Does Intravenous Vitamin C Work in The Treatment of Cancer and Other Diseases?
What is High Dose Vitamin C Therapy?
High dose vitamin C therapy involves introducing ascorbic acid directly into the blood stream via an IV, bypassing the digestive system. IV administration of Vitamin C produces different results in research because the concentrations of ascorbic acid in the blood is capped at under 300 micro moles when ingested orally. When administered intravenously, the concentrations of available ascorbic acid can reach 20 mM. High dose vitamin C is commonly used as a complementary modality in the treatment of certain types of cancer, autoimmune disorders, and infections.
Does High Dose Vitamin C help in the Treatment of Cancer and other Diseases?
Human studies are limited, however according to Cancer.gov, animal studies have shown positive effects including tumor size reduction in many types of cancers and reduction in cell proliferation when administered in large doses (.1-100mM) (Reference)
Human Studies on The Use of Vitamin C
The earliest clinical studies performed on Vitamin C occurred in the 1970s with the results showing much promise, including a study performed in 1976 that involved 100 terminal cancer patients. It was found that the mean survival time for the IV ascorbic acid treated patients was 300 days longer. (Reference1, Reference2)
The articles referenced above interestingly mention that a future study was unable to replicate the results, however the follow up study used only orally administered vitamin C, which as mentioned previously, is unable to produce the same values of available concentration in the body.
Other Human Studies
A 2006 study with limited scope (only 3 patients) with poor prognosis showed very long survival times after being treated with vitamin C in doses ranging from 15 grams to 65 grams intravenously.(Reference)
A study published in 2018 stated that the purpose of the study was to answer the following:
■ What are the pharmacokinetics of IV C and how would administration affect cancer patients?
■ Do cancer patients, compared with healthy subjects, experience vitamin C deficiency?
■ Is it safe to administer IV C to cancer patients during and after chemotherapy? Does IV C have the potential to improve qol?
The article stated that the study did not intend to analyze the efficacy of high dose intravenous Vitamin C as a treatment for cancer because “ the literature to date has not supported the efficacy of IV C as monotherapy in anticancer treatment”. Although the article failed to produce any conclusive statements on the use of IV C in cancer treatment, it did produce very dynamic evidence that cancer patients show a substantial lack of available Vitamin C in their bodies that progresses as cancer develops. (reference)
This statement regarding the purpose of the study is worth noting because of the number of studies performed are extremely limited, but many of the studies performed appear to be very encouraging. The positive research performed it seems, would encourage researchers to perform more detailed studies directly on the efficacy of IV Vitamin C as a primary treatment for cancer, as opposed to peripheral topics that have largely been already researched.
Other Uses of Vitamin C
Eye health – A study performed by the National Eye Institute found that intake of Vitamin C in combination with other vitamins can reduce the effect of macular degeneration by up to 25%.
Blood pressure – A 2016 study found that supplementation with “IVC alone (>30 g) reduced the mean BP up to 8–9 mmHg in prehypertensive patients.” The same study found that oral intake of Vitamin C did not have the same effect (abstract here)
The Common Cold – A study involving individuals supplementing during and before the onset of infection with the cold virus found that: “The combination of supplemental and therapeutic doses of vitamin C is capable of relieving chest pain, fever, and chills, as well as shortening the time of confinement indoors and mean duration.” These reductions in most symptoms generally equate to a day in most cases. (Study here)
Collagen Production and Tissue Repair – According to Medline.gov Vitamin C is vital in the production of collagen – a key component of body tissue. Therefore Vitamin C is used in the body to repair muscle tissue, skin, teeth, bones, vessels, and more.
Based on the above studies and articles, Vitamin C holds great promise as a “booster” for other treatments for viruses, infections, and many diseases. Some of the studies mentioned also provide support for the use of Vitamin C as a monotreatment. Encouragingly, there is currently a large study being performed in China on the efficacy of Vitamin C as a treatment for the cold virus, especially as it relates to the 2020 epidemic. This study is expected to be completed in September. If you think that Vitamin C IV therapy might be right for you, consult your doctor and we welcome your visit to the IV Center, with locations in Erie, Pittsburgh, Cranberry, and Aspinwall, PA.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.