Perhaps one of the most important principles in ORTHOMOLECULAR MEDICINE is BIOCHEMICAL-INDIVIDUALITY (18). Every individual responds to substances differently. Vitamin C is no exception. However, at least 80% of my patients tolerated ascorbic acid well. Admittedly, there were relatively few older patients in my practice. Infants, small children, and teenagers tolerate ascorbic acid well and can take, proportionate to their body weight, larger amounts than adults. Older adults tolerate lesser amounts and have a higher percentage of nuisance difficulties. Patients with multiple food intolerances may have more difficulties but should attempt taking ascorbate because of benefits often obtained.

For several years while I was treating only sick people with ascorbic acid, I was unaware of the number of people who had nuisance problems with maintenance doses. The tolerance of the sick person to ascorbate is so high as to prevent many of the complaints one would have if he were well. When ascorbic acid is prescribed to a sick person, the beneficial effect is obvious enough so that few complain of the gas and diarrhea. With illness the effects of an overdone do not last long because of the rapid rate of utilization.

It is important for the physician to understand the principles of treating this vast majority of tolerant persons. Patients frequently underdose themselves and need professional guidance to push the doses to effective levels. The small number of persons, especially elderly persons, intolerant to oral doses are in my experience able to take intravenous ascorbate without difficulties. Additionally, patients with severe problems may need to be treated intravenously if very high doses will have to be maintained for some time for adequate suppression of symptoms.