Tuesday, 2 September 2014

That Water is Unsafe to Drink

May 6, 2005 by Ron Fontaine 

Copyright © SurvivalTopics.com Read more at: http://survivaltopics.com/that-water-is-unsafe-to-drink/

In this Survival Topic we will discuss why it is important that you consider ALL sources of drinking water as contaminated with disease causing organisms until you properly treat it. We will also touch upon the best method to make water safe to drink. Water Born Disease Organisms I want to hammer home to you the importance of always always always (did I say “always”?) treating any water before you use it for anything you will ingest into your body. Water Born Disease Organisms I want to hammer home to you the importance of always always always (did I say “always”?) treating any water before you use it for anything you will ingest into your body. In short, before you use water for any purpose that ends up in your body including Drinking water. Oral hygiene such as rinsing your mouth or brushing your teeth. Cleaning of vegetables and other foods. Cleaning of cooking and eating utensils. Douching and enemas if you are into such things best left unsaid. The water must first be de-contaminated so that all water borne pathogens are destroyed or rendered inert. Otherwise you may become very sick indeed. Contaminated Water One of the most basic concepts you must completely understand in order to stay healthy in wilderness survival situations is that all sources of water are suspect. Urban dwellers that we tend to be, we are usually accustomed to simply turning on the tap and drinking the water that comes from it. It is important to note that tap water usually comes from protected sources and has been treated by municipal agencies to destroy disease causing organisms. This water is also frequently tested in order to insure it meets standards for potablility. In more rural areas tap water often comes from wells and springs where natural processes have purified the water. Because we usually obtain our water so easily from the tap, the mindset to always consider water from untested sources as contaminated can be difficult to fully accept. Old habits die hard and many of you will be tempted to ignore my advice and drink any outdoor water source that appears to be fresh and clean. But I want you to drop any preconceived notion you many have on this subject and trust Survival Topics completely when it comes to treating your water. It could very well save your life. Too many times to count people have told me that a certain stream or lake is safe to drink because it is clear, cold, and natural. I have some important information that could very well prevent you from becoming very sick: That crystal clear mountain stream may seem clean enough to the eye, but invisible microorganisms are thriving in its waters by the millions. Most of the tiny living things in water are harmless to humans, but all too often there are types that can make you very sick should you ingest them. You Are Likely Drinking Feces Many disease organisms contaminate water sources due to improper disposal of human wastes including feces. Another common natural source of water contamination comes from the local wildlife that often defecate in or near the water. Birds and mammals that live in or near water think nothing of releasing their bodily wastes into it. But worse, many ignorant humans will improperly dispose of urine, feces, and kitchen wastes close to communal water supplies. No matter how remote you feel you are, I guarantee someone has been there before you. They may be swimming, washing up, or even have deposited a steaming pile of feces just upstream minutes before you filled your water container. On a number of occasions while at established campsites I have visited the only available water supply, often a natural spring, only to find that someone had washed their dishes in it! Were it not for the odd bits of food items floating in the other wise clear water I may never had known ignorant humans had been there before me. If these people are dumb enough to wash filthy dishes in the only available water supply, who knows what else they may have done nearby. If I were less informed about the hazards of untested water I may have drank that water without treating it and become very sick. Humans are veritible poop machines and wherever they have been you can be assured there is plenty of feces laying about. Historically, wastes and human fecal contamination of water supplies has resulted in large epidemics of cholera and other diseases that have ended the lives of millions. Do not let the actions of dumb people take you down: treat all water before you ingest it. Disease Organisms Would Like You to Drink Them Water can contain a range of nasty organisms you would do well to avoid. These include bacteria such as Escherichia coli (E. Coli) Salmonella Protozoa, which also often come from human an animal feces: Microsporidia including Giarda Cryptosporidium Toxoplasma gondii Amoebae Ciliates Flagellates Apicomplexans and let’s not forget helminth zoonoses such as: nematodes ascarids pinworms hookworms strongylids angiostrongylids capillarids guinea worms liver flukes tapeworms But it’s not just fecal contamination from wildlife and ignorant humans you must worry about. I recall hiking up a crystal clear mountain stream in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. At the top of a high waterfall, below which people often swim, lay a huge rotting moose carcass that dammed up the entire stream. Unbeknownst to all, the whole water course filtered through eight hundred pounds of rotting meat on the way to that fine swimming hole downstream. So much for crystal clear mountain streams being safe to drink from! How to Make Water Safe to Drink Now that I have convinced you to consider all sources of water as contaminated until treated, I would like to suggest the best way to make water safe to drink. Once again I am sure to be stirring up a hornets nest of dissent on this subject but I stand by what I write as proven beyond doubt. Try to release any preconceived notions you may have as you read what follows. The miracle of modern advertising would have you believe that the portable water filters on the market today will remove nearly all pathogens and disease causing organisms from water. Nothing could be further from the truth. The fact is, studies have conclusively shown water filters vary a great deal in the types and amount of organisms they are able to filter. And that is when the water filters are functioning properly and users correctly operate and maintain them. A tall order indeed, especially in the field during adverse conditions. Would you drink water from a filter that is removing only 85% of water borne disease organisms? Chances are the water filter you use isn’t even doing that well. Various chemicals used to treat water also lack the ability to destroy 100% of disease causing organisms in water. The reasons for this are beyond the scope of this article and will be covered in a future Survival Topic. The manufacturers of chemicals and water filters don’t want you to know what the best way to make water safe to drink really is. That’s because its simple, inexpensive to operate, and they cannot sell it. The fact is, the best way to make water safe for consumption will destroy or render inert 100% of disease causing organisms. What’s more, this process is readily available and nearly foolproof. It has been successfully used for centuries and remains hands down the best method of all: boiling. How Long Does the Water Need to Boil? Water does do not even have to reach the boiling point (about 212° F or 100° C at sea level) to be rendered safe to drink; Once the water temperature reaches 185° F (85° C) nearly all disease causing organisms have been destroyed. The only reason you typically get water up to the boiling point is you probably do not have a thermometer handy to measure the water temperature. Boiling is proof positive the water is hot enough to make it safe to drink. You can also throw out the myth that you must boil water longer at higher elevations. The boiling point of water even on Mount Everest is still high enough to destroy all disease causing organisms even before the water has started to boil. For more information on boiling water to make it safe to drink read the breakthrough Survival Topic “How Long Do you Need to Boil Water?”. In conclusion: Consider water from any source as contaminated with disease causing organisms. By far the best way to treat water is by boiling it. You only have to bring the water to a boil. Don’t waste fuel; there is no need to boil water for 10-minutes, 5-minutes, or even 1-minute. Once it is boiling all disease causing organisms have been destroyed or rendered inert some time earlier. Even on Mount Everest, the highest point on earth, once water reaches the boiling point it is safe to drink. Filed Under: Recent Survival Topics, Survival Topics Blog

