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He is the founder of modern quantum chemistry and one of the pioneers of molecular biology research. With a deep understanding of the principles of quantum mechanics and molecular structure, the young and talented Pauling simplified and constructed with his extraordinary complexity.The ability of the model to attack the chemical and biological problems again and again, the scenery is the same. However, after his fame, he became a joke in medical history because of his obsession with vitamin C myth, and the last 25 years of his life are sighing ......

Writing ∣ He Xiaosong Retired Professor, University of California, Davis Medical School

Linus Pauling was born in 1901 and is one of the greatest chemists of the 20th century. He won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1954 for a series of important research results on chemical bonds and molecular structures.Pauling was also the most famous pacifist activist in the 1950s and 1960s. He resolutely opposed nuclear weapons and all forms of war, and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1963. Pauling became the only one in history to receive two separate awards.Nobel Prize individual.

But since the 1960s, Pauling, wearing two Nobel Laureates, at the peak of his career and reputation, has gradually become the most powerful promoter of vitamin C. How did this change happen?

The first appearance of the vitamin C myth

Pauling's vitamin complex began in 1941, when Pauling, who was only 40 years old, had kidney disease. On the advice of a famous doctor, Pauling accepted a low-protein, salt-free diet therapy that was rarely used at the time, supplemented with vitaminsSupplements, the disease was controlled. This personal experience laid a deep-rooted foundation for Pauling's concept of treating diseases with vitamins.

In the mid 1950s, Pauling, one of the greatest contemporary chemists, gradually formed a comprehensive theory of human health. He believes that human life can be regarded as the sum of countless chemical reactions, the most important of which isEnzyme-catalyzed energy-producing reactions that lead to cell reproduction and genetic replication, electrochemical reactions in the brain and nerves, and antigen-antibody reactions. If all these reactions go smoothly, it means health; which one is blockedOr stop, it means disease. In order to achieve the ideal state of health, all chemical reactions must be run in an optimal state, that is, all chemical molecules, including nutrients, catalysts and reaction products, are inProper balance. Pauling coined the term "positive molecule" for this balance, meaning "the right molecule, the right number", and medicine based on this is "positive molecular medicine," which focuses on treating patientsThe important molecules needed are supplemented to the optimal concentration to eliminate the disease.

One day in March 1966, 65-year-old Pauling received a science achievement award in New York. In his speech at the award ceremony, he mentioned that he wanted to live another 25 years in order to see several scientific studiesAfter returning to California, Pauling received a letter from a stranger named Irwin Stone. Stone attended the award ceremony in New York and heard Pauling ’s wishes, so he wroteIt is recommended that Pauling, like him, take 3000 mg 3 grams of vitamin C daily, so that it will not only be a problem for another 25 years, but may be much longer.

Who is Stone who is called a "biochemist" by Pauling? He studied chemistry at a spinal massage school in Los Angeles, USA for two years, and then from a California called "Downsbach University",Ph.D. universities that have not been certified by the U.S. federal government ’s Department of Education receive a Ph.D.500 mg per day, 1 gram, up to 18 grams, more than 200 times the daily intake of an adult recommended by the US Food and Drug Administration FDA. Pauling found this to be effective, and he claimed that he had never felt so healthy himselfHe is so energetic that he doesn't experience colds that have been tortured year after year. In 1969, Pauling began to propagate through the media, and doctors should encourage the public to take large doses of vitamin C.

In response to Pauling's remarks, a clinical nutritionist who assisted the FDA in formulating recommended intakes of vitamin C wrote to Pauling asking him to provide evidence. Pauling's response was "Vitamin C and the Common Cold" published in 1971.", The book brings together the results of studies he found on the health effects of vitamin C, claiming that for most people, taking 1 gram of vitamin C per day can reduce the incidence of colds by 45%; and for some people, the doseMay be even bigger. Once the symptoms of a cold appear, you should take half a gram to 1 gram of vitamin C every hour for several hours; if such a dose does not work, then increase it to 4 to 10 grams per day[1].

This new book by Pauling immediately appeared on the national bestseller list and aroused a huge response. Within a few years, a quarter of Americans followed Pauling's recommendations and took huge amounts of vitamin C.In 1976, the book was renamed "Vitamin C and the Common Cold and Influenza" [2] after the second edition, and the recommended dose is higher.

