You may know that vitamin C is an important vitamin found in all fruits and vegetables, but which cannot be produced by the body. You may also know that scurvy (a disease not just common among pirates) is caused by a severe lack of vitamin C and brings symptoms of “extreme weakness, lethargy, easy bruising, and bleeding.”1 The effects of vitamin C, which can be taken in a variety of forms, are indeed wide ranging and help to maintain the regular function of the body.

If you are not getting the needed amount of vitamin C in your diet, it can even be taken as an oral nutritional supplement; when administered via intravenous (IV) infusion, however, vitamin C can reach much higher levels and bring much greater benefits. Not only does vitamin C help “fight infections, heal wounds, and keep tissues healthy,” IV vitamin C has also been “studied in the prevention and treatment of some types of cancer”1 since the 1970s.

The use of IV (or high-dose) vitamin C in cancer treatment is based on the theory that vitamin C can help restore changes in connective tissues caused by certain cancers. Several lab studies have shown treatment with high-dose vitamin C “slowed the growth and spread of prostate, pancreatic, liver, colon, malignant mesothelioma, neuroblastoma, and other types of cancer cells.”1 The pro-oxidant effect of high-dose IV vitamin C has also shown anti-inflammatory activity resulting in suppression of tumor proliferation, angiogenesis, and metastasis.2

To learn more about the study of high-dose vitamin C in cancer treatments, visit the National Cancer Institute’s website here.

For more on high-dose vitamin C and other IV nutrition therapies, talk with your doctor or connect with one of our pharmacists for information.

References:

  1. https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/treatment/cam/patient/vitamin-c-pdq#section/_3
  2. Grosso G, Bei R, Mistretta A, et al. Effects of Vitamin C on Health: A Review of Evidence. Front Biosci (Landmark Ed.) 2013; 18:1017-29.

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