Vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, is a potent water-soluble antioxidant in humans. The body cannot form this vitamin, therefore, it has to be ingested for survival.
Studies in the 1970’s and 1980’s by Nobel price laureate Linus Pauling and colleagues suggested that very large doses of vitamin C were helpful in increasing the survival time and improving the quality of life of terminal cancer patients.
Only recently, in 2006, researchers at the U.S. National Institutes of Health published an article in the peer-reviewed Canadian Medical Association Journal that called for a reassessment of the effectiveness of vitamin C as a cancer treatment.
Vitamin C treatment is currently still considered an alternative medicine. Lead researcher Sebastian J. Padayatty found high concentrations of vitamin C to be toxic to cancer cells, but not to healthy cells.
In the August 4–8, 2008 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,
researcher and co-author of the study, Mark Levine, M.D., chief of the U.S. National Institutes of Health’s Molecular and Clinical Nutritional Section, found that intravenous vitamin C produced hydrogen peroxide, which proceeded to reduce cancerous tumors in mice by 43 to 51 %.
The test mice had ovarian, pancreatic and brain cancer. According to the researchers it is possible to intravenously boost levels of vitamin C in humans to the levels used in the mice. The results also indicate that at pharmacologic levels, vitamin C elicits hydrogen peroxide-dependent cytotoxicity only toward cancer cells, leaving normal cells unscathed. [Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2008.]
The high concentrations of vitamin C in the blood needed to kill cancer cells cannot be achieved orally, only by intravenous infusions.
Read the Research and Clinical Findings of Vitamin C Research
by Chen Q, Espey MG, Krishna MC, Mitchell JB, Corpe CP, Buettner GR, Shacter E, Levine M.
Researchers ar the Molecular and Clinical Nutrition Section, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.
Synopsis of Research:
“These findings give plausibility to i.v. ascorbic acid in cancer treatment, and have unexpected implications for treatment of infections where H(2)O(2) may be beneficial.” Read the full article about Vitamin C and cancer.
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