Supplements And Cancer Risk
Studies suggest that people who eat a diet high in plant foods such as fruit, vegetables and wholegrain cereals have a lower risk for some types of cancer.
However in most cases it is not known which compounds is best when it comes to lowering the risk of cancer. There are likely to be important, but not yet identified, components of whole food that are not included in supplements.
Currently the only evidence to suggest that supplements can reduce cancer risk is for calcium supplements. There is probable evidence that taking calcium supplements of more than 200 mg per day protects against bowel cancer.
Evaluation Of Cam Therapies
It is important that the same scientific methods used to test conventional therapies are used to test CAM therapies. The National Cancer Institute and the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health are sponsoring a number of clinical trials at medical centers to test CAM therapies for use in cancer.
Conventional approaches to cancer treatment have generally been studied for safety and effectiveness through a scientific process that includes clinical trials with large numbers of patients. Less is known about the safety and effectiveness of complementary and alternative methods. Few CAM therapies have been tested using demanding scientific methods. A small number of CAM therapies that were thought to be purely alternative approaches are now being used in cancer treatmentnot as cures, but as complementary therapies that may help patients feel better and recover faster. One example is acupuncture. According to a panel of experts at a National Institutes of Health meeting in November 1997, acupuncture has been found to help control nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy and pain related to surgery. However, some approaches, such as the use of laetrile, have been studied and found not to work and to possibly cause harm.
Vitamins To Help Prevent Cancerinteresting
The World Health Organization estimates that one out of every six deaths is attributable to cancer. In 2017, the number of new cancer cases reported reached nearly 1.7 million. In this same year, cancer claimed the lives of over 600,000 people.
Many doctors wont admit it, but many cancer treatments do little to eradicate the condition. Consider chemotherapy, for example. It is probably the most widely prescribed treatment of adult cancer in the world. Want to guess the success rate of chemotherapy?
2 to 3 percent. Thats it. Put another way, chemotherapy fails 97 to 98 percent of the time. Take into account the horrible side effects of the treatment, and its little wonder why more cancer patients might choose a different route.
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Switching Genetic Control Mechanism Back On
DNA methylation switches off individual genes. Small chemical groups called methyl groups are added to stretches of DNA, making them inaccessible to the enzymes responsible for initiating gene expression.
This process is essential to normal cell function because an individual cell does not need to make use of the thousands of genes encoded in its DNA.
When a stem cell becomes a more differentiated cell type, certain genes must be demethylated, or have the methyl tag removed, to allow them to be switched back on.
But in the case of many leukemia patients, who have a mutation in a gene called TET2, this control mechanism does not function properly.
TET2 demethylates DNA and therefore allows access to certain genes. A mutation in TET2 in blood stem cells means that they do not develop into mature blood cells, leaving the body notoriously short of these vital cells. Instead, the stem cells continue to divide, resulting in blood cancers such as leukemia.
Luisa Cimmino, from the Department of Pathology at New York University School of Medicine, and colleagues used a genetically engineered mouse to study this.
In these mice, TET2 could be switched off in stem cells, leading to abnormal cell growth. When high doses of vitamin C were added, DNA demethylation was switched back on, and cell behavior returned to normal.
Research shows that both strategies may have merit. But can cancer patients look to vitamin C for real hope?
Killing Cancer With Vitamin C: Hype Or Hope
There are few cancer treatments that give patients long-term hope of survival. Could vitamin C be the missing link?
The number of people who die from cancer each year in the United States has gradually been falling. While this might seem to be good news, cancer remains the
, the cancer death rate for men fell by 1.8 percent between 2004 and 2013, by 1.4 percent for women during the same period, and by 1.4 percent for children between 2009 and 2013.
But 1,960 children still died from cancer in 2014, and 595,690 adults died in 2016.
For patients, family members, and friends, as well as those involved in cancer care and research, these numbers are a stark reminder that despite the many medical advances of the past century, cancer still holds a firm grip on our lives.
The use of vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, as an alternative method to treat cancer has been making headlines since the 1970s, and Medical News Today have reported on a number of such studies over recent years.
In this article, we examine the latest scientific and medical findings and ask the question: Is vitamin C the panacea that some believe it to be?
enzymes . Instead, we need to consume this essential vitamin in our diet.
Vitamin C has several crucial functions, including playing a key role in the production of collagen, which is the central component of connective tissue.
Three different mechanisms have recently been described.
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Antioxidants As Part Of Your Cancer Diet
Antioxidants are substances that inhibit the oxidation process and act as protective agents. They protect the body from the damaging effects of free radicals . Free radicals attack healthy cells, which changes their DNA, allowing tumors to grow. Research is underway to investigate the role of antioxidants in decreasing the risk of developing cancer.
