The anti-scurvy properties of oranges and lemons were first reported in 1747 by Dr. John Lind, a ship’s surgeon in the British Royal Navy, in his Treatise on the Scurvy. It took almost two hundred years before ascorbic acid or vitamin C was chemically identified and synthesized in 1933. For this work Szent-Gyorgyi and Walter Norman Haworth shared the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1937. This vitamin has since been shown to be essential for a number of enzymatic reactions including collagen formation, wound-healing as well as for its antioxidant properties .
During the 1970’s Linus Pauling promoted the beneficial health effects of megadoses of vitamin C against such diseases as cancer . Clinical trials by Cameron and Pauling  concluded that intravenous megadoses of vitamin C (10 g/d) delayed the death of 100 terminal cancer patients. A follow up study by Cameron and Pauling  reported a survival time of almost a year for cancer patients compared to controls which represented a fourfold increase in the survival period. Researchers at the Mayo Clinic, however, were unable to confirm these findings when the same mega doses of vitamin C (10 g/d) were given orally [4,5]). A possible discrepancy between these studies, however, was likely the much higher plasma levels of vitamin C in cancer patients given the vitamin intravenously compared to those taking it orally. The anti-cancer properties of vitamin C were subsequently confirmed by Chen and co-workers  who recorded decreases in the growth and weight of human, rat, and murine tumor xenografts in athymic, nude mice following i.p. injection of pharmacologic doses of vitamin C