Bionutrient research clearly demonstrates that for good health humans need much larger amounts of Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) than are present in the plants we use as food. Unlike most mammals, humans do not produce vitamin C; we must therefore obtain vitamin C through diet and supplementation to enable collagen production -- and therefore overall tissue and organ health.
Vitamin C is essential for the building of collagen, the most abundant protein built in our bodies and the major component of connective tissue that is indispensable to the heart, blood vessels – all tissues of the body. Collagen is not only the most abundant protein our bodies, it also occurs in larger amounts than all other proteins put together – and this critical protein cannot be built without vitamin C.
However, vitamin C presents a biological conundrum in that while it is essential for the formation of collagen, it is actually destroyed during the collagen formation process. The organs of the body cannot function without collagen, and nor can these organs maintain healthy condition without vitamin C. Thus, an essential need for supplementation is omnipresent.
Vitamin C also plays an important role in the synthesis of the neurotransmitter called norepinephrine. Neurotransmitters are critical to brain function and are also known to impact mood.
Vitamin C is also required for the synthesis of carnitine, a small molecule that is essential for the transport of fat into cellular organelles called mitochondria, where the fat is converted to energy. Vitamin C is also a highly effective antioxidant. Antioxidants play a critical role in the prevention of cellular damage -- the common pathway for cancer, aging, and a variety of disease.
Research investigators at the National Institute of Health report that the anti-cancer mechanism responsible for vitamin C involves production of hydrogen peroxide, which is selectively toxic to cancer cells.
Vitamin C is vital in the protection of certain indispensable molecules in the body such as proteins, lipids (fats), carbohydrates, and nucleic acids (DNA and RNA)
Vitamin C and Cancer
Increased vitamin C consumption is associated with reduced risk for most types of cancer. Multiple case-control studies have investigated the role of vitamin C in cancer prevention, and most have shown that higher intakes of vitamin C are associated with decreased incidence of cancers of the mouth, throat and vocal chords, esophagus, stomach, colon-rectum, and lungs. One study that followed 870 men over a period of 25 years found that those who consumed more than 83 mg. of Vitamin C daily experienced a striking 64% reduction in lung cancer compared with those who consumed less than 63 mg. per day.
Laboratory experiments indicate that Vitamin C inhibits the formation of carcinogenic compounds in the stomach, a finding supported in observational studies that have found increased dietary Vitamin C intake to be associated with decreased risk of stomach cancer.
Studies conducted by Linus Pauling (Nobel Prize winning scientist, pioneer in the fields of quantum chemistry, molecular biology, and orthomolecular medicine) suggest that very large doses of Vitamin C (10 grams/day intravenously for ten days followed by at least 10 grams/day orally indefinitely) are helpful in increasing the survival time and improving the quality of life of terminal cancer patients.
Intravenous (IV) administration of vitamin C can result in much higher blood levels of vitamin C than oral administration, and vitamin C levels that are toxic to cancer cells in culture can be achieved in humans only with intravenous but not oral administration of vitamin C. The Angeles Functional Oncology treatment program provides IV-delivery of vitamin C in concentrated dosage, ranging from 40 to 70 grams per day.