Vitamin C and MSM/DMSO


Note from Deon – this article was mainly constructed from articles written and research conducted by Walter Last, Dr. Matthias Rath and Dr. Linus Pauling – although most of it contains my own research. The matter of MSM interaction with Ascorbate is still not well understood; therefore I am reluctant to include much information that may not hold sway when critically reviewed. The information on MSM presented here is therefore factual, but also includes anecdotal observations. When clinical studies are presented to provide further information, I will then revise. 


Many who use our protocols know that the base of our supplementation pyramid is Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C) and MSM (Methyl Sulphonal Methane). This protocol is remarkably effective when combined with Bicarbonate of Soda, in that it results in a very specific chain reaction in the body, which causes cellular metabolism to “reset” itself, moving from anaerobic functioning to aerobic functioning through the mechanism of several redox cycles. This has health benefits for a myriad of metabolic problems and diseases, ranging from arteriosclerosis, diabetes and arthritis, which we will highlight in this article. 


As I have explained in previous articles – anaerobic cell functioning is the result of acidic conditions in the body, which over time has catastrophic effects on overall health and well-being. In essence – when the cell degrades into anaerobic functioning, it has problems in obtaining glucose and oxygen from the blood, due to impermeability of the cell wall. The cell is then forced to revert to a primitive method of energy production – fermentation, which results in the formation of highly active oxygen. 


The principle of action in MSM and Ascorbic Acid / Bicarbonate is as follows: 


In an oxygen deficient environment such as a cell with anaerobic metabolism a redox (reduction and oxidation involved in electron transfer) pair changes from their oxidized state to their reduced form by giving off one atom of highly reactive oxygen. When Ascorbic Acid or MSM return to the circulation and flow with the blood through the lungs they are again being converted to their oxidized forms. In this way the redox cycle can repeat several times until the chemicals are gradually being excreted through the kidneys, and an oxidative energy metabolism can be restored in anaerobic tissue where this is not possible with the oxygen in red blood cells.  


DHA (omega 3 fatty acids) is the form in which vitamin C gets into the brain and most other cells. Vitamin C cannot enter directly in its reduced form, it only gets inside cells as DHA. Inside the cell, it is then reduced (redox action), by liberating oxygen. With normal intake levels of vitamin C and MSM the released amount of oxygen is so low that it does not make a difference, especially not in cells that produce carbon dioxide and get their oxygen from haemoglobin. However, it can make a world of difference in anaerobic tissue, if high intakes of vitamin C and MSM are maintained. 


The oxygen released in this way is initially highly reactive and kills the microbes inside the cells that caused this blockage, and then re-starts the blocked oxidative energy metabolism. This is how vitamin C protects us against cancer and infections if we use enough of it. 


Many argue that hydrogen peroxide and ozone is as suitable an oxygen delivery system to restore the cellular oxygen metabolism, and rivals that of Vitamin C and MSM/DMSO. While hydrogen peroxide can be very beneficial to destroy or control fungal-type microbes in the stomach and small intestines, it is not normally suitable for delivering oxygen to anaerobic tissues deeper within the body as it is too reactive, and in the high amounts needed would cause too much damage to antioxidant systems. At Nu-Life, we therefore do not agree with this therapy. It has, however, been used with good results, just like ozone, to destroy blood-born microbes by intravenous infusions. 


But, even blood can probably be cleaned just as well or better with frequent oral doses of Sodium Ascorbate (Ascorbic acid and Bicarbonate of soda redox) and MSM rather than with occasional intravenous courses of hydrogen peroxide or ozone. Please note that Ozone and oxygen therapy is not effective if done by any other method than intravenous infusion. 


At Nu-life, the oxygen supply produced by the Ascorbic/MSM protocol is highly effective in all conditions of low energy, mental-emotional conditions, cancer, autoimmune diseases, liver diseases, fybromyalgia, chronic fatigue, and all other fungal or Candia-related diseases, as well as being particularly effective in treating chronic inflammations and infections. It is a reliable, economical therapy with profound health benefits, when combined with Magnesium Peroxide, which is far more powerful than Hydrogen peroxide, when used internally. 


The other surprise is cardiovascular health – MSM/Ascorbic/Bicarbonate is an excellent therapy for cardiovascular disease (CVD). 


