So now I'll share what I've found. Starting with the bit about vitamin C, according to the Mayo Clinic, the recommended daily dose is 65-90 mg per day, with an upper limit of 2,000 mg. I've done the math, and 5 grams = 5000 mg. So he is basically taking 21/2 times the upper limit of vitamin C. Some of the symptoms of a mega dose like this are :
- Abdominal bloating and cramps
- Kidney stones
The last couple of years, mega doses of various vitamins, especially C, have been the popular thing to be offered by a lot of the Alt Med crowd. The problem is, unless you have a nutritional deficicency due to an illness or a genetic condition, most Americans easily get all the vitamins they need in just their diet alone. No need for supplements. Increasing your daily intake of any vitamin rarely does you any good, your body will just get rid of the excess in your waste. So it is literally money down the toilet.
The thing that tickled my mind about being familiar finally fell into place. Around the same time, there was a former doctor going around Oklahoma City offering what he called the Jesus Shot for $300 dollars, and former and current military got a discount. He claimed it would cure you from pain for the rest of your life. His description of the shot sounded similar to what other people had described, and I think he got swindled by the same quack.You can read a bit more about it from the Raw Story HERE. There is also an article from one of our local news affiliates, News9, but I really didn't want to link to it. The comments on the article are very disheartening. Person after person either claiming that his treatments worked for them or someone that they know, or else they are begging, literally begging to know where he is now so they can get the "Jesus shot" to help manage their symptoms. It's pretty damn depressing.
Finally, about mosquitoes transmitting AIDS, Looking through PubMed, I didn't find anything saying that it could be transmitted by this route. From what I could find, outside of a few fringe sites, everyone pretty much agrees that you can not get AIDS from a mosquito. First off, the virus is incapable of reproducing in any arthropod (mosquitoes, fleas, ticks, etc). Secondly, The viability of the virus outside of a human host is extremely short. The virus would most likely die between feedings. You can read the abstract from the NCBI HERE.
So, in conclusion, this guy was severely deluded or mislead, and possibly putting himself at great risk from trusting quacks and hearsay. This is one of the major reasons that the skeptic community and movement exist, to protect people from charlatans, misinformation, and misconceptions. Relying on Woo and pseudoscience can be costly ($300 a pop for a "miracle shot?) and dangerous (not going to real doctors). We need to pick our battles, yes, and I know that if someone is a true believer in some form of pseudoscience, you are not going to change their mind. But I will still attempt to at least give these people some additional information to hopefully get them looking at a more science based approach to their problems.
So until next time, Be Good, Be Skeptical, and be sure to tip your waiter.
The Skeptical Okie.