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Vitamin C could be a new colorectal cancer treatment, new study says

According to a new study published in the journal Science, high doses of vitamin C have been shown in lab tests on mice to halt cancer cell growth.

Of course, this is a conclusion that will require much more research. But researchers are hopeful. Why?


Because the research showed that vitamin C could destroy the two most aggressive forms of colorectal cancer, BRAF and KRAS mutations, which cover approximately half of colorectal cancer cases in the United States. According to Morning Ticker, 93,000 U.S. cases are reported each year, making colorectal cancer the third most common type of cancer. And half of the patients will develop one of the two most aggressive forms, which don’t respond well to treatment currently available.

Again, the determination was regarding extremely high doses of vitamin C–300 oranges worth, Pioneer News reports. However, at this level, tumor cell growth stopped.

The American Association for the Advancement of Science released the following statement: “Colorectal cancer cells with certain mutations ‘handle’ vitamin C differently than other cells, and this difference ultimately kills them, a new study shows. The idea that vitamin C could be an effective therapy for human cancer holds great appeal, but its track record in this arena has been highly controversial, with clinical studies producing contradictory results.”

The statement continued: “Several ongoing clinical studies are exploring whether a therapeutic effect may require a high plasma level of vitamin C that can be achieved only by intravenous, not oral, administration. In the meantime, the molecular mechanism by which vitamin C might selectively kill cancer cells remains unclear.”

Scientists hope that the vitamin C therapy won’t just fight colorectal cancer. They hope other types of diseases driven by KRAS, such as pancreatic cancer, will be positively affected as well.

Researchers have yet to determine if the results in mice will be duplicated in humans. If it does, the appropriate doses and the way they’d be administered would need to be determined as well.


About Meredith Rodefer

Meredith Rodefer is a freelance writer, who focuses on anything from lifestyle blogging to hard news, and dancer. Beyond Youth Independent, she has written for sites such as, and Contact Meredith: [email protected]