Stone (11) has described the genetic defect whereby the higher primates lost the ability to synthesize ascorbate. This defect is caused by a mutated defective gene for the liver enzyme, L-gulonolactone oxidase. The higher mammals (except for the higher primates) developed a feedback mechanism which increases ascorbate synthesis under the influence of external and Internal stresses (23).

There are many well-established functions of vitamin C that help in the handling of stress. When stressed. the higher mammals can augment these functions by this feedback mechanism. For the higher primates, including humans, ascorbate can amount to the MISSING STRESS HORMONE (4).

I have seen strong clinical evidence that not only does the bowel tolerance to ascorbate increase under stress but that fully satisfying that potential use for ascorbate markedly reduces secondary diseases and complications following stress or primary disease. Since 19701 with teaching the bowel tolerance method of determining proper ascorbic acid doses to patients, I have not had to hospitalize a single patient for an acute viral disease or a complication from such a disease if the patient utilized the method. In some cases, such as with three cases of viral pneumonia, it was necessary to utilize intravenous ascorbate. Admittedly, I have been lucky because no patient has arrived with such severe symptoms as to necessitate immediate hospitalization. There have been many patients where there was no question that they would have required hospitalization in a very short period of time had not ascorbate been administered.

Some patients not quite taking bowel tolerance doses, but taking significantly large doses of ascorbate, would not have as dramatic suppression of acute symptoms but would nevertheless, avert complications.