Not only that, in his book, Pauling also suggested that in order to maintain "optimal health" and cope with infection and other stress, most people should take at least 2300 mg of vitamin C per day. Another book that he later published was popularIn the book "How to Live Longer and Better" [3], Pauling claims that due to the huge biochemical differences between individuals, the optimal daily intake of vitamin C can be as low as 250 mg and as much as 20 grams.Above, in order to reach the level of vitamin C released into the blood after being synthesized in the liver of many mammals. How much vitamin C is this? Taking a goat as an example, a healthy adult goat can synthesize 13 grams of vitamin C per day, and suffers fromMuch higher during stress!

Bowling has practiced his theory, claiming to take 12 grams of vitamin C per day for many years, and it even increased to 40 grams when he developed cold symptoms! Although most doctors and nutritionists in the mainstream medical community opposed Pauling ’s theory, andIt is pointed out that long-term use of large amounts of vitamin C may cause chronic diarrhea and kidney stones. Millions of Americans are still enthusiastically following Pauling's initiative to try their own medicine.

Vitamin C and Cold

The mainstream of modern medicine is evidence-based medicine, which emphasizes that any medical decision-making should be based on the best evidence from scientific research, combined with the personal clinical practice experience of the doctor, and taking into account the patient's values ​​and aspirations.What scientific evidence is there for the amazing effect of vitamin C on the prevention and treatment of colds?

The establishment of any scientific evidence must obey a strict set of rules, that is, a scientific method. In short, this is a well-designed logical system that can distinguish causality and coincidence, and use it to conduct effective experiments.Analysis can provide scientific answers to specific medical questions. It must be emphasized that not all experiments are eligible. Effective experiments must be designed correctly, data collection is reliable, statistical analysis is correct, and the results are interpreted reasonably. An important part of effective experimentsSigns can be repeated by others and get the same results.

The key questions about the relationship between vitamin C and colds are two: 1. Can large doses of vitamin C prevent the occurrence of colds? 2. Can large doses of vitamin C reduce the symptoms of colds and shorten the course of colds? Vitamin C from the 1930sIt was found that, especially after the realization of industrialized production, medical researchers have repeatedly studied its effect on colds. Most studies have concluded that vitamin C supplementation cannot prevent colds; for the treatment of colds, the effect of vitamin C is slightly reduced at bestSymptoms, and do not require the high doses that Pauling advocates. [4] After the publication of Pauling's book "Vitamin C and the Common Cold", due to its huge impact and at the same time respect for Pauling, there are also American,Researchers in Canada and the Netherlands conducted a series of studies to test the effect of different doses of vitamin C on the prevention and treatment of colds, but the conclusion was still ineffective.

But Pauling firmly believes that according to his different interpretations of the same test results, he is correct, and everyone else is wrong. He also proposed that everyone can determine the appropriate vitamin C dose by themselves if:Eat 1 gram a day, and you get two or three colds in a winter, then you should increase the dose; if the number of colds is less than expected, you can believe that vitamin C has played a role.

Unfortunately, this is more than eighteen thousand miles away from the real scientific method. Imagine the following possible situations :

First, you have misremembered the number of times you caught a cold, which will cause errors in data collection.

Second, you worked in a hospital last year and had three colds. You retired at home this year and started taking vitamin C at the same time. You only got one cold. You believe this is because eating vitamin C prevents a cold, but the greater possibility isBecause of changes in the environment, you are less likely to be infected with a cold virus. If that's the case, the vitamin C you swallowed and fewer colds are just a coincidence.

Third, you are eating vitamin C and have a slight cold at the same time. Since your belief in vitamin C is so strong, you subconsciously decide to ignore it. This is the placebo effect caused by psychological effects.

