A few years ago, a protocol of high dosages of salt (Sodium Chloride) and Vitamin C was in vogue. There is still a book on Amazon extolling its benefits. The protocol died off because while it appeared to help some people (but not put them in remission), it was largely dropped in the CFS community. Recently I revisited a different protocol and found that it results and the microbiota model were in sync. The protocol’s antibiotics would correct a significant amount of the dysfunctional microbiota (gut bacteria). The question thus arise, is Salt-and-C initial success also the result of adjusting the microbiota — but not sufficient to correct the dysfunction.
High Dosage Vitamin C and Microbiota
Vitamin C aka ascorbic acid to scientists:
- The effect of low concentrations of ascorbic acid in microbial adherence in vitro.  reports an effect similar to EDTA and NAC, being biofilm breakers but no direct kill off effect was seen. Similarly [Effect of water-soluble vitamins on the anti-lysozyme activity of enterobacteria].  found no killing of bacteria,
- Enterococcus faecalis grows on ascorbic acid 
- Antioxidant properties of potentially probiotic bacteria: in vitro and in vivo activities.  found reactions were strain specific across Bifidobacterium, Lactobacillus, Lactococcus, and Streptococcus thermophilus strains — in other words, a crap shoot on the outcome.
- Improving the storage stability of Bifidobacterium breve in low pH fruit juice.  found bifidobacteria are sensitive to pH and do better with the pH of Vitamin C. Improving the stability of probiotic bacteria in model fruit juices using vitamins and antioxidants.  reported similar for Lactobacillus.
Bottom line: If the patient’s stomach pH was off, then two low species would do better and there would be less biofilms.
Salt and Microbiota
Like ascorbic acid, salt water is acid — which will also encourage bifidobacterium and lactobacillus species that are pH sensitive. Practical mechanisms for interrupting the oral-fecal lifecycle of Escherichia coli reports that E.Coli prefers an acid environment and thus would grow more with a Salt and C diet.
Salt and C would not shift gut bacteria in the appropriate way by the shift of pH. Both are acids and would result in a more alkaline digestive system [See this post for studies and explanation]
Making the pH more acid results in:
- More E.Coli, bifidobacterium and lactobacillus growth (correcting undergrowth)
- No known impact on overgrowth.
This type of change would occur in other protocols that attempts to alter pH in the CFS patient. Unfortunately, many people seem to take the opposite type of foods because they do not get the reverse relationship between body pH and food in take pH. They will help, but are unlikely to reduce the overgrowths.
“The viable count of D-lactic acid producing Enterococcus and Streptococcus spp. in the faecal samples from the CFS group.. were significantly higher than those for the control group ” Increased d-lactic Acid intestinal bacteria in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome.