The Nonprofit Vitamin C Foundation Issues Oral Dosage Recommendations to Achieve Vitamin C Blood Levels that Kill Cancer Stem Cells (CSCs)

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A Landmark Study Resolves the Linus Pauling and Arthur Robinson Vitamin C and Cancer Controversy, Both Men were Right. High (And Not Low) Doses of Vitamins C and B3 Kill Tumor Spawning Cells of the Intestines.

Linus Pauling

Linus Pauling

Available studies indicate that vitamin C, at doses of 4 g/kg b.w., a pancreatic tumor mass reduction of more than 40% could be achieved in a xenograft animal model.

The nonprofit Vitamin C Foundation is a clearing house and center of expertise regarding this vital nutrient. In this role, the Foundation actively monitors vitamin C research from around the world. Recently, a series of stunning Vitamin C and Cancer research studies have prompted the Foundation's publication of new vitamin C dosage recommendations for cancer patients..

In a study from India, for the first time in the history of science, experienced cancer researchers discovered that different dosages of vitamin C have much different effects on the "seeds" of intestinal cancer. Lower doses spurred colon cancer stem cell (CSC) growth. Optimal doses of vitamin C, and niacin, or vitamin B3, destroy cancer stem cells. Very high dosages, again, promoted CSC proliferation.

The study, published in a peer reviewed journal, Cell Biology International,, is the latest in a series of surprising year 2017 research reports supporting Nobel prize laureate Linus Pauling's long-held assertion that vitamin C can be used to prevent, control, and even treat cancer.

The Indian test tube study investigated both low and high doses of vitamin C, and niacin, on stem cell tumors of the intestine. Different dosages produced opposite effects. Dr. Utave. Sen, et. al., found that when taking a dosage that creates concentrations of vitamin C (and vitamin B3) from 5-25 micromoles/liter, a low concentration, there is a process of active reproduction of cancer stem cell tumors of the intestine. At higher dosages (100 to 1,000 micromoles), these stem cells are destroyed.

The Foundations White Paper on constant oral dosing to achieve the necessary CSC-lethal concentrations is now available: . These recommendations are based on the Sen, et. al., in vitro study findings regarding the optimal concentration of vitamin C and the Vitamin C Foundation's prior knowledge of blood concentrations after oral dosing.

The Sen, et. al., measurements indicate that daily amounts of one gram or less of vitamin C promote CSC proliferation. This new finding indicates that the government approved RDA for Vitamin C, and the low amount currently recommended by the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State, are dangerous for cancer patients. Much more vitamin C is needed to avoid CSC proliferation and malignancy relapse, at least 12 grams daily as long recommended by Linus Pauling.

Foundation's Review of the Recent Science from Around the World

People fighting cancer are fighting two different battles. The active malignancy and the more subtle battle against these otherwise hard-to-kill cancer stem cells (CSCs).

In 2001, the University of Michigan Cancer Center proclaimed that current chemotherapy targets the “wrong” cells. The Ann Arbor researchers discovered that not all cells in a tumor are equally malignant. Only tiny minorities of tumor cells are actually capable of inducing new cancers; the rest are relatively harmless. "These tumor-inducing cells have many of the properties of stem cells," said Michael F. Clarke, MD, a professor of internal medicine, who directed the study. "They make copies of themselves --a process called self-renewal -- and produce all the other kinds of cells in the original tumor."

The 2017 first-ever study from India found that vitamin C, and Niacin to a lesser extent, at the proper concentrations can kill CSCs - the seeds of ordinary malignant cells. Importantly, they also demonstrated that too small concentrations of vitamin C (and Niacin) actually promote the proliferation of these cancer-seed cells.

Last June, Professor Michael Lisanti from the University of Salford, UK, published two studies that found vitamin C and antibiotics could be up to 100 times more effective at killing cancer stem cells (CSCs) than standard-of-care drugs. According to Lisanti, giving the antibiotic doxycycline followed by vitamin C effectively starves cancer stem cells of their fuel, resulting in their death in the lab, the researchers said.

Then last August, another research groups located in the UK and USA published their findings that injections of vitamin C could help fight blood cancers. Luisa Cimmino and Benjamin Neel at the New York University School of Medicine and their colleagues have discovered that, by injecting vitamin C, cancer growth could be prevented. Researchers halted the progression of leukemia in mice by promoting the function of a specific gene through high doses of vitamin C.

In the same month, researchers at Children's Medical Center Research Institute at UT Southwestern discovered that stem cells absorb “unusually high” levels of vitamin C, which reportedly regulate function and suppress the development of leukemia. Dr. Michalis Agathocleous, lead author of the study, said stem cells use vitamin C to regulate chemical modifications on DNA, which turn genes on and off. “When stem cells don’t receive enough vitamin C, these [DNA-regulating mechanisms] can become damaged in a way that increases stem cell function but also increases the risk of leukemia.” Thus, if humans take up more vitamin C than normal, this vitamin will regulate and stabilize stem cell function and suppress the chances of developing leukemia.

Physician Daniel Couturier commented, “Available studies indicate that vitamin C, at doses of 4 g/kg b.w., a
pancreatic tumor mass reduction of more than 40% could be achieved in a xenograft animal model."

The new research settles the Linus Pauling/Arthur Robinson Cancer and Vitamin C Controversy. Both men were right. While low doses promote cancers, high doses can kill cells that spawn cancers.

The Vitamin C Foundation White Paper for cancer doctors and patients estimates the dosing necessary for CSC-lethal concentrations in the blood. The Foundation encourages oncologists to advise their patients to supplement vitamin C in oral amounts that can achieve at least a 100 micromoles/liter concentration in their blood for as long as possible. The major problem is that the kidney constantly reduces vitamin C concentrations to less than this amount steady state, e.g. 85 micromoles/liter, with a half-life of 30 minutes. Our initial estimates are that 1 gram or less of oral vitamin C creates the concentrations that promote CSC proliferation, and that 4 grams creates the minimum required 100 micromole/litter concentration, at least for a little while.

The specific recommended minimum Vitamin C dosage is 12,000 mg per day:

A 1 g oral dose of AA can raise plasma AA to 130 μmol/L within an hour and such doses at intervals of about two hours throughout the day can maintain ~230 μmol AA/L (Krone, 2002)

Dosages up to 80 grams would be appropriate and safe. Links to our analysis and final report on oral dosing are available at our web site

The documentary Cancer Can Be Killed, a Jeff Witzeman film, introduces another theory that may explain how vitamin C works to kill cancer. Cancer requires fuel for its rapid cell division, and both its primary fuel, glucose, and vitamin C enter cells via insulin transport. If cancer patients lower their glucose intake and raise their vitamin C intake, the large amount of Vitamin C entering cancer cells becomes a “Trojan Horse.” The cancer tumors are not able to use the massive dosage of vitamin C they have taken in for energy. This wonderful documentary is available for free to Amazon Prime members, and is only $1.99 otherwise.

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Robert Fonorow

Robert Fonorow
The Vitamin C Foundation
since: 10/2009
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