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High dose intravenous vitamin C has shown to have a chemotherapeutic effect on cancer cells.
Vitamin C function:
Due to the extremely wide range of medical uses for vitamin C, it is interesting to note that cancer patients normally present with very low vitamin C levels.
Almost all animals synthesis vitamin C from glucose and this may explain why vitamin C has a very similar chemical structure to glucose. Due to cancer cells’ anaerobic respiration they require much more glucose to meet their energy needs. To compensate for this they have an increased number of glucose receptors on the membrane of the cell. These receptors actively transport vitamin C into the cancer cell, thinking it is glucose. In large doses vitamin begins accumulating in cancer cells and due to the extraordinary quantities a normally antioxidant substance starts behaving in a pro-oxidative way. Due to vitamins C’s affinity to iron and copper, it reacts intracellular with these and produces hydrogen peroxide. As hydrogen peroxide begins to accumulate it causes cell lyses. Therefore, extremely high doses of vitamin C will build up as peroxide in the cancer cells causing cell death in a manner similar to chemotherapy.
Supplementing vitamin C orally limits the dose to bowel tolerance. Whereas doses required for a chemotherapeutic effects need to have blood concentrations 200 times higher than possible through oral dosing.