Cancer and Vitamin C
Cancer is more prevalent in our lives today than ever before. Either we have cancer or we know someone who does. It is a scary, overwhelming reality that many of us live in every day.
The medical community has worked hard to get to where it is with leading technologies in chemotherapy, immunotherapy, targeted radiation, and many other life-saving treatments. In light of these incredible advancements, and the overwhelming nature of a cancer diagnosis, it is so easy to miss that there are things we can all do to improve our immune system, combat the negative side effects of more aggressive treatments, and introduce cancer-fighting elements to our everyday life.
This is where Vitamin C comes in. You may know it from your mom’s cold-remedy, or an after school special touting the benefits of Vitamin C for growing kids. What often isn’t known is the incredible ways Vitamin C has been used as a tool in the cancer fighters arsenal for years.
Before we get into the ways Vitamin C can be used, we need to first discuss the science of how all cancer treatments target cancer cells.
Cancer is a culmination of our own cells that have mutated and then reproduced a couple billion times. These cells have mutated in such a way that they do not have the same cell-death cycle that our healthy cells have, so they continue to reproduce without dying off.
The trick to killing cancer is two-fold: Kill the tumor and kill the circulating stem cells (think of these like dandelion seeds in the wind). The tumor is the easier of the two, because we know where it is and can target treatments to it. This is where all conventional treatment focuses…kill the tumor and you’ve beat back the cancer’s stronghold.
Cancer cells are less stable and more fragile than their healthy cell counterparts in your body due to their mutation. What this means is that you can introduce things to your body that your healthy cells have a high enough threshold to survive that the cancer cells do not, and thus die out. This is what all treatments for cancer (from traditional to naturopathic) are attempting to do: Stress cancer cells in three primary areas: Chemical stress, heat stress, and oxygen stress.
Chemical Stress: These are your typical poison treatments like most chemotherapy. Their goal is to kill cancer cells before the healthy cells die off as well. It is often successful, but leaves behind a miriad of side effects because of the effect on your healthy cells.
Heat Stress: Cancer cells do not do well with temperature fluxuations, so being able to raise your core temperature has been shown in some studies to uniquely target cancer cell death while leaving your healthy cells alone. More on this in another post.
Oxygen Stress: Cancer cells hate highly oxygenated environments and studies have shown how they do not survive. This is where Vitamin C comes in.
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant found in a lot of different foods we eat everyday. Now, you may be thinking “anti…oxidant…doesn’t that mean less oxygen?” And this is exactly where Vitamin C has been so misunderstood.
When taken in high doses, lab studies have show that our bodies process Vitamin C into hydrogen peroxide in our blood stream. that hydrogen peroxide creates an increase in…you guessed it…OXYGEN in our system! Our healthy cells have no problem processing this form of oxygen with no downside.
BUT! (and this is where it gets cool), some studies have shown that cancer cells that absorb one of these hydrogen peroxide molecules DIE.
PLUS! Vitamin C has been shown to help protect healthy cells from aggressive treatments like chemo and radiation and increase the quality of life for people going through these treatments.
There have even been studies that suggest Vitamin C may even target those secret little cancer stem cells that cause so many problems for so many people!
There are three ways to get vitamin C:
Eat as much Vitamin C-rich foods as you can! This isn’t just fruit; broccoli, cauliflower, kale, peppers, tomatoes, and so many more vegetables are PACKED with vitamin C! Food is always the BEST way to get the nutrients your body needs, so don’t neglect that!
Picking bell peppers, tomatoes, and green beans from our garden this fall
Many doctors are promoting high-dose vitamin C as an IV drip. This has alot of benefits, because it bypasses your digestive system, so you get way higher doses of vitamin C, without the acidic affect on your stomach.
It can be pretty expensive for people and not covered by most insurance which makes it difficult for many people to afford.
Oral supplements are the way to go for everyone else. When added to a daily diet of vitamin C-rich foods, an oral supplement can increase your intake 10-fold. Because the supplement industry is so un-regulated, you have to be careful with brands you choose…of course discuss with your doctors before adding any vitamins or supplements to your daily regimen!
So, go get yourself some broccoli, pull up your Cancer Box Vitamin C, and get to work fighting your cancer!
Please remember that we are not doctors, we just want to share what we have learned through our journey with cancer. Please ALWAYS discuss specific treatments and supplementation with your doctor before introducing anything new! References: https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/treatment/cam/patient/vitamin-c-pdq https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6115501/ https://riordanclinic.org/research-study/vitamin-c-research-ivc-protocol/