334: Is High-Dose Vitamin C A Scam, The Complete Guide To Hypoxic Training, Best Long Running Tips Ever & More!

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Oct 14, 2015 Podcast: Is High-Dose Vitamin C A Scam, The Complete Guide To Hypoxic Training, Best Long Running Tips Ever & More!

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Listener Q&A:

As compiled, deciphered, edited and sometimes read by Rachel Browne, the NEW Podcast Sidekick.

Is High-Dose Vitamin C A Scam?

Meghan says: She was recently listening to Abel James Podcast who was interviewing Dr Andrew Saul who said Vitamin C is the cure-all for everything. What are your thoughts on this? If it is as effective as he says, would it help with injuries?

Natural Remedies For Cold Hands & Feet

Tyler says: With the change in weather, he realized how cold his hands and feet are getting and how long they take to warm up after being outside. What's your advice for helping to promote distal circulation to the feet and hands?

How To Fix A Hunched Back

Ratasha says: What kind of strength training protocol would you give someone with hyperkyphosis. She has a client with a 70 degree curvature to the spine who wants to build strength.

In my response, I recommend:
Taping for kyphosis
Eric Goodman's Core Foundation book

The Complete Guide To Hypoxic Training

Alma says: What are the physiological benefits of oxygen restriction and how and why can it improve training performance?


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29 thoughts on “334: Is High-Dose Vitamin C A Scam, The Complete Guide To Hypoxic Training, Best Long Running Tips Ever & More!

  1. Chuck says:


    Any thoughts on Procardia (nifedipine class) for Rayaud’s for someone who is otherwise healthy?

    1. Not a fan. Too many side effects. Use some of the other Raynaud's techniques I've talked about in past podcasts.

  2. RemyCricket says:

    This study finds that high dose Vitamin C actually decreases the risk of miscarriage by correcting luteal phase defects. It's a small, non-blinded study but just goes to show how much conflicting information surrounds Vit C use.

    Henmi, H., Endo, T., Kitaiima, Y. et al. Effects of ascorbic acid supplementation on serum progesterone levels in patients with a luteal phase defect. Fertility and Sterility. 2002;80:459-461.

    In my experience, most studies have not used bowel tolerance doses and therefore are not comparable to the results shown by Linus Pauling et al. 20K mg is probably about the bare minimum (in divided doses) needed to gain any benefits. When sick, doses are typically closer to 100K mg, again determined by bowel tolerance.

    To avoid any toilet issues, consider using liposomal C instead.

    1. betsyaida2 says:

      I had read that the concern with miscarriage happens when higher dose vitamin C (but not really "high" dose) is abruptly stopped. Some women use it as a natural form of Ru-486. I know of one lady who successfully did use it as a natural form of Ru-486 and it worked. When I googled it I found the following info on abruptly stopping high dose vit c in order to induce menstruation:

      The following excerpt is from: <a href="http://www.sisterzeus.com/Hsp1shlp.htm” target=”_blank”>www.sisterzeus.com/Hsp1shlp.htm

      "I found this recipe in a book called "A Woman's Book of Choices: Abortion, Menstrual Extraction, RU-486" by Rebecca Chalker and Carol Downer.

      The books says to take 6-10 grams of ascorbic acid a day for 5-10 days. It says specifically ascorbic acid. Don't use vitamin C with bioflaviniods in it, because they work to prevent miscarriage. Read the label and check the ingredients, write down what to look for if you think you won't remember when you get to the store. Tons of vitamin c products are available, look for the cheap generic brands, they are usually the ones that have pure ascorbic acid. Don't use anything that has Rose-hips in it, they conntain bio-flaveniods which help to prevent miscarriage.

      In my collection of data and information, I have spoken to women who have used the vitamin C successfully, some started treatment immediately following fertilizing intercourse. While others start when menstruation is due. This remedy seem to have a fairly decent chance of success up through the 4th week of pregnancy, when menstruation is two weeks late, after that, chances of success drop considerably. Based on the information provided by women (mostly from the sharing our wisdom section), in general these home remedies seem to be able to start menstruation about 45% of the time if used early enough."

  3. Morningtom says:

    I have experimented with high dose vitamin c. I had glandular fever this previous Christmas. I dosed 20g of vitamin c a day (not close to recommended dose but still pretty high) in 1g doses periodically throughout the day. I was back to normal and training within 2 weeks. I've had friends who have been in bed for months with glandular fever so i'd take that as a win. I usually take anywhere from 1-5g a day :)

  4. albert woody says:

    Adel Mousa has posted about vitamin c being bad for muscle growth/size but Paul Jaminet said in his interpretation of the study that the muscles where smaller….but stronger.

