proof just give me your email and I'll send you the meta-analysis that you can take your doctor), only a particular subset of men. Furthermore, the men that are benefitted probably didn't get that benefit from cholesterol reduction, but one of the many other biochemical effects that statins exert.

You should really do yourself, and especally your wife, a favor by reading material from Uffe Ravonskov and Anthony Colpo. If you do, you may even decide to drop to the Vit C supps to increase your cholesterol!

The only reason that cholesterol should be payed attention to is because HDL is an awesome measure of insulin sensitivity. High-LDL is just a non-desease created by the unholy-alliance between government and big-pharma.

08-03-2007, 09:17 PM
I use a couple of Emergen C packets with a bit of Glutamine if I am feeling run down after a workout. Good for the sinus/bronchial issues as well. Works wonders with my wife and kids and everyone who has tried it.


David Wood
08-04-2007, 08:02 PM
Many thanks, all.

I *wish* I could say she was on fish oil . . . but she doesn't like the smell. I've persuaded her to do some strawberry-flovored DHA-heavy capsules (mix of EPA and DHA, weighted toward DHA; we use it because it's the only flavor she'll take). Have also used flax oil in the past; she will still use that occasionally.

Most of my VitC is buffered (similar to what you describe, Garrett; would you mind revealing your preferred brand?) and has citrus flavanoids added (probably a chemical stew; it's a cheap brand).

I realize that cholesterol isn't necessarily the evil thing that PhARMA would like to demonize it as (doubly amusing, since I work in pharmaceuticals) . . . but my wife's was pretty much in the stratosphere. (Would appear to be genetic, as most of her dietary/exercise habits are reasonably healthy (and her father's line all have it)).

Neal, my email address is public record over at CrossFit, might as well show it here: davidjwood AT cal.berkeley.edu . I'd be very interested.

Mike ODonnell
08-04-2007, 11:39 PM
High-LDL is just a non-desease created by the unholy-alliance between government and big-pharma.

funny how you see the national council of medicine...or whatever group is run by pharma come out every now and then and constantly lower the "high" number for LDL and BP....now it's 120/80 for high BP and bing....millions more on medicine....what a f***'ing scam....plus I've never cared about LDL...and some people are healthy with high numbers...others with lower....it's all the other crap like trans fat that cause the scaring and potential buildup....

As other have said before me.....our health care is terrible but we have great sick care.....

Yael Grauer
08-05-2007, 12:24 AM
Dave, the orange-chocolate flavored Coromega is pure yumminess!

Mike ODonnell
08-05-2007, 09:15 AM
anyone read The Great Cholesterol Con by Colpo? Is it worth getting and taking a look at?

Scott Kustes
08-05-2007, 03:58 PM
anyone read The Great Cholesterol Con by Colpo? Is it worth getting and taking a look at?
Read it a year ago. It's a bit dry, but it's great reading material....quite informative. I'd say get it.