Book review: ‘Curing the Incurable: Vitamin C, Infectious Diseases, and Toxins’

Jed Stuber  ·  Apr 01, 2015

According to Dr. Thomas Levy, the idea that the typical doctor stays on top of the latest medical science by reading medical literature is terribly naive. Curing the Incurable: Vitamin C, Infectious Diseases, and Toxins argues there is overwhelming evidence in the medical literature that Vitamin C cures a host of infectious diseases, but modern medicine doesn’t realize it.

A movie called First Do No Harm came out about 15 years ago, and Dr. Levy recalls discussing it with fellow doctors. In the film, a young boy with epileptic seizures is unresponsive to medication, so his mother goes to the library and “discovers” that a high fat ketogenic diet eliminates seizures in a significant percentage of patients. The movie dramatizes the conflict between the mom and doctors. She is ridiculed and threatened with legal action to keep her from trying the diet in an attempt to avoid surgery. The diet works and the movie ends happily. The boy is healthy and the small community that was so divided over his treatment is at peace again.

Dr. Levy’s colleagues in the doctors’ lounge were indignant at the movie and news reports it spawned. The slightest suggestion that there might be something to a ketogenic diet made them angry, even though most of them had never heard of it. Some said the evidence was only “anecdotal” and others said they would need to see a “full bibliography.” Dr. Levy logged into one of the popular databases of medical literature that doctors have access to and in a matter of minutes found 180 references to the ketogenic diet. Any doctor who bothered to look could easily see that it’s been well established as an effective treatment for epilepsy for 75 years. (Visit

Dr. Levy says that most doctors become set in their ways through their medical school textbooks and residency. “Once something gets etched into the pages of the medical textbook, and medical school professors throughout the country teach it to medical students and doctors in post-graduate training, any contradictions to this orthodox body of knowledge get summarily ignored once these impressionable trainees become practicing physicians.”

Dr. Levy speaks from experience. After undergraduate studies at Johns Hopkins, he did his medical degree and residency at Tulane, where he specialized in cardiology. He also received a law degree and is a member of the bar in Colorado and the District of Columbia. He has served on hospital review boards, conducted investigations, published a variety of medical journals, and been a professor at a medical school. Now he lectures all over the world, telling this story: The more he delved into the medical literature about Vitamin C, the more amazed he became.

This background is important for answering a common objection to Dr. Levy’s work on Vitamin C. It sounds too good to be true. If Vitamin C really can cure major diseases, why aren’t more doctors using it?

Curing the Incurable begins with polio, because the evidence for it being cured by Vitamin C is staggering. Studies showing Vitamin C can inactivate polio date back to the 1930s. Then there is the forgotten work of Dr. Frederick Klenner.

“At the height of the polio epidemic in 1949, when all young parents lived in fear that their babies and young children would be the next victims, Frederick R. Klenner, M.D., published that he had successfully cured 60 out of 60 polio patients who had presented in his office or to the emergency room. Furthermore, he reported that none of the 60 patients treated had any residual damage from the polio virus that often left its survivors crippled for life. This evidence was subsequently presented by Klenner in 1949 to an annual session of the American Medical Association that dealt with the treatment of polio patients.”

A small minority of doctors continue to treat polio and other infectious diseases with Vitamin C, and there are impressive studies about Vitamin C that continue to be published in the medical literature right up to the present day.


Dr. Levy argues that there is plenty of evidence to conclude Vitamin C cures, prevents, and reverses a host of infectious diseases. The book cites more than 1,200 scientific references. Where he finds the evidence compelling, but would like to see additional confirming research done, he adds a question mark.

Before getting into all the research, Levy presents some basic concepts and historical perspectives.

There are several entrenched misconceptions about Vitamin C therapy, starting with basic terminology. “Vitamin” is a term scientists use in a precise way to describe substances measured in very small trace amounts, but doctors who successfully treat infectious diseases with Vitamin C use doses 10,000 to 20,000 times the trace amounts. According to Dr. Levy, the ascorbates we call Vitamin C should never have been labeled a Vitamin in the first place. The dosing misconception shows up in the medical literature too. There are some studies claiming to demonstrate Vitamin C’s ineffectiveness in treating various diseases, but they are based on the false premise that using extremely small doses is valid.

