Dr Richard Cheng on Protected Population Immunity and Vitamin C

Dr Richard Cheng is a practising physician, public health educator and public speaker whose work integrates conventional medicine with anti-aging medicine, orthomolecular medicine and functional medicine. In our conversation,  Dr Richard offers unique perspectives on both the Chinese and American response to the pandemic, the benefits of Vitamin C, and the role of antioxidants in reducing oxidative stress and more.

Dr Richard Cheng on Protected Population Immunity and Vitamin C Introduction

I really got to meet and listen to some amazing speakers and my guest today is one of them, Richard Cheng, Dr. Richard Cheng is a practicing physician with offices in both the US and China integrating conventional medicine with anti-aging medicine, although molecular medicine and functional medicine.

He also gives us a unique perspective on the Chinese response to the pandemic and the American response to the pandemic. He is a public educator and international public speaker on health and medicine, has numerous publications on health and medicine, and as you will hear, is extremely passionate.

Richard graduated from Shanghai Medical University and received his medical residency and subspecialty trainings from Shanghai Medical University also went to the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, where he did his Ph.D. He also worked at the National Cancer Institute and the NIH, the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. I mentioned he received his Ph.D. in biochemistry and molecular biology. So he is very familiar with these issues. Interestingly, he also served in the US Army as an active-duty army officer, physician, and a member of various committees and department chief.

Richard has been invited to present at various international conferences and is also a frequent media guest on various news channels at the conference that I was hosting and asked them, I hope co-host actually, Richard was speaking from China where he spent actually ended up having to stay for over 11 months and his topic was group protected immunity, it was terrific, vitally, important to us all, not just for this pandemic, but, as you will hear, for the inevitable future pandemics we are going to face. And I was really keen to share his knowledge with you. I hope you enjoyed this conversation I had with Dr. Richard Cheng.

Podcast Transcript

Dr Ron Ehrlich [00:00:00] I’d like to acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which I am recording this podcast today, the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation, and recognize their continuing connection to land, waters, and culture. I pay my respects to their elders of the past, present, and emerging.

Hello and welcome to Unstress. My name is Dr. Ron Ehrlich. Now, in 2019 and 2020, I had the honor of being president of the Australasian College of Nutritional and Environmental Medicine, which for over 40 years has been the premier college for training doctors and other health professionals about nutritional and environmental medicine. And in 2020, at the beginning of the pandemic, the college ran its first online global conference, the title of which was Environmental and Viral Disruptors Rising to the Challenge, Reducing the Risk and Future Proofing Humanity.

It had over 70 speakers, 800 participants from 22 countries. It was terrific. I really got to meet and listen to some amazing speakers and my guest today is one of them, Richard Cheng, Dr. Richard Cheng is a practicing physician with offices in both the US and China integrating conventional medicine with anti-aging medicine, although molecular medicine and functional medicine.

He also gives us a unique perspective on the Chinese response to the pandemic and the American response to the pandemic. He is a public educator and international public speaker on health and medicine, has numerous publications on health and medicine and, as you will hear, is extremely passionate.

Richard graduated from Shanghai Medical University and received his medical residency and subspecialty trainings from Shanghai Medical University also went to the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, where he did his Ph.D. He also worked at the National Cancer Institute and the NIH, the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. I mentioned he received his Ph.D. in biochemistry and molecular biology. So he is very familiar with these issues.

Interestingly, he also served in the US Army as an active-duty army officer, physician, and a member of various committees and department chief. Richard has been invited to present at various international conferences and is also a frequent media guest on various news channels at the conference that I was hosting and asked them, I hope co-host actually, Richard was speaking from China where he spent actually ended up having to stay for over 11 months and his topic was group protected immunity, it was terrific, vitally, important to us all, not just for this pandemic, but, as you will hear, for the inevitable future pandemics we are going to face. And I was really keen to share his knowledge with you. I hope you enjoyed this conversation I had with Dr. Richard Cheng. Welcome to the show, Richard.

Dr Richard Cheng [00:03:22] I thank you Ron for having me again.

Dr Ron Ehrlich [00:03:25] Richard, when we when I first heard your talk at the academic conference, I just couldn’t wait to get you on to share some of that wisdom with my guests, my listeners, rather. And it struck me that you have such a unique perspective. I wondered if you might share with us a little bit of your professional journey that allowed you to practice both in China and the US.

Dr Richard Cheng [00:03:50] Well, I thank you, Ron. It’s quite interesting. I mean, you know, I have a very much diverse, varied background, and at some point actually, in my past, I was kind of depressed because I felt like I didn’t really excel in any particular field or let me tell you this, I went to medical school right after high school in China when I was 16, so I didn’t know anything. So ever since then, I was into the traditional Western medicine. And then I did get into medicine, let’s say, Shanghai and I came to the United States for biochemistry, Ph.D. And then in a basic, I have research academic experience, and then I really want to do something, to do something nice. And I went to NIH, but then I kind of got lost because I just felt the medicine was so involved.

It was this system that I didn’t really feel thrilled, you know, I didn’t really know what really excites me if you know what I mean. And after that, I was in researching to the biochemistry in biotech industry in Boston. And that was you know, I want to speak of complexity in medicine. I think I know from my first experience in Boston that was very interesting.

You know, we all know about single nucleotide polymorphisms snips, basically these one DNA, one base pair difference between cancer and trying to find a drug, developing something. OK, but anyway, in theory, sounds fancy. But in reality, if you really take a step back, look at the whole picture, I think that’s very silly. I’m not saying it’s not a research that’s not what I’m showing. Anybody you have money to buy and fine, be my guest, I mean, what I’m saying is that if you really look at a big perspective, look at the forest, it’s a wrong track we’re barking at the wrong trees.

So anyway, after that, I serve the US Army. I’m a pro-veteran in the United States for many years as a military physician. And I was really involved in the soldier readiness, the health care prevention that sort of thing. And after that, for the last now full time, about 15 years or so, I’ve been into my own private practice and finally, I felt like I could do what I really wanted to do instead of, you know, in the academia, in the system, they waste a lot of energy that not very being put out there. But will this complex I mean, the fairer the better, finally, you know, as I’m getting older, I didn’t really go anywhere. So let’s just see how I can live a healthy, so-called anti-aging function of medicine. Oh, boy. What a job. This really took off. And I felt like this is the choose thing. I’m glad I found it before I retire.