Copyright © SurvivalTopics.com Read more at: http://survivaltopics.com/that-water-is-unsafe-to-drink/

Monday, 1 September 2014


We recommend a minimum of 3000 mg of high quality vitamin c daily, which you may find in C5 and C5+ from simply4health.
Request a copy of our newsletterherbalYODA Says! on FLU, for more about the benefits of vitamin C with your doation.
An essential water soluble vitamin involved in at least 300 biochemical pathways in the body.  Humans cannot synthesise Vitamin C and so require a daily intake. Fragile, highly unstable, and easily destroyed by heat and light, our requirement is higher than any other water soluble vitamin. As a nutrient, is needed for collagen production, an integral part of skin, tendons, bones, gums, teeth, and blood vessels, as well as growth and repair of tissue and helping to maintain normal blood fat and cholesterol levels. 
Photo Above is of Vitamin C
~ Receive our vitamin C cleansing protocol with a donation to CHI ~
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Vitamin C Dose Recommendation - Take a minimum of 3000 mg ascorbic acid daily, in divided doses at mealtime, for adults.
Generally we encourage that you take more than 30 times that of National Academy of Sciences (75-90mg) and 15 times more than that of the Pauling Institute and NIH (200mg).
Dr. Pauling prescribed 2 to 6 times the Vitamin C Foundation’s vitamin C RDA (6,000 to 18,000 mg of vitamin C), and beleived that his dosage was based on the large amounts of vitamin C that animals manufacture daily. Currently there is veterinary research showing that most animal companions need vitamin C supplementation.
Vitamin C researcher Thomas E. Levy, MD, JD, advises from 2 to 4 times our recommendation (6,000 to 12,000 mg daily, taken in divided doses).
Referring to the work of Robert Cathcart, MD, we suggest the ability to tolerate daily oral vitamin C varies between 4 and 16 grams daily, if you have ordinary (not severe) health (poor to average) status.  Cathcart’s clinical experience demonstrates that almost all humans tolerate 4 grams of vitamin C daily.
For children these references are helpful: Up to age 3: 1 gram vitamin C daily for children, based upon their age (1 gram for 1- yr-olds; 2 grams for 2-yr olds, etc., in divided doses, and not a product containing sugar or artificial sweeteners)
The daily allowance may not prevent or resolve disease that comes from deficiency of vitamin C.  Cardiovascular disease, as an example, requires from 6,000 to 18,000 mg Vitamin C daily; cancers may require 14,000 to 39,000 mg daily.’ (Excerpt from the research of Drs Hickey & Roberts)

Lipospheric vitamin C delivers 93-98% of the vitamin directly into the body, this means that far lower doses can be taken than normal oral ascorbate, thus avoiding loose bowel movements which can often be a side effect of high doses of oral vitamin C.
According to Thomas Levy MD, lipospheric C shows a ten-fold increase in the effect of IV vitamin C: “I found that liposome encapsulated vitamin C, taken orally, was roughly 10 times more effective clinically in resolving infectious diseases than the IVC. Having given thousands of IVCs and taken hundreds myself, this was difficult to comprehend, even though the clinical observation was quite straightforward. I subsequently realized that the liposome gave the ultimate bioavailability: intracellular delivery, including the mitochondria, endoplasmic reticulum, and even the nucleus… 2 to 6 packets daily covers most individuals for most situations.”
Vitamin C is safe, is not a cause of "stones" (C can actually help dissolve them), and is "generally regarded as safe" (GRAS). It is recognized by the FDA to be safe and it is usually compared to the toxicity of water. Water and vitamin C are critical for human health, and generally considered non-toxic. No reports of death by vitamins are known.
Vitamin C May Be A Life-Saver: Mega-doses Can Counter Avian Flu, Hepatitis & Herpes, And Control Advance Of AIDS
By Jane Feinmann - The Independent - UK, 4-14-5
Imagine that a deadly virus is sweeping the world, killing and maiming hundreds of thousands of children. Nothing seems able to stop it - until a doctor stands up at the American Medical Association and reports on 60 cases involving severely infected children, all of whom have been cured. Yet his work, subsequently reported in a peer-review journal, is ignored, leaving the virus to wreak havoc for decades.

