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C is for Children, and plenty of it too!

Updated: Oct 29, 2021

[Note: I wrote this article for the Orthomolecular News Service. Andrew W. Saul is Editor-in-Chief of the news service and acted as editor for this article.] [Note: You can download or order Buttercup, Me, and Vitamin C from here.]

(OMNS July 28, 2020) How do you inspire your children to take the right amount of vitamin C several times a day? By learning this simple truth early in life and adopting the correct "ascorbate practice," children are given the best chance to develop to their full potential and to live a life that is free of disease. What a powerful gift to give to your child! But how do you make it easy for a child to embrace a daily ascorbate practice for the rest of their life? And, how many children who understand the power of vitamin C does it take to change the world?

More important now than ever

The power of achieving the right vitamin C level in your body daily is old news. It's like 50-plus years old, but it's not "news." What is "news" at the moment is the COVID "crisis." But it is an overblown crisis to people who understand the human need for vitamin C and who take megadoses daily. Orthomolecular practitioners can "C through it." They have a proven understanding about vitamin C: their own bodies are proof. It is an understanding that makes them immune to fear of viruses.

In his 1970 book titled "Vitamin C and the Common Cold," double-Nobel-laureate Linus Pauling included a chapter comparing drugs to vitamin C. [1] That chapter concludes with this bold statement: "Instead of the warning: KEEP THIS MEDICINE OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN! carried by cold medicines, I think that they should say KEEP THIS MEDICINE OUT OF REACH OF EVERYBODY! USE ASCORBIC ACID INSTEAD."

That was a double-Nobel-laureate writing 50 years ago.

Pauling had the confidence that he could change the world. His second Nobel Prize was the Nobel Peace prize. He earned it for his role in changing the world for the better. He and his wife were instrumental in bringing about a ban on all above-ground nuclear weapon testing. Yet the science he compiled in his 1970 book - which could change the medical world - is far from common knowledge 50 years later. Indeed, if you ask any person on the street if they know who Linus Pauling was, very few do. So what happened?

Better to start early

Starting when I was maybe 2 or 3 years of age, my parents frequently read a book to teach me that eating green eggs and ham might seem like a bad idea, but that sometimes it's worth it to try things that challenge our preconceived notions. It was a complex concept, way more complicated than what I needed to know about vitamin C, but that lesson was drilled into me through a children's book, and that lesson has served me well. The Dr. Seuss character named "Sam I Am" taught all of us this valuable lesson with the words, "You do not like them, so you say. Try them, try them and you may. Try them, and you may, I say." [2]

I still know that simple, life-shaping rhyme. Applying it to foods is one thing. Applying it to established thoughts and beliefs is another, and may be key to solving many problems in life. But, how could I have learned such a complex concept in the 1960s and yet, as a child, I did not learn the very simple truth about my need for megadose vitamin C to maintain optimal health? Also, how was it that I earned a University bachelor's degree in science with honors in 1983, and yet I never learned that virtually all mammals, primates excepted, make megadoses of vitamin C internally all day [3]?

My own story

My story can be viewed as a worse-case scenario with respect to those two questions. You see, I was raised in Oregon, the birthplace of Linus Pauling, I was educated at Oregon State University, where all of Linus Pauling's research is sequestered and the Linus Pauling Institute resides. So the simple question of why I knew nothing about the power of megadose vitamin C in the 1980s leads me down some very dark alleyways.

My first son, born in 1984, developed a brain tumor at age 7. My second son, born in 1986, was fully disabled with "cerebral palsy." Those decades were a blur of gut-twisting confusion and awakening about our world. Without understanding vitamin C, I was learning many dark truths about the cancer industry, government, pharmaceutical industry, insurance industry, agricultural industry, and food industry.

The world that Linus Pauling had attempted to change in 1970 turned out to be a very dark world for me to raise my family in, and not understanding vitamin C aggravated my situation. Where Pauling had succeeded in halting above-ground nuclear testing, he had ultimately failed at teaching even the most educated humans, en masse, about their daily need for frequent doses of vitamin C. So here we are, 50 years later, with a false crisis called COVID now dominating everyone's life.

Around 2003 or 2004, links on the internet helped me to stumble onto papers by Dr. Robert Cathcart and Dr. Frederick Klenner and other vitamin C pioneers on the website [4,5] I started studying vitamin C, experimenting on myself and, with her permission, my wife and her horse. I learned about my bowel tolerance for ascorbic acid and all the amazing benefits for me, my wife, and her horse. The dramatic results experienced by me and my wife (and later our vitamin-C-baby grandchildren) comprised a brilliant and rude awakening.

Tribal thinking

I developed extreme enthusiasm for these "newfound truths," only to face another rude awakening: What was simple, life-changing truth for me came up against a powerful dynamic that I now understand to be "tribal thinking" in the other people I talked to. A few adults and young people could be convinced, but the end result of tribal thinking is that most adults invariably resist the truth about vitamin C.

Humans, it turns out, in spite of Dr. Seuss's green-eggs lesson to question our preconceptions, are mostly tribal thinkers once they become adults. Few adults are willing to discard established patterns of thinking and living. Our adult bodies and minds are addiction machines, wired to repeat old patterns daily. The tribal thinkers, the majority of humans, feel threatened when you bring them truth that can shatter their worldview, and their brains literally shut out your message. I imagine that every orthomolecular practitioner has experienced the fallout of tribal thinking at some level when they have attempted to tell adult friends, family, and acquaintances about megadose vitamin C.

The adult mind, solidified in tribal thinking and tribal practices, is not generally receptive to the information. The truth about vitamin C is too simple and, if true, it would shatter their worldview, so it is screened out consciously or subconsciously. It's simply not allowed. Powerful profit-driven forces stand against it.

