Vitamin C and The Common Cold (book)

Vitamin C And The Common Cold (book)

Vitamin C and the Common Cold is a popular book by Linus Pauling, first published in 1970, on vitamin C, its interactions with common cold and the role of vitamin C megadosage in human health. The book promoted the idea that taking large amounts of vitamin C could reduce the duration and severity of the common cold. A Nobel Prize-winning chemist and activist, Pauling promoted a view of vitamin C that was strongly at odds with most of the scientific community, which found little evidence for the alleged health benefits of greatly increased vitamin C intake. The book went through multiple editions, and a revised version that discussed the flu and other diseases, retitled Vitamin C, the Common Cold & the Flu, came out in 1976.

The book characterizes the inability of humans and some other animals to produce vitamin C in terms of evolution and Pauling's concept of "molecular disease" (first articulated in his 1949 study, "Sickle Cell Anemia, a Molecular Disease"). Pauling argues that the loss of vitamin C synthesis first arose as a molecular disease, because of a genetic mutation that resulted in the loss of the biochemical capacity to make the vitamin, but because diets of the primate ancestors of humans consisted of high levels of vitamin C from plant sources, the loss of that biochemical mechanism was not harmful and may have even been beneficial. He argues, however, that the subsequent shift to a high-meat, lower-plant diet resulted in widespread vitamin C deficiency.

Read more about Vitamin C And The Common Cold (book):  Research, Writing and Revisions, Reception

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Vitamin C And The Common Cold (book) - Reception
... The bookwas well received by the public and garnered considerable popular attention, resulting in a rush of vitaminC sales. 1973, and Pauling subsequently authored several related booksVitamin C and Cancer (1979) and How to Live Longer and Feel Better (1986) ... conclusions and pointed attacks on the medical establishment, the bookand Pauling himself faced considerable criticism from scientists and physicians ...

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