This isn't a docudrama about some futuristic plague - it's a true story about what happened in June 1949 when polio was at its peak. Dr Frederick Klenner, a clinical researcher from Reidsville, North Carolina, reported that a massive intravenous dose of Vitamin C - up to 20,000mg daily for three days (today's recommended daily allowance is 60mg) - had cured 60 of his patients. The findings were published in a medical journal, yet there was virtually no interest. Apart from a couple of minor trials, no attempt was made to find out if they had any scientific substance.

Relating this curious incident in a new book, Vitamin C, Infectious Diseases & Toxins: Curing the Incurable, Dr Thomas Levy, a US cardiologist, admits to being gripped by a range of emotions when he came across Klenner's work and other studies that replicated it. "To know that polio had been easily cured yet so many people continued to die, or survived to be permanently crippled by it, was difficult to accept."

Levy argues that the medical profession has routinely ignored research showing that high doses of Vitamin C can combat bacteria, toxins and severe viral infections including avian flu, SARS, hepatitis and herpes. And this is not a case of doctors sniffing at anecdotal evidence from a handful of enthusiasts. "Vitamin C is possibly the best-researched substance in the world. There are more than 24,000 papers and articles on the authoritative clinical website, Medline. Yet virtually the all the evidence has been dismissed." Levy even claims that Aids can be controlled if a high enough dosage of Vitamin C is maintained.

This is not the first time doctors have had their cages rattled over the benefits of Vitamin C. The controversy has been simmering since 1753, when just a couple of sucks of a lime were shown to prevent scurvy. In the 1950s the chemist Linus Pauling, a double Nobel prize-winner, promoted the use of mega-doses of Vitamin C, but his research was rubbished by clinicians.

Recently, the anti-Vitamin C sentiment has grown. It has been blamed for causing the formation of kidney stones, and a study published in the journal Science in 2001 found that even 200mg doses of Vitamin C "facilitated the production of DNA-damaging agents associated with a variety of cancers". This finding was widely interpreted as proving that Vitamin C causes cancer.

Britain's Food Standards Agency recommends taking a maximum of 1,000mg of Vitamin C a day. But a directive going through the European Parliament aims to reduce this to less than 100mg in an attempt to harmonise dosages across the Continent. Despite being dubbed "illegal" by the advocate general of the European Court of Justice last week, the directive could still be passed.

The controversy has not put off consumers, many of whom take Vitamin C to ward off colds. The 1,000 mg capsule is the most popular single vitamin in Britain, with the 500mg version second.

Some people argue that we can get sufficient Vitamin C from a diet rich in fruit and vegetables, but Levy disagrees. The problem, he says, is that a genetic design fault makes us unable to synthesise our own Vitamin C. Levy claims that while recommended daily allowances of 60mg are enough to prevent the development of scurvy in otherwise healthy people, much higher levels are required to maintain health when an infection strikes. At such times, the body begins to "metabolise unusually large amounts of vitamin C, keeping stores so depleted that the recommended daily allowance will not even prevent many of the symptoms of scurvy from developing".

Levy claims that the reason why most animals stay healthy throughout their lives, while humans spend years coping with one or more chronic diseases, is that animals make their own Vitamin C. The wild goat, for instance, makes around 13,000mg a day, rising to 100,000mg when faced with life-threatening infectious or toxic stress, according to a 1961 study published in the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences.

So, is Levy right? Should everyone be taking mega-doses every day and having intravenous infusions when they fall ill? Possibly.

Dr Rodney Adeniyi-Jones regularly gives 20,000mg doses to people with arterial disease and as part of a flu treatment protocol, describing its effects as "beneficial... but not miraculous". And Professor George Lewith of the Centre for Complementary and Integrated Medicine says that while Vitamin C is not a panacea, it does have clinical benefits depending on the dosage. "There may be doses that are therapeutic, while another dose may be damaging for the same condition. It is not a dose-response curve as with pharmaceuticals, and we need to be cautious until this is better understood."

But he also warns that: "Many of the [Vitamin C] trials have been badly done and what evidence exists is mixed. Both those in favour and against high doses frequently misinterpret the data."

Levy may well be seen to have an axe to grind, yet the evidence seems to support his view that apart from causing diarrhoea, mega-doses of Vitamin C are not toxic. He says that a series of studies published in leading journals have shown that, far from causing cancer, Vitamin C is a safe supplement for chronic cancer patients. Further large studies suggest that supplements do not put a normal person at greater risk of developing kidney stones.

According to Levy, the problem is not that people might take too much, but that they won't take enough - and thus won't get the desired effects. "There's a popular medical view that taking Vitamin C just makes expensive urine. Some of it is lost in urine, but the more you consume, the more stays in your body."

With a new book on the way claiming that Vitamin C deficiency is also a primary cause of cardiovascular disease, Levy cannot be accused of underselling his case. Nor can he overcome the fact that proper clinical trials are still desperately needed. Considering its overall safety, there appears to be no good reason why anyone with a chronic or acute health problem should not try, at the very least, a couple of week's regime of two or three 1,000mg tablets of Vitamin C a day.

Need to Know: So how much should you take?

For a cold - Three 1,000mg doses a day, according to the campaign group Consumers for Health Choice.

For flu - Although it's more serious, the viral load is similar, according to research, and taking up to 20,000mg a day could be beneficial.

