Book review: 'Primal Panacea'

David Lehnert  ·  Apr 30, 2017

Overwhelming documentation proves that in high enough doses Vitamin C prevents and cures cancer, heart disease, infectious and degenerative diseases, and can neutralize and reverse damage from virtually all toxins, venoms, and radiation.

Dr. Thomas Levy has grown accustomed to being dismissed as medical crackpot, but he doesn’t fit the stereotype. He is a cardiologist with an impressive academic pedigree that includes Johns Hopkins and Tulane. He has supervised an ER, held several teaching positions, served on hospital review boards, published in a variety of medical journals, and is also an attorney.

Primal Panacea sums up 25 years of Dr. Levy’s research on Vitamin C. He is well aware that calling it a “cure” is an affront to modern medicine. Nonetheless, he patiently, persistently presents evidence that Vitamin C meets all the criteria necessary to earn that designation.

One of the main misconceptions Dr. Levy  seeks to overturn is that studies show Vitamin C is useless for treating major medical problems. The problem is that this conclusion is reached by looking at a few studies which only involved trace amounts of Vitamin C. But when Vitamin C is used in optimal doses, which are hundreds or thousands of times more than government-issued Recommended Daily Intakes, it produces very impressive results. In Primal Panacea Dr. Levy cites more than 1,100 scientific sources to show that Vitamin C has amazing antibiotic, antiviral, antifungal, antitoxin, and antiaging benefits when used in high doses.

First Dr. Levy discusses Vitamin C being used to cure viral infections, which is well documented back to the 1930s. Dr. Frederick Klenner cured polio patients within 72 hours by using IV and oral vitamin C.1, 2 Other researchers showed that vitamin C killed every herpes virus that came into contact with Vitamin C, including the strain that causes shingles3, 4, 5 Dr. Robert Cathcart reported that Vitamin C reversed AIDS, allowing patients to live out their lives relatively devoid of symptoms.6

Vitamin C has also been used as an antidote to toxins, treating potentially fatal poisonings such as pesticide exposure, black widow bite, barbiturate overdose, highland moccasin snake bite, and mushroom poisoning, including the amanita phalloides, also known as “death cap.”7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13

The list of maladies that have been successfully treated by Vitamin C is long: polio, viral hepatitis, measles, mumps, viral encephalitis, chickenpox, herpes, viral pneumonia, influenzas, rabies, AIDS, ebola, diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, tuberculosis, streptococcal infections, leprosy, typhoid, malaria, brucellosis, trichinosis, amebic dysentery, bacillary dysentery, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and trypanosomal infections. (See also our review of Dr. Levy’s book Curing the Incurable: Vitamin C, Infectious Diseases, and Toxins.)

The next topic Dr. Levy addresses in Primal Panacea is heart disease. He explains that a deficiency of Vitamin C diminishes the quality and quantity of collagen in the arterial wall, causing further breakdown of the artery and facilitating the growth of plaque. Vitamin C deficiency is associated with every known heart disease risk factor, and supplementation with Vitamin C lowers cholesterol and reduces blood pressure. (See also our review of Dr. Levy’s book Stop America’s #1 Killer: Reversible Vitamin Deficiency Found to Be Origin of All Coronary Heart Disease.)

The next chapter deals with cancer. Although Vitamin C therapy for cancer might be perceived as contradictory to mainstream approaches like chemotherapy or radiation, it is actually in harmony with it. For starters, The American Cancer Society acknowledges that pathogens and toxins are significant in causing cancer, and as discussed above, Vitamin C is known to be a very powerful antimicrobial and antidote.

The main problem with cancer is metastasis, the malfunctioning and multiplying of cells. Dr. Levy presents evidence that Vitamin C keeps the cellular glue, known as “ground substance,” in blood vessels firm and healthy. Vitamin C also forms a strong extracellular matrix in tissues throughout the body. Conversely, a vitamin C deficiency weakens these systems, allowing malignant cells to break through lymphatic and blood vessel walls and migrate to other areas of the body.14, 15, 16, 17, 18

As our understanding of biochemistry continues to develop, we have also gained insight into a process by which Vitamin C kills cancer cells. Cancer cells have high levels of free iron, which in the presence of vitamin C produces oxygen that kills the cancer cell. This is known as the Fenton reaction.19, 20, 21 In one sense, Vitamin C therapy is just another way to target cancer cells, and it can be used as a compliment to other therapies.

