Vitamin C and Cancer

Most cancer patients resign themselves to a life of punishing medical treatments in the form of chemotherapy, radiation as well as invasive surgery that leaves its marks.   Very often, they do not know that there are credible options.

Vitamin C has been used as a  natural cancer treatment by practitioners of alternative cancer therapies for decades.  Now the world is catching up to the virtues of this amazing tool against cancer.  The famous Dr. Linus Pauling along with Dr. Ewan Cameron published several papers reporting the benefits of large doses of supplemental vitamin C administered alongside conventional treatments.  According to these researchers, vitamin C led to many benefits including a better quality of life, increased survival time for terminal patients all the way to regressions of malignancies.

In a recent article in Cancer Research. Dr. Vissers highlights Vitamin C as a viable cancer treatment. The study conducted at the University of Otago’s Free Radical Research Group explains the possibility of vitamin C as a way to improve the health of cancer patients. Many early reports suggest that the increased use of vitamin C has helped to alleviate some of the negative side effects of traditional treatments (chemo) as well as giving patients an increase in energy levels, similar to the observations of Pauling and Cameron.

Dr. Vissers has shown that vitamin C may hold the key to developing new and healthy cells as a form of fighting cancer. In other words, vitamin C would seem to assist the body in fighting cancer naturally. This is just one among many studies that are seeking to determine the value of vitamin C as a viable natural cancer treatment.  More than six clinical trials are ongoing in the United States alone, with more studies being done worldwide.

Many physicians are opting to utilize vitamin C regimens in addition to the traditional treatment therapies because they can also see the benefit to the patient, and it causes no harm. In 2008, a misleading paper published in Cancer Research (2008, 68: 8031-8038) warned that high doses of vitamin C may be harmful to patients on chemotherapy, by neutralizing the effect of the drug.  That study was challenged in another work published in Alternative and Complementary Therapies that established that the scientists did not use the form of vitamin C that is actually used in humans (they used dehydroascorbic acid instead of ascorbic acid).  This product, which is not given as a supplement to humans, was then delivered to the laboratory test animals in toxic doses.

The key to cancer growth is a protein that is called HIF-1. This protein is contained in higher doses in cells that contain less vitamin C. This makes it easier for cancer cells to grow, however when there is a higher amount of vitamin C in these cancer cells there is less HIF-1, making the cells grow less rapidly.

All of this is important, for those seeking natural cancer treatments, because it not only shows a connection between HIF-1 and vitamin C, but shows that there is a connection between the amount of growth in cancer cells and vitamin C. With weaker cancer cells, it would then be easier to attack the weakened cells with co-administered treatment options.

Baker, S.  Anti-Vitamin C Study Seriously Flawed and Misleading.  Natural News, 2009.

Baker, S.  Top Five (Virtually Unknown) Reasons You May Need More Vitamin C.  Natural News 2008.

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