  5. betsyaida2 says:

    Hi Ben,

    Would you please reconsider looking into the high dose vit C evidence again because there is plenty of published studies? And then if you change your mind can you please do another podcast on it? I am certain you have it very wrong. Here are some sitations:

    Here is a pubmed article for you to look up on high dose vit C and polio:

    1. Years after Klenner’s experience with polio, it was demonstrated that polio responded very well to high-dose vitamin C given orally as well, with 5 patients receiving between 50,000 and 80,000 mg given at various times over a 10-day treatment period. Greer, 1955 [13279345]

    Here it is helping someone survive

    Influenza (flu, including H1N1 swine flu); 60 Minutes report, New Zealand, 2010); see http://www.peakenergy.com/video.php

    Here are more articles. Resolve all acute viral syndromes for which it has been ADEQUATELY dosed.Acute hepatitis:

    1. Dalton, 1962 [13883259] (Six daily 2,000 mg injections)
    2. Cathcart, 1981 [7321921] (Reported that he never had a single case of acute viral hepatitis fail to respond to properly dosed IVC, and that he never had a VC-treated hepatitis patient subsequently develop chronic hepatitis)
    3. Orens, 1983 [6573223] (IV and oral)

    Vitamin C repeatedly cured cases of viral encephalitis, many presenting in coma:

    1. (July 1949) Klenner F. The treatment of poliomyelitis and other virus diseases with vitamin C. Southern Medicine & Surgery 111:209-214 [18147027]
    2. (April 1951) Klenner F. Massive doses of vitamin C and the virus diseases. Southern Medicine & Surgery 103:101-107 [14855098]
    3. (1953) Klenner F. The use of vitamin C as an antibiotic. Journal of Applied Nutrition 6:274-278
    4. (1971) Klenner F. Observations of the dose and administration of ascorbic acid when employed beyond the range of a vitamin in human pathology. Journal of Applied Nutrition 23:61-88

    Documented efficacy in non-viral infections.
    1. Malaria (very positive responses to very low doses) [(1938) Lotze H. Clinical experimental investigations in benign tertian malaria. Tropical Diseases Bulletin 35 733]
    2. Leprosy, typhoid fever, brucellosis, trichinosis
    3. Dysentery (amebic and bacillary)
    4. Trypanosomal infections (Chagas’ disease); in vitro, VC & GSH kill trypanosomes [(1937) Strangeways W. Observations on the trypanocidal action in vitro of solutions of glutathione and ascorbic acid. Annals of Tropical Medicine and Parasitology 31 405]

    The above citations came from Dr. Tom Levy's powerpoint presentation. The powerpoint can be downloaded at the following link:
    <a href="https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=2&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CCQQFjABahUKEwixobiFgsXIAhVL9GMKHeMrAmA&url=http%3A%2F%2 Fwww.acimconnect.com%2FPortals%2F0%2FEvents%2FOrlando%25202013%2FPresentations%2FLevy-%2520Multi-C%2520Protocol%2520Unique%2520VC%2520Applications%2520ACIM%2520Orlando2013.pptx&usg=AFQjCNFBh-zeoHizequIoSWZfrbnufSrsQ&sig2=btSbOVnv-WBpnGr-8N9y4Q” target=”_blank”>https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&…” target=”_blank”>Fwww.acimconnect.com%2FPortals%2F0%2FEvents%2FOrlando%25202013%2FPresentations%2FLevy-%2520Multi-C%2520Protocol%2520Unique%2520VC%2520Applications%2520ACIM%2520Orlando2013.pptx&usg=AFQjCNFBh-zeoHizequIoSWZfrbnufSrsQ&sig2=btSbOVnv-WBpnGr-8N9y4Q

    Last thing all the doctors I hear lecture about this refer to high does Vit C in grams not in milligrams. One would say 100 grams not 100,000 milligrams.

    There isn't a single doctor I have ever heard of giving 100 million milligrams or better put 1000 grams of vitamin C during a single treatment. Where did you get that info? Typically the highst dose per treatment is 100 -150 grams.

    Ben you usually are spot on with your info I don't understand what happened here?

    1. I'm not denying that Vtaimin C may help with infections…but am more pointing out that you need to be cautious with high dose (especially chronic high dose) use of Vitamin C, and that there may be some serious health trade-offs if you're not careful.

