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Cancer Cells Slayed by Vitamin C

Posted on March 15, 2017, 6 a.m. in Cancer Stem Cell Research Vitamins

Research shows that Vitamin C is able to effectively pinpoint and kill cancer cells.

Most people think vitamin C is helpful to fend off colds, sore throats and sinus infections. Though vitamin C certainly boosts immune system functionality, it does plenty more for the human body. Recent research indicates this vitamin is also important in the quest to combat cancer.

Though there are numerous cancer therapies available, the majority cause unpleasant side effects. Some such treatment modalities are even toxic. In certain cases, cancer does not respond to the treatment modality, leaving doctors puzzled as to the next course of action. At the moment, the medical community believes cancer stem-like cells are responsible for cancer's return and metastasis. This is precisely why doctors and cancer patients across the globe are welcoming vitamin C as a cancer cell-killer with open arms.

Cancer's Rapid and Expansive Rise

The World Health Organization (WHO) reports cancer is responsible for about 9 million deaths per year. The number of new cancer cases across the world will likely grow by about 70 percent in the next two decades. It is even more shocking to learn that the National Cancer Institute estimates nearly 40 percent of men and women living in the United States will develop cancer at one point in their lives.

The Latest Research


Recent research published in Oncotarget, describes the effectiveness of natural substances, a clinic drug and several  experimental drugs in the quest to halt cancer stem cell growth. The research was conducted at the University of Salford. Dr. Gloria Bonuccelli spearheaded the study. Her research team gauged the impact of more than half a dozen substances. They keyed in on the bioenergetic processes of cancer stem cells that allow cancer to live and expand. The team's goal was to disrupt the metabolism of the cancer stem cells and cease their expansion.

Study Results

Dr. Bonuccelli's research team found that actinonin and FK866 were highly effective compared to the other substances. Yet the natural substances tested were also able to prevent the creation of cancer stem cells. In particular, vitamin C was found to be 10 times more effective than the drug 2-DG as well as other experimental drugs.

Though it was already known that vitamin C is an anti-cancer agent, this study provides evidence that the vitamin specifically keys in on and neutralizes CSCs. Dr. Bonuccelli noted that other nontoxic compounds may also help combat cancer. The study also found that abscorbic acid functions by inhibiting the process in which glucose is broken apart in cell mitochondria and transformed into energy for cell proliferation. This process is known as glycolysis.

The Merits of Vitamin C


Vitamin C is completely natural, quite cheap and readily available. Linus Pauling, a winner of the Nobel Prize, has determined that this vitamin is extremely potent, nontoxic and quite the robust anti-cancer agent. Dr. Bonuccelli stated that vitamin C is a “promising agent” and could function as an add-on for additional, more conventional forms of cancer therapy. It is hoped that vitamin C will ward off tumor recurrence, metastasis and disease progression.

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Gloria Bonuccelli, Ernestina Marianna De Francesco, Rianne de Boer, Herbert B. Tanowitz, Michael P. Lisanti. NADH autofluorescence, a new metabolic biomarker for cancer stem cells: Identification of Vitamin C and CAPE as natural products targeting “stemness”. Oncotarget, 2015; DOI: 10.18632/oncotarget.15400

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