High dose Vitamin C found to suppress tumour growth

High doses of intravenous Vitamin C can help to significantly suppress the growth of cancerous tumours, according to a team of researchers from Poland and the U.S.

In a review published in the journal Molecules last month, lead author Blazej Rubis from the Poznan University of Medical Sciences claimed that data showed Vitamin C could be effective in prohibiting the growth of tumours in the pancreas, liver, prostate and ovaries and may also have benefit in the treatment of sarcoma and malignant mesothelioma.

“The addition of high doses of AA (ascorbic acid – Vitamin C) alone or in combination with standard cancer drugs significantly enhances suppression of tumour growth,” Rubis claims based on the findings of the review.

The method of administration was key to Vitamin C’s effectiveness according to the research team. Intravenous administration was found to deliver significantly better results than oral administration.

“When ascorbate (Vitamin C) is administered orally, only moderate increase in its plasma concentration is achieved. In contrast, when ascorbate is administered intravenously, concentrations in the millimolar levels are easily achieved although for a short period only,” the review states.

While the antioxidant-effects of Vitamin C were found to help in suppressing the growth of tumours, the review also found that the vitamin enhanced and promoted the effects of specific medications used to treat the tumours.

“…simultaneous administration of ascorbate (Vitamin C) with oxaliplatin or irinotecan (cancer drugs) inhibited tumour growth in vivo, and the effect was significantly higher compared to that of these compounds alone.”

The implications for future study into potential cancer treatment is promising as Vitamin C is well tolerated by almost all patients, even those with compromised immune systems.

The review was authored by scientists and researchers from The Greater Poland Cancer Centre, Poznan University of Medical Sciences and Brown University in the U.S.