- How IV vitamin C can help treat viral diseases and other maladies.
Frederick Klenner graduated from Duke University School of Medicine in 1936. After three years of hospital training he entered the private practice of medicine in Reidsville, North Carolina. His main subspecialty was diseases of the chest, but he became interested in the use of massive doses of vitamin C in the treatment of virus diseases and other illnesses as well. He inspired Linus Pauling and Irwin Stone to expand the research on the great benefits of vitamin C. Dr. Klenner died in 1984.
He believed in the healing power of nature, but believed that natural remedies could enhance that power and were safer and usually more effective than drugs. In 1948, he published his first paper on the use of large doses of vitamin C in the treatment of viral diseases. He believed anyone who is ill “should get large doses of Vitamin C in all pathological conditions while the physician ponders the diagnosis.”
The idea that anyone who is ill should take (or be given) large doses of vitamin C even before a diagnosis is made is “sheer quackery” to mainstream physicians and State Medical Boards, all of whom believe that treatment of illness should follow diagnosis. But Dr. Klenner was 100% correct: vitamin C treatment should start whenever any illness starts! (An explanation is in paragraphs two through seven of the article printed on page 1.)
How does vitamin C work? In massive amounts such as, 5-150 grams, intravenously, for certain pathological conditions, if allowed to run in rapidly it acts as a “flash oxidizer” and may correct the condition in minutes. It also can be a reducing agent. It neutralized toxins, viruses, and histamine. The more serious the condition, the more C is required. It appears that vitamin C not only acts as a reducing agent, but also an oxidizing agent, an anti-clotting agent, an antihistamine, and as an anti-infective agent.
Dr. Klenner was the first to successfully use high-dose vitamin C in viral diseases, including polio. Dr. Smith explains2: ascorbic acid enters all cells. Dr. Klenner wrote: After vitamin C has entered cells infected by viruses, vitamin C “proceeds to take up the protein coats being manufactured by the virus nucleic acid, thus preventing the assembly of new virus units.” Some infected cells expand, rupture, and die, but there are no virus particles available to enter and infect new cells. If a virus has invaded a cell, the vitamin C contributes to its breakdown.
Dr. Klenner’s Successful Treatment of Polio
In polio, vitamin C destroys the virus. It also acts as a diuretic, removing the polio-caused edema of the brain, preventing compression of the cells lining the nervous system. If not relieved by the diuretic action of high-dose vitamin C, the swollen, infected tissue would create pressure in the unyielding bony vault cutting off the blood supply to the motor cells. The paralysis of polio would follow.
Dr. Klenner reported a case of a five year-old girl with polio and paralysis of both legs accompanied by knee and back pain. Massage was given along with vitamin C by injection. Within four days she was able to move both legs. She was sent home to continue the vitamin C orally at 1000 mg every two hours. She walked by the eleventh day; the vitamin was stopped and B1 begun, only ten milligrams four times each day. She was completely well by the 19th day after treatment had been started. Another polio case presented with 104.4° temperature (measured in the armpit) severe headache, red eyes, vomiting and tightness in the hamstrings. Two grams of vitamin C was given intravenously immediately and again in two hours; then every four hours for 48 hours. In six hours after the first intravenous dose, his temperature had fallen to 100°, his eyes cleared up, he was jovial, sitting and drinking fluids. After that, Dr. Klenner stopped the intravenous treatments and had him take 1500 mg of vitamin C by mouth every two hours for a week. After that, the vitamin C was discontinued, and Dr. Klenner asked him to take 25 milligrams of vitamin B1 (thiamine) four times a day to help restore nerve function. Dr. Klenner wrote that vitamin B1 should be continued for a period of at least three months because nerve tissue is slow to recover.
In another article about viruses in 1949 (Southern Medicine and Surgery, vol. 111, #7, July) Dr. Klenner stated his frustration that mainstream researchers didn’t recognize the cause of their failure in treating viral diseases with vitamin C; they did not give big enough doses frequently enough. He wrote about an “unbelievable” record of failed studies in the ten years before he wrote this article.
He concentrated on the response of poliomyelitis to vitamin C. He knew that the virus was floating about in the blood stream and that large doses of vitamin C would destroy the virus before it got to the nervous system. Dr. Klenner reviewed the literature because he was having consistent, positive responses with vitamin C; he was encouraged when he read that some investigators had discovered low levels of C in the urine of humans and animals when infected with the polio virus. He felt there was a “relationship between the degree of Vitamin C saturation and the infectious and noninfectious state.” He mentioned an Australian researcher who demonstrated a “correlation between the severity of the polio attack and the level of urinary excretion of the vitamin.…deficiency of Vitamin C in the diet predisposed to infection and to the severity of the attack.”
