Can vitamin C fight cancer? It may, according to a new study.
It may seem like a bit of a stretch at first, but evidence shows that vitamin C can help boost the cancer-fighting effect of chemotherapy. Recent research in the lab and on mice has produced promising results for those who are battling certain types of cancer.
Before you pick up your glass of orange juice to celebrate, it is useful to know that the research looked specifically at injections, and whether or not they offered a boost for chemotherapy patients. The findings, according to U.S. scientists, indicate that when given via injection, vitamin C could be a safe, effective, and cost-efficient form of treatment for ovarian cancer and other types of cancer. To help build their case, the scientists are asking for large-scale government clinical trials.
According to WebMD, human cells and mouse ovarian cancer cells were the primary subjects of the study, which involved using large amounts of intravenous vitamin C. Ultimately, the researchers found that when the vitamin C was delivered directly to the harmful cells, it helped to kill them while leaving the healthy cells unharmed.
Dr. Jeanne Drisko, director of Integrative Medicine at the University of Kansas Medical Center and co-author of the study, noted that, “In cell tissue and animal models of cancer, we saw when you add IV vitamin C it seems to augment the killing effect of chemotherapy on cancer cells.”
The study, which was published in Science Translational Magazine on February 5, involved follow-up human trials. During these trials, several cervical cancer patients were given IV vitamin C along with their usual doses of chemotherapy medication. These patients reported having fewer side effects from their chemotherapy treatment.
Dr. Drisko said, “In those patients, we didn’t see any ill effects and we noticed they had fewer effects from the chemotherapy.” She continued, “It seemed to be protecting the healthy cells while killing the cancer cells.”
Drisko also explained that IV vitamin C injections have been considered part of an integrative therapy for cancer for the past several decades. However, clinical trials performed by the Mayo Clinic in the 1970 and 1980s failed to find anti-cancer effects when vitamin C was given orally, which has dissuaded further mainstream research and recognition of this potentially powerful cancer-fighting agent until recently.