EFE News Media Company in July 2019 claimed that scientists from Chile had found that vitamin C immortalizes cancer cells. This study was carried out by a group of highly qualified scientists and published in a reputable scientific journal. The news agency, however, reported the study in a way that did not capture its main findings. Instead the story confused the general public and even medical professionals.
It is important to clarify that this was an in-vitro study, and the study did not actually find that cancer cells become immortal with vitamin C. It did, however, add to our knowledge of the biological mechanisms and beneficial effects of vitamin C use in cancer.
A more recent article put into perspective the bigger picture of the findings in this original study.
Current conventional medical treatments are harsh, expensive, and often have limited success. Precisely because of the high mortality and serious adverse effects of conventional oncological therapies, many patients resort to complementary and/or integrative therapies that are outside the medical guidelines. Integrative therapies include lifestyle changes, mainly in diet supplementation with vitamins, minerals, and botanical medicines; and exercise and mind–body medicine. Some of these therapies have been studied extensively, and there are a large number of publications that support them.
The true value of the in vitro study performed by Peña et al. (2019) relates to vitamin C transport in cellular and intracellular membranes. It does not contradict the findings of thousands of other studies of vitamin C. The preponderance of evidence published over the decades based on in vitro, in vivo, and clinical studies indicates that intravenous vitamin C therapy has several mechanisms of action that are beneficial in the management of cancer. Vitamin C has been shown to be remarkably safe as well and to have a number of clinical benefits for thousands of patients throughout the world.
Jorge R Miranda-Massari, Inés Alfaro. Vitamin C and Cancer: Clarification of a Recent News Brief. Journal of Restorative Medicine 2019; 8: 1-4 https://www.researchgate.net/publication/338030235_Vitamin_C_and_Cancer_Clarification_of_a_Recent_News_Brief
Peña E, Roa FJ, Inostroza E, et al. Increased expression of mitochondrial sodium-coupled ascorbic acid transporter-2 (mitSVCT2) as a central feature in breast cancer. Free Radic Biol Med. 2019;135:283–92. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/331885965_Increased_expression_of_mitochondrial_sodium-coupled_ascorbic_acid_transporter-2_mSVCT2_as_a_central_feature_in_breast_cancer
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