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An Unexpected Ally: Vitamin C For Cancer

Cancer affects an estimated 2 in 5 Canadians. Fortunately, there are many effective options for treating cancer. But, some of the side effects can reduce a person’s quality of life. Also, conventional medical treatments can deplete a cancer patient’s body of certain essential vitamins and minerals. This can leave them in a state of low resilience.

Supporting a person going through cancer treatments holistically can make a real difference. Both their treatment outcomes and their quality of life can be improved. Vitamin C may be an unlikely ally, but when it’s delivered in high enough doses it can help ease cancer symptoms, reduce the side effects of conventional treatments and boost a patient’s immune response.

Image [Left]: An orange with two green leaves surrounded by white tablets in the shape of the letter “C” Text [Right]: “Vitamin C may be an unlikely ally, but when it's delivered in high enough doses it has been proven to help ease the symptoms of cancer, reduce the side effects of conventional treatments and boost a patient’s immune response.”

What is Vitamin C?

Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is a water-soluble vitamin best known for boosting the immune system. But, it does a lot more for your body than you might think.

Besides boosting immunity, Vitamin C acts as an enzyme cofactor and antioxidant. (In other words, Vitamin C helps enzymes do the important work of fuelling the chemical reactions needed to build up or break down different substances in our bodies.)

Unfortunately, humans cannot produce Vitamin C on our own. We have to take it orally, through the foods we eat. Typically, maintaining healthy levels of Vitamin C is not a problem. But, because the gut isn’t always able to absorb vitamins efficiently, it is possible to become deficient in Vitamin C.

Some possible side effects of low levels of Vitamin C include:

  • Connective tissue defects like bleeding, bruising, and slow wound healing
  • Fatigue
  • Swelling in the body
  • Muscle aches
  • Weakness

Restoring Healthy Vitamin C Levels May Help Fight Cancer

People who have cancer are more likely to have low levels of Vitamin C — especially cancer patients receiving chemotherapy.

Vitamin C plays an important role in the immune system. It stimulates the production and activation of immune cells like T-lymphocytes and “natural killer cells”. Both of these immune cells play an active role in fighting cancer cells. Without enough available Vitamin C, the body may not have what it needs to fight cancer as effectively.

Background Image: A female doctor administers IV therapy to a female patient. Heading [Top]: The benefits of IV Vitamin C Therapy for cancer patients. Text [Left]: Text describes the benefits of IVC treatments for cancer patients.

IV Vitamin C Therapy As A Complement To Conventional Medical Treatment

IV Therapy delivers a concentrated solution of vitamins and minerals right to the bloodstream. This cuts the digestive system out of the equation and lets the body absorb nutrients more efficiently.

IVC treatments provide concentrations of Vitamin C that can be 50 times higher than oral supplements. This makes IVC Therapy a good option for cancer patients hoping to boost their levels of available Vitamin C.

IVC therapy is a complementary cancer treatment. Because it is safe and effective, many naturopathic doctors recommend it to patients receiving chemotherapy and radiation treatments to help manage their symptoms.

Some benefits of IVC include:

  • Less severe side effects from cancer and cancer treatments including nausea and fatigue
  • Increased energy and decreased inflammation
  • Increased efficiency in cancer treatments
  • High levels of Vitamin C have an “anti-tumour” effect
  • Improved quality of life in palliative care

IV Vitamin C Therapy Supports A Better Quality Of Life For Cancer Patients

High-dose Vitamin C  IV treatments can help provide relief to cancer patients. It is a complementary therapy used in addition to treatments like chemotherapy and radiation. IVC helps to reduce cancer symptoms and many of the common side effects of cancer treatments. IV Vitamin C boosts resilience and can improve a patient’s quality of life.

At Horizon Family Naturopathic Clinic, we provide the best treatment possible in a friendly and comfortable environment. Dr. Richa Grover, ND can provide patients with IV Vitamin C Therapy. Each treatment is tailored to meet the individual’s needs and to improve their wellness, comfort and quality of life. 

For more information or to book an appointment call us at 705-775-8118 or email us at info@hfnc.ca

References Cited:    


Chen, Q., Espey, M. G., Sun, A. Y., Lee, J. H., Krishna, M. C., Shacter, E., … & Levine, M. (2007). Ascorbate in pharmacologic concentrations selectively generates ascorbate radical and hydrogen peroxide in extracellular fluid in vivo. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 104(21), 87498754.    

Fritz, H., Flower, G., Weeks, L., Cooley, K., Callachan, M., McGowan, J., … & Seely, D.  (2014).  Intravenous vitamin C and cancer: a systematic review. Integrative cancer therapies, 13(4), 280-300.   

Levine, M., Padayatty, S. J., & Espey, M. G. (2011). Vitamin C: a concentration-function approach yields pharmacology and therapeutic discoveries. Advances in nutrition, 2(2), 78-88.   

Sattar, A., Willman, J. E., & Kolluri, R. (2013). Possible warfarin resistance due to interaction with ascorbic acid: case report and literature review. American journal of health-system pharmacy, 70(9), 782786.   

Stephenson, C. M., Levin, R. D., Spector, T., & Lis, C. G. (2013). Phase I clinical trial to evaluate the safety, tolerability, and pharmacokinetics of high-dose intravenous ascorbic acid in patients with advanced cancer. Cancer chemotherapy and pharmacology, 72(1), 139-146.   

Szablewski, L. (2013). Expression of glucose transporters in cancers. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA)-Reviews on Cancer, 1835(2), 164-169.