Can Vitamin C Protect You From Covid
You may have noticed the vitamin C section of the supplement aisle looking bare these days or seen the claims on social media that vitamin C can help with COVID-19.
While physicians and researchers are studying the effects of high dose intravenous vitamin C on the new coronavirus, no supplement, including vitamin C, can prevent or treat COVID-19.
This article reviews what vitamin C is, how it affects immunity, how its being tried for COVID-19 treatment in a hospital setting, and whether taking an oral supplement is beneficial.
Its also involved in a number of biochemical processes, many of which are related to immune health .
The Daily Value for vitamin C is 90 mg per day, but breastfeeding women need an extra 30 mg and people who smoke need an extra 35 mg per day .
Its pretty easy to meet your vitamin C needs through your diet as long as you eat a variety of fruits and vegetables. For example, a single medium orange provides 77% of the DV, and 1 cup of cooked broccoli provides 112% of the DV .
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Putative Causal Associations Of A Site
Secondly, we performed a reverse MR to examine causal associations of site-specific cancer risk with circulating vitamin C concentrations. Genetic instruments of lung cancer, prostate cancer, breast cancer, colorectal cancer, and smoking initiation were obtained from the most up-to-date GWASs. Significant SNPs for lung cancer were reported by McKay et al. . The SNPs for prostate cancer were obtained from the PRACTICAL consortium . For breast cancer, we used 32 SNPs reported by Zhang et al. and 178 SNPs summarized by Ahearn et al. as instrumental variables . For colorectal cancer, we obtained significant SNPs provided by Law et al. . The independent SNPs for smoking initiation at the genome-wide level were identified from a GWAS study reported by Liu et al. . Summary-level data for the association between genetic variants and circulating vitamin C concentration were retrieved from the GWAS summary statistics of a recent GWAS of up to 52,018 individuals .
Associations Between Vc Intake And Cancers Of Nervous System
In the estimation of highest VC intake vs. lowest, we detected an inverse association of the risks of nervous system neoplasms: incidence of cervical neoplasms and glioma was decreased by 42% and 14%, respectively. Dose-response analysis showed that every 50 mg/day increment of VC intake was related to 8% decrease in the risk of cervical neoplasm . Furthermore, significant positive associations were also found in the American population and case-control studies in VC intake and glioma risk .
In subgroup analyses of cervical neoplasms, significant effect was observed in histological subtypes. VC intake was associated with reduced risk of invasive cervical carcinoma , considering stratification of geographic area, and studies from Europe and America showed that VC intake had a significant correlation with the risk of cervical neoplasm . When stratified by study design, inverse association of VC intake and risk of cervical neoplasm was revealed in population-based case-control and hospital-based case-control studies . When stratified by dose of VC intake, all the investigated concentrations of VC intake were significantly correlated with reduced incidence of cervical neoplasm .
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Starving Cancer Cells From The Inside
Making use of the cancer cells own metabolic pathways is key to the findings of Michael P. Lisanti, from the Biomedical Research Centre at the University of Salford in Manchester, U.K., and his colleagues.
In a cell model, they showed that cancer stem cells rely heavily on mitochondria for their metabolism. Mitochondria are small structures within cells that generate energy. Glycolysis and mitochondrial metabolism are intricately linked.
Once energy is released from glucose by glycolysis, the end product of this pathway, pyruvate, is taken into mitochondria, where it is the starting point for a series of biochemical reactions that release energy from the molecule.
Lisantis work is in agreement with the findings of Dr. Cantleys study: vitamin C induces oxidative stress in CSCs and inhibits a key enzyme involved in glycolysis.
No glycolysis means no pyruvate, which, in turn, means that the mitochondrial powerhouses cannot generate any energy. The CSCs starve as a result.
And in a follow-up study, the researchers used this knowledge to design a new way of killing CSCs by using a combination of antibiotics and vitamin C. Some antibiotics, such as doxycycline, affect how well mitochondria work.
Treating CSCs with this antibiotic knocked out mitochondrial function, leaving the cells dependent on glycolysis to generate enough energy to keep them alive. But hitting CSCs with a dose of vitamin C shut off that alternative by inhibiting glycolysis.
Myth: Vitamin D Can Help Prevent All Cancers
There isnât enough evidence to recommend vitamin D for every form of the disease. In fact, one large study found that taking vitamin D3 and calcium did not lower the overall chances of getting cancer in healthy women after menopause.
Plus, when scientists reviewed the results of several studies, they found that vitamin D does not seem to lower the odds for several kinds of cancer, including:
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What Are Antioxidants And Phytochemicals
Researchers say that its not just the vitamins and minerals alone that help protect against cancer. Its also the special forms of vitamins and minerals in foods or their combination with other substances in foods.