He also cited a 1937 report about polio treatment in monkeys. If vitamin C was given during the viral incubation stage, the polio was much less severe. But if the disease was in its fifth day, much larger doses of C were required. Even when only 100 mg of C were given in 24 hours to these experimental monkeys, there were six times the number of non-paralytic survivors as in the control group which received no vitamin C.
Dr. Sabin (the developer of the “oral” polio vaccine) attempted to discredit the use of vitamin C in controlling polio in monkeys but did not give enough (only 100 milligrams, once) to make any difference. As might have been predicted, these monkeys developed unmodified polio. Dr. Klenner wrote: “Thousands of children owe their paralyzed limbs to this unfortunate blunder of Sabin.”
Dr. Klenner adopted a routine injection schedule for children with early symptoms of polio: 1000 to 2000 milligrams (depending on age) to start. (Intramuscular injections were used for children under four years old.) If fever dropped in two hours, two more hours was allowed before the second dose. After 24 hours, if the fever remained down, this same dose was given every six hours for the next 48 hours. All sixty cases of polio treated this way were well in 72 hours. Three had a relapse, so the injections of vitamin C for another two days every eight to twelve hours. Two of the 60 patients had throat muscle paralysis and needed oxygen and drainage but were recovering in 36 hours.
Polio is only one of many viral illnesses Dr. Klenner successfully treated with injections of high dose vitamin C. Here are reports of successful hepatitis treatment. (Unfortunately, the type of hepatitis—A, B, or C—wasn’t specified.)
“A 27 year old male with 103° temperature, nausea and jaundice of three days. 60 grams of sodium ascorbate in 600 cc of normal saline was given intravenously at 120 drops/minute. Five grams of Vitamin C was given orally every four hours around the clock. Fifteen grams of C was again given three hours after the first I.V. Another 60 grams of C was given intravenously twelve hours after the initial one (he used 5% glucose in water this time). That one took 75 minutes to accomplish. Then another fifteen grams of C intravenously after two more hours.
“For the 30 hours of treatment he received 270 grams intravenously and 45 grams orally—no diarrhea. Temperature was normal at this time and urine clear of bile. Discharged from the hospital, he was back to work. Vitamin C sets in as a flash oxidizer and helps the body manufacture interferon, a natural antiviral agent.”
“A 22 year old male with chills and fever and a diagnosis of viral hepatitis. His roommate had been admitted the day before. Fifteen grams of sodium ascorbate was given intravenously every twelve hours for three days, then once daily for six days. Sodium ascorbate was swallowed at five grams every four hours (135 grams intravenously, and 180 grams orally). No diarrhea appeared with these doses. He was sent home on the sixth day with no fever and no bile in the urine. Soon he was back to work. His roommate with just bed rest was in the hospital for 26 days!”
“Another male contracted hepatitis in Central America. There, he got lemon juice orally and rectally. Hot mud packs were placed over his liver. He had 104° degree temperature and was sent home. He was told to try bed rest and a protein diet. When Dr. Klenner saw him, he was jaundiced, temperature = 101° and had a very large tender liver. His I.V. was 30 grams sodium ascorbate and one gram calcium gluconate. Oral vitamin C: five grams every four hours around the clock for three days. 400 mg adenosine injected intramuscularly.
[The injectable form of adenosine, a safe—if used properly—substance found in humans and other living creatures has been banned by los federales during the last decade]. 100,000 IU of Vitamin Apalmitate were given daily. On the fourth day he got 70 grams ascorbate intravenously and one gram calcium. On the sixth day, he got another 70 grams intravenously, and on the seventh day the bilirubin in the serum was down to 1.9 compared to 98 on the first day; SGOT [a liver enzyme that rises with liver inflammation and infection]had fallen from 450 to 45. At home he took fifteen grams of C orally, 1,400 mg of choline three times a day plus a high protein and carbohydrate diet—no sequelae.
“A 42-year-old male suffering from chronic hepatitis had been unsuccessfully treated with steroids for seven months. He was given B complex and Vitamin C: 45 grams of sodium ascorbate plus one gram of calcium gluconate in 500 cc of water with 5% glucose was given intravenously three times a week. He took five grams of C orally every four hours. He was free of the disease in five months.” Dr. Klenner felt if he had more massive and continuous doses in the hospital he would have been well in a few weeks, but his peers on the staff would have denied the patient this safe treatment.
Dr. Klenner reemphasized the point, “Sodium ascorbate in amounts ranging up to 900 mg per kilogram body weight every eight to twelve hours will effect cures in two to four days.” Adenosine, 400 to 1,200 mg. intramuscularly, daily.
