(Investigator 183, 2019 January)
Linus Pauling Ph.D., is the name of a Nobel Prize winner who advocated
megadoses of Vitamin C for the prevention and cure of the common cold
and for the treatment of cancer. In 1970, Pauling published a book
called Vitamin C and the Common Cold,
in which he suggested that vitamin C daily would reduce the incidence
of colds, and that most people needed a daily intake of 2,300 mg for
optimum health and to ward off infections.
Although megadoses may slightly shorten the duration of a cold,
carefully designed studies have shown other claims associated with
megadoses of vitamin C, such the prevention and cure of cancer, to be
One double-blind study was undertaken of 123 patients with advanced
cancer by the Mayo Clinic in 1979. Half the patients received 10,000 mg
of vitamin C daily while others received a placebo. No differences were
found between the two groups in survival time, appetite, weight loss,
severity of pain, or amount of nausea and vomiting.
Another almost identical result was obtained in a study by the North
Central Cancer Treatment Group composed of physicians in seven American
states and Canada.
On August 22, 1983, The Medical World News,
reported that the survival times for 71 patients receiving 10,000 mg of
vitamin C and 73 patients receiving a placebo essentially overlapped
and median survival time for the placebo group was actually one week
The largest corporate donor (over $500,000) to the Linus Pauling
Institute of Science and Medicine in Palo Alto, California, has been
Hoffmann-La Roche, the pharmaceutical giant dominant in the world-wide
production of vitamin C.
It is sometimes said that the proof of the pudding is in the eating.
Despite taking huge daily amounts of vitamin C for many years, both
Linus Pauling and his wife Ava died of cancer in 1995 and 1981
American Cancer Society. 1993. Questionable methods of cancer management: "Nutritional Therapies." CA-Cancer J Clinic. 43:309-319.
Creagan, E.T. 1985. (Eds. Stalker & Glymour) Examining Holistic Medicine. p.297-310.
Los Angeles Times, (Dye) 1985. The deeply personal war of Linus Pauling. June 2.
Lowell, James. 1985. Some Notes on Linus Pauling. Nutrition Forum, May, Vol.2, No.5.
New Scientist. (Rivers) 1986. Whoops! Here comes a whiz¬bang. Oct. 2. u.53.