Similar to what you are probably thinking now, I was highly skeptical that high dose intravenous (IV) Vitamin C could reverse cancer. We eat food with vitamin C everyday in our diets and supplements. If Vitamin C were so good, it would have prevented cancer from developing in the first place, right? And hospitals around the world should be using this method by now!
But I decided to keep an open mind to research in scientific and medical papers on how Vitamin C works, and I am glad I did because I discovered from the National Cancer Institute that:
“Vitamin C has been studied as a treatment for patients with cancer since the 1970s. A Scottish surgeon named Ewan Cameron worked with Nobel Prize-winning chemist Linus Pauling to study the possible benefits of vitamin C therapy in clinical trials of cancer patients in the late 1970s and early 1980’s.”
“Laboratory studies have shown the following:
- Treatment with high-dose vitamin C slowed the growth and spread of prostate, pancreatic, liver, colon, malignant mesothelioma, and other types of cancer cells.
- Combining high-dose vitamin C with certain types of chemotherapy may be more effective than chemotherapy alone.”
Given the long research history and acknowledgement on cancer.gov that Vitamin C does help to slow growth of cancer, I decided Vitamin C deserves more research and understanding.
Vitamin C (also called ascorbic acid or ascorbate) is a nutrient that is not produced by our bodies, which means we must get it from food or supplement. It is common knowledge that Vitamin C is an antioxidant that lends an electron to free radicals in our bodies, preventing oxidative stress. What is not so commonly known is that Vitamin C IV hits therapeutic pro-oxidant levels (doctors have to draw your blood after Vitamin C IV to determine whether this pro-oxidant level is reached) usually at dosages >25g up to 100g. My mum received up to 75g but as her cancer markers decreased, she only needed 50g for Vitamin C IV to hit pro-oxidant levels.
Pro-oxidant are chemicals that induce oxidative stress, and when Vitamin C IV are given in such high concentrations, the antioxidant vitamin C will start behaving as a pro-oxidant as it interacts with intra-cellular copper and iron. This chemical interaction produces small amounts of hydrogen peroxide .
Why does pro-oxidant levels of Vitamin C that induces hydrogen peroxide kill cancer cells? And why does Vitamin C only target cancer cells? I summarize my learnings from Dr. Thomas Lodi:
Cancer cells lack or are completely deficient in many enzymes that normal cells have. One such enzyme is catalase, which transforms oxygen and water into hydrogen peroxide, and vice versa.
High doses of Vitamin C IV result in the production of peroxides in and around cells. Healthy cells use the hydrogen peroxide for certain metabolic needs and the excess is converted into water and oxygen.
Since cancer cells have very little catalase, they are unable to convert the hydrogen peroxide into water and oxygen, and consequently are oxidized and killed. So vitamin C is “good” for healthy cells and “bad” for cancer cells.
The National Institute of Health (NIH), the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have finally confirmed the research findings that Linus Pauling, PhD, Hugh Riordan, MD and many other scientists and physicians over the past few decades have conducted regarding the therapeutic utility of treating cancer with vitamin C.
The NIH study confirms in vitro, the hypotheses described by Riordan et al in “Intravenous Ascorbate as a Chemotherapeutic and Biologic Response Modifying Agent”:
- Tumor cells are more susceptible to the effects of high-dose, ascorbate-induced peroxidation products because of a relative catalase deficiency.
- Concentrations of ascorbate high enough to kill tumor cells can be achieved in humans.
Neil H. Riordan PhD. commented on the study, “It is gratifying to have our research on vitamin C and cancer confirmed by scientists at the prestigious National Institutes of Health.”
If you have also been reading about the Vitamin C debate between Linus Pauling&Cameron’s study and Mayoclinic, the observation I wish to highlight is HOW Vitamin C is administered affects its cancer-killing abilities. While Pauling and Cameron administered 10g vitamin C by IV, the Mayo participants were given the same dose orally. Quoting from Canadian Medical Association Journal, “Recent evidence shows that oral…Vitamin C (18 g/d) produces peak plasma concentrations of only 220 μmol/L, whereas intravenous administration of the same dose produces plasma concentrations about 25-fold higher. Larger doses (50–100 g) given intravenously may result in plasma concentrations of about 14 000 μmol/L. At concentrations above 1000 μmol/L, vitamin C is toxic to some cancer cells but not to normal cells in vitro. “ Clearly, a repeat of Pauling & Cameron’s study via oral Vitamin C would not yield the same results.
“Vitamin C is also necessary for the formation of collagen, an essential component of the extra-cellular matrix, which serves as a physical barrier to the spread of cancer cells. It has been suggested that vitamin C’s collagen building and maintaining properties are an important part of its anti-cancer properties.” 
If you do not have cancer, pro-oxidant levels of Vitamin C have also been shown to benefit arteries, by researchers from the University of Cardiff. For me, I decided to give Vitamin C IV (25g) a try to boost my immunity and to sweep up any free radicals I might have built up in my body. For comparison, I used to eat slow release 1500mg Vitamin C supplement a day, which is 1.5g which still has to go through my digestive track to be digested, vs the 25g Vitamin C IV that is directly in my blood stream in 1 hour. Sounds like a good lifehack for me and my friends have commented my complexion seems rosier :). But if you decide to try, please go to a proper clinic for the procedure. Any form of IVs has its risks of infection etc.
Everytime I post on a topic, some people will write to me privately asking if that post was the “magic bullet” for my mum’s cancer. Just want to clarify my mum is also undergoing other complementary treatments (I will slowly write about each one as mum recovers!):
- Raw Diet, Vegan Diet and Juice Fast
- Nefful Negative Ion Clothings from Japan
- Electro Lymphatic Therapy (ELT)
- Colon Hydrotherapy (Colonics)
- Saline Flush, Coffee Enema, Wheatgrass Implant, Probiotic Implant
- Vitamin C High Dose IV
- Vitamin B17
- Ozone Therapy
- Insulin Potentiated Therapy (IPT)
- Exercise with Oxygen Therapy (EWOT)
- Breathing and Pilates Classes
 “Intravenously administered vitamin C as cancer therapy: three cases” in Canadian Medical Association Journal, Authors: Sebastian J. Padayatty, Hugh D. Riordan, Stephen M. Hewitt, Arie Katz, L. John Hoffer, Mark Levine