3rd December 2019
A statement from Dr Gabriel Stewart with regard to recent online social media commentary.
One of my patients has recently been attacked online for mentioning on social media that she has attended my Medical Clinic for treatments and finds them beneficial. This patient is quite well known in media circles throughout Ireland, as she is none other than the very brave and heroic Vicky Phelan.
Sadly Vicky was a victim of what is now generally known as the Cervical Check Scandal in Ireland, which also affected over 200 other women that we know of at this stage. We would probably not even know about all of this if it wasn’t for Vicky taking a very brave and honourable stance, in relation to refusing to sign a gag order and not alert the other people affected.
We owe Vicky a great debt of gratitude as a nation and what has happened to her in the online world of social media in the last week has been really quite unsettling to witness.
Vicky was a researcher before her current health diagnosis, and she used her experience as such to spend a lot of time in looking at the best options for her treatment schedule.
This then included fighting for access to a new Immunotherapy drug, which she then successfully lobbied to be made available for the other women also affected in the cervical check scandal.
She also looked at additional adjunctive and complementary therapies, and given the amount of peer reviewed information about IV Vitamin C, as an adjunctive treatment, also added it to her treatment protocol.
Vicky happily volunteered to give a testimonial for my website, even though she was advised that she might be attacked for doing so.
I don’t think any of us could have foreseen then what we witnessed last week on social media.
Certain online contributors have even described Vicky as a vulnerable person but it would be fair to say that with Vicky’s fighting spirit, and her determined approach to finding the best options for herself, she would take issue with being called that in relation to her treatment choices, decisions which she has not taken lightly.
I myself am not on social media, but many of my patients, friends and colleagues are, so I was alerted to this as it was breaking.
Having been alerted to this online activity I noted with great concern that my own good name and the treatments I offer is also now being attacked and slandered online in several places.
So I feel compelled to make this initial statement now, and have it placed on my website, and issued to other channels in full.
In the last week, a blog has been published online critical of Vicky Phelan for giving medical advice as a non-physician and referring to IV Vitamin C therapy as ‘pseudoscience’.
In truth Vicky was only trying to be helpful (as shown by all of her previous actions in the health scandal) and giving her honest opinion that the treatments she personally found beneficial she would be happy to tell others about.
Within that blog, it is alleged that there is “no evidence” that IV Vitamin C is beneficial to cancer patients. Nothing could be further from the truth.
For those of us medical physicians (and our number is now growing around the world) that have actually taken the time to look at this in depth beyond our medical school training, we find out that Vitamin C is one of the most studied elements in human physiology and yet its vital importance in a wide range of health conditions is quite low on our diagnostic radar due to our initial medical training.
There are now over 60,000 peer reviewed studies on PubMed alone that reference vitamin C.
www.PubMed.gov is one of the main online library sites for publishers of scientific and medical research and anyone can just go to this site and search and find this information for themselves.
A point to remember when looking in PubMed is that Vitamin C is also known as ‘Ascorbic Acid’ and more recently in some studies has been referred to as PAA - Pharmacological Ascorbic Acid.
In the case for IV vitamin C, the study referenced in that blog online last week from 2015 is quite unusual in that it appears to standalone and contradict almost all prior and post 2015 studies and hundreds of scientists, researchers and physicians who have compiled these studies over the years would clearly take issue with its construction and conclusions.
There are many, many very positive scientific studies on IV Vitamin C and its benefits to patients, and many of these are linked on my website (to PubMed) at
Over 250 published studies documenting the value of IVC as an Adjunctive Cancer Care Modality
By way of brief example, here are some much more recent studies:
Intravenous vitamin C in the supportive care of cancer patients.
Extensive literature demonstrates that cancer patients experience vitamin C deficiency correlated with reduced oral intake, inflammation, infection, disease processes, and treatments such as radiation, chemotherapy, and surgery.
Intravenous Vitamin C for Cancer Therapy – Identifying the Current Gaps in Our Knowledge
The questions this quite recent study looks at include: Do oncology patients have compromised vitamin C status? Is intravenous the optimal route of vitamin C administration? Is IVC safe? Does IVC interfere with chemotherapy or radiotherapy? Does IVC decrease the toxic side effects of chemotherapy and improve quality of life? What are the relevant mechanisms of action of IVC? What are the optimal doses, frequency, and duration of IVC therapy?
In so far as the use of IVC is concerned all of these questions are answered positively, referencing peer reviewed publications.
