The Truth About Vitamin C and Cancer

  • 5 Jan 2010
  • Reading time 18 mins
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Vitamin C reduces your risk of cancer, and high doses are an effective anti-cancer therapy. See the latest compelling evidence.

First shown to be a powerful anti-cancer agent in 1971, it wasn’t until 20 years later that vitamin C started to be accepted by the mainstream medical profession. Eating a vitamin C-rich diet substantially reduces the risk of cancer, and high intakes – above 5000mg a day (the equivalent of 100 oranges) – substantially increases the life expectancy of cancer patients.

The overwhelming evidence is that a high intake of vitamin C correlates with a low risk for cancer. In January 1991, Dr Gladys Block, formerly with the National Cancer Institute, published a review [1] of vitamin C research which concluded that there was very strong evidence of a protective effect of vitamin C for non-hormone cancers. Of the 46 such studies in which a dietary vitamin C index was calculated, 33 found statistically significant protection. After completing a further review in 1991, Dr Block published a review [2] later that year of studies linking vitamin C with cancer prevention, Dr Block concluded:

“Approximately 90 epidemiologic studies have examined the role of vitamin C or vitamin-C-rich foods in cancer prevention, and the vast majority have found statistically significant protective effects. Evidence is strong for ­ cancers of the oesophagus, oral cavity, stomach and pancreas. There is also substantial evidence of a protective effect in cancers of the cervix, rectum and breast. Even in lung cancer there is recent evidence of a role for vitamin C.”

The first ever study in which vitamin C was given to cancer patients was carried out in the 1970s, by Dr Linus Pauling and Dr Ewan Cameron, a cancer specialist, working in Scotland. They gave 100 terminally ill cancer patients 10g (10,000mg) of vitamin C each day and compared their outcome with 1000 cancer patients given conventional therapy. The survival rate was five times higher in those taking vitamin C. By 1978, while all of the 1000 ‘control patients’ had died, 13 of the vitamin C patients were still alive, with 12 apparently free from cancer [3]. Other studies have confirmed these findings. Dr Murata and Dr Morishige of Saga University in Japan showed that cancer patients on 5–30g of vitamin C lived six times longer than those on 4g or less, while those suffering from cancer of the uterus lived 15 times longer on vitamin C therapy [4]. This was also confirmed by the late Dr Abram Hoffer in Canada, who found that patients on high doses ......

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