Understanding high-dose C

If you take a slightly different look at Dr. Cathcart's brilliant clinical research described in his 1981 paper "titration to bowel tolerance," [3] you can find two very clear, but unwritten conclusions:

  1. The laxative industry is not needed (only megadose vitamin C is).

  2. If you don't take enough vitamin C when you're sick, nothing happens.

The first conclusion can elucidate the motivation behind the profit forces. The over-the-counter laxative industry in the US alone exceeds US$1 billion in revenue each year. [6] The gross immensity (no pun intended) of that number (not including the rest of the world and prescription laxatives) speaks to the titanic profit-driven forces that vitamin C threatens. However, potential loss of revenue by the poop industry is only a tangential point.

The second conclusion is simple and more important to the profit forces: Vitamin C is easy to marginalize: simply convince people to take less on any particular day than the amount that is effective.

Cathcart's work shows us that by taking enough vitamin C we can alleviate symptoms of disease and optimize health. At the same time, he shows us that if we don't take enough, nothing dramatic happens. The reason for this is that our bodies use vitamin C at different rates depending on the level of stress experienced. When the level of vitamin C in the body goes down, our bodies get inflammation throughout, and we are susceptible to infections. For ordinary days with only minor stress, adults may need only 2,000 - 6,000 mg per day taken in divided doses. Kids will need less, totaling ~1,000 mg per day per year of age, also taken in divided doses. But when we are stressed, for example, recovering from surgery, or when infected with a virus, we may need 10-times that amount -- 1,000 mg per hour or more. [7]

Attacks on vitamin C

If you want to be in the profit-motive club, then you tell people falsehoods such as "ascorbate is only a vitamin," "take more than 500 mg of vitamin C, and you just pee it out; expensive urine," "ascorbic acid is synthetic and it's not the same as whole food vitamin C," "vitamin C causes kidney stones," "vitamin C causes miscarriage," "vitamin C depletes other vitamins and minerals." And, of course, there's the government assertion that humans will be just fine if they take 90 mg of vitamin C per day.

All of those, and other myths and lies, support the status quo that Linus Pauling was threatening with his little 1970 book. The myths are highly effective, if not comforting, to the tribal thinker who doesn't want to consider that messages from the tribe's trusted media sources, government, and industry may be propaganda. Fully grasping the truth would ultimately shatter their place in the tribe, and they have invested heavily in being good, comfortable members of their chosen tribe. So an adult's brain, typically, but not always, has the ability to block out any information that threatens their lifestyle in their chosen tribe.

Children need to be carefully taught

The child's mind is different. They have just arrived here and are still learning what tribe they belong to. Their world view is forming and they are receptive to all kinds of lessons, including Dr. Seuss's lessons about questioning preconceived notions.

I have often wondered how my life would have been different, how the world would have been different, if "Green Eggs and Ham" by Dr. Seuss [2] would have shared space on my bookshelf with an equally colorful children's book authored in an entertaining way by Dr. Pauling [1] or Dr. Stone [8] or Dr. Klenner [5] or Dr. Cathcart. [4] It would have taught me about my need, my future pregnant wife's need, and my children's need for daily intake of megadose vitamin C. I can just see myself as a child, sitting next to mom, having her read the pages, and then jumping up and running to take my next dose of vitamin C with enthusiasm. I can envision a really good life for a child who has had that information drilled in early on.

The lesson "take enough vitamin C to be symptom free whatever that amount may be," stated often by our Editor-in-Chief, is easy children's book material. And, the fact is, that if a child starts out as a vitamin C baby (per Klenner), is supplemented as a baby frequently each day, and then learns to take grams of vitamin C several times a day, every day, and much more when sick, they grow up with the potential to create a much different world than the world that we now live in. Irwin Stone called them "homo-sapiens ascorbicus, a robust human mutant" [7] and that's exactly the mutant tribe that has the power to change things.

A simple lesson, presented correctly to our children, while their minds are receptive to being part of the orthomolecular tribe that Pauling started, may be just what it takes to make the world a much better place 50 years from now.

(Theo Farmer operates Helios Farms in Oregon, an agricultural cooperative employing orthomolecular science for their livestock. He is the author of Buttercup, Me and Vitamin C, an orthomolecular children's book that is available as a free pdf download at


1. Pauling L (1976) Vitamin C, the Common Cold, and the Flu. Berkley Pub. ISBN-13: 978-0425048535

2. Seuss D (1960) Green Eggs and Ham. Beginner Books/Random House. ISBN-13: 978-0394800165.

3. Wendell 0. Belfield, D.V.M. and Irwin Stone, P.C.A. Megascorbic Prophylaxis and Megascorbic Therapy: A New Orthomolecular Modality in Veterinary Medicine. J International Acad Preventive Medicine. 2:10-26.

4. Cathcart RF (1981) Vitamin C, titrating to bowel tolerance, anascorbemia, and acute induced scurvy. Medical Hypotheses, 7:1359-1376.

5. Klenner FR (1971) Observations On the Dose and Administration of Ascorbic Acid When Employed Beyond the Range Of A Vitamin In Human Pathology. J Applied Nutrition 23:3,4.

6. Statistica (2020) Laxatives OTC revenue in the United States from 2016 to 2019.

7. Klenner, FR. A Therapeutic Level of Vitamin C Supplementation as Employed by F .R. Klenner, M.D. From "The Significance of High Daily Intake of Ascorbic Acid in Preventive Medicine," p. 51-59, Physician's Handbook on Orthomolecular Medicine, Third Edition, Roger Williams, PhD, ed.

8. Saul AW. Irwin Stone: Orthomolecular Innovator and Educator.

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