Vitamin C and Cancer
Just like vaccination, many in medicine want you not to believe that nutritional supplements such as vitamin C can help you avoid cancer. The same anti-vitamin campaign has been engineered to alter your perceptions about vitamin E and vitamin A. Of course for those of us that know how to interpret the studies and understand the nature of vitamins and other naturally based health support, we do have to act to correct misinformation.
Again today vitamin C is being attacked by an oncologist. He may believe in his work and we appreciate that. We do, however share a different point of view. This quote is startling:
“Studies in which vitamin C pills were given to treat cancer failed to show a benefit.”
If you search for support of vitamin C for cancer what you find is that it is intravenous administration of vitamin C that is effective, not the pills. There are now some studies associated with the FDA and NIC that involve the use of IV C for cancer therapy.
This is one way to slant your thinking, especially since these studies often refuse to name the product used to come up with their often fallacious findings. This article might also raise the issue that Novartis funded the work to further support the use of their drug, Gleevec. Also notice that this study involved Petri dishes in a lab.
And the writer ends with this –
“But a study at the U.S. National Institutes of Health published in August showed that injections of high doses of vitamin C greatly reduced the rate of tumor growth in mice.”
Vitamin C supplements may undercut the effectiveness of cancer drugs including Novartis’ Gleevec, a U.S. study published on Wednesday showed. When used on human cancer cells treated with a form of vitamin C in lab dishes, chemotherapy drugs killed 30 percent to 70 percent fewer tumor cells than usual, the scientists wrote in the journal Cancer Research.
Dr. Mark Heaney of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York and colleagues also implanted human cancer cells into mice, and found that when mice got vitamin C supplements two hours before chemotherapy, the tumors grew more quickly. They tested five common chemotherapy drugs including Gleevec, also known as imatinib.
“The vitamin C didn’t neutralize the effects of the chemotherapy drugs, but it blunted their effects,” Heaney said in a telephone interview.
The other drugs were doxorubicin, cisplatin, methotrexate and vincristine. They work in different ways to combat tumors.
“Vitamin C is something everyone needs to have in their diet or you develop scurvy. But I don’t recommend taking supplemental vitamin C during that period of time that my patients are receiving chemotherapy,” Heaney added.
Heaney said it did not appear that the antioxidant properties of vitamin C were the culprit. Rather, it may be the protective effect vitamin C has on mitochondria — which generate energy for a cell — within cancer cells, he added. Chemotherapy drugs damage mitochondria in cancer cells.
“When mitochondria are damaged, they can send signals to the cell to die. And that’s, we think, one of the ways that the chemotherapy drugs exert their beneficial effects. And vitamin C helps to preserve the health of the mitochondria,” Heaney said.
By protecting the mitochondria, vitamin C prevents chemotherapy agents from working to their full potential. Heaney acknowledged that a study looking at cancer cells in laboratory dishes or in mice is not the final word on the subject, and said more research is needed. The findings are the latest development in the controversy over vitamin C and cancer. The notion that vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, could be used to treat cancer was advanced in the 1970s by American scientist Linus Pauling, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in chemistry in 1954.
Studies in which vitamin C pills were given to treat cancer failed to show a benefit. But a study at the U.S. National Institutes of Health published in August showed that injections of high doses of vitamin C greatly reduced the rate of tumor growth in mice.