820. Linus Pauling


When Dr. Martin talks about vitamin C, it’s usually about coffee, but in today’s episode he talks about the actual vitamin, ascorbic acid. 

It was Linus Pauling who put vitamin C on the map. Before him, vitamins weren’t popular at all in North America. He actually won a Nobel Prize in medicine for his work on vitamin C.

Dr. Martin shares some points from a recent article he read on vitamin C and provides his thesis on the topic.


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Dr. Martin:  Well, good morning, everyone and welcome to another live this morning to start off another week. Hope you are having a great start to your day. You know what, I'm going to talk to you about this morning, just because there was an article I read on vitamin C. Now you're thinking coffee, because that's the right way to think about vitamin C, but I got to give you a little history just because it's interesting in this sense. Now Linus Pauling put vitamin C on the map, and I mean that. Before that, I can tell you, even multi vitamins weren't popular in North America. I was in school when Linus Pauling won a Nobel Prize in medicine for his work on vitamin C. He actually lectured to us. Was he a smart guy? More than smart. But this is my personal opinion and with all due respect to Linus Pauling who's passed away many years ago.

And now you have the Linus Pauling Institute for research and, you know what, good for them. They're doing some fantastic research. But I've always said this and I will say it and say it and say it; Linus Pauling who put vitamin C on the map, with others, real early, early gurus, like Adele Davis. They put vitamin C on the map, but they missed out by one letter in the alphabet. Okay? That is a saying that I developed years ago. They only missed by one letter in the alphabet. And I want to go over that this morning. Why, first of all, did I say that?

And all due respect to vitamin C because if you looked at the sales of vitamin C, they are very high. Now, I think vitamin D has overtaken them in terms of sales of what people take as a supplement. But people take vitamin C and you get a cold, you take vitamin C and all this and that. And one thing you guys will agree with me, by at least if you know me at all, is that I have been very, very consistent. I've said this since the cows came home, I've always said that the other vitamin C, ascorbic acid, was highly overrated.

And if you look at studies, and I'm going to make several points here today to give you my thesis on vitamin C, ascorbic acid. First of all it's one of the reasons that, and a lot of people think I'm joking, because I do make fun of myself and make fun. That's part of my personality. But I want to say this, that I've always said this about vitamin C. It was highly overrated and people take it and that's fine. And I tell them, "Hmm, I'm not saying that it's got no benefits." Of course, I'm not saying that. What I am saying is that it's overrated and that if you are taking at the first sign of a cold, people take vitamin C, to me, you're wasting your time and money. That is me. I've said that for years because the vitamin that is a hundred fold more are powerful than vitamin C, ascorbic acid is vitamin D.

Now you got to go back now and remember of the era I come out of. Okay? Because believe you me. When Linus Pauling came out with vitamin C, he made some bold claims. It skyrocketed, even in those early days of the 1970s. It skyrocketed the sales of vitamin C, ascorbic acid. And the rest is history because it really has sold millions and millions and millions of people on the benefits of vitamin C. I beg to disagree with those benefits, by the way, because if you study nutrition... I went through this the other day when I talked about vitamin S, steak. What are you looking at? When you want to unpack food what are you looking at? Well, you look at macros, right? Is it a protein? Is it a fat? Is it a carbohydrate? So you get that. And then inside of that food, you talk about amino acids, building blocks that you must eat. You talk about vitamins and then you talk about minerals. And those are the main categories when you unpack food. What is it? Macros? What vitamins are in it? What minerals are in it? What amino acids are in it? And I was making the case the other day, and you'll be able to listen to those on podcasts, about the reasons I like vitamin S as the top food in the world.

Steak. Okay? Top food in the world. Okay. Now let's talk about vitamin C and what Linus Pauling said was that vitamin C is number one for your immune system. Number one for immune system. Because before that, they really didn't talk about vitamin C so much. It wasn't until, really, Linus Pauling. And then the world took it, and I mean it, and made vitamin C the number one. Probably calcium was still number one, but vitamin C was right up there. Boom. The sales took off and it couldn't make vitamin C fast enough. But I always had trouble with it because, again, I was comparing it to the immune factor of vitamin D. Now you have to understand some mystery here. If you talk to any doctor, any nutritionist, any dietician in the 1970s, you know what you heard about vitamin D? It's for your bones.

