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John T.A. Ely
Med Sci Monit 2004; 10(1): HY1-4
The approximately 4000 ‘normal’ mammals that synthesize ascorbic acid produce on average circa 50 mg/kg per day routinely. Although humans have the same needs as normal mammals, they do not produce ascorbic acid at all and, on average, ingest only circa 1 mg/kg per day. The normal mammals’ much larger production enables them to continually renew structural proteins, including both collagen, a flexible but inelastic tissue, and elastin, the elastic connective tissue. As a result, many normal mammals maintain a ‘youthful’ appearance with little gross anatomical change from age of maturity (i.e, first estrus) to more than 20 times age of maturity. In stark contrast, the extremely small ascorbic acid intake of humans does not enable them to maintain a youthful flexibility and elasticity beyond possibly 6 times age of maturity (most have died before 8 times). This loss of youthful qualities in structural proteins results in susceptibility for many forms of deterioration in both appearance and properties of vascular and other structural tissues. One such deterioration is aortic aneurysm, a common cause of morbidity and mortality. We hypothesize herein that improved dietary intake of essential nutrients needed to enhance the renewal of all structural proteins can: (1) prevent this deterioration completely; and (2) cure even large aortic aneurysms without surgery.