Vitamin C can help cut child-birth issues

Minister of Health Terrence Deyalsingh. - File photo by Venessa Mohammed
Minister of Health Terrence Deyalsingh. - File photo by Venessa Mohammed

THE EDITOR: The unusually large number of neonatal deaths that recently occurred at the Port of Spain General Hospital has caused great concern and sadness among our citizens and we all offer deepest condolences to the families affected.

I have in the past reported on how vitamin C lowers the risk of heart attacks, stroke, the common cold and other ailments, and generally promotes good health. This is consistent with the fact that nutrients are the foundation for the proper functioning of the human body. Can vitamin C help in reducing these child-birth issues? Not surprisingly, the answer is yes.

As far back as 1971, in a paper in the Journal of Applied Nutrition, Fred K Klenner MD, a very successful American doctor, wrote about his experiences in treating and caring for pregnant women using vitamin C.

He wrote, “Observations made on over 300 consecutive obstetrical cases using supplemental (vitamin C) by mouth, convinced me that failure to use this agent in sufficient amounts in pregnancy borders on malpractice.”

He indicated using four grams in the first trimester, six grams in the second trimester and eight-ten grams in the third trimester with some variation.

He stated that “Hemoglobin levels were much easier to maintain. Leg cramps were less than three per cent...Labour was shorter and less painful. There were no post-partum haemorrhages (bleeding after giving birth)…No toxic manifestations were demonstrated in the series. There was no cardiac stress even though 22 patients in the series had rheumatic hearts.”

He reported that infants born using this high-dose vitamin C therapy “were all robust” with no miscarriages in the entire group of 300 women and very few stretch marks. He said “all of the babies from this series were called vitamin C babies by the nursing personnel. They were distinctly different.”

Since the publication of Dr Klenner’s report, many studies have been conducted which demonstrate the effectiveness of vitamin C in, for example, reducing premature rupture of the amniotic sac, one of the most common problems in obstetrics that can lead to premature births and serious infection.

Well-known author Dr Andrew W Saul wrote in 2014, “Vitamin C protects mother and baby” and even helps with conception since it increases sperm production in men. Why then hasn’t this nutrient been actively promoted in the management of pregnancies?

In his book titled The Vitamin E Factor, Dr Andreas Papas recounts what he refers to as “The Folic Acid Story.” Folic acid is a B vitamin that is critical in the prevention of neural tube defects in newborn babies. Dr Papas observed that almost 50 years passed from the time scientists suspected a link between folic acid deficiency in pregnant women and birth defects and the time the medical community accepted the use of folic acid just before the turn of the century. Its use by pregnant mothers is now routine.

While due caution must always be exercised in matters of human health, it really ought not to have taken that long for the use of folic acid – a nutrient – in pregnancy management, in the face of overwhelming scientific data supporting its efficacy. Pharmaceuticals, which unlike nutrients are foreign to the human body and therefore have numerous side effects, are often approved for medical use in significantly less time!

It has already been 50 years since the ground-breaking clinical work of Dr Klenner. I therefore encourage our Ministry of Health to examine the published scientific data on vitamin C and pregnancy. Maybe we too can deliver “vitamin C babies” here in TT.


professor emeritus


"Vitamin C can help cut child-birth issues"

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