The design of scientific experiments must be able to avoid these possible errors. In order to prevent memory errors, the subjects must be followed closely. In order to eliminate the effects of coincidence, the number of subjects must be large enough and the follow-up period must be long enough. To avoid consolationThe effect must be double-blind. The specific method is to recruit a group of subjects and randomly assign them to the experimental group and the control group to ensure that the genetic background and living environment of the two groups are as similar as possible.The subjects themselves and their families, as well as the researchers who provided the test drugs to the subjects, did not know which groups the subjects were assigned to. Some studies even used identical twins as subjects, and one of them was classified intoIn the experimental group, another person was assigned to the control group. Especially for identical twin children, not only the genetics are completely the same, but they usually live in the same family environment, which is more valuable for clinical medical experiments. Researchers give experimental groups different doses of dailyVitamin C. The control group took a placebo similar in appearance and taste to vitamin C, and followed it for a period of time.Between the two groups were compared the incidence of influenza and after the onset of symptoms severity and duration of disease.

One method for clinical trials of colds is to inoculate volunteers with cold viruses directly. The benefit of this strategy is that all subjects are exposed to the same cold virus, with a high incidence and a more consistent condition. What is neededThe number of subjects was small. In 1967 and 1973, researchers carried out such experiments. Each experimental group was given 3 grams of vitamin C per day, and the control group was given a placebo. All subjects were inoculated with cold virus in the nasal cavity.. It was found that all people in both groups had a cold, with no difference in severity.

Another strategy is to observe naturally occurring cold cases. Such studies have been conducted many times in various countries, each involving as few as several hundred people and as many as several thousand people. What was the result? No single trial foundVitamin C can significantly reduce the overall incidence of colds. Some trials have found that vitamin C can indeed slightly reduce symptoms and shorten the course of the disease for example, from an average of 5.8 days to 5.5 days. The question is, does this difference in hours have any practical significance?

The results of a study published in 1975 are very interesting and worth mentioning [5]. This experiment lasted 9 months and a total of more than 300 participants participated, all from the National Institutes of Health NIHStaff. The subjects were randomly divided into four groups: the first group took placebo daily from start to finish; the second group took placebo before the cold, and 3 grams of vitamin C per day after the cold; the third group before the coldTake 3 grams of vitamin C daily and change to placebo after a cold. The fourth group took 3 grams and 6 grams of vitamin C daily before and after the cold. The study began in September and ended in May of the following year, including the high incidence of colds.Autumn, winter, and spring. All subjects were informed that this was a double-blind, controlled clinical trial to study the effect of vitamin C on the prevention and treatment of colds, and signed informed consent.

The design of this experiment is full and sparse, and there is a flaw: In order to start the experiment in the fall, researchers did not adjust the taste of the capsule-encapsulated placebo to the same acidity as vitamin C. During the research processIn the study, some subjects withdrew halfway, especially in the placebo-treated control group. The proportion of withdrawals was particularly high. The researchers were suspicious of this, so they conducted a questionnaire survey after the 9-month study.It was found that about half of the subjects couldn't help the temptation of curiosity, opened the capsule, and correctly guessed whether they were taking vitamin C or a placebo based on the taste of the powder. Some of the subjects assigned to the placebo control group felt that they were not able to do so.To the benefits of taking vitamin C, I simply quit.

Because half of the subjects did not meet the requirements of the double-blind method, the researchers could only select the test subjects who guessed what medicine they took, and analyzed them separately. The results obtained were surprising: they did not know their scores.In which group, which is the double-blind test subject that meets the experimental design, the average course of disease is 6.3 days if a placebo is taken after a cold, and the average course of disease is 6.7 days if vitamin C is taken, indicating that vitamin C can shorten the course of the disease.Ineffective. And those who guessed which group they belonged to had an average duration of 8.6 days if they took a placebo after getting a cold, and only 4.7 days if they took vitamin C. On the surface, it seems that vitamin C willThe course of disease was shortened by 3.9 days. However, if the subjects who knew what they ate were compared with those who did not know about it, the average course of the former was 2 days shorter than that of the latter if they ate vitamin C;It is a placebo, the average disease duration of the former is 2.3 days longer than the latter! This result shows the huge impact of the placebo effect: if you believe what you eat-vitamins orOther supplements-good for health, you may feel it is really effective; if you believe that you are eating a placebo that is not therapeutic, you may even feel worse called the "anti-placebo effect",Even the actual effect of the drug, whether it is the positive effect of vitamin C or the negative effect of placebo, does not exist at all!

