Words have meaning and the meaning of those words are important. More than just words on a page, words are a reference to our past—some good, some bad. Words are not themselves biased. It is only their use, or more appropriately, their misuse that are biased. Only through an accurate reference to words in history, can a proper, un-biased context and pathway be created for a future.
Today, there is a clear, coordinated effort to reclassify vitamin C, ascorbic acid, as a drug. Recent conventional medical research highlights the use of vitamin C in the context of a drug or a “pro-drug”. The actual drug that delivers the biochemical effects is thought to be hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). The preface to the drug is the pro-drug—vitamin C in this case.
Historically, ascorbic acid, has been defined as a vitamin. Though I have mentioned this before, I think it is helpful to re-explore that concept again here. Originally, ascorbic acid was first called a vitamin in 1912. The Polish biochemist Casimir Funk (1884-1967) coined the word from the latin word for life—“vita”. In the 19th century, it was thought that all life required chemical groups called “amine”. “Amines” were thought to sustain life. As a result, “amines” were critical for life or vital for life— “vita” in Latin. Amines that were vital to life led to the name “vital-amine” or “vitamin” as it is commonly used today.
Why the need to reclassify vitamin C as a drug? When it has been known as a vitamin for over 100 years?
What is a drug?
Etymology is the study of the origin of words in history. Words are born out of history. Words are not just words. They are references to a time long past. Without an understanding of the context of history in which words originated, a true understanding of the meaning of a word is lost. In a way, words reach out from history to provide a relevant context to today’s world. History defines words. Without an understanding of this historical context of words, without the coupling of history to words, the definition is easily lost. More, the definition is easily rewritten.
What is a drug, etymologically speaking?
The word “drug”, etymologically speaking, originates from 14th century Anglo-French, meaning “any substance used in the composition or preparation of medicines”. Fast forward in history to the 16th century and the word “drug” is found to be associated with “poisons”. Advance three hundred years more to the 19th century and the word “drug” is associated with “narcotics and opiates”. In 1968, the word drug found its context in the Love, Drug, and Peace movement in “drug addict” or druggie. Today in conventional medicine, a drug is a reference to corporate pharmaceutical manufacturing of a pharmaceutical, whether sold behind a counter or on the street.
According to history, according to etymology, according to basic biology, and according to pharmacokinetics, vitamin C is not a drug.
Vitamin C is not/has no:
- A substance used in the composition or preparation of medicines
- A poison
- A narcotic
- An opiate
- Relevance to a druggie, drug addict, or 1960’s reference of Love, Drugs, and Peace
- Manufactured out of the corporate pharmaceutical industry
To be fair, vitamin C can be synthetically manufactured in a lab; but, vitamin C has been created and continues to be created in nature, according to nature’s laws, as dictated by nature’s God.
Vitamin C may be called a drug. It’s reference as a drug may continue to grow. One day, it may even be regulated as a drug. But, in no way, does it resemble or function as a drug.
I believe that physicians, the medical community at large, and patients, will be better served in referencing vitamin C’s action and targeted benefits, and not the conventional misuse of the word. Without the context reference to its history, it is easy to miss the subtle misuse of vitamin C as a drug. The current, conventional reference of vitamin C as a drug is not a simple misuse or clerical error. I believe vitamin C’s reference to a drug is an intentional move to decouple the word “drug” from its historical context. In so doing, redefine what a “drug” to include non-historical drugs, such as vitamin C. The result will broaden the scope and category of drugs, welcome and open the reclassification of non-drugs as drugs, and ultimately, redefine and regulate non-drugs as drugs.
Thankfully, the false and inaccurate narrative that was set by Moertel CG, Creagan ET, and Fleming TR in 1985 is being set straight. Our current understanding on the mechanisms of how vitamin C works within the context of cancer, and other disease states, only continues to grow to overcome the false assumptions and inaccuracies in the past. But, this growing understanding by no means meets the criteria to redefine vitamin C as a drug.
Is vitamin C a drug? Absolutely not! In no way does vitamin C meet any definition of a drug. However, through redefinition, regulation will steer vitamin C more for power and profits, and less for the benefit of patients.