Vitamin C Cancer

Other names: Acido Ascorbico, Antiscorbutic Vitamin, Ascorbate, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Calcium Ascorbate, Cevitamic Acid, Iso-Ascorbic Acid, L-Ascorbic Acid, Sodium Ascorbate

Vitamin C can assist in a holistic cancer treatment. Vitamin C will not cure cancer alone but in combination with other herbs, juices and therapies, Vitamin C will boost cancer treatment effectiveness.

Major food sources of vitamin C include fruits like oranges, strawberries, lemon, grapefruit and lime, among many others, and vegetables like pepper, broccoli, potato and Brussels sprout.

New Zealand researchers have established that vitamin C can help to block the growth of cancer cells – an important experimental finding they expect could be quickly adopted into cancer treatment.

The role of vitamin C in cancer treatment has been controversial for decades, with contradictory findings from various studies. In an international review of 20 human trials of vitamin C and other “anti-oxidant” supplements, the influential Cochrane Collaboration found no convincing evidence that they could prevent gastro-intestinal cancers – and said they “even seem to increase mortality”.

On the otherhand, a team from Otago University at Christchurch, in a paper published in leading international journal Cancer Research, have shown that vitamin C has a role in controlling tumour growth.

They say their study of tumorous and normal tissue samples from women with cancer of the uterine lining provides the first direct evidence of a link between vitamin C and a protein called HIF-1.

HIF (hypoxia inducible factor)-1 is considered a key protein in tumour survival. High activity of it promotes tumour growth and resistance to chemotherapy and radiotherapy and is linked with a poor prognosis for patients.

The Christchurch study, led by Associate Professor Margreet Vissers, of the university’s Free Radical Research Group, found that high-grade tumours had around 40 per cent less vitamin C than matched, adjacent, normal tissue.

The researchers say their study suggests that restoring the vitamin C levels in tumours would limit factors that promote tumour growth, and recommend animal trials to test the hypothesis.

Professor Vissers said the study suggested it would be beneficial for people with cancer cells to have more vitamin C. It could help restrict the rate of tumour growth, increase responsiveness to chemotherapy and might prevent formation of solid tumours.

Additionally, a study done by the Linus Pauling Institute of Oregon State University cited that an increased intake of vitamin C has been found to reduce the risk of chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease and cancer. Several others reinforce this, such as the World Cancer Research Fund’s study, which reviewed how an increased consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables rich in nutrients like vitamin C is associated with a reduced risk in certain types of cancer.

Vitamin C Medical History Usage

Vitamin C was used for preventing and treating scurvy. Scurvy is now relatively rare, but it was once common among sailors, pirates, and others who spent long periods of time onboard ships. When the voyages lasted longer than the supply of fruits and vegetables, the sailors began to suffer from vitamin C deficiency, which led to scurvy.

Nearly 30 years after Nobel laureate Linus Pauling famously and controversially suggested that vitamin C supplements can prevent cancer, a team of Johns Hopkins scientists have shown that in mice at least, vitamin C – and potentially other antioxidants – can indeed inhibit the growth of some tumors ¯ just not in the manner suggested by years of investigation.

Vitamin C Health Benefits

Vitamin C plays an important role in your body by synthesizing collagen, which is an important structural component of your blood vessels, tendons, ligaments and bone. Vitamin C plays a key role in brain function, assists in turning fats into energy and has even been known to affect mood.

Apart from these, vitamin C has also been found to be a highly effective antioxidant. Antioxidants protect your body tissues from the damage caused by free radicals. If left unchecked, free radical damage may hasten the aging process or lead to the development of cardiovascular diseases and certain types of cancers. Research has shown that vitamin C, even in small amounts, can protect you from such damage.

Most experts recommend getting vitamin C from a diet high in fruits and vegetables rather than taking supplements. Fresh-squeezed orange juice or fresh-frozen concentrate is a better pick than ready-to-drink orange juice. The fresh juice contains more active vitamin C. Drink fresh-frozen orange juice within one week after reconstituting it for the most benefit. If you prefer ready-to-drink orange juice, buy it 3 to 4 weeks before the expiration date, and drink it within one week of opening.