It is no wonder that studies have found people with higher Vitamin C levels experienced 50 percent less  death from cancer than those with lower vitamin C levels.22,23 Dr. Levy also reviews clinical cases where individuals with advanced kidney, lymphatic, and colon cancers underwent IV Vitamin C therapy and completely recovered, and includes references to many more success stories.24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30 Dr. Levy says that when all this evidence is considered together, it suggests that Vitamin C has the potential to eradicate cancer.

Next Dr. Levy reviews how Vitamin C is being used to treat the degenerative diseases that afflict many of us as we age. The primary force of diseases like osteoporosis, arthritis, and Alzheimer’s is oxidation, and Vitamin C is a powerful anti-oxidant able to donate two electrons per molecule. Proper blood levels of Vitamin C are essential to bone and joint health, and studies have shown that Alzheimer’s patients given anti-oxidants demonstrate significantly improved cognitive scores.31

In concluding chapters, Dr. Levy discusses some common tactics that the medical community uses to perpetuate misinformation about Vitamin C. He says there are strong incentives for doctors to use expensive drug therapies and ignore the promise of Vitamin C.

Dr. Levy also offers recommendations for how much Vitamin C to take. He says adults should start with a minimum of 6000 mg per day. He recommends powder over a pill for increased absorption, but also adds that liposomal Vitamin C is the best form because of its unique delivery system that bypasses normal  metabolic processes and achieves very high absorption.32

Dr. Levy identifies six organizations that can help people find doctors that might be open to treatments that involved Vitamin C: The Riordan Clinic, American College for Advancement in Medicine, The Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine, American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine, International College of Integrative Medicine, and Academy of Integrative Medicine.

Finally, the word “primal” in the title of this book relates to some fascinating speculation about genetics. There is evidence that at some time in the past our bodies were able to make their own Vitamin C. The complete instructions for a key enzyme related to Vitamin C production are in everyone’s DNA, but the ability of liver cells to follow the instructions is missing. Animals on the other hand, all produce their own Vitamin C, and they don’t usually die of heart disease, cancer and chronic degenerative diseases.

In an evolutionary worldview, it is assumed that “primal” man was much healthier and longer lived than modern man. Perhaps an evolutionary misstep resulted in a mutation, and perhaps science could someday fix it by genetic engineering. Of course Christians who hold to the historicity of Genesis could just as easily speculate that the genetic problem is related to the curse of the Fall, and that the mutation should be fixed as part of our calling to fill the earth and subdue it.

Whatever the case, Dr. Levy presents compelling evidence Vitamin C should be taken by all in optimum doses.

Primal Panacea 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.

This article is for educational purposes and is not meant as medical advice.


1. Journal of the American Medical Association. <>

2. Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine <>

3. Journal of Immunology. <>

4. Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy. <>

5. Journal of Clinical Microbiology. <>

6. Medical Hypotheses. <>

7. Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine. <>

8. Tri-State Medical Journal. <>

9. Journal of Applied Nutrition. <>

10. Journal of the International Academy of Preventative Medicine.  <>

11. “Case history: cure of a 4-year-old bitten by a mature highland moccasin with vitamin C.” Tri-State Medical Journal.

12. Life Sciences Press. <>

13. South African Medical Journal. <>

14. Agressologie, Vitamin C and longevity. <>

15. A.M.A archives of pathology,

16. Diabetes,

17. Archives of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine. <>

18. The American Journal of Anatomy. <>

19. Medical Hypotheses. <>

20. British Journal of Cancer. <>

21. Cancer biotherapy and radiopharmaceuticals. <>

22. Lancet. <>

23. International Journal of Epidemiology <>

24. Puerto Rico Health Science Journal. <>

25. Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine. <>

26. Canadian Medical Association Journal. <>

27. Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine. <>

28. Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine. <>

29. Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine <>

30. Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine <>

31. Neuro-degnerative Diseases. <>

32. Journal of Nutritional and Environmental Medicine. <>