Vitamin C Could Be New Treatment for Colorectal Cancer: Study

According to a recent study in the Journal Science, high intake of Vitamin C as indicated in lab tests performed on mice, aids in stopping cancer growth. The study revolved primarily around colorectal cancer cells that particularly had mutations in the KRAS and BRAF genes involved in cell growth. When these mutated cells were exposed to high plasma levels of vitamin C, the researchers found that the cells take in the oxidized form of vitamin C through a certain receptor that happens to be over-expressed in mutated cells. As a result, the cancer cells undergo oxidative stress, turning off the enzyme necessary for the mutated cells to reproduce.

“More than half of human colorectal cancers carry either KRAS or BRAF mutations, and are often refractory to approved targeted therapies,” the authors write in the abstract. “We report that cultured colorectal cancer cells harboring KRAS or BRAF mutations are selectively killed when exposed to high levels of vitamin C.”

As reported by National Cancer Institute, during cancer treatments, vitamin C is highly effective if it’s directed through intravenous (IV) infusion, through a vein directly into the bloodstream. Some studies have indicated that high consumption of vitamin C may alter the growth of prostate, pancreatic, liver, colon, and other kinds of cancer cells, but many of these studies were later found to be flawed, according to the Mayo Clinic. However, some other researchers still believe that vitamin C therapy may be helpful in combination with other standard cancer treatments like chemotherapy or radiation.


However, it is very important to note here that it is highly improbable that the findings can be of actual use. The conception that vitamin C can somehow stop cancer is highly controversial in the scientific world. Past research has examined the effect of vitamin C in cancer treatment since the 1970s, and the results are often contradictory.

Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third most common cancer in the US, with about 93,090 new cases recorded each year. Around 50% of those cases involve mutations in the KRAS and BRAF genes; these forms of the disease are more aggressive and do not respond well to current therapies. is generally thought to improve health because of its antioxidant effect, which prevents or delays some types of cell damage.

Even though the findings are very optimistic, scientists say that they need to do a lot more research in order to turn the new knowledge into the beginning of an effective colorectal cancer treatment program. Researchers have yet to ascertain if the results seen in mice will yield a similar outcome when done on human beings. If it does, the appropriate doses or the way it should be administered must be determinated as well.

The American Association for the Advancement of Science released the following statement: “Colorectal cancer cells with certain mutations ‘handle’ vitamin C differently than other cells, and this difference ultimately kills them, a new study shows. The idea that vitamin C could be an effective therapy for human cancer holds great appeal, but its track record in this arena has been highly controversial, with clinical studies producing contradictory results.”

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