Vitamin C can reverse heart disease and is more effective against HIV than the drug AZT, delegates at a London conference on nutrition were told. They also heard that birth defects are linked to a deficiency of essential minerals and to an excess of
Presenting his research findings, Nobel Prize winning health pioneer Professor Linus Pauling said that heart disease can be prevented and reversed by taking vitamin C and lysine supplements.
Low levels of vitamin C lead to blockage of the arteries because, in its absence, the work of repairing artery walls is taken over by lipoprotein A, a protein that accumulates fat.
Vitamin C reduces the levels of lipoprotein, while lysine prevents its accumulation in the artery walls, Pauling told the Power of Prevention conference, organized by the Institute for Optimum Nutrition.
Vitamin C can also prevent the spread of HIV, said Dr Raxit Jariwalla, head of immunodeficiency research at the Linus Pauling Institute of Science and Medicine. He told the conference that it was more effective in suppressing HIV in infected cells than the drug AZT.
While both treatments could block new infection in cells, AZT had no effect on virus production in chronically infected cells. With large doses of vitamin C alone (more than 10g), the virus was inactivated by 99 per cent. With doses of 10g a day, this level of inactivity was halved. Anti viral protection doubled if vitamin C was combined with the amino acid N-acetyl cysteine.
High levels of lead and cadmium found in cigarette smoke, car exhaust fumes and water pipes were detected in large numbers of children with birth defects, Professor Derek Bryce-Smith told the conference.
The cases also revealed low levels of essential minerals, zinc, copper, iron, calcium, chromium, selenium and molybdenum. Stillbirths were strongly associated with low zinc levels, while selenium deficiency seemed linked to cases of spina bifida.
Excessive toxic minerals and essential mineral deficiencies also correlated to low birth weight. Professor Bryce-Smith believes that babies with birth weights below 6.6lbs, or 3kg, should be tested for possible mineral imbalance.
Professor Bryce-Smith also linked poor nutrition to delinquent and deviant behaviour. He accused the British government of ignoring this factor in its discussion of rising crime rates.
In one study, prisoners given vitamin and mineral supplements versus placebo had a 40 per cent lower incidence of violence. Excesses of lead and sugar, and deficiencies of chromium and zinc, have been associated with delinquent behaviour.
More than seven in every 10 people were deficient or borderline in their levels of the B vitamins, nutritional pioneer Dr Stephen Davies told the conference. He said that the toxic elements lead, cadmium, aluminium and mercury accumulated with age, while essential minerals magnesium, zinc, iron, chromium and selenium decreased. Cadmium levels were consistently higher in men.
Although a greater proportion of women are smoking, high cadmium levels could also be linked to sexual habits, said Dr Davies. While zinc can prevent cadmium absorption, up to 5mg of zinc is lost with each ejaculation.
His findings are based on biochemical tests on more than 65,000 patients.