OK, and this started about ten years ago and because my clinic was with a lot of chronic diseases, you know how the United States is, most of the disease are diabetes, you know. So that’s really, I felt like well you know, we always look at the specific small details and we forget the big picture. You know, it’s typical, somebody comes in, let’s say fifty pounds overweight with hypertension, heart disease, and diabetes. And this person will go to see very different kind of doctors. And it’s so typical that you see a, let’s say, a cardiologist checking on somebody’s heart twisting and then tweaking the heart drugs and even lowering the fifty-pound overweight.

And everybody knows about it, but not many people really is doing much about it. Right? I mean, so if you lose the fifty pounds, it’s common sense, everybody knows. This brings back to this, can I just let the salt flow? Basically. So what I’m saying here is that I don’t know, even though, Ron, in the United States, they just signing into law and act so-called covid-19 protection, I mean, Covid-19 Consumer Protection Act

Dr Ron Ehrlich [00:08:23] Go on.

Dr Richard Cheng [00:08:24] Yeah, I’m not a lawyer, if you don’t mind, I’m jumping by. But it’s also the same sort. I think it’s more like medical sense that’s being lost. The common sense, logical, you know. So what I’m saying is that I’m not a lawyer, so I hope I didn’t misinterpret. But anyway, this was about a month ago, and some of my fans or friends sent me email about this law and saying the first victim of the law was a Midwestern or anyway it’s Oklahoma area, some over there a chiropractor who recommended a vitamin D for covid-19, and he was being sued for that.

Dr Ron Ehrlich [00:09:08] It’s relevant.

Dr Richard Cheng [00:09:10] Yeah, so what I want to say is that that’s really shocking because from what I read, I may be wrong again, from what I read was that you know, unless it’s FDA approved or recommended otherwise, anything that you recommend without a clinical trial proof, I mean evidence, then it’s illegal and potentially can be sued. I was shocked. Why is that? Let’s come back to common sense.

We don’t have to talk about literature, that sounds very fancy and knowledgeable, where you will know that. What I’m saying is that. Let me ask a question, do we really need a clinical trial to prove that the healthy lifestyle is necessary for disease prevention? Obviously, this is common sense, I don’t think this is a scientific question, right? We don’t really have to debate on this.

I hope not, because, Fauci, people like Fauci start debating, again, I know, I heard him saying that attacking him is like attacking zas. I was laughing, this guy was so arrogant. I mean he represents sense, his misguided sense. What I’m saying is that lifestyle, healthy lifestyle, healthy diet, these are common sense, you know, logics we don’t really need clinical trial to prove and now according to this consumer protection act, so if I don’t have the CDC recommendation, I cannot talk about it, because if I do, they may send agents down to my office. What kind of sense is this?

Dr Ron Ehrlich [00:10:56] No, no, I’m just saying I’ve been similarly frustrated by the fact that this opportunity and I do see the virus, the pandemic as an opportunity because we have a global focus on health like never before. It’s an opportunity to get people’s attention and to really promote this idea of immune function and improve its function. Which is why when I heard your talk back in ACNEM conference last year and we’re going to talk about that, I thought it was so important. And here you say the covid-19 Consumer Protection Act is, in inverted commas, protecting the community from any knowledge about their own immune system is kind of shocking in itself. We’re going to get onto that. Richard, I want to go back to your, because you are actually when I spoke to you last year, you were actually in China.

Dr Richard Cheng [00:11:54] Yes, I was.

Dr Ron Ehrlich [00:11:55] And you were, we could say, at the epicenter.

Dr Richard Cheng [00:12:01] Kind of. Yes.

Dr Ron Ehrlich [00:12:02] Tell us a bit about

Dr Ron Ehrlich [00:12:03] what was going on there at the beginning and how you were there.

Dr Richard Cheng [00:12:08] OK, let me make a, not to elaborate too much on that, but anyway, yes, I was visiting China, actually. I remember how I landed in Shanghai on January the 9th, which is literally like two weeks before the outbreak before we knew about it. And to visit my parents, I was prepared for Chinese New Year and also attend a couple of conferences. So the covid-19 came out like January, twenty-third, I guess., twenty-second, twenty-third, about two weeks. And of course, immediately, you know, it sounds so scary what happened you found a lockdown city. That’s a city of ten thousand people, I mean ten million people. And so of course I started talking to my friends in China say look you know about vitamin C, this virus we know, but most viruses, we don’t really have any specific drugs for viruses, right? It just waits until they run its server or its course mostly.

So I recommend to my friend, look, the vitamin C we know, it’s safe, it’s effective. Actually, this is something we should talk about. Why is vitamin C effective against almost every virus it has ever been tested? And I don’t think there will be any exception if you give it a high enough doses of vitamin C, ok? And because it’s the nonspecific effects, that’s a key. We don’t really need a specific drugs because specific drugs take time to develop and a nonspecific, you know what? We have it already. So the point here, again going back to the earlier point, is that right now we’re in the middle of covid-19 you use this immunity, I mean, agents, that can help us to reduce the symptoms that we can prevent from these infections and we can prevent from developing serious diseases.

It’s nonspecific and also very importantly, the future know, for example, right now they are talking about Indian variants, and about British variants, I’m telling you, virus, this virus we know in September last year that nine months ago, you know already, they already found like more than twenty thousand mutations. That was seven to nine months ago. And who knows what it is now. So mutations will happen all the time. And sometimes some of these will become very virulent. And what do you do? You develop more specific drugs, you know, while millions of people are dying? So what you need is really, this is logic, you need a common tool, nonspecific.

OK, here is the point and we’re coming back to this. So basically, I gather together with some friends and also friends at the international society added also ]nuclear medicine, which was a member of our editorial board. And so we formed an international vitamin C group. And the call for trying of this saying, educating, coordinating, designing trial of these things. And luckily and yes, we’ll try very hard, actually. We reached up to the top of the expert.

