Vitamin C and CancerLast Updated: Sat Sep 23 12:58:41 EDT 2017
Recently, exciting research has been published that documents the ability of vitamins C, E and selenium orally to prevent most cancers, and to decrease the mortality of pancreatic cancers, stomach cancers, prostate cancers and other cancers. The Vitamin C Foundation is interested in the how and the why vitamin C may help people with cancers feel better.
Foundation's Review of the Recent Science from Around the WorldIn recent years, stunning science has revealed that fighting cancer is fighting two different battles. The active malignancy and the more subtle battle against these otherwise hard-to-kill cancer stem cells (CSCs). These cancer stem cells are the seeds of future cancers, and new landmark research has found that vitamin C, and to a lessor extent vitamin B3, can destroy these CSCs.
In 2001, the University of Michigan Cancer Center proclaimed that current chemotherapy targets the “wrong” cells. The Ann Arbor researchers discovered that not all cells in a tumor are equally malignant. Only tiny minorities of tumor cells are actually capable of inducing new cancers; the rest are relatively harmless. "These tumor-inducing cells have many of the properties of stem cells," said Michael F. Clarke, MD, a professor of internal medicine, who directed the study. "They make copies of themselves --a process called self-renewal -- and produce all the other kinds of cells in the original tumor."
The 2017 first-ever study from India found that vitamin C, and Niacin to a lesser extent, at the proper concentrations can kill CSCs - the seeds of ordinary malignant cells. Importantly, the Indian researchers also demonstrated that too small concentrations of vitamin C (and Niacin) actually promote the proliferation of these cancer-seed cells.
Last June, Professor Michael Lisanti from the University of Salford, UK, published two studies that found vitamin C and antibiotics could be up to 100 times more effective at killing cancer stem cells (CSCs) than standard-of-care drugs. According to Lisanti, giving the antibiotic doxycycline followed by vitamin C effectively starves cancer stem cells of their fuel, resulting in their death in the lab, the researchers said.
Then last August, another research group located in the USA published their findings that injections of vitamin C could help fight blood cancers. Luisa Cimmino and Benjamin Neel at the New York University School of Medicine and their colleagues have discovered that, by injecting vitamin C, cancer growth could be prevented. Researchers halted the progression of leukemia in mice by promoting the function of a specific gene through high doses of vitamin C.
In the same month, researchers at Children's Medical Center Research Institute at UT Southwestern discovered that stem cells absorb “unusually high” levels of vitamin C, which reportedly regulate function and suppress the development of leukemia. Dr. Michalis Agathocleous, lead author of the study, said stem cells use vitamin C to regulate chemical modifications on DNA, which turn genes on and off. “When stem cells don’t receive enough vitamin C, these [DNA-regulating mechanisms] can become damaged in a way that increases stem cell function but also increases the risk of leukemia.” Thus, if humans take up more vitamin C than normal, this vitamin will regulate and stabilize stem cell function and suppress the chances of developing leukemia.
Physician Daniel Couturier commented, “Available studies indicate that vitamin C, at doses of 4 g/kg b.w., a pancreatic tumor mass reduction of more than 40% could be achieved in a xenograft animal model."
The Vitamin C Foundation White Paper for cancer doctors and patients estimates the continuous dosing necessary for CSC-lethal concentrations in the blood. The Foundation encourages oncologists to advise their patients to supplement vitamin C in oral amounts that can achieve at least a 100 micromoles/liter concentration in their blood for as long as possible. The major problem is that the kidney constantly reduces vitamin C concentrations to less than this amount steady state, e.g. 85 micromoles/liter, with a half-life of 30 minutes.
Our initial estimates are that 1 gram or less of oral vitamin C daily creates the concentrations that promote CSC proliferation , and that 4 grams creates the minimum required 100 micromole/litter concentration, at least for a little while.
Published in the journal Cell Biology International, the study investigated both low and high doses of vitamin C and Niacin on stem cells tumors of the intestine. Different dosages produced opposite effects.
Thus, it was found that when taking vitamin C to create a concentration of 5-25 micromole/L of vitamins C and B3, which is a low dosage, there is a process of active reproduction of stem cells tumors of the intestine. At high dosages (creating concentrations of 100 to 1,000 micromoles) these stem cells are destroyed.
The Vitamin C Foundation calculates that continuous oral supplemental oral intakes of vitamin C can achieve the study's reported cancer-lethal concentrations in the blood. The normal lab range for vitamin C is 0.4 mg/dl to 1.5 mg/dl, (23 to 85 μM/L). The Indian study results indicate that a 100 μM concentration (1.76 mg/dl) is the low end of the cancer-lethal range, or just above steady state. Sustaining this level requires continuous vitamin C supplementation, as long advocated by vitamin C experts Steve Hickey and Hilary Roberts, PhDs. While intravenous vitamin C can exceed the 10,000 μM by 2.5 times (e.g. 440 mg/dl or 24,983.2 μM/L ) this is apparently suboptimal, and it is difficult to keep people on constant intravenous vitamin C infusions.
