Breakthrough: Vitamin C destroys cancer cells

Breakthrough: Vitamin C destroys cancer cells

The new finding doesn't mean you can get rid of your cancer with orange juice, but it's a huge step forward for cancer research.

A groundbreaking new study has found that vitamin C is capable of stopping cancer cell growth dead in its tracks in a recent experiment with mice.

The study, which was published in the journal Science, found that vitamin C was capable of killing cancer cells in the two most aggressive forms of colorectal cancers, according to a report.

A research team gave high doses of vitamin C — about the same as you would find in 300 oranges — to mice that has KRAS or BRAF mutations of colorectal cancer, and they found that it effectively stopped tumor cell growth. Much more research will be required to understand this finding, but it is an important revelation that could change how these cancers are treated.

Upcoming tests will need to be done on humans to further verify if it is a good treatment.

Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer, with 93,000 people diagnosed with it each year in the United States. Half of those are one of the aggressive forms of colorectal cancer, which don’t respond to therapy treatments.

A news release from the American Association for the Advancement of Science stated: “Colorectal cancer cells with certain mutations ‘handle’ vitamin C differently than other cells, and this difference ultimately kills them, a new study shows. The idea that vitamin C could be an effective therapy for human cancer holds great appeal, but its track record in this arena has been highly controversial, with clinical studies producing contradictory results.

“Several ongoing clinical studies are exploring whether a therapeutic effect may require a high plasma level of vitamin C that can be achieved only by intravenous, not oral, administration. In the meantime, the molecular mechanism by which vitamin C might selectively kill cancer cells remains unclear.

“In this study, Jihye Yun and colleagues studied human colorectal cancer (CRC) cells with certain mutations in genes known as KRAS and BRAF, which regulate cell growth. They show that these cells take up the oxidized form of vitamin C through a certain receptor that is specifically over-expressed in the mutant cells. This leads to oxidative stress, which in turn inactivates an enzyme required for growth of mutant but not normal cells.

“Consistent with the cell culture results, the authors found that administration of high-dose vitamin C to mice bearing intestinal tumors with the KRAS mutation inhibited tumor growth. Moving forward, scientists can begin to explore whether the selective toxicity of vitamin C to these cells could be exploited to create vitamin C-based therapies.”

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