By W.J. McCormick, MD
Summary: In this 1952 article, medical doctor W.J. McCormick reports on the remarkable success that he and other practitioners were achieving using ascorbic acid—or synthetic vitamin C—to counter bacterial and viral diseases. The key to the acid’s efficacy, Dr. McCormick writes, is its powerful oxidative action when administered in huge doses—especially impressive, he says, given the lack of serious side effects. While it is dismaying that medicine never pursued the use of ascorbic acid as a possibly safe and inexpensive antibiotic, it is also important to distinguish isolated ascorbic acid from natural vitamin C, that is, vitamin C as it is found in food. As the great holistic nutritionist Dr. Royal Lee taught, vitamins in nature are not single chemicals, but rather they are complexes of compounds that cooperate synergistically to deliver a nutritive effect. Vitamin C as it is found in food, for instance, comprises not just ascorbic acid but also the adrenal-stoking enzyme tyrosinase as well as various bioflavonoids essential for maintaining the integrity of the blood vessels. Ironically, the role of ascorbic acid in the natural vitamin C complex may be merely to protect these other fractions, probably through the same oxidative action that Dr. McCormick amplified to great success as a chemotherapeutic agent. Though synthetic vitamins may display such pharmacological effects, Dr. Lee said, it’s critical that we don’t confuse such effects for the nutritional functions that only natural vitamin complexes can perform. From the Archives of Pediatrics, 1952. Lee Foundation for Nutritional Foundation reprint 5C.