vitaminsCancer cells have been a mystery to scientists for years. The doctors usually turn to chemotherapy or radiation; however, as we all know only a small percentage of people can survive after these destructive procedures.  Vitamin C or ascorbic acid has been around for ages. Many scientists believe it could be a future cure for cancer. However, this procedure is not well-known because pharmaceutical companies are less likely to fund this kind of study, simply because they can’t patent natural products. Pharmacies look out for their own financial benefits.  Previously, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center has done a study in which vitamin C significantly lowered the progression of diseases such as Alzheimer. Another study determined that low levels of vitamin C in pregnant women contributed to the mortality of the fetus.  Next study showed that vitamin C, taken complementary with anticancer therapies, reduces the side effects and increase tissue resistance to tumor spread. There are many other studies, which show that vitamin c reduces or eliminates different types of cancer, helps to prevent it, and improves the patient’s overall health.

How does Vitamin C work?

The study performed by John Hopkins

Vitamin c acts as a rescue team in our body. It always moves to the area where it is needed the most. That is why when one is sick; the level of vitamin c in the blood significantly decreases. The same thing also happens in the case of tumor growth. The scientists from John Hopkins discovered that vitamin c stops the tumor growth by cutting its oxygen supply. At first, the scientists took a closer look at liver cancer and blood cancer. Both produced high levels of radicals, which as stated above, were suppressed by vitamin c. The scientists believed that cancer was caused by the mutation of DNA; however, by taking a closer look at DNA they didn’t notice any major changes before or after the therapy (How Vitamin C Stops Cancer). Eventually, they discovered protein HIF-1 (hypoxia-induced factor), which is significantly dependent on free radicals. The protein completely disappeared in vitamin C-treated cells. Dr. Dang explains this phenomenon by saying: “When a cell lacks oxygen, HIF-1 helps it compensate. HIF-1 helps an oxygen-starved cell convert sugar to energy without using oxygen and also initiates the construction of new blood vessels to bring in fresh oxygen supply.” (How Vitamin C Stops Cancer…par 8) Some tumors’ survival is completely dependent on HIF-1. However, as said above, HIF-1 needs free radicals to survive. Vitamin C destroys the free radicals causing HIF-1 to die and consequently the cancer cell dies too. To check if that was the case, the authors created tumors with and without dependency on free radicals. In the latter, vitamin C couldn’t fight it anymore (How Vitamin C Stops Cancer).

The study performed by NIH

The second research done by NIH described a slightly different, but still very similar scenario. The body controls the levels of vitamin C. When it feels, there is too much of it, it is expelled through urine. In order to fight a cancer cell, very high doses of vitamin C are needed. In this case, the most effective method, to make sure the entire amount of vitamin gets to the tumor and not kidneys, is by injecting it straight into the veins. The authors hypothesized that high doses of vitamin c would generate free radicals and the formation of hydrogen peroxide, which could kill cancer, cells. They experimented on 45 cancer cells and 5 normal cells. In their study, the treatment was successful in 75% of cancer cells without damaging normal cells. They also decided that the high ascorbate concentrations could be achieved in people. Next, the team tried the same treatment on mice with ovarian, pancreatic and brain tumors.  The injections reduced the tumor growth and weight by41%-51%. (Vitamin C Injections Slow Tumor Growth In Mice)

Vitamin C cancer therapies were tried and tested about 30 years ago; however, the scientists did not notice any benefits. They have been giving high doses of the vitamin orally instead of intravenously:

 “Clinical and pharmacokinetic studies conducted in the past 12 years showed that oral ascorbate levels in plasma and tissue are tightly controlled. In the case series, ascorbate was given orally and intravenously, but in the trials ascorbate was just given orally. It was not realized at the time that only injected ascorbate might deliver the concentrations needed to see an anti-tumor effect,”

said Levine (Vitamin C Injections Slow Tumor Growth In Mice… par. 8). Further experiments are being planned.

Further Investigation

There are many scientists who convey their own studies about vitamin C and cancer; however, nobody implements the results. I think there must be conclusive research done where the scientists come together and confirm their results with a large sample of patients. Not many patients know about vitamin c and it is time to raise awareness. They wouldn’t have to put their bodies through a series of destructive processes such as chemotherapy where healthy cells and tissues get destroyed.

Conclusions

Vitamin C is a very significant nutrient to humans as well as to other species. It supports the wellbeing of many processes happening in our bodies. We could die from deprivation of Vitamin C. High doses of Ascorbate taken intravenously also help our body to fight and kill cancer cells. It does it by killing free radicals, which provide food and oxygen to the cancer cell. It results in cancer dying out. The best part is that this procedure doesn’t harm any parts of our body including normal cells. Vitamin C treatments are the future of cancer-fighting. The studies done by both NIH/National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases and Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions will help to save millions of people around the world who have cancer. It can give hope to future generations. The best part is; it doesn’t matter what type of cancer it is because vitamin c can fight them all. Therefore, my question is why don’t the doctors and hospitals recommend this type of treatment?

Sources:

NIH/National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. (2008,   

          August 5). Vitamin C Injections Slow Tumor Growth In Mice. ScienceDaily.  

Retrieved April 2, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080804190645.htm

Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. (2007, September 12). How Vitamin C Stops

Cancer. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 2, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/09/070910132848.htm

 Kasia BrzozaKasia Brzoza

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