We’ve all heard the phrase “an apple a day keeps the doctor away,” but new research suggests that another fruit should also be on our radar.
Scientists in Great Britain found that Vitamin C — found in great volumes in oranges — can provide significant help for cancer patients. Instead of buying oranges in bulk, however, researchers suggested introducing the vitamin in a more direct way.
They injected patients with very high doses of Vitamin C — about 500 times more than what they would get by increasing their consumption of oranges, kale, peppers and other Vitamin C-rich foods. Researchers found that this method was actually able to combat cancer 10 times more effectively than some cancer drugs.
The vitamin, comprised of ascorbic acid, prevents the breakdown of glucose in cancer stem cells, which stops the mitochondria from thriving. The process ultimately starves the stem cells, which are vital to the growth of a tumor.
The benefits of Vitamin C for cancer treatment have been studied for decades, but this is the first study to specifically examine the impact on cancer stem cell growth. Researchers involved with this trial said the results were “promising” and could signal a new course of help for cancer patients, especially when combined with chemotherapy.
But, the study is not without controversy, or critics.
Some scientists have cautioned that previous studies on Vitamin C have shown the nutrient can trigger a process that damages DNA, and others suggested it could actually interfere with some elements of chemo.
Most importantly, researchers emphasized that, since the study focused on injectable Vitamin C, cancer patients need to understand that changing their diet to incorporate more of the vitamin will be fruitless.