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October 13, 1975

Megavitamin Therapy

Author Affiliations

Linus Pauling Institute of Science and Medicine Menlo Park, Calif

JAMA. 1975;234(2):149. doi:10.1001/jama.1975.03260150019003

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To the Editor.—  The short article "Megavitamin Therapy" (233:550, 1975), contains the sentence, "A regrettable side effect of quackery, magnified in our era of instant communication, is that extensive efforts of responsible scientists are needed to test and expose irresponsible proposals and suggestions3,6 that promise 'health' from overdosage with universal remedies." Reference 3 is "Pauling L: Orthomolecular psychiatry. Science 160:265-271, 1968," and reference 6 is "Pauling L: Are recommended daily allowances for vitamin C adequate? Proc Natl Acad Sci 71:4442-4446, 1974."Each of these papers presents a reasonable argument, based upon the existing evidence and with many references to the literature. There is nothing irresponsible in these papers.I am shocked that JAMA should publish the completely unjustified charge that I make irresponsible proposals and suggestions. It would have been much better to have devoted these pages to a reasoned and responsible discussion of the arguments that I have