How does high-dose vitamin C work?
High-dose vitamin C can boost the cancer-killing effect of chemotherapy in the lab and mice, research suggests. Given by injection, it could potentially be a safe, effective and low-cost treatment for Ovarian and other cancers, say US scientists. Reporting in Science Translational Medicine, they call for large-scale government clinical trials. Pharmaceutical companies are unlikely to run trials, as vitamins cannot be patented. Vitamin C has long been used as an alternative therapy for cancer. In the 1970s, chemist Linus Pauling reported that vitamin C given intravenously was effective in treating cancer. However, clinical trials of vitamin C given by mouth failed to replicate the effect, and research was abandoned. It is now known that the human body quickly excretes vitamin C when it is taken by mouth. However, scientists at the University of Kansas say that when given by injection vitamin C is absorbed into the body, and can kill cancer cells without harming normal ones. The researchers injected vitamin C into human Ovarian Cancer cells in the lab into mice, and into patients, with advanced Ovarian Cancer. They found Ovarian Cancer cells were sensitive to vitamin C treatment, but normal cells were unharmed. The treatment worked in tandem with standard Chemotherapy drugs to slow tumor growth in mouse studies. Meanwhile, a small group of patients reported fewer side-effects when given vitamin C alongside Chemotherapy.
Co-researcher Dr Jeanne Drisko said there was growing interest in the use of vitamin C by Oncologists. “Patients are looking for safe and low-cost choices in their management of cancer,” she told BBC News. “Intravenous vitamin C has that potential based on our basic science research and early clinical data.
One potential hurdle is that pharmaceutical companies are unlikely to fund trials of intravenous vitamin C because there is no ability to patent natural products. “Because vitamin C has no patent potential, its development will not be supported by pharmaceutical companies,” said lead researcher Qi Chen. “We believe that the time has arrived for research agencies to vigorously support thoughtful and meticulous clinical trials with intravenous vitamin C.”
Dr Kat Arney, science communications manager for Cancer Research UK, said there was a long history of research into vitamin C for treating cancer. “It’s difficult to tell with such a small trial — just 22 patients — whether high-dose vitamin C injections had any effect on survival, but it’s interesting that it seemed to reduce the side-effects of Chemotherapy,” she said. “Any potential treatment for cancer needs to be thoroughly evaluated in large clinical trials to make sure it’s safe and effective, so further studies are needed before we know for sure what benefits high dose vitamin C may have for patients.”
- http://www.foxnews.com/health/2014/02/06/vitamin-c-shows-promise-as-cancer-therapy/ http://www.nbcnews.com/health/cancer/vitamin-c-may-help-cancer-treatment-study-finds-n23066 http://www.bbc.com/news/health-26038460
Could pumping roughly 2,000 oranges’ worth of vitamin C into a patient’s bloodstream boost the effectiveness of anti-cancer drugs and mitigate the grueling side effects of Chemotherapy?
In research published Wednesday in the journal Science Translational Medicine, scientists found that high doses of vitamin C —administered intravenously —increased the cancer-killing effects of chemotherapy drugs in mice, and blunted toxic side effects in humans. However, even though the research seems to offer the promise of effectiveness for a new method of cancer treatment, vitamin C, or ascorbate, is unlikely to inspire the vigorous, and expensive, research necessary to become an approved tumor remedy, experts say. “There’s been a bias since the late 1970s that vitamin C cancer treatment is worthless and a waste of time,” said Dr. Jeanne Drisko, a study co-author and the director of integrative medicine at the University of Kansas Medical Center. “We’re overcoming that old bias.”
The purpose of the trial was to see if the vitamin C sickened patients, not whether it was more effective than standard treatment. Many more patients would be required to make that determination. Not only did the patients who were given vitamin C do well, they tolerated Chemotherapy better than those who did not receive it, the authors said. They had more energy, and experienced less nausea. “That was surprising,” Drisko said. “We did not expect to find that.” In addition to vitamin C’s controversial past, it is also an antioxidant. Some doctors fear that antioxidants will blunt or negate the effects of anti-cancer drugs, because those drugs seek to damage tumor cells through oxidation. The study authors and other experts point out, however, that by administering vitamin C intravenously, the concentrations are so high that the compound acts as an oxidant. In an accompanying Focus article, two New Zealand cancer experts who were not involved in the study wrote that new drug combinations were badly needed in the fight against cancer, and that the vitamin C tumor drug “cocktail” showed promise. The findings “strongly suggest that the time has come to test ascorbate combination therapy,” wrote cancer cell researchers Melanie McConnell, of Victoria University of Wellington, and Patries Herst, of University of Otago Wellington.
