The High Dose Oral Vitamin C Protocol for Cancer and Viral Infections

This post contains some fascinating facts about Vitamin C that most people do not know. Or maybe I’m wrong and everyone already knows this… We’ll see.

High dose vitamin C is a powerful anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-cancer protocol. Even if you don’t have cancer, you can use this method to gauge your internal oxidative stress and your body’s real-time demand for antioxidants.

Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is an essential vitamin, but unlike many animals, the human body doesn’t produce vitamin c. It has to come from food.

You’ve probably also heard that a severe vitamin C deficiency leads to scurvy.

Early symptoms of scurvy are malaise and lethargy. That’s basically a “general feeling of being unwell” along with tiredness or exhaustion. After a few months comes shortness of breath and bone pain. Further down the road is muscle pain, skin sores, gum disease, loose teeth, wounds not healing, dry mouth, dry eyes, and emotional problems. In the late stages scurvy causes jaundice, edema, fever, convulsions, and eventually death.

Note: Chemotherapy causes major oxidative damage throughout the body and chemo patients often have severely depleted levels of vitamin C and scurvy symptoms. 

Fortunately scurvy can be CURED with lemons, limes, oranges, and any other Vitamin C containing food.

Here’s where it gets interesting…

The cure for scurvy was first published in 1617 in The Surgeon’s Mate by English military surgeon John Woodall. And it was completely ignored by the medical community.

In 1753 (136 years later) naval surgeon James Lind published his discovery in
A Treatise of The Scurvy, which was also ignored. The medical establishment insisted that the testimonials of eating citrus fruit to reverse scurvy were merely “anecdotal” and not based on “scientific evidence”.  Sound familiar?

Fortunately James Lind persevered and nearly 50 years later citrus fruit was finally accepted and used for the prevention and treatment of scurvy on sailing vessels. So, in summary:

The cure for scurvy was ignored by the medical community for nearly 200 years after its discovery.

Nutrition and natural therapies are still ignored modern medicine. In fact I’d be willing to bet that if you went to see a doctor with some of the symptoms of scurvy that I listed above, you be subjected to a barrage of expensive tests, misdiagnosed, prescribed various pharmaceutical drugs, and subjected to treatments for some other disease. This happens all the time.

Earlier this year my good friend Tony got very sick and was told that he “probably had cancer or AIDS” by his doctor… turns out it was viral pneumonia! Can you imagine?

But I digress…

Here are some common whole food sources of vitamin C:

Oranges, Kiwi, Canteloupe, Papaya, Strawberries, Brussels Sprouts, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Cabbage, Kale and Peppers.

“Superfoods” with the highest concentration of vitamin C on planet earth are
Camu Camu Fruit, Amla (Indian Gooseberry), and Acerola Cherries. In that order.

Vitamin C supports nearly every system in your body: your adrenals, your immune system, your cardiovascular system, and more.

Perhaps the most important is that it is a neutralizer of free radicals.

There’s been tons of ground-breaking research on high-dose Vitamin C’s powerful healing and anti-cancer effects by the likes of Fred Klenner MD, Irwin Stone, Linus Pauling, and Ewan Cameron. I don’t have time to get into their stories but I wanted to a least give credit where it’s due. Google them in your spare time.

There’s a fascinating vitamin C phenomenon that most of us don’t know about.

The sicker and/or more toxic you are, the more free radicals you have in your body, and as a result, the more vitamin C your body will absorb and use.

Your body keeps a small reserve of vitamin C available for use when there is increased internal demand, but when you are sick this is quickly depleted.

You may have also heard (or experienced) that if you take too much vitamin C by mouth you get the runs, aka “chach” which is our family’s abbreviation (and code word) derived from “Diarrhea Cha Cha Cha”.

A healthy person can take anywhere from 4-15 grams (4,000-15,000 mg) of vitamin C in a 24 hour period without getting the runs, but a sick person can tolerate as much as 10-20 times more. I’m talking even as much as 100-200 grams per day by mouth.

Have you ever taken vitamin C when you had a cold and it didn’t help? This is probably because you didn’t take near enough.

Here’s where it gets ridiculous…

If you ate something that contained “100% of the USRDA (U. S. Recommended Daily Allowance ) of vitamin C” that seems pretty good right?

It’s not.

The USRDA for vitamin C is only 75 mg. That’s MILLIGRAMS. A normal healthy person can absorb and use between 4,000-15,000 milligrams per day. So the USRDA is way off on this one.