For shingles - Research has shown that this painful post-viral condition can be pretty well cured by an injection of 3,000mg of vitamin C. Taking four 1,000mg tablets orally for three days could be worthwhile as well.

For a hangover - Taking 1,000mg daily in the week before a booze-up reduces stress on the liver. If you're drunk and want to look sober, a large dose of vitamin C will prevent drunken behaviour, according to a 1986 study, "Alcohol and Alcoholism".

To maintain your health - A 1,000mg daily dose is regarded as safe by the Food Standards Agency, and adequate to keep sufficient vitamin C in the plasma and tissues. "We believe this is absolutely safe and definitely beneficial to people's health," says Sue Croft of Consumers for Health Choice.

©2005 Independent News & Media (UK) Ltd.

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Glutathione And Cancer Cell Death

Posted on: March 3rd, 2014 by emagid No Comments
Cancer is so prevalent that either you or someone you know has been diagnosed with cancer. As a result, most people are familiar with the various types of cancer treatments. Surgery, drugs, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy are probably the most well-known cancer treatments.
Studies have shown that glutathione attacks cancer cells and even reduces the adverse effects of other cancer treatments. A study published in the International Journal of Cancer showed the effects of exogenous glutathione in ovarian cancer cells.¹ The study’s findings show that extracellular glutathione triggers DNA damage in cancer cells resulting in apoptosis (cell death). In my practice, IV glutathione is part of the tailored treatments for patients with cancer and other medical conditions.
What is glutathione?
Glutathione is a powerful, abundant nutrient that is plentiful throughout the body, and it’s highly concentrated in the liver. The liver is an amazing multitasking organ that performs hundreds of functions in the body—one being detoxification. The body is constantly under assault from toxic exposures in the environment to normal physiological processes like metabolism. During metabolism, food is broken down to produce energy, which also creates dangerous byproducts called free radicals. These free radicals frantically search for other molecules in the body to latch onto in an effort to stabilize itself—basically, one free radical begets another free radical. In doing so, a cascade of free radicals is generated that results in damaged tissues.
To neutralize these toxins, the liver is equipped with protective antioxidants that eliminate these harmful substances via a two-step process. In the liver, the first step involves enzymes that target the chemical bonds of specific toxins. The second step involves a different set of enzymes (glutathione being one of them) that attaches to the toxins broken up in the first phase. Of the enzymes involved in the liver’s two-step detoxification process, glutathione is critical in stopping foreign substances from causing harm in the body. The liver is a breeding ground for toxic chemicals, which is why glutathione and other enzymes work hard to protect it.
Are There Glutathione Food Sources?
Absolutely! People can consume a wide variety of fruits and vegetables that contain glutathione: grapefruits, strawberries, tomatoes, broccoli, zucchini, and potatoes. While the list goes on, it’s hard to maintain the adequate stores of glutathione through food alone. Consider the daily exposures the body undergoes from the air we breathe to the processed foods we eat—toxins are inescapable. As a result, supplements help to boost the body’s stores of important nutrients. And this is where the administration of IV glutathione can help bolster the body’s antioxidant stores.
Intravenous glutathione has been shown to trigger cancer cell death (making it a phenomenal therapy to use since cancer cells are known to grow uncontrollably). The administration of IV glutathione has been found to significantly reduce the neurotoxic effects associated with chemotherapy, without diminishing the efficacy of chemotherapy. It also binds and removes heavy metal toxins like lead and mercury from the body. With so many important functions in the body, it surprising that this potent antioxidant doesn’t take center stage in discussions of disease prevention and treatment.
In my practice, IV glutathione infusions are used to treat patients with cancer as well as other medical conditions, such as heavy metal exposures, neurodegenerative diseases, and poor immune function.
1.         Perego P, Gatti L, Carenini N, Dal Bo L, Zunino F. Apoptosis induced by extracellular glutathione is mediated by H2O2 production and DNA damage.International Journal of Cancer. 2000;87(3):343-348.

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

What is Lecithin?

E322 in more detail
For food use in Europe, Lecithin must comply with E322, and is defined as follows:
A mixture of phospholipids (phosphatides) obtained by physical procedures from animal or vegetable foodstuffs; they also include hydrolysed products obtained through the use of harmless and appropriate enzymes. The final product must not show any signs of residual enzyme activity.
The lecithins may be slightly bleached in aqueous medium by means of hydrogen peroxide. This oxidation must not chemically modify the phospholipids.
In order to comply with E322, regular lecithin must have a minimum of 60% of substances insoluble in acetone. Hydrolysed lecithins must have a minimum of 56% of substances insoluble in acetone.
Commercial sources of Lecithin
The dominant source of lecithin globally has always been and is still the soya bean. It should be noted, however, that the primary drivers for the soya bean industry are the need for soya meal for animal feed and for soya oil. The lecithin component of the soya bean constitutes approximately 0.5% of the bean; for most crushers this is classed as no more than a minor by-product.
More recently there is substantial growth in the attractiveness of lecithins from sunflower and rapeseed.
This growth is driven primarily by two key factors:
  1. The continued and growing demand for certified, non-GM material
  2. A wish to avoid any possibility of allergens
What makes Lecithin special?
Lecithin is the only natural emulsifier. It is comprised of a mixture of 5 phospholipids:
Phosphatidylcholine (PC)
Phospahtidylethanolamine (PE)
Phosphatidylinositol (PI)
Phosphatidylserine (PS)
Phosphatidic Acid (PA)
These polar lipids are the active ingredients (or business end) of what is collectively known as lecithin. In simple terms they are water-loving fats, which means that they have the special ability to make phases, which otherwise would not mix, mix homogeneously.
Types Of Lecithin