1986, Professor of Truswell AS, University of Sydney, Australia, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, reviewing and summarizing 22 randomized double-blind clinical studies on vitamin C and colds since 1970Results. Twelve studies found that vitamin C was not effective in preventing the occurrence of colds, reducing symptoms, and shortening the course of disease. Five studies found that vitamin C had no effect on prevention and had a slight effect on reducing symptoms, but the difference was not statistically significant. The restFive studies found that vitamin C has no preventive effect, but can shorten the course of colds. Although the degree is limited, the difference is statistically significant. Professor Trasway concluded: "Vitamin C is obviously not effective in preventing colds."He also acknowledged that "there is some evidence that vitamin C has a weak effect on treating colds, but ... 250 mg per day has the same effect as 1000 mg or 4000 mg." [6] What is the concept of 250 mg vitamin C?There are so many vitamin C in two glasses of orange juice. If you just want to use vitamin C to relieve cold symptoms, you can suffer from diarrheaAnd the risk of other serious side effects, do you swallow a few grams of vitamin C pills per day, following Pauling's instructions?

But Pauling believes that huge amounts of vitamins not only have a wonderful effect on colds, but also treat cancer.

Vitamin C and Cancer

In the 1970s, Pauling collaborated with a British oncologist, Ewan Cameron, to study the effect of intravenous or oral administration of huge amounts of vitamin C on cancer. The two published two articles in 1976 and 1978.The paper [7, 8] reports the results of trials in 100 patients with advanced cancer: after receiving 10 grams of huge amounts of vitamin C per day, the average survival time of patients was 3 to 4 times that of 1000 patients who did not take vitamin C.Both papers are published in the Journal of the American Academy of Sciences. This is an academic journal with a high impact factor, but usually does not publish papers on clinical medical trials, and sometimes it is criticized that the academician of the Academy of Sciences himselfSome papers published in the Academic Journal have not undergone the same peer review process as those of non-academic authors.

In addition to treating advanced cancer, Pauling also proposed that taking vitamin C can prevent cancer. In 1979, he declared in an article "My current estimate is to start with vitamin C prophylactically and rely on vitamin C alone.It can reduce cancer morbidity and mortality by 75%. "[9]

William DeWys, director of the Cancer Therapy Clinical Trials Division at the NIH Cancer Institute examined the experimental design of Pauling and Cameron and found serious flaws [10]. The vitamin C treatment group was entirely by CamerLong's patient composition, the control group is a patient of other doctors, the selection criteria of these two groups of patients are inconsistent, so there is no comparability. The long survival period of the patients in the experimental group is probably due to the patients in this group before the experiment began.The condition is milder than the control group.

To verify the results published by Pauling and Cameron, the Mayo Medical Center in the United States conducted a prospective double-blind controlled trial in 1978. The subjects were patients with advanced lung cancer or gastrointestinal cancer. All patients passedBiopsy of the tumor tissue confirmed that the condition was no longer suitable for any surgery, chemotherapy or radiotherapy. The subjects were randomly divided into two groups, the experimental group was orally administered with 10 grams of vitamin C per day, and the control group was orally given a placebo similar to vitamin C.Results In 1979, "High-dose vitamin C therapy was ineffective for advanced cancer" was published in the New England Journal of Medicine. The article reported that the average survival time of the experimental group and the control group was about 7 weeks, the longest surviving one.The patient was from the control group [11].

After the Mayo Center's research results were published, Pauling submitted the New England Journal of Medicine, claiming that the subjects of the Mayo team had received chemotherapy and their immune function was impaired, so they could not benefit from vitamin C therapy. AlthoughThe Mayo team has done previous research and knows that the chemotherapy used does not have a serious effect on immune function, but their criticism of Pauling and other researchers' suggestions are still taken seriously, and two trials have been conducted, one of whichThe subjects used did not receive any chemotherapy. [12, 13] The three trials before and after included a total of more than 300 patients. The results of the three trials were the same. There was no significant difference in the average survival time between the experimental group and the control group. High-dose vitamin CThe treatment is not effective for advanced cancer.

But at this time Pauling could not accept any research results that were inconsistent with his views, even if such results came from his most trusted assistant.