You may have you may remember they have this so-called national expert team sent from Beijing to come. And I saw some channels, my requests were sent to that expert team. So they know, they all know about me. And of course, we’ve met some resistance. But eventually, apparently, they never, never they never. Particularly, that was interesting because I said, well, because of my status right now, I’m a US citizen, which didn’t really help.

Dr Ron Ehrlich [00:15:52] From a U.S. Army physician.

Dr Richard Cheng [00:15:55] That’s right. To talking about. I was retired at U.S. Army in the U.S. Army major. And one time I was invited to my alma mater actually to give a talk. But then the organizer, party member, I said, look, he has a US background. Well, let’s stay out of trouble. I know that I don’t want to talk too much about it. But anyway, so I volunteered to go to Wuhan and to do whatever I can.

I said mostly what I can do is I really can help you to tell you, don’t be afraid. You can give large doses to the world. Why people have been doing this for decades and I personally had been doing it too. So don’t be afraid. Just use it, you know? And but again, they didn’t allow me. And then they walk up a person is inviting me, but I told them, I said, look, be aware, I have a US passport, so you know they all back to them, but that’s how we started. And we all know now the first official government recommendation of high dose vitamin C was published on March the 1st by Shanghai that was very early.

Dr Ron Ehrlich [00:17:06] March the 1st, 2020.

Dr Richard Cheng [00:17:09] March 1st, 2020.

Dr Ron Ehrlich [00:17:09] Yeah.

Vitamin C

Dr Richard Cheng [00:17:10] That’s right. So that was literally like a month after maybe five, six weeks after the outbreak of this thing. That was pretty quick, I would say. And in Shanghai, I went through, you know, I’m not a young guy. So some of my schoolmates now are in the power position. So they are able to reach the city mayoral offices, the administrators. And actually, they secretly, let me tell you this, one of the senior members of the Shanghai city government and go through my friend, ask for advice on how to take vitamin C. So I know they are taking it, the high-ranking officials.

OK, so we had published and also the vitamin C was used in various hospitals, including Shanghai and Wuhan, and then not long after that, the quantum problems near Hong Kong. And they also published a similar guideline, including high dose vitamin C. So I know at least those, you know, governments were recommending high dose vitamin C.

So vitamin C use has been, I mean, yes, like you said, yes, covid-19 is a tragedy, however, something nice, good about it is coming out of this tragedy is that people are more aware of the lifestyle and nutrition rather than waiting. Because, you know, today I still don’t know how many specific drugs we have that are effective against covid-19. I mean, immunization, they talk about vaccines, masks.

These things don’t treat covid-19. And we’re not going to argue about the effectiveness of these things or side effects. We are all aware of this. But one thing for sure, those things, masks, social distancing, and the vaccines do not treat covid-19 and tell me what they have to take. They shut down everything. They shut down Hydroxychloroquine, Imovactin, vitamin D, vitamin C. So he has nothing. Actually, I’m very upset. I’m sorry for being emotional.

This is against humanity, against common sense. Well, I don’t know what they’re saying. What’s their reason? Think about it. Why are you having millions of people are dying? Here, you are worrying about what I worried about. You don’t allow people to use vitamin C, you don’t allow people to use vitamin D, you don’t allow people to use Imovactin or hydroxychloroquine. These are all drugs. What are they worrying? Side effects? People are dying.

Dr Ron Ehrlich [00:19:56] Right? I mean, it’s interesting to actually consider that you were an American citizen with an American passport, but you gave you shared your knowledge which filtered up to your friends in high places in China. And actually, an article was printed was published on the 20th of March. And that was the Chinese response. And yet you’ve already shared with us that we’ve just a month ago had the covid-19 Consumer Protection Act. So if I was going to say how was China accepting of this? How is the US accepting of this? It’s a very different story.

Dr Richard Cheng [00:20:36] Yes. Are you saying how China is accepted like a nutrition lifestyle versus what’s on U.S? That was really opposite. This is really surprising. Let me put it this way. You know, of course, there are always different kind of restrictions, right? And so, I mean, I try to be stay on medicine side. So I don’t really talk about anything else, you know what I mean? But one thing, I have never met any resistance in terms of vitamin C or whatever I’ve been promoting. Of course, whatever I, you know, give talks or whatever my public opinion, it’s always science based, you know, not like something out of the blue. It’s always fact, common sense. You know, not everything needs RCT, like what I said, a lifestyle, do you really need an RCT to prove that healthy lifestyle is healthy.

Dr Ron Ehrlich [00:21:37] Richard, for my listener, I know what RCT stands for, but randomized controlled trial. I had to put that in because people are, what would you talk RCT. Randomized Controlled Trial. Yes. You don’t need a randomized controlled trial for lifestyle. Go on.

Dr Richard Cheng [00:21:53] Yeah. So basically, you know. Some of my social media fans in the United States have been asking me about the time, where are you? How are you? I said I don’t know what to say, these days. Well, first of all, I’ve been very busy. I have these engagements and papers, things that is nice. Keep them busy. But also with this consumer protection act, all these things, I don’t know what to say because they say, you know, I’m not saying I’m not brave, but I want to pick the fight. And I’m pretty sure the whole world is watching closely what’s evolving here in Washington, D.C. And I’m glad to see what’s happening.

Those people represented by Fauci is being questioned left and right. I’m glad that this is happening. So, yes, seemed like the only thing that people can talk about is to promote vaccines, promote the social distancing and masking, and other than that, nothing else, it can be promoted. And again, this is, you know, like I said, you know, although nobody has really mentioned about prosecuting somebody promoting healthy lifestyle, but nutrition is part of healthy lifestyle, and where do you draw a line? So if you’re not careful, they can send an army down, they have done that, by FDA, the army down to your office.

You know, they can really make you miserable, so actually, this is very frustrating is I see how health, the bottom that helps this, that were supposed to help people and like I just said, instead of watching people dropping down like flies and here we have things.

