Mainstream medical practitioners often debunk natural medicine therapies without actually understanding them. And then they go on to prescribe conventional pharmaceutical medicines that don’t do much good but which are accompanied by dangerous side effects.
Which helps to explain why research into the anti-cancer benefits of a common vitamin often doesn’t get much attention from the medical establishment. Maybe acknowledging a vitamin’s effectiveness just goes too much against the grain of everything conventional doctors believe about medical therapies.
The vitamin I have in mind is vitamin C. It’s not exactly new or secret. In fact, it’s a “golden oldie” among alternative cancer treatments. But when I had cancer I went straight to a doctor who treated me with intravenous vitamin C (along with other therapies.) Now there’s new evidence for why this is a smart move. . .
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Robbing protein from cancer cells
Researchers at Johns Hopkins reached a surprising result in a recent study. They started out trying to show how vitamin C could fight cancer by protecting the DNA in cells, but they ended up finding a completely different molecular mechanism for one of vitamin C’s powerful anti-cancer effects.
In the investigation, they discovered that this antioxidant nutrient can disrupt cancer cells’ ability to flourish in parts of the body that are deprived of oxygen (in what are called low-oxygen, or hypoxic conditions.) As you may know, cancer thrives where there’s low or no oxygen.
The lab tests were designed to isolate the influence vitamin C had on lymphoma (blood cancer) and liver cancer.
They found that vitamin C eliminates a protein in the cancer cells’ protoplasm called HIF-1 (hypoxia-induced factor). HIF-1 is central to cancer’s proliferation when oxygen is at a low level in a tumor.1
“When a cell lacks oxygen, HIF-1 helps it compensate,” says researcher Chi Dang. “HIF-1 helps an oxygen-starved cell convert sugar to energy without using oxygen and also initiates the construction of new blood vessels to bring in a fresh oxygen supply.”
Long-time readers of this newsletter will recognize his words as a precise description of cancer’s metabolism. Cancer generates energy by consuming sugar, not by burning oxygen the way healthy cells do.
According to the researchers, when tumors expand at a rapid pace, their accelerating use of energy for growth consumes up much of the available oxygen in their immediate surroundings – that makes HIF-1 necessary for them to keep spreading.
But the cancer-promoting action of HIF-1 depends on its access to free radicals – caustic, oxidative molecules. Under the right conditions, when vitamin C shows up on the scene, free radicals are detoxified, shutting down HIF-1and shrinking the tumor.
Kills colorectal cancer cells
But vitamin C’s potential as a cancer killer doesn’t stop with its effects on HIF-1. Tests at the Beatson Institute in Glasgow show that C can also defend against colorectal tumors when the vitamin is absorbed by cancer cells.
In this research, the scientists found that cancer cells with mutations called KRAS and BRAF are vulnerable to destruction by vitamin C after it has oxidized and been transformed into what is called dehydroascorbate (DHA).
Once inside the cancer cells, DHA interferes with the way cancer cells process glucose as the vitamin transforms back into its original, unoxidized (reduced) form.2
Although the researchers haven’t worked out all of the intricate steps that occur after vitamin C converts back to its reduced form in the cancer cells, they have found that it stresses the cells, hampers their glycolysis (a process the cancer cells use to break down sugar into energy) and eventually kills the cells.
Intravenous vitamin C starts
to get some mainstream respect
Giving high doses of vitamin C intravenously has become an intriguing area of study as researchers probe how the vitamin can be used to help cancer patients.
An investigation at the National Institutes of Health and other institutions shows that in big intravenous doses (what are called “pharmacologic” doses) vitamin C kills cancer cells but leaves normal cells unharmed.
In this study, the researchers found that vitamin C led to the formation of H2O2 (hydrogen peroxide) that went after and killed the cancer cells but did not affect healthy cells – for reasons that the scientists could not fully explain. As they admit – “It is unknown why ascorbate (vitamin C), via H2O2, killed some cancer cells but not normal cells.” 3
Documented cures thanks to IV vitamin C
Molecular studies like those I’ve described are starting to reveal the various ways vitamin C attacks tumors. At the same time, other researchers — even without demonstrating the precise mechanisms that make vitamin C so potent against cancer — have examined the increased survival times enjoyed by cancer patients who have been given large, intravenous doses of vitamin C.