Dr. Robert Morgan, co-director of the gynecological cancers program at City of Hope, in Duarte, who was not involved in the study, agreed that the authors’ findings warranted further study. The trouble was, he said, there were now hundreds of other anti-cancer agents that also warranted further study. “The issue with any type of cancer research is who’s going to pay for it,” Morgan said. “Pharma does it because they expect ultimately to find a drug that’s effective, helps patients and will make a profit for their shareholders. This is the kind of drug that if somebody invested in it, they would not expect to make back their investment. That’s the issue.” While Drisko said she hoped government would step in to fund larger trials, she suspected agencies like the National Cancer Institute would avoid offering grants due to ascorbate’s history. At the NCI’s Office of Cancer Complementary and Alternative Medicine, director Dr. Jeffrey White said the study had done much to explain the precise mechanisms by which ascorbate affects cancer cells, and that further investigation was warranted. He also acknowledged that some grant reviewers might possibly view the subject with bias, but that he hoped they would focus on the science.
We test the efficiency of Vitamin C IV therapy on ourselves before we administer it to our patients. Due to this, we know how much of a positive impact it can have on numerous daily activities (be it energy) as well as overall immune health.
How does Vitamin C help body cells and kill cancer cells?
Intravenous Vitamin C infusions are an up-and-coming medical technique used to combat various health issues. Vitamin C may be best known for its abilities to boost the immune system and kill pathogens. Vitamin C accomplishes this by raising peroxide (H2O2) levels in the body; this natural chemical is toxic to hurtful bacteria, viruses, fungi and even cancer cells, without being harmful to healthy cells and tissues. Vitamin C also has a strong effect on collagen synthesis within the body and, thus, inhibits the formation of new vascular tubules critical for tumor growth. For these reasons, studies are showing that Vitamin C may be responsible for slowing the development and spread of several types of cancer such as prostate, pancreatic, liver, and colon. The immune system benefits of Vitamin C are also beneficial to cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. As a result, Vitamin C infusions have been used in conjunction with other treatments in the fight against cancer. There is also evidence of Vitamin C aiding patients with cardiovascular related diseases such as diabetes by stimulating the insulin mechanism; however maximum health benefits are received only from very high levels of Vitamin C in the body, best achieved via IV infusion.
The IV infusion of Vitamin C is favored over oral administration because through an IV, the Vitamin C is able to enter the bloodstream directly and maintain higher levels for longer periods of time. A study performed by the Kodama Research Institute of Preventative Medicine demonstrated that continuous drip Vitamin C infusion via IV was favored over single Vitamin C injection, followed by oral administration. There is only so much of Vitamin C that the body can absorb through the digestive system. When taken by mouth, Vitamin C levels in the blood plasma remained at their usual low. A study by Cameron and Pauling performed in 1976 exposed that survival lengths of terminally ill cancer patients increased only when they were treated with intravenous Vitamin C infusions followed by oral supplements; the oral supplements alone had no effect on survival length.
Research by Ms. Emily Demino
How Does Vitamin C help treat Cancer and Cardiovascular Diseases?
Vitamin C, also called ascorbate, is an antioxidant that boosts immune function, increases resistance to infection, and protects against many diseases. When introduced into patients via IV infusion, it has been found to mitigate symptoms of cancer and cardiovascular diseases. It should not be thought of as a “miracle drug” that can prevent or eliminate said diseases, but instead should be thought of as an alternative treatment. Once incorporated intravenously the vitamin is able to reach much higher levels in the blood plasma than vitamin C tablets taken by mouth, and is therefore much more effective.
