High dose of vitamin C fights cancer cells but are harmless to healthy cells, a new research has shown.


A study conducted by researchers from the University of Iowa, U.S., found that vitamin C creates hydrogen peroxide, a reactive oxygen species that causes damage to tissue and DNA.

Cancer cells are much less capable of removing this damaging hydrogen peroxide than normal healthy cells are, according to the research.

The researchers say high doses of vitamin C administered intravenously could help fight off cancer when used alongside standard chemotherapy and radiation treatments.


According to the study, high doses of vitamin C can bypass the stomach, which enables more of the nutrient to enter the bloodstream.

“In this paper we demonstrate that cancer cells are much less efficient in removing hydrogen peroxide than normal cells. Thus, cancer cells are much more prone to damage and death from a high amount of hydrogen peroxide,” says Garry Buettner, a professor of radiation oncology.

“This explains how the very, very high levels of vitamin C used in our clinical trials do not affect normal tissue, but can be damaging to tumor tissue.”


Researchers intend to test the treatment on pancreatic and lung cancer patients alongside standard chemotherapy or radiation, to ascertain if there is an improvement in outcomes.

It is hoped that high doses of vitamin C may someday become a standard treatment for cancer.

The new research was published online in the journal Redox Biology.


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