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Vitamin C Shows Anti-Cancer Potential

The idea of using vitamin C to treat cancer patients has been popular since the 1970s, but research has been inconclusive as to its effectiveness. A recent study suggests that the inconclusiveness stems from the fact that previous studies did not utilize high enough doses of the vitamin.

Researchers for this study aimed at achieving blood concentration of 49 mM, which were obtained from a dose of 70 to 80 g/m2 of vitamin C in the form of ascorbic acid. This level was chosen after a previous study found that 30 to 40 mM only partially inhibited tumor growth in mice.

Participants included five groups of three patients who received 1 g/min of ascorbic acid through an IV for four consecutive days each week for four consecutive weeks. The researchers noted that the desired blood levels of vitamin C were achieved.

No antitumor activity was observed in this trial. However, the researchers plan to conduct another longer term study to determine if the higher dosage produces the same antitumor activity in humans as it did in mice..

Researchers from the Cancer Treatment Center of America conducted the study. It was published online ahead of print on May 14, 2013, in Cancer, Chemotherapy and Pharmacology.

Vitamin C is an essential nutrient that has been linked to numerous other health benefits including heart health, brain health, eye health and improved mood. It can be found in high levels in citrus fruits and dark leafy greens such as cantaloupe, oranges, kiwis, and papaya, and in dark leafy greens such as broccoli and kale.

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