According to this book description

Matthias Rath, M.D., an internationally respected cardiovascular researcher, asserts that high cholesterol is not the actual cause of heart disease. Bears, for example, have average cholesterol levels of 400 milligrams per deciliter of blood, but they don’t suffer heart attacks. Why? According to Dr. Rath, it is because bears produce large amounts of vitamin C, which optimizes collagen production and ensures maximum stability of their artery walls. Dr. Rath’s research identifies the true cause of heart disease as a deficiency of vitamin C

Is it true that Vitamin C deficiency is the cause of heart attacks?

  • 1
    You might want to read about Mathias Rath on Wikipedia, he's known for treating cancer and HIV with vitamins and telling patients to stop taking conventional drugs for those diseases.
    – Mad Scientist
    Dec 27, 2012 at 10:09
  • @Flimzy, I have edited the question to focus on Vitamin C deficiency as a cause, rather than focusing on cholesterol not being a cause.
    – Kenshin
    Dec 27, 2012 at 10:11
  • "Actual cause" is a very vague term for a condition as broad as heart attacks.
    – Christian
    Dec 27, 2012 at 18:50
  • 2
    "internationally respected" according to a book by... himself :) Judging by the page @Fabian links to, "internationally renowned" seems more appropriate...
    – Benjol
    Jan 22, 2013 at 10:13
  • 6
    I think the contained claim -- Bears do not suffer heart attacks -- would make a good question in and of itself.
    – Paul
    May 10, 2013 at 18:56

1 Answer 1


"According to Dr. Rath" reminded me of Linus Pauling and Matthias Rath's unified theory.

Matthias Rath (born 1955 in Stuttgart, Germany) is a controversial doctor, businessman, and vitamin salesman.

Linus Pauling (February 28, 1901 – August 19, 1994) was one of the most influential chemists in history and ranks among the most important scientists of the 20th century and has won two Nobel prizes.

Linus Pauling and Matthias Rath alerted the world to the cause of heart disease in 1989: a chronic, sub-clinical vitamin C deficiency. They said it was due to a missing liver enzyme caused by the ancient GULO genetic defect in primate DNA.

Linus Pauling's said from his last interview:

I think we can get almost complete control of cardiovascular disease, heart attacks and strokes by the proper use of (vitamin C and lysine) ... even cure it.

On his death bed, former Congressman Berkelly Bedell responded to Pauling's therapy for heart disease with a letter claiming:

You have at least put my mind at ease, and I believe possibly saved my life.

Accoding to the Official Pauling Therapy Web Site PaulingTherapy.com, the Pauling/Rath Unified Theory Paper paper was first accepted by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, but then rejected and not published.

Owen Fonorow, co-founder of the Vitamin C Foundation, said

People have a right to be skeptical. Scams abound and people don't know what to believe and often rely on their doctors. Most highly educated people think it impossible that heart disease could be caused by a vitamin deficiency, and the entire medical profession and pharmaceutical industry somehow missed it. However, the idea that a lack of vitamin C causes heart disease is not new. For some reason the early work, and the later Pauling/Rath theory and experiments, are ignored by medical science. We are thankful that Linus Pauling decided to film a lecture making these ideas available on video.

Many sites like paulingtherapy.com, claim also that the main reason that this important discovery has been ignored is economic.

While increased dietary Vitamin C could help reduce heart disease, stroke and cancer; their hypothesis is not scientifically verified.

The Vitamin C Foundation concluded,

Neither the FDA nor the Medical Profession accept the proposition put forth by Pauling, Rath, Levy and others that the root cause of cardiovascular disease is an acute vitamin C deficiency at the site of the arterial lesion.

  • "the only person to win two nobel prizes" This is a false statement. Four people have won two prizes: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nobel_Prize#Multiple_laureates If they can't get easy facts like that right...
    – JasonR
    Aug 14, 2014 at 12:27
  • I thought the Rath camp was making the claim about Pauling being the only person? Hence my derisive comment about them not getting simple facts straight.
    – JasonR
    Aug 14, 2014 at 12:30
  • Have you got any more trustworthy reports of the "banning" of the paper by the National Academy of Sciences? Also, how do you know that they have not been investigated?
    – Oddthinking
    Aug 14, 2014 at 12:45
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    Science Based Medicine addresses the claims of Pauling: sciencebasedmedicine.org/…
    – JasonR
    Aug 14, 2014 at 13:02
  • 1
    The Science Based Medicine paper demonstrates that Fonorow's claim that the Unified Theory was ignored is wrong: it was tested and found wanting, to Pauling's dismay.
    – Oddthinking
    Aug 14, 2014 at 14:23

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