(Photo : Keith Williamson/ Flickr)

Vitamin C also called Ascorbic Acid, is an essential nutrient that is needed for one’s normal development. But a new study suggests that the vitamin is even more beneficial.

In the study published at Science, a team led by Dr. Lewis Cantley of Weill Cornel Medicine in New York found out that high dose of Vitamin C can kill the cancer cells that cause colorectal cancer.

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According to the report by Medical News Today, the researchers derived this conclusion after they found that large volume of Vitamin C, which is calculated to be at the same amount contained in 300 oranges, weakened and killed the mutated BRAF and KRAS genes in mice.

These cancer cells are said to be aggressive and has been recorded as the leading causes of colorectal cancer, accounting to 50 percent of all cases.

The researchers explained that when Vitamin C entered our arteries, it was oxidized and some of its parts are changed into the so-called dehydroascorbic acid (DHA).

In the study, Dr. Cantley and his team found that this DHA acts as a “Trojan horse” once it enters the cells, explaining that when DHA is inside, natural antioxidants tries to revert it to ascorbic acid. However, instead of doing so, the natural antioxidants diminish eventually causing the cell to die due to “oxidative stress.”

Furthermore, the researchers emphasized that since BRAF and KRAS mutant cells require a lot of antioxidants to survive, the effect of DHA on the said cells are greater.

The researchers, nonetheless, pointed that a lot of research is still needed especially on the possible effects of the presence of a high volume of Vitamin C in normal cells.

According to Mayo Clinic, Vitamin C helps is important for growth as it helps the body absorb iron. Despite this, it added that too much of the said vitamin in the body can cause diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, heartburn, headache, insomnia and kidney stones.

However, Dr. Cantley and his fellow researchers are positive that this discovery is a stepping stone that will help in developing treatments for colorectal cancer which roots from BRAF and KRAS mutant cells.

Colorectal or Colon cancer, as described by WebMD, can start as a “small polyp”. Common symptoms of cancer include alteration in bowel movements including Diarrhea, rectal cramping and bleeding as well as dark patches of blood in stools, abdominal discomfort, fatigue, loss of appetite, weight loss and pelvic pain.