BEACON TRANSCRIPT – Vitamin C could kill cancer cells according to a new study published in Science magazine and conducted by Dr. Lewis Cantley from Weill Cornel Medicine in New York. Vitamin C is also called ascorbic acid and it is a vital nutrient required in the body’s normal development.
The research that the team lead by Dr. Cantley has conducted suggests that Vitamin C might also be needed for more than just growth and development, as the scientists have found that large quantities of Vitamin C can also kill the cancer cells responsible for the appearance of colorectal cancer.
It was calculated that a large amount of Vitamin C, equivalent to that found in three hundred oranges, weakened and eventually killed the mutated BRAF and KRAS genes that brought on the disease in mice. These cancer cells have been recorded as the leading causes of colorectal cancer and are responsible for 50 percent of all the cases that are diagnosed.
Dr. Cantley and his team explained that when Vitamin C enters the human arteries ts becomes oxidized by the organism and some of its parts are transformed into a different acid called dehydroascorbic acid, also known as DHA. During the study the team found that, once inside the body and transformed from ascorbic acid to dehydroascorbic acid, the new DHA effectively entered the cells and at that point natural antioxidants within the cell try to revert it back to ascorbic acid.
However, instead of that happening, the natural antioxidants inside the cancerous cell diminish and eventually lead to the death of the cell because of “oxidative stress”. This reaction is even more important, as researchers pointed out, considering the fact that since BRAF and KRAS mutant cells need a lot of antioxidants to survive, the effect of the DHA on these cells is even greater.
Although the findings are very encouraging so far, scientists have emphasized that a lot more research is needed in order to turn the new knowledge into the beginning of an effective course of colorectal cancer treatment, as there is much information they do not yet have on the reactions that DHA can cause. The primary area that must be investigated in that of the effects that DHA can have on normal cells when absorbed into the human body in such high amounts.
Despite the need for more information and research, the team is positive that the find is an important stepping stone in the process of developing new treatments for colorectal cancer caused by BRAF and KRAS mutant cells.
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