Top of page 76, 1972 hardback copy of Pure, White and Deadly. Prof Yudkin is talking about mistakes in interpreting data when attributing effect to cause:
"Many older people who suffer from a variety of diseases, gradually develop a degree of heart failure, and one of the effects is swollen legs due to dropsy (oedema). This can be relieved if large amounts of vitamin C are taken, for the vitamin acts as a diuretic and increases the loss of fluid through the kidneys. Though this cures the symptoms of heart failure, the condition was clearly not due to a deficiency of vitamin C."
These have got to be perhaps three of the most intriguing sentences which I have ever read. I have great respect for Prof Yudkin, but some bits of this paragraph are completely wrong. I am fully aware that 5000mg of sodium ascorbate, taken by mouth, produces no discernible diuresis. During periods of self experimentation I have taken 20,000mg by mouth on at least 4 occasions during a single day. Although an occasionally spectacular laxative effect can be produced, and a positive urine test for glucose (due to the urinary ascorbate), frank diuresis has never been a notable effect.
So I look at Prof Yudkin's observation with interest. It is innocently made as an illustration, so I see absolutely no reason to think it is untrue. I think his explanation is incorrect. I'm not an ascorbate megadoser, Optimal Diet and its derivatives shouldn't need that. But I'm fascinated by this snippet, and what it might mean about ascorbate and heart failure in a carbohydrate eater.
Makes you think.