Ascorbic acid, which is more commonly known as Vitamin C, has been a rage in the world of medical sciences since the 1970s as an alternative treatment for cancer symptoms. Human beings lack the enzymes that are required to make Vitamin C, and therefore we derive it from foods such as oranges, papaya, grapefruit, kale, peppers, etc. It has powerful antioxidant properties that protect cells from damage and is involved in a host of functions to keep our body healthy.
There has been a lot of media hype regarding the use of a high dosage of Vitamin C as a possible Cancer Treatment. This, however, does not mean that having a few extra oranges a day has the potential to treat cancer since our body is adept at maintaining a healthy balance of minerals and nutrients such that it can remove any excesses in our system through urination. So how can we embrace Vitamin C as an integrative cancer treatment? The answer is simple the intravenous infusion of a high dose of Vitamin C.
However, it is important to note that high dose IV Vitamin C has not been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a means for Cancer Treatment. Chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and Immunotherapy are still considered the best Cancer Treatment options.
There are many ways in which ascorbic acid has shown anti-cancer properties, which can manifest itself through many of its mechanisms. What follows next is a list of ways in which Vitamin C functions to abhor cancer growth.
In a study conducted by Mark Levine, MD at the Molecular and Clinical Nutrition Section at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, he and his colleagues found that Vitamin C showed pro-oxidant properties in the presence of metals, which can be very very harmful to cancerous cells. Similar studies also showed that a high dose of Vitamin C could be used in cancer treatments in two ways: on its own; and in combination with other drugs or integrative therapy.
In 14 patients with advanced pancreatic cancer, IV Vitamin C was used in combination with Chemotherapy and Targeted therapy. In 5 cases, it had to be discontinued due to continued growth of the cancerous cells while the other 9 showed stability with minimal side effects.
In 2014 a study comparing Chemotherapy alone and IV Vitamin C in combination with Chemotherapy were conducted on 27 patients. The ones receiving Vitamin C with Chemotherapy showed lesser side effects from the treatment.
When patients with metastatic melanoma were treated with IV Vitamin C, the results showed no significant changes, and the tumor kept growing at a steady pace. Patients also showed serious side effects in this case.