Vitamin C and Cancer – more data

         High -dose Vitamin C for Cancer




High-dose intravenous vitamin C may be effective in treating cancer, newly published research indicates.


Studies during the 1970s first suggested administration of high doses of ascorbate might provide a clinical benefit for treating cancer, but later studies using the same high doses found no benefit.  

However, researchers now say the original studies used intravenous and oral ascorbate, while subsequent studies used only oral administration. (THINK   “hatchet job”  in that the research was designed to fail and discredit the original research) 


Recognizing those differences might account for the disparate clinical outcomes, Mark Levine and colleagues at the National Institutes of Health reexamined intravenous ascorbate therapy in cultured cancer cell lines.  

The researchers found ascorbate killed cancer cells at concentrations that would only be achievable through intravenous infusion. Normal cells were not affected by ascorbate at any concentration.   (THINK “silver bullet”)

Additionally, the scientists report ascorbate treatment led to the formation of hydrogen peroxide, a chemical that can kill cells, suggesting a potential mechanism for the therapy.  (THINK….  “validation for all of us who have been doing hydrogen peroxide therapy all these years!”)

The research appears in this week’s online, early edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International




Topic: CANCER - Ascorbic Acid, Vitamin C

Title: Vitamin C in High IV Doses May Kill Cancer Cells Reference: "Pharmacologic ascorbic acid concentrations selectively kill cancer cells: Action as a pro-drug to deliver hydrogen peroxide  to tissues,"

Chen Q, Espey MG, et al, Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 2005; 102(38):  13604-9.
(Address: Molecular and Clinical Nutrition Section, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National  Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892).

Summary:   In an in vitro study to test whether the ascorbate form of Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) killed cancer cells selectively, results suggest that ascorbate, in pharmacologic concentrations (achieved only by intravenous administration), may kill cancer cells. 20mM of ascorbate administered to 10 cancer and 4 normal human cell types, killed 5 of the cancer lines and did not affect any of the normal cells. Human lymphoma cells were studied in detail because of their sensitivity to ascorbate. Cancer cell death was found to be mediated by extracellular but not intracellular ascorbate, and found to be absolutely dependent on the formation of hydrogen peroxide. Additionally, cell death resulting from the separate addition of Hydrogen peroxide to cells was found to be identical to that
resulting from the hydrogen peroxide generated by ascorbate. The generation of hydrogen peroxide was found to be dependent on ascorbate concentration, Incubation time, and presence of 0.5 - 10% serum. Notably, the ascorbate addition to blood generated no
detectable hydrogen peroxide in the blood. Taken together, the findings suggest that the infused ascorbate appears to diffuse outside of the bloodstream, allowing reactions to generate hydrogen peroxide, which may kill cancer cells. Thus, according to the
researchers, these findings give plausibility to intravenous ascorbic acid in cancer treatment and suggest that it may be a pro-drug for the formation of hydrogen peroxide.

Title:  Acute prooxidant effects of vitamin C in EDTA chelation therapy and long-term antioxidant benefits of therapy.

Free Radic Biol Med  2005 Jun 15;38(12):1565-70   

Hininger I; Waters R; Osman M; Garrel C; Fernholz K; Roussel AM; 
Anderson RA Laboratoire NVMC (Nutrition, Vieillissement, Maladies
Cardiovasculaires), EA 3746, J. Fourier University, Domaine de la 
Merci, 38700 La Tronche, France.



These statements have NOT been evaluated by the FDA.



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