Vitamin C Can Save Your Life

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In the hopes
of not typecasting myself as simply an attacker of the Bush administration,
I think it is time to break ground on a new topic: vitamins and
supplements. Yes, while an immoral war rages miles away from home
and the administration scurries around trying to stop the bleeding
at home, I think it is time to discuss an issue that will probably
fly underneath the radar screen of most observers.

On January
20th, 1985, the Dan Marino-led Miami Dolphins were
defeated soundly in Super Bowl XIX by the San Francisco 49ers
and Joe Montana. While I can not remember the exact score, I can
remember that I was sick with the flu. That was nineteen years
ago and is not too big of a deal in and of itself. What I do believe
is somewhat interesting, is that I have not had the flu since.
There is but one reason for this in my opinion: vitamin C. I am
not talking about a couple hundred milligrams that come as part
of a multi-vitamin. I am talking about thousands of milligrams
per day.

The merits
of vitamin C have been well known for some time. In 1747, Scottish
naval surgeon James Lind discovered that a nutrient (now known
to be vitamin C) in citrus foods prevented scurvy. It was
rediscovered by Norwegians, A. Hoist and T. Froelich in 1912.
Vitamin C was the first vitamin to be artificially synthesized
in 1935. A process invented by Dr. Tadeusz Reichstein, of the
Swiss Institute of Technology in Zurich. The most recent studies
have shown that it may fend off everything from Alzheimer's to
stress. In short, there is credible evidence to support my claim
that I have not been sick in nearly 20 years due to my taking
high doses of vitamin C. Additional proof of the healing powers
of vitamin C was shown to me when a former neighbor of mine told
me that as a young boy, (prior to the days of polio vaccines),
he was treated with vitamin C at Duke University while suffering
from the disease. He was completely cured. A good source of information
on the topic of vitamins and supplements is
Dr. Charles C. Mary, himself a colon cancer survivor based only
on the intravenous taking of vitamin C, heads this New Orleans
based clinic which has become a haven for those who have been
failed (or fooled) by traditional medicine.

While discussing
the value of vitamins and supplements is probably an issue only
a handful of LRC readers might wish to discuss, the pending legislation
that would call for stricter monitoring of the industry should
be important to freedom lovers who are tired of governmental interference.
Currently, I pay about $5 online for 100 capsules of 1000 mg vitamin
C. In addition, I take several other supplements that give my
knees and back much more relief than would ibuprofen. These additional
supplements are a bit more expensive, so I spend about $30 a month
on vitamins and supplements. Senate Bill 722 seeks to end that,
calling for more FDA oversight, and consequently an estimated
increase of 70% to consumers of these products. This oversight
is necessary in the eyes of some lawmakers because apparently,
some people who use the Internet and shop at health food stores
can not read. On the bottle of every supplement made, packed,
and shipped, read words similar to this: "WARNING: This product
has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and
is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, mitigate or prevent
any disease. Consumers are cautioned to read all labels and follow
all directions. You should always consult with your physician
before using this or any such products." In other words,
"Use at your own risk." Unfortunately, we now live in
a time in which individuals can not make decisions for themselves.
We are living in a time in which seemingly normal adults are not
considered competent enough to discern whether a little bit of
St. John's Wort might be good for them. It is incredible that
there are some who think that "pro choice" should mean
the ability to abort an unborn child at any time, but not the
ability to choose what vitamins to take. It should not come as
any surprise that this bill was co-sponsored by none other than
Hillary Clinton, Dianne Feinstein, and Charles Schumer after having
been sponsored by Illinois Democrat Richard Durbin.

Recent data
show that 16 deaths were attributed to dietary supplements in
2002. The American Medical Association has reported that approximately
106,000 deaths a year can be attributed to prescription drugs
while thousands more have been caused by over the counter drugs.
It seems that America, instead of being called the "Land
of the Free," is now the "Land of the Over Reaction,"
for just like 9-11 brought knee-jerk reactions from those in Washington,
so did the deaths that were only partially linked to ephedra.
Apparently, that is what those in Washington are sent there to
do: ensure that no one dies of ephedra, or no student gets left
behind, or perhaps no small business owner gets ahead.

the bill is in committee. While I am no parliamentarian, I realize
that this bill becomes an easy insert into all manner of other
legislation. For example, President Bush ran into problems when
he tried to hammer home Patriot Act II. Instead of passing the
entire bill, bits of it have been incorporated into other similar
pieces of legislation like H.R. 3037, "The Antiterrorism
Tools Enhancement Act of 2003"; H.R. 3040 and S. 1606, "The
Pretrial Detention and Lifetime Supervision of Terrorists Acts
of 2003"; and H.R. 2934 and S. 1604, the "Terrorist
Penalties Enhancement Act of 2003." With Senate Bill 722,
it is an easy fit into the Agricultural Appropriations Bill. The
smokescreen of choice for all of this legislation is "safety,"
but the true intention is the power grab that typifies Washington.

While it
is always entertaining to discuss when it was that the American
politician lost his grasp of the Constitution, I think some attention
needs to be paid to what it is that they are called by the media.
I can remember a time in which politicians were called just that:
politicians. It seems that over night, they became "law makers,"
as though they produce corvettes, curtains, or cocktails. Evidently,
the word politician had far too many negative overtones. Now that
the much more benign label of law maker is being used, it seems
the goal of every congressman is to pass legislation. It is not
important whether the legislation deals with spam or supplements.
Sadly, the politicians only have the power because "we the
sheeple" have given it to them.

If you are
interested in combating this bit of legislation, you can go to to get more
information. There is a form letter that you can tweak to your
liking and send to your representative or senator.

18, 2004

Schroder [send him mail]
is a graduate of the Naval Academy and a former Marine infantry
officer. Having resigned his commission, he is to begin doctoral
work in political science this fall at Louisiana State.

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