Welcome to Pushing the Limits, the show that helps you reach your full potential with your host Lisa Tamati, brought to you by lisatamati.com.
Lisa Tamati: Hi, everyone, and welcome back to Pushing the Limits. Today I have a fantastic interview with Dr Ron Hunninghake from the Riordan Institute in America in Wichita, Kansas. And he is an expert on intravenous vitamin C. In fact, he's overseen over 200,000 infusions of this and done an awful lot of research around this amazing vitamin C and what it does. And we're going to be talking about cancer, we're going to be talking about sepsis, we're going to be talking about everything that this does and the mechanisms of actions that are already known. And Dr Ron is also a functional nutrition doctor, he has a huge amount of experience. He's the chief medical officer at the Riordan Institute.
Now, the reason I have wanted to do this interview and I'm so excited about it is because you know, recently I lost my father. As many of you will know, he died in the hospital in July after having an abdominal aortic aneurysm, I'm going to be sharing his whole story at a later date. But one of the reasons why or one of the things that happened was that I was unable to get my father intravenous vitamin C, which is what he needed to fight the sepsis that developed after the operation that he had.
And I came up against a brick wall, a legal brick wall, ethics committee brick wall. It was an absolute tragedy, what happened up there. And so now one of my crusades in life is to make sure that we change the status quo, we get access in our ICU centres for things like intravenous vitamin C, that people are made aware of this. And so, without going into the whole details of dad’s story because it's beyond the scope of today's interview, I wanted you to understand the power of this intervention and how you can use it. And also, just to make you aware of the problems that we're facing within our medical system, as it currently stands.
So, Dr Ron is a very, very amazing doctor. So, it was a real privilege—one of the world's leading experts on vitamin C. So, it was a real privilege to have him on the show. So, I hope you do enjoy it. And he takes us all on board.
Now before we hop over and talk to Dr Ron just want to give you a reminder, we are now running every couple of weeks an epigenetics webinar that we would love you to register for and find out all about this incredible program that we are running, that looks at your genes and how they are expressing right now, and what interventions on how you can optimise your performance using your own genetics. So you can register for that free webinar at epigenetics.lisatamati.com. I'll put that in the show notes. It's epigenetics.lisatamati.com.
We're also going to be running a public running masterclass every couple of weeks as well. If you want to learn how to run faster, run longer, be stronger without burnout and injuries. And you can also do that at runninghotcoaching.com/webinar. That's forward slash webinar. And come and join us for an hour session on running and find out all the information there.
Before I go over to, I also want to remind you about my book Relentless, if you can pick that up if you haven't read it already. Please do so, it is a game changing book. It will help empower you to take control of your own health, while entertaining you with a pretty inspiring story. So check that out Relentless—how a mother and daughter defied the odds. You can find it in bookstores throughout New Zealand or online at my website at lisatamati.com. It's available on audiobooks. It's available with all sorts of formats from Kindle to Amazon, right across the board. But check that out at lisatamati.com.
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Lisa: Welcome, everybody, to Pushing the Limits, with Lisa Tamati here, your host. And today I am super excited I can hardly control myself but I'm sitting here with Dr Ron Hunninghake from the Riordan Institute. He is sitting in Wichita, Kansas, in America. Welcome to the show, Dr Ron!
Dr Ron Hunninghake: Lisa, thank you so much for inviting me.
Lisa: Like I was so excited when you or one of your ladies at the Riordan Institute wrote back to my email because I wasn't actually expecting to get an email back so I was super excited. Which said, ‘Dr Ron would love to come on your show’, and I was like ‘Yay, that's so exciting’.
So, to everyone sitting out there, Dr Ron, can you give them a little bit of a background? And you're the chief medical officer at the Riordan Institute, can you tell us a little bit about the Riordan Institute and your work and your history?
Dr Ron: Well, I'm a family physician. I grew up in a small town. I went to medical school, wanting to learn more about health. And they really don't talk too much about health in medical schools, it's more about disease management and pharmacology. And so, I went ahead and went into family medicine because I saw that as being my best opportunity to actually deal more directly with patients and to start to listen to patients’ stories and understand, what were the root causes of their illness, and what could I do to help them begin to regain better control of their lives through better choices that they could make.
And it seemed to fit family medicine and I was good with that. I did a lot of wellness work, that's when I was running my marathons and getting into whole foods and a lot of good things were happening there. The value of relationships, healthy relationships that goes into health and wellness. And all that was happening and I was being more and more frustrated by being a family physician for the first 10 years.
And then I was fortunate enough to run into Dr Hugh Riordan, who was a psychiatrist, one of the early orthomolecular psychiatrists along with Abram Hoffer, Carl Pfeiffer, Dick Kunin, these were psychiatrists to realise that the pharmaceutical model of taking care of psychiatric patients, while it might be somewhat applicable in very severe psychosis, generally speaking, it really is a huge failure when it comes to dealing with depression, anxiety, mild moderates psychosis. It basically turns what should be a short-term psychotic episode into a lifetime of basically—pharmacologic bondage is really what I would like to call it.
So I got behind that. But then I found out that Dr Riordan was really interested in general health, general wellbeing, and he took a special interest in cancer. And since he was a good friend of Linus Pauling, when Linus Pauling finished his work in the Vale of Leven of Scotland, Riordan was very enthused about it, but was disappointed when Mayo Clinic did not properly replicate Pauling’s studies and most basically wrote them off. And Pauling spent the rest of his life trying to justify what he and Cameron had discovered. And then he died. He unfortunately—I think he made it to his 90s, I believe, or 89 or 90.