Blood vessel congestion is the main underlying cause of many serious diseases, such as cardiovascular disease (CVD) leading to heart attacks and strokes, and peripheral vascular disease (PVD) leading to varicose veins, deep vein thrombosis, and poor blood supply to the brain. In patients with diabetes – this may lead to amputation. Many common conditions such as arthritis, degenerative eye changes (e.g. cataracts, macular degeneration), migraines, and multiple sclerosis are aggravated by it. 


The position of the medical orthodoxy is that arteriosclerosis (the clogging up of blood vessels with cholesterol) is caused by high levels of low-density lipoproteins, transporting mainly cholesterol from the liver to other parts of the body. 


The main problem with this theory is that many individuals with persistently high LDL levels never have a heart attack, and many individuals with low or normal LDL levels do have heart attacks. 


During our research, we discovered that in 1991 and 1992, Dr. Matthias Rath and Dr. Linus Pauling wrote important articles linking the development and cure of CVD and PVD to vitamin C deficiency (1, 2). They showed that it is actually a variant of LDL, namely lipoprotein, or Lp(a), and not LDL that accumulates in the blood vessel wall, causing arteriosclerosis. Lp(a) is formed in increasing amounts in the liver in response to low Ascorbate (Vitamin C) concentrations. Animals, except for primates and guinea pigs produce their own vitamin C at a daily rate of several grams, unlike in humans where we have to acquire it from food sources. It therefore comes as no surprise that CVD is essentially unknown in animals, and Lp(a) is mainly found in species that have lost the ability to produce their own Ascorbate. 


Ascorbate deficiency results in degenerative changes of the blood vessel wall, potentially leading to life-threatening bleeding disorders. To avoid such unwanted consequences, low Ascorbate (Vitamin C) levels increase the plasma concentration of factors that constrict blood vessels and increase blood clotting, including Lp(a) and fibrinogen. Accordingly, Lp(a) is consequently accumulated in blood vessels damaged by vitamin C deficiency to strengthen the wall and prevent it from bleeding or bursting. In addition – calcium is deployed to further strengthen the Lp(a) “plug”, causing hardening of the arteries and plaque build-up. An unwanted side effect of this defensive action is the clogging up of blood vessels, and the formation of blood clots, especially micro-clots blocking the blood flow in capillaries. With this, vitamin C deficiency appears to be the main cause of acquired as well as inherited bleeding and blood clotting disorders. 


Another side effect of vitamin C deficiency is high or low blood pressure. Hypertension is mainly associated with CVD (cardio vascular disease) and caused when the congestion of arteries as well as the blood vessel constriction dominates. 


Hypotension is mainly due to weakness and loss of elasticity in the veins, leading to PVD – peripheral vascular disease. In PVD triglyceride-rich lipoproteins accumulate in the plasma as very low-density lipoproteins (VLDL). These are easily oxidised by chlorinated water, smoking, polluted air, and other factors that deplete vitamin C and then form brownish coloured residues in affected tissues. Elevated glucose levels as in diabetes inhibit the cellular uptake of vitamin C, leading to greater degeneration of the blood circulation and anaerobic cell functioning. MSM helps in softening hardened cell walls, improving cell permeability. DMSO in turn, helps nutrients get into cells. 


Pauling and Rath, as well as others have shown that prolonged high supplementation with Ascorbate and MSM does not only protect against the development of CVD and PVD, but also gradually clears congested blood vessels and strengthens blood vessel walls. 


They also wrote:


 The therapeutic significance of our discovery is not limited to CVD; Lp(a) and Ascorbate are involved in cancer, inflammatory disease, and other diseases, including the process of aging”


“We are convinced that before long Ascorbate will become the treatment of first choice for cardiovascular disease.”


