Interview with STEVE STONE
IT WAS IRWIN STONE who first put Linus Pauling onto vitamin C. Stone said that we humans have inherited a genetic trait to need but not manufacture the
vitamin. More important to most readers, he told how many diseases have
responded very well to high-dose vitamin C treatment. His classic book, The
Healing Factor: Vitamin C Against Disease contains over fifty pages of
scientific references, making it required reading for anybody's doctor. It is
doubtful that many skeptics have been as thorough as Stone has in checking
vitamin C literature. His book summarizes documented the successful vitamin C treatment of infections, (bacterial and viral), allergies, asthma, eye diseases,
ulcers, poisoning, and the effects of smoking. Vitamin C's role in treating
cancer, heart disease, diabetes, fractures, shock, wounds and pregnancy
complications is also included. The information on tetanus and glaucoma is
especially interesting. Stone's work is unique and incredibly valuable. The complete text of The Healing Factor, previously a hard-to-find book, is now posted for free reading at http://vitamincfoundation.org/stone .
Whom do we have to thank for this? Dr. Stone's son, Steve. Let's meet him now.
STEVE STONE: I simply believe that the information in the book can make people's lives better.
DY NEWS: Two Nobel prize winners wrote forewords to The Healing Factor: Dr.
Linus Pauling, and Dr. Albert Szent-Gyorgyi. Did you personally meet them?
STONE: I met Linus Pauling but didn't spend much face-to-face time with him. He was a gracious, gentle man who always treated my parents with respect.
DY NEWS: Your dad was not a physician; what brought him to vitamin C research in the first place?
STONE: My father had studied either chemistry or chemical engineering at CCNY, worked briefly at Pease Laboratories and then spent the balance of his career at Wallerstein Laboratories which was ultimately acquired by Baxter. Most of his work was in fermentation technologies, especially beer making.
When vitamin C first became commercially available at reasonable prices (late
1930's I think) he appreciated that its redox
properties and lack of toxicity had the potential to deal with stability
issues in beer and bread making. He ultimately was granted patents for the
use of ascorbate in these processes. He started supplementing his diet with
relatively large amounts of vitamin C shortly after he started this work and
became convinced that this contributed significantly to his health. I
remember that in the summers during WWII my mother suffered from allergies
and we would have to take weekly ferry boat rides from Staten Island to
DY NEWS: What are a couple of your favorite personal recollections about your
STONE: A couple of things come to mind. My father was 4-F during
WWII because of a heart murmur but he volunteered as an ambulance driver in
the USAAC (United States Army Ambulance Corps) and on occasion I got to ride
in the ambulance with him. I also remember going to visit his laboratory,
which was located in an office building at 34th and
DY NEWS: Other memorable events?
STONE: My father was elected President of the American Society of Brewing
Chemists in 1960 and, following the inauguration ceremony, my
parents drove from
On the road to
They were both in the hospital from May till August. As soon as he could
communicate, he insisted on having vitamin C supplements and convinced those caring for him that that was the reason he survived. They believed him. Subsequently, my father found a research paper that showed that vitamin C
supplementation increased impact shock survival in guinea pigs.
The injuries affected his mobility to some extent, so he cut back on some of his
more strenuous activities and spent the rest of his life researching vitamin C,
the results of which are set forth in The Healing Factor. Along the way, he met
Dr. Pauling and shared his thoughts with him, with the result that Pauling's book, Vitamin C and the Common Cold is dedicated to my father. (And is reviewed at http://www.doctoryourself.com/morebooks.html)
DY NEWS: What do you think were the biggest professional obstacles to his work, and to his controversial thesis that megadoses of vitamin C are natural and normal for a human?
STONE: The resistance of the medical profession to be open to new ideas, particularly when they come from non-doctors. But that's changing. Most doctors now say that you should be taking vitamin C supplements, whereas 30 years ago that was heresy. Another obstacle is insistence on double blind testing to validate the benefits of vitamin C. Each person has different requirements for C, which vary depending on stress. In order to get the full benefit, a person needs to adjust the amount of C being taken depending on stress levels and need to be able to titrate themselves. (http://www.doctoryourself.com/titration.html) This is not doable in a controlled double blind situation.
DY NEWS: I recall that the National Health Federation described "The Healing
Factor" as perhaps the most important health book ever written. Many
orthomolecular physicians firmly agree with that assessment. Your comments?
STONE: I agree completely. The role of ascorbate in human health cannot be
DY NEWS: Do you have correspondence preserved between your father and other scientists? If so, what are the chances for an on-line archive of the documents?
STONE: My daughter lives in my dad's old house and his old filing cabinets are
still in the garage. I think that most of it is publications rather than correspondence.
DY NEWS: You may skip this question if it is too personal: What are your most
comforting memories from your father's last days?
STONE: In May 1984, almost 22 years to the day after the
Don't know if this is comforting but my dad wouldn't fly and didn't like to travel. I was visiting him a couple of days before the trip to LA and he was saying how he didn't really want to go. That was my last conversation with him.
DY NEWS: I personally think Dr. Stone deserved a Nobel of his own. Thank you
very much for offering your father's work to the public.
For more information:
Stone I. The Healing Factor: Vitamin C Against Disease.
Additional information on high-dose vitamin C therapy:
http://www.doctoryourself.com/vitaminc2.html or with a search from the top of
the main page at http://www.doctoryourself.com .
Dr. Alan Cott's tribute to Irwin Stone posted at
IRWIN STONE WAS RIGHT:
VITAMINS REDUCE ICU TRAUMA
"Five hundred ninety-five patients were enrolled and
analyzed, 91% of whom were victims of trauma.
Multiple organ failure was significantly less likely to occur in patients
receiving antioxidants than in patients receiving standard care . . . The
early administration of antioxidant supplementation using alpha-tocopherol and
ascorbic acid reduces the incidence of organ failure and shortens ICU length of
stay in this cohort of critically ill surgical patients." (
CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE DECREASED BY VITAMIN C
Data from 6,624 men and women in the Second National Health and
Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES II) revealed that "Compared with
participants with low to marginally low vitamin C levels, there was a 27%
decreased prevalence of coronary heart disease and a 26% decreased prevalence
of stroke among those in the highest serum vitamin C category. In the NHANES
I Epidemiologic Follow-up Study, it was found that the highest intakes of vitamin C had a 25% to 50% reduction in
cardiovascular mortality." (Simon, JA et al. Serum ascorbic acid and
cardiovascular disease prevalence in
SCURVY IS STILL A SERIOUS HEALTH PROBLEM
Andrew Saul is the author of the books FIRE YOUR DOCTOR! How to be Independently Healthy (reader reviews at http://www.doctoryourself.com/review.html ) and DOCTOR YOURSELF: Natural Healing that Works. (reviewed at http://www.doctoryourself.com/saulbooks.html )
Interview and comments copyright 2004 and prior years by Andrew W. Saul.
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