A single orange has about 50mg of vitamin C and 75 mg is basically what someone decided is the absolute minimum amount to keep you from getting scurvy. This is not an amount that promotes optimal health.

1 teaspoon of Camu Camu Powder has about 15 times the USRDA of vitamin C!

Even though you may not have scurvy, I think it’s safe to assume that many of us may not be getting enough vitamin C in our diets, the lack of which could be a contributor to a) feeling lousy or b) serious disease.

High Dose Oral Vitamin C Therapy is taking the maximum dose your body can tolerate before you get the runs. This requires finding your threshold and then backing off a little bit for your daily dose. The clinical term is “titrating to bowel tolerance”.

As some of you know, one of the therapies I used to help my body heal from cancer was Vitamin C IV Therapy, which is a common practice in the natural, non-toxic alternative cancer treatment world. This involves sitting in chair in a practitioner’s office for two hours with an IV drip containing 50 grams or more of vitamin C.

And while this is a very effective method to get a massive dose of vitamin C without reaching bowel tolerance, it is time consuming and can get expensive. I was paying $120 a pop, back in 2004. And in order for it to be the most effective, you may need to do it daily or several times per week for many weeks.

My friend Bill, who healed his prostate cancer naturally, turned me on to a simple do-it-yourself Oral Vitamin C Protocol was recommended to him by an underground cancer treatment expert whose name I cannot use publicly. And then I went down the research rabbit hole.

Bill initially reached bowel tolerance taking 60 grams per day. After two months his tolerance was down to less than 30 grams per day.

The Vitamin C Protocol & Tolerance Test 

I think this is something everyone should do. Clearly no one wants diarrhea on purpose, but in this case it can give you some immediate feedback about your internal condition. And it’s super cheap to do!

The simple way to find your tolerance is to take 2-3 grams of Vitamin C powder or crystals (ascorbic acid) every two hours mixed in 8 oz of water. That will give you about 12-18 grams the first day. Make sure you write it down to keep track of your how much you’ve taken.

Note: Vitamin C powder (pure ascorbic acid) is highly concentrated. 1 teaspoon is typically 4-5 grams of vitamin C.

The goal is to find your 24 hour limit, not your single dose limit.

The half-life of vitamin C in the body is about 30 minutes. That means about an hour after you take vitamin C, your body has used up most of it. So an important key to this protocol is to keep your body saturated with vitamin C all day. Dosing every 1-2 hours is ideal, except while you’re sleeping.

If you reach bowel tolerance in the first 24 hours
Reduce the total dose by 20-25% and continue to take that amount every day as a maintenance dose (this may be for several days or weeks) until you reach bowel tolerance again at that level. Then reduce by 20% again and continue with that dose until you hit bowel tolerance again, and so on.

It works in the way opposite way that you would expect because you don’t build up a tolerance. The healthier you become, the lower your tolerance for vitamin C will go.

If you reach bowel tolerance at 10-15 grams or less per day, you’re considered to be in very good shape health wise.

If you do not reach bowel tolerance in the first 24 hours
Continue to up the dose each day until you get there. If you are seriously sick you may need to dose every hour or 1/2 hour as indicated in the chart below.

As you get close to bowel tolerance you will get gassy and should have soft stool. That means you’re very close to your body’s limit and should reduce your dosage a bit.

Here’s a dosage chart from the late and legendary Dr. Robert Cathcart MD,
who treated 9000+ patients with Vitamin C!


CONDITION              Grams Per 24 Hours   Doses Per 24 Hours 
normal                       4 -  15              4 -  6 
mild cold                   30 -  60              6 - 10 
severe cold                 60 - 100+             8 - 15 
influenza                  100 - 150              8 - 20 
ECHO, coxsackievirus       100 - 150              8 - 20 
mononucleosis              150 - 200+            12 - 25 
viral pneumonia            100 - 200+            12 - 25 
hay fever, asthma           15 -  50              4 -  8 
environmental and                                        
 food allergy              0.5 -  50              4 -  8 
burn, injury, surgery       25 - 150+             6 - 20 
anxiety, exercise and                                    
 other mild stresses        15 -  25              4 -  6 
cancer                      15 - 100            4 - 15 
ankylosing spondylitis      15 - 100              4 - 15 
Reiter's syndrome           15 -  60              4 - 10 
acute anterior uveitis      30 - 100              4 - 15 
rheumatoid arthritis        15 - 100              4 - 15 
bacterial infections        30 - 200+            10 - 25 
infectious hepatitis        30 - 100              6 - 15 
candidiasis                 15 - 200+             6 - 25

Something else worth noting in the above chart
If you are under chronic stress or engage in athletic activities like running, weight training, etc. you are likely to have an increased need for Vitamin C and your tolerance will be higher. Even if you are healthy.

