The Extremely Odd History of Vitamin C

history-of-vitamin-cYour skin, your muscles, your bones and every organ of your body depend on vitamin C. A little history just might make you more beautiful. So read on.

Everyone agrees that most mammals (except guinea pigs, bats and some primates) make their own vitamin C. Everyone agrees that humans do not make their own vitamin C, and need some amount of vitamin C every day. The consensus ends there.

For centuries, scurvy (a severe vitamin C deficiency) plagued people across the globe, resulting in misery and death. In 1772, a British doctor noticed the correlation between diet and scurvy. But this link wasn’t fully understood until the late 1800s. Then, actual vitamin C was discovered in the 1900s. Thankfully, scurvy was eradicated in the developed world.


Enter Linus Pauling. He is acclaimed for his research in quantum mechanics and sickle cell anemia. He is often called the father of molecular biology. He is the only person to have won two Nobel prizes in his lifetime. During his research in orthomolecular medicine, he discovered that vitamin C and lysine (an amino acid) were needed in high doses for health in humans. While a small dose may eradicate scurvy, his research indicated that much larger doses were needed for health.

This is where history becomes extremely odd. Despite his scientific fame, scholarly publications and accomplishments, Pauling’s vitamin C and lysine research was ridiculed. Many scientists have claimed to disprove his research, but I couldn’t find one that actually used his protocol. Well, you can’t disprove something unless you actually follow the protocol. So, for example scientists would “disprove” his findings using a much lower dose of vitamin C and no lysine. Huh? All the practitioners and studies (that I found) following his protocol reported similar results! In fact, I couldn’t find a single study disproving Pauling’s vitamin C research that actually used the correct Pauling protocol.

Why did this happen? Of course, conspiracy theorists would claim that medical bureaucrats hide these health and beauty secrets to bolster corporate profits. It is true that vitamin C can’t be patented so there aren’t incentives for corporations to promote it. But, the research is not hidden. It is quite accessible for anyone searching. The focus and training of modern medical professionals is more on pharmaceuticals, so they may not have read the Pauling research. Lastly, many people assume that complex problems require complex, expensive answers…so vitamin C couldn’t possibly work..

What does all this mean for your skin? Well, your skin definitely needs enough vitamin C to maintain and develop collagen. How much vitamin C is enough? The RDA of 60 mgs or Pauling’s 6000 mgs with Lysine? Hmmm…….we all make our own decisions. I tried the Pauling protocol. My results? I definitely felt better and I think my skin looks better! Of course, talk to your health care practitioner before taking supplements and do your own research. For myself, I’m going with the science and not the folklore.


If you find any study using the Pauling protocol and disproving his results, email me at I have no relationship, financial or otherwise with the Pauling protocol or products other than purchasing them at normal retail price. Visit for more information about the science and actual dosages


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