      1. framistat says:

        The medical industry/pharma have a lot to lose if vitamin therapies work. You know the studies won’t be done, who would fund them? who would dare do them?

        Usually you’re not so closed minded about things like this – be fair, read his books, and while you’re at it, read Dr Saul’s books as well. Then invite Dr Saul on your podcast and discuss.

      2. Betsy says:

        I just listened to the the James Able interview and Dr. Saul refers to high dose vitamin C in milligrams. I had never heard a doctor give a presentation and referring to high doses in milligrams before. Usually they convert it to grams once they talk about 1000 mg and higher. I stand corrected. Some physicians do refer to high doses in Milligrams.

        I am undecided if taking it regularly at 10-15 grams daily for health benefits does have serious health consequences. So far my research is showing that is not true and that it is very good for the body.

        Dr. Levy says it is a false “fact” that taking high doses of vit c raises iron levels in this lecture somewhere in the middle snd at the end.


        He says that is not true unless someone has the blood disorder called hemochromatosis. He does advocate that those without that disease who do have a ferritan level higher than 25 should donate blood which I know you are a proponent of. But he is adamant that it does not elevate iron in those that dont have a disease that directly affects iron.

        Some info on that issue is: Oxidative Stress &

        the Fenton Reaction

        Mainly taking place inside cells where iron can readily accumulate, the Fenton reaction occurs when an electron is chemically donated to hydrogen peroxide, which causes the formation of the hydroxyl radical. The donation of this electron most commonly occurs due to the reactive iron present in the cytoplasm, when ferrous ion (Fe2+) gives up an electron to hydrogen peroxide, becoming ferric ion (Fe3+). The iron in the cytoplasm is usually Fe3+. Therefore, when enough hydrogen peroxide is in the cytoplasm, and a reducing agent, SUCH AS VIT C, is sufficiently available to convert Fe3+ to Fe2+, the hydrogen is then quickly converted to hydroxyl radical by the iron-mediated relay of the electron donation from vitamin C.

        Iron Excess and Infections:

        Nearly all infectious agents accumulate iron, as they cannot thrive without it. By basically the same mechanism as in the vitamin C treatment of cancer, vitamin C increases IOS by upregulating the Fenton reaction, killing the pathogens. (Drakesmith, 2008 [18552864])

        Virucidal Mechanisms

        of Vitamin C: By entry into an iron-laden, virus-infected host cell (VItamin C then initiates apoptosis/necrosis via Fenton chemistry).

        By focal Fenton chemistry with iron and/or copper integrated into the viral structure.

        1.(1983) Samuni [6317379]

        2. (2010) Bartual [21041684]

        3. (2011) Yamashita [21821878]

        4. (2012) Browning [22325780]

        So the above implys that vit C uses Iron to cause apoptosis to pathogens in our bodies, via the fenton reaction, since many pathogens are iron rich.

        I imagine that even the healiest person has pathogens, viruses and bacteria’s running around that daily intake of 10-15 gr of vit C can keep in check.

        Although min 2-3 grams is better than none at all. Most of the doctors that use a lot of vit c and have lots of first hand experience perscribing it, advocate 5-15 gr daily to maintain good health in an already healthy individual.

        All the above info came from the following powepoint link. The youtube video I posted near the top is of a live lectrue and he used the following powerpoint for it:


      3. betsy maldonado says:

        After much experimentation with vitamin C I think you are right and I was wrong. Nothing specifically bad happen but labs and more research now has me sharing your position when you said “you need to be cautious with high dose (especially chronic high dose) use of Vitamin C, and that there may be some serious health trade-offs if you’re not careful.”

      4. Ron says:

        Another general down-playing of the proofs of high-dose vitamin C’s astonishing cures.

  6. framistat9 says:

    Really disappointed in Ben's response to the Vitamin C issue – not well informed. Suggest you read Pauling's book How to Live Longer and Feel Better. He died at 93. Look at alternative cancer treatments done in Germany with intravenous C and infrared sauna.

      1. framistat9 says:

        You didn't title your interview with Dr Lew Lim, Is Low Level Laser Therapy A Scam, or link to Barrett's report on that (http://www.devicewatch.org/reports/lllt.shtml). What does a long retired psychiatrist know about either subject anyway? Where does Barrett get his funding?