It's for your bones. That's it and that's all. And because it was a fat soluble vitamin, "be careful with vitamin D," they would tell you. "Don't take that with vitamin D because you're going to get sick. You're going to die. Your kidneys are going to fail. You're going to make kidney stones. You're going to do this, you're going to do that. It's going to kill you. So be very careful." And it was always based on faulty math. You could hardly get anyone to tell you to take more than 100 IU's, 200, for years. And I mean 30, 40 years. Vitamin D would be 200 international units. You have no idea how long it took for vitamin D to go to 400 international units, which is enough for a mouse.

The world generally had no trouble, I'm talking about the professional world, had no trouble really with vitamin C. There was some pushback on Linus Pauling because he made some pretty extraordinary claims. But in a dietician's mind or, a nutritionist's mind, or even a medical doctor's mind, at least vitamin C is water soluble. Meaning that if you take too much vitamin C, you're just going to pee it out. That's what water soluble means. So they weren't too scared of vitamin C and remember, Linus Pauling won a Nobel Prize. He won a Nobel Prize in medicine. And guys, in my opinion, well deserved. They finally recognized someone in terms of Nobel Prizes in medicine, who was talking about something natural, like vitamin C. But again, I liked Linus Pauling, but I disagreed with him. I disagreed with him. And if you go back and read any of my books, eh, vitamin C. Now listen, let me just make a few points.

Vitamin C, ascorbic acid, is a large molecular vitamin first of all. Not as big as B12 on the scale, but it's a hard to absorb vitamin. And here's another thing that people don't realize. If you draw a picture, like I'm talking about biochemistry here, okay? I don't want to bring you into the weeds. You don't need to go in there. Just let me make a couple of general statements. Vitamin C, ascorbic acid, do you know that it has almost the exact same profile, biochemistry wise, as sugar? Sugar, vitamin C. They look alike to your body. They do. Nuts.

This is something I'm giving you a little context to this and why vitamin C became so popular. Why it became so popular? Well, orange juice companies, apple juice companies and other juice companies like Tropicana and Allen's and all... Like, go to the grocery store and look at all the orange juice in there. Which is the number one selling, I call it a soft drink, is the number one selling soft drink? And you must admit, I am very, very consistent about this. If you give your children orange juice, you might as well open up a can of Pepsi and give them that because it's got the same amount of sugar in it. And that includes apple juice. "Oh yeah, but doc, there's no sugar added." You don't have to add any sugar. It's got so much sugar. Never, ever drink juice ever.

Don't drink it because it goes in a hundred miles an hour. It speeds it's way to your liver. It ain't going to do any good. It's only going to do you harm. It's going to do your children harm. And you know, I always know my generation, you go to a restaurant in the morning, whatever. I love bacon and eggs. You know, me, sausage and eggs. I love that stuff. But I watch people around me and seniors, especially, they love their orange juice and feel like going over. Have you guys not watched any of my podcasts? It drives me crazy. And if you ask them, "why are you drinking orange juice and the odd time apple juice? Why are you drinking that?" "Oh Dr. Martin. I got to get at my vitamin C." Right? Brought to you by Tropicana. Guys, that stuff's garbage.

First of all, all the sugar in there looks like vitamin C. Your body will lock that up, but it ain't good for you. There's nothing in orange juice that's good for you. Nothing. You want to eat an orange? You have my permission. You can cause God wants you to eat fruit not drink it. Don't drink fruit. Now, listen, and I'm going to do it, maybe this week. I want to do a session on what I call post reset. And so many people ask. "Okay, doc, I did the 30 days. What do I do next?" I answered it in the book, The Metabolic Reset, but I want to get very specific. And because I'm writing a new book right now, I'm talking about post reset.

