In early 1990 Dr. Linus Pauling was having dinner with William Decker, a friend of Dr. Pauling and a financial contributor to the Linus Pauling Institute of Science and Medicine. During dinner Dr. Pauling said:
“If the ongoing experiments at The Institute pan out, we will be able to eradicate heart disease by simply administering the proper nutrients, in the proper combination, at the proper dosage.”
Mr. Decker was not shocked by Dr. Pauling’s statement because he had followed Dr. Pauling research into the cause of atherosclerosis over the previous years.
In 1966, at the age of 65, Linus Pauling gave a speech wherein he mentioned that he hoped to live another fifteen years or so. Soon after, he received a letter from Irwin Stone who had been in the audience. Stone told Pauling that he could live another fifty years if he would start taking massive doses of vitamin C.
The health food movement was becoming popular, but few established scientists had investigated the many claims promised by organic foods and vitamin supplements. Given the early deaths of both his parents, and his personal recovery from Bright’s disease through nutrition, the promise of good health through vitamins intrigued Pauling. So, he and his wife, Ava Helen, started taking large doses of vitamin C.
In 1967 Pauling started his research on Vitamin C at his lab at the University of California at San Diego. While at U C San Diego Pauling proposed a new biomedical field he called Orthomolecular Medicine. He explained that the right molecules in the right amounts will result in optimal health. He said it was better to treat disease by means of substances occurring normally in the body than to resort to powerful synthetic substances that generally produce toxic side effects. By orthomolecular medicine he meant therapy entailing varying concentrations of such low-toxicity substances as vitamin C and other vitamins which are normally found in the body and which are necessary to good health.
In 1970, Pauling’s book, Vitamin C and the Common Cold, was published. It quickly became a best seller and helped to energize the “health-food” movement.
It was becoming increasing more difficult for Pauling to continue his nutritional research in University settings, so Pauling founded the Linus Pauling Institute of Science and Medicine (LPI) in 1973.
Pauling’s research led him to the conclusion that maintaining the optimum level of vitamins and minerals in the body results in the prevention of disease and can even provide therapeutic benefits. The LPI investigated Prostate Protocol the role of vitamin C in cancer, longevity, AIDS, and even mental disorders.
In 1986 Pauling published the book, How to Live Longer and Feel Better, which – once again – sung the praises of vitamin C and other vitamins and minerals.
In the late 80’s and early 90’s, Pauling began studying the effect of vitamin C and other nutrients on heart disease. He knew from animal studies that when the dietary intake of vitamin C is low, blood vessels tend to become weak. He also knew that large human population studies showed that higher vitamin C intake resulted in a lower incidence of cardiovascular disease and lower death rates. Pauling also knew that the protein collagen was necessary to keep blood vessels healthy. The body needs vitamin C in order to make collagen. If a person does not get enough vitamin C in their diet, they will not be able to make enough collagen to keep their arteries and veins strong and flexible.
Pauling theorized that the plaque that builds up on the inside of arteries was an attempt by the body to repair the weakened blood vessel with whatever substance happened to be available (cholesterol, fibrinogen, calcium, etc.).