Vitamin C infusions given to terminally ill cancer patients have been shown to improve symptoms and prolong the lives of their patients. When given simultaneously with chemotherapy, the vitamin kills the harmful cancer cells while also eliminating chemotherapy toxins that pollute the patient’s body. There are numerous documented cases of patients who when given vitamin c infusions in conjunction with their chemotherapy treatments have lived longer than their predicted life expectancies (check provided attachment for stories).
Vitamin C infusions also help restore and reverse coronary heart disease in smokers, who are very prone to developing cardiovascular diseases and problems. Smoking causes oxidative damage to the endothelium tissues in epicardial arteries and results in lower vitamin C levels in blood plasma due to this oxidative stress. Smoking also decreases microcirculation and blood flow, further heightening cardiovascular problems. Infusions have been shown to reverse and restore these dysfunctions in smokers by increasing their plasma vitamin c levels. Further studies have also concluded that a high diet of vitamin C, even in non-smokers, has also been found to decrease the risk of coronary diseases.
Research by Ms. Jennifer Duffy
The Role of Vitamin C in Cancer Treatment
When the body is under stress, vitamin C reserves are depleted, creating a scurvy-like condition that weakens its immunity. This condition has been noted in cancer patients, and recent studies have explored the possible role of IV vitamin C as an adjuvant to more conventional cancer treatments. Certain forms of immunotherapy, for example, are potent cancer treatments but are not widely used due to associated toxicity. Administration of IV vitamin C in conjunction with immunotherapy has been shown to decrease toxicity to non-cancer cells while enhancing the efficacy of the cancer treatment. The increased concentrations of vitamin C achievable by IV administration combat the scurvy-like condition many cancer patients suffer from, leading to greater quality of life during treatment. Vitamin C, while an antioxidant in non-cancer cells, specifically induces cell death in tumors. Because of these unique and specific anti-tumor mechanisms, clinical trials are underway to determine if vitamin C may be an effective stand-alone cancer treatment in the same way chemotherapy and radiation are. Phase I trials have demonstrated the vitamin C is safe and tolerable at doses as high as 75 g per individual, and phase II trials are underway to determine its efficacy.
Research by Ms. Christina Perri
How does Vitamin C IV Infusion help to treat Epstein-Barr Virus?
Vitamin C in high concentrations has been supported to be beneficial to those who suffer from various medical conditions from Cancer to viral infections, such as the Epstein-Barr virus. The problem is that the traditional oral route of vitamin C administration cannot reach the plasma concentrations needed to be effective, even when taken in the highest amount that can be tolerated, 3g. However, the tight control of vitamin C plasma concentration can be bypassed when administered intravenously allowing for doses as high as 100g to be used.
Through a study done with healthy volunteers, it was concluded that with intravenous administration the plasma concentrations could be up to 70-fold higher than with oral administration. The oral administration experiences a plateau when increasing the dose to the highest tolerated amount, resulting in a peak plasma concentration of 206 μmol/L. In contrast, when 100g of vitamin C are administered intravenously, the resulting peak plasma concentration would be 15,380 μmol/L. It was then proposed that ascorbyl radicals can start to be detected at a plasma concentration of 1000 μmol/L, and therefore would be effective in the treatment of conditions such as Epstein-Barr virus (EBV).
Also, a study was done on approximately 200 patients displaying elevated levels of IgG or IgM, two antibodies when elevated signify the presence of EBV. These patients were also experiencing chronic fatigue and an impaired immune system. The results of the study showed that vitamin C IV infusion therapy had a positive effect on the virus duration as well as reduction in the IgG and IgM antibody levels. Viral infections such as EBV are linked to oxidative stress. By giving high doses of vitamin C, the ascorbate can help stimulate a reducing environment in the body, and therefore neutralize the oxidative stress. Through this study, it was found that the effectiveness of the IV vitamin C treatment is directly related to the number of treatments that the patient undergoes. The percent improvement experienced with each proceeding treatment was 2.7±0.7%. These studies show the potential of vitamin C IV infusion as treatment for patients who are suffering from EBV. There is currently no treatment for EBV and these more recent studies of the effects of the high doses of vitamin C on the virus are holding much promise thus far.
Research by Ms. Jessica L. Silvestri