In 1973, Pauling founded the Institute of Orthopaedic Medicine near Stanford University in Northern California. He was the director and chairman of the board, and his disciple Arthur Robinson was the deputy director. Dr. Robinson is Pauling in CaliforniaAn excellent student I found when I was a visiting professor at the University of San Diego, and later served as Pauling's assistant for a long time to support his research work. One year after the establishment of the institute, the name was changed to "Bowling Institute of Science and Medicine", and Robinson becameDirector: The main subject of the institute is to provide experimental evidence for Pauling's theory of vitamin C.

In 1977, Robinson conducted an experiment with mice to study the effect of vitamin C on cancer. A special mouse was used without hair, bare skin, and easily induced skin cancer when exposed to ultraviolet light. He gaveHalf of the mice were fed a large dose of vitamin C, which was equivalent to 5 to 10 grams of human daily weight conversion, and the other half was not fed with vitamin C as a control. The results showed that vitamin C not only did not reduce the incidence of cancer, but also caused skin cancer.The rate has doubled! Not only that, for already formed tumors, vitamin C equivalent to a human dose of 1 to 5 grams per day can promote rather than inhibit tumor growth. Only increase the dose of vitamin C to equivalent to 100 per dayCan only inhibit tumor growth when the human dose is less than grams, and such a dose is close to the lethal dose of vitamin C to mice!

Robinson knows that the Paulings have taken huge amounts of vitamin C for many years, which can't help worrying him. However, Pauling refused to acknowledge his data, and despite Robinson's 16-year friendship, ordered the board to fire Robinson.His experimental mice were killed, the experimental records were sealed, and some of them were destroyed. Pauling also publicly declared that Robinson's research work was not professional and the data was unreliable. Robinson could not bear it. A pleading filed a complaint against Pauling and his institute.Go to court. In 1983, the lawsuit ended in an out-of-court settlement, and Robinson was awarded $ 575,000 in compensation, of which $ 425,000 was used to compensate him for oral and written defamation [14].

Vitamin C and some other vitamins are essential nutrients to maintain our health because they have the function of antioxidants in addition to coenzymes that assist in cellular energy metabolism. The food eaten into the body is in the cellsEnergy can only be generated after burning through oxidation reactions. Other harmful substances that enter the body are also converted into non-toxic products and are excreted through oxidation reactions. However, oxidation reactions can produce molecules called free radicals, which are carried by the loss of electrons.Positive charge, can be combined with negatively charged cell membranes, DNA, proteins and other components, causing damage to these cell components, including mutations that may cause cancer. Free radicals can also damage blood vessels that supply the heart and induce coronary heart disease.Vitamin C and vitamin A, E, omega-3 fatty acids the main component of fish oil and other molecules with antioxidant effects can provide free electrons to free radicals, eliminating their damage to cell components. This is generally considered to eat moreHealthy foods such as fruits, vegetables and fish can help delay aging and prevent cancer and brainstormingA cause of tuberculosis; and for this reason, antioxidant functions have become the biggest selling point of many health nutrition products.

Bowling ’s theory about high-dose vitamin C anti-cancer, the logic is clear: since vitamin C and other antioxidants in food can help prevent cancer, that is the more the better, it should be added a lot. But he overlooked an importantFact: Free radicals can not only cause damage to cells, but also a great tool for the immune system to destroy cancerous cells and pathogenic microorganisms. The key to maintaining health is to maintain the balance of oxidation and anti-oxidation in the cell.Oxidants may disrupt this balance and cause serious consequences. After Robinson, researchers from various countries conducted many large-scale surveys and studies. The total number of subjects was more than 200,000. It was found that taking huge amounts of vitamins including vitamin C was indeedIncreased risk of multiple cancers [15].

Vitamin C and Heart Disease

In his book "How to Live Longer and Better" published in 1986, Pauling claims that huge amounts of vitamins can "improve your overall health ... increase the joy of your life, help control heart disease, cancer andOther diseases that delay the aging process. "

In response to the relationship between vitamin C and heart disease, in 1992, 91-year-old Pauling cooperated with German doctor Matthias Rath in a MEDLINE that was not recognized by the mainstream medical community and was not recognized by the National Medical LibraryA database-published journal, The Journal of Orthopedic Medicine, published an article entitled "A Unified Theory That Will Lead to the Elimination of Deadly Cardiovascular Disease in Humans" [16].

