Gary Moller: [DipPhEd PGDipRehab PGDipSportMed(Otago)FCE Certified, Kordel's and Nutra-Life Certified Natural Health Consultant]. ICL Laboratories registered Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis and Medical Nutrition Consultant.

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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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