Another common misunderstanding is that the very small amount of Vitamin C that prevents scurvy, or the amount in the World War II-era government recommendations known as Recommended Daily Allowance, is enough to maintain optimum health. Trace amounts of Vitamin C do prevent scurvy, but much larger amounts are necessary for the body to maintain healthy and optimum metabolic functions. Furthermore, there is much evidence that Vitamin C depletion is often the reason that many common infectious diseases develop in the first place.

A third misconception is that eating healthy foods can supply the body with optimum amounts of Vitamin C. Here Dr. Levy is asserting something consistent with the Christian doctrine of the Fall. Creation—including our bodies and our food—is subject to decay, and wisdom calls for supplementing our diets.

Dr. Levy recounts the fascinating history, dating back 85 years, of pioneering doctors treating infectious diseases with Vitamin C. They developed very simple protocols. They administered Vitamin C every few hours. The patient’s fever or other symptoms usually improved. If the patient didn’t improve, they gave more Vitamin C more often.

If the three rules of real estate are “location, location, location,” the three rules of optimum Vitamin C are “dose, dose, dose,” Dr. Levy says.

One of the challenges of using larger quantities of Vitamin C is that it sometimes causes bowel problems, but this challenge actually helps doctors determine dosage and learn some important things.

If the patient develops loose stools, the Vitamin C is not being used by the body and it is going into the excretory system. Then the dosage is backed down a bit, and the optimal dose has been determined.

Depending on the disease, how far it has advanced (or how much it has been reversed), and the individual patient, the Vitamin C is used up at varying rates. When dealing with major health problems, patients sometimes are able to use 100 to 200 times as much Vitamin C as a healthy person would before reaching the bowel tolerance. Whether adjusting the dosage up or down, the bowel tolerance helps determine the optimal dose.

Doctors have also learned that administering Vitamin C through injections or IVs avoids the bowel problems and requires less Vitamin C, because it is more easily absorbed and used by the body. Another technological innovation called Liposomes began to be developed in the 1960s. It allows patients to take Vitamin C orally, but without bowel problems.

Liposomes are microscopic spheres, molecules that combine a nutrient such as Vitamin C with a lipid. They are very similar to components of the cell walls in the body, and allow the nutrients to be absorbed very efficiently. Research on liposomes is ongoing, and Dr. Levy presents evidence liposomal Vitamin C is even more effective than that administered by IV.

Scientists are still working out all the mechanisms by which Vitamin C has antioxidant and antimicrobial effects in the body. But how it works doesn’t even matter in one sense. Dr. Levy’s point is simply this: study after study confirms that when Vitamin C is administered in optimal doses, it cures major diseases.

In one chapter Dr. Levy goes beyond infectious diseases. He presents evidence that Vitamin C is the “ultimate antidote” to many toxins: alcohol, barbituates, carbon monoxide, endotoxin, methemoglobinemia, poisonous mushrooms, radiation, strychnine, tetanus, venoms, pesticides, and many more.

Dr. Levy also devotes a chapter to answering some common concerns about safety. Again, he presents study after study. Vitamin C has been shown repeatedly to be safe in high doses and over long periods of time. Dr. Levy refutes the suggestion that Vitamin C might contribute to kidney stones. He explains that there is only one rare genetic disease where there is a known reason not to use Vitamin C therapy—G6PD Deficiency.

The final chapter makes some practical suggestions about Vitamin C. In spite of all the evidence supporting optidose Vitamin C therapy, there are challenges to getting it by any method.

Dr. Levy cautions that anyone treating a major disease with Vitamin C should do so under a doctor’s supervision. Depending on the circumstances, a combination of IV, liposomal, and regular oral Vitamin C should be used. Administering it by IV is pretty straightforward, but hydration of the patient must be closely monitored. Additional concerns come into play if there are kidney problems. Calcium ascorbate must never be used. Unfortunately, doctors that offer any kind of optidose therapy are few and far between.

Dr. Levy does recommend that an average healthy adult should be taking 6,000 to 12,000 mg of regular Vitamin C daily to meet the body’s general metabolic needs. Liposomal Vitamin C is now available to consumers to meet this need as well, but unfortunately, it is currently quite expensive.

Curing the Incurrable is available from, where you can also contact Dr. Levy by using the contact button. Many of Dr. Levy’s lectures can be watched online by searching for his name on YouTube.