But when he died, Dr Riordan decided to kind of pick up the flag and carry on the work. And so he was able to procure a $1 million grant. And with that money he launched Recnac, which is cancer spelled backwards. The idea was to look for nontoxic ways of dealing with cancer. And so, he was able to do some basic ground-breaking research that showed that that in-vitro treatment with adequate amounts of vitamin C would effectively stop the growth of cancer cells, and he was able to determine the mechanism of that.
And then he was able to create the Riordan protocol, which is now used all around the world, New Zealand, Australia. I know 10,000—excuse me—I know 10,000 doctors in Japan that are using it. China is very big in the research. Dr Tom Levy, and I have lectured in South America. He has lectured in Taiwan and China. We've lectured all throughout Europe.
And so the IV vitamin C notion is there. And there are many people that are using it besides just for cancer, but it still faces the misunderstandings that people have about vitamin C. They think of vitamin C as a little glass of orange juice, and what's that going to do for cancer? And so they really don't understand that Dr Riordan found that it was the dose and the pharmacokinetics of vitamin C and the fact that at higher levels—much like when we talk about quantum mechanics there are different actions at different quanta of vitamin C. There's a kind of quantum mechanics of ascorbic acid that really—if doctors would open their mind, they wouldn't understand that there's a lot more to this when you get down into how the cell functions, how the mitochondria works.
Vitamin C plays a very integral role in maintaining normal functioning. As a matter of fact, Irwin Stone, who was one of the early promoters of vitamin C says that life on the planet could not have made it if organisms hadn't learned how to deal with and utilise vitamin C to its advantage.
Lisa: So, Dr Ron, there were so many things that I wanted to pull out there quickly for people. Linus Pauling was a double Nobel Prize winning scientist. He basically discovered the mechanisms of the vitamin C and intravenous vitamin C, I believe. And even though he was a double Nobel Prize winning scientist who done all these incredible things, was still ridiculed because of this discovery. And so, Dr Hugh Riordan, who started the Riordan Institute, was then picked up—I didn't understand that fact, so that was really, really interesting.
And then you've gone on to say, the vitamin C, when it is given intravenously at high doses is a completely different beast than the little vitamin C tablet or the orange that you have when you have your breakfast. I had a friend go in for a surgery recently. And she said, ‘Should I have intravenous vitamin C before I go for surgery’? They said ‘No, just have an orange’. And this is unfortunately, the misunderstanding of the actions—and that's what I want to get into now—the mechanism of action of vitamin C when it is given intravenously versus when it is given orally, and what the limitations are in oral vitamin C? And when we talk about cancer and the Riordan protocol, can you explain a little bit about what that is? And so that people listening can go and get some more information on this?
Dr Ron: Keep in mind this—I really don't want to rule out the importance of oral vitamin C, it still has a very important role to play. But when you're dealing with the extremes of illness, this is where the pharmacologic doses of vitamin C come into play. And you are able to achieve things with those high doses that are difficult to achieve, but can be achieved using oral dosing on a more frequent basis.
And so we can come back to that, but no, Dr Riordan found out that in cell culture—let's put things into perspective. The average blood level of vitamin C for you and I assuming that you haven't taken a whole bunch of C just recently is about 1 milligram per decilitre or .1 milli molar.
And so, when we when Dr Riordan began to study—he studied 60 different types of cancer cells in cell culture. And he found that it wasn't until he got up to around 350 to 400 milligrams per decilitre, which would be about 20 millimoles. So, we're going from .1 to 20 millimoles body concentration, that's where he found that there was this effect that occurred where vitamin C interacted with iron, and it took the oxidised iron to the reduced state. And the reduced iron interacted with oxygen in a way to create the hydroxyl radical which interacted with water to create hydrogen peroxide. And so, hydrogen peroxide, it turns out, will kill cancer cells.
And the nuances of that mechanism are now being discussed at many important institutes. Cornell, for instance, is in New York City is doing a lot of research with IV vitamin C as an adjunct to cancer care. University of Iowa in 2019 published two really big studies regarding cancer—colon cancer and pancreatic cancer using IV vitamin C as an adjunct to conventional therapy.
And keep in mind that I'm not opposed to this at all. I mean, there are people that would rather have the pure treatment of IV vitamin C in a synergistic way with lifestyle and dietary interventions and all the various things that you hear about in alternative medicine. But I think if we can even get vitamin C recognised as a very powerful way to reduce side effects, increased quality of life, and to have better survival, which is basically what these studies from Iowa and New York are showing is that this is an excellent adjunctive therapy.
And when we position it as an adjunctive therapy, then we don't have to get into these major battles about a black or white, either-or. It's a both-and conversation which draws people into the discussion. And then once they get looking at vitamin C, Vitamin C is probably, as one friend of Dr Riordan said, it's the most interesting molecule in the world. And does things that no other molecule can do, which if you want to get into that discussion without getting too deep into it, there's a lot of fascinating things about vitamin C that makes it a very safe and effective way to promote homeostasis within the body.
Lisa: Fantastic. So, to get to 20 micromoles, what sort of a dosage in there and how often? So someone— so with the Riordan protocol now, you're getting up to some pretty high doses, like we're at .1 millimolar, you said, is average human beings walking around.
Now, one thing that I wanted to know here is that when you are sick, whether that be with cancer or an infectious disease, sepsis, which we're going to talk about a little bit, and pneumonia or whatever, shingles hepatitis, your need for vitamin C goes up a hundreds of fold. And this is also misunderstood by medical practitioners, I believe. That they don't understand that a lot of people are getting scurvy, basically, because they actually have a disease where the neutrophils are just needing so much vitamin C in order to do their job and sort of [16:36 unintelligible] reactive oxygen species don't absolutely destroy the neutrophils and cause all sorts of problems. I probably butchered that, but you know where I'm going with this.