Other Viral Illnesses
Dr. Klenner successfully treated many other viral illnesses—including herpes simplex, herpes zoster, measles, mumps, mononucleosis, and chicken pox—always with high-dose vitamin C, and often in conjunction with other vitamins and nutrients. He treated his own daughter’s chicken pox, and gave us this case report which pointed out that injected vitamin C is often more effective than vitamin C taken orally.
After she developed chicken pox, she was swallowing vitamin C at twenty-four grams daily, but papules spread and the itch was intense. After one gram of C intravenously, the itch stopped and she slept well for eight hours. A new I.V. was then given and no new rash appeared. (Untreated chicken pox victims break out for five full days). He noted this ability of injectable C to terminate the usual progress of virus diseases. He wrote that one to three injections of 400 milligrams per kilogram (2.2 pounds) every eight hours will dry up chicken pox in twenty-fourhours. As injected vitamin C often causes thirst, he recommended drinking water adequately before injections are given.
Dr. Klenner reported successful treatment of serious cases of measles: “A ten month old baby had the high fever, watery nose, dry cough, the red eyes, and the Koplik spots that gave the disease away: hard measles.” He gave 1000 milligram injections of vitamin C every four hours. After twelve hours the temperature had fallen to 97.5°; the cough had stopped and the redness of the membranes had cleared. Just to see if this improvement happened to be the natural course of the disease, the injected vitamin C was stopped for eight hours. The fever rose to 103.4°. The vitamin C injections were resumed and the fever dropped in a few hours to 99°. 1000 mg was given every four hours; no rash developed.
In another case, an eight-year-old developed measles and mumps closely followed by encephalitis [inflammation in the brain].“ Temperature was 104°. He could not eat, was stuporous and responded only to pain. Two hours after one injection of 2000 mg of Vitamin C, he sat up, ate a hearty meal and then played. In six hours he started to revert to his previous stupor, and the fever returned. Twelve hours after a second injection of 2000 milligrams, and 1000 mg every two hours by mouth, he recovered.”
Vitamin C also was effective against mumps: A 23-year-old male developed mumps plus bilateral orchitis [swelling of the testicles]; his fever was 105°, and he was in overwhelming pain with “testicles the size of tennis balls.” After one 1000-mg injection of vitamin C intravenously the pain began to subside and after six more shots spaced every two hours the pain was gone. The fever was normal in 36 hours. He was up, about and well in 60 hours. Total dose of vitamin C was 25,000 milligrams.
Dr. Klenner reported that mononucleosis can be eliminated with intravenous vitamin C in just a few days, and that the more intravenous vitamin C given, the quicker the recovery. In one patient who was given the last rites by her church, the girl’s mother took things into her own hands when the attending physician refused to give ascorbic acid. In each bottle of I.V. fluid she would secretly and quickly “tap in” 20 -30 grams of vitamin C. The patient made an uneventful recovery. Her mother was a nurse.
“Mainstream” medicine might argue that vaccinations to prevent viral disease are preferable to “waiting for the disease to occur” and then treating with intravenous vitamin C, even if it is successful. The report of effective treatment of mononucleosis—against which there is no successful vaccine—makes it obvious that antiviral treatment with vitamin C is still a useful tool. It’s also well known that vaccination is not 100% effective, and that some individuals and families prefer not to be vaccinated.
Vitamin C Effectively (and Safely) Treats Heavy Metal Toxicity, Other Toxins, and Poisons
Dr. Klenner reported that heavy metal poisonings, especially lead and mercury, are controlled with vitamin C injections and oral intake. He points out once again that large doses are needed. He reported that that the amount of vitamin C used “in any case is the all important factor. In 28 years of research we have observed that 30 grams each day is critical in terms of response” regardless of age and weight.
He reported that in cases of lead poisoning, 350 milligrams of vitamin C per one kilogram (2.2 pounds) of body weight [which would be nearly 24 grams in a 150 pound individual]taken intramuscularly every two to four hours would enable recovery in less than 72 hours.
Here are summaries of effective vitamin C treatment of a variety of toxic exposures and poisonings:
An accidental carbon monoxide poisoning was reversed in ten minutes with 12 grams of ascorbic acid injected intravenously.
Two boys were sprayed with a pesticide; one received injected vitamin C (10 grams) every eight hours and went home on the second day. The other boy was given only fluids; his skin showed a bad chemical burn; he died on the fifth day.
