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Nugget Newspaper, October 18, 2017

Vitamin C: a beauty superfood
By Karen Keady, Correspondent, Owner of Sisters Essentials

Over two decades after his death at age 93, Linus Pauling’s claims regarding the health benefits of Vitamin C are being confirmed by study after study. Vitamin C plays a vital role in maintaining skin, hair and nail health and has been touted as a beauty “superfood” that can keep skin young, supple and healthy. 

Pauling, a native Oregonian, graduated from Oregon State with an engineering degree in 1922. He became a leading chemist, possibly the greatest American scientist, and has been rated the 16th most important scientist in history. Pauling twice won the Nobel Prize, the first in 1954 for chemistry, the second for peace in 1962. 

Pauling’s claims that vitamin C in large doses can cure or prevent heart disease, cancer, infection, remission of AIDS, and even the recovery of children on the point of death from septic shock, were scoffed at by the medical establishment. Some went so far as to brand him a quack. Pauling was undaunted, as he believed through his research and studies that vitamin C could overcome major killers and premature death from myriad diseases. 

Pauling’s studies are well-publicized; much of his literature was translated into nine languages. 

As a potent antioxidant, vitamin C slows free radicals, unstable molecules that promote dryness, fine lines and wrinkles in the skin.

Most animals make their own vitamin C, but in humans the gene to manufacture this essential substance no longer works properly. Vitamin C contributes to collagen production, a protein found in every part of the body. After age 30, we lose 1 percent of collagen a year.

Oxidative stress contributes to this loss via sun damage, pollution, smoking, poor diet, processed foods, dehydration and other stressors. 

If too much vitamin C is taken, our bodies will eliminate it. One study, called the “Dynamic Flow Model”, suggests we should ingest more vitamin C than we need in the form of divided dose supplements. The extra ascorbate flows through the body and is excreted; however, it is not wasted, as any excess acts as a reservoir for when extra vitamin C is needed. This is described in the book “Ascorbate: The Science of Vitamin C (www.lulu.com/ascorbate). 

In the mid-1990s, while I was taking post-graduate nursing classes at OHSU, one of my instructors was a close relative of Linus Pauling. She was a proponent of topical vitamin C and vitamin E to slow oxidative aging of skin. 

Try this experiment: Our bodies are 60-70% water. Fill a glass with water, add to that a hospital-grade Betadine solution. Betadine kills every living organism on the skin. The betadine represents oxidative stress. Add a few drops at a time until the solution is a dark color, representing 20 to 30 years of damage. 

Then, take a good quality vitamin C serum with a dropper, drop in 7 to 9 drops. Stir and watch as the water becomes clear again.  The best antioxidant just neutralized the damaged skin. 

Pauling was brilliant, a man ahead of his time, as new studies are proving that vitamin C IS a superfood!