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POSTED ON JUNE 14, 2017 BY TORONTO FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE CENTRE
When it comes to treating cancers, did you know that taking high-dose vitamin C with chemotherapy could improve your well-being? If you’ve never heard of using vitamin C (ascorbic acid) to treat cancer in Toronto, you’re in for a surprise.
Researchers agree that intravenous vitamin C is a safe remedy in cancer treatments, including the treatment of colon, prostate and pancreatic cancers. But the key word here is intravenous.
Understanding Vitamin C Infusion Benefits
Unlike ingesting a vitamin C capsule, high-dose IV vitamin C is favourable because you take in higher concentrations of the vitamin through your bloodstream and in the cells. These high levels of vitamin C can produce hydrogen peroxide, which is a potent anti-microbial defense mechanism that fights off infections and immune challenges. Cancer cells are known to be extremely sensitive to hydrogen peroxide; so hydrogen peroxide (from IV vitamin C) is thought to cause cancer cells to break down.
According to studies, these benefits happen when you use IV vitamin C to treat cancer while on chemo can lead to an improved Quality of Life (QOL):
1. You won’t feel as tired.
Excessive fatigue is a result of chemotherapy cycles, even after fully completing your treatments. But research has proven that when IV vitamin C is administered, chemo-related exhaustion could be dwindled. In one study, it was revealed that a minimum of 4 weeks of IV vitamin C given to breast cancer patients (who were also treated with chemo and/or radiotherapy) significantly cut back fatigue.
2. You will notice an improvement in vitality.
In an article from the journal Frontiers in Oncology, chemotherapy-related lethargy was highlighted in a case study of a 45-year-old breast cancer patient. The patient was given 50 grams of IV vitamin C to treat cancer per session twice a week for one month. The outcomes were profound, revealing less pain and tiredness, as well as reduced vomiting, nausea and a loss of appetite.
3. There may be fewer side effects from chemotherapy.
Cancer patients may experience toxicity (or side effects) while undergoing chemotherapy, ranging from nausea to infections. But taking IV vitamin C along with chemo may decrease your chances of toxicity. In a study conducted on patients with stage III and IV ovarian cancer, patients were treated with six months of chemo and 75-100 grams of intravenous vitamin C twice a week for a year. The results? Toxicities lowered in a number of categories, including neurological, pulmonary, infection and gastrointestinal.
Integrating Vitamin C In Your Cancer Treatment
Are there any consequences to having vitamin C administered via IV? Intravenous vitamin C side effects are very minor. In fact, studies have proven that IV vitamin C is “well tolerated and has minimal side effects compared to most standard agents,” explains a paper from the journal Antioxidants & Redox Signaling.
With that, you’re invited to contact the Toronto Center of Functional Medicine today to learn more about IV vitamin C and its positive effect on your Quality of Life. Email us now to discuss integrating vitamin C into your cancer treatment.
Carr AC, Vissers MCM and Cook JS (2014) The effect of intravenous vitamin C on cancer- and chemotherapy-related fatigue and quality of life. Front. Oncol. 4:283. doi: 10.3389/fonc.2014.00283
Mikirova N, Casciari J, Riordan N, Hunninghake R. Clinical experience with intravenous administration of ascorbic acid: achievable levels in blood for different states of inflammation and disease in cancer patients. J Transl Med (2013) 11(1):191. doi:10.1186/1479-5876-11-191
Parrow NL, Leshin JA, Levine M. Parenteral ascorbate as a cancer therapeutic: a reassessment based on pharmacokinetics. Antioxid Redox Signal (2013) 19(17):2141–56. doi:10.1089/ars.2013.5372
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