Everybody and their dog should do a reset. Everybody. I'm doubling down on that. But once you do the 30 days where you're not having any sugar, any carbs, what do I do after that? Well, I've got a new teaching because I want you guys to understand what to do afterwards. Let's spend a session at that and I think you will find it interesting as I talk about we'll what do you do after a reset? Doc, how do you eat every day? And I'm going to give you some rules that give you guidelines that you will appreciate, I think. Now, everybody and their dogs started taking vitamin C. Skyrocket.

The number one reason they took it wasn't for scurvy. They took it for their immune system and that's what bothered me. Vitamin C for your immune... "You know, I got a cold doc. I got to take a vitamin C and I take 1000, 2000 milligrams of it and what do you think about that?" And I'd look at them with a blank stare. "Well, doc, you're not answering me. What do you think about that?" And I'd look at him because I didn't want to be too negative. I don't want to be known as Debbie Downer all the time. So I give him a little bit of a smirk and, "Well, I don't think too much of it. Doesn't work." And especially if you compare it to vitamin D there's no comparison. Vitamin D, I've said this to you. Vitamin D would've won a Nobel Prize in medicine if you could patent it.

Vitamin D would've won a Nobel Prize even in the last couple of years. Viderma, if you could patent it and if it was owned by someone, but you can't own the sun. God owns the sun and God wants you to get into the sun and get your vitamin D. There is nothing better for you than vitamin D. And if you are an Inuit living in the north, well, you're eating vitamin S, you have to eat it every day in order to get vitamin D because you don't see the sun, right? So people were taking it for their immune system and you never heard me say that. I didn't talk about it. Now there were physicians that you would get an IV of vitamin C, meaning goes directly into your bloodstream and there were physicians giving it for cancer. What did I think about that?

I like that. I had no problem with that if you were taking it intravenously in very high doses. Because if you take vitamin C in the doses, they give you in an IV, well, your stomach's going to be upside down. You're going to have diarrhea. You can't take that much. Vitamin C except intravenously. So do I like that? Yeah. I like that. I got no problem with that. Yeah, but good luck. Most people are not going to take an IV of vitamin C. Who's going to give you that? But again, I tell you vitamin D wins on the immune system. It's not even close, guys. It's not even close. Here's the other reason, the primary reason before Linus Pauling, people would take vitamins. They didn't think about it, but it was part of you're eating. And that was, you needed vitamin C so that you wouldn't get what?

What's the disease called? Scurvy. Now, listen, this is going to upset a few gurus if any gurus are listening. They're not going to like what I got to say and that is you get all the vitamin C you need. You don't need fruit for vitamin C. You think you do, but you don't. And I know that's a controversial statement, but I'm going to tell you something right now. When you think about fruit, go back 100 years or whatever, you had fruit in season. Like, if you lived in Sudberry, unless you've preserved it in a jam or whatever, people would eat it in season. Am I saying they're no good? Of course I'm not. Like blueberries. They're good. Raspberries. They're good. They're good tasting. Strawberries, I love them. But you don't take that for, oh, if I don't get my strawberries, I'm going to get scurvy. No, that's not true. It's not. If I don't drink orange juice, I'm going to get scurvy. That's not true. If you eat vitamin S, you're going to get all the vitamin C that you need because you don't need much. And I always remind you and you know the history of this. As a matter of fact, I wrote a book about it. I'm going to show it to you, so if you're listening to this on a podcast, you see this book here? The truth about Pycnogenol, now called Navetol: The Bark With the Bite.

And in there I tell the story of scurvy. I tell the story of scurvy because in Canadian history it's very famous. if you took any Canadian history, my American friends, you might not know this because you don't learn about Jacques Cartier, right? But I did as a kid and we learned, even back then, that as he traveled from France into Quebec, it wasn't known as Quebec, of course, at the time. And on one of his expeditions, he lost a lot of men there. They died of scurvy. But when the first nations befriended Jacques Cartier, they gave Jacques Cartier a tea made a pine bark. True story. They didn't give him fruit. They gave him a tea with pine bark in it and Jacques Cartier actually wrote it in his annals. You can read his annals. He wrote about it. And they were preserved that the University of Quebec. And I told you the story, probably many a times. I hope you're not tired of it but I actually met the guy who did research on pine bark extract. His name was Dr. Jacque Masquelier. He was from France. He had been studying at the University of Quebec and he was reading these annals. He was a biochemist. He was reading the annals of Jacques Cartier going, what's in pine bark must be vitamin C.

