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Vitamin C

Vitamin C puts the brakes on cancer cell growth

Wednesday, August 11, 2010 by: S. L. Baker, features writer
Tags: vitamin C, cancer, health news

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(NaturalNews) A half century ago, Linus Pauling began his pioneering research into how vitamin C impacts health (http://www.naturalnews.com/025802.html). Now, almost 25 years after Pauling's death, a new study backs up his contention that vitamin C has remarkable healing and protective benefits. In fact, now scientists have discovered how vitamin C may put the brakes on the growth of cancer cells.

Margreet Vissers, associate professor at the University of Otago's Free Radical Research Group in New Zealand, headed the study which was just published in the journal Cancer Research. "Our results offer a promising and simple intervention to help in our fight against cancer, at the level of both prevention and cure," Dr.Vissers said in a statement to the press.

She pointed out that the role of vitamin C in cancer treatment has been debated for years, with many anecdotal accounts claiming vitamin C can help in both the prevention and treatment of cancer. In earlier studies conducted by Dr. Vissers, she demonstrated the vitamin's importance in keeping cells healthy. And these findings suggested that vitamin C might be able to limit diseases such as cancer that involve cells that go haywire. In the case of a malignancy, for example, cells have unregulated growth.

So Dr. Vissers and her New Zealand research team decided to investigate whether vitamin C levels were lower in patients with endometrial tumors. They also looked to see whether these low vitamin C levels correlated with the aggressiveness of a malignancy and the resistance of a tumor to medical therapy.

The results? Tumors were less able to accumulate vitamin C when compared with normal healthy tissue and a lack of vitamin C allowed tumors to survive and grow more easily. Tumors with low vitamin C levels were found to contain more of a protein dubbed HIF-1 which helps cancer thrive and spread, even under conditions of stress.

The findings are important because they provide evidence for the first time of a relationship between HIF-1 and levels of vitamin C levels in cancerous tumors. And it appears treating cancer patients with adequate amounts of vitamin C might well reduce HIF-1, help limit the rate of tumor growth and increase the responsiveness to tumors to therapy. Vitamin C might even prevent the formation of solid tumors in the first place, according to Dr. Vissers media statement.

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