  7. framistat9 says:

    Raynaud's is autoimmune, which means you have a leaky gut. Address that issue with diet, probiotics, etc. Also look into subclinical hypothyroidism – Stop the Thyroid Madness highly recommended. I was diagnosed with severe Raynaud's. Three rheumatologists, four different possible diagnoses, got smart and did my own research. Now I'm fine, shovel snow, take walks on cold windy days, get things from the freezer, no issues and no medications (beware plaquenil).

    1. feerlessfood says:

      framistat9, What specifically did you do to fix it? I don't "think" I have leaky gut or any autoimmune issue, but have had the symptoms for as long as I can remember.

      1. framistat9 says:

        For me, Raynaud's was an early sign.  It wasn't until a few years later that an ANA (antinuclear antibodies) blood test showed positive for autoimmune.  This is a fairly typical progression.  So you may have an opportunity to avoid a more serious condition.Before Raynaud's, there was always cold hands and feet, needing to sleep with socks on, etc.There is no quick fix.  It is a journey of lifestyle change. It can take a year or more to heal.If you prefer, and if you are lucky enough to live in a larger metro area where good functional medicine is available, you can find a functional medicine practitioner and have them lead you through. I highly recommend Sarah Ballantyne's book, The Paleo Approach, if you want to understand the causes and approach.  Also Chris Kresser's website and podcasts, and Ben's.Basically:  adopt a Paleo or Primal diet.  Drop sugar, gluten (better yet, drop all grains and flours; they spike your blood sugar – meters are cheap, get one and see it for yourself),  processed foods and drinks, alcohol.  Avoid antibiotics if you can.  Cycle through a variety of good probiotics.  Filter your shower and drinking water.  Use cosmetics and cleaning products without toxic chemicals and fragrances.  No drycleaning.  Exercise moderately so your body can work properly (overexercising can actually cause leaky gut).  Sleep well so your body can recover and get rid of wastes.  Strongly recommend getting a 23andme test and running your raw data through third party analyzers like mthfrsupport's app, Promethease, Genetic Genie.  Then you can supplement with a bit more confidence.  Be sure to use quality supplements of the right form, eg methylcobalamin not cyanocobalamin, folate not folic acid.  You may find some genes that affect your gut or give you a tendency towards autoimmune.  For thyroid, Stop the Thyroid Madness book and website.  Chris Kresser just did a good podcast on subclinical hypothyroid.  Supplementing iodine helps me (Lugol's 2%, 5 or more drops a day).  One allopathic remedy for symptoms that Ben didn't mention:  nitroglycerin cream prescribed off label.  Rub a tiny bit at the base of your fingers, it will allow more blood flow and may prevent painful Raynaud's attacks in the wintertime.Best of luck to you – it can be done!

    2. RemyCricket says:

      Raynaud's isn't always autoimmune though it can be.

      From Medscape:

      "Secondary Raynaud phenomenon should be distinguished from primary Raynaud phenomenon (Raynaud disease). They are distinct disorders that share a similar name. Raynaud disease is characterized by the occurrence of the vasospasm alone, with no association with another illness. Secondary Raynaud phenomenon is a designation usually used in the context of vasospasm associated with another illness, most commonly an autoimmune disease."

  8. Damien says:

    Ben, you’re quoting “”half to two million mg of vitamin C” from the podcast on megadosing vitamin C. Are you sure you/they have got their metric system right ?

    1. Follow the podcast link above. That's what they said.

      1. damdamdam says:

        I know but that's not a reason to quote without checking. 2 millions mg, that's 4 pounds. Per day.

  9. damdamdam says:

    Metal springs in mattresses are emitting electromagnetic waves, really ? I guess we've solved the world's energy problem if we all have this source of free energy in our bedrooms.

    What are your sources on this ?

  10. feerlessfood says:


    Thanks for the breakdown of ways to keep hands and feet cold. You mentioned Raynaud's syndrome which I think I also have, like your wife. What is the best way to treat this? In obstacle races, if my hands get cold, I'm done for. There's no way that I can grip anything and can even start to lose the feeling in my hands and feet even when it's not that cold outside. Is there anything that I can do to get around this? Besides the supplements you recommended, as this isn't really a circulatory issue? How does your wife deal with it?

    Thanks so much!

    1. We talk about this in the podcast – did you listen? All my recommendations are in this post.

      1. feerlessfood says:

        Hey Ben! I did listen and maybe just misunderstood you–I thought you were saying that those supplements would help circulation and I was asking specifically for someone with Reynauld's. Got it now! Just heard Chris Kresser mentioning that Thyroid could have an affect as well…

        You rock man

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