Linus Pauling. A name everyone of us must have heard in high school. Because he changed the science of chemistry and molecular biology forever with his breakthroughs. He is considered the father of quantum chemistry and his research was fundamental in the discovery of the DNA later on by James Watson and team.
He was a true polymath genius and considered one of the top 20 scientists of all times. He not just won one nobel prize in chemistry but also a nobel prize for peace. Because he was passionate about more down to earth humane things like global peace, environment, and healthcare. But his interests in the last topic, healthcare, led to his downfall from being a celebrated quantum scientist and genius to be labelled a senile, blabbering, quack when he died. And it was all because his genius when applied to simple health problems seemed to be providing breakthroughs that will help humans avoid doctors and the multi-billion dollar healthcare system.
Among his works in preventative healthcare, the most hated and opposed one by the healthcare industry is in the use of a dirt cheap molecule called Vitamin-C in preventing anything from common cold to heart disease to prolonging survial times of cancer patients. Mind you, being a nobel prize winning chemist and molecular biologist he was, his research claims weren’t what you will hear from the internet health guru nowadays. And they weren’t his works in his sunset years as a senile man sitting alone in his studio as his discrediters like to fuzzily paint in our heads. And also he didn’t claim he found a cure to cancer as the propaganda against his research claims.
His works on preventative healthcare using nutrition came at his prime as a scientist in his 40s and came as published papers in major journals of the time. It was triggered by his own recovery from an advanced kidney disease using nutrition therapy as recommended by his world famous physician-scientist friend Dr. Addis. His papers were scientific works created using his own world renowned and probably best ever expertise in molecular biology, by controlled trials, and in collaboration with some of the top doctors and biochemists of the time. Because he had the research expertise, the reputation, and the reach to rope in the best as his collaborators. So why not?
But soon after his research were published, the healthcare and bigpharma industry got to what they do the best - discredit anything that won’t help them make money. And here the money at stake for them was in many billions a year - from flu shots to statins to chemotherapy which may be foregone if Vitamin-C therapy works and becomes mainstream. So the flag-bearer of bigpharma and healthcare industry in the US, the Mayo Clinic got to work just to disprove his papers. Like literally their research was with the premise Dr. Pauling was wrong and not in a way to try to confirm his results. And they successfully did it by publishing a paper that basically shredded apart all of Linus Pauling’s research. Then to add to their suspect behaviour, organized media conferences calling Vitamin-C as worthless but at the same time withheld the paper from Pauling and his team to comment on it. By the time Pauling got hold of the research, it was already days of one sided propaganda on TV networks sponsored by big pharma.
And then as usual to keep up the assault, they employed their army of affiliated doctors and nutritionists to rubbish his claims using this new research. Strict guidelines were sent to all medical institutions, doctors, and educational places that none of Linus Pauling’s research shall be used in theory or practise. So a whole generation of healthcare professionals come out without knowing anything about it and may infact be taught Linus Pauling was a quack. And doctors and anybody in the industry who still believed in the substance of Linus Pauling and his colleagues scientific literature were discredited and distanced. An all too familiar approach used by powerful medical associations these days if it affects their bottom line.
Luckily, research in anti-oxidants like Vitamin-C is picking up, thanks in part to a rising healthcare supplements industry that has in itself become billions of dollars worth and big enough to take on bigpharma. So as you keep hearing news from bigpharma funded research that supplements don’t help, there are also papers published in parallel supporting and proving the benefits of simple, cheap stuff like vitamin-c in gooseberry and curcumin in turmeric.And reading one such recent research that seemed to agree with some claims of Dr. Pauling is how I got to know about his works in this field and how he was discredited in the end.