Vitamin C, the Immune System, and Colorectal Cancer

Vitamin C, the Immune System, and Colorectal Cancer

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Vitamin C boasts a host of health benefits ranging from enhancing the immune system, to fighting the effects of aging and cardiovascular complications.

Vitamin C and Colorectal Cancer

Now, a new study suggests that high doses of vitamin C could do more than improve your body’s ability to fight common ailments.  It turns out – the vitamin can help fight colorectal cancer too.

In the study appearing in the medical journal Science, New York-based researchers subjected colorectal cancer cells to BRAF and KRAS gene mutations. Both of these play an integral part in cell development and increasing vitamin C levels in the blood.

The team noted that mutated cells absorb an oxidized form of vitamin C via a receptor in the mutated cells. As a result, the cancer cells to experience oxidative stress, an action that compromises the mutated cells ability to reproduce.

Vitamin C Prevents Spread and Growth of Cancerous Cells

For this study, the researchers injected mice with cancer cells and later with high doses of vitamin C. It became apparent that the vitamin harmed mutated cancer cells and further hindered their preproduction. Additionally, the vitamin also suppressed the growth of tumor in rodents inoculated with a KRAS gene mutation.

The researcher also noted that high doses of vitamin C made the enzyme relied upon by the mutant cells inactive. Nearly 50% of colorectal cancer cells in humans carry either BRAF or KRAS mutations and tend to be resistant to approved cancer therapies.

When administered in high doses in tumors, vitamin C stops the activities of a mutant enzyme known as Apc/KrasG12D.

Vitamin C Could Also Help Treat Other Cancers

In the wake of these findings, now scientists believe that the vitamin could play a crucial role in reducing the intensity of other KRAS-related ailments including pancreatic cancer. The scientists, however, are quick to say that further investigations need to be carried to determine the vitamin could have the same effect on humans as it has in mice.

The Bottom Line

While vitamin C may be used to treat cancer, its effectiveness is still a question of debate since earlier studies on the vitamin’s efficacy as a cancer treatment have varied and given several results.

Some studies suggest that high doses of vitamin C may reduce the intensity of prostate, liver, and a host of other cancers, but other studies beg to differ.  Only time will tell. In the meantime, read this article to discover different ways you can use to boost your immune system.