For example, I always in every situation, including the recent International Society for also America medicine conference, what is it like a week ago, eight days ago, I asked that, I said, look, about these nutrition, vitamin D, vitamin C, of course, you see positive reports, you see not so positive reports. But one thing is clear. They are safe, right. There has never, ever any deaths reported due to nutrients or vitamins in CDC’s decades-long track record. OK? So one, very safe.

Number two, they are inexpensive, of course, when you save life, cost is not a big issue where they shouldn’t be, but still, it’s cheap. So we may argue whether it’s effective or not, but nobody can argue, I’m willing to argue with anybody that these nutrients are very safe. So why not have safe, inexpensive, readily available? That’s important, too. It’s available anywhere. Right. And maybe effective. Why don’t you try?

Well, you have millions of people dying, what is bothering you? I don’t understand this logic. So when somebody claims he’s a scientist, I want to ask, what science does he represent? To me, that pseudoscience, that’s hijacking of science, you and me, you and I, we represent the true science. True science should be humanity-based, not technocrats. Let me finish this one. What I’m saying is that we don’t have to all be able to turn into scientists, because one thing they always do is they try to diverse, they try to confuse you by going to this scientific mechanism, hey look, I also have a Ph.D., don’t brag in front of me, I’m talking to them about science. And I know science too. Don’t think they are the only people that know science. What I’m saying is, where is your true humanity?

Dr Ron Ehrlich [00:26:00] Yes.

Dr Richard Cheng [00:26:01] Are you trying to save humanity to save people or what? And I don’t understand why, like I said, where did that go in English literature, in English word, in Chinese word, we all know this prevention comes first, right. One ounce of prevention is the first one part of treatment. This is common sense. In every culture, I’m sure they all have these things. Where does that go in our 21st century, so-called modern medicine? I’m sorry. For lack of a better word. This sucks.

Dr Richard Cheng [00:26:35] I’m sorry.

Dr Ron Ehrlich [00:26:36] Well, Richard, I share your passion and I share your frustration. And, you know, this is why I wanted to have you on as a guest. I wanted to get back to you, too, because when I heard you speak at the beginning of last year from China in our conference, you introduced me to the concept of group-protected immunity. And you also shared some statistics which really surprised me about pandemics in the last two hundred years and in the twenty-first century. I wondered if you might share with our listener that statistic. Cause that’s quite shocking to me.

Epidemics and Pandemics

Dr Richard Cheng [00:27:19] Yes. You know, Ron, I’m not a virologist, and to be honest with you, I wasn’t really much of treating infectious disease, actually, I didn’t really know that infectious diseases was still a big deal. And covid-19 came out, right? I thought the way we’re all dealing with heart disease, cause number one are heart diseases, number two is cancer.

So all I’ve been focused on how not to get those things. So that’s what I’m very much focused on until this thing hits us. So basically, I went back and you go to Wikipedia. So double-check was CDC some other cross-reference, ok? Not only from here, basically the message here is that I counted.

Wikipedia listed epidemics and pandemics by the 19th century, 20th century and the way in the twenty-first century. And I literally, I counted it. There a lot, but basically I counted all those epidemics or pandemics that has deaths more than a thousand. I mean, this is my definition. So if you do this, you’ll find that in the two hundred years before this century. Let me see if I remember that, that was over a year ago.

Basically, there was a total of ninety-six epidemics or pandemics with the past is more than I saw them in the last two hundred years, but in the 20 years of this century. I counted about 64 or 65 such epidemic, pandemics. I’m talking about 60 in 20 years, for as in 90 something into how many years. You know, I think I remember the difference was like six times. So I was thinking, wow, it’s shocking. I thought pandemics, epidemics have to do with like a social hygiene, the health economics, weightlessness, all these things. And so these things should be going down, right?

However, like I said, it looks like roughly has gone up like six hundred times. What’s going on? I don’t want to stand, our hygiene is much better than before, right? Well, I’m not going to the you know, the detail I don’t know, right? So anyway, one conclusion for sure is that the epidemics and pandemics are on the rise to corroborate that, actually, in March and April time frame, there was that Wall Street Journal article. And also I think another one was from BBC, in the night report, a presentation I presented at is that they also reported the increasing frequency of the epidemics.

So it’s not just me, it’s not. Now, here’s the question, that’s the important. So for whatever reason, manmade or nature, natural good, right now seems like a lot of things are being done. I don’t know what this guy’s doing. Spending our tax dollars, creating deadly viruses.

Dr Ron Ehrlich [00:30:32] That’s the whole story itself.

Dr Richard Cheng [00:30:34] Yeah, these people should be locked up forever. And so one thing for sure is that epidemics and pandemics are on the rise, ok. So again, going back to the point that we talked about earlier now we’re in the middle of covid 19, hopefully, this can be, unfortunately, we talked about this a year ago, was still talking the same thing, we still have the same feeling.

We’re still hoping this can be wrapped up pretty soon, we can return to our normal life and I hope for the next year this time we won’t be talking about this. Hopefully, we’ll be better. But let’s keep our fingers crossed. The message is, now, what if another pandemic, epidemic happens? Because already gave us the picture that it will happen again. So are we going to do the same thing we did at this time? We’ll wait to develop a specific drugs while people are dying.

So, you know, I don’t know, I mean, well, good thing, like you said, is that we know more and more people are waking up to protect ourselves, but we still have a lot of work to do, lots of work to do. And doctors should know this, the people need to know this, so hopefully next time, you know, I don’t know, when would be ready for covid-19 and at least next pandemic or epidemic, when that hits we would be ready. So we live a healthy lifestyle. We take enough of these, you know, these natural immune-boosting agents so we can be prepared.

You know, this brings back another very important concept. The question is 99 percent of people catching covid-19 virus, the sars-cov-2 virus, they don’t develop serious diseases. Apparently, about 80 percent of them are asymptomatic, the rest of 90 percent are bio to moderates. Yes, you catch colds, you catch flu may even be slightly more severe than flu, however, the data says again, now if you compare the infection fatality rate, IFR, between flu and covid-19 for people younger than 50 years of age, there’s not much difference, ok? So this is like a battlefield. But the question is, what makes those one percent of the people develop a serious disease? It’s not a virus, it’s not that those people, they were infected, there was more virulent strain of the virus. It’s the same virus. It’s the body’s reaction. It’s this extreme inflammation, extreme inflammatory response that’s causing the organ damage, oxidative damage.