Thus far we can clearly see the benefit of Ascorbate on the metabolic functioning of the human body – but it does not end there. Haemochromatosis, or excess iron overload, a common disorder, has been shown to benefit. Traditionally, your doctor will advise not to supplement with vitamin C as it is thought to increase iron absorption. The reverse is actually true. From a biochemical perspective, iron overload is a problem of the redox balance with too much iron in oxidised ferro-form accumulating in the liver. It has been shown that this condition can easily be rectified with a sufficiently high intake of vitamin C (10 grams of spaced-out Sodium Ascorbate per day) to normalise the overall redox potential of the body (3,4)


In medicine HC is regarded as an iron overload disease because high amounts of oxidised iron in the form of ferritin (an iron-3 binding protein complex) are stored in the liver and also cause oxidative problems in other parts of the body. Walter Last prefers instead to regard it as an iron deficiency disease (3). The body is deficient in usable iron; hence a message is deployed by the body to absorb more of it. 


Vitamin C not only improves the absorption of iron, it is also required to move iron in and out of ferritin tissue stores. Without adequate antioxidants, ferric iron stores may build up because iron cannot be liberated from tissue ferritin and transferred onto plasma transferrin, the main protein in the blood that binds to iron and transports it throughout the body. This step requires vitamin C for a temporary reduction of 3-valence ferric to 2-valence ferrous iron. 


A main problem is the recycling of iron from the continual breakdown of haemoglobin in the spleen. About 25 mg of iron are recycled daily in this way, but this requires a reduction-oxidation step to transfer ferritin iron in the tissue onto plasma transferrin. With vitamin C deficiency there would be only a partial recycling. Most of the iron stores build up in the liver where the decomposed haemoglobin arrives through the portal vein after its liberation from old erythrocytes in the spleen. 


This causes a very high oxidation potential in the liver, leading to various liver diseases and elevated liver enzymes. However, very high ferric iron stores in the liver would also make this organ more antioxidant deficient than other tissue. The highest vitamin C activity would be in the intestinal mucosa as these have first priority on the antioxidants absorbed from food. Thus, MSM/DMSO is important as it aids absorption by increasing stomach flora activity, rendering them more “productive” aiding nutrient metabolism. Proliferation of “bad” stomach flora will cause mal-absorption, causing iron deficiency. 


Therefore, transferrin will preferentially pick up iron from the intestinal mucosa and avoid the liver stores, as it is too difficult to convert. Here again the stomach ecology plays it’s part, and without a good intestinal flora balance, vitamin C will be used mostly in the intestinal mucosa leading to deficiency elsewhere, because our bodies do not manufacture it. We need it from external sources such as food and supplements. Therefore, a good pro-biotic is essential. 


Iron overload is not just a problem of our genes. It is a general problem, as we get older, but happens more rapidly in males and with liver disease. Therefore it is probably a condition affecting most elderly individuals. This causes generalised vitamin C deficiency being expressed as a great variety of old-age symptoms. Two very common ones are connective tissue weakness and loss of hair colour. 


Ascorbate is essential in forming different components of collagen and to assemble everything into the triple helix. The other agents are the amino acids L-Proline and L-Lysine. Severe vitamin C deficiency causes scurvy in which collagen becomes defective and prevents the formation of strong connective tissue. Gums deteriorate and bleed with loss of teeth; skin discolours and breaks down, and wounds do not heal just as with diabetes. Another scurvy-like effect of vitamin C deficiency is hemorrhagic bleeding in the brain of children after vaccinations. 


MSM is a mineral that is present in every cell of the body. It plays a key role in liver metabolism and the function of the joint cartilage as well as keratin of the skin & hair. It is also critical for metabolism and anti-oxidant defence systems that protect the aging patterns of the brain, as well as ensuring cell wall permeability. DMSO (dimethyl sulphoxide) is converted from MSM once in the body, and being a carrier (allows easy absorption of nutrients) ensure that whatever agent is taken with it – will be absorbed. 

Along with soft keratin (which has a high sulphur content, or, MSM), collagen makes the skin strong and elastic, its degradation leads to wrinkles, loose and ageing skin. Even more important for health is the effect on the blood vessels. Deficiency causes them to lose their elasticity, rigid and calcified arteries drive up the blood pressure and they can more easily break. This is especially a problem with aneurisms – balloon-like enlargements of arteries with thin walls that can easily burst. In the veins vitamin C deficiency causes distension and slack walls so that the valves no longer close properly. The blood stagnates in the lower legs and pools to form varicose veins. 


