New study suggests that high dose of Vitamin C may effectively kill colorectal cancer cells having mutations. Ascorbic Acid or Vitamin C is known to be an effective component in the the treatment of some diseases and it regulates the body’s key functions too.
National Cancer Institute reports that vitamin C in high dose has been analyzed as a cancer treatment for patients since the 1970s. Clinical trials suggest that higher doses of vitamin C could actually play a role in slowing down the growth and spread of colon, liver, prostate, pancreatic, and many different kinds of cancer.
Findings of the study have been published in the magazine Science. Scientists claim that the factor that kills colorectal cancer cells with mutations is the unusual manner in which vitamin C deals with these cells resulting in their elimination.
It sounds amazing that a deadly disease like cancer may get a novel therapy using Vitamin C but earlier research in this field have proved to be unpleasant. Several clinical studies have been done but no prominent outcome has been achieved.
At present too, many clinical trials are in progress trying to find if a therapeutic effect may need a increased plasma level of Ascorbic Acid, which can be attained by simple intravenous administration instead of an oral one. However, it is still not known as to how the molecular mechanism works using which Vitamin C may demolish mutated colorectal cancer cells.
WebMD reports, Vitamin C is an essential vitamin and humans must get this from food products like fruits and vegetables. However, some animals have the ability to make it on their own. Citrus fruits are a rich source of Vitamin C.
Dr. Lewis Cantley of Weill Cornel Medicine in New York led a team of researchers and discovered that giving a high dose of Vitamin C may demolish the colorectal cancer.
Jihye Yun and colleagues further analyzed the nature of colorectal cancer (CRC) cells in humans that reveal some mutations in genes termed as KRAS and BRAF. These two genes are responsible for cell growth. Researchers show that these cells pick oxidized version of Vitamin C via a receptor which is over-expressed particularly in colorectal cancer cells with mutations.
This further results in oxidative stress and ultimately inactivates an enzyme that is needed for assisting in mutant cancer cell growth but avoiding normal cells. These findings are also in line with the cell culture results where researchers discovered that high Vitamin C dose given to mice suffering from colorectal cancer with the KRAS mutation also stopped cancer growth.
Based on this study, researchers may start to find if this reaction of vitamin C to mutant cancer cells could be further used to develop therapies based of high Vitamin C dose.
Source: EurekAlert Press Release