Remember the False Alarm About Vitamin C Supplements?


The scientific journal "Nature" has gotten around to publishing additional information about the great Vitamin C scare published in "Nature Medicine" on or about April Fools' Day this year. In a letter in the journal, a scientist caused a false alarm by using a procedure to discredit vitamin C supplements that was said to be invalid by other researchers. The apparent errors of the test used were pointed out by Dr. Balz Frei, Director of the Linus Pauling Institute.

Additional information was presented in two interviews with Dr. Frei. (Please see Interview One and Interview Two)

In the response to the two letters to the editor recently published in Nature, the researcher responded, "hence our study shows an overall profound protective effect of this vitamin." [Nature 395:232 (17 Sep 1998)]

In the two letters published, one by a research group at the National Institutes of Health led by Dr. Mark Levine, and the other by a team of researchers from Denmark, Finland and France, pointed out that the activity of vitamin C measured was indeed an antioxidant effect and not a pro-oxidant effect. [Nature 395:231-232 (17 Sep 1998)]