Vitamin C has already been linked to health benefits including boosting immune systems, treating the common cold, and preventing skin wrinkles. Meanwhile, a breakthrough study shows that a vitamin found naturally in oranges, apples, bell peppers, and green leafy vegetables, might also be effective in battling colorectal cancer.
The study was published in the journal Science. It was conducted by Cornell University's Weill Cornell Medicine in New York.
Researchers exposed colorectal cancer cells to high plasma levels of vitamin C. The cells had mutations in KRAS and BRAF genes, which are connected to cell growth, according to Tech Times.
They learned that an over-exposed receptor found in the mutated cells absorb the vitamin's oxidized form. The cancer cells then go through a process that switches off the enzyme the cancer cells require for reproduction.
Researchers performed an experiment with mice. They learned that vitamin c killed the mutated cancer cells.
A high vitamin C dose slowed down cancer tumors in mice with a KRAS mutation that quickly spreads the disease to other parts of the body. Lead author Lewis Cantley's research team noted that vitamin c could be a powerful cancer treatment since regular therapies cannot target mutated cells.
More than half of all types of colorectal cancer include mutations in KRAS or BRAF. They also resist targeted therapies well.
The researchers hope that vitamin C therapy could be used in other KRAS diseases including some kinds of cancer. However more research is needed to learn if the treatment is as effective in humans as in mice.
The use of vitamin c to treat cancer became a practical idea in 1971. That is when a Nobel Prize-winning chemist and his research partner reported that they had used vitamin C pills to treat cancer patients effectively, according to BABW News.
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