Vitamin C, which is also known as ascorbic acid is a common ingredient of citrus fruits. A glass of orange juice is more than enough for your daily requirement of vitamin C. Vitamin C is well known to be beneficial against common cold. A New Zealand study revealed that vitamin C can block growth of cancer cells and hence may be used for cancer treatment.
About the study
The study was conducted by researchers at Otago University at Christchurch, lead by Associate Professor Margreet Vissers. The researchers analyzed tumorous and normal tissue samples from women with cancer of the uterine lining. The study has been published in leading international journal Cancer Research.
Main findings of study
The study indicated that:
- high-grade tumors had around 40% less vitamin C than matched, adjacent, normal tissue.
- restoring the vitamin C levels in tumors would limit factors that promote tumor growth, and recommend animal trials to test the hypothesis
- it would be beneficial for people with cancer cells to have more vitamin C
The reason for beneficial effect of vitamin C
The study found direct link between vitamin C and a protein called HIF-1. HIF-1 (hypoxia inducible factor) is considered a key protein in tumor survival. High activity of HIF promotes tumor growth and resistance to chemotherapy and radiotherapy and is linked with a poor prognosis for patients.
Professor Vissers said that “There’s...
enough information now for people to be seriously thinking about doing this, to apply this to the clinic or be setting up some clinical trials.”
Can supplements help to elevate vitamic C to fight tumor?
Dr Vissesrs said that “Anti-oxidant supplementation may not end up delivering any more vitamin C to the tumor. Just supplementing people may not actually have the effect that you want because you haven’t done it in the right way.”
She said vitamin C levels in the body could be raised only to a certain level by oral supplementation. Intravenous injections could achieve a higher level.
The link between vitamin C and protection against tumor looks like a promising discovery, provided vitamin C should be compatible with the biological function of the body and should not cause any major side effects. As told by Dr. Vissesrs, intravenous injection may be required to achieve adequate level. The patch containing micro-needles that has shown capability to deliver flu vaccine in the body, may be used to deliver vitamin C in a controlled manner in near future.