According to Pauling ’s theory, about 40 million years ago, the distant ancestors of humans lived in warm tropical regions, and they were mainly plant foods. Various plant foods are rich in vitamin C and do not need to be synthesized in the body. As a resultAs a result, a key enzyme that synthesizes vitamin C, L-gulose lactone oxidase, has been mutated, and it has forever lost its ability to synthesize vitamin C on its own like other animals. Later, with the migration of habitats and the change of the earth's climate,With the advent of the cold and glacial periods, vitamin C nutrients from food have been greatly reduced, leading to an increase in the incidence of scurvy. The main feature of scurvy is the impaired synthesis of the main components of connective tissue such as collagen and elastin.It weakens the strength of the blood vessel wall, easily ruptures, leading to bleeding and death. Scurvy thus becomes the natural selection pressure that has the greatest impact on the evolution of human ancestors during the ice age. This selection pressure makes genetic mutations that can promote atherosclerosis beneficialSurvival factor, because atherosclerosis is caused by low density lipoprotein bad cholesterol, lipoprotein a, etc. in the bloodPlacing on the inner wall of blood vessels forms plaques, which increases the thickness and strength of the blood vessel wall, thereby reducing bleeding and death caused by scurvy. In other words, atherosclerosis was through the natural selection of human ancestors during the evolution processThe traits that are beneficial to survival in the absence of vitamin C; cardiovascular disease caused by atherosclerosis is the hidden health hazard left by this choice for today's humans.

Although today's humans have unfortunately inherited those genes that can promote atherosclerosis, fortunately, Pauling told us that vitamin C is a savior against unfavorable genetic genes, and it is effective for almost any cardiovascular disease known.The risk factors of the disease have a remedial effect. Vitamin C can inhibit the synthesis of lipoprotein a at the metabolic level, promote the conversion of cholesterol to bile acid and excrete through the bile duct, thereby reducing the formation of vascular plaque and the occurrence of cardiovascular disease.In order to make full use of the effect of vitamin C, the amount of supplementation must reach the amount that human distant ancestors can make before the loss of synthetic vitamin C ability-10 to 20 grams per day. Pauling did not explain where this data came fromHere, it is probably speculated based on the ability of some mammals today to synthesize vitamins.

The conclusion of the article concludes: "Given that vitamin C deficiency is a common cause of cardiovascular disease in humans, vitamin C supplementation is a universal therapy for this disease. The existing epidemiological and clinical research results are quite credible proofThis point. After this theory is further confirmed clinically, cardiovascular disease will no longer be the cause of death for our generation and future humans. "

Two years after the publication of the "Unified Theory", Pauling died of prostate cancer on August 19, 1994. He had received radiation therapy before his death. Pauling claimed that vitamin C, which he had taken for many years, delayed his cancer by 20Year. This is an unverifiable hypothesis and is naturally unfounded.

what is the experimental evidence that Pauling eloquently mentioned in his last important article?

In 1990, Pauling and Rath published a research paper in the Journal of the American Academy of Sciences [17], reporting that if vitamin C is lacking in the feed of guinea pigs, it will cause atherosclerosis and vascular plaque.Contains lipoprotein a. If guinea pigs are supplemented with 40 mg of vitamin C per kilogram of body weight per day approximately 2 to 3 grams of human dose, it can prevent lipoprotein a from depositing on the walls of blood vessels and causing atherosclerosis.It is inferred that vitamin C has the same effect on humans.

Although guinea pigs cannot synthesize vitamin C on their own like humans, guinea pigs are different from humans after all. No matter how beautiful Pauling ’s unified theory looks, whether his beautiful vision of using vitamin C to eradicate deadly cardiovascular disease can be realized,After all, it depends on human studies.

