August 5, 2008
New Vitamin C Hope for Cancer Patients
By JON VON RAOWITZ
VITAMIN C that is injected rather than swallowed can destroy cancer, research shows.The therapy halved the growth of aggressive tumours in mice, killing cancer cells while leaving healthy tissue unharmed.
It could provide a new lifeline for patients with a poor prognosis and few treatment options, scientists suggest.
Tackling cancer with vitamin C would also have the added advantage of being cheap.
Usually the body keeps a tight rein on vitamin C levels in the blood. But scientists found that the mechanism can be by-passed if the vitamin is injected straight into the bloodstream instead of passing through the digestive system.
When this is done it releases the powerful anti-cancer potential of the vitamin, according to the researchers.
Experiments showed that high levels of vitamin C in the blood generate hydrogen peroxide, which is lethal to tumours. The chemical forms in the spaces between cancer cells, damaging membranes, upsetting metabolism, and scrambling DNA.
Even aggressive, hard-to-treat cancers was held back in the studies. But healthy tissues appeared to resist the effects.
The use of high dose vitamin C as a complementary or alternative cancer dates to the 70s.
But reliable evidence that the therapy works has been lacking.
For this reason claims that vitamin C can treat cancer have been dismissed by experts.
The US scientists published their findings in journal, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
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