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Naturopathic and Integrative Oncology

Benefits of Vitamin C in Cancer Treatment

By June 1, 2014August 11th, 2017No Comments

If diagnostic tests detect the presence of cancer, there are a lot of possible treatment options available. As our understanding of disease and technology grows, so do the options and effectiveness of treatments. Often overlooked are complementary treatments that support primary therapies and/or fight cancer cells directly.

One interesting example of a complementary treatment is intravenous ascorbic acid. Yes, humble vitamin C.

First developed by Linus Pauling — a chemist, man of many pursuits, and the only person to win two unshared Nobel prizes – high-dose intravenous vitamin C has many benefits for general health and cancer care.

In general health, vitamin C has many roles throughout the body; antioxidant, antihistamine, and immune system support during active infection. The body requires vitamin C to make collagen, which is why a deficiency results in scurvy, a condition not often seen in our part of the world.

Using intravenous vitamin C to treat cancer is like introducing a poison specific to the enemy.

Glucose is the basic fuel source for cells in the body, including cancer. Cancer cells in particular burn through vast amounts of it, altering the way they produce energy to burn glucose directly and not go through standard cellular respiration. This unique trait indirectly makes the cells “immortal” in a sense, but also gives them some key weaknesses, one of which is ascorbic acid.

Ascorbic acid looks a lot like glucose to a cell, so it is rapidly utilized. The cell — cancer or not — then breaks the ascorbic acid down into hydrogen peroxide. You have no doubt used hydrogen peroxide on cuts to disinfect them.

Do you remember hydrogen peroxide fizzing when you put it on a cut? That is because the cells in your body use an enzyme called catalase to convert the hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) into something that isn’t dangerous: water (H2O) and oxygen (O2). That fizzing is the instantaneous chemical reaction of catalase with hydrogen peroxide, releasing oxygen.

Here is the interesting part: cancer cells do not have catalase. When they face hydrogen peroxide they cannot break it down. It continues to accumulate in the cell until apoptosis — programmed cell death — occurs. Ascorbic acid will also break down in the interstitial space (the open area around cells), which creates an inhospitable environment for the cancer.

Vitamin C has other uses with cancer, from decreasing metastasis and formation of new blood cells (angiogenesis), to supporting detoxification, relieving pain, and boosting the immune system. It can also increase the effectiveness and reduce the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

Note that full therapeutic doses of vitamin C range from 25-125 grams (not the milligrams usually listed on a supplement bottle), which is impossible to achieve through oral supplementation. Only intravenous delivery ensures high enough dosage to achieve a real benefit.

We have highly trained and experienced doctors who are able and willing to help with your health needs, including the detection and treatment of cancer. Contact us to find out more about this exciting treatment method, or to schedule a consultation.

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