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Fighting Cancer with Vitamin C

Cancer cells have defective mitochondria, the parts of the cells that break down fats, proteins and carbohydrates into energy. In particular, mitochondria break fats down into low-energy compounds such as carbon dioxide. In effect, mitochondria are the engines of our cells, and in cancer, those engines are broken.

Cancer cells cannot metabolize fats well and obtain energy from glucose, which they also burn inefficiently. The broken engines of cancer cells thus produce partially digested chemicals, including many reactive oxygen species, or free radicals. With their internal poisons and inefficient metabolism, cancer cells can survive only by dissolving and destroying tissue around them so that they can spread around the body, eventually killing their host.

Vitamin C has been used as an effective antioxidant, but consuming it orally does not result in a high level in the bloodstream because the body controls vitamin C levels very tightly. With a half-life of about 30 minutes, any vitamin C consumed is gone in a couple of hours. When administered intravenously, however, the bloodstream level can reach several hundred times that of the oral administration method. Over a period of three to four hours, the cancer cells can be exposed to a very high level of vitamin C, which is thought to add stress to the already inefficient and toxic cancer cells.

Researchers at the University of Iowa gave high doses of intravenous vitamin C to cancer patients receiving chemotherapy regularly. Of nine patients with advanced cancer given two cycles of the treatment, the average length of survival increased from six months to 14 months. The treatment was very well tolerated, with no other side effects.

Although these results are preliminary, clinics where such therapy is used are anecdotally reporting additional increases in longevity among patients receiving intravenous vitamin C treatments; they seem to be outliving their prognoses.John Whitcomb, MD


John Whitcomb, M.D., is the owner of the Brookfield Longevity Medical Clinic, where he administers intravenous vitamin C therapy. Location: 17585 W. North Ave., Ste. 160, in Brookfield. For more information, call 262-784-5300 or visit LiveLongMD.com.

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