KINGMAN - Sometimes all you need is a push from a friend.
Dr. Edwin Goertz has been reading and collecting information about the benefits of high levels of Vitamin C on the human body for more than 25 years. This year, Goertz's friend, Dr. John Lingenfelter, pushed him to do something with all the knowledge he had collected. The two men have created Doctor C, a high potency Vitamin C tablet that they say is easy on the stomach and is quickly absorbed by the body.
The human body does not have the enzymes to produce the vitamin on its own and must depend on the diet of the individual to provide it, Goertz said. It is also a water-soluble vitamin, which means that it constantly needs to be replaced.
The body uses Vitamin C to repair connective tissues such as tendons, muscle and bone, he said. It is an antioxidant that scavenges damaging free radicals from the body, helping it repair itself more quickly. It also helps in the production of white blood cells, which are the body's main defense system against infection, Goertz said.
High doses of the vitamin may help relieve the pain of arthritis and may reduce damage to blood vessels, which may decrease the effects of heart disease, Goertz explained.
He said he first heard of the benefits of high doses of Vitamin C about 25 years ago when he was serving as a doctor in the Kingman area. At the time, he was suffering from so much pain in his back and shoulder that he could no longer play golf. Around that time, he came across a study which listed the relief of joint pain as one possible benefit from high doses of Vitamin C. Goertz said he decided to try it for himself.
He then found several other studies that show a connection between high doses of Vitamin C and a reduction in the risk of heart disease. The studies seem to show that Vitamin C helps repair damage to blood vessels, Goertz said.
When blood vessels are damaged, the body develops a plaque over it, he said. In a person with high cholesterol, that plaque can attract additional deposits, creating a narrowing of the blood vessels and an increased risk of heart disease. The studies seem to show that by taking a higher dose of Vitamin C a person can reduce the risk of damage to the blood vessels and in turn reduce the likelihood of plaque deposits in the blood vessel, thereby decreasing the risk of a heart attack, Goertz said.
Since Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin it is easily flushed from the body, which makes it difficult for someone to overdose on the vitamin, Goertz said. The U.S. Drug Administration recommends a daily dose of at least 75 to 95 mg of Vitamin C. It recommends people take no more than 2,000 mg a day.
A few weeks after he started taking high doses of Vitamin C, Goertz said he started to notice improvement in his shoulder and back. He now plays golf on a regular basis. He also noticed an improvement in his overall health.
He then tried to convince his family of 14 siblings to try it. Seven of his family members decided to give it a shot.
"The others thought I was crazy," Goertz said.
Several years later, the seven family members taking the high doses of Vitamin C are all in good health and well into their 80s, and most of the family members who did not take the vitamin passed away in their early 70s.
"It's not a scientific study, but I thought the results were interesting," he said.
There is one main problem that people run into when trying to take a high dose of Vitamin C: stomach upset.
With the help of a scientist in Florida, Goertz was able to develop Doctor C, a 500 mg Vitamin C tablet that would not upset the stomach and was rapidly absorbed into the body.
"I wanted to create something that would be of use to people, especially older residents," he said.
Doctor C blends Vitamin C with sodium ascorbate. The body needs sodium to digest large amounts of the vitamin, Goertz said. The sodium acts as a buffer, allowing the vitamin to be absorbed without causing stomach upset.
The tablets also include riboperine, a nutrient complex that allows a larger dose of the vitamin to be absorbed more quickly into the body, Goertz said.
Doctor C is available at Uptown Drug in Kingman or residents can order it online from www.doctorconline.com.
According to the website, a bottle of 120 tablets costs $11.95, and a bottle of 200 tables costs $19.95 before tax and shipping.