Its best to choose whole foods, rather than take vitamin and mineral supplements.
Antioxidants are chemical substances found naturally in many foods. Certain vitamins and minerals found in many foods, especially vegetables and fruit, act as antioxidants. Some types of antioxidants are:
- vitamin A
Phytochemicals are natural compounds found in plants. All vegetables and fruit and many grains contain phytochemicals. They are what give vegetables and fruit their vibrant colours. Some phytochemicals act like antioxidants. Some types of phytochemicals are:
Antioxidants protect the bodys cells and tissues from free radicals, which are made when our bodies use oxygen. Free radicals can damage cells, which may lead to cancer. Antioxidants are thought to help protect cells by removing free radicals before they cause damage.
Phytochemicals may help reduce the risk of cancer, but there is still a lot to learn about the activity of phytochemicals and their protective effects.
The best way to benefit from different antioxidants and phytochemicals is to eat a variety of vegetables, fruit and grains each day.
A Mixed Basket Of Results
This leaves us with a question: could a high dose vitamin C jab be used to treat cancer? So far, the evidence is mixed.
In the most recent studies, results tentatively support the idea that high-dose vitamin C has potential as a cancer treatment. But this is far from clear-cut.
The first study tested vitamin C as a treatment in mice with blood cancer, and found that injecting high doses of vitamin C slowed down the progression of the disease.
But as mice are very different to people, this has some way to go before we can say that vitamin C will help treat cancer patients.
The other study was testing the safety of high dose vitamin C injections in people with either non-small cell lung cancer or glioblastoma, an aggressive type of brain tumour, not if its an effective treatment. These tests would follow only if the injections are safe.
This early work showed that doctors could safely inject high doses of vitamin C into patients, but as they only tested it in a small number of people its hard to say if this would be the same for everyone.
This is far from the clear-cut answer some headlines would have you believe. Especially considering neither study looked at long term effects of a vitamin C jab in people, and to date theres no evidence that vitamin C improves cancer survival.
Some studies have even suggested vitamin C could interfere with some anti-cancer drugs, with one study showing it may even protect breast cancer cells from the drug tamoxifen.
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Study Selection And Data Acquisition
Two authors independently assessed the eligibility of all trials identified from the databases and bibliographies. Disagreements on study eligibility were resolved by consensus or through consultation with the other author . From the studies selected for the final analysis, we retrieved the study name , country, study design, duration of supplementation , pharmaceutical industry funding, participants , contents of intervention and control, type of cancer, and the number of outcomes and participants in each group.
Questions And Answers About High
Vitamin C is a nutrient that is found in food, such as oranges, grapefruit, papaya, peppers, and kale, or in dietary supplements. Vitamin C is an antioxidant and helps prevent damage to cells caused by free radicals. It also works with enzymes to play a key role in making collagen. Vitamin C is also called L-ascorbic acid or ascorbate.
Vitamin C may be given by IV infusion or taken by mouth. Much higher blood levels are reached when vitamin C is given intravenously. When given by intravenous infusion, vitamin C can reach higher levels in the blood than when it is taken by mouth.
In laboratory studies, tumor cells are used to test a substance to find out if it is likely to have any anticancer effects. In animal studies, tests are done to see if a drug, procedure, or treatment is safe and effective. Laboratory and animal studies are done in animals before a substance is tested in people.
Laboratory and animal studies have tested the effects of high-dose vitamin C. Laboratory studies suggest that high levels of vitamin C may kill cancer cells. See the Laboratory/Animal/Preclinical Studies section of the health professional version of High-Dose Vitamin C for information on laboratory and animal studies done using high-dose vitamin C.
Studies of IV vitamin C combined with other drugs
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The best way to cite this PDQ summary is:
PDQ® Integrative, Alternative, and Complementary Therapies Editorial Board. PDQ High-Dose Vitamin C. Bethesda, MD: National Cancer Institute. Updated < MM/DD/YYYY> . Available at: . Accessed < MM/DD/YYYY> .
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Associations Between Vc Intake And Other Cancers
We also detected significant associations in ascorbic acid intake with incidence of lung cancer and total cancer comparing highest intake with lowest. Intake of VC was not related to risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma . When estimating the dose-response effect of VC on these cancers, the results of pooled estimations showed 7% decrease in incidence of lung cancer and total cancer with 100 mg/day increment of VC intake.
Results from subgroup analyses showed that significant relationship between VC and total cancer incidence was observed in studies in Asia , study with cases more than 1,000 , study quality of 7â9 points .
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