How much vitamin C do we need to have and how often and how regularly? Because I think this is misunderstood that it's a one and done type scenario. It's not.
Dr Ron: So, the human being cannot make their own vitamin C. We have somehow mutated the gene—the L-gulonolactone oxidase gene—that takes glucose and converts it to ascorbic acid. And every other creature with the exceptions of guinea pigs, a few fruit eating bats, and certain primates, every other creature makes much, much more vitamin C when they're sick. The champion is the goat. And that was Linus Pauling’s favourite example that a goat can make several thousand milligrams a day. Now keep in mind that they're making it minute by minute, hour by hour. And then if they get sick, it takes some time for them to gear up, you have to make maybe 12,000 milligrams, 16,000. And if you compare body weight, humans to goats, it's been said that that's anywhere from 25 to 50,000 milligrams per day, that they are the champions of adaptive response using the ability of their cells to make additional vitamin C. So obviously, we can't do that.
And so when we get sick, we very quickly go into scurvy. And if we don't totally go into scurvy, now actually, there's research. Dr John Hoffer, Abram Hoffer’s son, has done some very nice research of in-hospital patients. And if doctors would just start measuring the vitamin C level of just common everyday illnesses, they'd find that their patients are dropping dramatically in their reserves of vitamin C. And it's amazing that we have the ability to survive that we do. But in these days where the average human being is much more sick than ever they've ever probably been because of environmental toxins, nutrient deficiencies, electromagnetic fields, there's just so many different reasons why we are being challenged these days, that an illness like COVID will kill the person just very quickly.
We're seeing people—now granted, a lot of these people are fairly sickly to begin with—but they get the COVID virus and they're essentially goners. Unless they happen to have pretty deep reserves of adrenal function and stress adaptability, they do not survive very long. And so this is why we're seeing these incredible death tolls is because once again, vitamin C has not been recognised, even though the International Orthomolecular Association has put out several studies and protocols that would work and would really solve the crisis very quickly if they would start using vitamin C. But it's a ‘No, no, no. Don't tell me, I don't want to hear something that I don't believe’, even though science is not about belief. Science is about trying things and trying to see how things work and what we can do, especially in the field of medicine. If it can save a life, do it. Do it. And that's the attitude I wish more doctors have.
Lisa: I know and I mean, we'll get into my story in a minute. This is the absolute craziness of it. The clinical studies are there, the absolute proof is there, and we're like shouting into the wind. And nobody is listening. And you have to ask yourself, ‘What is going on’? And I don't want to sound like a conspiracy theorist, but there is power behind this inner bias. You say in one of your talks, if it's a completely new direction, then it doesn't fit in the normal paradigm that we've already accepted. If it's a change within the paradigm, and we've just had a progression, then it's more accepted by the medical community. But if it's coming from a completely different direction, like the oxidative medicines, and I'm talking about here, hyperbaric oxygen therapy, ozone therapy, UV radiation, and vitamin C…
Dr Ron: Vitamin C is an oxidative therapy, there's no question. It's an oxidative therapy. Yes.
Lisa: Yes and this comes back and then also to the whole... We're talking about cancer, I wanted to dive briefly into the oxygen problem, that the oxygen deficit problem that is actually causing a lot of like functional hypoxia and cells to become hypoxic, and mitochondrial injury, which has been perhaps leading to the cancers, and then certainly, it becomes a vicious cycle. Can you elucidate that mechanism a little bit for people?
Dr Ron: Well, I know it best in the realm of cancer, so I'm going to talk in the realm of cancer. I'm not an intensive care specialist, though. You might mention, we talked earlier about Berry Fowler. Berry Fowler understands vitamin C as it relates to sepsis, and why it's so good for sepsis. But that's not my field.
But what I have learned about vitamin C in terms of cancer, cancer has been described as the non-healing wound. And there are many ways that certain areas of the body will become oxygen deficient. And let's just call that hypoxia. So, in the presence of hypoxia, and that could be an area of toxicity. It could be poor blood supply. It could be any number of reasons because there's a lot of reasons why cells do become hypoxic. Once they do, there is a signal, the—oh shoot—hypoxia induction factor. The hypoxia induction factor is crucial because when that is triggered, the cell in an effort to survive the lack of oxygen will shift back into glycolysis, which is anaerobic functioning.
And in the evolution of the of life on the planet, before there was oxygen there were cells that work. Anoxic cells, they functioned using something called glycolysis. And our cells have that ability. So when the cells are in danger, or when they're cut off from their oxygen supply, they will shift to this, this glycolysis, which is like fermentation. And when that happens, one molecule of sugar only brings out two ATPs. Whereas if you’re mitochondria which are the oxygen burning part of themselves, if they're active and functional, one molecule of sugar will generate 36 to 38 ATPs. So we have a drastic reduction in the production of energy.
And so then what the cancer cells do is they induce more of the glucose transporters on their cell membrane and they start sucking in sugar and that's why your advanced cancer patients become— all they want is sweet stuff to eat because there's so energy deficient, they're tired. And so oftentimes one of the early signs of cancer is just profound fatigue and then they start becoming cachectic because the body basically cannibalises itself in an effort to continue providing sugar to feed the cancer cells.