So here is another thing, is that in modern medicine, for example, we talk about, you see a lot of reports showing the disease of covid-19, basically, here is the lung, later on, maybe kidney, the vasculature, even reports on pestis. So what I’m saying is, if you really look at the big picture, these are all expected because these are inflammatory damages, so to speak, or in the most specific terms, these are oxidative damage. These are being oxidized because this virus caused it, so it can happen anyway. Yes, it’s worth researching or studying, but don’t call it like this is a professor disease, this is a coregulatory problem. No. These are oxidative diseases.

Dr Ron Ehrlich [00:34:24] Well, Richard, let me stop you there because people are familiar with the word antioxidants. They’ve heard this before.

Dr Richard Cheng [00:34:31] Yes.

Dr Ron Ehrlich [00:34:32] You know, things that are high in antioxidants and this is always good for us, but we may not be all that they might be less familiar with why we actually need antioxidants. And you’re alluding to it here in terms of oxidative stress. Talk to us a little bit about why antioxidants are important.

Dr Richard Cheng [00:34:50] Yeah. This is interesting, actually,  if you looked at the cell level or the molecular level, see how these things happen. Lots of research has been done. OK? And, you know, basically what happens is we all know, what I’m saying is, the balance is you. We need an equilibrium, balance, it’s existing every culture again. So, you know, for those 99 percent of people, we don’t really get sick that much when we are infected with this because we have more of a better health, better immunity. And when our defense is low that things may happen.

So talking about oxidative stress, so what really happens is that, you know, they have, for example, if you saw such cytokine storm for covid-19, there was hundreds of people within a year. And if you look for oxidative damage that thousands of people are studying this. So these are all happening to severe diseases.

We know this way before covid-19. So what really happens is that going back to, let’s say, high school, we know there are these double bonds. So, for example, lipids, fats, we all know omega three, everybody talks about omega-three. There’s also omega-six, we know that, too. So what makes these are so-called polyunsaturated fatty acids, PUFA. So most of us are familiar with that term. What that means is that these are the lipids, they have these carbon molecules in them. And between those two carbon molecules, they have double bonds. Instead of single bound and these double bonds are less stable because less stable and they can be broken up, by accidents.

OK, well, they are broken up but they are damaged it can cause a lot of problem. Now, what’s unique? Upper lipids. First of all, let’s reveal a little bit. We all know our cell membranes are mostly lipids. It’s a little bit of membrane with fats, it’s all fat, of course. And that fat membrane, we have these proteins, some sugar parts in there, but mostly it’s the fats. So why you have a lot of these double bound, these fats was double bounds.

They are prone to be attacked by oxidants. You know, antioxidants and oxidants, they are sort of the two sides of the equation. The oxidants, in essence, you are the expert in the field, is that all toxins at the molecular level are all oxidants. While they react with all the molecules, they are going to grab electrons. So that’s how this works, is basically they attack all the chemicals, they break up with their double bonds. And that’s the nature at the molecular level.

So when this happens to lipids, lipids is destroyed, the lipids are destroyed. That can happen to a protein, that can happen to DNA and what can happen to DNA can cause mutation.

Now, what’s unique about lipids is that because the cell membrane is mostly lipids, number one. Number two, they are, you know, they are just juxtaposed, they are next to each other. They are all on the same membrane. There’s a unique feature of lipids, it’s called basically lipid approximates chain reaction, meaning while you attack one molecule, break it up so the damage of the molecule becomes fully radical itself.

It quickly looks for the next victim to attack and this chain reaction can happen very quickly. So before you know it, the whole cell can be damaged. And not only this cell, the next cell can be damaged. So this is what I think really. It’s a problem here and it’s very interesting to further exploring it is that we know due to the decades of promotion of so-called proofer, you know, they always tell you the doctors had to tell you, you need to stay away from animal meats, stay away from animal fats, eat to lot of, you know, vegetable oils and PUFAs, right?

So there’s a lot of study that shows that actually, the PUFA intake has increased dramatically. And in 20 some years, I think it will increase the number by a huge percentage. And there’s you know, there’s a lot of research right now. And there are a couple of scientists in the field, Chris Knobbe is one of the best ones, and he did a lot of research showing that indeed the correlation with the omega-six intake and all the obesity, diabetes, heart disease, all of these things and also in the literature, so literature, you see that our fatty acids intake in our fat cells, in our you know, there’s a correlation right there, too. So this kind of begins to make sense. This will be interesting study to see those the omega-six people, I mean, the cell membrane concentration, those people who develop a severe covid-19. And I’m pretty sure that would be correlation.

Dr Ron Ehrlich [00:40:35] Yeah, it’s ironic, isn’t it, that we are being told that as they demonize these animal fats and saturated fats, which interestingly are such an integral part of our bodies and the least industrialized seed oils or PUFAs, the polyunsaturated fatty acids, you know, these are inherently unstable, producing a lot of these free radicals. And I mean, if antioxidants have been important, they probably never been more important since this public health advice.

Oxidants and Antioxidants

Dr Richard Cheng [00:41:13] Yes. Actually, you know, the first study I knew of was back in 1956, I remember. I said forgot the name, but you know, the vitamin C expert doctor. He showed that he did a small study giving vitamin C to sixteen people with heart disease. So ten of them received five hundred milligram vitamin C three times a day, that’s a mere one thousand five hundred milligrams a day. It’s very small. And compared to the rest of the other six, they didn’t take. But in six months he showed three of those people with heart disease reversing, atherosclerosis are reversing.

That was the first study I know of. It was in fifty-six. But today I bet you that 50 hundred is not enough. Why? Again, it’s because today we are so overloaded with these toxins. Now here, talk a little bit about oxidants and antioxidants battles. It’s that we are today bombarded with all kinds of pollution, in our environment, in the food, the water, in the personal hygiene products. So, of course, naturally, what happens here is that these toxins, these chemicals that go into our body, they require a lot of antioxidants to neutralize.