Vitamin C and immune cell function in inflammation and cancer
Humans have an absolute requirement for vitamin C (ascorbate) as part of their diet, and deficiency due to inadequate intake is associated with a plethora of symptoms, reflecting the diverse functions attributed to the vitamin.
Vitamin C and Immune Function
Epidemiological studies indicate that hypovitaminosis C (low levels of Vitamin C) is still relatively common in Western populations, and vitamin C deficiency is the fourth leading nutrient deficiency in the United States. Reasons include reduced intake combined with limited body stores. Increased needs occur due to pollution and smoking, fighting infections, and diseases with oxidative and inflammatory components, e.g., type 2 diabetes, etc.
IV Vitamin C has also been shown multiple times to improve the Quality of Life of patients undergoing treatments for cancer.
Several studies have indicated that intravenous (IV) vitamin C alleviates a number of cancer- and chemotherapy-related symptoms, such as fatigue, insomnia, loss of appetite, nausea, and pain. Improvements in physical, role, cognitive, emotional, and social functioning, as well as an improvement in overall health, were also observed.
And many more studies are available on PubMed, and as shown above, I also link to many more of these from my own website - www.drstewartsclinic.com
Hypovitaminosis C (low vitamin c levels)
Many of these peer reviewed studies have also shown that patients being treated for cancer will also have compromised vitamin C status. Many will have poor appetite and food absorption issues due to the way some chemotherapeutic agents can affect the digestive system and be unable to secure the much needed greater vitamin C rich food intake necessary for their increased metabolic demand due to their illness.
While most of our blood marker levels are regularly checked when needed, one area that is very often overlooked is Vitamin C levels.
Many patients who are quite ill will have very low Vitamin C levels, due to a number of factors, poor diet, perhaps even unable to eat, a compromised digestive system leading to poor absorption of foods, medication side effects, underlying infections, various stages of disease burden in the body, and more.
This is why the IV route (as shown in the studies above) is the best way for dealing with this.It bypasses the digestive tract and quickly gets to where it is needed and is utilized efficiently.
Patients who experience long term hospital stays are also prone to low vitamin C levels.
from 2018 Royal Australasian College of Physicians - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29968401
Studies have also shown that poor quality food intake and digestion issues leave them with low vitamin C levels, a most essential element when fighting any injury, illness or disease.
There is a very small number of cases where it might be inadvisable to administer IVC, but in my 20 years of using this therapy (45 years in total in medical practice) I have only come across such patients a couple of times here in Ireland. And, of course, I screen all my patients prior to any treatments being administered.
In my clinic, I offer IV Vitamin C as an Adjunctive treatment to address these known deficiencies in many patients undergoing treatments for cancer and other health conditions.
It is not a standalone treatment nor do I advise it as such.
It is one component of multi-faceted comprehensive care that should include other treatments and lifestyle changes that support wellness.
This treatment is widely available all across the developed world - Canada, US, Europe, New Zealand, Japan and elsewhere.
I have always maintained that there is a need and a duty of care for us doctors, to respect an adult patient's choices, especially in cases where they are facing a possible terminal illness.
I also think that it is imperative and ethical for us doctors to utilize the latest information available,
so I regularly attend international medical conferences to keep up to date with the latest findings within my fields of interest - patient wellness.
As shown clearly by so many studies and also it can be seen with my own patient experiences, IVC can be very beneficial.
It is personally quite inspiring to see the difference it can make for so many of my patients who have chosen to come to me.
My clinic also saves people from travelling abroad for these treatments, as should be the case, and although perhaps surprising but also reassuring, I also have had many other doctors and health professionals and their family members as my patients over the years. I also have several patients who were advised to come to me for my adjunctive treatments by their Oncologists.
So it is abundantly clear that, contrary to the assertion that there is ‘no evidence’ for any benefit for patients with cancer in having adjunctive and supporting Vitamin C treatments, the opposite is, in reality, the case.
I always welcome informed debate on these matters and rather than reaching for soundbites I would urge all of those genuinely concerned with the scientific truth to debate on the basis of the substantial scientific research that exists.
In conclusion for this part of my statement, I would personally like to thank Vicky Phelan for her courage and bravery in what she has done for all the women affected by the Cervical Check Scandal and for continuously fighting for the truth in medical matters.
Signed: Dr Gabriel Stewart
Ⓒ 2019 Dr Gabriel Stewart. M.B.B.CH. B.A.O. M.I.C.G.P. A.P.C.T.
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Those wishing to quote from it or use selective excerpts are prohibited to do so without my express permission.