Besides the different origins of lecithin, the products can be made available in the following 4 forms:
  • Fluid
  • Fluid lecithin dispersed in a fluid carrier
  • Fluid lecithin dispersed on a powdered carrier
  • Deoiled lecithin (pure powder)
In addition to this, under E322, fluid lecithin can also be hydrolysed.
Hydrolysed lecithin is an oil-in-water (o/w) emulsifier as opposed to regular or native lecithin, which promotes water-in-oil (w/o) emulsions.
Hydrolysed Lecithin is produced by enzymatic hydrolysis by means of phospholipases in order to increase the hydrophilic – lipophilic balance (HLB) of regular lecithin from 3-4 to 7-8 in the case of standard hydrolysis, or even to 9-10 for highly hydrolysed specialties.
Different lecithin grades are used for various applications for emulsification purposes depending on the desired effect and product composition.

Soy Lecithin: From Sludge to Profit

Excerpt from Kaayla Daniel's book: The Whole Soy Story: The Dark Side of America's Favorite Health Food (New Trends, Spring 2004).

Lecithin is an emulsifying substance that is found in the cells of all living organisms. The French scientist Maurice Gobley discovered lecithin in 1805 and named it "lekithos" after the Greek word for "egg yolk." Until it was recovered from the waste products of soybean processing in the 1930s, eggs were the primary source of commercial lecithin. Today lecithin is the generic name given to a whole class of fat-and-water soluble compounds called phospholipids. Levels of phospholipids in soybean oils range from 1.48 to 3.08 percent, which is considerably higher than the 0.5 percent typically found in vegetable oils, but far less than the 30 percent found in egg yolks.1-6
Out of the Dumps

Soybean lecithin comes from sludge left after crude soy oil goes through a "degumming" process. It is a waste product containing solvents and pesticides and has a consistency ranging from a gummy fluid to a plastic solid. Before being bleached to a more appealing light yellow, the color of lecithin ranges from a dirty tan to reddish brown. The hexane extraction process commonly used in soybean oil manufacture today yields less lecithin than the older ethanol-benzol process, but produces a more marketable lecithin with better color, reduced odor and less bitter flavor.7

Historian William Shurtleff reports that the expansion of the soybean crushing and soy oil refining industries in Europe after 1908 led to a problem disposing the increasing amounts of fermenting, foul-smelling sludge. German companies then decided to vacuum dry the sludge, patent the process and sell it as "soybean lecithin." Scientists hired to find some use for the substance cooked up more than a thousand new uses by 1939.8

Today lecithin is ubiquitous in the processed food supply. It is most commonly used as an emulsifier to keep water and fats from separating in foods such as margarine, peanut butter, chocolate candies, ice cream, coffee creamers and infant formulas. Lecithin also helps prevent product spoilage, extending shelf life in the marketplace. In industry kitchens, it is used to improve mixing, speed crystallization, prevent "weeping," and stop spattering, lumping and sticking. Used in cosmetics, lecithin softens the skin and helps other ingredients penetrate the skin barrier. A more water-loving version known as "deoiled lecithin" reduces the time required to shut down and clean the extruders used in the manufacture of textured vegetable protein and other soy products.9,10

In theory, lecithin manufacture eliminates all soy proteins, making it hypoallergenic. In reality, minute amounts of soy protein always remain in lecithin as well as in soy oil. Three components of soy protein have been identified in soy lecithin, including the Kunitz trypsin inhibitor, which has a track record of triggering severe allergic reactions even in the most minuscule quantities. The presence of lecithin in so many food and cosmetic products poses a special danger for people with soy allergies.11-13
Lec Is In: The Making of a Wonder Food

Lecithin has been touted for years as a wonder food capable of combating atherosclerosis, multiple sclerosis, liver cirrhosis, gall stones, psoriasis, eczema, scleroderma, anxiety, tremors and brain aging. Because it is well known that the human body uses phospholipids to build strong, flexible cell membranes and to facilitate nerve transmission, health claims have been made for soy lecithin since the 1920s. Dr. A. A. Horvath, a leading purveyor of soybean health claims at the time, thought it could be used in "nerve tonics" or to help alcoholics reduce the effects of intoxication and withdrawal. In 1934, an article entitled "A Comfortable and Spontaneous Cure for the Opium Habit by Means of Lecithin" was written by Chinese researchers and published in an English language medical journal.14

Lecithin, though, did not capture the popular imagination until the 1960s and 1970s when the bestselling health authors Adelle Davis, Linda Clark and Mary Ann Crenshaw hyped lecithin in their many books, including Let’s Get Well, Secrets of Health and Beauty and The Natural Way to Super Beauty: Featuring the Amazing Lecithin, Apple Cider Vinegar, B-6 and Kelp Diet.15-17

Lecithin did not become a star of the health food circuit by accident. Research took off during the early 1930s, right when lecithin production became commercially viable. In 1939, the American Lecithin Company began sponsoring research studies, and published the most promising in a 23-page booklet entitled Soybean Lecithin in 1944. The company, not coincidentally introduced a health food cookie with a lecithin filling known as the "Lexo Wafer" and a lecithin/wheat germ supplement called Granulestin. In the mid 1970s, Natterman, a lecithin marketing company based in Germany, hired scientists at various health clinics to experiment with lecithin and to write scientific articles about it. These "check book" scientists coined the term "essential phospholipids" an inaccurate term since a healthy body can produce its own phospholipids from phosphorous and lipids.18

