Vitamin C and a specific diet may shrink tumours.
A non-toxic treatment combining high-dose intravenous vitamin C and a diet that mimics fasting can kill cancer cells and slow the progression of a common type of aggressive tumours, according to new research from California and Italy.
The researchers studied mice with cancers that have mutations in a gene known as KRAS. Around one-quarter of cancers have this type of KRAS mutation, and this figure grows to around 40% for colo-rectal cancers. KRAS-mutant cancers are resistant to most therapies, and patients with KRAS-mutant cancers have a lower survival rate.
A common method of treating these cancers is a combination of high-dose vitamin C and chemotherapy. Chemotherapy can cause severe adverse side-effects as it harms healthy cells and cancer cells alike.
A severely calorie-restricted diet has been shown to have benefits for heart health and can reverse type 2 diabetes, and can also make cancer cells more vulnerable. However, patients already weakened by illness can find it difficult to fast.
The researchers developed a plant-based diet that mimics the effects of fasting by minimising carbohydrates and proteins, replacing them with fats from olives and flax seed.
When used alone, the diet and the vitamin C therapy caused a minor increase in cell death, but when applied together the effect was much more dramatic, killing almost all cancer cells and slowing tumour growth.
If replicated in humans this research could provide further tools in the fight against cancer.
At PIM we have a particular interest in injectable nutrient therapies such as high-dose vitamin C, as well as the influence of diet on all aspects of our health and wellbeing. Contact us to learn more.