So basically, the lack of oxygen is the initial starting point of cancer cells. And then cancer cells are just basically trying to survive on a lack of oxygen, and then it becomes established. And once it becomes established, then it's hard to reverse it.
Lisa: Are you aware of the work of Professor Margreet Vissers from New Zealand? She's from Otago.
Dr Ron: Yes.
Lisa: You are, you are?
Dr Ron: Yes. I don't know her personally but I know about her work. Yes.
Lisa: Oh I have talked to Anitra Carr, one of your associate professors who's also studying this, and they're talking about the health factor in the tumour growth. And that if we can cut that off at the past, we can stop the tumour developing…
Dr Ron: Vitamin C suppresses HIF. Vitamin C suppresses HIF. And in one of my lectures, I won't want to go in this in too much detail. but a lot of people have asked why did humans survive as a result of losing their ability to make vitamin C? And one of the theories is that if you and I are trying, if we're prehistoric, and we're trying to survive, if we eat a more high vitamin C diet, we have much greater likelihood of surviving. And our ancestors lived in a more verdant field of good things, and the ones that ate badly didn't survive. And I think that is coming into play right now.
We are a culture that eats very poorly and our stress level is high, our toxicity level is high. And so now we are beginning to see the suffering and the chronic illness that there's been in the last 25 years, there's been a two-fold increase in chronic illness on the planet. And so, we have a crisis going on right now. And really, the COVID epidemic, pandemic is really just a manifestation of that ongoing crisis. And vitamin C could be a factor in helping us to survive that crisis in many ways, but it’s just not being recognised by conventional medicine. No profit.
Lisa: Yes, exactly. And this is where the whole food industry, we could get into Dr Paul Marik’s work and Dr Hyman’s work, and looking at the state of our food production and glyphosate but that's a big conversation for another day. But this is what means that we need to be having better nutrition and better understanding of how all this stuff works, so that we don't end up in this chronic... So we're living longer because medical interventions, the western medical are doing an amazing job at keeping us alive, but in what type of condition are they keeping people alive? And we're getting diabetes already in childhood, type two diabetes, not type one. And then these sort of degenerative diseases that are manifesting way, way earlier than that than they used to.
Doctor Ron, I want to flip over now and just talk about... So before we leave the cancer discussion, though, if somebody is sitting in New Zealand, or in Australia, or somewhere around and they want to check out what the Riordan protocol is for intravenous vitamin C, how can they find a doctor? Or how can they find someone in the community? Is this really widespread or they're going to have a hard time getting access to this sort of a protocol? Because it's not just having intravenous vitamin C once a week and Bob, who’s your uncle, you're going to not have cancer anymore. It's a little bit more complicated than that as well.
Dr Ron: Yes, people ask me that all the time I—in the United States here, the functional medicine doctors, the integrative medicine doctors, the naturopathic doctors are pretty much embracing IV vitamin C as a go-to therapy that can really help just about anyone who has struggled with chronic illness and so that's one way.
A lot of people say, ‘Well, how can I find such a doctor’? Usually if you go to the local health food store or people who are recognised in the area of nutrition like yourself, you can find out that there are doctors out there are doing it. Some of them are keeping a low profile because they don't really want to get into trouble with their boards, their medical boards. Or they just don't want the hassle. They're willing to work one on one with patients but the political battle has been a no-win situation. And so, the better way to proceed is just to—and Dr Riordan used to tell me this. He said basically, ‘You can waste a lot of energy fighting ignorance. If you’re better off to deal with people who are interested in working with you and are willing to become a co-learner with you’. He was very big on the concept of co-learning that we work together as partners to figure out what it is that's going to help people get better.
And my favourite term here recently is the idea of IVC synergism. You know, IVC by itself is a great therapy, but I don’t think it’s a standalone therapy. I think the more ways that we synergistically work on elevating the patient's adaptive reserve, improving their sense of well-being, their belief that they can get well, these sort of things, that is where IV vitamin C is something visible. Something where people see that vitamin C going into their vein, and feel it. It’s not something that they feel a big supercharged, but they just feel like, ‘Hey, this is a step in the right direction, I can heal, I can get better’. So it's a visible way of turning more to natural methods of inducing or helping the body to heal itself.
Lisa: And then combining it with some other fantastic... And yes, I’m a part of the Australasian Integrated Medical Society, here. Association here in New Zealand and Australia. And that there's a constant problem with functional doctors just being investigated constantly. And there is a huge—and because I'm not a doctor, I can say these things. And I know that when I talk to some of the people, they get frustrated by the fact that they—if they pop the heads above the pulpit, they're going to get it chopped off.
And these are the most—at the forefront of knowledge doctors, these are the ones we want battling for us and why is this happening? Is this because of pharmaceutical and the pharmacological approach? And what you say that what Dr Riordan said, ‘You can waste a lot of energy’, and I must admit that I've wasted a lot of energy coming up against brick walls. I'm going to share in a separate episode my entire story with my father who recently passed because I came up against a brick wall in his care. He had abdominal aortic aneurysms, so a massive rupture, and was ended up in hospital, miraculously survived, the operation due to a wonderful surgeon and a great team of intensivists. But he developed sepsis. And this is when I we went into the problem because from the get-go, I wanted intravenous vitamin C. And I came up against a beast of a system that said, ‘No, you can't give your father intravenous vitamin C, even though he was dying of sepsis’ And I took on the big boys, if you like, and I fought for 10 days against the system, the ethics committees, the legal, and this is a subject for its own podcast.
