By Steve Hickey, Hilary Roberts
Ascorbate nutrition C"
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Additional info for Ascorbate: The Science of Vitamin C
Stomach ulcers are common, affecting up to 10% of people, and the current evidence is that destroying the bacteria will cure many cases of this disease. Do no harm Medical experts often suggest that a high degree of conservatism is required in the acceptance and authorisation of new medical treatments. However, this rule applies more to some treatments than to others. A new treatment must be shown to be both effective and harm-free. In the case of new drugs, this statement is certainly correct, since many have significant side effects.
The King paper appeared 16 days before the paper in Nature by Svirbely and Szent51 Gyorgyi, who was not pleased that King and Waugh had beaten his paper to publication. Despite losing the race to publish, Albert Szent-Gyorgyi was awarded the 1937 Nobel Prize in Medicine, for his discoveries in connection with biological combustion processes, with special reference to vitamin C. On this, the American press suggested that he had stolen the discovery from King and Waugh and that the prize should have been awarded jointly.
These medical authorities are understandably cautious when it comes to innovation and new ideas. General practitioners, for example, must struggle to keep track of the mountains of information on new drugs and treatments. Guided by consensus and current medical opinion, if the accepted policy is that vitamin C supplements are useless, then that is what general practitioners are likely to believe. From his position as the world’s leading chemist, Pauling could call on no authority other than his own intellect.