That’s why they consume dramatically the antioxidants that we have. On the other hand, in our diets, we eat less and less healthy foods, you know, the energy-rich but nutrition, poor diets. So that creates really a huge imbalance between ourselves and the impacts. That probably explains why today you’ll need a higher amount of antioxidants. And I think that’s a major reason.

Going back to this chain reaction. You know, finishing my sort of trend here is that the Lipidar prose chain reaction, it will continue unless it’s stopped unless it meets antioxidants. Now, vitamin E is the first member of that system. And here is another important concept. I think this is we need to live a focus on is because this is my intuitive view of health. We all know what we’re doing is that. See, vitamin C is a major part, you know.

We have different classes of oxidants in our body, as you well know, you have a hydroxy, you have oxygen free radical and you have a nitrogen or these different classes of free radicals. Now, each free radical has a sort of a counterpart of the antiacid system to neutralize. But you see, vitamin C actually in every system of those. That’s why vitamin C is so critical because it’s an integral part of every part of these systems.

There are several different systems in there. So the question is, for example, coming back to the liquid, vitamin E we know is a fat-soluble, lipid-soluble vitamin. What that means is that vitamin E, when you have vitamin E it actually goes into our cells and it sits on the cell membrane. That’s interesting. Actually, to me, I think it’s a guard. It’s like a guarding dog, you know, it sits on a membrane protecting the membrane. I have to be correct. So basically when you have lipid approximation, vitamin will go and stop it. And as we know, the way it stops is that basically vitamin E sacrifices itself as a victim to be oxidized by the oxidants.

Therefore, it stops them, but vitamin E, the difference between antioxidants and oxidants is that antioxidants well, it’s oxidized itself. It does not become a free radical, it’s still stable and like other vitamins. So for those who are not familiar with this concept, so vitamin E, it’s still stable. But it loses function because it’s like a cargo, It’s space is occupied. It needs to be unloaded. So vitamin E needs to be reduced, needs to be revived by vitamin C. And vitamin C needs to be reduced, this form a cycle.

Dr Ron Ehrlich [00:45:48] Glutathione.

Dr Richard Cheng [00:45:50] Yeah, so basically this is a cascade. You need all these. Vitamin C, is the same thing. Basically, the free radicals, from Lipitor, passing down to vitamin E, vitamin E, and vitamin C, vitamin C passing grosan, grossan passing to free oxygen that becomes a water or something like that. So it’s a system that needs to, it’s a cascade of machinery. It needs to flow smoothly.

You know, this is why when we supplement antioxidant nutrients, we shouldn’t be supplements only one. Because while we are deficient, oftentimes we’re not just a deficient of one. You know, usually, they come together. And that’s another reason why going back to what you said about comorbidity, I don’t really think they are causing it.

Well, you know, it’s not like diabetes, really cold and heart disease or vice versa. It’s because they are all caused mostly by the summerset, common sets of same causes. These problems, they are different presentations. You know, coming back to this is that. So why does one percent of people are particularly prone to develop these diseases? Of course, they have a weakened immunity. That’s the common interpretation, however, they are weakening immunity. And also diabetes is very likely because they have a, we know for sure, overactive, diabetic patients, heart disease patients.

They are all mostly more deficient in vitamin C, vitamin D, magnesium, these nutrients than average people. It’s well studied, lots of research. And also these people tend to have more PUFA, omega-six fats in their body. Why? Because they have an unhealthy eating pattern. So we know this is like a time bomb, ticking time bomb. And you have a lot of these double bonds on the cell membrane cells. Now, here, all of a sudden you have an influx of a huge amount of oxidants and then all of a sudden. Suddenly it creates an exuberant storm of oxidative radicals and that sets that problem.

Dr Ron Ehrlich [00:48:08] You’re talking about and it’s great that we’re going into the detail of that about the importance of antioxidants as oxidative stress creates all these free radicals, which upsets normal function of the body. But in that, taking a step back from that all, because we are going to be faced with other pandemics, we do have many comorbidities. We’ve been in that word comorbidity. We know it before as chronic diseases like, as you’ve mentioned, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, autoimmune. But this concept of group protected immunity in a broader philosophical sense.

Dr Ron Ehrlich [00:48:49] Talk to us a little bit about that.

How to protect yourself?

Dr Richard Cheng [00:48:51] That’s OK. Yeah, well, this actually came from a combination of these things. Think about it is that, you know, again, when we faced covid-19 or any other epidemic, I mean, pandemics, we need to cut it down. We need to protect ourself. What’s the best way to do it? In Western medicine, in Chinese medicine, we all know, you know, we need to speccing out all humidity that’s the best weapon to defend ourselves, we all know drugs or medications are only secondary.

They all teach you this, although they actually I don’t know how much they teach today. Seem like medicine today is so different from when I was in the house training system. So the point here is that think about it, let’s use that analogy for people who are not necessarily medical professionals is that, you know, you have an Australian army. We have a US army. I mean, you see these armies, our defense forces are not really designed to attack specifically.

Well, basically their job is to protect our country as a whole. So that’s the thing that we need to have this nonspecific defense mechanism against all enemies. So that’s the key. But again, going back to the same analysis, the problem is when you deal with a known enemy like influenza, for example, or tetanus or those diseases, we ought to have vaccine. So you sort of you already have the antiserum or you already have vaccine you can protect.

The problem is like covid-19. Why are the brakes broke out in like a year and a half ago? You don’t know the disease. You don’t know the virus. You don’t have any specific drugs and that what can you do? We were talking about so, you know, yes, all the scientists basically rushing to research and trying to scramble and develop specific drugs, but these things take time, take money, and millions of people died or they still continue to die today, right? So here is the thing is that, again, I am not against that, we need all that.

