Ask almost any conventional medicine doctor about vitamin C for treating cancer and he’ll shut you down fast. Either that, or laugh you out of his office.
Integrative medicine doctors have been successfully using this powerful vitamin to fight cancer for years now. But those in the medical mainstream have stubbornly refused to consider using high dose intravenous vitamin C (IVC) in their treatment plans, even encouraging patients to avoid this “quack” therapy.
All that may FINALLY be about to change thanks to some brave researchers at the University of Iowa who are now agreeing with what integrative docs have been shouting from the rooftops all along. According to their recently published study, high dose intravenous vitamin C (ascorbate acid) does indeed target and kill cancer cells, while leaving healthy normal cells alone.
And the UI scientists say they now have an idea why it works.
More on that, and the exciting new study published in the journal Redox Biology, in a moment.1 But first let’s take a quick look at the research this new study is building on.
Vitamin C targets and kills cancer cells
You see this isn’t the first time the researchers have focused on IVC for fighting cancer. Redox biology expert Garry Buettner’s earlier animal research confirmed that the high dose vitamin C that integrative medicine docs were using to treat their patients targeted cancer cells while ignoring normal ones.2
In fact, his research—and other studies like it—was so compelling that doctors at University of Iowa Hospitals and clinics began clinical trials treating lung and pancreatic cancer with IVC along with standard therapies (just as integrative medicine docs have been recommending).
Unsurprisingly the therapy worked! The treatment was well tolerated and the patients who got the IVC had better outcomes than those who didn’t get the therapy. Researchers have now rolled out to a larger trial focused on measuring improved survival rates.
In the new study Buettner and his fellow scientists have demonstrated how this mighty vitamin conquers cancer cells. The ascorbate acid easily breaks down producing hydrogen peroxide. And it turns out hydrogen peroxide is like Kryptonite to cancer cells.
High dose IVC therapy could help save lives
Reactive oxygen species such as hydrogen peroxide can potentially damage tissue and DNA so when they appear your normal cells send a clean-up crew called catalase to remove them. But it turns out Messy Marvin tumor cells are terrible at housework. The cancer cells do a bad job of removing the hydrogen peroxide so more if it hangs around in the diseased cells.
As a result the cancer cells are killed off and the normal cells are left unharmed.3,4,5 In other words IVC is safe, effective and could help save a lot of lives.
If you’re interested in IVC you will likely have to do some research and make some phone calls to track down a doc in your area offering it. The American College for Advancement in Medicine’s Physician Link tool is a great place to start. You can search for docs offering IV therapies in your area using your zip code.
IVC still isn’t widely available, but there are cancer centers, hospitals and doctors offering this life-saving treatment. Be persistent, the extra leg work you do could help save your life or the life of someone you love.
1. “Tumor cells have decreased ability to metabolize H2O2: Implications for pharmacological ascorbate in cancer therapy,” Redox Biology, Volume 10, December 2016, Pages 274–284
2. “Mechanisms of ascorbate-induced cytotoxicity in pancreatic cancer,” Clin Cancer Res. 2010 Jan 15;16(2):509-20. doi: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-09-1713
3. “Metabolomic alterations in human cancer cells by vitamin C-induced oxidative stress,” Sci Rep. 2015; 5: 13896
4. “Supplemental ascorbate in the supportive treatment of cancer: Prolongation of survival times in terminal human cancer,” Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1976 Oct;73(10):3685-9
5. “Supplemental ascorbate in the supportive treatment of cancer: reevaluation of prolongation of survival times in terminal human cancer,” Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1978 Sep;75(9):4538-42
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