Appendix 10 – Nutrition Attacks Without Science


In pharmacologist David Colquhoun’s attack on degrees in complementary
medicine lacking hard science his only referenced point of
comment is that ‘Patrick Holford infamously recommends vitamin C
as a remedy for HIV and AIDS’. The reference given, namely
www.patrickholford/content.asp?id_Content=1778, clearly lists both
my statement and the series of trials, published in peer reviewed journals,
that clearly show that, in vitro, vitamin C outperforms AZT.1,2 I
say that “AZT, the first prescribable anti-HIV drug, is potentially
harmful and proving less effective than vitamin C (Ref 23). These ‘in
vitro’ studies on human T-cells shows that vitamin C suppresses the
HIV virus in both chronically and latently infected cells, while AZT
has no significant effect. It is a tragedy that this simple, non-toxic
treatment hasn’t been further tested.”

To date this vital research has never been done, probably to do
with the fact that vitamin C, if proven effective, is both cheap and non-
patentable. However, in a small subgroup of advanced AIDS patients,
administration of high-dose vitamin C and an antioxidant called NAC
(N-acetyl-cysteine) reduced HIV viral load, improved immune cell
(CD4) count and lymphocyte proliferation in a study published in
2000.3 Also relevant is a trial in Tanzania giving over a thousand HIV
positive pregnant women a high strength multivitamin including
500mg of vitamin C.4 Although the amount of vitamin C is a fraction
of that suggested as optimal for viral suppression by the in vitro trials
the results were positive. There was a significant reduction in risk for
women going into the later stages of AIDS and reduced AIDS-related
mortality. There was also a big reduction in adverse pregnancy outcomes.
Foetal deaths, for example, reduced by 39% and low birthweight
babies by 39%. Given that ARV medication does not reconstitute
immunity in these immune compromised people the inclusion of
high dose vitamin C is worthy of consideration.

It is precisely this kind of science that gets studied in science
degrees in nutritional therapy, such as that of our Institute for
Optimum Nutrition. It is the absence of a balance of consideration of
the evidence for non-toxic nutritional medicine in medical degrees;
the bias away from funding research into non-patentable nutrients;
and the demand of patients for non-drug approaches that makes it
imperative that degrees such as these are actively encouraged. For the
record, I have never said that vitamin C cures AIDS, as implied by this
article, nor that people should stop taking AZT. The reader should also
be aware that David Colquhoun is the director of the Wellcome laboratory
for molecular pharmacology. Wellcome make AZT.

Patrick Holford

Founder of the Institute for Optimum Nutrition

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