However, I feel the focus has been misplaced. So what I’m saying is that if we. Ok. Combining these factors also, we’re talking about people younger, you know. Well, let’s talk a little bit briefly. If you looked at the data from WHO and the CDC, the risk of dying from influenza is on average about less than 0.01, something like that, on that range, small. So if you look at the, for influenza, unfortunately, it’s not a reportable disease. So from the CDC, we don’t really have age breakdown. You know, they don’t break it down to zero age to 20, 20 to 50 and that kind of thing. But it’s covid-19 they do. But if you look at the infection fatality rate, meaning risk of dying from covid-19 and the people younger than 20 years of age, the risk of dying is 0.001. It’s like 10 times less than the average in flu.

So we can safely conclude because the risk infection for thereof flu is a loop, conglomerate of all age people. So we can safely say that the young people, plenty of years younger, the risk of dying covid-19 is at least the same level as influenza, or maybe less, at least not more severe. This is from CDC, WHO again. So the point here is very clear. Do we lock up because of flu? We don’t. So for people, what you need to do, young people, zero to 19, you know, that’s not a good influence, maybe there should be a special protection. However, young people, youngsters love them to run the normal life. OK, and also people 20 to 50, we already talked about the risk is like 0.05. Anyway, still in the range of influenza.

What I’m saying is that the risk is not that much greater than flu. So using flu as a sort of comparison. So again, from these data from people zero to 40, now, or 50, the risks of developing serious disease and dying of the covid-19 is not much greater than flu. So my proposal, though, is that these people, they are healthy and they are fully capable of managing a disease. So let’s take a necessary caution. That’s not washing a hand, stay keep a distance, live a healthy life, and do all these precautions in wearing a mask. I’m not against that. You know, it’s not a big deal unless you really develop a problem, phobia.

So what I’m saying is that, yes, these people let them run their normal life and take the extra precaution and to keep the society going because you are in lockdown society. You have other problems, too. People dying of poverty, dying of starvation, even dying of covid-19. Then the people who go into high risk, the people with a group of older people with these diseases, they probably should be more isolated and more protected. And that all of these people, young or old, they should be encouraged to take extra doses of these nutrients and the vitamins and live a healthy lifestyle and these things in the at least for a short period of time. Why is that? It’s because we know these things strengthen our immune system. There’s part of research.

You know, let’s talk about using vitamin C as an example, it’s not only one, vitamin D, vitamin E, all of these. Vitamin C, it’s effective against practically every virus in the world, including AIDS virus, Ebola, Marburg. Why is that? It is because, you know, vitamin C, of course, it has multiple effects. Either it boosts our immunity and yet yourself, vitamin C can directly kill virus by causing the hydrogen peroxide production, presumably in your body.

Hydrogen peroxide then can kill virus and we know vitamin C actually is involved in gene regulation. So amazing such that, over the vitamin, vitamin C once in a while every month or two you see new discoveries, obviously. And also we talk about the antioxidant systems, vitamin C is practically an integral part of every one of those systems. So that’s why vitamin C is so critical.

For example, we know people are very sick and this time we took care of quite a few covid-19 patients or the narrowly average people like you and me when we’re healthy, and if we take a, let’s say, 15 grams or 15 thousand milligram vitamin C, we may have diarrhea. We know that, right? As a single robocast talks about tolerance. But I have these patients, they take 70 grams. That’s seventy thousand milligrams. Or even hundred thousand milligrams by most.

I’ve never been able to do that that’s way too much for me. I stay the best whenever I come out. But that didn’t do much. They felt better while they took it. I had one particular patient named Poncho, actually. He was no Chinese, he was a Westerner but he didn’t want to go to hospital for reasons I understand. And so he was home. He was telling me that if he took like a seventy thousand milligram he felt better.

I mean, while he was sick, he was so tired and weak and he couldn’t even come out of a bed. His whole energy system is shut down. And he was taking seventy thousand milligram. He was able to get some energy, but then quickly he had to do more. But eventually, he recovered.

Dr Ron Ehrlich [00:57:49] But if someone was listening to this and wanted to just protect themselves, I mean, 70 grams, I understand if there is a condition that that could be useful. But on a daily basis, if we were looking at a maintenance, what would you be saying to people who are listening?

Dr Richard Cheng [00:58:11]  I haven’t been publishing too much on the U.S. side because, again, there was a study that because, you know, it’s I’ve been banned on Facebook and YouTube, they took back my scientific presentations a couple of times. Now they’re back up again. Facebook has warned me multiple times. So, you know, anyway, so, yeah, I’ve been censored multiple times, but I have two lists on the Chinese side.

I’ve been sending everywhere in China. No problem. Nobody has given me any hard time. So basically this is what I recommend to people to deal with this covid-19 time, season. And this is what I do. And what I’m saying is that you know, I recommend taking fifty thousand milligrams. No, five thousand, five thousand is five gram, yeah. Five to ten grams a day, that’s what I do actually, this is my vitamin C bottle.

Dr Ron Ehrlich [00:59:20] Right.

Dr Richard Cheng [00:59:21] And usually, I’m putting ten thousand milligram of vitamin C. So five to ten thousand milligrams of vitamin C a day and drink it over time. Don’t take it a long time because it can cause diarrhea. What we want is a higher level, steady level in the blood and also vitamin D, at least five thousand units a day actually in Australia. Now you are entering winter. Wintertime. I suppose it’s similar.

You have less sunshine and you know, in wintertime, actually, oftentimes I say we take ten thousand, double it, ten thousand units. Here in the United States where northern hemisphere were entering into summer. I just had my vitamin D level at 51. The nurse told me, oh I think actually your vitamin D good. Actually, I was thinking I’m going to double it now because I saw the sun was coming, but at least keep your level at a 50 nanograms per meal, I think.

Dr Ron Ehrlich [01:00:28] Yeah, I think it is interesting because 40 is considered normal, which it may will be normal, but it’s certainly not optimal.

Dr Richard Cheng [01:00:39] Not optimal. Yeah.

Dr Ron Ehrlich [01:00:40] Yeah. And zinc is another one even with some of the medications.

Dr Richard Cheng [01:00:44] Yeah.

Dr Richard Cheng [01:00:47] Yes. Vitamin C, vitamin D, zinc. Yes, you’re absolutely right. This covid season I want to say particularly in wintertime, I want to say take 50 milligram a day in the winter, usually three months. You doing the darkest hours, take 50 mg then you may back down to 30 mg. But 50, it wouldn’t give you any toxic, intoxication, or anything like that. And that’s zinc. And also, you may want to take some you know, usually, we take quercetin.