But one of the things that I wanted to talk to you today about is the use of intravenous vitamin C in ICUs, in particular for sepsis. Obviously, I've got a vested interest in that one, but also for ARDS, pneumonia, the coronavirus. There’s been work done by Dr Berry Fowlers that you mentioned, who initially instigated and did a double-blind controlled trial, I believe, with intravenous vitamin C. Can you tell us a little bit about that trial, and then Dr Marik’s trial?
Dr Ron: And Dr Fowler has just recently completed an ARDS trial as well and show—that it also delivers, it also helps improve survival. It was interesting that the first release of that study was not as strong. But then when the experts got a hold of it, they found a major misinterpretation, which basically showed that there was a lot more benefit in ARDS than what was initially observed.
Lisa: Is that the CITRIS-ALI study? The CITRIS-ALI study, is it?
Dr Ron: I don't have the reference with me here, but yes. But if people, if they look up Berry Fowler's name and his recent research, there's—and I will send you. I've got a link where he is defending the study at a conference. And so I'll send that to you, Lisa and if any of your viewers are interested in it, you can send it out to them.
And so but anyway, so Berry Fowler has been a leader in that particular area, and he has the mechanisms down. Vitamin C certainly is nature's acute care system. Whenever there is a threat to life, vitamin C, would be the rescue molecule. But because it is still looked upon as a vitamin, which is utilised by the body in very micronutrient trace amounts, the idea of using high amounts still does not resonate with most doctors. I'd say 99% of the medical field still considers it to be just a simple vitamin that, ‘Don't worry about scurvy because we get enough vitamin C in our food. And so, this isn’t happening to you’.
And plus, vitamin C works holistically. It doesn't work like a drug, it works in many different ways. I mean, there are some specific things that vitamin C does in terms of the production of collagen, and l-carnitine, and things like that. But when it's being used as a rescue molecule, it goes to the very heart of mitochondrial repair because really, without mitochondria, we're dead.
And most of the chronic illnesses that we're dealing with in modern times, are actually called mitochondrial dysfunction diseases. And this is why vitamin C, I think, has general application across the board in the field of chronic illness care.
The oral use of vitamin C is very interesting, I think it can have a role to play, even with cancer and other chronic illnesses. But there you have to dose it frequently throughout the day, or you have to use liposomal forms in order to get the high enough blood level to really be of use to people. But keep in mind that Linus Pauling, in his original research, he gave 10 grams a day over slow, continuous infusion for 10 days. After that, he converted to 2.5 grams four times a day orally, asking people to slowly increase their dose. And it was on that basis that he was able to help stage three and stage four patients live four to nine times longer. And some of the patients kept living even beyond that.
So sometimes what I tell people is we can use high dose vitamin C, it's kind of like ICU intensive care. But the chronic care use of oral vitamin C is also very pertinent here. And I don't want people to think that if you don't have access to intravenous vitamin C, you're out of luck. I think it's just a matter of learning to dose yourself more frequently if you've got a chronic illness. And then if you can find a practitioner that can help measure your levels and make sure you're reaching these critical blood levels, that's probably going to be a big help to you as well.
Lisa: So let's just briefly touch on there the liposomal versus the normal vitamin C. The liposomal means that sort of packed in a phospholipid, which often is omega sixes. And this can be a problem if we have high levels of omega sixes. I mean, we're already out of the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 anyway. And so, do you think that's a problem? If you're taking high doses of liposomal? Liposomal delivery is much better, isn't it? As far as delivering the vitamin C?
Dr Ron: It’s a big question in my mind as well. I'm very much into the whole discussion now that the omega-6, the oxidised seed oils, they have completely replaced saturated fats in grocery store items, and unfortunately, they are causing mitochondrial dysfunction.
So I haven't really—I've been made aware of this and I haven't really discerned out because there is advantages to liposomal vitamin C. It does get into the lymphatics faster. It does not cause stomach upset. But I have also found that using sodium ascorbate, you can dose it in higher amounts without causing the stomach upset. Even the ascorbic acid if people are sick, they can take a lot more than what they would if they weren't sick.
Dr Robert Cathcart was a US physician who worked at a coll— I think it was University of Southern California, and he would have some of the college students would come in with mono, and he could give them six to 10 grams of ascorbic acid every hour for several days. That would be like over 100 to 150 grams of vitamin C orally without diarrhea and their fever would go away, their pain would go away, they would feel much better, because he didn't have access to doing IV vitamin C with them. But when they're sick, when you're sick, they need a lot more vitamin C.
So, there's, there's another dimension to vitamin C that we shouldn't forget about. And it is a very versatile molecule. But these issues that you're talking about in terms of omega-6 and liposomal, it certainly is something that needs to be reconciled because I've heard this now from a number of people.
Lisa: Yes, it is one of the questions. And so, going back to the sepsis, or intensive care medicine and Dr Berry Fowler, so I know Dr Fowler and Dr Paul Marik who also did a study, which was also heavily criticised, unfortunately, even though I don't know why, just because it wasn't a double blinded, controlled—well, you know how difficult those sort of studies are to make so let's…
Dr Ron: May I just say, evidence-based medicine is not evidence-based. People forget that. There are a lot of doctors, if it's not a double blind, placebo-controlled trial, they will not accept it as science. Now, keep in mind that evidence-based medicine was developed by the pharmaceutical companies to protect their products, and to keep them from getting sued as readily as they otherwise would be.
And it's not really the ultimate answer, especially when you look at the whole biology of the person. Evidence-based is just where you're taking one substance and comparing it in a control group and a treated group. And basically, you're doing it in such a way that when it goes to court, you can defend your substance. That's what evidence-based medicine is, it's not, it's really not true science. It's legal science is what it is. And so, I get a little upset. And the way I always tell people, if they're going to do a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial on parachutes, I do not want to be in the control group.