2016, two scholars at Connecticut State University reviewed and summarized the results of studies on vitamin C and heart health published since 1993, including 7 observational epidemiological surveys and 6 randomized double-blind clinical trialsThe trial found that: Vitamin C deficiency is associated with increased cardiovascular mortality; however, evidence is still lacking on whether vitamin C supplementation can reduce the incidence and mortality of cardiovascular disease. Many studies have not found vitamin C supplementationFor any association with cardiovascular disease, a few studies have found that vitamin C supplementation is slightly beneficial, but it is worth noting that there are also some studies that have found that vitamin C supplements increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, and that the dosage is only 1 g per day.Half of the confirmed tolerable maximum intake 2 grams. Given the inconsistent results of the existing studies, the two authors cautioned that further research is needed [18].

If you know Pauling under Jiuquan, do you still have to wait patiently?

Pauling's Legacy

The legacy of Pauling's life for human beings is extremely rich and complicated. The genius Pauling is the first to introduce quantum mechanics into chemistry, introduce molecular structure into medicine, and introduce changes in the amino acid composition of proteins into evolutionary biology.He is a strong fighter against nuclear weapons and all forms of war. In his later years, Pauling became the spiritual godfather of the vitamin supplement industry with annual sales of $ 32 billion.

What factors made Baoling who once relied on rigorous and in-depth research and speculation, stepped on the cornerstone of scientific evidence, conquered one after another, scientific peaks, and transformed into Bao, who still refused to admit his mistakes and was lonely in the face of scientific evidenceforest?

One explanation is that during his scientific career, Pauling encountered many times of strong opposition in the academic field, and it was the other party that proved to be wrong in the end. Over time, he finally formed his always-conscious subconscious.

Bowling ’s counterpart, Max Perutz, who is also a Nobel Prize winner in chemistry, highly praised Pauling ’s achievements, then commented: “Vitamin C has become a concern of Pauling in the last 25 years.It is a tragedy that the top priority has damaged his lofty reputation as a chemist. This may be due to his greatest weakness: vanity. In Einstein, if someone disagrees with him, he will think carefully and find outHe was wrong and would be happy to correct it, because it prevented him from making mistakes. Pauling would never admit his mistake. "Perutz later disclosed that after reading Pauling ’s thesis on protein α-helixWhen he found that one of the calculations was wrong, he pointed out to Pauling that he thought Pauling would be happy for it. However, instead of expressing his gratitude, Pauling fought back with anger. "Because he can't stand the discovery of him by others.What I missed. "[15]

In the evening of the 1954 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, hundreds of Swedish university students marched with a torch, congratulating Pauling on becoming the new Nobel Prize winner. Pauling was invited to give a performance and said, "As an older generation, I want to give youOne piece of advice, how to treat elders. "His clear voice echoed in the square." When an older big man speaks to you, listen carefully and respectfully, but don't trust him. Don't trust anything other than your own wisdom.Something. An old man, whether it is white hair or no hair, even if he has won the Nobel Prize, it may be wrong. You must always be skeptical and always think independently. "The students gave thunderous applause and cheers.

At that time, Pauling opened up a new world of chemical and molecular biology research by virtue of this critical spirit of skepticism and superstition of authority.

Today, before we swallow a few grams of vitamin C or a handful of other nutritional products without thinking, should we also follow Pauling's suggestion and ask why, and do independent research and thinking?

Main reference material

1. US National Library of Medicine. Profiles in Science: Linus Pauling. Http://profiles.nlm.nih.gov/spotlight/mm.

2. OSU Libraries. Linus Pauling Online. Http://scarc.library.oregonstate.edu/digitalresources/pauling/.

Other references

[1] Pauling L. Vitamin C and the Common Cold. San Francisco: WH Freeman, 1976.

[2] Pauling L. Vitamin C, the Common Cold and the Flu. San Francisco: WH Freeman, 1976.

[3] Pauling L. How to Live Longer and Feel Better. New York: WH Freeman, 1986.

[4] Marshall CW. 2002. Vitamin C: Do High Doses Prevent Colds? Http://www.quackwatch.org/01QuackeryRelatedTopics/DSH/colds.html

[5] Karlowski TR et al. Ascorbic acid and the common cold: A prophylactic and therapeutic trial. 1975. JAMA 231: 1038-42.

[6] Truswell AS. Ascorbic acid letter. N Engl J Med. 1986. 315: 709.

[7] Cameron E & Pauling L. Supplemental ascorbate in the supportive treatment of cancer: Prolongation of survival times in terminal human cancer. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 1976. 73: 3685-9.

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