In September 2001, lecithin got a boost when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized products containing enough of it to bear labels such as "A good source of choline." Producers of soy lecithin hope to find ways to help the new health claim lift demand for lecithin and increase prices in what has been a soft market. Eggs, milk and soy products are the leading dietary sources of choline, according to recent research conducted at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and at Duke University.19-21
Lec That's More: Phosphatidyl Choline (PC)

Because many lecithin products sold in health food stores contain less than 30 percent choline, many clinicians prefer to use the more potent Phosphatidylcholine (PC) or its even more powerful derivative drug Glyceryl-phosphorylcholine (GPC). Both are being used to prevent and reverse dementia, improve cognitive function, increase human growth hormone (hGH) release, and to treat brain disorders such as damage from stroke. PC and GPC may help build nerve cell membranes, facilitate electrical transmission in the brain, hold membrane proteins in place, and produce the neurotransmitter acetylcholine.22-24 However, studies on soy lecithin, PC, and brain aging have been inconsistent and contradictory ever since the 1920s. Generally, lecithin is regarded as safe except for people who are highly allergic to soy. However, the late Robert Atkins, MD, advised patients not to take large doses of supplemental lecithin without extra vitamin C to protect them from the nitrosamines formed from choline metabolism. Trimethylamine and dimethylamine, which are metabolized by bacteria in the intestines from choline, are important precurors to N-nitrosodimethylamine, a potent carcinogen in a wide variety of animal species.25-27
Phosphatidyl Serine (PS)

Phosphatidyl serine (PS) -- another popular phospholipid that improves brain function and mental acuity – nearly always comes from soy oil. Most of the scientific studies proving its efficacy, however, come from bovine sources, which also contain DHA as part of the structure.28-31 Plant oils never contain readymade DHA. Indeed, the entire fatty acid structure is different; bovine derived PS is rich in stearic and oleic acids, while soy PS is rich in linoleic and palmitic acids.32 Complicating matters further, the PS naturally formed in the human body consists of 37.5 percent stearic acid and 24.2 percent arachidonic acid.33 Yet soy-derived PS seems to help many people.34-36

Russell Blaylock, MD, author of Excitotoxins, the Taste that Kills, explains that the probable reason PS works is because its chemical structure is similar to that of L-glutamate, the trouble-making neurotransmitter, amino acid and excitotoxin that exists in high concentration in MSG (monosodium glutamate), HVP (hydrolyzed vegetable protein) and "natural flavorings" and foods containing these soy derivatives. (See Chapter 11.) Because PS competes with glutamate, it may protect us from glutamate toxicity.37 Ironically, the expensive soy-derived supplement PS is being used to undo damage that may be caused in part by the cheap soy in processed foods
Lysophosphatidylethanolamine (LPE)

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has approved lysophosphatidylethanolamine (LPE), another phosphatidyl substance commercially extracted from soybeans, for use as a fruit ripener and shelf-life extender. LPE – once called cephalin -- is now being used to treat grapes, cranberries, strawberries, blueberries, apples, tomatoes, and cut flowers.

When applied to fruits that are nearly ripe – going into puberty, so to speak -- LPE promotes ripening. When applied to picked fruit or cut flowers that are already ripe or blooming, however, it will "reduce senescence by inhibiting some of the enzymes involved in membrane breakdown." This can dramatically extend shelf life.38 Whether the substance could also keep human bodies fresh for funeral home viewings has not yet been investigated.


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    Ripening agent made from soy granted EPA approval. Nutra-Park Inc., Madison, WI. Business wire via NewsEdge Corporation posted 4/4/2002 on www.soyatech.com.

The Bioavailability of Different Forms of Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)

