Vitamin C & Chemotherapy

While most people are leaning towards better nutrition for cancer patients in an effort to boost the body’s natural defenses, it seems that Vitamin C may not be one of the things you really want to stock up on if you are having chemotherapy.

Scientists have found that if you inject vitamin C into a petri dish with chemotherapy and cancer cells, the chemotherapy doesn’t work near as well…in fact the chemotherapy kills up to 70% LESS cancer cells. In rats, when they were injected with human cancer cells and then treated with chemotherapy, their tumors actually grew more rapidly when vitamin C was given to them 2 hours before treatment.

Note: There were only 5 kinds of drugs tested…not all chemotherapy drugs do the same thing to kill cancer cells.

Now, we aren’t rats by any means…however this could be significant in finding out ways to help chemotherapy succeed and can help explain why it works better in some people and not others.

Chemotherapy works by damaging the mitochondria in the cancer cell.  In turn the mitochondria tells the cell to die.  Vitamin C actually protects cell mitochondria.  While we need vitamin C to keep from getting scurvy, it may not be a good idea to take supplements if you are having chemotherapy treatments.

With all that said, this isn’t a difinitive study.  There are just as many studies that show the opposite about vitamine C.  However, if you are taking chemotherapy treatments, it couldn’t hurt to tell your doctor about this study and ask himor her whether or not it is ok to take vitamin C supplements.

Original article here:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20081001/sc_nm/us_cancer_vitamin


As always, I welcome others opinions and if anyone has more information, please feel free to post it in comments.

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