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Vitamin C for Cancer Treatment: A Promising Approach

In the realm of cancer therapies, the potential of vitamin C for cancer treatment has been a subject of fascination and research for decades. While vitamin C is commonly known for its immune-boosting properties and its role in maintaining overall health, its application in cancer therapy has garnered significant attention. From early experiments by Nobel laureate Linus Pauling to more recent studies, the use of high-dose vitamin C as an adjunctive therapy in cancer treatment has shown promising results.

Vitamin C has remarkable as a complementary approach to conventional cancer treatments, shedding light on its mechanisms of action and exploring its impact on patient outcomes. The combination of changing the underlying conditions that brought on the cancer (naturopathic) and attacking the cancer with therapies that kill cancer, but do not harm the host (cytotoxic), can be incredibly effective.

Consider ‘Restrained’ Medical Therapies

Chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery may be appropriate in certain cancers and for certain people.  But make sure that the physician understands the concept of “restrained” medical therapies against cancer.  I have worked with cancer patients who were devastated by unrestrained chemo, radiation, or surgery.

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.  It was the age of wisdom.  It was the age of foolishness.
Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities

Vitamin C for Cancer Treatment – A Less Toxic Option

Throw a hand grenade into your garage to get rid of the mice, you may have accomplished the goal of killing the mice, but you don’t have a garage anymore.  Similarly, too many cancer patients are exposed to “maximum sub-lethal” therapies, which may provide an initial “response” or tumor shrinkage, but in the end may reduce the quality and quantity of life for the cancer patient by suppressing immune functions, damaging the heart and kidneys, and creating a tumor that is “drug resistant”, or virtually bullet-proof.

Certain cancer therapies that may be more effective at killing cancer and less toxic to the cancer patients, such as hyperthermia, intravenous vitamin C, Burzynski’s anti-neoplastons, PolyMVA, enzymes, Cell Specific Cancer Therapy, Ukrain, Govallo’s vaccine, and others.

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Target Anti Cancer Agent

Vitamin C can become a targeted anti-cancer agent because it resembles the preferred fuel of cancer, glucose, and is absorbed by cancer cells in abundance.  The ascorbic acid by itself in an anaerobic environment then becomes a powerful pro-oxidant and destroys the cancer cell–but only the cancer cells, since healthy cells have built-in mechanisms for absorbing the right amount of vitamin C along with the entire “symphony” of other antioxidants.

Compelling evidence shows that high dose intravenous vitamin C has a central role in cancer treatment.  High dose IVC as sole therapy has often been shown to be effective in advanced cancer patients.  Researchers from the NCI and other institutions have reported that in 2008 there were 172 doctors who administered IVC to over 12,000 patients with remarkably few side effects and good clinical outcomes.

How Effective is Current Vitamin C RDA?

A couple of hundred thousand years ago, humans lost the ability to convert blood sugar (glucose) into vitamin C (ascorbic acid).  Scientists have called this evolutionary shift a figurative “fall from the Garden of Eden”.  Most creatures on earth produce their own vitamin C in massive quantities, with higher internal production when the creature gets sick. 

A 150-pound goat makes about 10,000 milligrams daily of vitamin C.  Meanwhile, the Recommended Dietary Allowance for a 156-pound reference human is 60 milligrams per day.

Longer Life with Vitamin C for Cancer Treatment

Vitamin C is one of the more utilitarian nutrients in the human body, by assisting in the construction of connective tissue (the glue that keeps the body together), regulating the levels of fats in the blood, assisting in iron absorption, aiding in the synthesis of various brain chemicals for thought, and protecting against the damaging effects of free radicals. 

A study done at the University of California at Los Angeles, men who took supplements of 300 mg daily of vitamin C (5 times the RDA) lived an average of 6 years longer than men who did not take supplements of vitamin C.  Mark Levine, MD, researcher with the National Institutes of Health, finds evidence that 250 mg per day might be a more rational and healthy RDA for vitamin C.

Signs of Vitamin D Deficiency?

Inhibit Free Radical Activity using Vitamin C for Cancer Treatment

Oncologists worry about the possibility that vitamin C might inhibit the free radical activity of chemotherapy and radiation in destroying cancer cells.  It might seem logical that an antioxidant (like vitamin C) might reduce the effectiveness of a pro-oxidant (like chemo and radiation), the opposite has been found in animal and human studies. Antioxidants protect the healthy tissue of the patient while allowing the cancer tissue to become more vulnerable to the damaging effects of chemo and radiation.

Vitamin C for Cancer Treatment

Any antioxidant can become a pro-oxidant in a given chemical soup.  That is why Nature always gives us droves of different antioxidants to play “hot potato” with unpaired electrons until their destructive energy is dissipated.  No food has just one antioxidant.  No human cell wants just one antioxidant.  Antioxidants can become pro-oxidants when in isolation, which is exactly what happens to cancer cells when they selectively absorb only vitamin C.

The cells want fuel for growth.  The vitamin C is gulped by the cancer cells, then becomes toxic because cancer cells cannot generate catalase to protect themselves against the hydrogen peroxide generated by vitamin C.

Selective Anti-Cancer Activity: Using Vitamin C for Cancer Treatment

Dozens of very well trained physicians have been giving high doses of intravenous vitamin C (10 to 100 grams daily) to thousands of cancer patients for decades with no side effects, and usually improved outcome.  Intravenous vitamin C seems to have selective anti-cancer activity, according to an article in the Annals of Internal Medicine (Apr.6, 2004, p.533), authored by several doctors including researchers at the National Institutes of Health. IV vitamin C supports cancer patients in many well documented pathways.  Dr. Hugh Riordan reported improved outcome in poor prognostic cancer patients who have been put in remission through use of high dose IV vitamin C.

Vitamin C supplements can be helpful in slowing cancer, while making medical therapy more of a selective toxin against the cancer and protecting healthy host tissue.

Don’t take your vitamin C supplements–unless you want to live longer.

By Patrick Quillin, PhD,RD,CNS
Excerpted from Beating Cancer with Nutrition

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Patrick Quillin

Dr. Patrick Quillin, PhD,RD,CNS is an internationally recognized expert in the area of nutrition and cancer. He has 30 years experience as a clinical nutritionist, of which 10 years were spent as the Vice President for a leading cancer hospital system where he worked with thousands of cancer patients in a hospital setting. His a Best Selling Author with 17 books which have sold over 2 million copies.

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