Vitamin C, Shingles, and Vaccination

by Thomas E. Levy, MD, JD

The pharmaceutical industry, and many doctors, appear to be making great efforts by to get as many people as possible vaccinated against shingles. Even if such an intervention was highly effective in preventing shingles, which certainly has not been shown to be the case, the information below should make it clear that such vaccinations are unnecessary. The side effects that would be suffered by a significant number of individuals need never occur in the first place. The real problem is that what is discussed below generates relatively little income for anybody in the healthcare industry. Regardless, you need to decide for yourself.

Shingles is an infection resulting from the varicella zoster virus, usually manifesting in areas supplied by spinal nerves, known as dermatomes. More commonly known in medical circles as Herpes zoster, the infection is typically characterized by a blistering skin rash of extraordinary pain for most individuals. The initial infection with the virus is usually remote from the shingles outbreak, typically occurring in childhood when chickenpox is contracted. For years the virus remains latent in nerve cell bodies or autonomic ganglia. It is when the virus, for unclear reasons, breaks out of these storage sites and travels down the nerve axons that shingles occurs.

Left to itself along with mainstream therapies that include analgesics, antiviral agents like acyclovir, and corticosteroids, the rash will generally resolve in two to four weeks. The pain is generally lessened little by analgesics. Some unfortunate individuals can experience postherpetic neuralgia, a syndrome of residual nerve pain that can continue for months or years following a shingles outbreak.

Treatment of Shingles with Vitamin C

The clinical response of shingles to vitamin C therapy is decidedly different from its response to traditional therapies. While there are not many reports in the literature on vitamin C and shingles, the studies that do exist are striking. Frederick Klenner, MD, who pioneered the effective use of vitamin C in a wide variety of infections and toxin exposures, published the results of his vitamin C therapy on eight patients with shingles. He gave 2,000 to 3,000 mg of vitamin C by injection every 12 hours, supplemented by 1,000 mg in fruit juice by mouth every two hours. In seven of the eight patients treated in this manner, complete pain relief was reported within two hours of the first vitamin C injection. All patients received a total of five to seven vitamin C injections. Having had shingles myself years before I knew of the efficacy of vitamin C therapy, I can assert that this is nothing short of a stunning result on what is usually a painful and debilitating disease.

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