Dr. Klenner reported that intravenous vitamin C was effective in eight cases of black widow spider bite. Here’s one case: A three and a half year old patient had been getting worse for 24 hours with abdominal cramps which the parents assumed were due to food poisoning. She became quieter, feverish, constipated, and her abdomen was exquisitely tender. She was becoming stuporous. Dr. Klenner noted the red, swollen area around her naval, and two tiny spots about one eighth of an inch apart were noted in the middle: the fang marks of a black widow spider. Dr. Klenner gave her one gram of calcium gluconate and 4 grams of vitamin C intravenously. In 6 hours she was more responsive, and her temperature had dropped from 103°to 101°. She was given another four grams intravenously. In another six hours, her temperature was 100°, and she could swallow fluids. The next day she was active, and 50% of the discoloration had disappeared. She received another 4 grams of C intravenously and 3 grams intramuscularly. At home she swallowed one gram of C every three to four hours. An enema produced a bloody return. When she recovered, she remembered brushing “a big black bug off her stomach,” before she took ill.
An eighteen-year-old girl was treated just twenty minutes after a hornet bite. She was covered with hives and had shortness of breath and difficulty swallowing. In minutes after twelve grams of sodium ascorbate intravenously were pushed in with a 50 cc syringe her allergic symptoms were gone.
He reported on a four-year-old girl bitten by a highland moccasin snake. She had severe pain in her leg and was vomiting within twenty minutes after the bite. Dr. Klenner gave four grams of C intravenously and within half an hour she had stopped crying and could now drink orangeade and began to laugh. “I’m all right now.” She slept well all night, but because of a slight fever and tenderness, Dr. Klenner gave her another four grams intravenously and again that late afternoon. No antibiotics and no anti-serum were necessary.
Dr. Klenner told us about research reported in 1938 that led him to try vitamin C against toxins. In test tubes at human body temperature, vitamin C inactivates certain toxins at a very rapid rate. The more toxin in the tube, the faster the C disappears.
Food Poisoning—My Own Case
There’s just not room to mention all the other poisonings, toxicities, and inflammatory conditions successfully treated by Dr. Klenner with high doses of injectable vitamin C. However, I will mention my own experience with intravenous vitamin C treatment of food poisoning. It started at 9 AM with severe nausea, vomiting, and repeated diarrhea. Holly drove us to Tahoma Clinic; shortly before 10 AM a 50 gram IV was started. It finished “dripping in” by 10:40; by 11:30 all symptoms—no, not kidding—all symptoms were gone.
Vitamin C Use In Pregnancy, Infancy
Although most of this article has been about Dr. Klenner’s use of injectable vitamin C for illnesses, Dr. Klenner was of course an advocate of daily “at-home” use of vitamin C to stay as healthy as possible. (Remember, daily use is actually “making up for” a proven genetic defect shared by all humans.) There’s just space for one of the best examples: vitamin C during pregnancy and infancy.
Dr. Klenner found in his investigation of over 300 pregnancies that the stress of the condition pushed the needs for C in women up to 15 grams a day. The human fetus is a “parasite” draining available C from the mother. We are all different and our needs for vitamin C vary depending upon heredity, environment, stress—or its perception. He reminds us of Roger Williams’ research in 1968 showing that some guinea pigs needed twenty times more vitamin C than others to maintain their health. (The usual dose recommended by Dr. Klenner for pregnant humans: 4 grams daily in the first trimester; 6 grams daily in the second trimester; 8 to 10 grams in the third trimester). He obtained excellent results with these large doses of C in women who had recurrent miscarriage. One woman had had five miscarriages and then with the vitamin C went on to have two normal pregnancies.
Dr. Klenner wrote that German research reports many cases of these good results during pregnancies: Hemoglobin was easier to maintain, leg cramps were less (vitamin C enhances iron and calcium and magnesium absorption). “Stretch marks” of pregnancy were seldom encountered. Labor was shorter and less painful, no after-childbirth bleeding was reported. The perineum (the area between the vaginal and anal openings) was more elastic and if vitamin C was maintained, it continued to remain firm. Infants are born robust with this vitamin C. None required resuscitation. Fifty milligrams of ascorbic acid (orally, of course) was begun on the infant’s second day and was gradually increased as time went on.
A Few Dr. Klenner Quotes
“Adults taking at least ten grams of ascorbic acid daily and children under ten at least one gram for each year of life will find that the brain will be clearer, the mind more active, the body less wearied, and the memory more retentive.”
“I have never seen a patient that vitamin C would not benefit.”
“Vitamin C should be given to the patient while the doctors ponder the diagnosis.”
, 2 This article abstracted, adapted with (very small additions) from The Clinical Experiences of Frederick R. Klenner, M.D., by Lendon H. Smith, M.D. To read this article in full, “go to” https://www.seanet.com/~alexs/ascorbate/198x/smith-lh-clinical_guide_1988.htm