In the rapidly expanding market of dietary supplements, it is possible to find vitamin C in many different forms with many claims regarding its efficacy orbioavailability. Bioavailability refers to the degree to which a nutrient (or drug) becomes available to the target tissue after it has been administered. We reviewed the literature for the results of scientific research on the bioavailability of different forms of vitamin C.
Natural vs. synthetic ascorbic acid
Natural and synthetic L-ascorbic acid are chemically identical, and there are no known differences in their biological activity. The possibility that the bioavailability of L-ascorbic acid from natural sources might differ from that of synthetic ascorbic acid was investigated in at least two human studies, and no clinically significant differences were observed. A study of 12 males (6 smokers and 6 nonsmokers) found the bioavailability of synthetic ascorbic acid (powder administered in water) to be slightly superior to that of orange juice, based on blood levels of ascorbic acid, and not different based on ascorbic acid in leukocytes (white blood cells) (1). A study in 68 male nonsmokers found that ascorbic acid consumed in cooked broccoli, orange juice, orange slices, and as synthetic ascorbic acid tablets are equally bioavailable, as measured by plasma ascorbic acid levels (2, 3).
Different forms of ascorbic acid
The gastrointestinal absorption of ascorbic acid occurs through an active transport process, as well as through passive diffusion. At low gastrointestinal concentrations of ascorbic acid active transport predominates, while at high gastrointestinal concentrations active transport becomes saturated, leaving only passive diffusion. In theory, slowing down the rate of stomach emptying (e.g., by taking ascorbic acid with food or taking a slow-release form of ascorbic acid) should increase its absorption. While the bioavailability of ascorbic acid appears equivalent whether it is in the form of powder, chewable tablets, or non-chewable tablets, the bioavailability of ascorbic acid from slow-release preparations is less certain. 
A study of three men and one woman found 1 gram of ascorbic acid to be equally well absorbed from solution, tablets, and chewable tablets, but the absorption from a timed-release capsule was 50% lower. Absorption was assessed by measuring urinary excretion of ascorbic acid after an intravenous dose of ascorbic acid and then comparing it to urinary excretion after the oral dosage forms (4).
A more recent study examined the plasma levels of ascorbic acid in 59 male smokers supplemented for two months with either 500 mg/day of slow-release ascorbic acid, 500 mg/day of plain ascorbic acid, or a placebo. After two months of supplementation no significant differences in plasma ascorbic acid levels between the slow-release and plain ascorbic acid groups were found (5). A second placebo-controlled trial also evaluated plain ascorbic acid versus slow-release ascorbic acid in 48 male smokers (6). Participants were supplemented with either 250 mg plain ascorbic acid, 250 mg slow-release ascorbic acid, or placebo twice daily for four weeks. No differences were observed in the change in plasma ascorbate concentration or area under the curve following ingestion of either formulation.
Mineral ascorbates
Mineral salts of ascorbic acid (mineral ascorbates) are buffered, and therefore, less acidic. Thus, mineral ascorbates are often recommended to people who experience gastrointestinal problems (upset stomach or diarrhea) with plain ascorbic acid. There appears to be little scientific research to support or refute the claim that mineral ascorbates are less irritating to the gastrointestinal tract. When mineral salts of ascorbic acid are taken, both the ascorbic acid and the mineral appear to be well absorbed, so it is important to consider the dose of the mineral accompanying the ascorbic acid when taking large doses of mineral ascorbates. For the following discussion, it should be noted that 1 gram (g)= 1,000 milligrams (mg) and 1 milligram (mg) = 1,000 micrograms (mcg). Mineral ascorbates are available in the following forms:
  • Sodium ascorbate: 1,000 mg of sodium ascorbate generally contains 111 mg of sodium. Individuals following low-sodium diets (e.g., for high blood pressure) are generally advised to keep their total dietary sodium intake to less than 2,500 mg/day. Thus, megadoses of vitamin C in the form of sodium ascorbate could significantly increase sodium intake (see Sodium Chloride). 
  • Calcium ascorbate: Calcium ascorbate generally provides 90-110 mg of calcium (890-910 mg of ascorbic acid) per 1,000 mg of calcium ascorbate. Calcium in this form appears to be reasonably well absorbed. The recommended dietary calcium intake for adults is 1,000 to 1,200 mg/day. Total calcium intake should not exceed theUL, which is 2,500 mg/day for adults aged 19-50 years and 2,000 mg/day for adults older than 50 years (see Calcium).
The following mineral ascorbates are more likely to be found in combination with other mineral ascorbates, as well as other minerals. It's a good idea to check the labels of dietary supplements for the ascorbic acid dose as well as the dose of each mineral. Recommended dietary intakes and maximum upper levels of intake (when available) are listed after the individual mineral ascorbates below: 
  • Potassium ascorbate: The minimal requirement for potassium is thought to be between 1.6 and 2.0 g/day. Fruits and vegetables are rich sources of potassium, and a diet rich in fruits and vegetables may provide as much as 8 to 11 g/day. Acute and potentially fatal potassium toxicity (hyperkalemia) is thought to occur at a daily intake of about 18 g/day of potassium in adults. Individuals taking potassium-sparing diuretics and those with renal insufficiency (kidney failure) should avoid significant intake of potassium ascorbate. The purest form of commercially available potassium ascorbate contains 0.175 grams (175 mg) of potassium per gram of ascorbate (seePotassium).
  • Magnesium ascorbate: The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for magnesium is 400-420 mg/day for adult men and 310-320 mg/day for adult women. The upper level (UL) of intake for magnesium from supplements should not exceed 350 mg/day (see Magnesium).
  • Zinc ascorbate: The RDA for zinc is 11 mg/day for adult men and 8 mg/day for adult women. The upper level (UL) of zinc intake for adults should not exceed 40 mg/day (see Zinc).
  • Molybdenum ascorbate: The RDA for molybdenum is 45 micrograms (mcg)/day for adult men and women. The upper level (UL) of molybdenum intake for adults should not exceed 2,000 mcg (2 mg)/day (see Molybdenum).
  • Chromium ascorbate: The recommended dietary intake (AI) for chromium is 30-35 mcg/day for adult men and 20-25 mcg/day for adult women. A maximum upper level (UL) of intake has not been determined by the US Food and Nutrition Board (see Chromium).