The low range (5 to 25 μM) that promotes the growth of cancer stem cells equals a lab range of 0.08 to 0.44 mg/dl which is below normal and can easily be raised through regular vitamin C supplementation.
The answer to the question of what oral dosage is required is:
Note: The current government RDA for vitamin C, and the dosage recommendations currently from the Linus Pauling Institute, promote Cancer Stem Cell (CSC) proliferation that spawns malignacies. According to the findings of researchers Sen, et. al., the dosage for cancer patients needs to be much higher to avoid spawning new aggressive cancers.
The Sen study is published in the journal Cell Biology International. Note: Pauling and Robinson are vindicated! They were both right.
The results in a cohort over 38,000 were so strong and compelling the authors stated: Healthcare professionals may promote intake of these antioxidants in healthy amounts in order to reduce the incidence of this type of malignancy"
Vitamin C, Oxidative Stress And Ordinary MalignancyAlmost all vitamin C experts now seem to agree, hydrogen peroxide produced by high levels of ascorbate (vitamin C) plays an important role.
However, vitamin C is relatively weak at this job at lower dosages, so there are multiple reasons to avoid low dose vitamin C if you have cancer. Experts recommend continuous high dosages of ascorbate (vitamin C) combined with specific adjuncts (e.g. Alpha Lipoic Acid, Vitamin K3, and/or D'Fraction Maitake Mushroom.)
Most experts recommend incorporating high-dose intravenous vitamin C (IV/C) infusions to achieve the high blood concentrations necessary to kill the most malignant cells.
Expert Opinion on 14 Videos: The Case for Vitamin C Against Cancers
Talking to your Oncologist
You may be able to talk your oncologist into going along with vitamin C as an 'adjunct' (not a replacement for) conventional chemotherapy.
Cancer patients should restrict their sugar and carb intakes to avoid fueling cancer cell division. Cancers have increased insulin receptors and thrive on sugar. All carbohydrates reduce to simple sugars during digestion. A low-carb, low-sugar (ketogenic) diet is important to starve fast growing tumors of glucose.
Glucose, a component of most sugars, competes with vitamin C for entry into cells because these molecules are similar. This may be why the low-carb diet enhances vitamin C anti-cancer therapies.
Good Advice: Take Oral Vitamin C Too - All Day
Authors Hickey and Roberts stress that vitamin C should be taken orally 24/7 to keep the oxygen "redox" pressure on cancer tumors (i.e. not only during regular intravenous vitamin C infusions.)
Handbook on Vitamin C Therapy for Patients and Doctors by Steve Hickey and Hilary Roberts
The new Vitamin C Foundation sugar-free chewables (with Niacin) help with compliance, i.e. one tasty tablet every 3 to 4 hours, and they may help reduce the sugar/carb craving.
Cameron's chewables also contain important ingredients (e.g. cherry flavor, sorbitol and xylitol) that may have contributed to the outstanding Pauling/Cameron results in their Scottish study. Visit this forum topic on how and why new Vitamin C Foundation approved chewable vitamin C may contain Ewan Cameron's Secret Weapon against cancer.
Sunsuke Konno et. al. D'Fraction protocol
In 2012, the Konno group published a paper in the Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients that found a remarkable synergy when vitamin C and commerically available maitake mushroom D'Fraction are combined. Together, but not alone, these supplements kill ordinary malignant cancer cells in vitro.
Foundation approved CONQUER is a true-liposomal vitamin C and D'Fraction dietary supplement.
Ralph Moss: Antioxidants Increase Chemo Potency Against Cancer
The following tables from the Moss book illustrate that vitamin C the effectiveness of using vitamin C (and vitamin E) as an adjunct to conventional therapies.
|Agent Used||Decrease in Cancer Growth|
|5-FU + Vitamin C||95.5%|
|X rays + Vitamin C||98.2%|
|Bleomycin + Vitamin C||92.0%|
|Agent Used||Decrease in Cancer Growth|
|Bleomycin + Vitamin E||71%|
|5-FU + Vitamin E||71%|
|Adriamycin + Vitamin E||88%|
|Cisplatin + Vitamin E||82%|
Source: Kedar Prasad, University of Colorado, as summarized in Antioxidants Against Cancer by Ralph Moss
Review of the Recent Science
The study led by S.Y. Pan of Public Health Agency of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada and colleagues showed that premenopausal women who had taken zinc supplements for 10 years or longer were 54 percent less likely to develop breast cancer, compared to those who had not.