In one case, a 51 year-old woman whose cancer had started in one of her kidneys decided to be treated with vitamin C after her metastatic tumors – called cannonball lesions – developed in her lungs. Generally, this would signal the end of the road for a cancer patient.
Instead of having conventional cancer treatment, she chose to have vitamin C intravenously at 65 grams twice a week along with thymus protein extract, N-acetylcysteine (NAC), niacinamide and whole thyroid extract.
A year later, the lesions in her lungs were gone. All gone. The only item that showed up on an X-ray was one abnormal spot that the researcher believed was some type of scar.4
Another case of successful treatment with vitamin C described by the scientists was that of a 49-year-old man with cancer growing in his bladder along with a string of tumors surrounding the bladder.
This man refused to accept chemotherapy or radiation and decided, instead, to use vitamin C. His treatment consisted of 30 grams of vitamin C given, twice a week for three months. After that, he received 30 grams of the nutrient every one or two months for a four-year period.
Nine years later, his health was excellent, with no sign of cancer.
Along with the vitamin C, say the researchers reporting on his case , he also took supplements: some type of botanical extract (the researchers didn’t say which one), flax oil, chondroitin sulfate, selenium, chromium picolinate, glucosamine sulfate, alpha lipoic acid, Lactobacillus acidophilus and L. Rhamnosus.
These types of cases show that, for years, many cancer researchers have been overlooking a powerful tool that should have become a central part of the so-called “war” against cancer – vitamin C.
Thankfully, researchers around the world are now starting to wake up to vitamin C’s impressive potential as a weapon against the world’s most dreaded disease.
Let me wrap up by saying you can’t get these huge doses of vitamin C by mouth. Most people develop diarrhea or other intestinal disturbance if they take more than ten grams (ten thousand milligrams) a day.
The therapeutic doses described in this article have to be taken by IV, and for that you need a doctor. This is one reason (out of many) I strongly urge cancer patients to seek help from an alternative cancer doctor rather than trying to self-treat at home.
But on the other hand, don’t give up taking vitamin C orally. If you’re healthy, it will help you stay that way. I take three grams a day, typically, and I’m probably getting quite a bit more in the fruit I eat.
You may have heard that you create carcinogens that are dangerous to eat when you heat most oils to the smoking point. Now hear this: inhaling the smoke and other fumes from these burning oils may be even worse – it’s actually contributing to a cancer epidemic in Asia among women who do a great deal of stir-fry cooking.
If you missed the article, you can read it below. . .
You Don’t Have to Eat These Foods –
Just Smelling Them Can Give You Cancer
We all know smoking contributes to lung cancer. By and large, the message if you want to avoid lung cancer is simple: Don’t smoke.
But there’s another way lung cancer permeates the body, and it even puts people who eat healthy food at risk (particularly if you’re a fan of stir-fry or Asian foods). If that’s you, you’ll want to pay attention to these findings…
Exposing the Hidden Danger to Your Eyes
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What you smell in the kitchen could be hurting you…
A strange trend surfaced in Asia recently. Asian women seem predisposed to develop lung cancer, despite the fact that very few smoke. Some researchers attributed it to hormonal differences, while others pointed to genetic issues.
But the explanation that keeps coming up, and which now appears to be the real cause, has to do with cooking—and frying in particular.
In fact, there’s now evidence that exposure to fumes from cooking oils at a high heat, such as one might create when using a wok, actually subject people to a mutagenic toxin. This falls in line with research in Taiwan that shows only 10 percent of women with lung cancer smoke, while in comparison, 86 percent of Taiwanese men with lung cancer smoke. The explanation, of course, is that women traditionally do the cooking in Taiwan.
The cause behind all of this seems to be that when you heat up certain oils, such as vegetable oils, they undergo a complex series of chemical reactions and you trigger the release of high concentrations of chemicals called mutagenic aldehydes along with naphthalene (a banned substance contained in traditional mothballs. Nasty stuff.).
