Intravenous Vitamin C and Cancer Therapy

Intravenous Vitamin C and Cancer therapy

Intravenous Vitamin C and Cancer Therapy

What is the relationship between intravenous Vitamin C and Cancer Therapy? We take a closer look and share why IV therapy differs from oral ingestion when combating cancer.

What is a Vitamin?

The classification of vitamins as micronutrients may fool you into thinking their functions in the body are negligible when actually they are indispensable in protecting our health. Coming from the Latin word vita meaning life, vitamins are essential nutrients that our bodies need to perform an unending list of functions including, from the metabolism of macronutrients, immune modulating, protecting our nervous systems, bone health and maintenance, the list goes on. Think of vitamins as keys that unlock various pathways. Without the key, the pathway would not occur.  

What is the Deal with Vitamin C?

Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin, which means that it can travel freely in our bloodstreams. The kidneys mainly monitor the homeostasis of Vitamin C in our blood. Being water soluble, Vitamin C is excreted via urination, and therefore frequent consumption of it is required.  

Some important functions of Vitamin C include:

  • Assists in the biosynthesis of:
    • Collagen – a protein required for wound healing and skeletal system.
    • Carnitine –  a compound used to obtain energy from fatty acids.
  • Is a powerful antioxidant that readily donates its electrons to free radicals that can damage tissues and fluids like a soldier on the front line sacrificing itself.
  • Is an immune modulator which is important in the function of white blood cells.

Because Vitamin C is so important in protecting us, it can become quickly depleted when we are exposed to prolonged oxidative stress, such as chronic illnesses or medication use. This is where supplementation is important, although recommended under the guidance of a healthcare professional to avoid toxicity.

Cancer

Is a general term describing a group of diseased cells that grow and spread uncontrollably. Excess tissue formed by these cells is called a tumour. Tumours ‘live’ by promoting the growth of new blood vessels, providing its own supply of nutrients and compete with normal cells for nutrients and space. Left unchecked, tumours can kill normal cells and compromise the normal function of the organ that the tissue is a part of, such as the brain, pancreas, or lungs to name a few.

Currently, the main medical treatments for cancer such as chemotherapy, radiation or surgery are severe, risky and typically have many side effects.

Vitamin C and Cancer

Vitamin C and cancer research began in the 1970s but was rejected by the medical community by the mid-1980s. It wasn’t until the 1990s when further investigation revealed a major discrepancy in past research, as the initial studies used both oral and intravenous (IV) administration, whereas the study in the mid-1980s only studied oral administration. Further research revealed that there is a major difference between the two forms of supplementation.

How we introduce Vitamin C into the body has a significant effect on how much it is  used and how long it stays in our blood.

Oral supplements are subject to the body’s tight control mechanisms such as absorption through the intestine, accumulation in tissue, renal reabsorption and excretion which means that not all of the Vitamin C we consume orally is available.

IV administration goes directly into the bloodstream so all of the Vitamin C administered is available. The below graph demonstrates that the same dosage of Vitamin C administered through IV has a higher plasma level for a longer period of time compared to oral supplements.

Intravenous Vitamin C and Cancer Therapy

Chen, Q., Polireddy, K., Chen P., & Dong, R. (2015). The unpaved journey of vitamin C in cancer treatment. Canadian Journal of Physiology & Pharmacology, 93(12), 1055-1063.

In vitro studies have shown that Vitamin C can induce the death of cancer cells without affecting the surrounding tissues or the function of white blood cells, keeping the organs and immune system functioning. Clinical studies over the last decade have demonstrated that Vitamin C also has minimal toxicity effects while increasing the quality of life for cancer patients, and in some cases reduces the toxicities associated with chemotherapy treatment.  

How Vitamin C works against cancer cells is still being researched due to the wide variety of cancer cells and types. So far, studies show that Vitamin C kills cancer cells by depleting their energy production, essentially starving them as documented with lung and prostate cancer cells.

Now Vitamin C is being administered alongside other cancer treatments as research indicates that Vitamin C has the potential to be an “effective, low toxic, readily available and inexpensive cancer therapy.” (Chen, 2015).

Contact our staff for personal consultation and details on Vitamin C IV treatments at The Dripclub.

References

Chen, Q., Polireddy, K., Chen P., & Dong, R. (2015). The unpaved journey of vitamin C in cancer treatment. Canadian Journal of Physiology & Pharmacology, 93(12), 1055-1063.

Tortora, G. J. & Derrickson, B. (2014) Principles or anatomy and physiology. United States of America: John Wiley & Son, Inc.

Whitney, E. (2017) Understanding Nutrition. (3rd ed.) Melbourne, VIC: Cengage Learning.