How One of the Greatest Health Discoveries of the 20th Century was Lost

Full article published in MegaZEN Volume 7.

In 1935, nylon was created and the discovery of the neutron won the Nobel Prize. The Gallup poll was brand new, and the DC-3 took its first flight. It was also the year that a cure for polio was discovered, 20 years before the official vaccine, and yet no one noticed. How could one of the greatest health discoveries of the 20th century just vanish into time?

Claus Washington Jungeblut received his MD from the University of Bern in 1921. Later, he worked as a bacteriologist for the New York State Department of Health and also spent time as an associate professor at Stanford University. In 1929, he joined the faculty at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons as associate professor of bacteriology where he remained until he retired in 1962. It was during his time at Columbia in 1935 that he would make his landmark discovery, that vitamin C (ascorbate) is highly effective at preventing, as well as neutralizing, the polio virus.1 After publishing his first official paper on the subject that year, he would later find that vitamin C also possessed extremely powerful capabilities in deactivating other viral and bacterial pathogens and their related toxins including diphtheria,2 tetanus,3 hoof-and-mouth disease,4 staph, hepatitis, and herpes.5 The evidence was incontrovertible; vitamin C was a wide-spectrum, antiviral agent with no harmful effects. In fact, when monkeys infected with various pathogens, including polio, were administered vitamin C, not only was the severity of the disease significantly diminished, but it also enhanced their resistance to it.

Health, Power, and Politics

As groundbreaking as the discovery of vitamin C’s antiviral and antibacterial properties was, Dr. Jungeblut and his achievements have been downplayed by medical historians to such a degree over the last 84 years that they’ve basically been rendered all but nonexistent. Aside from a mention in TIME magazine in 19396 in which Dr. Jungeblut stated low levels of vitamin C were associated with polio, both he and his amazing discovery were all but ignored by the mainstream establishment. In fact, Columbia University, where he made his monumental discovery and worked for 33 years, houses little information on him. While the most random of TV reality show celebrities are listed on Wikipedia, Dr. Jungeblut is nowhere to be found. How could this have happened to one of the greatest researchers of our time? Unfortunately, Dr. Jungeblut became one more casualty in a long line of forgotten heroes in the race for power, prestige, and profit in modern medicine.

Economics & Ego

Like all herbal and natural substances, vitamin C cannot be patented in the same way as man-made pharmaceuticals. As such, massive profits cannot be made from it. Therefore, natural interventions for disease, even those with curative effects like vitamin C, are all but ignored and their advocates dismissed if not directly silenced by the medical industry simply because they can’t make any money from them.

In the case of polio, the U.S. government had invested tens of millions of dollars into vaccine research and wasn’t about to let it go to waste. At the same time, high-profile, government-funded scientists like Jonas Salk and Albert Sabin, who were long-time professional rivals, were racing to see who could produce a vaccine first and secure their financial and professional legacy within the medical establishment. To make matters worse, in a disingenuous attempt to recreate Dr. Jungeblut’s results with vitamin C and polio, Dr. Sabin claimed that he could not repeat the same results after his own test with monkeys and deemed Jungeblut’s findings worthless. Because of Dr. Sabin’s reputation and standing in the medical research community, this out-of-hand dismissal left Dr. Jungeblut’s research all but dead in the water and would stifle any further investigation into vitamin C as an antiviral agent for at least a decade.

Read the full article originally published in MegaZEN Vol. 7. Please purchase MegaZEN Vol. 7 (Print) or digital version below:


[1] Jungeblut CW. Inactivation of poliomyelitis virus by crystalline vitamin C (ascorbic acid). J Exper Med 1935. 62:317-321.

[2] Jungeblut CW, Zwemer RL. Inactivation of diphtheria toxin in vivo and in vitro by crystalline vitamin C (ascorbic acid). Proc Soc Exper Biol Med 1935; 32:1229-34.

[3]Jungeblut CW. Inactivation of tetanus toxin by crystalline vitamin C (l-ascorbic acid). J Immunol 1937;33:203-214.

[4] Stone I. The Healing Factor, Chapter 13, Viral Infection. Grosset and Dunlap, 1972. This book is posted online for free reading (

[5] Ely JTA. A unity of science, especially among physicists, is urgently needed to end medicine’s lethal misdirection. arXiv:physics/0403023 Vol 1, Mar 2, 2004. ( or