This time of year, it’s common to associate Vitamin C with cold and flu season, but another form of the powerful nutrient is making headlines:
Intravenous Vitamin C, or IVC, is becoming increasingly accepted as a supplemental treatment for cancer care.
It may come as a surprise that while doses taken by mouth act as an antioxidant, thus “popping Vitamin C” when we feel a cold coming on, extremely high doses administered intravenously turn the tables and elevate the nutrient to a pro-oxidant, which fights the body’s cancerous cells.
High doses of Vitamin C stabilize tumors
While widespread research continues and the benefits of IVC become more prevalent, we continually learn about its effectiveness and how it works: High doses of IVC lead to the production of hydrogen peroxide in cells, which give rise to superoxide anions, molecules that build up specifically around cancer cells. Why? Because normal tissue contains catalase, a common enzyme found in all living organisms exposed to oxygen, which catalizes hydrogen peroxide and breaks it back down into water and oxygen. As cancer cells generally do not have an efficient catalase system, the hydrogen peroxide builds up, leading to high levels of oxidation within the cells and, ultimately, cell death. Perhaps a bare bones explanation for the effectiveness of IVC, is that high doses of Vitamin C stabilize tumors—not by attacking the cancer cells themselves, but by working on nearby cells and tissues that surround cancerous cells.
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Of course, there are different theories about IVC and its use in cancer care, one being that the treatment opens up the blood brain barrier and allows other agents swifter access to cancer cells within the brain. However, most of what we’re learning about the outcome of intravenous Vitamin C is positive. And, as studies continue on the effectiveness of IVC, we have become privy to life-changing results stemming from the treatment:
- Increased quality of life
- Prolonged survival
- Working synergistically with conventional cancer therapies.
While Vitamin C is not a remedy for cancer, its uses and benefits are certainly a bright light on the path leading toward managing the disease, discovering additional supplements to treatment and, ultimately, a cure.