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Monday, July 19, 2010

Study: Vitamin C helps in cancer fight

Vitamin C could play a key role in fighting cancer, a New Zealand study has shown.

University of Otago associate Professor Margreet Vissers, who is leading the Christchurch-based study, said there had been anecdotal accounts of vitamin C playing a beneficial role in cancer treatment, but her study was the first to give real evidence of a connection between the vitamin and tumour growth.

"Our results offer a promising and simple intervention to help in our fight against cancer, at the level of both prevention and cure," she said,

The study, published in Cancer Research journal, found tumours with low vitamin C levels had more of a protein called HIF-1, which allowed them to thrive in conditions of stress.

Prof Vissers said the findings were significant as they suggested it would be beneficial for people with cancer cells to have more vitamin C to limit tumour growth.

While this study suggests that we should all run out and stock up on Vitamin C, I have words of caution: Too much C may actually cause the reverse by bringing about conditions that are conducive to tumour growth!

Its all about the relationship between vitamin C and copper (Cu).  Low tissue Cu levels are common with some malignancies, generally the catabolic or highly metastatic types.  Patients suffering Hodgkin's disease have an elevated iron to copper ratio, especially in their lymph nodes.

Vitamin C is antagonistic to Cu in the body: Excess vitamin C may therefore deplete cellular stores of Cu.

Copper is a key component in normal cell functioning because it helps regulate cellular respiration.  When researchers added copper to the diet of lab animals, the mineral decreased tumour growth and slowed its spread and also increased survival rates.

There are a number of other conditions that are associated with low tissue Cu.  These include gout, hypertension, antibiotic sensitivity, hyperactivity, manic disorders, insomnia and osteoporosis.

So, while vitamin C is definitely very good for you, too much may cause more ill health than may be prevented.  It all comes down to figuring out how much is optimum.

My advice, based on the review of hundreds of hair tissue mineral analyses over the last four years is that 500-1,000mg of supplementary vitamin C in addition to daily fruit and vegetable sources is plenty enough.

Do not take more unless there is proper testing that shows the need.

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Wayne said...

not atypical of journalists, someone skim reads some research and sums it up an a couple of hundred words, making hte information ambiguous.
a lot of people will run out and take maybe a hundred mg a day of vitamin c, others maybe several grams
the forner will get dubious benefit, depending on the type of vitamin c they take, and if the research was using intravenous vitamin c then that is far more powerful than taking it orally especially if the oral form is straight ascorbic acid which isnt as well absorbed as forms like ester C.
the later group as gary points out stand to end up with a mineral imbalance causing its own prolems.
There are no miracle bullets. ther are any one oaf a number and possible combinsation of nutrients people could take to reduce the risk of vitamin C if they are short of those nutrients, the immune system requires all the 50 known essential nutrients in sufficient quantity for the immune system to function properly and avert health problems such as cancer.. too much vitamin c also deplets the body of zinc, magnesium, manganese, all essential and very important nutrients. it can also lower blood sugar levels. Get professional advice before following news articles like the one quoted here.

Anonymous said...

It is fantastic that professors are finally looking at the natural approach to cure cancer,and it is good that the fda has not banned it yet as well,
So when will they grow courage to say that vitamin b17 and hydrogen peroxide cures cancer?
My mun died from cancer this year, another chemo xradiated victim from the corperation terrorists!