Vitamin C Pills Put to the Test for Cancer


Vitamin C “is not any stranger to controversy, as evidenced by the incontrovertible fact that over 40 years lapsed” from the time citrus fruits have been shown to remedy scurvy in the 1700s and the widespread implementation of consuming citrus to save lives. Is it attainable we’re in the midst of an analogous 40-year lag with research in the mid-1970s purporting to show that terminal most cancers sufferers treated with vitamin C lived 4 occasions longer and typically 20 occasions longer? I explore this in my video Vitamin C Supplements for Terminal Cancer Patients.

Researchers at the venerable Mayo Clinic determined to put vitamin C to the check, they usually failed to present any benefit. The survival curves for both groups of patients have been primarily similar. In reality, the one success story, a person with end-stage pancreatic cancer who had proven no response to any earlier makes an attempt at chemotherapy however began enhancing and was nonetheless alive 5 years later, was certainly one of the patients who received the sugar capsule placebos. It was official: Vitamin C didn’t work. “The apparently positive results reported…almost certainly resulted” from systematic bias when it comes to which historic controls have been chosen to examine with the remedy group, read the accompanying National Cancer Institute editorial.

Linus Pauling disagreed, arguing that the prior chemotherapy in almost all the Mayo Clinic research patients might have negated the effect of the vitamin C. If the vitamin C works by boosting your immune system but your immune system is first destroyed by chemo, the considering goes, no marvel it didn’t work. In the unique vitamin C research that confirmed exceptional benefit, only four out of the 100 patients had ever acquired chemo. The Mayo Clinic researchers have been skeptical, however “Pauling had a legendary status for being proper about all types of issues,” so “one might perhaps do worse than rely at least partly on Pauling’s awesome intuition.” Thus, a second, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled research was performed on patients with superior cancer, but, this time, those who had no prior chemotherapy.

Again, it was a spectacular failure.

Researchers found no measurable response. The cancer in the vitamin C group progressed just as quickly, and the patients on the placebo sugar drugs lived just as long. In reality, if something, the sugar capsule group lived longer. At two years, everyone in the vitamin C group had died, however there were still a couple of survivors in the placebo group who lived no less than previous three years. The researchers concluded that “high-dose vitamin C therapy is not effective against advanced malignant disease, regardless of whether the patient has had any prior chemotherapy.”

Because the Mayo studies have been taken as definitive, the medical group concluded that vitamin C was useless. However, in the Mayo Clinic research, they gave the vitamin C orally in dietary supplements, not intravenously. In retrospect, the route of administration might have been key.

In the unique research, Pauling and his researchers began out infusing 10 grams of vitamin C a day intravenously, whereas in both of the Mayo research designed to replicate the protocol, the researchers just gave individuals vitamin C dietary supplements to take orally. Patients have been sent residence to swallow 20 capsules a day. They obtained the similar dose, however 10 grams given orally is just not the similar thing as 10 grams given intravenously. They can’t be blamed for their ignorance, though. This reality wasn’t discovered until many years later.

It seems vitamin C concentration in our bloodstream is tightly controlled, such that for those who attempt to swallow greater than you’d get eating 5 servings of vegatables and fruits, your physique cuts down on the absorption in the gut. For example, in the event you go from consuming 200 mg to consuming about ten occasions extra (2,500 mg), the degree in your bloodstream solely goes up three mg per liter or quart of blood. “In contrast, because intravenous injection bypasses the intestinal absorption system,” it will probably result in super high blood concentrations—as in 100 to 200 occasions the degree you possibly can achieve taking vitamin C orally. Maybe that explains why the unique research seemed so promising however the follow-up studies have been so disappointing. This raises the controversial question of the re-evaluation of vitamin C in cancer remedy. Researchers responded to the problem and took up the mantle, and I talk about this in my video The Role of Vitamin C in the Treatment of Terminal Cancer.


To study more about the historical past of vitamin C and most cancers, see Intravenous Vitamin C for Terminal Cancer Patients.

To study extra about vitamin C, see Do Vitamin C Supplements Prevent Colds But Cause Kidney Stones? and What Is the Optimal Vitamin C Intake?.

Can consuming citrus shield towards cancer? Find out in Citrus Peels and Cancer: Zest for Life?.

In health,
Michael Greger, M.D.

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