Lisa: Amen to that. And that’s exactly—and there are also problems with... Going back to the hyperbaric—which I ended up having a hyperbaric clinic here after my mom's story. You can't do a double-blind controlled with hyperbaric properly because people know if they're getting a treatment or not. And so, their answer was to do it at 1.3 atmospheres instead of 1.5. Well, that is still a treatment, I'm sorry, it's still a treatment. And so it's not clear cut.
And then if you bring into the whole discussion then the costs of running such a clinical trial, that means that only pharmaceutical companies can run these things because no one else has got the money to do this. And so, it becomes a self-perpetuating pharmacological model that gets through and the rest of us don't with alternative—or not alternative, I don't like that word. But with things like oxidative medicines, people can't make billions out of it. And therefore, it's never going to be listened to and this is part of the problem we have with us.
So, going back to Dr Marik’s study because I thought it was a very exciting and one of the ones that I quoted when I was fighting for my dad's life. And this had 96 patients, 47 in the control group and 47 in the other group. When he combined intravenous vitamin C, by the way, not in very high dosages.
Dr Ron: No, no, it is kept pretty low.
Lisa: Yes, that's what that was one of the things I wanted to ask you about. And I know a lot of the other clinical studies, is the reason they’re keeping the dosages low because the mainstream doctors won't accept going to the levels that we'd actually like to go to?
Dr Ron: It’s going to cause kidney stones. They're afraid it's going to cause kidney stones or it's going to cause renal failure or some awful thing. And I can tell you in my 31 years at the Riordan clinic, where I've probably overseen over 200,000 IV vitamin C's, I can think of maybe two or three people that had a kidney stone, but they already had a history of kidney stones.
So, vitamin C does not cause kidney stones. But if you've got one ready to pop out, it's not going to prevent it either. So but generally speaking, the notion that the oxalate itself is going to cause the stone, that's just not true. It is metabolised to oxalate but you have to have an excess of calcium in your kidneys for that oxalate to combine with in order to form the stones.
So, vitamin C itself there's been several studies to show that it does not cause kidney stones but that's part of the mentality.
Lisa: Doctor mentality. And that was one of the arguments they hit. They said, ‘That could damage his kidneys’. And then I said, ‘Last time I looked, being dead damages your kidneys, too’. And I saw that in the first intravenous that I got into my dad because we did eventually get it, 10 days too late because of the legal battles and so on, his kidney function went from 27% up to 33% in one infusion. So, I mean, this is something that's made to damage his kidneys. Apart from the fact that his c-reactive protein numbers dropped by half despite this incredibly advanced infection, and his white blood cell count dropped as well.
And so, I've seen it firsthand and someone who was at death's doorstep, we're talking any moment can go, what the hell would have happened if I hadn't had that from day one from his operation? And I think the reason that he lived so long was that I had my dad on intravenous vitamin C, prior to going into this, not as regularly as I should have. But I had him also on glutathione. I had him on good nutrition. I had him on everything non-domain going in. And so therefore, he did survive the operation. He did get to... Because every day the doctors were coming in and going, ‘Oh, my God he’s still alive’. And then, ‘I can't believe he’s actually still here with us at 81 years old, having had this massive operation’. And I was like, ‘Yes, that's my dad, and he's a fighter, and we're going to keep fighting’. And yes, that's a whole another story.
But each one of the—so Dr Marik’s study, I think—forgive me if I got the statistics wrong. But at the end of the day, the outcome was a drop in the mortality rate from 40% down to 8%, from memory. Now, that is huge. And those are people's lives and families who haven't lost their loved one, every single one of those. And this was a small study. And now they're doing the VICTAS study, which is hopefully going to look at more, but I’m not holding my breath, but I'm not sure how that one's going to come out.
But there are lots of lots of studies now to show that in sepsis and pneumonia, this is saving lives. We hit a landmark case that I used as a precedent for my argument of a guy called Allan Smith in New Zealand, who 10 years ago had swine flu. For what?
Dr Ron: I met Allan.
Lisa: Oh, really?
Dr Ron: Yes, he was in Paris a couple years ago, we were with Dr Thomas Levy, doing some presentation. So I got to meet Allan, it is...
Lisa: Oh, my God.
Dr Ron: Yes. And that that whole story is chilling because it really seemed like they were—I mean, you hate to say it but it seemed like they wanted him to die to prove that vitamin C didn’t work.
Lisa: Exactly because they started it and then they stopped it, and they started. And I had the same problems with my dad. And Allan Smith’s case was the only reason I got to look at it. And this is one of the reasons why I want to fight for this because even if I don't succeed, right now, everybody who learns the voice to this argument is going to make a little chip in their armour, to get them to sit up and wake up and listen.
And I'm hoping to talk to Allan. I want to meet him and discuss his case for them. Because I want them to understand too, that it had an effect on my family. We ultimately failed but we had the chance and eventually I got it because of his case. And therefore, every single one of these cases, I don't want him to think that it was a waste of time making a fuss about this because this is absolutely crucial work.
Dr Ron: Well, you know that Dr Riordan wrote a three-book series on Medical Mavericks because what he found is that all progress in medicine is met with resistance. It's not just vitamin C, anything new, unless it's a big profit maker in the realm of something that people already know, then it can weave through fairly quickly. But if it's something that's really original and unique in the realm of medical thought, it's a huge, huge battle to get something new in. So, I mean, the medical profession will close ranks very quickly. And that's the concept of the Maverick.
