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Vitamin C has been used for a long time and it happened to be one of the more important advancements in improving nutrition due to its ability to cure and prevent scurvy which was one of the leading causes of naval deaths of the time . It wasn’t until the 1970s when Linus Pauling, a Nobel Price winner developed a strategy to utilize intravenous vitamin C in patients battling cancer .
What Is High Dose Vitamin C Therapy?
High dose vitamin c therapy is the utilization of vitamin C in the treatment of cancer. It was found that vitamin C had the amazing ability to kill off cancerous cells. The reason for this was largely unknown at the time. Vitamin C is an essential nutrient for a variety of bodily processes. One of the most important aspects of it is its critical role in the synthesis/production of collagen. The original study conducted in the 19070s hypothesized that it might be effective against cancer because of the corresponding changes in connective tissue structures which could be caused by a lack of vitamin C. This led to the belief that high dose vitamin C supplementation could potentially benefit the advancement of cancer therapy.
What Is It Used For?
This is a type of treatment that is used in conjunction with other cancer treatments to kill off cancerous cells. Likewise, there have been numerous studies that have utilized a combination of high dose vitamin C along with traditional cancer treatments either to look at its added effectiveness or to see whether or not it can reduce negative side effects from traditional treatment. It has not been approved by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) as a treatment for cancer on its own.
What Dosages Are Commonly Used?
A lot of the therapies involve taking the dosages orally through a tablet. That being said, when it is given intravenously, it is capable of bypassing the digestive system. Therefore, it is capable of creating blood levels that are as much as 100 to 500 times higher than the levels that are seen through oral alternatives. As a result, it is seen to be much more effective than when taken through oral supplementation.
Benefits Of High Dose Vitamin C Supplementation:
- Kills Cancerous Cells – Newer studies have shown that vitamin C has the ability to single out and target cancerous cells through its generation of hydrogen peroxide. When vitamin C breaks down, it creates hydrogen peroxide which are capable of damaging cancerous cells even to the point of killing them off. Therefore, very high levels of vitamin C supplementation don’t damage normal unaffected tissue, but they are able to damage tumor tissue .
- Promising Studies – There is still a lot of research to be done, but there have been a number of promising studies that indicate it can be an effective treatment against certain types of cancer. There have even been various studies indicating that it may prove to be a useful addition to other effective drugs and cancer treatment methods. For instance, a study conducted in 2014 showed that patients that suffered from advanced ovarian cancer were able to have fewer side effects from the chemotherapy that they received because of the treatment with IV vitamin C. Therefore, there is some research indicating that it may indeed lessen the severity of cancer-related symptoms. Another study showed that those that suffered from pancreatic cancer who combined chemotherapy with high dose vitamin C therapy did not have their disease progress over the average of 6 months .
- Well-Tolerated – While there are certain subsets of people that should avoid this treatment due to associated risk factors, it has been generally well-tolerated among those that have been linked to various studies. This includes all of the different kinds of administration whether it be oral or through an IV. As mentioned, it has been shown that it can relieve associated cancer symptoms. Because there have been numerous studies that indicate that it doesn’t have a negative impact on traditional cancer treatments, there isn’t much risk associated with adding it to your treatment plan unless you are one of those who are likely to develop kidney stones or in the other groups with high-risk factors.
- Lessens Side Effects – There has been some research that showcases vitamin C’s effectiveness at not necessarily treating cancer itself, but minimizing the associated side effects of traditional cancer treatments. Two studies found that the patients that received an IV of high dose vitamin C had much better quality of life and fewer side effects than those that didn’t get the same supplementation . Therefore, when combined with treatments like chemotherapy, it may prove to be useful by reducing the negative side effects one faces throughout the course of the treatment.
- Alkalizes Salivary pH – An alkaline salivary pH is a metric of health progress. Disease states such as cancer manifest acidity in the body which promotes cancer proliferation. Nutritional therapy for cancer often utilizes an alkaline diet to promote a healing state in the body because at this higher pH level, there is an abundance of free electrons which neutralize the positively-charged free radicals (cancer and inflammation-causers). The pH test of saliva is a quick way for patients to monitor their own progress and see the impact of foods the same day they eat them. You can read more about the benefits of an alkaline pH in my article on the topic.
Overall, there has been a lot of promising research that has come out indicating high dose vitamin C may be an effective treatment against a variety of cancers. That being said, it has not yet been approved by the FDA as a treatment of cancer. Therefore, you will want to discuss the potential of using it with your doctor. While the use of intravenous high dose vitamin C has been well tolerated by the majority of patients in various studies, it is not recommended for those that have various conditions including hemochromatosis, G6PD deficiency, or even kidney disease .
Want to try high-dose vitamin C? Talk to your doctor. Here is a high-dose vitamin C supplement from American Pharmaceuticals (Vitality C) which is very popular right now, which provides 4,000 mg per scoop, and is commonly used three times daily. Dissolve it in a tasty beverage!