The study also showed that supplementation of multivitamin, beta-carotene, vitamin C, vitamin E and zinc for 10 or more years was associated with 26, 42, 21, 25, and 53 percent reduced risk of breast cancer , respectively, in postmenopausal women.
On the other hand, dietary antioxidants including beta-carotene, alpha-carotene, lycopene, lutein and zeaxanthin, vitamin C, vitamin E, selenium and zinc or supplementation of antioxidants for less than 10 years were not associated with reduced risk of developing breast cancer.
"This is the first time the effect of combining retinoic and ascorbic acid on breast cancer cell proliferation, differentiation, apoptosis and antioxidant-related gene expression has been studied."
The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry
Volume 17, Issue 7, July 2006, Pages 454.462
Retinoic acid and ascorbic acid act synergistically in inhibiting human
breast cancer cell proliferation
Corresponding author contact information, E-mail the corresponding author.
- ABSTRACT: Pharmacologic ascorbic acid concentrations selectively kill cancer cells: Action as a pro-drug to deliver hydrogen peroxide to tissues...
- Growth suppression of malignant leukemia cell line in vitro by ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and its derivatives
- Ascorbic acid (vitamin C) improves the antineoplastic activity of doxorubicin, cisplatin, and paclitaxel in human breast carcinoma cells in vitro
- Higher plasma vitamin C levels decrease risk of gastric cancer in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition ...
- Research backs theory that vitamin C shrinks tumors...
Cancer: Intravenous Vitamin C Effective Treatment
"The United States National Institutes of Health researchers found ascorbate killed cancer cells at concentrations that would only be achievable through intravenous infusion. Normal cells were not affected by ascorbate at any concentration. [More sepp commentary]"
- Intravenously administered vitamin C as cancer therapy: three cases...
- Annals of Internal Medicine: Vitamin C Pharmacokinetics: Implications for Oral and Intravenous Use ...
- Intravenous Ascorbate as a Tumor Cytotoxic Chemotherapeutic Agent...
- Vitamin C protects against melanoma skin cancers
- Inhibition of liver cancer cell proliferation and migration with ascorbic acid (vitamin C)...
Large study finds vitamin C protective of stomach cancer...
But when the researchers examined the blood levels of vitamin C they found a strong protective effect. That is: they found that those subjects with the highest level of vitamin C in their blood had a 60 percent lower risk of stomach cancer than those subjects with the lowest levels.
- Vitamin C and Stomach Cancer...
- Low vitamin C linked to stomach cancer...
- Pharmacologic ascorbic acid concentrations selectively kill cancer cells: Action as a pro-drug to deliver hydrogen peroxide to tissues ...
- Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C) Kills Cancer Cells...
- Colds "may trigger child cancers" ...
- High antioxidant vitamin intakes reduce adverse effects of chemotherapy in children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia...
- Inhibition of liver cancer cell proliferation and migration with ascorbic acid (vitamin C)...
- Combination therapy with vitamins C plus E inhibits human prostate cancer cell growth...
- In vivo antitumor effect of ascorbic acid, lysine, proline and green tea extract on human prostate cancer ...
- Autoschizis: How vitamins C and K3 kill cancer cells...
- More on vitamin induced autoschizis for prostate cancer...
- Orthomolecular oncology review: ascorbic acid and cancer 25 years later...
Preparation of Sodium Ascorbate for IV and IM Use... Cathcart's Written Instructions for Physicians
Animal-Based Nutrients Linked With Higher Risk Of Stomach And Esophageal Cancers Vitamin C supplements reduce stomach cancer by 40% Yale researchers also found that regular users of vitamin C supplements were at significantly lower risk of stomach cancer.
Vitamin C and Vitamin K3 cause massive cancer cell death. From Science News.
Vitamin C Foundation comments: Are high antioxidant intakes bad for your health?
Final Report of the Safety Assessment of [Vitamin C] i.e., L-Ascorbic Acid, Calcium Ascorbate, Magnesium Ascorbate, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Sodium Ascorbate, and Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate as Used in Cosmetics...
Foundation Does Not Sell Vitamin C
Vitamin C Information
Approved Vitamin C
"We have had the opportunity to observe patients who have taken 10g or more per day of vitamin C during intense chemotherapy. We now recommend a high intake of vitamin C, in some cases up to the bowel-tolerance limit, beginning as early as possible." Linus Pauling (Pg. 241, HOW TO LIVE LONGER AND FEEL BETTER, 1986, paperback)
Vitamin C Foundation