Dr. Cathcart also notes that low dose vitamin c had basically no effect, but high dose vitamin, when taken at 80-90% of bowel tolerance, produced a significant and dramatic reduction of symptoms in his patients.

This next graph is his demonstration of the relationship between dosage amount and symptom reduction. I had to stare at the graph for a minute to get it. Disease symptoms severely drop off when near bowel tolerance is reached, but are not affected until then.

As you can see above, Dr. Cathcart noted that the clinical benefit for the flu was achieved when patients took up to 150 grams per day. Mono or pneumonia required up to 200 grams per day.

My Experiments
When I first tried this protocol a couple months ago I didn’t reach bowel tolerance until I got to around 34 grams. I worked my way up to taking 12 grams three times per day. I have no idea why my tolerance was that high. I workout 3-5 days per week which would increase my tolerance but perhaps I also had something going on internally… who knows?

Earlier this morning I took 7.5 grams and it produced bowel tolerance for me a couple hours later which actually interrupted my work on this post. Clearly my tolerance is down and if Dr. Cathcart is right, my internal health has improved.

Another one: My kids came home with colds from school two weeks ago. Then my wife got it. One morning I started to feel cold symptoms as well so I took 10 grams of Vitamin c. I felt great all day.

Then close to bedtime I started to feel the symptoms again so I took another 10 grams. I did this every day for about a week. I would feel the symptoms in the morning, but I quickly crushed them with 10 grams of vitamin c.  Some days I would take a dose around lunch time as well if I remembered.

I was taking 20-30 grams per day for most of the week, I felt good, I was close to bowel tolerance, and the cold never developed. Since then, I’ve done this more times than I can count.

What form to take?

Vitamin C comes in several different forms: pure ascorbic acid and buffered with minerals.

Buffered C contains mineral salts like calcium ascorbate, magnesium ascorbate, and sodium ascorbate.

I compared three different types (two buffered and one pure ascorbic acid) to see if they had different effects, but my tolerance was basically the same for all three. Having said that…

Solaray Vitamin C Powder is 100% pure ascorbic acid so it’s extremely tart and citric.

Vitamin Shoppe Buffered C-Complex tastes chalky, not citric.

Thompson C Buffered Crystals is buffered with calcium ascorbate, it’s citric but not as strong as the pure crystals.

Dr. Cathcart recommends taking pure ascorbic acid for the high dose oral protocol. Dr. Thomas Levy recommends sodium ascorbate. I think it makes sense to rotate between different types.

*After writing this post it was brought to my attention that most of the ascorbic acid in vitamin C powder is made in China from GMO corn. The good news is there are several brands of non-GMO vitamin C powders on amazon.

And my favorite is Sufficient-C. 

Sufficient-C is non-GMO ascorbic acid with lysine, bromelain, and green tea extract. It tastes like peach lemonade and is easy to give to kids.

You might also enjoy my interview with Dr. Ron Hunninghake, medical director of the Riordan Clinic in Wichita, Kansas on the anticancer power of IV vitamin C. He’s overseen over 75,000 administrations of IV vitamin C.

Recommended Reading:
Cancer and Vitamin C  by Ewan Cameron and Linus Pauling
Curing the Incurable: Vitamin C, Infectious Diseases, and Toxins by Thomas Levy MD

Dr. Cathcart’s Instructions on Dosage
Riordan Clinic IV Vitamin C Protocol
Read The Healing Factor by Dr. Irwin Stone For Free Here

Chris Beat Cancer: A Comprehensive Plan for Healing Naturally, published by Hay House, is a National Bestseller as ranked by USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, and Publishers Weekly! Get it on Amazon here, or anywhere books are sold.

I've interviewed over 60 people who've healed all types and stages of cancer. Check them out here. Or use the search bar to find survivors of specific cancer types.

I also created a coaching program for cancer patients, caregivers and anyone who is serious about prevention called SQUARE ONE. It contains the step-by-step strategies used by myself and everyone I know who has healed cancer with nutrition and natural, non-toxic therapies.

Watch SQUARE ONE Module 1 for free here


Chris Beat Cancer is reader-supported. If you purchase a product through a link on this site I may receive compensation from the affiliate partner (like Amazon). Your support helps fund this blog and my mission so my team and I can continue to do the work that we do. Thank you!