Vitamin C and Chemotherapy
Posted Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Much has been made in the press over the last week about a recent study which found that vitamin C may decrease the effectiveness of chemotherapy. Today, in the Montreal Gazette, Dr. L. John Hoffer, a professor of medicine at McGill University and an internist and clinical nutrition support specialist at the Jewish General Hospital, has written a response to this claim. Dr. Hoffer notes that many of the articles on the study in question have broad omissions, and that they may needlessly frighten individuals who are trying to cope with cancer treatments.

Hoffer principally finds fault with the study, which appeared in Cancer Research, because it did not involve ascorbic acid, but rather dehydroascorbic acid. Ascorbic acid is the form of vitamin C that is found in supplements. The dehydroascorbic acid in the study was mixed with cells in a concentraction that does not exist in nature.

The fact is that many more studies have found just the opposite of this recent study,--namely, that vitamin C in combination with chemotherapeutic drugs actually aids in the destruction of cancer cells and protects noncancerous cells. Hoffer also points out that in another recent study, vitamin C increased the benefit of chemotherapy, while the addition of dehydroascorbic acid decreased it. Here is a little excerpt from the article:

In my view, people about to receive highly effective chemotherapy should trust the clinical judgment of their oncologist when it comes to antioxidants. They should understand that the clinical trials that validated these drugs did not include high doses of Vitamin C or other antioxidants.

The article goes on to discuss the various potential uses and benefits which may be had from intravenous vitamin C for cancer patients. You can read the entire article right here: Jury still out on the effect of Vitamin C on chemotherapy.


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