Vitamin C can help prevent cancer say the National Institutes of Health

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Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Vitamin C molecule
Linus Pauling in 1954

Vitamin C can help cut the spread of cancer and tumours by half, according to United States researchers who tested on mice.

Researchers at the National Institutes of Health injected doses of vitamin C into four grams per kilo of body weight into mice with pancreatic, brain and ovarian cancers, which started a destructive chain reaction with the cancer cells. The vitamin, also known as ascorbate, caused high amounts of hydrogen peroxide in the body, which killed cancer cells.

The vitamin was given in doses as the body does not absorb more than a set amount of vitamin C normally. Following successful tests on mice, scientists believe that treating cancer with vitamin C could soon be tested on humans.

Treating cancer with vitamin C was considered in the 1970s by American scientist Linus Pauling, who won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1954. However, it involved taking the vitamin orally instead of injection, and so did not have the desired effect.