But it wasn't. That's what he thought. Because Jacques Cartier wrote, he said all my men that survived got better. And, not only better, we all felt better taking pine bark. And you know my story of pine bark. But Dr. Masquelier, when he went back to France, didn't see vitamin C in pine bark. But what he did find what a nutrient and polyphenols and a conglomerate of all these wonderful things in pine bark. And he wrote about it and he actually started harvesting in the south of France where Nepali had planted hundreds of thousands of trees in the south of France. I went there to look at them. I actually looked at the trees and they harvested and within 24 hours they plant another one and they make pine bark extract. Very, very complicated procedure. But, anyway, Jacque Masquelier was the first guy to do it. And you know what? He didn't discover vitamin C. He discovered what some people in Europe called vitamin P. Pine bark. And I fell in love with that supplement. And I'm going to tell you something. You down don't need to take a supplement of vitamin C, ascorbic acid. You do not need that.

Drink coffee. It's got more of what your body needs. You'll never get scurvy, 100% true if you eat vitamin S, steak, because steak literally cures scurvy. And if you drink coffee from quercetin to polyphenols, to you name it in there, over 1000 phytonutrients, you're going to get everything you need in a coffee. Now don't ruin your coffee by putting sugar in it. Don't ruin it. But that's how good coffee is for you. And far behind it is tea. Tea is all right for you teetotalers. But it's not coffee. It doesn't have the polyphenols, it doesn't have the biochemical makeup that coffee has. Now, you think I'm biased? I admit it. I'm biased. I love coffee, but the research bears out. Now you can imagine, think about this for a minute. I know I'm pontificating way too much, but let me say this. Can you imagine the pushback that I got? You remember, I had a radio show for years and people used to get angry at me. I mean, they were angry because they've always taken vitamin C. Since the 70's. And I used to tell them I don't need vitamin C because I drink coffee. Like Jacques Cartier didn't drink orange juice. He drank pine bark and now they make an extra. But very specific.

No, but guys, listen. Did I tell you I didn't like Linus Pauling? I didn't say that. I actually liked him a lot. A very smart guy he just was off a little bit on the alphabet and science is catching up to what I've said. The real vitamin C. I've eliminated ascorbic acid because you don't need it. And I've replaced it with the true vitamin C, which is coffee. I've been saying that for a long time. Now I got excited this morning because I'm easily excitable when it comes to nutrition and I know I'm controversial and that's all right. And I don't care. No, seriously. If you guys, I want you to think. God gave you gray matter in between your ears. He wants you to think, okay? Doesn't want you to kiss your brains goodbye. I don't want that at all. I want you to think.

Okay. Okay. Okay. Okay. Now, this week, just as we close here, of course, good Friday we're not going to have a program. So no program on Friday. We're going to have morning sessions all week. So, once again, like we did last week, we will have Question and Answer Thursday and I already see lots of questions. If you can, add them to our Thursday discussion. Sometimes I answer them right away, but they're very good questions and we appreciate it. Now do you know that you can get, now, The Metabolic Reset on an electronic book? It's available. Tony Jr. told me that. I don't know anything. I wonder if I should do another book on The Bark With the Bite. I look at this, I'm seeing a picture of myself in the back and I go who's that guy. I don't even recognize him. And it's me. That's how many years ago I wrote that book. Wow. Okay. So guys, we love you dearly and we mean it. And we'll talk to you soon.

Announcer:  You've reached the end of another Doctor Is In Podcast, with your hosts, Doctor Martin Junior and Senior. Be sure to catch our next episode and thanks for listening!

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