Dear Stephen,
First, thank you for your work, which brings many of us hope. Also, it enhances the earth to the degree people use less pharmaceutical antibiotics. My questions concern p138-144 in the Collagenous Tissue Support section: 1) You recommend vitamin C. Is there a particular form which is better? You mention the powdered form, I prefer a capsule, but I am confused by: Ester C, buffered, rose hips, bioflavinoids, ascorbyl palmitate, just to name some of the different types; 2) You also recommend ALA (Alpha Lipoic Acid) in order to raise amount of glutathione. And you mention another glutathione enhancer, (NAC) N-acetyl cysteine. Everything I’ve read about glutathione indicates to me that I need to raise that. I have done some research, but remain confused about whether to take ALA or NAC. Can you discuss the differences between NAC and ALA to raise glutathione, and/or whether certain conditions require one or the other. (For example, in my case, my 2 biggest symptoms are knee pain and fatigue.) Thanks!

Stephen’s response:
There are a lot of forms of vitamin C on the market and I have tried a lot of them. I like the powdered, effervescent form (C-salts) sold by Wholesale Nutrition. This is because it is absorbed by the body rapidly and also because it contains many essential electrolytes: potassium, calcium, and magnesium, as well as zinc. These do a great deal to help with muscle spasms and other problems in lyme and to help keep cellular activity healthy and strong. (This form is also one of the best treatments for constipation as vitamin C in large doses causes soft stool as the excess C is excreted through the bowels.) All the different forms of “vitamin C” contain C but the trick is getting vitamin C in high enough doses at a decent price. Linus Pauling, who pioneered the use of C for many things, used a powdered form and I haven’t really been able to find any way to get that kind of high dosing without it. In any event, I do think this form is better and it is also relatively inexpensive. You can also buy C in bulk powder (not effervescent) from places like Starwest Botanicals and encapsulate it yourself.

Regarding glutathione and it’s precursors, I go into the difference in these in some of my books, such as Vital Man (see bookstore), but generally I have come to prefer alpha lipoic acid, though NAC does work fine as well. I have just found ALA to be a bit more effective overall and it is pretty reliable as well. It will help with fatigue (as will eleuthero tincture, probably the best thing overall) in part, because it seems to help mitochondrial function. For knee pain I prefer glucosamine sulfate, teasel, cat’s claw, devil’s claw, and so on, most of which I discuss in Healing Lyme.

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