Lisa: I have to read that.
Dr Ron: It's being pushed outside of the herd. Yes, they're very good. It's happened all throughout the history of medicine.
Lisa: And it is like a herd mentality. And I can see how it develops. Even the functional doctors, if they stick their head above the pulpit a little bit and do something like something simple, like intravenous vitamin C, or intravenous glutathione, or something like that, oops, chop their heads off. And so of course you breed this herd mentality as well, ‘I'll stick to the standard of care even if that standard of care isn't working for anybody because I don't want to lose my medical license that I've spent years and years getting’. And I can understand that. But this is what's killing this whole and innovative and the latest research from being looked at and understood.
It's costing lives and it's not costing one or two in my family, definitely one of the victims of this problem. And I'm not saying 100% that my dad would have survived anyway, but I'm pretty damn sure he would’ve. How many thousands and thousands of people and hundreds of thousands of people worldwide are not benefiting from the latest research?
Dr Ron: Dr Fowler, when he gives his presentation, he says, this is before the pandemic, ‘But every day there were two plane loads of people dying from sepsis in intensive care units, because the standard approach is not working’. So that's why he inaugurated his research into vitamin C. So there's got to be a better way, and so...
Lisa: I have to get to Dr Fowler. I have to try and...
Dr Ron: He's really great. If you can get a hold of Dr Fowler, he'd be a great person to interview given what's happened to your dad. Yes, I can give you connections on him.
Lisa: Okay, that would be absolutely wonderful because I think yes. Again, I'm nobody, I'm not a doctor, I don't have—but I do have a history of activism in this space. And because I'm not a doctor, they can't take my medical license off me. So I can say what I want, because we still have freedom of speech in this country. And if I can use that platform to get heard, and even to make a single person aware that there is this option to look at, it is really, really important to me.
Dr Ron: I really do hope you get Dr Fowler on your show because one of the things he's doing is he is very calm and he keeps repeating, ‘The science, the science, the science’, because that's the only way we're going to win. We cannot win—politically, we cannot win, economically—the only way we can win is if we completely show that the science does play out accurately and people do live better longer, they get better faster. So those types of things. But anyway, Berry's an excellent advocate of vitamin C and in the conventional realm.
Lisa: Great, I'm going to try and find him and definitely do that. And Dr Ron, we've covered a whole lot of stuff today. We've gone all over the place. And I would love to just go on and on. I did want to ask us a couple... I wanted to talk just briefly about what redox medicine or what redox is because I want people to understand because people can... Well, vitamin C is an antioxidant. But when it's given intravenously, it's also a pro-oxidant. Ozone therapy is also an oxidative. In one of your lectures you beautifully described what the differences between oxidative stress that is damaging and oxidative stress that is good. And just trying to help people who get your head around what redox is.
Dr Ron: So redox reduction is where basically, you donate an electron and oxidation is where you steal electrons. So, it's really just the flow back and forth of electrons, and life is electron flow. And in some of my lectures, I talked about how when cells are healthy, when we're feeling healthy, you have this dynamic balance going on. But when there's injury, you basically—the scale tips, and there's some kind of disruption or dysfunctioning that's occurring. The oxidation that occurs is actually a signal. Oxidation can be a signal to the inflammatory system to start the repair process.
So, oxidation is not necessarily bad. It's interesting. When I do an ozone shot in someone's knee, prolozone, I'm basically saying, ‘I'm causing more inflammation in your knee because first of all, I'm putting this ozone in, it's going to disinfect the knee’. But it's also going to signal a reboot of the healing process. And this oxygen is going to bring in lymphocytes, it's going to bring in fibroblasts, it's going to bring in additional circulation. And the result is that you're going to get a better healing of the knee rather than having it be stuck in this chronic inflammatory state. So, there we're using oxidation in a way to heal.
Obviously, oxidation that's out of balance, it can cause chronic infections, abscesses, sepsis, all these various things, but that's where the person did not have the reserve of antioxidant nutrients, or glutathione support in order to pull them out of the nosedive.
And the difference between vitamin C is that you can continue to put vitamin C intravenously and it will continue to give electrons. Your glutathione, when glutathione donates an electron, it becomes oxidised and it's no longer functional, it has to be rejuvenated, it has to be re-reduced. But that takes the methylation cycle, that takes minerals, it takes a lot of biochemistry to rejuvenate glutathione.
So that's why an infusion of glutathione, you can do that. But IV vitamin C works a lot better in that particular instance.
Lisa: Oh okay. That was one thing that was missing in my connect the dots there. Because I was like, you were talking about vitamin C and when you have tyrosine, for example, going to dopamine, which then turns into norepinephrine, I think, and that adrenaline and then adrenochrome, and we were talking to you were talking about schizophrenia, and how adrenochrome, the result of that process can cause hallucinatory effects. And you said vitamin C can get a background and I was missing the dots here. But then that's where that comes in.
Dr Ron: Cathcart basically said it, with vitamin C, you can just keep pouring it in as much as you need if you have an IV access point, or if you're giving it an adequate doses orally.
Now, you can also rejuvenate vitamin C, the red blood cells have a redox system in their cell membrane but it's very slow. It's very, very slow. And that's why you can't just go by that alone, you need to get vitamin C in your diet. And then when you have an emergency, you need large amounts of vitamin C, and that's where we fall short. And that's where intravenous vitamin C, or forms of vitamin C that can be taken in large amounts can actually serve as kind of like a fire engine coming to put out the fire of oxidation.
