Friday, February 3, 2017
Kill cancer cells with high doses of vitamin C.
Researchers at the University of Iowa explains that most vitamin C therapies involve taking the substance orally,but this route will not provide the dose to kill the cancer cells. The UI scientists have shown that giving vitamin C intravenously—and bypassing normal gut metabolism and excretion pathways—creates blood levels that are 100 - 500 times higher than levels seen with oral ingestion. It is this super-high concentration in the blood that is crucial to vitamin C's ability to attack cancer cells. In a new study, published recently in issue of the journal Redox Biology, Buettner and his colleagues have homed in on the biological details of how high-dose vitamin C kills cancer cells.The study shows that vitamin C breaks down easily, generating hydrogen peroxide, a so-called reactive oxygen species that can damage tissue and DNA. The study also shows that tumor cells are much less capable of removing the damaging hydrogen peroxide than normal cells. Normal cells have several ways to remove hydrogen peroxide, keeping it at very low levels so it does not cause damage. The new study shows that an enzyme called catalase is the central route for removing hydrogen peroxide generated by decomposing vitamin C. The researchers discovered that cells with lower amounts of catalase activity were more susceptible to damage and death when they were exposed to high amounts of vitamin C.