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Can Vitamin C Kill Cancer Cells? How?

25 August, 2020 Ankita Singh

Vitamin C

Vitamin C also called ascorbic acid is an essential nutrient that our body requires. It is an antioxidant and is important for our immune system. It is found in various food sources and it is also sold in the form of supplement tablets. It is important for skin, bones, and connective tissue. The deficiency of vitamin C causes scurvy. Vitamin C is involved in repairing tissues, production of certain neurotransmitters. It is also involved in wound healing and synthesis of collagen. We need to intake vitamin C regularly as excess vitamin C is flushed out of our body.

The daily requirement of vitamin C is 40mg, taking more than 1000mg of vitamin C in our diet can have side effects such as stomach pain, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Citrus fruits, bell peppers, tomatoes, broccoli are some rich natural sources of vitamin C.

There have been mixed views in the use of vitamin C for treating cancer patients due to which most of the trials have reached till 2nd stage only.

Vitamin C For The Treatment Of Cancer

Currently, there is no solid proof of vitamin C as a proper treatment of cancer. Many studies and clinical trials show that vitamin C can be used to treat cancer and can improve the life span and survival rates of cancer patients. A study showed that plasma concentration of vitamin C around 10 mM was sustained for up to 4 hours which is sufficient for killing cancer cells. Vitamin C not only killed cancer cells it also minimized pain and protected normal cells from toxicity caused due to chemotherapy. The use of vitamin C also showed positive effects when it was combined with radiation therapy and chemotherapy.

Oral Admission Of Vitamin C For Cancer Treatment

Treatment of cancer through oral intake of vitamin C has not shown much improvement in the patients. This is because high doses of vitamin C cannot be administered in the patients orally. A lot of vitamin C is lost due to intestinal absorption, tissue accumulation, renal absorption, and excretion hindering the maximum utilization of vitamin C.

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Admission of Vitamin C through IV

Intravenous administrations of vitamin C have shown positive results in the patients. Through IV administration high concentrations of plasma concentrations of vitamin C can be easily achieved. About 25mM-30mM of vitamin C concentrations can be safely achieved through this process and 10mM of vitamin C lasted in the blood for at least 4 hours. Vitamin C not only killed the cancer cells but also helped in saving the normal (healthy) cells from the toxicity of chemotherapy. The trials that administered vitamin C orally as well as intravenously showed better results.

Vitamin C can breakdown easily and generate hydrogen peroxide that can damage the tissue and DNA of cells. Normal cells are efficient in removing hydrogen peroxide while cancer cells are not due to which only cancer cells are damaged by vitamin C. 

Challenges Of Conducting Trials For Vitamin C Cancer Therapy

The three major challenges that have hindered large scale trials of vitamin C for cancer treatment:

Vitamin C cannot be patented so there is no financial motivation for pharmaceutical companies to support the clinical trials and most of the trials have to depend on the government grants and small donations.

Vitamin C cancer therapy has a history of controversy.

Even though studies have shown that high doses of vitamin C has positive effects on cancer treatments the mechanism is not clear. The unclear pathway of the treatment has made it difficult for the pharmacist and bioinformaticians to make further progress.

Future Of Vitamin C In Cancer Treatment

The recent advancements in technology have enabled us to understand the pathways of the vitamin c treatment much better which has convinced the researchers to conduct further research and trials regarding this. Vitamin C is already being used in combination with other forms of therapies to maximize the effects of treatment. If trials show better results then we might have better and economical cancer treatment in the future. Buy affordable cancer medicines online in Delhi only from 3MEDS.

Conclusion

A lot of research and trials are needed to use vitamin C in the full potential to treat cancer. The positive results in the preclinical trials are encouraging. If treatment with vitamin C is found in the future that will change the lives of cancer patients.