It has been common knowledge that taking Vitamin C helps in boosting one’s resistance to colds but it is now also becoming known for it’s ability to fight cancer with vitamin C in high doses. Otherwise known as ascorbic acid, vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that can be naturally found in some foods or made readily available as a diet supplement. Evidence based on numerous studies have shown that ascorbic acid may be the best antiviral agent there is. Our body normally requires only a small amount of vitamin C to function. It mainly acts as an antioxidant which helps to protect cells from damage by neutralizing and eliminating a wide range of toxins. Vitamin C is also essential in the making of collagen, a protein which aids in wound healing, and in the biosynthesis of L-carnitine, certain neurotransmitters, protein metabolism and improved iron from plant-based foods that aids the immune system in protecting our bodies from diseases.
Ongoing research reviews are observing that with it’s rate of antioxidant activity, vitamin C greatly limits the damage brought on by free radicals in the body. Recently, the National Institutes of Health had published evidence of the anti-cancer properties of vitamin C, which enhances the body’s immune ability and boosts resistance that might delay or prevent the development of certain types of cancer and other diseases where oxidative stress bears a contributory role. However, to consider it as a cancer treatment, tens of thousands of milligrams of ascorbic acid are needed.
The Why and How it works
In 1975, Dr. Hugh Riordan founded a medical center for cancer patients after going through 20 scientific studies in over 15 years of research. In the research led by Dr. Riordan, they discovered that cancer cells were draining the body of vitamin C thereby causing a majority of cancer patients to be highly vitamin C deficient. He further cited that with high dose intravenous vitamin C treatments the cancer cells were dying, the immune system was boosted and collagen production was promoted thereby helping the body to fight off cancerous tumors. Moreover, high doses of ascorbic acid inhibits an enzyme called hyaluronidase to prevent cancer from spreading to various organs.
Intravenous vitamin C treatment can help resolve problems brought about by scurvy, a disease commonly exhibited by most cancer patients due to low levels of vitamin C in the body. Symptoms of scurvy are loss of appetite, fatigue, sleep problems, easy bruising, and low tolerance to pain. According to Ron Hunninghake, M.D., intravenous vitamin C treatments compliment conventional cancer treatments rather than impede them. Cancer patients with scurvy notice significant decrease in pain and improved their tolerance for radiation and chemotherapy after receiving IV administered vitamin C.
It is best to seek medical advice with a qualified doctor specializing in integrative medicine before opting for high doses of IV vitamin C treatments. Your doctor will be the one to adjust your dosage according to your needs. IV Vitamin C solutions are hypertonic and should be given cautiously. It is usually mixed with other solutions, minerals, amino acids and other vitamins before being administered to patients.
There have been numerous studies conducted involving intravenous administration of vitamin C in cancer treatments such as in the 2005 issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS). This research study concluded that cancer treatment has a co-benefit with intravenous administration of ascorbic acid as it may act as a pro-drug for the formation of hydrogen peroxide, using the blood as a delivery system to tissues, which is beneficial in the treatment of infections.
In another recent study published by PlosOne in May of 2012, researchers from Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia saw the completion of phase one evaluation of IV ascorbic acid combined with standard drugs, erlotinib and gemcitabine in patients with advanced stages of pancreatic cancer. Patient responses were positive after receiving IV vitamin C and records showed no negative signs of increased toxicity. Moreover, because of the positive results, the authors suggested to move on to phase 2 of the study.
A study promoted by the Riordan Clinic, published in the Journal of Transnational Medicine, provides a scientific rationale in using intravenous ascorbic acid as a cancer treatment which also showed its successes in preventing cachexia, improving immunity and boosting cancer patients’ overall quality of life. Said study also specifically differentiates between intravenous vitamin C and oral treatments and confirming how high dose IV vitamin C has been effective in the treatment and even linked to stopping cancer growth and tumor shrinking.
Other similar studies reviewed by the Vitamin C Foundation found IV ascorbic acid beneficial for liver cancer, stomach cancer, prostate cancer, shrinking cancer tumors, leukemia in children, reduction of chemo side effects and even to prevent melanoma. There are also other studies where ascorbic acid was combined with vitamins K3 or E for cancer management.