  • Manganese ascorbate: The recommended dietary intake (AI) for manganese is 2.3 mg/day for adult men and 1.8 mg/day for adult women. The upper level (UL) of intake for manganese for adults should not exceed 11 mg/day. Manganese ascorbate is found in some preparations of glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate, and following the recommended dose on the label of such supplements could result in a daily intake exceeding the upper level for manganese (see Manganese).
Vitamin C with bioflavonoids
Bioflavonoids or flavonoids are polyphenolic compounds found in plants. Vitamin C-rich fruits and vegetables, especially citrus fruits, are often rich sources of flavonoids as well. The effect of bioflavonoids on the bioavailability of ascorbic acid has been recently reviewed (7).
Results from the 10 clinical studies comparing the absorption of vitamin C alone or vitamin C in flavonoid-containing foods showed no appreciable differences in bioavailability of ascorbic acid. Only one study, which included five men and three women, found that a 500-mg supplement of synthetic ascorbic acid, given in a natural citrus extract containing bioflavonoids, proteins, and carbohydrates, was more slowly absorbed and 35% more bioavailable than synthetic ascorbic acid alone, when based on plasma levels of ascorbic acid (8). The remaining studies showed either no change or slightly lower plasma ascorbate levels in subjects who consumed vitamin C with flavonoids compared to flavonoids alone (7).
Another assessment of vitamin C bioavailability is measuring urinary ascorbate levels to approximate rates of vitamin C excretion. One study in six young Japanese males (22-26 years old) showed a significant reduction in urinary excretion of ascorbic acid in the presence of acerola juice, a natural source of both vitamin C and flavonoids (9). However, three separate studies showed that urinary levels of vitamin C were increased after consumption of kiwifruit (10), blackcurrant juice (11), or orange juice (1). Overall, the impact of flavonoids on the bioavailability of vitamin C seems to be negligible; however, there is a need for carefully controlled studies using specific flavonoid extracts (7).
Ascorbate and vitamin C metabolites (Ester-C®)
Ester-C® contains mainly calcium ascorbate, but also contains small amounts of the vitamin C metabolites, dehydroascorbic acid (oxidized ascorbic acid), calcium threonate, and trace levels of xylonate and lyxonate. In their literature, the manufacturers state that the metabolites, especially threonate, increase the bioavailability of the vitamin C in this product, and they indicate that they have performed a study in humans that demonstrates the increased bioavailability of vitamin C in Ester-C®. This study has not been published in a peer-reviewed journal. A small published study of vitamin C bioavailability in eight women and one man found no difference between Ester-C® and commercially available ascorbic acid tablets with respect to the absorption and urinary excretion of vitamin C (12). Ester-C® should not be confused with ascorbyl palmitate, which is also marketed as "vitamin C ester" (see below).
Ascorbyl palmitate
Ascorbyl palmitate is a fat-soluble antioxidant used to increase the shelf life of vegetable oils and potato chips (13). It is an amphipathic molecule, meaning one end is water-soluble and the other end is fat-soluble. This dual solubility allows it to be incorporated into cell membranes. When incorporated into the cell membranes of human red blood cells, ascorbyl palmitate has been found to protect them from oxidative damage and to protect alpha-tocopherol (a fat-soluble antioxidant) from oxidation by free radicals (14). However, the protective effects of ascorbyl palmitate on cell membranes have only been demonstrated in the test tube. Taking ascorbyl palmitate orally probably doesn't result in any significant incorporation into cell membranes because most of it appears to be hydrolyzed (broken apart into palmitate and ascorbic acid) in the human digestive tract before it is absorbed. The ascorbic acid released by the hydrolysis of ascorbyl palmitate appears to be as bioavailable as ascorbic acid alone (15). The presence of ascorbyl palmitate in oral supplements contributes to the ascorbic acid content of the supplement and probably helps protect fat-soluble antioxidants in the supplement. The roles of vitamin C in promoting collagen synthesis and as an antioxidant have generated interest in its use on the skin (see the article,Vitamin C and Skin Health). Ascorbyl palmitate is frequently used in topical preparations because it is more stable than some aqueous (water-soluble) forms of vitamin C (16). Ascorbyl palmitate is also marketed as vitamin C ester," which should not be confused with Ester-C® (see above).
D-Isoascorbic acid (Erythorbic acid)
Erythorbic acid is an isomer of ascorbic acid. Isomers are compounds that have the same kinds and numbers of atoms, but different molecular arrangements. The difference in molecular arrangement among isomers may result in different chemical properties. Erythorbic acid is used in the US as an antioxidant food additive and is generally recognized as safe. It has been estimated that more than 200 mg erythorbic acid per capita is introduced daily into the US food system. Unlike ascorbic acid, erythorbic acid does not appear to exert vitamin C activity, for example, it did not prevent scurvy in guinea pigs (one of the few animal species other than humans that does not synthesize ascorbic acid). However, guinea pig studies also indicated that increased erythorbic acid intake reduced the bioavailability of ascorbic acid by up to 50%. In contrast, a series of studies in young women found that up to 1,000 mg/day of erythorbic acid for as long as 40 days was rapidly cleared from the body and had little effect on the bioavailability of ascorbic acid, indicating that erythorbic acid does not diminish the bioavailability of ascorbic acid in humans at nutritionally relevant levels of intake (17).
Other formulations of vitamin C
PureWay-C® is composed of vitamin C and lipid metabolites. Two cell culture studies using PureWay-C® have been published by the same investigators(18, 19), but in vivo data are currently lacking. A small study in healthy adults found that serum levels of vitamin C did not differ when a single oral dose (1 gram) of either PureWay-C® or ascorbic acid was administered (20).
Another formulation of vitamin C, liposomal-encapsulated vitamin C (e.g., Lypo-spheric™ vitamin C) is now commercially available. However, data regarding the bioavailability of liposomal-encapsulated vitamin C are not currently available.
Large-scale, pharmacokinetic studies are needed to determine how the bioavailability of these vitamin C formulations compares to that of ascorbic acid.
Last updated 11/27/13  Copyright 2000-2014  Linus Pauling Institute