Lisa: Because the half-life of vitamin C is very short. Isn't it two to three hours? I believe. So I did have that question in my head, then. If it's such a short half-life, what benefit is it actually having if it's going out of the body in three hours? How is it still having an effect even though it's gone?
Dr Ron: It's a kind of flush. You kind of flush the system and you rejuvenate the reserves. But you're right and that's why I tell people, if you've got cancer and you come to the Riordan Clinic for three days and we give you the Riordan protocol at progressive doses and get your dosing, you still—when you get home you need to find someone who can give you IV vitamin C twice a week. And even between those IV vitamin C's you need to think like Linus Pauling thought, you need to be taking your oral doses of vitamin C three to four times throughout the day in order to maintain adequate amounts.
Lisa: Is there a place? If you have a local doctor or GP, a functional doctor or someone that you can get the Riordan protocol if they're unaware of it? So that they go for cancer specifically...
Dr Ron: Sure. Go to rioradanclinic.org, our website. And under Learn, we have our Research section. And located in the research section, the full protocol is there free to anyone to download and utilise.
Lisa: Wonderful, okay. I'm going to go and check that out because I wasn't sure—like you don't always have a doctor in your local town who has perhaps heard of the Riordan protocol. So, this would be a great thing to take to them and say, ‘Hey, I want to do that. I've got cancer’.
Dr Ron: Right and we do IV vitamin C symposiums where we talk about its utilisation. And then we also have an IVC Academy where we train doctors to use IV vitamin C in their practices.
Lisa: Fantastic. That's really, really exciting. Okay, so this sort of redox is it's a bit like hormesis, isn't it? Like, you know, when I do an exercise training session, I go to the gym, I'll lift some heavy weights, I'm causing actually a breakdown of muscle, I'm actually damaging it. But that is a signal, if you like to the body, ‘Oop, something's wrong here. I have to start this cascade of events’, which will in effect make my muscles bigger, stronger, more able to cope, more endurance, etc. It's the same sort of effect, isn't it? When we do a...
Dr Ron: No. I heard an interesting thing. And since you're an endurance runner, you'll relate to this, that therefore while endurance runners or people who are trying to train were taking too many antioxidants. The prooxidant effect in order to get the hormesis to kind of get your body to gear up and become stronger. And so there is an inappropriate way to use antioxidants. And that's what—people don't understand that, they assume that antioxidants is just all good. But you can use them inappropriately.
Lisa: And as an athlete, I've been worried about there because of course, I've been taking a lot of vitamin C and I'm like, when do I take it if I'm training at lunchtime today, when would be a good time? Is it like a three hour or six hour window prior to training and after training that I shouldn't have vitamin C and vitamin E and other antioxidants or...?
Dr Ron: Remember your training is kind of like a self-induced injury. And so you want to go ahead and train but not while you're taking the vitamin C. Let the injury occur. And then after you start to recover, and later on that day, when you're eating your meal, that's when you might take your vitamin C because then you need the vitamin C to do the repair work. You don't want to be repairing it while you're stressing it.
Hormesis is tricky, but that's where people—they don't understand how redox actually works. It's not that all oxidation is bad and all antioxidants is good. It's the cycles that occur within the body that are part of life and you just need to learn how to nuance your supplementation, so that you get the best results
Lisa: Probably four to five hours after training would be a good time.
Dr Ron: Yes. But I don't think anyone's worked out the exact details and so…
Lisa: But that’s really interesting, isn't it? That in our logical linear thinking brains, one plus one equals two, we're good to go. I take my vitamin C, organic so I've had a healthy day. But it isn't. It's all about the timings chronobiology is a lot. I’m trained in epigenetics and have an epigenetics program. And a lot of things are related to chronobiology like the white time of the day.
And it's the same with these sorts of things that you're having a little bit of stress at the right time. So oxidative stress causes a cellular if you like signaling cascade, and we want that to a certain degree. We just don't want it to become like chronic inflammation, that is where we start to get that inflammation. Those sorts of things coming in. So we are very complicated beings.
But Dr Ron, you've been so generous with your time today. I don't want to take up too much of your time, I would love to but better not. I just want to mention you, Dr Thomas Levy has a book called Curing the Incurable, which is an absolutely fascinating read and he's a colleague of yours. I'm loving that book. So, people might want to go and get that.
Dr Ron, where can they find or reach out to you if people want to—or to your institute? Where can they find you?
Dr Ron: So we're at Riordan Clinic and Riordan is spelled R-I-O-R-D-A-N. Dr Hugh Riordan. And so Riordan Clinic we named—we renamed it. It was the Center For The Improvement Of Human Functioning. But after he passed in 2005, we renamed it in his honor.
It's got a wonderful website. If you go to YouTube and go to the Riordan Clinic channel, tremendous amount of videos and research there are—our last 2018 symposium. Most of it is there in videos, and it's all very good. A lot of our other symposiums are present in the Riordan Clinic learning section. And so, we invite you to do that.
I take calls every Monday night from 4:30–5:00 Central Standard Time. People are willing— I just am answering basic questions. But if they would like to chat briefly that way, it's a free call. I'm happy to answer their questions.
Lisa: That's amazing, Dr Ron. Thank you so much for the work you're doing. Thank you so much for your honesty, the passion that you bring to your work. It's having an effect right down on the other end of the world. So, I really appreciate what you've done for this. Awesome to talk to you today.
Dr Ron: And Lisa, thank you for being relentless.
Lisa: That's a perfect way to go.
And that's it this week for Pushing the Limits. Be sure to rate, review, and share with your friends and head over and visit Lisa and her team at lisatamati.com.