These days, vitamin C is used most often for preventing and treating the common cold. Some people use it for other infections including gum disease, acne and other skin infections, bronchitis, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) disease, stomach ulcers caused by bacteria called Helicobacter pylori, tuberculosis, dysentery (an infection of the lower intestine), and skin infections that produce boils (furunculosis). It is also used for infections of the bladder and prostate.

Some people use vitamin C for depression, thinking problems, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, physical and mental stress, fatigue, and attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Other uses include increasing the absorption of iron from foods and correcting a protein imbalance in certain newborns (tyrosinemia).

There is some thought that vitamin C might help the heart and blood vessels. It is used for hardening of the arteries, preventing clots in veins and arteries, heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.

Vitamin C is also used for glaucoma, preventing cataracts, preventing gallbladder disease, dental cavities (caries), constipation, Lyme disease, boosting the immune system, heat stroke, hay fever, asthma, bronchitis, cystic fibrosis, infertility, diabetes, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), autism, collagen disorders, arthritis and bursitis, back pain and disc swelling, cancer, and osteoporosis.

Additional uses include improving physical endurance and slowing aging, as well as counteracting the side effects of cortisone and related drugs, and aiding drug withdrawal in addiction.

Sometimes, people put vitamin C on their skin to protect it against the sun, pollutants, and other environmental hazards. Vitamin C is also applied to the skin to help with damage from radiation therapy.

Vitamin C Precautions & Warnings

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Vitamin C is LIKELY SAFE for pregnant or breast-feeding women when taken in the recommended amount of 120 mg per day. Taking too much vitamin C during pregnancy can cause problems for the newborn baby.

Angioplasty, a heart procedure: Avoid taking supplements containing vitamin C or other antioxidant vitamins (beta-carotene, vitamin E) immediately before and following angioplasty without the supervision of a health care professional. These vitamins seem to interfere with proper healing.

Diabetes: Vitamin C might raise blood sugar. In older women with diabetes, vitamin C in amounts greater than 300 mg per day increases the risk of death from heart disease. Do not take vitamin C in doses greater than those found in basic multivitamins.

Blood-iron disorders, including conditions called “thalassemia” and “hemochromatosis”: Vitamin C can increase iron absorption, which might make these conditions worse. Avoid large amounts of vitamin C.

Kidney stones, or a history of kidney stones: Large amounts of vitamin C can increase the chance of getting kidney stones. Do not take vitamin C in amounts greater than those found in basic multivitamins.

A metabolic deficiency called “glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency” (G6PDD): Large amounts of vitamin C can cause red blood cells to break in people with this condition. Avoid excessive amounts of vitamin C.

Sickle cell disease: Vitamin C might make this condition worse. Avoid using large amounts of vitamin C.

Vitamin C is LIKELY SAFE for most people when taken by mouth in recommended doses or when applied to the skin. In some people, vitamin C might cause nausea, vomiting, heartburn, stomach cramps, headache, and other side effects. The chance of getting these side effects increases the more vitamin C you take. Amounts higher than 2000 mg per day are POSSIBLY UNSAFE and may cause a lot of side effects, including kidney stones and severe diarrhea. In people who have had a kidney stone, amounts greater than 1000 mg per day greatly increase the risk of kidney stone recurrence.

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Vitamin C Research Links

Intravenously administered vitamin C as cancer therapy: three cases

Even in small amounts vitamin C can protect indispensable molecules in the body, such as proteins, lipids (fats), carbohydrates, and nucleic acids (DNA and RNA), from damage by free radicals and reactive oxygen species that can be generated during normal metabolism as well as through exposure to toxins and pollutants

Vitamin C and cancer chemoprevention: reappraisal

Vitamin C’s anti-cancer effects may be compromised by fat.

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