The Low Post News

Vitamin C: Possibly a Promising Therapy for Cancer

New medical research suggests vitamin C could make drugs used to treat cancer more effective. However, past claims that have been discredited about the effectiveness of the vitamin in treating cancer likely will hinder further studies.

Scientists said they had identified an inexpensive, simple compound that helped cancer drugs to be more effective in mice as well as helped humans withstand the horrible chemotherapy side effects.

However, while they touted their results from the experiment, they acknowledged their remedy was not likely to inspire expensive and vigorous research that is necessary to win the approval of regulators to join mainstream medicine.

The drug the study dealt with is vitamin C. When vitamin C is absorbed from different foods such as strawberries, oranges, kale and broccoli, it feeds the body’s neurotransmitters to help make collagen, amongst other functions of importance.

It has been successful in gaining a cult following as a form of alternative cancer treatment due to Linus Pauling, a two-time Nobel Prize winner.

Pauling contended that large amounts of vitamin C could prevent as well as treat the majority of cancers, but that was not supported in clinical trials. His claims that were discredited shutdown vitamin C research from decades.

However, that is just part of the problem. Even if additional studies were to confirm that vitamin C could help treat or prevent cancer, then someone would have the arduous task of steering it through the lengthy U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s approval process.

There is no patent available on vitamin C, so the large pharmaceutical companies do not have any incentive to play their normal role, said a cancer specialist.

However, experts also agreed that the most recent study’s benefits warranted more study.

In the latest experiments, researchers looked at effects that vitamin C has, also referred to as ascorbate, a number of different cancer cells in mice with ovarian cancer and the lab. When high concentrations of vitamin C, entered the small space between the cells, it formed hydrogen peroxide.

That in turn worked on the cancerous cells in a number of ways. It damaged the DNA of those cells, it put stress on their metabolism and it inhibited growth in the cells, said the researchers at the University of Kansas.

The weakening in turn improved paclitaxel and carboplatin, the traditional cancer treatments’ effectiveness.

Surprisingly, hydrogen peroxide did not hurt non-cancerous cells, found researchers.

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