Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Vitamin C: Common Food Chemical in our Diet with Amazing Anti-Cancer activity



Vitamin C or L-ascorbic acid or Ascorbate is an essential nutrient for humans and other animal species. Vitamin C as a chemical refers to a number of vitamers that have vitamin C activity in animals, including ascorbic acid and its salts, and other oxidized forms of the molecule, like dehydroascorbic acid. Ascorbate and ascorbic acid are both naturally present when either of them is introduced into the cells.

As food chemicals, vitamin C is widely used as a food additive to prevent scurvy and more importantly, oxidative stress. This food chemical can be oxidized in the human cells by the enzyme, L-ascorbate oxidase. Vitamin C is essentially a healthy thing to eat in foods in both an anti-cancer and non anti-cancer diet,
because this food chemical is a highly effective antioxidant, acting to reduce oxidative stress. As an antioxidant, it acts as a reducing agent to reverse oxidation. The importance of vitamin C in human health, as it concerns the removal of free radicals, cannot be over-estimated. When the number of free radicals exceeds that of antioxidants in normal cells, oxidative stress sets in and the impact of this can set a series of events that may lead to cardiovascular disease, hypertension, inflammatory diseases and cancer. One researcher study even goes all out to say that the reduction in the amount of vitamin C taken into the body can lead to cancer. Vitamin C reduces the amount of uric acid in the serum in other to help prevent gout.



As part of our anti-cancer diet, vitamin C is found as a food chemical in many foods, fruits and spices. Some of foods with high concentration of the food chemical, vitamin C includes red and green chili peppers, guavas, bell peppers, dark green leaves, broccoli, kiwi fruits, papayas, oranges and strawberries. Although there are lots of fruits with vitamin C, the above named fruits are known to have the most concentration of the food chemical.

As a food chemical with anti-cancer activity, two researchers, Dr. Linus Pauling and Dr. Ewan Cameron were the first people to propose the use of vitamin C for cancer therapy in the 1970s. They proposed that if the concentration of the normal body requirement for vitamin C is increased four-fold, and give intravenously, it will kill-off cancer cells. Their theory was disproved at that time by the medical community but about 30 years later, the National Institute for Health has finally conceded that intravenously administered vitamin C does indeed kill cancer cells. The use of this food chemical intravenously for anti-cancer purposes is growing in popularity around the world as positive research continues to accumulate and build a strong case based on its anti-cancer ability. Some research studies also show that oral doses of vitamin C, if taken at a frequency so as to achieve the required four-fold concentration in the serum, can also kill cancer cells.

Another vital property of this food chemical in our anti-cancer diet is its remarkably low toxicity even at high dosage. High dosages of vitamin C (up to 5000mg) are cytotoxic to a wide variety of cancer cell lines with no effect on normal cells. Also, it has been shown that vitamin C can boost the anti-cancer activities of several commonly used chemotherapeutic drugs. One study showed that this food chemical, vitamin C can counter the toxic effects of the anti-cancer drug, Taxol. It even went further to explain that when uses simultaneously with vitamin C,Taxol kills more cancer cells than when used alone.

Furthermore, in rats, vitamin C has shown significant decreased growth rates in liver, ovarian and pancreatic tumors with dosages that can be easily achievable in humans. Currently, there about six clinical trials testing (vitamin C alone and coupled with chemo drugs) in human patients against lymphoma and colon, breast, uterus, cervix, prostate, pancreas and other types of cancer. Some school of thought may still doubt the anti-cancer properties of vitamin C but all research studies have agreed that this food chemical improves the quality of life of cancer patients. Intravenously administered vitamin C has been proven to improve the quality of life of breast cancer patients.



One research study carried out by scientists in Cornell University explains why the food chemical, vitamin C, should be a vital part of our anti-cancer diet. The study states that vitamin C may prevent or fight cancer by preventing the inhibition ofthe Gap-Junction Intercellular Communication (GJIC). The inhibition of GJIC is induced by the production of Hydrogen Peroxide (H2O2) in normal cells. GJIC is essential for maintaining normal cell growth and the inhibition of such is strongly related to the carcinogenic process. Hydrogen peroxide inhibits GJIC by changing a special protein called connexin 43. Vitamin C as a reducing agent exhibits its anti-cancer properties by acting as an antioxidant to remove H2O2 from the cells.
NB: the most powerful weapon we have in the fight against cancer is prevention. A diet rich in phytochemicals from natural fruits will help to reduce the risk of cancer




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2 comments:

  1. I would like to thank for creating this interesting blog and i think most of the peoples are getting good knowledge from here get more about anticancer .Anticancer Manufacturer in India

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  2. wonderful research. I was unaware of these amazing benefits of vitamin C. Although, oranges are a big organ of vitamin C but there are some other super fruits are also available that have more amount of vitamin C. i would love to share your article.

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