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High doses of vitamin C as an Alternative Cancer Treatment 


First, it is important to note that there exist two main effects of vitamin C: its vitamin effect and antioxidant properties. If there is a controversial vitamin, it is vitamin C. On one side is the finding of  Linus Pauling, claiming that taking megadoses of Vitamin C can successfully treat cancer based on his study on carnivorous animals that produce vitamin C levels equivalent to humans, 18 g (18 000 mg) per day. On the other side, there are the Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA) which fluctuates depending on the country, between 60 mg and 120 mg per day. 


High doses of vitamin C as an alternative cancer treatment was popularized by Linus Carl Pauling (February 28, 1901 – August 19, 1994), an American chemist, biochemist, peace activist, author, and educator.  According to Mr. Pauling, a study has revealed that cancer patients treated with high levels of vitamin C lived longer than those treated with a therapy that did not contain vitamin C. He speculated that vitamin C improves the "host resistance" to cancer. Given the public interest in vitamin C diet as anti-cancer, a randomized study was conducted in which 150 patients with advanced cancers received either vitamin C or placebo. Life time was short in both groups, more than 80% of patients died within the space of 12 weeks, and there was no difference between the groups, according to the researchers.

However, the study was criticized by Pauling who stated that the patients in the study went through chemotherapy, which causes Immunodeficiency (or immune deficiency) in them, and therefore invalidating the assessment of the Vitamin C intake which intended to act through the immune system, as it the case of most alternative cancer treatment. To bring more light on the controversy, another small study was conducted on 100 patients with advanced colorectal cancer but not receiving chemotherapy. Again, the results failed to find differences between the groups, all patients who took vitamin C died within two years 


But it seems the mode of injection makes all the difference. Some researchers have argued, saying that the negative results might have been caused by the oral rather than intravenous vitamin C. However, taking vitamin C, as promoted by alternative practitioners, is usually in the oral form, according to the literature on the subject, which make most people doubt of any benefit of high dose Vitamin C as an alternative cancer treatment.  


As for today, high dose Vitamin C as alternative cancer treatment remains one of the most controversial approach to treat cancer.  Since the vitamin C is very high in many foods (moringa, lemon, carrot, broccoli, strawberries, blueberries, banana‚Ķ) which are known to be powerful anti-tumor, cancer patients can consume them to get their benefits without taking any supplement.