These chemicals have been linked to multiple illnesses — cancer, heart disease, dementia, “malformations” during pregnancy, inflammation, heightened ulcer risk, and increased blood pressure.
In one particular study, over 670 Chinese women with lung cancer were compared to roughly 700 women without it. (Note that of those women with lung cancer, 65% had never smoked.)
Researchers found that risk was considerably higher for those women who had frequently engaged in high-heat cooking with oil, measured as stir-frying 30 or more dishes per week. Cooking with rapeseed oil (canola oil) was found to be particularly toxic.
Then a study published by the Journal of Environmental Monitoring found that the deep-frying commonly done by Malaysian chefs released even more polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons than those found in the stir-frying of Chinese kitchens.
And lung cancer isn’t the only scary result of these fumes. It’s also strongly believed they contribute to bladder and cervical cancer.
It’s not just Asian food, either
The challenge in studies like this is that it’s just about impossible to measure toxic fume exposure while cooking, so researchers are forced to depend on recall bias (in this case, that’s where someone diagnosed with lung cancer is more likely to remember potential exposure to a toxin than someone with no health issue). So keep in mind there was no choice but to estimate some of these research findings.
But it’s not just those who engage in Asian cooking who face the risk. One researcher found that frying the common British meal of fish and chips, normally cooked in vegetable oil, produced 100 to 200 times more toxic aldehydes than the safe limit set by the World Health Organization.
The deep-frying process of French fries—or chips, as the British would say—produces large amounts of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons along with the compound acrylamide, another carcinogenic chemical. What’s hardly surprising is that many of the chemicals released from oils heated to high levels are also found in tobacco smoke and exhaust fumes.
In a study published by the Royal Society of Chemistry, it was estimated that someone regularly exposed to high levels of these carcinogens would have as much as a one in 100 percent chance of developing cancer. That may not sound very high, but it represents a much greater risk than that of someone who is not exposed.
The types of oils you use to cook are critically important, and so is the cooking method. In research published by the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim, gas and electric cooking methods were compared. Gas was found to produce higher levels of the cancer-causing fumes than electric, particularly when cooking in a confined space where the concentration of hot oil in the breathing zone of the cook can rise quickly.
In addition, the researchers found that higher levels of ultrafine particles, which penetrate deeper into the lung, were produced more readily on the gas stove than the electric one.
3 ways to reduce exposure to cooking fumes
Indoor “air pollution” as it’s considered, particularly from cooking with rapeseed and soybean cooking oils, could be affecting you in ways you never dreamed of. Frying food in sunflower oil or corn oil isn’t much better.
Of course, when it comes to total risk, several other factors are at play, including deep frying versus stir frying, and the number of years a person spends engaged in this type of cooking.
But, thankfully, not all oils are created equal. You’ll find much lower levels of aldehydes when you use butter, olive oil, and lard. Heated coconut oil has the lowest level of aldehydes and other harmful chemicals out of those measured.
So if you have to fry, use extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, or butter. I use coconut oil myself. I’ve also read that macadamia nut oil is a good choice.
Now, in one sense all of this isn’t news because it’s been known for years that heating oils to the “smoke point” produces carcinogens, and that the worst offenders are the vegetable oils like corn and canola. But it was thought the problem lay in consuming the oils.
Now there’s persuasive evidence that inhaling the fumes is unhealthy, too.
If you’re well-informed about health, you know that much of this turns previous “health advice” on its head. For example, people have been told for years that vegetable oils are rich in polyunsaturated fats, and that choices like corn oil and sunflower oil are much better for your health than the alternatives.
Savvy consumers know better. Start by taking a good look at the type of oils you cook or fry with.
Next, if you tend to cook with oils at high heat, check your ventilation. Both mechanical and natural ventilation can help cut the levels of possible inhaled carcinogens. Exposure can also be minimized by installing a working fume-extractor or hood over a gas stove.
Best of all is to take the healthier route and boil or steam your foods. If you’re looking to keep the food’s nutrients intact, then steaming is the way to go. Poaching or grilling are good options as well, just take care not to char your food when grilling as the black particles of grilled foods can contain toxins as well.