This Antioxidant Works Better than Chemotherapy to KILL Cancer?

By on February 8, 2014
Ask any scientist about the most effective way to treat cancer, and they’ll all tell you the same solution–use chemotherapy.

However, new research published in the journal Science Translational Medicine says there finally may be a new alternative to chemotherapy: A large dose of vitamin C.

“There’s been a bias since the late 1970s that vitamin C cancer treatment is worthless and a waste of time,” says Dr. Jeanne Drisko, a director of integrative medicine at the University of Kansas Medical Center and researcher of the study. “We’re overcoming that old bias.”

In the study, which initially made headlines earlier this week, researchers examined how vitamin C affected cancer cells in the laboratory and in mice dying from ovarian cancer. To do so, they administered high concentrations of vitamin C directly into these cells and then waited patiently for the results–and the results were good.

After being injected into cancerous cells, researchers discovered that vitamin C created hydrogen peroxide, which then damaged the cancerous cells’ DNA. Researchers also found that it destroyed its metabolism and inhibited its growth, initiating apoptosis, or cell death.

But more interestingly enough, it didn’t harm the cells free of cancer–something that not even chemotherapy can do.

“In cell tissue and animal models of cancer, we saw when you add IV vitamin C it seems to augment the killing effect of chemotherapy drugs on cancer cells,” says Drisko. “In cell tissue and animal models of cancer, we saw when you add IV vitamin C it seems to augment the killing effect of chemotherapy drugs on cancer cells.”

Furthermore, researchers continued their research by administrating an IV of vitamin in patients diagnosed with stage III or IV ovarian cancer, who were already receiving chemotherapy treatment. While it didn’t help eradicate the cancer, it did help in other ways, such as lowering brain toxicity and stopping the degeneration of major organs and bone marrow. It also added an average of 8.75 months of remission before the disease came back, say researchers.

For Drisko, the results seem promising.

“If you can get your blood levels of vitamin C very high, it gets driven into the space around the cancer cells,” says Drisko. “In that space, it’s converted into hydrogen peroxide. It’s very similar to what our white blood cells do. They create hydrogen peroxide to fight infection.”

However, not everyone is supportive of the treatment, including Lenox Hill Hospital chief of surgical oncology leader Dr. Stephanie Bernik.

“You have to do a bigger study with patients and look at outcomes,” says Bernik. “There may be some efficacy in what they’re doing. It just needs to be proven. This is just the start of more studies looking at this in-depth.”

In the meanwhile, it couldn’t hurt to discuss using vitamin C in conjunction with chemotherapy with your doctor, if you are indeed facing a cancer battle–but even if you aren’t, adding a daily dose of vitamin C to your diet could help reduce your overall risk of cancer in general.

Readers: What do you think of alternative methods to treat cancer?

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