MSM aids here by building bridges that form flexible connections between the cells and the surrounding connective tissues. This allows the cells to retain their elasticity. 

When sulphur is in short supply, the cell wall hardens, and the cells lose their elasticity. The transport proteins of the membrane become locked, and the membranes become less permeable. This results in a reduced transport of oxygen and nutrients into the cells as well as reduced excretion of waste products from within the cells. This causes a shortage of oxygen and nutrients, and an accumulation of toxic metabolic waste products inside the cells. Reduced vitality and eventually degenerative diseases are the result. 


Now we can also understand age related sagging breasts and enlarged prostates as chronic vitamin C and MSM deficiencies rather than just advancing age. The prostate is more complicated, but in essence this is what ensues: testosterone is partially converted in the testes and prostate into the much stronger dihydrotestosterone or DHT. Blood circulation takes it into the rest of the body. But with chronic Ascorbate and Sulphur deficiency the blood keeps stagnating and pooling in or near the prostate leading to very high DHT levels that now stimulate prostate growth. At the same time, DHEA  (dehydroepiandrosterone) production will decrease as a result of low DHT levels where it is needed. The solution is improving the elasticity of connective tissue. The situation is worsened by low Boron levels, which is needed by the parathyroid to secrete various hormones including testosterone and DHEA. 


High DHT levels in the scalp are the main cause of male-pattern baldness. It appears that prostate enlargement is the result of DHT combined with a weak venous system (PVD) while male-pattern baldness is due to DHT in a congested arterial system or CVD. Both may, of course, be present simultaneously, and always DHEA will also be deficient. 


All of these problems - ageing skin, rigid arteries, aneurisms, varicose veins, sagging breasts, enlarging prostates and male-pattern baldness are signs of chronic vitamin C and Sulphur deficiency, commonly in combination with copper deficiency. Copper is also essential in forming connective tissue. Furthermore, plenty of sulphur is required either from sulphur-rich vegetables or MSM or both. 


MSM in it’s natural form is volatile – originating from algae in the oceans, evaporating into the atmosphere where it is converted to DMSO – then deposited again on the earth through rain and condensation. Plants then absorb it, which then stores it as MSM. We then ingest it by eating vegetables, meat and milk. However – most of the MSM is lost in the radiation, storage (freezing) and pasteurisation process, resulting in chronic sulphur deficiency. This deficiency leads to poor bone density, impaired joint functioning, arthritis (common with Vitamin C deficiency) and metabolic syndrome. 


As we can see – MSM and Ascorbic Acid is essential for good health, cellular metabolism, cardiovascular health and bone integrity/density. MSM in particular ensures good joint health, and will benefit chronic arthritis and joint disease. Add Bicarbonate to the mix, and a few other essentials like Boron, and you have a health cocktail that is unrivalled in natural medicine. 


Nu-Life has pioneered the MSM/Ascorbic acid remedy in South Africa – to the extent that it is considered front-line therapy for metabolic disease in the natural health environment. Nonetheless, it is only the bottom of the supplemental pyramid, and needs to be added to for other health problems. Always innovative in our approach, at Nu-Life you can be assured of our dedicated attention to your well-being. 


In good health







1) Solution to the Puzzle of Human Cardiovascular Disease: Its Primary Cause is Ascorbate deficiency, leading to the deposition of lipoprotein (a) and fibrinogen / fibrin in the vascular wall Matthias Rath and Linus Pauling Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine 1991, 6: 125-134 


2) A Unified Theory of Human Cardiovascular Disease Leading the Way to the Abolition of This Disease as a Cause for Human Mortality Matthias Rath M.D. and Linus Pauling Ph.D. Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine 1992, 7: 


3) Last, Walter: Natural Therapy for Haemochromatosis; 


4) Last, Walter: Antioxidants for Haemochromatosis. International Clinical Nutrition Review Volume 11, No.2, pages 71-74, 


5) Cellular Health Series - Cancer. Copyright 2001 by Matthias Rath, M.D. All rights

reserved. Published by MR Publishing, Inc., Santa Clara, CA 95054 


6) Cellular Health Series - The Heart. Copyright 2001 by Matthias Rath, M.D. All


rights reserved. Published by MR Publishing, Inc., Santa Clara, CA 95054