It’s actually people, they criticize so much of our HCQ Hydroxychloroquine. Actually, quercetin does something similar to HCQ, you know it, it’s basically an ionophore. What that means is that it helps the zinc to enter the cell where it needed to cure the virus. And so you take zinc and quercetin at the same time. That helps to be more effective quercetin is over the counter, everywhere you can buy. And that’s the one I usually take it together. And also I recommend magnesium.

We know because magnesium is one of the most efficient ones and also magnesium, selenium, zinc, these are also integral parts of this antioxidant system. And in addition to that, one thing, you know, some of these, other antioxidants. We mentioned about vitamin E, if you can take alpha-lipoic acid or n-acetyl cysteine, these are you know, basically, we have an antioxidant package that was some of the common antioxidants units.

The idea is like we mentioned about this is for prevention. This actually, it’s not only prevention for covid, it’s actually against all cases and that’s very interesting. Now, this very important way. I want to mention also, I believe this hydrogen peroxide is very important.

Dr Ron Ehrlich [01:02:57] We spoke to Thomas Levy sometime ago now.

Dr Richard Cheng [01:03:00] You talked about it. Yeah.

Dr Ron Ehrlich [01:03:01] Yeah. And interestingly, you mentioned magnesium. And we recently spoke to Carolyn Dean, of course.

Dr Richard Cheng [01:03:08] Yeah. She wrote a book on it.

Dr Ron Ehrlich [01:03:10] Yeah. No, look.

Dr Ron Ehrlich [01:03:12] I think these are great things and I wanted to just wrapping up now, Richard, I want to just take a step back now from your role as a doctor, because we’re all on a health journey together through this modern world. I wondered if you might share with us what you thought the biggest challenge was for an individual on their journey in this modern world. What do you think the biggest challenge is for people on that journey, health journey?

The Biggest Health Challenge

Dr Richard Cheng [01:03:41] I think the biggest challenge for each individual is him or herself. Actually, the biggest challenge for an individual is the person himself or herself. You need to open up your mind. First, to me, this is my personal, if you ask me what’s really the thing is that is that I keep an open mind and I’m willing to look at different sides of the stories. And I personally judge.

The first of all, to me, we need to be willing to, this is interesting is that we are all, we all have something, I mean, most people have sort of tunnel vision and they want to stay in their part of the world, their comfort zone. They are not willing to go out and explore new things and not realizing the shortcomings. You know, a true scientific approach is knowing that science is ever-evolving. If you don’t recognize this, they are not through sex, right? So if we keep an open mind, then we are able to embrace the unthinkables. And that’s the very important message.

You know, don’t just take anybody’s words. To me the way I look at it. Well, first of all, we cannot possibly learn everything. Everybody’s time is limited. So you need to choose a few people whom you can trust. What’s the definition is not how eloquent that person talks, is to see if that person makes sense. If he has the heart in the thing. Don’t look at a title. Don’t look at it. Don’t give me all that, I don’t really care.

I want to see if that person really speaks to the truth, you know, and if that person is reliable, everybody has own judgment. So that’s the key. You know, you and I, we’re talking about these things. You know, what’s there for us? Promoting vitamin C. You and I, we don’t manufacture vitamin C, right? So that’s the challenge, of course. Then navigate us through this.

But actually, it’s very interesting. I thought I would never amount to much anything just being an average doctor in my life. That’s not bad. I’m this way. And I put my kids through college and they’re ready to enjoy my life. And all of a sudden I realized, I think truly discovered a medicine. I mean, my view that I never knew, the totally different from before and I can see that I really love what I’m doing. You know, I’m growing my affairs rapidly. Because that’s what I’m also telling my children now.

I said, in the basic in your career, they just started, I said no, you have to keep your true heart, where the truth is, you know, and don’t look after money, don’t chase after money, reputation. Try to chase after what you truly love. And hopefully, that’s truly something that’s good for the world, for humanity. You has to be true to yourself because if that’s true, don’t worry. You will achieve, you will harvest. And these other things work hard, you know, you don’t need the money, I’m not against money, I like to have a lot of money.

What I’m saying is that if only you chase after you won’t be able to get them. And also, if you really do, you will be able to make a comfortable living, that’s not a problem, you know. So right now, because I really am, on my material side it’s not about anymore, I just want to stay healthy. So this is truly a very awakening, you know, for the last 10 to 15 years.

Dr Ron Ehrlich [01:07:42] Well, Richard, thank you so much for today. And it’s precisely your open mind and your knowledge and focus on science that I wanted to get you on and share you with my listeners. So thank you so much for joining us today.

Dr Richard Cheng [01:07:55] Thank you, Ron. For having me again. It’s great.


Dr Ron Ehrlich [01:07:59] Well, what a note to finish on the idea of keeping an open mind. What is the biggest challenge to an individual moving forward in this modern world? I know you’ve heard me ask that question before, and when you hear it, you know, the end of the podcast is coming. But I always am fascinated to hear my guests’ response. And this was a really particularly interesting one. What is the biggest challenge? The individuals themselves as you, me on our own journey, keeping an open mind. And, you know, as I’ve said before, we love certainty were drawn to it.

Of course, we are keeping an open mind is a really important aspect to it and finding people who you can trust to follow that advice. And if you’re listening to this, I’m assuming that you feel this podcast is a podcast you can trust. And I hope it is. I think it is. And I certainly learn a lot from it. And I hope you, too, we’ll have links, of course, to Richard’s sites and all of that. We’ve got some great things coming up in the second half of this year. So stay tuned to that. I hope this finds you well until next time. This is Dr. Ron Ehrlich. Be well.


This podcast provides general information and discussion about medicine, health, and related subjects. The content is not intended and should not be construed as medical advice or as a substitute for care by a qualified medical practitioner. If you or any other person has a medical concern, he or she should consult with an appropriately qualified medical practitioner. Guests who speak in this podcast express their own opinions, experiences, and conclusions.